Hey guys. Today on the blog I wanted to take an opportunity to spread awareness about postpartum depression. I feel extremely fortunate that I didn’t experience postpartum depression after I had Molly. However, one of my dear friends Amy Davidson did and is bravely sharing her story. Amy first confided in me about what she was experiencing shortly after her son was born at a friends bridal shower. I remember her telling me that her son was the best thing that ever came into her life and how much love and joy she felt having him in her life. But at the same time, she couldn’t understand why she couldn’t stop crying. She told me all of this through tears. I remember feeling so heartbroken for her and wishing there was something I could do to help her. Since then, Amy has been very passionate about opening the door to conversations about postpartum depression. So I want to give her an opportunity here on my blog today to share her story…
My Struggle with Postpartum Depression. By Amy Davidson
Postpartum depression. How does that make you feel when you read it or say it out loud? I feel like it’s a term that people are getting a “little” more comfortable with, but I also believe it’s a term that scares people. You don’t hear it very often, and if you are the one with postpartum depression, you tend to feel incredibly alone. My postpartum depression after giving birth was one of the most intense experiences that I have ever gone through. It hit me hard- emotionally and physically… It didn’t make sense. Nothing really made sense. I was looking at this gorgeous baby boy who was exuding nothing but love, and I could NOT STOP CRYING. Now I want to be clear, my postpartum depression had nothing to do with Lennox and our connection. He and I connected instantaneously, thank you, God. I know that this may be the case for some of you mamas out there, possibly you had difficulty connecting with your newborns. And that is 100% OK. We have never met these little beings before, so sometimes it doesn’t happen instantly. And that’s ok… Looking back, the only way I can make sense of things is to realize the snowball effect magnified everything I was feeling. I loved being pregnant. It took us a very long time to get pregnant and when I was carrying Lennox, I felt more alive and vibrant than I had ever felt in the past. I had a fairly easy pregnancy and I really think it’s because getting there was such a long road and my gratitude was off the charts. I did not take that for granted, I knew I was very blessed. My heart goes out to all of you mamas who had challenges with morning sickness or the slew of situations that occur during pregnancy. I mentioned the snowball effect, and what I mean is it was like one thing after the other kept happening. First off, Lennox had to be induced at 37 weeks. I was not ready, not at all. Like I said, I loved carrying him and growing him inside my body. I wasn’t ready for that time to be over. I felt ripped off and I felt like it was too soon. I had to get Pitocin and in my opinion, Pitocin is the devil. After 11 hours of a challenging labor, I ended up in a C-section that I prayed my entire pregnancy I would not have. For some reason, it felt so inhumane to me. So in my head, my baby was being cut out of my body early, ending the experience that I had grown accustomed to loving so much. I knew how to carry Lennox inside of my body, I didn’t know how to be a mom quite yet.
Once he was born and cuddled into my chest, everything felt right in the world. I remember him nibbling on my nose and it was the most connected I’ve ever felt to another human being❤️ Those first few days were magical and I started to accept what would be our new journey. It was about three days later where it started to turn again. I had difficulty breast-feeding and that just really hit me like a ton of bricks. I so desperately wanted to have that experience and it wasn’t turning out the way I had hoped. During this time, my husband didn’t really understand- that was something I wished people had talked about before I had given birth. Why didn’t any of my friends tell me how challenging it could be with my husband? Why was it until after the baby was here and the challenges started happening that people started opening up about it? We should tell our pregnant friends that there are possibilities for some challenges within their marriage after the baby arrives. I’m not saying all couples go through this, but I do know that the majority of my friends struggled at one point or another with their husbands. I think it’s just because bringing home a new baby is so intense and I don’t know about you, but we had no idea what we were doing?! We actually sat on the couch when Lennox was maybe six days old, looking at each other and laughing because we couldn’t believe the hospital actually let us take home this little human being!!!👼🏼 But you figure it out, don’t you? Somehow you know how to be a mama or daddy. It blows my mind! Our instincts are so extraordinary. I know now that I am doing something right. I don’t know how I got here, but I do know that I have a happy little boy who truly lights up any room. THAT reassures me that I am a good mama. When I question myself, and I do it all the time, I look at Lennox and how happy he is, and I know I am doing something right.
Please join me in being open about postpartum depression. I truly think there are so many women among us that need support and may not feel comfortable reaching out on their own. My doctors saw the signs of my postpartum depression, so if you see a new mama who can’t stop crying that’s your biggest clue. I took control of my situation and it was the best thing I ever did. The first step was acknowledging to myself, my husband and my doctors that I needed help. I followed my doctors lead and let them put me on medication, knowing that it would help me out of my darkness and support me in a time where I was feeling helpless. I also started going to therapy to help work out what was going on in my mind. My therapist helped me understand that so many women get postpartum depression and that I was definitely not alone. And finally what really supported me as a new mom was joining a baby and mommy group. It was a class that my son took from 5 months old until he graduated at 18 months. I’m still friends with these moms today and no matter what topic comes up, we are there for each other with advice and support.
I’ll leave you with this, I never knew how strong women were until I became a mom. I am more proud to be a part of this club than any other club I could have imagined. I look at my own mom in a completely different way now. I am proud to be a mother, and I’m proud be a mommin’ right alongside you. I hope you have a lovely day and know that you are doing a really good job. Raising babies ain’t easy!
I want to thank Amy for being so brave and sharing a story here on Ali Luvs. Since writing this, Amy has written an update on her blog AmyDavidson.com. I encourage you all to go check that out to see how she’s doing today and how life has been since battling postpartum depression. And I want to take this opportunity to open up the comments section of this post for us all to have an open discussion about how postpartum depression has affected our lives or someone in our lives. My hope is that the comments serve as a sounding board for people to open up and hopefully lift each other up! Let’s make this a safe place where we can all help each other.