I’ve debated writing this post for a while – not because I’m ashamed, by any means – but because the topic tends to make people a little uncomfortable. Exactly 8 weeks ago today, I gave birth to our sweet little peanut, Spencer, and it’s been the most incredible, exhilarating, exhausting and trying 8 weeks of my life, as well as Ryan’s. People warn you about the lack of sleep. They warn you about your body changing in ways you never thought possible. They even tell you about the woes of breastfeeding. The thing that’s pretty hush-hush except in the medical community is the reality of postpartum depression.
I’ve found that, especially in the blogging world, people tend to show their world as it would be seen through rose-colored glasses. They don’t usually talk about the harder parts, and while that can be good sometimes, I think it can also be somewhat detrimental. Here’s the reality of postpartum depression: it sneaks up on you, dark and deceiving, undermining every bit of instinct you think you might have and bathing you in doubt. It shrouds the happiest time of your life in a blanket of fear and exhaustion, leading you to wish for a life you once had. Then, when you think those thoughts, you begin to hate yourself because you love your child more than anything and can’t believe you’ve thought them.
I haven’t had bad postpartum depression, but I’ve definitely had it. I love my son more than life itself. He is a wonderful, beautiful and pure little blessing for both my husband and I. And, I’ll be the first to say that I hated myself for thinking these thoughts that are so forbidden and frowned upon. They do not, however, make me any less of a mother.
Through the support of my amazing husband, my sweet mother and my sisters, I’ve managed to dig out of my little pit of despair to enjoy my son more fully. I know that so many other women struggle with this though, too, and they’re ashamed to reach out for help. It is not your fault. Take a break, ask for help and give yourself the time to heal – both physically and emotionally. That, my friends, is what has helped me more than anything.
And, seriously, don’t be afraid to admit it. I think if more people talked about these struggles, more women would be okay with the reality of it. Why not discuss it? Why not lean on one another and get advice from those who’ve felt the same? Life with a new baby is hard, but it’s fantastic, and if you think you might have baby blues or postpartum depression, there is absolutely no shame in talking to someone about it and getting the help and support you need.