(Picture by Audrey Herron of https://www.audreyherronphotography.com/)
It happens to women.
It happens to men.
It is real.
It does not happen to everyone.
It is not fake.
It is not just emotions.
It is not just hormones.
How do I know?
I have had it 3 times. After each of the births of my boys.
Sometimes when us women get emotional after the birth of our baby, it is pushed off as hormones and being “an emotional woman”. Maybe this has to do with some of the PPD but not all of it. I can tell you that I had it after each of the births of my boys, I could not tell you if one was worst then another. They were all bad at that time. I had to figure out ways to work my way out of them. I feared telling those around me what was going on.
We should not be ashamed if we have it.
We should be able to ask for help.
For me, help came in the form of my journal. I wrote down what I felt, what I thought. My emotions. My fears. My everything.
I remember the sadness. This is like no other sadness.
I remember crying when I had to drop my baby off at daycare.
I remember crying on my drive to work because I missed my baby.
I remember wanting to hurt myself because of all the overwhelming emotions running through me.
I remember people close to me coming up to me and telling me that they see that I am different, not myself. I thought that I was hiding how I was feeling pretty well. Imagine the shock when I found out I was not doing a very good job.
I remember hating that when I picked my babies up from daycare, they smelled like other women.
I remember feeling like I had children but they spent more time with other women than me.
I remember wishing I could stay home with them.
I remember looking at our finances to see if I could stay at home with them.
I remember looking to see if there was a job I could do at home so I could stay at home with them.
I do know that I feel like I had a bit of a harder time with my PPD with Gavin, but I truly think it has to do with the fact that he is my last baby. I want to spend as much time as I can with him but I have to work in order for us to pay the bills. Later in life, I may be able to spend more time with my boys, but I will still miss out on the now. They grow so fast and Gavin is my baby. My last little boy. We have no plans to add to our family. We are complete.
My journal became my refuge. It allowed me to be as open as the words that flowed on the page would allow. I did not have to fear what others would think of what I had to say or what they would say in regard to my thoughts, because my journal did not care what I wrote. It was the only place I could to truthful, honest, real – me.
I had/have PPD.
There are others that have PPD.
PPD for each person is different. Has different effects. Mine might be mild compared to someone else and worst then others. But I am not here to compare, I am here to share that I had/ have it and I feel that I can finally say it kind of out loud. I feel that my blog is an extension of my journal, but maybe just maybe one of my blogs might help someone think. Might help someone. Might be interesting to someone. Might make someone laugh. Might make someone cry.
We are not alone, even if we feel that we are.
What I did/ do to get through my PPD is what works for me. It may not work for others. We need to feel that we can ask for help, no matter how hard it is. We do not need to hide our feelings and our thoughts as we deal with this.
Just know that if you think you are suffering through PPD, you are not alone. You can ask for help.
It is real.