Alright, so this topic is a tricky one. So tricky, in fact, that I didn’t even type the first word until I was already about 15 sips into my wine for the night. Yeah. It’s deep. It’s dark. It’s something that the influencer moms on IG would probably gasp at. I’m going to talk about postpartum depression….because I had it. Yup. That’s right. I didn’t even know I did. A month ago, I would have never told a soul. I guess that’s why it’s not talked about in specifics. Let’s just start from the beginning; birth.
I’ve already told my birth story, so if you’re interested in THAT, you can go to that blog post. I see all of these posts from new mothers about having this instant connection with their baby and being so in love. First confession: I did NOT feel that way. Even though she latched, I still didn’t feel a certain connection. I don’t even think I felt like I was in my body. I wasn’t connected to anything or anyone. Worry started to set in when they were wheeling me off to the postpartum room and I didn’t want to hold my own baby. (I was also hurting quite a bit, so I used that as an excuse.)
When we got home, I wasn’t excited. I was scared shitless. That part, I think is normal BUT NO ONE TOLD ME! My hormones were also going batshit crazy, so I was just a mess all around. That’s not what I’m talking about when I say postpartum depression. These things that I’ve mentioned are NORMAL! Your body did something phenomenal and MESSED UP! If you’re not immediately doting on your baby, do not feel like you’re a bad person! Parenthood is exhausting and emotional and amazing. The way your body responds to exhaustion isn’t the best thing, so have someone help at some point. PLEASE.
I thought I was in the clear. I started falling in love with Levi and my motherly instinct kicked in. I have had so much fun with this little girl and my number one priority is to keep her safe and happy. You’d think after 6 months, I wouldn’t have to worry about PPD. Welp. Here we go. RANDOMLY, I started having a visual in my head; the same one over and over again. (deep breath. I keep having to tell myself the reason why I’m writing this is to help other women…) The visual was of me and my daughter going to a specific location and then leaving that location without her. UGH. It makes me sick. That’s the thing. I would NEVER in a million years hurt her or put her in harm's way. So why was my mind seeing that? It just kept replaying. Needless to say, I told myself I’d never go to Natches Trace ever again.
I didn’t understand it. I was afraid. I didn’t know what it was bc I had only heard of the really bad PPD where women actually killed their babies so you can imagine how terrified I was. People’s minds do crazy things; who’s to say mine was any different? I was in a funk for 3 weeks. I couldn’t tell anyone because in my mind if I were to tell anyone, they’d take my baby away from me. I don’t know! I was afraid my mind might turn on me and that was when I finally told Adam. I broke down. I was shaking and crying and full of shame. He looked at me and said “how do you feel after saying that out loud?” I felt a little better but I was also afraid he’d be scared to leave me alone with Levi. He said to me “That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. I’d be worried if it wasn’t so evident how much you love that baby girl. You just don’t have it in you to do that.” Thank God that was his response!
After that, I felt a sense of relief and I kid you not; it hasn’t happened since. I think I just needed to say it out loud for it to go away. Maybe it was stress. Maybe it was exhaustion. Since then, I’ve brought it up to a couple of people and sure enough, it was PPD. I didn’t know that’s what it could be like. You could love your child with every bone in your body and still suffer from it. I’ve now learned that I need a plan if it were to happen again; whether it be the same thing or in a whole new form. I have someone I can text or call when it happens. (when Adam’s on the road) I kept it in bc I didn’t know what it was. I hope and pray that any moms who are reading this and have any bad thoughts TELL SOMEONE. This stuff happens and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Shame comes when you stay silent and God forbid something happens. <3