Monday-Mama-Moments

August 25, 2014 in Monday Mama / Uncategorized
I have the cutest friend back in Provo who wrote a post about baby blues and postpartum. I wanted to use it as this week’s “mom moment” because I think so many go through it and it’s not talked about very much. 
You can find her blog here. Thanks Meredith!

I just wanted to do a little post on a topic not spoken of often. I am not comfortable going into how it affected me personally, but the topic I’m referring to is Postpartum Depression. I had maybe 5 different drafts about this in a lot of different views and writing styles, but I continued to put it off because it’s a hard topic to write about. I decided for my friends I better just post SOMETHING.

I decided to break up what I’m talking about by addressing some thoughts or stigmas about Postpartum Depression and Baby Blues. Let’s see if I make any sense.

1. It DOESN’T HAPPEN.
Although in the back of our minds we know that Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression do occur in most moms, we tend to talk ourselves into thinking that it isn’t happening to other people. Most moms are posting on social media cute little baby photos with captions that say “I love this baby!” and “Being a mom is the best!” but inside they are thinking “What did I get myself into!?” and “Take it away!” We have conditioned ourselves to think that all other moms are faring well and we silently suffer alone behind closed doors. There is this thought that moms should be able to bounce back and love life. One of the things I hated the most was when friends would ask, “How are you? How do you like motherhood?” Because how do you respond, “Life sucks right now; I hate it,” and “Being a mom is horrible!” Nobody wants to hear that and nobody wants to say it out loud; to admit that you actually might not like being a mom. That you are not completely in love with your baby like you thought you should be. That you are not happy! And so outwardly all these moms are trying to put on a happy face for everyone to see while they are secretly suffering alone.

2. It’s NORMAL.
I was always told that Baby Blues was a normal thing to happen. Pretty much everybody gets it. So when it happened to me, I just waited and hoped for it to go away. It shouldn’t be a problem because it’s normal! During those critical first weeks, moms are just suffering, waiting for this thing to go away and trying to hide how they feel. My doctor had me under the impression that it was normal UNLESS it lasted more than 6 weeks. Somehow anything before that timetable was normal and anything after it was not. But then in my reading I learned that Baby Blues average 3 weeks, so if that’s true, shouldn’t it be gone by 6 weeks? It is so confusing knowing what really is “normal” and how to handle something that needs attention even if it is “normal.” Since when did “it’s normal” mean “it doesn’t need treatment?”

3. It COULD BE WORSE or IT’S NOT AS BAD AS…
This was a big one for me. It seemed everywhere I looked for information online I got one message, it’s either “normal” Baby Blues or it’s Psychotic symptoms. Everything was implying that you only need to seek help if you are suicidal or homicidal, or if you are having extreme hallucinations, extreme anxiety, or extreme OCD. So what happens to these moms who don’t have that extreme Postpartum Depression? They don’t recognize there is a problem at all! A mom might think that if she doesn’t care if the baby rolls off the bed and gets hurt that it’s not a bad thought because it could be worse- it’s not as bad as thoughts of intentionally killing her baby. A mom might have anxious thoughts and not want anybody to hold her baby, but maybe that’s normal for a new mom to not want your baby to be given to others. That sounds reasonable, it could be worse. A mom might be having hallucinations of the baby being somewhere he’s not, but they happen when she’s tired and it’s not terrifying hallucinations so it can’t be anything bad, can it? It’s not as bad as hallucinating a dead baby, so it could be worse. A mom might be awake 24 hours a day, but chalk it up to adjusting to this life she didn’t prepare herself for. Where does it become “bad enough” to need help!? That’s where it’s confusing, especially when your mind is not thinking straight anyway. I think because we have been told about an extreme part of Postpartum Depression that we brush off the less extreme aspects of it. And then we get confused as to if we are suffering depression or if we are overwhelmed and exhausted. If we don’t know how to recognize even slight Postpartum Depression, how are we supposed to know when to get help? I’m the type who doesn’t want to go to the doctor unless I absolutely HAVE to. So if my hallucinations aren’t of anybody dying, then I’m fine, right?

4. TIME
Lastly, the timetable. As I mentioned earlier, I was under the impression the Baby Blues was before 6 weeks, depression was after 6 weeks. What I didn’t know was there is such thing as depression beginning before baby arrives and even delayed postpartum depression. For moms who experience depression symptoms during pregnancy it must be horrible! Nobody knows that’s possible, you’re supposed to be so happy and excited. I wonder how many moms are hiding those unwanted feelings because they’re expected to be full of joy at the thought of having a new baby. And then the delayed postpartum. You get past that supposed “time marker” of when depression is “supposed” to occur. You’re so glad you’re one of the women who don’t experience depression. But a few months later things aren’t right. But you don’t know what it could be because you know you already made it past the depression mark. There’s so much that people don’t know about this stuff. There’s nobody who understands and is accepting of all the weird stuff you’re going through! Postpartum stuff sucks!

