Pregnancy can be rough, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will soon be holding that beautiful baby in your arms. The flood of joy and emotions when they lay the baby in your arms is overwhelming. It is here, it is your new reality. I knew I was prepared for the knowledge portion of caring for a baby. After all, I had read the books, and I had cared for babies more times than I could remember. What I was not prepared for was my roller coaster of emotions, it was as if my body and mind had betrayed me when I needed them the most.
Postpartum depression was my reality. According to the CDC 1 in 9 women will experience symptoms of postpartum depression. In some states it is as high as 1 in 5. Sometimes just knowing you are not alone helps you feel just a little bit better. Your life has changed, your body has changed, and your hormones are flipped upside down. I am here to tell you it gets better.
After having a baby, the first few weeks went alright. My husband and family were there to help. My body felt like it had been hit by a truck. Labor and delivery had not been an easy process for me. The pain and the exhaustion was a hard way to start out, but I was determined to breast feed and be super mom! It was at about 6 weeks in that I truly broke down and realized that I could not do it all. I sat crying on the bed with my beautiful daughter in my arms as I looked up at my husband. All I could say is that I was just so tired. Deep down I knew that it was more than a lack of sleep.
I set up an appointment with my doctor’s office for a few days later. As I sat there in the waiting room with the car seat in hand, I wasn’t sure what I was going to say. It turns out I didn’t say anything. I just started crying. I loved my daughter, I had no fear or neglecting or harming her. If you have those fears please seek help right away. I was just so exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically. On top of that, I suffer from migraines and while breastfeeding and pregnant was unable to take my preventative medication. My PA understood where I was coming from and after a careful examination and more questioning, we decided the right path for me was medication.
It took sometime for the medication to take effect but, knowing I was doing something helped as well. Taking pills is not for everyone and it is something that was temporary in my life. Postpartum depression was a difficult hurdle in my life but with support from those I love I was able to get through it. Over the years more of my friends have had children and as I talk to them, I have realized I am not alone. I have shared my struggles with them, as I share with you now. Having a baby is an incredible milestone in your life and a blessing. However, you are allowed to take care of yourself and you are allowed to still be you. It took me years to feel like myself again after each pregnancy, but I would do it all over again because I love my girls more than they will ever know.
So, if you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed please seek help and know that you are not alone. There are professionals to help you. Not only that, there is a tribe of women everywhere that have been there before you, reach out and talk to a fellow mom…maybe you will be surprised at her story and her struggles. Let’s draw strength from each other, it takes a village.
Megan Pighetti loves coffee, is a mom of two amazing girls, and is the author of Fairy-Tailed Wish. Megan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Consumer and Family Sciences with a concentration in Education from Colorado State University.