When I first learned of post partum depression, I really did not understand it. How could a woman become depressed after being blessed with a child? Once I had my first child, I understood its seriousness. During and after pregnancy our bodies change dramatically, if it is your first baby then you forget to check your own appearance, people close to you may say things that hurt your feelings and our emotions are still every where even after having the baby. So I figured, why not share my experience with the depression.
When I originally found out I was pregnant, I was in disbelief. I was practically in denial the whole time until I held her in my arms for the first time. Mo Mo as growing everyday, I felt and saw her moving in my belly and for some reason it felt unnatural. I kept wondering “how in the world am I going to raise a girl”? All I knew was I would not raise her how I was raised.
I felt fat, hot, ugly and hated everyone around me. The first pregnancy was a struggle because I knew that although I had “family support” most of them wouldn’t be able to help like they say they would. I didn’t feel like I could trust anyone but her dad. And even then I wondered about him.
It was so bad that during this time, I did not even bother to keep up with my appearance. This is me before getting pregnant.
As a conservative girl, I was slowly coming out of my shell. I guess that when I learned of my pregnancy, I second guessed myself. I would wonder if be a good mom, if her dad and I were going to be fit parents and if I would actually raise her to my own standards instead of those around me. Slowly I began to make my mind up and focus on my immediate family instead of what every one around me thought.
However, I still did not care about my looks during my pregnancy, I did not care about any one else’s opinion either and if someone spoke out about it; our iteraction was not pleasant. My emotions were everywhere and I did not care. Here is a picture of me during the pregnancy with my hair a mess…
Bad picture…I know. But I still didn’t care lol. I still felt so ugly and now that I look back on the pictures I laugh because I still look good lol.
After having baby girl, all I cared about was making sure she was healthy, happy, smart, loved and fed. I did not care if I went days without eating; I did not care if I looked like a train wreck. As long as my baby had clothes on her back and food in her belly I was a “happy” mommy. Little did I know, that was not good enough. I still needed to take care of myself. My family and her dad constantly reminded me of that and it really got under my skin. It got so bad that I cut all my hair off!
Growing up, I had always joked about cutting my hair but never in a million years did I think I would actually do it…I got so tired of my fiance telling me to “do something with my hair”, that I said “bump that, you can’t tell me to do anything with it if I dont have any”. And with that, I took his clippers, went into the bathroom and cut it ALL OFF! The picture below is me about a month or so after cutting it all off.
As you can see; I used a lot of filters to try to get myself more comfortable without my hair. When I tell you I miss my hair, I really do! I am currently growing it back out. And I definitely don’t plan on ever cutting it again but who knows?
Roller Coaster Emotions
Even after giving birth my emotions were still everywhere. I felt like my opinion and guidelines set for my own child did not matter (I will not speak on any names). That in itself made me furious.
Things that I wanted to be done for my child were not being met; so I kept her under my care until I felt I could trust certain people. I should not have to shield my child from family as long as my rules and guidelines are being met. If they are respected then there would be no problems. However, I was constantly made out to be the bad person for being over protective.
As long as my fiance and I agree on what needs to be done for the safety of our family, I do not care what anyone else thinks. At first I did not believe him when he would say “we are on the same team”. For some reason I was in denial. But I am glad that he never gave up on me!
Outside of the crazy emotions, I had crazy thoughts and instead of getting help from my doctor, I would talk to my aunt who is a social worker/counselor. She will never know how much she truly helped me on my worst days.
She always reassured me that I would come out my “problem area” and thank God she was right! Now, I do believe that it is very important to seek help from your doctor when it is needed. Don’t be like me and ignore their suggestions. I thought I could manage on my own. However, with God anything is possible and he truly saved me, on top of my semi family support.
Lastly, here is another picture of me but this is new…my hair is growing out and I don’t even know what to do with it in this state lol. But I am learning to love it more and more as I get used to the short cut. I just need it to grow faster!
To all the mama’s out there, don’t forget to take care of yourself! If we dont care for ourself, get a day to ourself or even take a hour bath with no interruptions; who is going to care for our baby, if not us? In order to give them all the love, nuture and attention they need; we need to love and nuture our self as well!
Leave a comment below if you ever battled post partum depression and what you did to combat it. Or tell me what you did for your “me time”.