“13 months Post – partum’’
My struggle with post-partum depression hasn’t been easy, its been a long, long road, I am still recovering, fighting – it, trying to over come it, dealing with it and going through it, but I can finally say like I feel that the worst is over, everyday I feel stronger and stronger, everyday I feel like I am slowly becoming me again, I feel like I can finally get a grip on my emotions and that that dark cloud hanging over me is starting to lift, I wrote a blog post before on my Postpartum depression, it was the most raw, real pieces of writing I have ever written, I tear up thinking about it, but today I want to write about what has helped me so far and hopefully it can also help another mommy out there! Here we go..
SLEEP is NOT for the WEAK!
I cannot emphasise HOW MUCH getting more sleep has helped me, I didn’t write how ENOUGH sleep helped me I said GETTING more, yes getting more sleep has helped me, lets face it no NEW mom gets enough sleep, so getting more is what saved me, how did I achieve this? Well its simple, with help! Help from my husband, my parents, my sister. In the beginning I did not want anyone to help me, I feared asking for help as a sign of weakness, it took me more than 8 months to realise I need help, I was scared of anyone else taking care of my son besides me, I was scared to sleep in case something happened to him, but mostly I was scared that if I sleep and not take care of my son I would be a bad mother. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel these things all the time, but I try to tell myself daily that I too am human, I also need a break, I also need down time, most of all I also need to sleep. My son had EXTREMELY bad silent reflux for the first 6 months of his life, which meant he was always in pain and always awake and always uncomfortable, Yes, the medications helped to some extent but he WAS A VERY bad sleeper because of this, coupled with the fact that he had VERY bad eczema which also kept him awake and sometimes still does. I get more sleep now, he has become a MUCH better sleeper, now and again he even sleeps right through the night, like last night he slept at 8:00pm, woke up at 6:15, drank and fell back to sleep again and woke up at 8:30am. WOW right? This makes me so happy! Its called my DREAM night! However, in the same breath even though he is sleeping it doesn’t mean that I am, I now have what I call a sleeping disorder, associated with the post-partum depression, but that’s another story and I can deal with it. After I’ve had a good few hours of sleep I feel like I can do anything!
THERAPY, we ALL need a little Help!
As I mentioned, it took a long time for me to realise that I needed help, and seeing a psychologist was a HUGE step for me, eventually when my son was 8 months old I started seeing a psychologist. Its an on-going recovery, I still see him, I still am on the mend and that’s ok. As long as I’m heading somewhere and as long as I am getting the help I need. The biggest thing I’ve learned from my sessions is that I am aloud to not be perfect, I AM after all human, I will make mistakes along the way, and I cannot always be super-mom. I take time for me and try not to feel guilty about it. The path I took is a long one, not the easy route, but as they say take the road least travelled and all that…
MEDICATION or MEDITATION?
I chose not to be on anti-depression tablets, I don’t have anything against them nor do I have anything against any person who takes them. I won’t lie, I have called my doctor crying telling him I need anti-depression tablets, that I can’t go on like this, that I need help, he sent me to my GP, my GP has wrote my script I just couldn’t bring myself to go get them. I don’t know why, I am still fighting an internal battle with myself as to why I don’t want to go get them? I told my GP that there is no way I am taking any medication while breastfeeding, he told me the ones he has prescribed is safe, but is it really? This is what is constantly in my head! For now I am content in not taking any medication, this may change or it may not, but meditation seems to be my route for now instead of medication.
TAKING a Load OFF..
This I do in many forms, be it writing, reading, walks, photography, baking , cooking or arts and crafts. I find that doing something creative always makes me feel better about myself. Treating myself to a spa day or a girls day or retail therapy ALWAYS puts me in a better mood and as a mom I think we all need it every now and again, I still feel guilty if I do anything that’s just for me, I doubt it will ever change though. Taking time out or taking my mind off things for a while does me wonders.
”EXPRESSING THOSE EMOTIONS”
Initially I found myself pushing away everyone I loved, my husband of course took the brunt of it, how he is still around only God knows, haha, he must REALLY Love me! I can’t tell you all the things I’ve said and did that I have regretted this past year, but can tell you that it wasn’t me, this depression has turned me into an alien or a foreigner, I didn’t even recognise myself. Honestly I felt like I was in a deep, deep hole that I couldn’t climb out of, in a RUT is what they call it. Slowly but surely I am climbing to the top of that hole. Expressing my emotions in a ‘normal’ manner is something I am still learning, my hormones have only recently started to go back to normal now and its definitely helped my cause!
BREAST is BEST for ME..
I absolutely love breastfeeding, and I will not give it up for nothing or no one, why this is so is another blog post, but I will say that breastfeeding has kept me sane, strengthened my bond with my son, made me happy (yes it those oxytocin that Is released while breastfeeding) and overall made me a PROUD mom! I have made it 13 months breastfeeding now! Through everything and through it ALL, Breastfeeding my son is the thing I have done ‘RIGHT’ it always used to be that VICTORY or that shimmer of light throughout my depression and I will hold onto it for as long as I can!
BALANCING THE HORMONES..
I feel this has a HUGE role to play in post-partum depression. I am no doctor so I won’t dive too much into this subject. However if you are going through any sort of depression I strongly suggest the following;
-Go and see an ENDOCRINOLOGIST.
-BALANCE Hormones through the correct diet and eating hormone balancing foods.
APPRECIATING THE LITTLE THINGS!
I take my time to appreciate the little things, the bed-time cuddles, the cries, the twinkle in his eyes, the frowns the giggles, the little wet kisses. I know he won’t be this little for long and that this stage in his life and mine will be gone in a flash. I try to focus on the good and on the blessings I have in my life. It motivates me to be a better mother and woman. I take each day as it comes, I am not happy all the time, neither am I sad all the time. Everyday brings something new, however I feel stronger when I stop and just take in all the small things, life has a funny way of showing you whose boss sometimes! And sometimes I want to kick it in the face!
I hope something on this list can inspire another mommy out there going through post-partum depression that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and know that there is hope.
Yours in mommy-hood