Postpartum depression makes women feel sad, depressed & alone. Due to the shame associated with depression, many women don’t speak out about their feelings. I was one of those women.
My second pregnancy was not as fun as the first. I was tired all the time, moody & my husband thought I hated him.
Since I had already had gestational diabetes once, my doctors had me follow the same dietary restrictions along with testing my blood sugar multiple time a day.
That did not make me happy.
My husband often commented that he couldn’t wait until I had the baby so I could return to my old self.
The sad part is, I didn’t.
My baby girl had colic for the first six weeks and she cried nightly from about 10:00 p.m-3:00 a.m. I cried because I felt like I was only parenting a colicky baby in the evenings & sleeping the days away.
Weeks turned into months of personal misery. I didn’t want any affection from my husband, and I was either mad or sad.
I had postpartum depression and didn’t even know it.
As a school counselor, I fix people’s problems. It was hard for me to face that I had a problem with depression.
As a mom with 2 young kids under 3, I was frustrated. Potty training, sleepless nights, along with my own health concerns were almost more than I could bear. My husband encouraged me to talk to the doctor about my feelings, but I was embarrassed. I told him that it was just lack of sleep.
When my daughter started (mostly) sleeping through the night, I knew that I could no longer blame lack of sleep. Something else had to be wrong. I went back to my Obgyn & told them about what had been going on. My PA said the words POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION & I lost it. I cried like a baby because I could no longer deny that something was wrong. She ordered a blood test to rule out other issues.
The test results came back and revealed that I had no testosterone. My sweet little jewel had stolen it all! I had a sense of relief because I finally knew what had robbed me of my joy. I finally had an answer.
If you are struggling with depression after having a baby, here are a few things you can do:
Admit Something is Wrong
It’s tough. I get it. We want to believe we are superwoman and that we can handle it all. It’s hard to admit that the feelings you have are not normal. It doesn’t mean that YOU are not normal.
Get Help for Postpartum Depression
Talk to your doctor about your feelings. I can guarantee that you aren’t the only one experiencing this. Your doctor can guide you to a solution that may include antidepressants. This doesn’t mean that your situation is permanent.
Communicate With Your Partner
You may feel like pushing him away, but don’t. Being honest & communicating about your feelings will help him meet your needs. He may think that you are angry with him. He probably has no idea that you are sad and need his support.
Remember, you are not in this alone. If you know someone who is struggling with postpartum depression, encourage them to seek help.