Back today, trying to be transparent and share about my postpartum experience in an honest and raw way. The more we talk about this, the more new moms can prepare themselves. Sometimes I wish I had heard more about PPA because I knew so much about PPD, but all of a sudden that anxiety was creeping up on me in a way I didn’t feel was right.
After we brought Halle home I was so anxious, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat and I was so worried when things were going good about when things would turn bad, that I hardly enjoyed some of those special moments. I saw the doctor and was “diagnosed” with postpartum anxiety, and started medication a couple weeks ago. I feel like I might be ready to talk a bit more about it now. I know in my previous post I talked about how hard it was at the beginning, but finally connecting some of the pieces to this PPA experience is starting to make more sense of why I was having a hard time and feeling the way I felt. At Halle’s two month shots, they offer a PPD/A Screening, at the time I declined because I truly just thought I was having normal new mother worries and most of the time my days were still good and I was still “happy”. Later in her life, I asked for the screening again because I felt like I was boarderline anxious, MAYBE crossing over in the postpartum depression, I couldn’t quite tell. After reviewing it, I was definitely displaying symptoms of PPA, and I am sure if I left it untreated, it would have progressed to PPD. Some of the things I was displaying were constantly checking the baby monitor, going into her room at night to check on her, always feeling like something was going to happen and we’d end up in the ER, some boarderline OCD tendencies (cleaning, washing hands etc..), being terrified she was going to cry and I wouldn’t be able to figure out whats wrong or how to soothe her and obsessive over her and her milestones. All of this manifested in ways like panic attacks, my heart always racing, not being able to sleep, not eating and on some days I was literally ending up with welts and hives.
I was honestly naive and hopeful that as Halle got older, it would start to relax or maybe like lessen, but it actively got worse. One night, Halle had a cold and so she woke up a couple times, which she didnt typically do anymore, she normally slept anywhere from 10-12 hours, and I was so panic ridden (actually ended up having a panic attack) I was up all night listening to see if she would cry again or if she was going to go back to sleep. The next day my heart raced all day long, I could hardly bring myself to talk because I felt so sick to my stomach. Internally, at that point I knew, I had to go see the doctor. I needed more help that just fresh air and exercise like the internet suggested, actual medication was required if I was going to be the mom I hoped. I’m working on myself so that I can be there for Halle & Devin the way they need me go be, but also start showing up for myself like I need me.
Having this be my first baby and first postpartum experience has not been fun to say the least. I pictured us doing activities, bonding and hitting milestones throughout the first year while I stayed home. This has not been our reality, but it can be our future. So I wanted to share today because while I prepped for the possibility of postpartum depression, I did not do one single thing to address the anxiety side of the spectrum. Maybe I would have taken stock of my feelings and symptoms earlier, maybe I would have even started therapy pre-baby, maybe I would have seen the doctor earlier who knows. All I know is that anyone else feeling this should know there is others, you are not alone and seeking help is possible. You know how often they say you cant pour from an empty cup.. don’t let yourself get empty before searching for help like I did!
Halle is 6 months old this week and so I thought maybe now that I have had some time to internally process I would share this post I wrote the day I finally saw the doctor! It has been six months of highs and lows, but every day she wakes up she is the reason why I can keep my positive spirit and know that everything will be all right. The medication I am taking has been very helpful and the majority of the time, I am feeling mentally good, and what I consider my new baseline as a mother as my normal. There are some days where it flares up and I take it hour by hour but overall, I am so happy I took the step to get help so that I can be the mom, wife, friend, daughter and sister I hope to be! I felt very scared to put this out there but I think we are in the era where sharing can help someone build that connection, or in my case kind of realize this wasn’t just new mom worry, it was a bit more severe.
My inbox & insta messaging is always open if you need someone to talk to ❤️ Thinking of all you mamas fighting your way through & to be mamas and those of you waiting for your turn ❤️