At the end of the blog, I will tell you how I survived the postpartum depression. I will also share my experience with baby blues. For now, I want to educate you because this is a topic that should be discussed during pregnancy. 

This picture was taken in September but my depression didn’t end until November.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Becoming a mother can be very exciting! Most women hear about postpartum depression but may not be well educated on the facts. One in nine women experiences depression during pregnancy or after birth. For some women, the depression can last up to a year after the baby’s birth. Some women need to be medically treated due to the severity of the depression. 

What are the Signs

  1. Feeling sad or depressed
  2. Loss of interest in activities 
  3. Change or loss of appetite
  4. insomnia or sleeping too much
  5. Lack of energy 
  6. Physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still or pacing) or slowed movements or speech 
  7. Feeling worthless or guilty
  8. Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  9. Thoughts of death or suicide 
  10. Crying for no reason
  11. Lack of interest in the baby
  12. Not feeling or inability to bond with the baby, 
  13. Anxiety about/around the baby
  14. Feelings of being a bad mother
  15. Fear of harming the baby or oneself

*read my story to see why numbers are tilted

What is the Difference Between Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression?

Baby blues is a short-term depression lasting up to a few weeks after delivery. About 70% of moms would experience baby blues. Signs of baby blues are crying for no reason, lack of sleep, and anxiety. If you want more postpartum help the CDC has more information.

My Story 

Leading up to the birth of my son, my daily prayer would be “God please don’t let me experience postpartum depression.” A few days after my son was born I remember my husband asking me what was wrong. With tears in my eyes, I said, “I don’t know.” I had so much anxiety about failing as a mother that I would shake. After a few weeks, I was fine. With my son, I only experienced baby blues. I was grateful for my children’s godmother who took the time to explain baby blues to me. 

February of 2020, I found out I was pregnant. I think 2020 was an emotional roller coaster for a lot of people. Those at risk for postpartum depression are women who are experiencing stressful life events. Not only was there a lot going on in the country with racism, but there were also covid and trouble in my marriage. From October 2020 to October 2021 I struggled with mental health. Some months were harder than others but for an entire year, I did not feel like me. 

“I had a thought to just drive into traffic”

In the list of signs, I highlighted the numbers I struggled with. The two signs I wanted to focus on, my speech and thoughts of death. I noticed I had developed a slight stutter. I don’t think others noticed but I noticed. I couldn’t control the stutter or what words triggered it. I no longer struggle with a stutter. I also struggled with thoughts of death. There was one day I will never forget. I packed the kids in the car for a drive. I was willing to do anything to stop my daughter from crying. As I drove around I had a thought to just drive into traffic. I would have been done with motherhood. Thank you Jesus I called my mom. 

I fought for my mental health not just because my family is worth it, I am worth it! You’re worth it too.

For months I prayed, I was honest with my husband with what I was going through and I let myself feel the emotions. I didn’t try to suppress any of my feelings. I apologized to my family when I would snap and tried my best to handle it on my own because I didn’t think I could afford therapy. My doctor said I wasn’t depressed enough for medication. I thought I would get over it, but my daughter was getting closer to one and I knew I wasn’t myself. the thoughts kept coming. Finally, I told my husband I don’t care what the cost was I needed help because I wasn’t myself. I learned most therapists can be covered under your insurance or you can pay with your HSA, health savings account. 

You’re Worth the Fight!

If this sounds like you I suggest you talk to your doctor. Know that you have a community of women who have been there. This is only a season that will pass. I made a video talking about my postpartum depression and my desire not to have any more children. Thousands of women viewed the video and flooded the comments with their stories. Trust me you’re not alone.  

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