November 23, 2015

6 Things I Learned While Overcoming Postpartum Depression

postpartum depression, mental illness, newborn baby

It has come and gone. Skip turned one and we celebrated his sweet life. It was such a good day.

Life with him is sweet and exciting and more familiar. I mean think about. You welcome this baby but have no prior experience or wisdom on child raising. Everyone passes on their advice and help but you have to figure it out. And we are.

One of the most open posts I have ever written was on postpartum depression something that wasn't anywhere on my radar when preparing for Skip. I mean I never once had a thought about it. I wanted Skip so bad, so, so bad that how could I get depression over having him?

A year later I am here to proclaim, shout, dance, rejoice that it gets better. So much better. Even normal again.

So what all did I learn about postpartum? Don't worry. I am going to tell you plus include pictures of Skip trying out gloves for the first time. Obsessed.

postpartum depression, mental illness, newborn baby
1. Postpartum depression is still so hush, hush so start the conversation. I may overshare that I had postpartum but I want people to know that is is okay. I have people retreat when I bring it up. I have women admit they had it too. I have women stare at me like something is wrong with me. I have seen it all. With something that effects a significant portion of mothers I don't get why it is still regarded as odd or something that you can control. Anytime I speak about it I am hoping to educate others and help those going through it. Make your words count and also the amount you

2. Start a schedule. Everyone has opinions on putting your child on a schedule and I get it. BUT it saved us. Truly saved us. Maybe it is my personality? Regardless, about a month into being home with Skip we started to develop a schedule. We walked every morning, we both napped. We did things around the house and most days we got out of the house. Even if it meant walking the isles of TJ Maxx for an hour, we escaped home.
postpartum depression, mental illness, newborn baby

3. Don't apologize for your behavior. This may sound abrasive but apologizing for postpartum depression is ridiculous to me. The ones who love you and know your situation don't care either. I would burst into tears while on the phone with a friend then spend 10 minutes apologizing that I was crying over not wanting to be with my child. Yes, postpartum depression makes you say and admit to crazy things but don't apologize. Get it out.

4. Explore time away from baby. Whether it is an hour workout or running to the store for something you forgot, try leaving baby behind. Rusty would immediately take Skipper when he got home from work so I could take a hot bath, run or roam the isles of TJ Maxx (reoccurring thing). Take advantage of this. At first I felt freedom and happiness being away from Skip and I was letting go of my control of him. Over time I even started missing him on my excursions. Missing him felt so good because I had never, ever felt that before. Make it a priority and create time for leaving your baby with someone you love. It is healing.
postpartum depression, mental illness, newborn baby

5. Find your healing. Not even two weeks after Skip was born I began medication for ppd. That was only part of my healing. One thing I learned that contributed to my ppd was lack of sleep. It is different for everyone but that one factor really threw me for a loop. I began resting when Skip did. I went to bed earlier. I rested more. I also started eating better and simple exercise. I worked to find what helped me personally heal. I started journaling more and reading scripture regularly. Little things helped me. I even got up pretty stinking early for just a few moments of alone time to sit in the quiet and sip my coffee.

6. It goes away and you love your baby abundantly. I kept waiting for this step to happen. Around month one I started to bond with Skip. He became less fussy and so did mommy. We started connecting and he started to smile. By month two I was head over heels in love. Most moms get that feeling at delivery but it took me longer. But guess what? It came. I tell Rusty and Skip every day how much I love them both. I kiss Skipper constantly. I laugh at him. We dance together. He is learning from me. And then more kissing. By month five, on my own accord, I began to cut back my medicine and by month seven I was completely off of it. I did what worked best for me.

Postpartum depression isn't a lifetime sentence and it doesn't even happen with every baby. Have you dealt with ppd? Overcame ppd? Helped someone going through it? What worked for you?

Let's make postpartum depression talks worthwhile and beneficial.


I would love to hear from you! Let's encourage one another.