My Life With Postpartum Depression
I set out to write about my struggle with postpartum depression. I didn’t quite make it.
This is what came out when I just let my thoughts flow:
Everyone tells you all about pregnancy hormones.
No one tells you that they have to go back to normal.
That going back to normal feels anything but.
That your emotions will feel like a roller coaster off the tracks.
Everyone offers help.
No one knows how to help, and you — exhausted, sore, hormonal — don’t know how or what kind of help to ask for.
Some people will be a complete and total blessing.
They’ll make you dinners that can be frozen so you don’t have to cook.
They’ll clean your home while you’re in the hospital and do the mountains of laundry. They’ll watch your older child because you and your new baby have to be in the hospital longer than usual. Others will come over and vacuum for you and bring you lunch when you haven’t even thought about having breakfast.
Hold the baby while you shower for the first time in three days.
Keep you centered when the world feels like too much.
Then, all the help stops as people move on with their own busy lives.
Your husband’s paternity leave ends.
You’re left alone with all of your fluctuating hormones, a new baby and a spicy toddler with an attitude that rivals a teenager.
Some days, you just want to cry. So you do.
Some days, you just want to scream. So you do.
Some days, you’re the happiest you’ve ever been — ever. Enjoy this moment.
Cherish all of the little things.
Like how your baby puts his arm on your chest while you’re feeding him. How your toddler rubs your face ever so gently when you’re too exhausted to move. How your husband loves the way you look first thing in the morning after a night of almost no sleep. How he tells you you’re doing such a great job, and when he thanks you for raising such wonderful children. Remember it.
These are the things that will get you through the hardest days. These are the things that will help you to swim when you feel like you’re drowning — in tears, in laundry, in dirty dishes. In spit-up, in boogers, in crumbs.
That love will get you through.
Those tiny moments will carry you through the darkness if you let them.
Follow this journey here.
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Thinkstock photo via Highwaystarz-Photography