Hi all! It has been a minute since I've been able to write my blog. A lot has changed since my last update. My last blog post was actually back in May 2021, right before I had our daughter, Rosely! So, adjusting as parents of three young children and enjoying our summer/season we were in, it left me with little focus on my on my personal work and hey I'm ok with that because boy, I experienced even more growth and change throughout these past eight months (since May).
I'll start off by sharing briefly that our delivery with our daughter went very well. In my last post I had major anxiety and stress over having my third cesarean with having some stressful events happen in my first two deliveries, so rightfully I was nervous something was going to go wrong. Well, it did not, and I got to have our daughter with me during my entire stay at the hospital and we had no bumps in the road. I think we were well overdue for that smooth sailing hospital stay! Recovery was tough, but I knew what to expect. Only difference was I was going home to not one child, but two and an infant. So, recovery for me felt like it took longer because I really didn't stop from the moment we walked in the door from the hospital. But I wouldn't change it for the freaking WORLD and I'm so very thankful for such a supportive, helping, and deeply loving husband. Teamwork definitely makes the dream work!
Amongst the beauty of it all we also all know as Mothers what recovery looks like postpartum (leaky everything, night sweats, exhaustion, questioning when you showered last, granny panties which are amazing postpartum by the way (especially if you had a cesarean), and the list goes ONNNNN lol), for some it may be smoother than others, but either way us woman are badass and are our bodies are amazing for the big fact that they build and bring life into this world. Moving onward, after the first few weeks of recovery, you start to feel semi normal or a new normal I should say because with each of my children I know I've felt a birth of a "new me" so to say and that's a beautiful thing. Each of my children have brought me to a new place in Motherhood and as cliche as it may sound they have made me a better person. I mean I still lose my sh*t some days, but I give myself more grace the third time around and my patience has expanded greatly. lol
Fast forward about several months into my postpartum journey with my daughter, around Fall of 2021, postpartum anxiety and depression hit like a mack truck. Right after I stopped breastfeeding actually and all of those good hormones that breastfeeding release decided to plummet on me, I just felt all over the place. There was so much change going on internally, all my hormones in my body misfiring and having a freaking rave up in there to be honest, it led me into a deep funk, and I was anxious and started noticing depression creep in. Even though I had everything I ever wanted in front of me and all the support I could ask for, depression doesn't give a crap. It can take over. I feel though, sadly, that some people are so naive to depression that they wonder how the heck someone can be depressed when they have such a wonderful life?! Your great or happy life has Nothing to do with how depression comes onto you. That is one of the MANY reasons why you should always treat people kindly because you have absolutely No Clue what they are battling behind closed doors. For a brief period during my battle with postpartum anxiety/depression it had me thinking that I had nothing to offer this world and I know this was a straight up lie, but this is the grip it can get on you.
So many mothers experience postpartum anxiety and/or depression. Our bodies are going through so much and are so unbalanced during recovery that we can suffer in a painful silence because we think we have to "suck it up" and keep on going, well in a sense we do because we have babies relying on us, but not to the extent were we neglect our own selves and our emotions, which is what happened to me during this bout of postpartum anxiety/depression. I was taking care of everyone But myself and we all know how that goes. I mean it's easy to think that we are messed up/horrible Moms sometimes Especially with social media these days and it only showing (majority of the time) the perfect beyond perfect posts making motherhood look effortless. Lord, it is anything BUT, I mean our love for our children is effortless, but a mother's work is never done, and it can burn you out where you completely forget about YOU. I can also say though, that you were Called to do this work of being a mother so you will, and I did as well, get through the struggles, but it is not freaking easy sometimes and that OK to say. (sadly, we always have a few mom shamers who think we shouldn't say that it's not always like Mary Poppins up in here lol I'll be real, sometimes I'm the hulk when I need to be, but hey I got some dang good kids so it's a good balance haha).
Back to the beast of postpartum anxiety/depression. For me and this does Not apply to every person. Each individual depending on many factors, may need to take a different route, but to share mine I've never had to take medication to help with my anxiety and postpartum depression, I mean I've felt close to needing an extra form of help, but what I do and continue to do because it works for Me, is immerse myself in my therapy I go to religiously, that I've always gone since experiencing childhood traumas and a parent with addictions. I keep myself grounded with gratitude journaling and devotional reading. I keep myself surrounded spiritually. I have a "mental toolbox" I have diligently built over the course of 10+ years of how to work through my anxieties and states of depression like I've experienced during postpartum, but so many people do not have these tools and so many people can sadly lose their life because of depression. I got to a point during this bout of postpartum depression that I actually started experiencing suicidal thoughts. Now, I knew I wouldn't act on them or at least told myself this because I knew deep down that THIS is what those postpartum hormones can do, that this is what postpartum depression can cause (a chemical imbalance), but I needed to start focusing more on myself again to work my way out of it. I had to tools that I was neglecting to use.
Postpartum Depression is like a tornado coming in and trying to wreck you from all directions. I couldn't have been happier with my children and husband during this whole bout of depression which made me hate myself even more during the midst of it. Those horrible, anxiety provoking thoughts ATE at me. Which caused my mood to suffer greatly. I literally felt I wasn't good enough for my children and I know this is not any form of truth, but it took me a bit to pull myself out of that hole and thank the lord above for my amazing, supportive husband I have because he held my hand through it all. I began to immerse
myself into my therapy again, I got my hands back on my devotional readings and gratitude journaling, I picked back up in the gym because my postpartum anxiety/depression kept from that for a short while, it kept me from all of the tools really that I needed to be using in my life. I did what felt was so hard to do at the time and slowly pulled myself out of what felt like a dark hole. I still am working through some parts of the anxiety still, as I have always had a form of anxiety since a child, but I am so grateful for the steps I take even when I feel I can't physically or emotionally take them because I know it puts me in a better state. It helps me continue to heal, which helps me to continue to shift into the direction I am aiming.
I know this was a ton of info to share in one post since I'm trying to do a little catch up for those who follow and I honestly, I'm just skimming the surface of the past eight months because even though I believe blogging and sharing the beautiful And challenging/real times we can all have in life; it will never fully be the entire story. It's just a quick glimpse you are getting from the words I share. But even with a quick glimpse, I feel words and sharing parts of life's journey can resonate with so many and help others through their own battles or bring light to the blessing they Do have.
So, this is to those who struggle or are struggling. Even if you have all that you have ever prayed for. Life can get messy sometimes and HARD no matter your status. No one is exempt from that. We all have our battles and some we choose to share out loud and some we may not, but know you are not alone. You have a purpose even if you feel you don't. Be gentle on yourself while you walk difficult paths as I am fully guilty of not being gentle with my own self at times, but I have learned when I am gentle with myself, I open myself up to so much healing. Healing I can then, eventually share with the rest of the world as I know that is part of my purpose....