Friday, August 31, 2012

Postpartum, Depression and a need for Me Time

While browsing twitter this morning I came across this awesome post 
 Every once in a while you come across a post that you feel you could have written yourself, one that you so identify with that you wonder how someone got in your mind and put your own words into a post.  I have found several of those lately but this one even more so. 
This post has nothing to do with the background I want to share with you but it has everything to do with what we as mothers go through on a daily basis!
  I have never shared this because I know that family reads my posts, I know that friends read it etc.  But along the blogging realm I have realized that I learn so much from other mommies who bear their hearts and tell real life experiences and maybe if I share this lil background tidbit it will help some other mommies in the process.
When I had our last baby 10 months ago, Benjamin wasn't even 2 and Cloee wasn't even 1 and my husband was in the middle of a 13 month long deployment tour in Afghanistan.  Thankfully he got to be home for the birth but left very soon after.  Once he was gone all the wacko post pregnancy emotions started taking a heavy toll.  With the severity of my emotions and mood swings I thought for sure I must have postpartum.  I talked to a few other people I trusted and all passed it off as the stress of having 3 under 2 and a hubs in a war zone, it also got passed off as I need to pray more, I need to spend more time with Jesus etc.  I totally believe that 3 under 2 was a stresser and spending  more time with jesus would surely help but at the same time I knew there was much more going on with me that was not within my control.  
 For the next 5 months I tried to pass off my irrationality just as my friends told me to, it would get easier once the hubs was home from deployment, hopefully!  In that 5 months I spent most of my days totally a stress ball, yelling at my kids over every little thing, crying for no reason at all, feeling like I could put my fist through a wall were just a few of the overbearing things I was dealing with.  Of course adding a lack of sleep, waking up at least 3 times a night with the baby and at least 3 more with a fussy teething 1 year old didnt help at all. 
I had crazy anxiety about the deployment, more so than ever before.  I began freaking out, having nightmares, spending every waking moment in fear that the Chaplin would be at my door with horrid news.  Every time I heard a car door or a noise I would rush to the door, brace myself for the worst and peek out the peep hole, or through the blinds in the bathroom.  It would often take me 20 mins or more to calm down afterwards knowing that it was ok.  Waiting for my hubs to call was like living on pins in and needles.  I know all women go through these types of things during deployment but this was beyond irrational and would literally cripple me with fear. 
When my hubs returned from deployment Jax was 5 months old, I hoped that once he was settled all the emotions would subside.  After all I wasn't alone anymore, I didn't have to do it all by myself,  my hubs was safe etc.
A month passed and I was still the exact same, extreme mood swings, irrationality & anxiety still prevalent.  Though this time my anxiety wasn't about war it was about expecting the car to crash, thinking the kids were lost, etc.  My poor hubs got the brunt of it.  One min I was happy lets get it on and the next min I was crying for no reason and freaking out about nothing.  After a few more months I told another friend what I was going through and she told me that another friend of hers was going through the same thing and I should talk to my doctor.  WHAT? Talk to my doc? I had always been one of those people who was skeptical about depression, pills for it etc.  My mom was always negative about people taking depression pills etc.  
After talking to my hubs we decided that a trip to the doc wouldn't hurt.  Sitting in the room with my doc I talked about my crying fits, my crazy mood swings etc and he agreed that I was likely suffering through some serious postpartum or just a bat of major depression and anxiety.  We decided to give a few things a try.  Only my hubs and 1 other friend even knew that I was taking something for depression.  I was fearful for my mom to know, knowing that I might get the talk of people being over medicated, didn't tell another friend for fear of the gripe of needing to spend more time praying etc.  I just didn't want other people to know i was taking a depression med.  We tried lexapro... it was awful, it made me crazy tired among a few other things.  Moved to Effexor which after upping the dosage seemed to help a lot except it had some bad side effects which after my appt 2 days ago my doc decided to change me to a diff med. I  was fearful about changing because I was finally starting to feel normal again.  Of course I had days that were bad but for the most part I was doing great except for the side effects.  Well the new med he changed me to was supposed to be most like the effexor and have less side effects.  Well 24 hours after my first pill I feel like a total whack job again!  The kids had been awful allllll day, the hubs came home and had to go lock himself up to do homework.  I finally had had enough and text him saying please come give me a break.  By the time he came out I was crying uncontrollably.   Ugh I hate the adjustment period.  But the plans are to hopefully be off everything with in 4-6 months.  
Really what I want other mommies, especially new mommies, to know is not to ignore the signs.  If I had talked to my doc when i first started going through this I would probably be all better by now but instead I passed it off.  If you are feeling depressed, having crying spells for no reason, irrational mood swings etc it wouldn't hurt to talk to the doc.  I don't think medicating yourself is always the answer but if you have postpartum or even just depression in general its good to seek help.  Be it counseling or whatever.
Thats the background that I wanted to share but beyond the effects of postpartum every mom has days.  Whether she is in perfect health or dealing with whacked out emotions, has been a mom for years and years or is a brand new mom, bad days happen!  And its okay to vent and its okay to ask for help.  What is not okay is bashing or being negative to moms that do so.  I often have people trying to dull out advice and instead of being helpful all they do is royally tick me off.  
If you know a military wife whose husband is gone or even a single mommy, instead of telling her how to do something how about offering to help, giving her an hour to run to the store alone, or an hour just to sleep?  When my hubs was gone I had several people say oh were gonna do this and that and while the hubs was gone I never heard from them.  I had several people say oh I know how you feel my hubs had a business trip this weekend.  Shut the crap up! haha my hubs is in a freaking war zone not vegas for a 'business trip' 
Sorry for that little side tangent hahaha!  Any way as moms we love our kids unconditionally and we cherish every season but there are always going to be times where we are just stressed, aggravated and need a break where we just want to pee alone or take a pooh with out the kids tearing the house up, where we just want to soak in a bath or go for a walk to relax.  It doesn't mean we love our families any less, it doesn't mean we don't cherish the moments it just means we are human and unlike people who work outside the home, we don't get 2 15 min breaks and an hour lunch break to ourselves.  We don't get the quiet drive to and from work alone.   A mom works 24/7, she doesn't get sick days, she doesn't get paid time off or holidays.  Lets be moms helping and encouraging moms and not pointing out what other moms are doing wrong? Sounds good to me?! 
This is an average day in my house...  go to the bathroom for 2 mins and come out to this... hahah 
Have a happy day mommy friends!  Hope this helped someone!
PS check out the post before this for a super fun Friday Blog Hop!!! Lots of awesome Mommies and bloggers linking up!!!


