I have been blogging for going on three years now, and ever since the beginning I made a promise to myself that I was going to be as transparent as possible with my readers in hopes to help others in their health and wellness journey. One of the things that I have been avoiding on this blog is my postpartum depression that I have been dealing with ever since having my second child. I am not sure why I have chosen to not share that particular part of my life with people yet, but I woke up this morning feeling that it was time to talk about it.
No one EVER talks about postpartum depression. The most that was ever talked about, at least in my own life, was my children's Pediatrician required me to fill out a Q&A form asking me if I was depressed, felt sad, wanted to hurt myself or my baby, etc. I obviously answered the forms correctly every time because once I handed them in, nothing more was said. At the time, I did not feel sad or depressed, and definitely did not want to hurt myself or my children. But I believe that the symptoms of PPD didn't really hit me until AFTER about six months postpartum.
I experienced the most extreme mood swings that would leave me feeling drained at the end of the day. There were days where I felt like I was hit by a dump truck because of how exhausted my mood swings were. I would have extreme highs of happiness and elatedness, and extreme lows of sadness and yes, depression. I would start crying for absolutely no reason. I became withdrawn from my friends. I hid these symptoms fairly well from my family, except for my husband. When Tyler realized something was wrong he suggested I go talk to my OB-GYN about it. I honestly was scared to do so at first because my doctor is a close family friend, who even goes to our church, and I did not want to feel judged or like something was wrong with me. When I finally worked up the courage to talk to Dr. White, he was the most understanding and compassionate person. He explained to me that the things that I am feeling happen to more women than I think. We just don't talk about it enough. He said that as much as I have on my plate, he was surprised that I haven't had a complete break down by now. He suggested I take an anxiety medicine, gave me some samples, and that was that.
I took the medicine for a little over a month and the truth is I felt even worse when I was on it. I felt like I wasn't even in my own body. I experienced even worse symptoms while on it. So after about a month, I elected to stop taking them and go an alternate route of medication-- my exercise regime.
It has been about six or seven months since my diagnosis, and about four or five months since I have been off the traditional medicine and have been treating my PPD with exercise. I have to say that on the days that I do not workout or go on a long walk are the days where I experience my symptoms of PPD. I experience those really extreme mood swings, and unfortunately it affects my home life. So, I make a point to exercise every day. Even if it is just going on a thirty minute walk. I have to move my body every single day. This has been the most effective form of treatment for me and has allowed me to reclaim my body, and my life. It has allowed me to be the best mother and wife that I can be.
Until now, I have only shared this extremely personal situation with a hand full of people. I am sure most people will be quite surprised that a woman who is so adamant about health, wellness, and self-love/happiness is experiencing something like postpartum depression. But I am. It is not something I would wish on anyone, but I want people to know that it is a very real thing. Us moms need to be talking MORE about this subject, because it could save lives. Mothers need to know that it is okay and there are people who want to help them feel good on the inside again. I pray from the bottom of my heart that if anyone is experiencing signs or symptoms of PPD, that they will talk to somebody. Talk to me! If anything, it just helps to be able to talk to someone about what you are going through. Know that you have love and support in your life, and you will never have to go through something like this alone.
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