The further from Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression I get, the more I recognize the state of mind I was in. It’s like climbing out of a canyon. There are moments you are higher than you were before so you think you’re in the clear, then when you get even higher you realize you were still pretty far down that canyon and didn’t even recognize it. It has sparked some change in who I am and the tendencies I am prone to do have only magnified. I am glad I have a husband you still accepts me even when I’m not the same girl I used to be. He really helps me as I go through difficult moments and hard days. It would be so hard to figure this out on my own.

Share This Post

You Might Also Like

  • Camille Millecam Whiting August 25, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Such a tough thing. And something that isn't brought up near enough!

  • Kristina Bills August 25, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    I haven't had children but this was very interesting. Its good to see this point of view!

  • Kylee Maughan August 25, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Here I am at 32 weeks preggo with number 2 and totally suffering from prepartum depression like I never knew was possible, so yeah I LOVED this post. Thank you.

  • LeeYen Lobendahn August 25, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Such great advice! Thank you 🙂

  • Lindsay Living Vegan August 26, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Great post!! I don't have kids yet but I will always remember this post for when I do get pregnant! I love #2 🙂

  • Kayli Schattner August 26, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Wonderful advice! I'll have to keep this in mind for when the time comes. 🙂

  • Esther Ju*Lee August 26, 2014 at 1:13 am

    i think that's the issue with facebook to begin with though.. most people only want to share the good moments or the highlights.. so that nobody ever assumes that it's tough.. and if they're always complaining.. then people like to take them off their feed. so there really isn't a way to win!

  • Stefany T August 26, 2014 at 2:20 am

    I struggled with depression for years before getting pregnant so I knew my chances of developing PPD were significantly higher. I spoke with my doctor about it before my babies were even born. It was so important to be to be proactive rather than reactive. I wish it were so easy for all women to talk about.

  • Carly August 26, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Thank you so much for writing about postpartum depression. There definitely are a lot of stigmas about it.

  • Kristine@thefoleyfam August 26, 2014 at 3:37 am

    Awesome that she shared! Awareness is so important!

  • a s h l e y b o y e r August 26, 2014 at 3:56 am

    YES. I was nodding throughout this whole post. I can relate to everything. Thanks for sharing!! Great job. The more I research PPD, the more I've learned that it's actually quite common for the PPD symptoms to manifest themselves between 4-6 months after the baby. My symptoms crept up around 4 months post partum, which caught me off-guard and led me to believe it was something else other than PPD. I had no idea!! With your first baby, you have no context for how difficult it's supposed to be. You always just hear that it's “really hard”. I am working on a post for my own blog to tell my friends and family what I've “experienced” these past 8 months. I have only told a few close friends and a couple of family members about my depression. It's really personal and incredibly tender to talk about these experiences and so I hesitate because people tend to paint a silver lining on other's gray clouds (i.e. trials). A few people I have shared my PPD news with simply blew it off and said, “Oh, you just need to spend more time around people!” (unhelpful advice) or “Yeah, I had depression for about 3 weeks. Then it just kind of went away” as if it was something that just goes away on its' own, which it most certainly does not. I think one point I would add to your list is: It goes away as you adjust to being a mom. (Because when it's a biological imbalance, there is NO way it goes away on its' own, no matter how hard you wish and try and work to be your normal, sane, happy, pre-baby self. It's a really frustrating thing 🙁

  • a s h l e y b o y e r August 26, 2014 at 3:56 am

    YES. I was nodding throughout this whole post. I can relate to everything. Thanks for sharing!! Great job. The more I research PPD, the more I've learned that it's actually quite common for the PPD symptoms to manifest themselves between 4-6 months after the baby. My symptoms crept up around 4 months post partum, which caught me off-guard and led me to believe it was something else other than PPD. I had no idea!! With your first baby, you have no context for how difficult it's supposed to be. You always just hear that it's “really hard”. I am working on a post for my own blog to tell my friends and family what I've “experienced” these past 8 months. I have only told a few close friends and a couple of family members about my depression. It's really personal and incredibly tender to talk about these experiences and so I hesitate because people tend to paint a silver lining on other's gray clouds (i.e. trials). A few people I have shared my PPD news with simply blew it off and said, “Oh, you just need to spend more time around people!” (unhelpful advice) or “Yeah, I had depression for about 3 weeks. Then it just kind of went away” as if it was something that just goes away on its' own, which it most certainly does not. I think one point I would add to your list is: It goes away as you adjust to being a mom. (Because when it's a biological imbalance, there is NO way it goes away on its' own, no matter how hard you wish and try and work to be your normal, sane, happy, pre-baby self. It's a really frustrating thing 🙁

