May is mental health awareness month and it’s also been exactly a year since we had our fourth baby, Harry. And we felt like this would be the perfect time to finally openly talk about everything I experienced last year during a very intense period of postpartum depression.
Having experienced postpartum depression with my first child and with Harry, I was able to compare both experiences – and this latest one being a lot more different. I had intense feelings of fear and anxiety. I had extremely low energy and I was feeling super sad and depressed for no reason.
One of the lessons that I learned from my therapist is that your mental health has to come first, and the baby second. Then everything else comes after that.
Through this experience, I have learned things about myself and about others that I would never unlearn. Any time we go through major life challenges, we learn about judgment versus acceptance, understanding, and compassion, especially to oneself.
I hope that by sharing these experiences, another mom will not feel so alone, that she’ll know what some of the signs might be and how things can and will get better. We also talk about having the courage to reach out for help and the things that were helpful to me. If you’re a friend or loved one of someone struggling with postpartum depression, find out what you can do to help too.
In this episode, you will hear:
- I experienced my first postpartum depression with our first child. I really didn’t understand it at that time and I was just crying every day. I took one of the most commonly prescribed medications for postpartum depression with my first child. My crying stopped, but I didn’t feel anything as well.
- Harry was born on May 8, in the middle of a pandemic. It wasn’t too long when I felt mentally healthy because I had extreme feelings and emotions of hopelessness and overwhelm.
- Part of my depression would be having these extreme fears – that feeling like your heart drops into your stomach the way a roller coaster would make you feel.
- I didn’t want to turn into medication with Harry so I started doing physical activities. But I still had zero energy. It was like an out-of-body experience watching myself laying in bed every day.
- When it got worse, I started feeling shameful about it. The longer it went, the more I was asking what's wrong with me. I felt like I was robbed of my experience to really enjoy Harry.
- Neil gave me a blessing to get help and have the courage to ask for help. And so I did. My doctor gave me medication and asked me to attend talk therapy.
- The therapist taught me that I have a very small gas tank. And if I use that up, doing things that other people could help me out doing, I will not have enough room to take care of myself.
- It was comforting to know that this doesn’t go on forever, it will end and I will be back to myself.
- “Faith means trusting in God in good times and bad even if that includes some suffering until we see His arm revealed in our behalf.”
“Like a Broken Vessel” Talk by Jeffrey R. Holland
“Lessons from Liberty Jail” Talk by Jeffrey R. Holland
“Waiting on the Lord” Talk by Jeffrey R. Holland
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