I read a post this week on another blog that really hit home for me.
Morgan from Allen & Co. had the courage to share her story & her postpartum depression experience. I can’t even begin to describe the strength and fortitude this must have taken to open up like that on such a vulnerable subject. Simply put, it is inspiring.
I was quite young when I made the decision to follow through with my pregnancy & raise a child. I was lucky as I had minimal pregnancy symptoms (besides having a little person kick me in the bladder every so often) and once she was born Miss. Bee was quite honestly the easiest baby ever! She slept through within 2 weeks of coming home, she was always happy and if she cried it was for a reason that always seemed to have an easy solution ie. I’m hungry, feed me. As easy as that!
I can in no way claim to have experienced postpartum to its full extent, or to have even come close. At the same time, I think the process of giving birth and having a baby is so overly romanticized that women forget to talk about that bad that goes along with it. There is such a stigma associated with it that we sometimes forget how important it is to warn, to prepare, and to support each other, especially new mothers. I loved my daughter from the moment I felt her move, but when the time came that I finally had her and she was thrown onto my chest my first instinct wasn’t to reach for her, but to get her off. Suddenly it was real….it was slimy, messy and bloody. My doctor had snuck 3 student doctors in to watch without asking me, I was kept in the hospital a little longer than normal (assuming because of my age) when all I wanted to do was go home, no one asked how I was, and at one point I had three lovely nurses trying to help me nurse but it ended up only being overwhelming. It was not the experience I wanted having my first child, and not one I plan on having again with my next child.
Coming home, as a young couple, that feeling of being overwhelmed only got worse until it got to the point where I began to block it out. I don’t remember a lot of my daughter’s first few years. Sure, I remember bits and pieces; the day we went to the beach, the day my girlfriend flew out from Ontario to see us, her first birthday, a few singular happy moments. But I wasn’t an active participant, I was a bystander just focusing on getting to the next day and that attitude just dragged me down. There are hardly any pictures, only one or two videos, and fewer memories than I would like. Roughly 3 years later I finally got out of this mind set, and I ended a negative cycle that had been keeping me from actually being happy. It took me another two years or so to really pull myself together, and looking back I think I could have avoided so much of this ‘blocking’ if I had recognized it as a form of postpartum, or just depression in general. My BFF Mrs. C had a more outwardly visible emotional reaction as opposed to what I went through, but I think that it just goes to show you the different ways in which people cope, and the depths of emotion we can experience after such a major life change.
I can’t encourage you enough to go over and check out Morgan’s post and recommend it to anyone who might need to hear it, whether it looks like they need to or not. Open yourself up to what she is sharing; don’t judge, just accept that this was one person’s reality and that maybe you could make a difference to someone else who could be going through something similar. If you know anyone pregnant or recently had a baby, reach out! Be there for them and show your support, show your love!