  • a s h l e y b o y e r August 26, 2014 at 3:56 am

    YES. I was nodding throughout this whole post. I can relate to everything. Thanks for sharing!! Great job. The more I research PPD, the more I've learned that it's actually quite common for the PPD symptoms to manifest themselves between 4-6 months after the baby. My symptoms crept up around 4 months post partum, which caught me off-guard and led me to believe it was something else other than PPD. I had no idea!! With your first baby, you have no context for how difficult it's supposed to be. You always just hear that it's “really hard”. I am working on a post for my own blog to tell my friends and family what I've “experienced” these past 8 months. I have only told a few close friends and a couple of family members about my depression. It's really personal and incredibly tender to talk about these experiences and so I hesitate because people tend to paint a silver lining on other's gray clouds (i.e. trials). A few people I have shared my PPD news with simply blew it off and said, “Oh, you just need to spend more time around people!” (unhelpful advice) or “Yeah, I had depression for about 3 weeks. Then it just kind of went away” as if it was something that just goes away on its' own, which it most certainly does not. I think one point I would add to your list is: It goes away as you adjust to being a mom. (Because when it's a biological imbalance, there is NO way it goes away on its' own, no matter how hard you wish and try and work to be your normal, sane, happy, pre-baby self. It's a really frustrating thing 🙁

  • Chelsea Olivia August 26, 2014 at 5:38 am

    I think it's awesome that more women are becoming more open about this. So many mom's go through this and it sucks that they would ever have to feel like it's only them that suffer from PPD.

  • Girl In Beta August 26, 2014 at 6:57 am

    I think continuing the dialogue about this is really important. So many of my friends have struggled with this, and a lot of times it's chalked up to being “an adjustment.”

    Umm, no.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Christen P August 26, 2014 at 10:52 am

    For me, and I would be interested to hear if it is the same for others, I did not really know I had PPD or how deep into it I was until it was gone.

  • Marian Go August 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • Samantha Horseman August 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I'll have to keep this in mind for when the time comes. 🙂

  • BreAnne Weston August 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I wish this post was around after I had my baby.

  • Rebekah Clarke August 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you for this… I'm guilty of lying to the health nurses when they asked me questions about my mental health after both babies because I was scared they were going to take them away if I told them deep down I thought I didn't want them and that I had made a mistake… I was scared to even ask other moms if they felt that way because I thought people would look at me like I was awful. It's something that needs to be talked about more openly because it is real and you just feel so darn alone… so again, thank you.

  • Raewyn @ Be A Warrior Queen August 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    It is wonderful to open up about a topic – even when you don't feel completely comfortable writing about it. I think with all mental health, it is something that happens to many people and it is difficult to stop chastising yourself for feeling a certain way. There are days when I accept that I am “crazy” but really, I'm not. Mental health issues are a chemical imbalance so while it may be “normal” it isn't something to ignore!

  • Jenna Brussee August 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    This is really encouraging! I don't have kids yet, but I've always been worried that this might happen to me. Thanks for the reminder that it happens to lots of women, and it's not a bad thing to talk about it or get some help.

  • Jessica Doll @ Team Wiking August 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I feel like I went through some of this with my second child and I feel like it came unexpectedly because I was so excited and happy about him.

  • Lauren August 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I love your story and it's eye opening. Since I am not a mom (yet), I find these posts really insightful.

  • Kendall Rayburn August 26, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Love that you shared your story – there are so many women suffering from this and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

  • Neely August 26, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    I love how open you are

  • Deidre Miller August 26, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    This is really honest and wonderfully written. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

  • Jessica Kalieta August 27, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing!

  • Avie T August 27, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Thank you for sharing, this was written so wonderful!

  • Alyssa August 27, 2014 at 4:07 am

    I'm expecting a baby in January so I don't know much about this, but it's always great to read these kinds of posts and be educated!

  • Bria Dawkins August 27, 2014 at 4:14 am

    This post taught me quite a bit. Thank you for being earnest about your experience.

  • Ayana August 27, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Thank you for your honesty about this. If only we spoke more about it, then women won't feel the need to suffer in silence. Thank you for this beautifully written post.

    Thrifting Diva
    http://www.thriftingdiva.com

  • Amber Campbell August 27, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, I'm sure writing this was hard for you. I remember about a week after I had my first baby my husband came home and I was just curled up on the couch bawling for no reason and had been crying all day. Those first few weeks are a roller coaster and I am happy that you are feeling better!

  • Cam August 27, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I'd heard that it was normal for moms to get the blues. After my first child, it was hard to get back into my groove. He was a c-section. My daughter was a normal delivery and I swear I bounced back immediately.

    People don't often talk about ALL the things that come along with having a child. PPD is something that really should be given more of a platform. Women who suffer from it would feel supported and would seek help sooner because it wouldn't be such a taboo topic.

  • Back to top