So what helped?
I spoke (really, I cried) to my husband about how I was feeling. He encouraged me to open up to my midwife and doctor about what was going on. He loved on me and prayed with me through my worst nights. I say nights, because the nights were the worst for me. Sometimes I would get done feeding the baby and then I would go to our bathroom and just bawl my eyes out while lying on the floor. I didn’t want to wake my husband up all the time, but I found that I really needed him and that I did better when I talked to him. I can’t count how many times I woke him up during the night and he just held me while I cried. I felt like such a broken record when I tried verbalizing what was wrong, but he was extremely patient with me, encouraging me all along the way.
My Postpartum Depression persisted for months. It would come and go in waves, often catching me off guard when it would come back. Time, sleep, talking, and a whole lot of prayer helped me through it. During the night when I would feel the sadness coming over me I would try to combat it with truths. I tried to redirect my thoughts and focus on all the good in my life and the encouraging truths found in the Bible. The book of Philippians was like a balm to my soul.
I opened up to a couple of my closest friends about my struggle. And they opened up to me. I had no idea that some of my friends had lived through Postpartum Depression themselves. Through many shared tears and kind words they helped me. I didn’t feel so alone. At first I feared that I might open myself up to judgement, but I have learned that the risk is worth it. Sure, there are some moms out there who are really judgmental, but I believe that most women want the best for their friends. Try to surround yourself with those women who will be real with you, love on you, and lift you up when you need it.
Sleep and time were also huge helps. Sleep was hard to come by with my second son’s birth because this time I had a 2 1/2 year old to take care of. And their nap times hardly ever lined up right, so there was a whole lot less napping this go around. With time I was able to get more sleep (once he slept through the night) and my hormones settled down.
What would I recommend to other women who might be dealing with the Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?
Please reach out for help. Whether you think you have the Baby Blues, or Postpartum Depression, or you just don’t know, please reach out for help. Don’t feel ashamed or guilty. Many women experience them. Don’t feel like you are alone or that you’re a bad mom. You’re not. The best thing you can do for your baby is to take care of yourself and get help when you need it. You’re a good mama, lady. And good mamas take care of themselves.
If you would like to share your story of surviving Postpartum Depression or the Baby Blues, I would love to feature you as a part of my series. Please email me at marymarthamama @ gmail .com if you are interested in being a guest blogger. I’m hoping that this series will help women who may be struggling as they walk through those early days of motherhood.
Let me just give a little disclaimer- I am not a medical professional and this post is just me sharing my experiences. It is not meant to be medical or psychiatric advice. If you are experiencing any symptoms that concern you, then please reach out to your doctor, midwife, family, friends- anyone around you and get some help. There are a number of resources online like Postpartum Progress and you can even call hotlines such as 1-800-PPD-MOMS.