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The Things They Don’t Tell You About Postpartum Life

It’s been a few days since I have posted, and mostly it was because I was too anxious. Not in the, “I’m too excited or slightly overwhelmed” anxious, that’s talked about lightly. This has been the anxiety that makes it near impossible to leave bed, brush your hair, or complete any normal task.

I felt it coming on a couple of weeks ago, the way my anxiety attacks normally come about: the nagging feeling that “something isn’t quite right”, but I can’t put my finger on what exactly is wrong. I did what I have done since I was 17, which is to just push it down and try to distract myself so I don’t get lost in my imagination and make things worse. Usually, that keeps it at bay for a little while, lasting only 2-3 weeks at a time until I finally feel like myself again.

This is the first anxiety attack that I’ve had postpartum. I think I’ve just been too distracted that pushing those fears and negative thoughts down for so long, I finally exploded from the volcano-like pressure. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I just wanted to stay in my little cocoon and not talk to anyone or see anyone. It wasn’t until I found myself breaking down in tears every single day for 2 weeks that I looked at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and finally realized that it was time to ask for help.

Maybe it was my pride, or fear of admitting that there was something wrong with me that has kept me from reaching out to my doctor about my anxiety for so many years, but whatever it was that was keeping me from seeking the help my chemical imbalance was begging for, it hit the road once I looked at my perfect little girl. I realized that she needs me to be the healthiest, happiest, version of myself for her.

So I made the call to my doctor and went in for an appointment. I word-vomited every single emotion that was running through my body and told him how I don’t feel like me. He listened, he gave advice, he prescribed me a medicine that will help regulate the chemicals in my brain that otherwise are all over the place, and most importantly he made sure I know that I’m not alone. I’m not crazy. I’m normal. “I’m normal”. That one phrase is what stuck out to me the most. My anxiety and postpartum depression do not define me. They are the result of a hormone imbalance that can be resolved. It’s not going to last forever.

I’m so incredibly happy that I made the decision to call my doctor. I was relieved to learn that more women go through this than I had realized, and that hormone fluctuations and ppa/ppd are NORMAL. Going through all of this made me wish I had reached out sooner, but all in all I’m now on my way to becoming the best version of myself for not only me, but to be the best mom I can be to Hadley.

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