January 11, 2017

Why PPD is a 4 Letter Word – Breaking the Silence with Postpartum Depression

I got lucky.  I only had to birth a 6 lb 11 oz baby, but many of you probably had to birth a baby that was upwards of 7, 8 or even 9 lbs.  And then we are expected to just go back to normal?  What is normal?  Normal will never be the same anymore.  The best we can hope for is a new life that eventually feels somewhat normal to us.  I have that now, but I didn’t at first.

Postpartum depression.  Nobody talks about it.  My gynecologist didn’t warn me about it.  My friends didn’t warn me about it.  The nurses didn’t warn me about it.  No one did.  They just said you and baby are healthy and okay now and ready to go home.  Congratulations!  Okay?  I sure didn’t feel okay, or normal or even happy all the time.  I felt like I was a stranger sometimes thrown into this new world.  I remember thinking I would never forget the pain I went through during those 22 hours of labor, but of course we all forget.  I still remember the feeling though.  I remember the joy, the excitement, the tiredness and the scare.  I remember when being asked how I felt, I said that my insides felt like they were hanging out of my body.  And I guess they somewhat were.  But yet we have to put on a happy face and act normal for friends, family and visitors.Why does nobody talk about postpartum depression or the “baby blues”?  Why are we led to believe that it does happen to some, to a few maybe. 

Those select few who maybe weren’t prepared, weren’t ever going to be supermom.  Maybe they just didn’t have it.  It should have come natural to them.  What is wrong with them that they aren’t on cloud 9 every waking moment.  Why is PPD so taboo?  I’m here to tell you today that it shouldn’t be.  Postpartum depression is not only natural, it is expected and actually quite normal.  Your whole world completely got turned upside down.  You may not get sleep for years.  You may not spend time alone with your husband for a while.  You may never get time alone to just yourself for years.  A little human will rely on you for 24 hours a day for almost everything for many years to come.

And yet we are expected to just smile and say what a blessing motherhood is.  It IS a blessing, it truly is.  But, we need to talk about all aspects of it and not keep the bad parts in the dark anymore.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  They are all such important parts of motherhood.  They are what makes them all that much more special.  All of the things we had to go through and endure.  That is what makes it all so worth it.  Without the bad, we wouldn’t appreciate the good so much.  Of all the things I was warned about before I had Leighton, PPD was not one of them.  Of course I also wasn’t warned of how much overwhelming unconditional love I would feel for her either.  And how I would be tempted to stay home with her every single day when I get up to walk out the door for work in the morning and spot her on the monitor curled up in a ball sleeping. 

There are so many different aspects of motherhood.  And the truth is that they can’t be described in just words.  You have to experience it yourself.  But just know that it is okay.  However you feel, it is okay.  It is normal.  You are not alone.  Get help and talk to your doctor.  And know that you will get to a place where things look and feel normal, and it will feel so good.  You will be so happy to have this new life that has now become normal.  And you will never want to go back to your young life with lots of free time, date nights, and traveling.  Because the whole point in living is to have something and someone to live for, right?  Well, that’s what Leighton is to me.  And that’s a life worth living.  


26 thoughts on “Why PPD is a 4 Letter Word – Breaking the Silence with Postpartum Depression”

  1. I went through PPD twice. When I got found out I was pregnant (despite using birth control) for a third time I cried. I couldn't go through PPD a third time with THREE little ones. I thought my brain would crack in half.

    Because I went through it twice and blogged about and learned and wrote about it on Post Partum Progress.org (AN INCREDIBLE resource!) I felt armed going in the third time. My chart had been flagged at the hospital. After delivery I had at least one person a day come in to talk to me about how I was feeling. Little did they realize that my doctor and I had already formulated a plan months before. She was on alert as were my husband and friends. Fifteen minutes after I delivered my third daughter I was given the same drug that I took with my second (the anti-depressants for the first were a nightmare) and this time around I was better. My support system was stronger and I knew "my village" and I could weather this storm if it happened. It didn't. I actually enjoyed motherhood with a baby for the first time. That was blessing in and of itself.

    Thank you for sharing. If anyone is dealing with PPD, you are not alone. Visit Post-Partum Progress and talk to someone. We all go through this journey differently but it shouldn't be behind the PPD veil.


  2. Even though I'm not yet a mother, I know this is something that many people experience but not many discuss or talk about! Prodou of you for speaking out about it in hopes that it can start a healthy conversation! It's definitely something more people experience than we think!

  3. It's so wonderful to hear you speak candidly about this. I had my son 13 months ago, and felt like a failure because I struggled tremendously with nursing. I also never realized how the lack of sleep would affect me, and the pressure that having this little human 100% dependent on me would feel. Motherhood is HARD.

  4. Thank you SO much for sharing. I've written quite extensively about my two experiences with postpartum depression. My baby is about to be a year and I've struggled SO much with it this past year. SO SO much. I'm officially through the 'fog' part where I'm not certain if things will ever be the same; but I'm still not in the clear. 🙁

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Parenting is so hard, especially for first time moms. Even the second child for me was difficult. I am thankful for a support system to have gotten me through the hard days. You are a light and inspiration to many <3 So glad you are doing so well now!

    xo. Britt

  6. I think it's awesome that you are sharing your story and bringing light to something that really isn't talked about much. It's so important to educate others on PPD. Thank you for sharing!!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing about this very important topic. It's so hard to be a new mom and we need to help spread the word to those expecting of signs to look for and how they can get help. No one should have to struggle with it alone. 🙁

  8. thank you for sharing this Laura!! It is so hard as a new mom, especially when you feel limited in the support department! i feel like moms are scared to admit that because we are totally expected to just naturally go with the flow, but it definitely doesn't work like that all the time!

  9. I went through ppd with both my kids. My second I also end through antenatal depression and anxiety due to miscarriages and my fear of losing another.

    I've made a point of being open and honest about what I've gone through.

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