I wasn’t sure if I’d share something quite so personal with the interwebs, or even the people I know, but I feel like it’s one of those things that should be said because even though it’s so common still feels so hush-hush. It’s not a secret that postpartum depression happens to many women, and I knew going into both pregnancies that I was at a higher risk for possibly getting it.
With Enzo, the standard baby blues (first 2 weeks after birth) were pretty bad, but after a couple weeks I was starting to feel pretty good again. During my pregnancy with Phoebe, my emotions were a little more intense, so I tried to prepare in case postpartum my emotions were also more intense – I decided to get my placenta encapsulated and honestly? I was feeling pretty good while taking them… my energy was high and I generally felt good, however you may recall that I had PUPPPS, and it flared up worse than ever – apparently because of the placenta capsules, so I had to stop taking them.
No matter who you are, the first 4-6 weeks of having a new baby are hard. I won’t go into all the details, but once again I had trouble with breastfeeding (supply) and we also have a toddler who was getting mad at mama for not being available to him because I was constantly breastfeeding or pumping to try and get some kind of a supply. I went to a couple lactation consultants and did everything they suggested, but even they could only shrug and agree that it looked like we’d be supplementing, so long story short I backed off of pumping and let things take their course. Once I stopped being the main person feeding Phoebe, Enzo started doing better. I was able to play more with him because Phoebe could last longer between feedings and I wasn’t constantly hooked up to a machine. Things were looking up… only not really. My declining appetite, mixed feelings about breastfeeding (if my mental health was better, could I have lasted longer??) and daily crying probably should have tipped me off.
I blame it partially on the time of year – winter is never a good time for me emotionally. I also feel better now that I’m back at work, but in all honesty I think I’m only feeling better because I finally admitted to Josh and the midwives that I’m not really okay. It can be really tiring to try and put a smile on your face and pretend nothing is wrong to everyone around you, you know? I eat because I have to, not because I have any real appetite and if I had my choice I’d stay in bed all day and do nothing because I have zero interest in doing anything really. Along with the apathy has been constant irritability at everyone and everything, and that isn’t fair to my husband or kiddos… plus it’s not fun to see yourself acting completely irrationally. There were other signs as well, but part of me wanted to ignore them all. I’ve been off of medications since before Enzo was conceived, so going back on them felt like admitting defeat. I knew it was time, though, when at my postpartum checkup the midwife asked how I was doing and I cried in answer… actually I knew a little before then when I admitted it to Josh and he kind of breathed a sigh of relief and said he had been afraid to say anything to me. Sigh. So, I agreed to start taking Vitamin D and something a little stronger (Zoloft) and hopefully in about 6 months I’ll be able to leave the meds behind again. I think I already feel a bit better just because the weight is lifted a tad by admitting that something was wrong. I want to be a good wife and a good mother, and I can’t do that if I’m not mentally and physically healthy.
— I wrote this post a week ago and never posted it, and already I can feel myself starting to feel better after a weeks worth of meds if only because my appetite is returning and I’m sleeping better. I’m hopeful that in a few more weeks I’ll feel 100% better and maybe even start posting more considering I’ve hardly had the motivation to even go downstairs other than to feed the cats the past few weeks. —