I never would’ve expected that I was going to have postpartum depression. Especially with bringing in my third child. Maybe I was being naive, or just thinking the I was “immune” to it since I’ve done this birthing, breastfeeding, newborn thing before.
But boy was I in for an eye opener. I welcomed my beautiful baby boy, Leo 8 weeks ago. The labor was extremely fast compared to my previous two, and my recovery uneventful. I started to notice that something was amiss six weeks into postpartum. On top of the typical exhaustion, late nights and waking up every two hours that come with a newborn. I also had early wake ups and my toddlers were dealing with a schedule change and the regression that comes with welcoming a new sibling.
This hectic yet joyful time started to become tainted with the feeling of being overwhelmed. I was looking at all the things I was accomplishing with my children prior to Leo’s arrival versus what I was getting done now…there was no more park visits, homeschooling was dwindling, our spontaneous ice cream dates and museum trips were a thing of the past. I was getting major mom guilt especially with my toddlers asking basically daily to go “bye bye”.
After not being able to shake this feeling of being overwhelmed, I began to become irritable, and would cry in the shower. So I googled what was going on and low and behold it was signs of baby blues and postpartum depression. Instantly I was embarrassed. I shouldn’t be going through this, I’m supposed to be Wonder Woman conquering this motherhood thing with three kids three and under. I felt like I was constantly standing in an ocean. During good times it would be low tide and I was rocking this motherhood thing; kids were fed I was fed, dressed, and we were able to squeeze in a fun activityoe two. And then there were he times were I was feeling the water rise, high tide was rolling in fast and hard, I was beginning to drown; things weren’t getting done, the house was a mess, I had pajamas on all day, I can’t get sleep, me time or the meals done.
Although I wasn’t “drowning” everyday, my husband and I decided I should get help. In doing so I realized my expectations for myself were unrealistic and sky high. I needed to sleep, I learned lack of sleep is the number cause of PPD, and I was definitely lacking sleep.
My prescription: more sleep, schedule and follow through with me time, and instead of trying to be a real life Wonder Woman, try instead to be a happy mother whose cup wasn’t on empty so she can pour into her children without being depleted, positive affirmations, and to keep track of how many times a week high tide came in case my “prescription” needed to change.
Although high tide still raises, it happens much less. I’ve learned that I am not Wonder Woman but fearfully and wonderfully made and with God’s grace this will be a battle of the past and a beautiful testimony!