I had postpartum depression for three weeks straight, post my second c-section. This post is a little glimpse of what it felt like for me.
This may go either way for other women suffering postpartum depression. It could be a mild version or be worse. Either way, you’ve got to know it, so you can fight it if you ever face it.
For my friends and relatives who read this post, it may seem like I am airing my dirty laundry in public. But, honestly, this is the only way I can reach out and spread awareness about this disease. Yes, Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a disease. Disease of the mind.
Postpartum Depression Facts
- PPD is triggered during pregnancy and after childbirth.
- The hormones fluctuating in this phase are to blame.
- About 15% of women can be affected by this.
- As a ripple effect, Fathers can be affected by this as well.
- It is treatable.
Postpartum Depression Symptoms
- Eating or sleeping disorder. Sometimes both.
- Feeling worthless, hopeless, suicidal
- Thoughts of harming the baby
- Resentment towards spouse
A Note for New Dads
If your partner shows any of these symptoms, chances are you would develop PPD as well.
Does your partner have any of these symptoms? If so, instead of fighting back, give her a warm fuzzy hug. Let her know you are there for her even through this miserable phase.
If your partner shows any of these symptoms, be patient with her.
If your partner shows any of these symptoms, be kind to her. She needs the assurance that you are there for her even if the world “seems” to be against her.
If you ask Hubs, he would tick mark on all those symptoms. The poor guy. He and my Baby#1 got the worst of it.
During this terrible ordeal, there was yelling, shoving, lots of tears and sleepless nights. Sleepless not because of a newborn, but because of this damned PPD.
Imagine you have no control over your emotions.
Postpartum depression was like PMS on steroids, for me.
I am even guilty of losing it with Baby#1 who is only about 2 years old. Imagine that. How cruel I would’ve seemed to my own child. Yelling at her, hitting her.
There is this one moment I will never forget. For some reason, I lost my cool one of those days and *smacked* my toddler across the face.
She turned to me in disbelief, saying softly “Mama?”
That monosyllable was to ask me “why mama? what did I do so wrong that I deserved this slap? I thought you loved me.”
Ahh. Pains me to even think about that moment *eyes flooding with tears*
Hitting children in anger is one of the worst things you can do as parents. It is abuse and I am guilty.
So imagine feeling that overwhelming guilt mixed with depression. It’s like sh*t run over twice.
I would often curl up in fetal position on my bed and think to myself:
“What have I done to deserve such wonderful children!?” or
“What is wrong with me?” or the best one yet,
“I am so ugly, why is Hubs still married to me?” Yes, there was a lot of self-loathing.
Like any other diseases, PPD is also treatable. Counseling, therapy, and even antidepressants can help you feel better.
I am out of PPD, but I didn’t do any these things to get out of it.
I had stopped reading the Bible since childbirth, I just couldn’t focus I guess. So going to God was out of the question for me – only because I had conveniently distanced myself from Him. But God was still there for me. He sent me messages through others.
I had developed an eating disorder and was running low on sugar levels. So, in my depressed state, the only thing that cheered me up was chocolate.
Then one day, my friend Julie made this no-bake dessert for me. It saved my sanity. How?
Because I didn’t have to do anything for Julie. Remember my friend Julie who threw that modern day baby shower for me? Yeah, her 🙂 Her selfless gesture was freely done, just for me. I felt I wasn’t so worthless, after all.
The Great Reminder
Julie handed me a big tray of this goodness. It was that exact moment when I realised what selfless love was. The exact kind of love (x million times over) God has for me. I was immediately humbled.
I had tried to solve this problem on my own. Believed all the lies my head (or satan) was throwing at me. I forgot all about God and how He had rescued me before.
I forgot that it was the love that Christ had for me, that He gave his life on the cross. So if He could come back from the dead then, believing that + His spirit working within me would help me come out of this fugue state of depression too!
When I thanked Julie for saving my life, she reminded me that it was God who had used her to meet my needs. And what a reminder that was! No matter how I was feeling or acting, God was there for me and He can help me.
And help me, He did.
All I had to do was ask!
My PPD treatment
Bible did say “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8
So, finally, after 3 weeks, I finally gathered all my bearings and sat down to pray. I asked God to help me get through this.
I opened up about my depression at church. My friends and church family prayed for me as well.
Oh, the power of prayer!
Before I knew it, my appetite was back. I was savoring every meal and it made me feel so good that going to sleep stopped feeling like a chore. I rested well and slept soundly. Praise God!
And that’s where I am today. Eating and pooping well. Resting and savoring every moment with my children. My relationship with Hubs is much better. I am calm; calm enough to make phone calls to my family and friends. Calm with my toddler, Baby#1 so when she is losing it, I am there – a pillar of peace for her to lean on.
If you or your partner has PPD, make sure to get help immediately.
Just like God is for me. Life is always good, with God. Don’t you think? COMMENT here.