The one word prompt today is – Baby. When I saw the prompt the first thing that came to my mind was my son, Aiden. Aiden is my first born – my baby. I got pregnant pretty soon after I got married and had Aiden about a month before my 1 year anniversary! I had a pretty easy pregnancy. I had Aiden on July 25th and he was due on the 26th so he was full term. I had the normal aches and pains during my pregnancy, but nothing I couldn’t handle. What I didn’t expect was how I felt after Aiden was born. The “Baby Blues”. I didn’t expect to feel so blue. I knew it was common to feel sad for a few days after giving birth because of the shift in pregnancy hormones, but didn’t expect the blues to turn into depression. It took me a while to admit it, but I suffered from post partum depression. The blues turned into an empty black hole. I felt depleted. I felt terrible. I felt like the worst mom in the world because I really just wanted to run away from it all. Why didn’t I feel happy? Why didn’t I feel like that connection? Was I not supposed to be a mom? This made me so sad.
I had a lot of different things going on at the same time I was pregnant. We bought our first home and moved into the home the same weekend that I had Aiden! I had Aiden on a Friday morning and my husband moved our things into our new house on Saturday! I had just quit my job and was getting ready to start a new job. I had 6 weeks home with Aiden, and then off I went, sleep deprived, to a new job! And, I was doing something that I had never done before – teaching high school! It all caught up with me. I was overwhelmed and drowning.
I went in for my 6 week check up and decided to talk to my doctor. I was scared to be honest about how I was feeling, but she listened. She told me it was not uncommon for moms to feel this way. She suggested medicine, but I didnt think I needed it. She told me to talk to friends I could trust, and just give it time. She told me that if someone asked me “what do you have to be depressed about?” then they didn’t understand depression. Thankfully, my post partum faded away over time. I was able to get over the hump. It took me a few months to feel normal again. I did a lot of reading on post partum and joined a few discussion boards. But the turning point for me was when I was finally honest with my best friend about how I was feeling. She understood where I was coming from and didn’t judge me or make me feel like I was crazy. She confided in me about some of the things she had been going through, as well. We promised to always confide in each other.
The most important lesson I learned through my journey with PPD was that mothers need a support system. Every woman needs another woman to confide in. Pick her carefully. Find someone who does not judge you in your darkest moments. Find someome that will call you out when you are wrong but will listen to you cry, too.
I have the most amazing bond with my son and he is such a gift from God. I told myself that if I could help other moms realize that PPD is a real thing and that it is OK to talk about how you are feeling, then I would. When I saw this prompt today I felt that it was my turn to help other moms out there. Maybe you have PPD, or have had it. Maybe you’ve never told anyone how empty you felt after you had your child. It’s OK. You are a good mom. You are not alone. You need to find that one person you can tell anything to and talk to them. If she is a mom then chances are she needs someone to confide in, too. Ladies, moms need to stop judging and start encouraging. The world needs more kindness and understanding. You are a good mom. Don’t forget that.
Daily Prompt: Baby