Monday, April 11, 2011

::Momma Blues:: Dealing with Depression as a Mom

So, in the first two days after my c-section and delivery of Camila, I was overwhelmed to say the least. Everyone wants to meet the new baby, you can't say no, yet you feel horrible....physically I "seemed" to be healing and recovering quickly. When I was there I thought this is too good to be true...that I felt so good.

Sure enough. I left the hospital only 48 hours after giving birth to Camila. I felt "great", nothing compared to how I felt after my first c-section {LIKE A TRAIN HAD RUN ME OVER!}. I was also feeling a little neglected by the hospital. Seems once you have your baby nothing else matters. I asked to go home. Everyone agreed. I was given TWO different pain medications and ushered out the front door of the hospital as if life couldn't get any better. Well it does....but only AFTER you feel better from being torn open and a child taken from within you.  It's no joke. As I have figured out the hard way.

The next two days were not only an emotionally and spiritually draining experience, but also awareness of true physical healing. I was home. The pain medications had worn out and my body was beginning to feel the repercussions of not being able to naturally birth my children. I had, "un-naturally" given birth and now my body, mind, heart and soul were paying for it.

To top it all off I felt; inadequate and frustrated as the Mom of my 18 month old. Sad about his tears the next morning as he tried to climb my belly and I couldn't help but yell..."NO!" The devastation in his tears and the fear in his little man cry, tore me not only further down but completely apart. How, how could I be going through this. For the next 5 days my pain would only grow as my son had to be taken to his Grandmothers to be taken care of. As I stayed home with my newborn Camila. His eyes looking at me like "WHY?". His little face filled with sadness and disappointment! Here his mommy was at home...finally....and he had to be taken away. As soon as the door closed behind him, tears and pain poured out of my face and heart. I hated EVERY moment of feeling so tired and in pain, helpless and hopeless.  Failure. I was a total failure as a Mom, a wife, a human, a person who couldn't shake it off.

Unfair? To my son? To my body? To myself? I didn't know. After that torture, I finally decided to start up the at home pain medication. You know the one  that turns you into a zombie and only gives you the illusion of feeling better. Yes that one. Well, then new pain. A bladder infection like now other. Fevers of 103.5 and pain in my kidney. 3 days of that, more tears, lots more prayers and then "a good week". I finally got the strength to stay home with my children, both of them and move forward. But, then another set back. I am now dealing with an infection to my surgery site and cold like symptoms; sore throat, running nose and cough. Just can't get a break.

But, I know soon things will get back to normal.

My children are doing great. They are both at home with me, healthy and helping me heal.

Before I went on my Blog-cation I stated that I would go into "research" mode, which I have not done really since college.

And, I think the best subject to address is ; Depression.

{Which I would like to think is one of the top New Mommy or Mommy to be questions.}

I've always believed in it and it's many levels. There is a history of depression amongst the women in my family. With that said, for years, I've learned to manage it and combat it. But, when I was pregnant with my son. I was VERY depressed. Never diagnosed because I was too embarrassed to tell my doctor, I am not sure how severe it was but comparing it to my current mood, I would say it was pretty severe. 

I never wanted to harm myself or my unborn child but I often wondered if I would ever be a good parent, if I would ever be "sexy" to my husband again, or why I was just so sad and couldn't be happy! I wondered if I would ever be happy again. 

I simply couldn't shake it. 

It was bigger than me.

Even prayers and relating to my very pregnant friends didn't work. I felt alone and as if I couldn't relate to anyone. Everyone else had seemingly normal and uneventful pregnancies. Me, I felt like, I had the worse of the worse. Everyday was a "woe me" day.

Thankfully the "blues" went away when my son was born. I had purpose and a reason to be happy. 

As I stated before, when I was pregnant with my son, I had no life! All I did was read and think and think and read. 

These days things are a lot more complicated and although my first days home after having Camila were VERY difficult, emotionally and spiritually, most are very optimistic. For years now I have sincerely given all my troubles; Family, Finances and Marriage to God. I truly believe that with Him all things are possible

My husband was laid off a week before my son was born (17 months ago) and is now attempting to complete his college education on a intern salary..which trust me is not much. You would think that with all the responsibility of 2 extra little people in our lives and just barely making it day in and day out that we would be overwhelmed and saddened by our situation, but we are not

What gets me most these days is the undying desire to be a "Stay-at-Home Mom". I know that right now, and maybe not for a while longer, it's not at all an option. I believe in miracles and I have Faith, I know that it will be God's will and not mine which will be done. I stay close to that thought. 

