My Battle with Postpartum Depression | Raw Motherhood | Ithaca New York
I feel called to write about my battle with postpartum depression and anxiety since reading my sweet sister in law Lj’s blog about her about her battle with postpartum anxiety. See… I truly thought that I had it under control when I was a new mom with Maggie. Maggie’s birth ripped me to shreds.. In all honesty I still have serious trauma from her birth that I am working on working through. First time I realized something was up was when my sister Elizabeth said “how is my baby girl?”, see let me start by saying, my sweet sister does not have any children, and she loves my kids like her own. When she said this it was in a text message because she was living in Michigan. I initially called my mom and was like “WHOA!! CHECK HER! Maggie is NOT her baby girl, she is MINE! This is when I decided I should do something.. so I started checking in with myself through yoga, meditation, and journaling. Come Maggie’s first birthday, I thought I was doing much better, I was doing yoga on the regular.. I thought that I was good.. I was able to “manage” my thoughts and feelings. I was able to “deal” or so I thought… it wasn’t until Christmas 2015 that I realized I needed an actual therapist. Let me set the stage for you…
It is Christmas 2015, we were at my husbands families Christmas. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law were spending some time with Maggie, I was enjoying watching her be with family. It wasn’t until it was time to eat that I somehow lost my cool and ability to center, focus, and just send out love. My mother-in-law said something to me about making sure I eat some food (if I recall right, #mombrain) - but that wasn’t truly my concern. My concern is and always has been Maggie from day 1! I felt like I wasn’t doing my job of being a mother good enough for her so she had to take over (now this is how I saw this, it was not what she was trying to do because that is not her). My mother-in-law is a wonderful woman, she truly only wanted to make sure I that I was able to eat my meal while it was warm, she truly likes to be helpful ; even if you ask her today if I let her help, its not so much, because my response is “No, I’ve got it”. Not that I don’t want her help, I just am so use to always doing. So, she wasn’t trying to say that I couldn’t do it, she just wanted to help.
In this instance I got so infuriated with her, I literally went up to the bathroom and hid until everyone left. I didn’t say goodbye to them, tell them that I loved them; NOTHING.. I hid like a little kid, and this is the first time I am even opening up about it. (want some serious truths?! — this specific event has affected my life so much). Looking back I could have said something to her and she would have understood where I was coming from, but I didn’t. See this was the first Christmas that we were meeting my sister-in-law’s new boo, so I am sure to him he thought I looked crazy, going and hiding in the bathroom… but I had to. I couldn’t process all that I was feeling with all those people in the room downstairs, I couldn’t communicate how I felt. I couldn’t even formulate a sentence an hour or two later to explain to my husband how I was feeling.
This was the first time that I realized how deep rooted my postpartum depression was. I didn’t realize that all that I had been doing was helping, but it wasn’t getting to the root the problems I was having/creating. I wasn’t able to communicate over something so small. It was after this that I was like.. “Okay Sierra yoga, meditation, and journaling is not helping like it should, maybe therapy could help”. In all transparency, it has been a year since last seeing my therapist as my schedule got crazy hectic being pregnant, working full time, and having a second kid; but I have actually made the call recently to go sit with her and work through my feelings, fears, worries, and even celebrations. I am looking forward to that hour a week with Anita (who I highly recommend if you are local to Ithaca!) and talking. Anyways, it was going to therapy where I was able to process and more or less vent about randomness that comes into my head. See I a am a creative, my mind if always going a million miles a minute. I have been able to touch the pain, to process it, and to learn tools to allow myself to truly heal some seriously deep rooted issues, attachments, and struggles.
I am writing this because I feel like have to get this off my chest, I have felt weighed down about it for much longer than I should - though processing stuff does takes time. I am also sharing this because women everyday are struggling in postpartum, we need more open and honest conversation about our struggles. Not to mention that writing brings me joy, it allows me to process and move forward. So with that all I want to say is that if you know me personally, and I have flown off the handle at you, or been rude to you I am truly sorry. Motherhood has changed me, and I dont know where I would be without the support of my family and friends.
I love you
Announcement: I am starting a podcast, about the highs and lows of marriage, life, and motherhood.