Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Strong As A Mother….A series on Postpartum Mental Health

May 6, 2017 2 Comments

Strong As A Mother….A series on Postpartum Mental Health

May 6, 2017 2 Comments

 
amantha
 
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I shared that I struggle with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. That was a really tough thing for me to share, and I was so grateful for the outpouring of love and support I got.
I’m sharing my story because May is Mental Health Awareness month. Mental health, especially for new mamas, is something we don’t talk about nearly enough.
The CDC reports that 1 in 9 (!!) mothers experience some sort of postpartum depression or anxiety and that 1 in 4 are still experiencing those feelings at their child’s first birthday. Most alarming of all, around 45% of those mothers do NOT seek any kind of help or treatment.
WHY ARE WE NOT TALKING MORE ABOUT THIS??
As alarming as the statistic is, I can completely understand and relate to the mothers that do not reach out. I was one of them…
Advice, and Opinions and Do this…but don’t do that….its coming from every angle. Everybody, and boy do I mean everybody, has an opinion on how you should do things. I’ve had random strangers stop me in the parking lot of the grocery store stop me and tell me that I should or shouldn’t be doing something with my child. Even well meaning opinions and advice, can be hurtful sometimes.
I’m not sure what it is about being a mother, but people loose all filters. It’s like we have some big stamp on our foreheads “I’m not hard enough on myself, please point out all the ways you think I’m wrong.” 
And while I am a huge fan of social media and the amazing connection we can make there, it can be a catch 22. You see on Facebook or Instagram your favorite bloggers or celebrities, or even old friends and see their seemingly perfect lives. They are the picture of motherhood, that one you’ve envisioned since you were a little girl. Perfect hair, painted nails, clean house, and of course the cutest best dressed, happiest baby you’ve probably ever seen. And even though we know that’s not always real life, that they have hard moments too -that right outside the crop lines of that picture there is likely a mess just like yours or that two seconds after that picture their baby had a complete and total meltdown-its nearly impossible not to compare.
And speaking of that vision you had, you know the one when you were playing with your dolls imagining how it’d be. How you’d have the cutest little round belly, and that detailed birth plan (where every box was checked), and you’d feed your baby just the way you wanted, and you’d react to your baby’s cues with only excitement and love, and you’d just fall right into that role. It’d complete your life and you heart.
Yeah, I had that one too. And you know something? A lot of really good things happened…after a 2 yr battle with infertility, I was blessed to get pregnant and I had a healthy pregnancy and I gave birth to a perfectly sweet and squishy little boy. And oh was he just so, so perfect. The moment our eyes locked, I knew he was mine. My heart felt complete.
And we came home, and we thought it was good.
Breastfeeding was really hard for us (you can read about our journey here), but we had some great support and worked through it.
But oh he cried, and he cried. And he didn’t sleep…I’m talking up every 2 hours until after his first birthday. And I didn’t always know how to make him happy. And sometimes when he cried, I got upset, because I couldn’t help him and I just wanted so badly to make him happy. And my husband, ugh, he couldn’t do anything right…he never helped at the right times and he never said the right words…..my vision was crumbling.
Nobody really talked to be about postpartum mental health. There was a pamphlet in my hospital discharge folder. But really, what exhausted, new mom takes time to really read that stuff. My mom is a Social Worker, so of course she encouraged me to watch for certain things and reach out if I needed help, but I was in denial. It was just me, I’ve always dealt with anxiety so I just considered it “normal”.
So many nights, after I finally got my son to sleep, I cried and cried. And I had terrible thoughts, about how my baby and my husband would be better off without me. How so much was wrong, that surely I must be the factor that needed to be eliminated. And when morning did come, I rarely wanted to leave the house…I was so tired, I felt so worthless, I didn’t have any desire to get ready-because surely I would never look like the beautiful women I’d hoped I’d be like. And I pushed my husband so far away. Anytime he tried to help, I lectured him on what he was doing wrong. And then, I got mad because he wasn’t helping….I could go on and on. But the point is, waves were crashing in and I was drowning. And I didn’t reach out. Sure, I tried to talk to my husband or my mom, or occasionally a friend. But I usually down played the severity of my thoughts or ended my thoughts with something like “but I know this is just a part of being a new mom”
As my son neared his first birthday, things started to get “better”. I wasn’t forever irritated at my husband, my son settled into a better sleep pattern, I got my job as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor. Life felt good, and I was going to be okay…
 
Part 2…coming soon
 
 
 

2 Comments

  • Andolina May 10, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Thank you for this post. Every bit of personal experience with mental illness helps raise awareness. I have nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award http://wp.me/p8EDVa-3U

  • […] This post tells my story […]

  • Leave a Reply

    Hello!

    Hello!

    I'm Aryn, and I'm so glad you are here! I am a beauty junkie, PPD/PPA warrior,breastfeeding, baby wearing, sometimes crunchy, plus size mom on a journey to self love. Here you'll find my musings on motherhood, favorite things, and tips and tricks to make motherhood just a little bit easier. Oh, and hopefully a little solidarity too. So grab your favorite drink (Diet Coke for me!) and stay awhile! I can't wait to be friends! Read More

    Aryn

    Connect

    Subscribe to our Mailing List

    Get the news right in your inbox!

    Popular Posts

    Instagram

    • When I picked "Be Brave" as my word for this year, I didn't realize I was asking the universe for an actual challenge. (And based on what I've gathered from many friends, I wasn't alone)  But, as the year comes to a close, I feel like I met my goal. And while there were some wonderful moments of this year, like starting a new job, growing my breastfeeding support group, and becoming an aunty twice more. But my anxiety was worse than it's ever been (admitting that isn't fun) and watching my mother in law battle brain cancer and Grandpa fight through a massive heart attack, has been hard. Needless to say, I'm ready for a new start with these little humans and their daddy.  See ya later 2018 👋

2019, please be kind to us 🙏

#musingsonmotherhood #newyearseve #ididhardthings #herecomes2019
    • My top 9 of 2018 was an honest look at Motherhood. This was the year I found my voice, took opportunities outside of my comfort zone, and truly met my goal of being brave. I'm so glad and grateful you are all following along. Excited to see what 2019 has in store. Happy New Year! 
#best9of2018 #musingsonmotherhood
    • I have been pretty open about my struggles with anxiety and depression. It's not fun or easy, and I often wish it wasn't part of my story, but it is. And through sharing, I can only hope that even one of you feels less alone. If you need a little extra support, I share daily affirmations in my stories every morning, I hope you'll follow along. 
Here's to today being a good day, even in it's imperfections ❤️ #musingsonmotherhood #thisismotherhood #this_is_postpartum #dailyaffirmations
    • Date night with my favorite guy in my favorite booties. These seriously go with any outfit and they are so comfy! 
What's your favorite date night activity?

#musingsonmotherhood #datenight #dateyourspouse
    • Back to reality today and totally experiencing a holiday "hangover" We will be cleaning out and choosing toys and clothes to donate, since the kids got new stuff for Christmas. It's important to me that my kids be involved in this process, as it is their stuff and I want them to learn the value of service. Not taking our decorations down yet, I'm not ready to let the twinkle lights go ✨✨ #musingsonmotherhood #lighttheworld
    • Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. May your heart and home be full of love ❤️🎄

    Follow @arynhinton

    Recent Tweets

    ×