While I was pregnant I had several "episodes" if you will and of course my fragile and then very pregnant body would react to it. When I emerged I realized it was more about natural depression then anything else. So, I looked up depression during pregnancy. I have always heard about postpartum depression but rarely about depression while pregnant. I found it interesting that 1 in 10 women feel depressed during pregnancy {According to March of Dimes research it's 1 in 5, which just makes me think that it's worse than I thought}. And, when I commented my feelings to a friend who is also pregnant, she stated that she too felt down at times. I think women don't understand how harmful this can be to you and your baby. 

 {Reminder; I am NOT an expert by any means. Simply a concerned Mom} 
CLICK HERE to read the whole article. 

Here are some of the symptoms:

* A sense that nothing feels enjoyable or fun anymore
* Feeling blue, sad, or "empty" for most of the day, every day
* It's harder to concentrate
* Extreme irritability or agitation or excessive crying
* Trouble sleeping or sleeping all the time
* Extreme or never-ending fatigue
* A desire to eat all the time or not wanting to eat at all
* Inappropriate guilt or feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness

I then went on to seek some solutions a site gave the following: 
  • Support groups
  • Private psychotherapy
  • Medication
  • Light therapy
They seemed a bit vague for someone like me who likes straight forward answers. I don't believe in medication unless your case is extreme. I do think you should tell someone. Anyone. And, as for "light therapy", I think in my case, I created my own. 

While I was pregnant with my son, I really took care of my diet and more importantly my FAITH. It also helped to have a husband who is very persistent and asks a lot of questions. He would often call me after work to meet him for a walk in the park near our home. That always helped. In all, I remained focused on other things aside from my depression.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had no time to really be depressed. And, aside from the first week at home I have felt pretty good. 

These days I deal with depression by allowing my son {and now daughter} to be in my face reminding me that I can't be sad or feeling down because if I am who will feed them, play with them, bathe them, watch over them, etc etc etc. I also talk more to other women about how I feel. Of course above all every day I start off by talking to God, asking for strength and energy to get through my days. I plan my days and remain focused. Focused on me and my situation. I also have hobbies, I like to think. Ha. I write and read when I can. I plan to start up my Mommy yoga as soon as the doctor allows me. 

I found the following report with some of the same ideas as mine, scroll to the end to read the alternate treatments.

In all, I hope this helps someone. Even if you are not pregnant. Depression is real and you should seek out help.

Even if it's just a friend who can listen.  

These days life is much easier, a little more balanced but there is always room for more improvement, which I am constantly working on. Every day. In many aspects of my life. 


Anonymous said...

I can relate to you in so many ways!! Only my depression came after the birth of my first son. Its hard to be a stay at home mom yet in my case I was only 17 going on 18. I felt as if my life was in a frozen moment where it wouldn't go forward any longer. I had no friends any longer I was with someone I didn't see myself spending my whole life with! It was horrible!! My depression was filled with lots of crying and yelling sometimes I didn't want to eat, I hated myself and the baby! I would go crazy when he'd cry.........i didn't want my family to see me I stayed at home closed in everyday all day! Sometimes I didn't want to eat other days I would eat to much, I turned into a angry person! I took it out on my babys daddy and saddly on my baby! It is hard to say that that your life is perfect because no ones life is, we all going through tasks in life and even though we try it would be a lie to say everything is going perfect!!!! You are not alone and nothing you feel or have done makes you a bad mommy!! We are simply human beings!!!

Connie Leon said...

Thank You for your comment... sometimes we just want...we just need to hear...that we are NOT perfect..ONLY God is..He is here with me and I know it. I needed to hear today, that I am human...that I an NOT a SUPER good friend Casey txtd me and told me just that..and then I read your comment..THANK YOU!

Dã Quỳ said...

Things will get back to normal. You know God is always with you! don't feel sad and feel bad when you have to leave your son with Grandmother. You need to rest for yourself and take care both of them later though. I wish that I would be closer to you so I can help you out.

For my 2nd one, I was having some helps from my Grandmother and my Auntie. That's help me lots.

Just relax and trying time to rest, dear!