Mom Monday: Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

This blog post is as real as it gets. Postpartum Depression (PPD) and Anxiety does exist and it is so real. Sometimes I feel like this topic goes unheard of and often times not talked about because woman don’t know where to begin or feel embarrassed. It took me 5 months (after giving birth) to even realize I was having anxiety attacks and dealing with depression and not one part of me is embarrassed or shy of saying that. I would call Cody in tears, shaking because I was having an anxiety attack and Weston would be laying down right next to me. I would stay in my room all day with Weston and not leave. We would just lay in bed, watch movies and sleep. I even Brough his play mat and a few other visual toys for him in our room so I didn’t have to bare leaving. It was so unhealthy, but I didn’t have it in me to get up and get out of bed. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what was causing it. I didn’t know how to control it. I literally knew nothing except the face that I needed help. I wanted my doctor to know that I need help both mentally and physically. I had no desire to get out of bed, I was exhausted, on edge and having mood swings like no tomorrow. I would snap on Cody for no reason and nothing I did would help. My hormones were so out of whack, it wasn’t even funny. I just wanted to be left alone and I didn’t want anyone’s help because I felt guilty. I’ve never experienced a feeling like this before. To not be able to have control over yourself is one of the worst feeling ever. It was scary and I was just as scared. I finally went to the doctor a week later and talked to my PA. I sobbed like a little baby explaining to her what I was going through. I didn’t want to let it out because I felt so embarrassed. Why was I suffering from this? She told me that PPD and Anxiety is more common than I think and that more than 600,000 woman alone in the US get PPD and Anxiety each year. I guess you could say that made me feel a little better to know that I wasn’t the only one (even though I felt like it). My PA prescribed me a low dose of an antidepressant and anxiety medication to get me back to my normal self and scheduled me to come back in a few weeks. Low and behold, as soon as I started my medication, within a week I was feeling myself again. I was up cleaning, doing more activities with Weston and even got ready for myself. Of course I was a little hesitant taking an antidepressant and anxiety medication because of all the side effects, but I figured if it was going to help me then why not? And no one knows you better than your own doctor.  Aside from that, I also told my family (husband, mom, dad and mother-in-law). I needed a strong support system by my side and I can’t thank them enough. They helped me out in any way possible. As time went on, I started to notice that the more I stayed busy, the better it was for me. I can’t stress enough that getting out of the house is so important. I was running errands for myself, Cody and even finding things to do when I didn’t have to. I noticed it started to help even more with my medication. I wasn’t that wife and mama who just wanted to stay home in joggers and sleep all day, I actually wanted to be out and about and have a conversation with an adult. I was becoming myself again. I also started to open up to Cody more. I felt so bad because I would lash out at him for no reason and he would just take it. But once we started to talk more, we realized it started to help both myself and our relationship. He had no idea what PPD + Anxiety was until we had to deal with it first hand. And let me just tell you, its no joke! He’ll tell you the same thing. It’s a serious matter and it should be taken that way! If you’re struggling with PPD +Anxiety, find someone you can confide in.  Cody was my strong foundation and that’s exactly what I needed. When I needed help, I would ask. My mother-in-law volunteered to watch Weston so I could go back to work part-time, my sister Julie would watch him so I could get my nails done or she would even call me and say, “Hey we’re going shopping, I’ll be there in 15”, my mom even told me to come to her work so we could go out for lunch and my dad always made my favorite homemade meals and invited me over. Sometimes I would leave Cody and Weston at home on Saturday and go over there by myself. I needed a little time by myself. At first I felt guilty because I never left Weston alone with anyone, but its okay to leave baby at home with their Dad. My biggest thing was getting over the fact that I wouldn’t be with Weston for an hour or two. But here I am today, begging for an hour without my toddler, medication free, free of PPD and slightly struggling with anxiety. If that’s not a win then I don’t know what is.
There are so many little things that can help and it’s okay to be struggling with PPD + Anxiety. Just know that your doctor is there to help and has your best interest in mind. We as woman sometimes don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we had just done. We grew a human inside of us for the last 40 weeks. We need to be proud of what our body can do. We gave our little babes nourishment and strength and love and we need to remember to give that same love to ourselves. Even if it means getting help, speaking up or whatever it may be.
 
 
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION + ANXIETY SYMPTOMS
  • Difficulty sleeping, insomnia, exhaustion
  • Lack of Energy
  • Low Sex Drive
  • Changes in Appetite, Weight Gain or Weight Loss
  • Feelings of Sadness, Hopelessness or Despair
  • Irritability, Anger or Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Weeping/Crying for no apparent reason
  • Poor Concentration
  • Withdrawal from Baby, Spouse, Friends or Family
  • Persistently doubting your ability to care for baby
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or baby
POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION + ANXIETY FACTS
  • PPD + Anxiety is more common than you think
  • PPD isn’t the same as ‘baby blues’
  • PPD can start while pregnant
  • Symptoms can start as early as 3 weeks and as late as 12 months and can last to a year or more if left untreated
  • Every woman’s PPD + Anxiety experience is different
  • Not every doctor will screen you or ask if you are experiencing PPD + Anxiety
  • PPD + Anxiety doesn’t just affect you
  • There are more ways than you think that can help with PPD + Anxiety
THINGS THAT HELPED ME WITH POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION + ANXIETY
  • Staying busy
  • Working part-time
  • Having time to myself
  • Spending more family time
  • Getting out of the house
  • Sticking to a schedule
  • Looking forward to upcoming events
  • Setting goals
  • Working out
  • Consulting with my doctor about medication
  • Talking about how I was feeling
  • Staying positive as best as I could

Leave any comments or questions you may have below!

The Gift of Gabs

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2 Comments

  1. Johana
    February 11, 2019 / 10:09 pm

    I deal with is and is horrible, i was lost and lonely and my husband didn’t know what to do, i need so much and i felt like no one undertud what i was going through, all i wanted to do was cry and cuddle with my baby i stop doing my make up my hair (i still dont find a reason or energy to do it) my babies pediatrician was the one that gave the the diagnosis but we or i should say me i never took a step forward, going back to work was horrible i would cry all the drive there and pretend nothing was happening because i knew i needed my check, i would panic anytime i was left alone with the girls, my husband would have to drive to my moms if he needed to go somewhere, my only time away from them is when i am at work i go from a full time worker to a full time mom, the only time for me is my driving time wish i cherish i can hear what i want and take a second to think. Im working very hard on my self confidence is not easy but taking one day at the time

    • gabmilford
      Author
      February 12, 2019 / 9:27 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing. I hope that this blog post can help you and that you know you are never alone. It all takes time. Hang in there mama!

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