This picture came up in my Facebook memories today. My first thought was, “Wow! I looked pretty good!” My second thought though was - I wish I could go back, give her a hug, tell her to stop trying so hard and just ASK FOR HELP.
Evelyn is around 10 weeks old in this picture and I’m busy hosting a dinner party for 50+ people. Hahahahahaha...... :)
I’m shaking my head right now and just wanting to say to her, slow down! You do not have to do all.the.things!
I had three kids under four. THREE KIDS UNDER FOUR! If you’ve never been there, let me just say, it’s crazy. CRAZY! Everyone needs something and they need it right now. No one is sleeping through the night 100%. Two are in diapers and one is just potty trained. Really only one of the three can be left alone for any amount of time. Oh my gosh, it was so.hard.
Evelyn came a few weeks early and then spent five days in the NICU. So many wires and machines and a tiny little IV. After the initial scare of her being transferred to the NICU, we found out she was going to be fine, but just monitored for a few days. I was doing really well for having just given birth. I had done my second VBAC and I felt amazing! I was getting all the things done and flying high. I was also in fight or flight mode, not really sleeping much and “on” at all times. I was “fine”. Ha. I was definitely not fine.
To continue my supermom routine (aka denying I had Postpartum Depression and Anxiety), I decided to take my three kids under four to the library story hour at 10 days postpartum. Because that’s what you do right? You just continue to do all the things? I want to go back and say “get some help and go back to bed with your baby!” What was I trying to prove? A new mom doesn’t have to prove anything! She just gave birth to a human being! There is nothing else to prove! She’s a freaking warrior!
The weeks go by and I continue doing all the things. But in my “spare time”, I’m researching the signs and symptoms of Postpartum Depression. - No way. Ha. That’s not me. I just did this and this and this! I’m not in bed all day crying. I don’t have time for this. If I just eat better, I’ll be okay. If I just pray harder, I’ll be okay. I should try and exercise and I’ll feel better. I’m going to therapy, that’s enough. –
You can rationalize anything.
Until you find yourself wanting to drive off the side of the road.
It’s hard to rationalize that.
I was driving home with Evelyn after an attempt at getting some newborn pictures done. It did not go well. Surprise, surprise, the newborn was not cooperating and the teenager shooting the pictures at the JCPenny’s Portrait Studio wasn’t exactly an expert at this. Lol
I was hot and dripping with sweat. (Thank you postpartum hormones.) I was so exhausted and frustrated and shaming myself all the way home. Why did I schedule these pictures? Who really cares? I just want to go to bed. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I get it together????? Anxiety, anger, exhaustion. My brain wanted an escape. It was too much. In that moment, my brain told me to just drive off the road and end it all.
Thankfully, I made it home that night and eventually got some help, but not until months later. It was a very long journey, filled with meds and therapists and even a psych hospitalization, but I’m still here and more importantly, I’m on the other side. Finally.
I called my therapist that night and got my meds increased the next morning. I told my husband what happened. There was a warning light going off in my head, but I still didn’t stop. I asked for a little help, but not a lot. I didn’t know what kind of help to ask for because no one was really talking about Postpartum Depression.
But, enough with my story. Are you looking for someone to help YOU? Are you wondering if you have Postpartum Depression? Do you need a support group? Reach out for help right now. Don’t wait another minute. Talk to someone, ANYONE. You are NOT alone on this journey. You do not have to do it all! There are resources out there; you just have to take the first step.
Ask for help and start your journey to wellness. It’s going to take time, but you’re going to be okay.