Shattering The Silence: Living Through Post Partem Depression
I was so excited to hear that I was going to have a new grandson! My little Barret ( first one) lived in N.M. and I couldn't hardly wait to see him any time I could. They grow up so fast. Now this time I was going to have a grandson that would live in Phx. and I was excited once again upon hearing the news: "We're pregnant!"
We dreamed for the day to arrive and the pregnancy had some rough bumps along the way, you know, fears, concerns, a loss in the beginning that we weren't expecting, but still the joy of Levi coming took over in the last few months. She had a great pregnancy with no sickness! That caused some worry, but she was so lucky, we told her. There were so many emotions along the way, but then the room took form and we all got ready...
The connection and the prayers.
The giggles. The intimate alone times. The high fives!
And the little man and beating heart within...
We planned such a fun baby shower and all the right people who could be there were there who loved my daughter! Levi was coming into this world WANTED and extremely LOVED.
Then the day of Levi's burst in to the World was at hand!
Then came all the FIRSTS..
And the next piece is my beautiful Amanda's story to tell in her own words....
"So I am not usually one to air my dirty laundry on Facebook. However, anyone who knows me knows that I am very open and honest about the things I go through in my life. Because I have so many friends pregnant right now, I want to talk about whats been going on with me.
The last two months of becoming a new mother have been very challenging for me. I have been dealing with postpartum depression and it has been very hard. I originally thought it was just the baby blues but when it continued I knew it was more than that. Every day was a challenge for me. I couldn't stop crying and there were days when I did not want to care for Levi. I never neglected him but some days I just wanted to stay in bed all day. I have never felt so low in my life. As mothers we are told that this should be the best time in our lives and we should feel extremely happy. I had so much guilt because I did not feel that way. I found myself regretting the fact that I had a baby. I finally went to my doctor and he explained to me that when the placenta left my body my hormones just drop off. He said some woman's bodies just can't handle that kind of extreme change and therefore my brain was not producing enough serotonin. So for now I am on a very low dose of antidepressants and it has made a world of difference. I finally feel like myself again and am starting to really enjoy my son. I still struggle some days but not nearly as bad as it was.
I feel like not enough woman come forward and talk about their struggle with postpartum depression. It is real and some woman need help with it. It is literally a chemical imbalance in the brain that occurs after labor. I'm sure most of my friends will not have to deal with it but if you do please do not beat yourself up for it. It is more common than we know. Luckily for me I had a huge support system and would not of been able to get through it without my husband and my mom.
I wrote this purely to shed some light on postpartum depression and the challenge women have with it.
I really felt like I should talk about it just in case someone else goes through it. Know you are not alone. I love my son more than anything and I am extremely thankful for him."
As a mother myself, and my youngest Amanda being MY baby, it was the hardest thing to see her face this. I knew she would come out of it, but you never know when or how the hormones are going to react. I'm so proud of her telling her story and being strong enough to show such vulnerability. She is one of my three heroes in life and each one of them have faced amazing obstacles they have come through and overcome. I am SO proud of my daughter for owning and sharing her story about Postpartum depression. I couldn't love her more right now for being the strong and vulnerable woman she is. Please don't isolate yourself when you need to talk about the changes that come with having a baby. Postpartum Depression is NOTHING to be ashamed of. It's REAL.
Levi is starting to give back now He is cooing and full of smiles for us all. We laugh so much at his attempts to fuss when he wants to laugh and vice versa. He is such a joy to us. He loves his mommy and daddy who kept loving him and being so caring throughout the sleep deprivation, the colic, and this two month journey in the midst of being first time parents and hormone imbalance. I'm so proud of them both. It's fun to watch how much they love him back, how much they are concerned over all the things that first parents are concerned about and the wonderful bonding that is taking place. It's so wonderful to watch your own children have children.
We are now entering the next chapter with Levi, and looking forward to all that it will have to say.
To be continued..
* Levi is now 10 months old and things have made such a huge turnaround. We are enjoying him every day. All the new milestones and experiences. It was so hard because he wasn't sleeping well, had so many tummy issues, and the hardest part of Amanda is the feeling of regret that she feels like she missed those beginning "enjoyable" newborn stages. I keep telling her that she isn't missing anything now and that it's pretty normal to not miss those first couple months of sleepless nights, colic, etc. She's an amazing and loving mom, and Levi and the rest of us know it.
But, I will leave the rest of the story for her.