  1. I love your honesty! I'm not a mommy so I can only imagine how it would be. Your family is beautiful by the way!

  2. This post is awesome.. It does take a lot of courage to vent about things like that but in the end if you feel good, why does it matter what anyone else thinks?

    I suffer from extreme depression/anxiety and have been medicated since I was 13. I have now found a balance in my life where I am actually able to be off of them and cope. Not saying that I don't have a hard time every day (which I do) but it IS possible! Just stay strong! And if you ever need anyone to talk to about the medications or just venting please know I'm here! :)


  3. Your honesty is inspiring!! :) Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Thank you for this post. While I was pregnant I had severe anxiety and was put on medicine. I felt good until the last few weeks when they had put me on the totally messed up my hormones again and I'm in the midst of this again. It is awful. Luckily I have a lot of support, especially from my mom who went through it after she had babies. Thank you again.

  5. I can't imagine not feeling like this after having 3 kids in just over 2 years! good for you for going to the doctor for it. I'm new here, from the weekend blog hop!

  6. I'm a new follower from the Blog Walk.

    I just posted something similar to this on my blog today. This January I will have 3 under 3 and I'm already overwhelmed! We Mom's need to stick together and be a shoulder and not always compare, but just listen. :)

    So glad I found your adorable blog!

  7. What a great post. My husband isn't deployed and I only have 2 under 2 but it is still hard. Many days they are both just screaming at me for hours and I don't know how to handle it.
    I am a new follower from the blog hop! If you get a chance check out my blog please!


  8. Oh Girls! Thank you so much for your sweet and encouraging words! Love and appreciate it!!! :)

  9. I bet you're glad to have a vacuum around to clean up that mess! The other day my little sunshine managed to spill a whole container of sugar on the floor (not carpet though, thank goodness) and was happily sliding on it, spreading it around and eating it. Can you say sugar high? :)


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