As many of you know, a third sweet little one is growing inside of me. I’ve been meaning to write something about this third baby pretty much since I found out I was pregnant…but somehow the words haven’t come. With 28 weeks rapidly approaching on Monday, I thought that now was as good of a time as any to finally write about her. But to do that, I have to go back to the beginning…before this baby was even a possibility in our minds.
My husband recently suggested that we go in with his family on renting a lakehouse for Super Bowl weekend like we did last year.
Honestly…the idea sounded awful to me. Last year during that time I was knee deep in the mire that is Post Partum Depression and didn’t yet recognize it. I was frustrated with everyone, didn’t want to be around people, and was dealing with this heavy grey fog that I couldn’t explain or shake. Just thinking about it puts my stomach in knots.
I cannot begin to describe how wonderful it is to not be in that fog anymore. Yet, my heart goes out to those currently dealing with it, or thinking that they might be dealing with it.
Post Partum Depression is surrounded by a a lot of lies and hearsay. Today, I present you with 5 truths about PPD…from someone who has been there herself:
1.) Post Partum Depression doesn’t make sense.
You may be incredibly sleep deprived or you may be getting a solid 8 hours every night. You may be dealing with a ton of stress and worry, or you may have absolutely nothing big to be worrying about. It doesn’t really matter or make a difference. The worst part about PPD is that you feel a certain way in your heart, knowing full well that there is no reason that you should be feeling that way. Why would you secretly want to run away from that sweet baby that you are so in love with and that you know is a gift? Why would you feel hopeless when new life and hope is constantly in front of your eyes? It just doesn’t make sense.
2.) Post Partum Depression manifests differently in different women.
Some women experiencing PPD may want to run away from their babies. Others may be unreasonably fearful of even letting them out of their arms. Others may switch back and forth and become extremely moody. The common thread is that you know in your heart that something is not right…something is off.
3.) Post Partum Depression is not your fault.
One of the biggest lies about PPD is that women who have it are at fault. They don’t eat enough nutrients or get enough sleep. They focus too much on themselves. They don’t focus on themselves enough. They don’t get out of the house enough. They aren’t thankful for the gifts they have. They haven’t turned to God to help. Or, heaven forbid, they didn’t encapsulate their placenta and consume it.
My friend, all of these are lies. Post Partum Depression is a mean, hormonal mess that no woman ever deserves. Simply put, we live in a fallen world and sometimes are bodies just don’t work right or regulate themselves as they should. Those messed up hormones can control our thoughts, feelings, and emotions to a terrible extent.
4.) Post Partum Depression is a bully.
My biggest memory of my struggle with PPD is that I felt oppressed. Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness overwhelmed me and I felt no power to shake them. PPD can make you do terrible things like scream at your children or call your husband ugly names. It can paralyze you with fear to the extent that you’re afraid to step foot outside the front door. It can make you feel like a terrible mom for not feeling “connected” with your baby. PPD is a bully in that it intimidates you and makes you act or feel in a way that you don’t want to.
5.) Post Partum Depression isn’t forever.
It may not seem like it right now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is help. Hormones do shift back to normal. The fog is not unending. Take it from a mama whose been there. Know that you’re not alone. I made it through…and so can you.
If you’re struggling with Post Partum Depression, or think you might be, please PLEASE speak out and get help. Don’t try to “fix” things or trudge along alone. If you need help don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
PS: Not everything can be fixed simply by admitting there’s something wrong. I strongly encourage you to seek out a good Christian counselor and/or doctor. I firmly believe that God has given these people wisdom for a reason! Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you need help finding a good one.