Recently I read a fantastic article from Neighborhood Parents Network (NPN) by Aviva Cohen, LCSW, The Blossom Method about how hard it is to be a new mom. Everyone who gets through it seems to put on a face and not tell you the grueling details of the sleep deprivation, hormone imbalance and the anxieties that we all face. I wanted to share my personal story and this blog is giving me strength to recognize how bad it truly was.
I suffered severe postpartum with baby Jack. I didn't recognize that it was depression until days before his first birthday. Looking back, his first year seemed like such a blur. I was a nervous, hormonal first time mom who had social anxiety taking her son anywhere. I was stressed about his schedule and obsessed with maintaining some sort of order. Worst of all, I was the first of my friends to have a child. There was no support in my social network and unfortunately it lead to the end of many friendships who couldn't handle me at my very worst, and certainly didn't deserve me at my best; which of course lead to more anxiety, heartache and depression.
Since all was a blur to me during my "down days", my husband was able to give me three words to sum it all up: short fused, emotional, suicidal. I cry just typing that word. I love my husband. I love my kids and I love my life. This was NOT ME. I was not this person who was afraid, unhappy and in pieces. I was usually the one that carried others and this time, my husband carried me.
I got through this painful time with the help of my support system of my loving husband Brian, my immediate family, Brooke Shields, my OB, therapist, happy pills and my sewing machine. Sewing literally saved my sanity. It provided a great outlet and chance to be creative and turn something into a comfort for others. Baby Jack Blankets is happy to create comfort for little ones and employ local moms with a creative outlet and added income. #madeinMilwaukee #madeinUSA
My Brian is my rock. He knows me and the type of person I am and encouraged me to seek help. He went with me to my doctor appointments and sat through therapy sessions. We learned together and our bond grew. I will always be grateful for him and his strength along with my family for making me whole again. *tears* Brooke Shields needs credit where credit is due. Her book Down Came The Rain changed my life and my thinking about this disease. It is a must read for anyone experiencing motherhood and might see signs of #PPD.
Baby Jack is now a healthy, adorable and witty 4 1/2 year old boy with a sassy, gorgeous and busy 2 1/2 year old sister named Bailey that continue to keep me on my toes. I couldn't imagine a life without them and feel blessed for all that I am given and the successes that continue to come our way. I personally feel the best I have felt in years and will continue to take care of ME to be the best wife, mommy and woman I can be. #LemonsintoLemonade
If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety, mood swings, bouts of crying and/or feelings of depression please talk to your doctor or someone you trust. Another great resource is www.postpartumprogress.com/ that share many other great stories of women who triumph over this.