I have gone back and forth whether or not I was going to write a “Mommy Update,” but decided I should because if this can reach one mom going through similar things then it’s worth it. I feel that talking about this is too important to want to hide my story.
I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety. I am happy to say now that I have taken care of it and feel worlds better, but I would be lying if I said I was 100% better. Each day still presents new challenges, but getting my postpartum depression under control has made dealing with these challenges much easier.
Right after the babies were born, I wrote briefly about how I was very emotional. I’ve also since mentioned how Nick has been wonderful for having put up with me this last year. I’ve heard of women feeling like they aren’t connected with their baby or babies, but that was not my experience (no judgement if that has been yours). My experience was feeling almost too connected. I felt I needed to be the one to take care of every need. I felt I had to do everything right by them. I didn’t trust many people to take care of Stella and Grayson. I felt so overly protective that I pretty much worked myself into the ground. Not only was I burning the candle at both ends, I was holding a flame to the middle, and I completely exhausted myself.
Poor Nick saw this happening, but if he said anything I would get so mad. He suggested date nights, but I refused unless one, of handful of particular people, could watch Grayson and Stella. I neglected myself and I neglected our marriage. I did not recognize how bad off I was until around September.
In September, I reached my breaking point. I was so exhausted from not having enough sleep since the babies arrived, and having a huge lack of support in town, and I was going crazy. I had driven myself nuts with expectations of how I needed to take care of the babies; about trying to constantly be a perfect mom, and it brought me to a very low place. I constantly worried I wasn’t a good enough mother for the babies, and felt very bad about myself as a mom. I went to their 9 month check up and their doctor said they were doing great, but he was really worried about me. He could see that I was completely exhausted and that I was the type of person that wouldn’t ask for help. He was ready to call my mom for me because he knew I needed her.
Thank God for my parents, they’re the greatest. My mom was on her way up the very next day to help me with the babies. To get me some sleep. I met with my OB and we decide a low dose antidepressant was probably a good choice for at least a little while. It has been so eye opening to feel like myself again. Being a little over a year out has given me so much perspective. I can see how many expectations I placed on my shoulders; how much anxiety I was giving myself.
Like I said, I’m not 100% better, but for the most part I feel a whole lot more sane. When both of the babies are screaming and crying, I no longer feel a deep sense of panic (most of the time). I feel like I am handling motherhood a lot more gracefully now that I have admitted to myself that I was struggling. Bad. I’m incredibly happy that Stella and Grayson are such little firecrackers, full of energy and spunk. They’re not the easiest babies ever, but they are so wonderful and I’m so thankful I get to be their mom. I am constantly trying to better myself as their mom, but working to not place too much on my plate. Motherhood is so incredibly confusing, terrifying, exciting, exhausting, challenging, and hard, but it is the best thing I have ever done in my whole life. I love it so much, and I’m so happy I’ve been able to take care of myself a little bit more these past few months.
To all the new moms out there, if you re struggling, please, please, please reach out to someone. I am more than willing to listen and talk with you if you are in need of a friend to talk to about anything and everything.