Friday, May 18, 2018
Mental Health Awareness + Postpartum Depression
My beautiful son is 2 months old. I love him more than life itself, more than he will ever understand (until maybe he has children of his own someday). I am enjoying the moments I get to spend with him each day, watching him grow (too quickly, might I add), and learning his personality. Being a mother is a blessing, and I am truly grateful.
At the same time, I am also battling postpartum depression & anxiety. I worry about my son so much, I always want to keep him safe and want to monitor EVERYTHING. I do my best not to operate in this fear, and instead to operate in a place of love. It is a daily struggle and something I have become aware of, and am working through. As a new mom, I am navigating these new experiences best I can. Trying to incorporate this new life into my current life. Learning how to raise a respectful and God-fearing little human. Doing my best day by day... but I noticed I had been so hard on myself.
Prior to my son being born, I had it all figured out in my head (so cute, right? Lol) Everything I would do with my child, how I'd raise him, how I'd breast feed, etc. The list goes on. Let me tell you - a lot of times when we think we know, we have no clue. This child of mine is teaching me patience, and to go with the flow. I'm very routine-based by nature, and since his birth my routine has been non-existent. Nursing didn't go as I planned, and I had to make the difficult decision to stop at 6 weeks. It broke my heart, I cried constantly while breastfeeding and also when I chose to stop. However, I needed to for my own mental health and for the simple fact my body was just not producing enough. I had to let it go and know I did my absolute best. (There is so much I want to share on that topic and my experience, but maybe at a later date. Mentally, I still can't go there in detail just yet. *DISCLAIMER: I know many mean well, but please don't give advice on this topic. I'm still in a very sensitive space.*)
I constantly wonder, "Am I a good mom? Am I doing this right?". I've had to learn that every new mother (and even some 2nd and 3rd time mommas go through this as they have to figure out being an attentive mom to more than 1 child...) may question themselves, but honestly, we're doing our best. I know I am. I'm taking things day by day. One day at a time. Sometimes, 1 hour at a time. I have found a support group in my neighborhood for new moms (online groups weren't as helpful for me, personally. I needed human interaction and understanding). I started asking people I trust for help (like my mom and sister). And each day I'm working on new ways to be more mindful and present, and not to overthink and worry. I'm learning to trust God even more - especially with my son. He is a child of God, and God loves my baby boy even more than *I* could understand. I rest in that. And have faith.
If you are experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety... especially after childbirth (or even during!) - please seek help. You are not weak. Bringing a new life into the world requires the most strength I can think of. You just did a beautiful and amazing thing. You're not alone, and there are people who can assist you with this major transition.