Bravery and Self-Worth after birth
I don’t normally post personal stuff on here but due to life circumstances, I feel compelled. I feel compelled because I don’t want anyone else to suffer. I never have, I think others I know well can attest to that.
Being pregnant with depression is HARD. It’s soooooo fucking HARD. I wasn’t on meds before being pregnant, I’m allergic to the only medication that has helped me. MAJOR props to the mommas that have helpful meds and discontinue them for the sake of their pregnancy. YOU are the true beacon of strength.
Giving birth with depression and anxiety is EXCRUCIATING. So fucking excruciating. Especially when your birth is induced, when it’s forced, when someone comes in the room every hour to hurt you and check your cervix and you have had a history of sexual assault (thank you ladies around the world for making me comfortable with saying that out loud). When you know this is coming and you can’t stop it but you try and try to focus on the outcome (suck it up, you get a baby at the end-right? Heard that in so many words a million times now). But it triggers you.
Being a mom with depression is DEVASTATING. Absolutely, punched in your gut, full of self-doubt and hate and pressure, fucking DEVASTATING. This new thing needs you to be ecstatic and people want to come over (sometimes forced, though you ask for boundaries, most times with good intentions ) and no one knows what you feel. You can’t eat, you can’t sleep, but you can care for that little peanut with a passion you never thought you had.People push themselves on your life, their opinions, their desire to meet and hold your baby, their questions and answers...so many fucking ANSWERS to their own questions. No one stops to ask how you feel, how you really feel (mostly just wanna know about your vagina pain, WEIRD) if you speak up, you are a jerk. If you are drowning-forget it...it takes a specially skilled friend to see that and say just.the.right.words...no advice, no support to your venting, no taking sides...they say, “What do you need from me?”
They say it and MEAN it. And you can, for maybe the first time in your life, you can say “I don’t know”. And they do NOTHING. Nothing without your cue- no “it’ll be ok” no “one day at a time” no “you’re a great mom, you’re doing a good job”.
And that can be enough. And it is AMAZING.
What I have learned is you lose your voice when you are pregnant...you lost it even more after you have a baby. You may hear yourself, but don’t expect others to. I refuse to lose my voice because I know how dangerous this is with depression. Screaming and having no one hear you is bad enough without a history of a mental health diagnosis...imagine how dangerous it can be doing it to someone with this history and suffering from PPD. I am so thankful for self knowledge, I know when to ask for help, I know when I can’t do this on my own. I’m grateful I haven’t reached that point yet.
I just ask that every single person still reading this just realize yourself when someone close to you has a baby. Do some self-checking. Look for the normal social cues that someone has disengaged and RESPECT that process, even if it bothers you because “oh god they must need me to come over and do eveeerrrrything for them right now “ Respect your role, respect your relationship with them but more importantly respect boundaries that are said in between the lines and just simply ask that little question and respect the answer. Be the answer someone needs. Always.
It’s ok to be worried and it’s ok to let someone know you care- shit, please do, it’s needed...but do it for THEM not for YOU. Be the lifeline someone with PPD and PPA needs and that lifeline is just being a shadow of support, willing to come into the light at a moments notice...