Struggles, Strength and Survival
Man oh man, this whole stepping into motherhood with two thing, has really been kicking my booty. I am deciding today to come on to my little personal blog and just share my heart with whoever comes to read it. And the sad thing is, I know that if I look back on the history of this blog, there have been gaps in months that I haven’t written because well, sometimes when life gets crazy, mommy has to put her hobbies on the back burner. Does that mean that it’s right to do that? Of course not, but as they say, something’s gotta give.
Being a newly found stay at home mom has been a mixture of things for me. There is the joys of being with my kids everyday, not having to stress about their care, and getting to experience every little new thing with them. Something I try not to take for granted, but know that I do from time to time. I had been preparing myself as best I could mentally for the transition to two and the transition to staying at home with two. From the time I was pregnant with little G, things were different. It may have been the few scares during the pregnancy, or the stress of being pregnant while still raising a toddler and working full time, but I didn’t feel as connected to him while I was pregnant as I had while pregnant with little M. I now see that I had been in a bit of a prenatal depression. This unfortunately spilled over to after he was born and then manifested into a battle with baby blues, which stuck around too long. After much resistance, I now admit that I have been struggling with postpartum depression.
I have learned that this comes in many shapes and forms. Most people think that if you are wanting to harm yourself or your children, that is how you know you have postpartum depression. So not true. It had been frustrating to have to live with and process what this has meant for me, without the support from doctors. I hardly have time to go to the doctor with two kids, and to fill out a 7 question sheet that primarily asks if you want to harm yourself or your children be the black and white diagnosing tool is very frustrating. Since the sliding scale of my answers pointed to “probably not depressed” I was sent home with a prescription for vitamin D. When I later followed up with a nurse who is supposed to be my specialized care, and I shared with her my concerns, her answer was “I can tell by just looking at you that you don’t have postpartum depression.” How intuitive.
I have been slowly pulling myself out of the black fog that had settled over me by being open and honest. By stating that I am struggling. By having the courage to write a post like this. My hope is that I can help others to not feel so alone. It is scary and isolating to feel this way. To be someone like me that cares (too much) about what others may think of me, the weakness to show vulnerability in my struggles with this illness has been strong. I have been afraid to speak the words that I am having a hard time. But I understand that being this isolated and confused about what has been going on isn’t helping me rebuild, and that writing about it and being vulnerable is how I can best express myself and start the process to truly heal.
A large part of my postpartum depression has been my struggle to find myself in this new role. Finding who you are, in general, is a journey. Seasons of life change as new major events happen. Now that I am 9+ months in to this new gig, I thought I would have it all figured out. Or mostly figured out, but the truth is, I definitely do not. I put a lot of myself into my career. I put a lot into being a working mom. I am a college graduate and am very proud of that, being the first of my siblings to have done so. I worked hard to get where I was in my career. So to make the decision to stay home with the kids was a hard one. But I never thought it would have been this hard on me. Allowing myself to have the time and GRACE to work through this transition and figure out what I need, what my family needs, is essential. I am on the journey to getting there.