Advice, Being a mama, Health, Wellness

You are not alone.

Good afternoon people!

With the recent news of beloved Kate Spade and the adventurous Anthony Bordain I think it is a common reaction for everyone to publish content on mental illness. And honestly, it’s needed. There is so little being talked about with regards to mental illness.

People truly believe it is a choice or a decision that you make to be depressed. It is a chemical imbalance. There is proof of this. Not only is it not a choice but it’s not something you can control on your own! You must understand that if you’re feeling any sense of depression that you do not need to battle this by yourself.

There have been many times in my life where I felt depression… and in those moments I know that medicine could probably have helped me. However, I chose to steer clear of medicine. I chose to seek help and guidance from a therapist, exercise, and my best friends and my family. Even if some of the ones closest to me didn’t know I was battling with depression I still made a point to be with them as much as possible so that I could avoid feeling the loneliness and helplessness I felt.

I felt depressed when I called off my wedding. When I found out my MomMom had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. When I was a teenager battling bullies. My most recent experience with depression was after I had my son. All three of these things happened in 2 years. Extremely emotional and emotions from two extremes – happiness and sadness.

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I would like to say that my experience giving birth was a wonderful joyous one. But it wasn’t. It was extremely painful and difficult but I would do it all over again. My water broke at home when I was 3 cm and we rushed to the hospital. 2 hours later I was induced and  5 hours after that I was at 7 cm and finally got an epidural. I was having terrible contractions all through my epidural (they were 1 minute apart). Finally I got some relief but I made sure to tell the doctor not to have it too high because I wanted to feel to push. So a few hours later, I started pushing. My epidural wore off (as planned) but our Liam was not fitting through the birth canal (he was 22 1/2 in. & 8 lbs 12 oz). Therefore, I had to have an emergency c-section.

Defeated was an understatement. I felt like I let down my baby, my husband, and myself. I tried so hard and it was not enough. So I cried. After about 20 minutes of the doctors prepping me for surgery (and at least 10 contractions which I could feel the whole time). I finally was headed to the OR. So many things happened in that room and I will spare the details. I can tell you that I could feel the entire procedure because my body was not reacting to the numbing medicine. So that resulted, in after my son being born, me being sedated because the doctor said “You cannot be screaming in the OR”. I was in so much pain. So, after they sedated me I was very out of it. I didn’t really even want to hold Liam after I got out of the OR. I just felt terribly ill.

Finally, after a few hours we went into our room where we would stay and I was starting to feel a little better. Around 2am I asked the nurse when I could start to walk again and she said whenever I want so I tried walking because I’m stubborn and wanted to prove to myself that I was okay. If I can describe what this felt like to you… it was like a burning knife in my stomach every time I moved. No amount of pain killers could help me at this point. Ice and heat were the only things.

After a few days in the hospital we went home. But I could not function like I used to function. I thought that after giving birth I would be able to walk and pick up my baby and that we would be a happy little family and I would feel okay. I saw other mother’s have this experience and desperately wanted that for my family. Unfortunately, this was not the case at all. I couldn’t barely move it hurt so bad. So I just tried to push on because I had a baby to take care of now. After a week went by I started to feel very sad. I couldn’t go an hour without really crying. That was the beginning of my PPD.

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I felt extreme postpartum depression. From intrusive thoughts to extreme cases of anxiety and many sleepless nights because I was too worried that our son wasn’t breathing (he was actually fine). I would never hurt myself or my son or anyone for that matter but these feelings I was having were evil, exhausting, and sad. I have never felt more alone, trapped or lost in my life. At a time where I truly thought I should be the most happy and believe me I wanted to be happy but I couldn’t figure out how to be. I tried everything from music, to exercise, to keeping myself busy, walking, cooking, baking, talking to friends, holding my baby, essential oils, reading, reality TV, checking my work email, crafts… I tried it all.

Finally, I was at a doctor’s appointment and my OB suggested I talk to a therapist. She actually told me that if I need anything at all that I can call her. I was struggling and she could see it. I made an appointment to speak with my therapist. The same therapist who got me through my broken engagement and my MomMom passing away.

This was a game changer for me. A safe place I could express my feelings and hurt. A safe place I could speak without judgement. A safe place that I could heal.

If you haven’t experienced depression, and especially postpartum depression, I hope you never do. If you have, then please seek help. Nothing helped me like speaking and getting all of my thoughts off my mind. When the world seems to be too cruel and family members judge you, friends judge you – people judge you for feeling a certain way – don’t feel like you’re alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There is a support system out there waiting to help you through.

I am a mentally strong person, I know that. I knew I could work through my postpartum problems without medicine. However, if it would have gotten any worse then I would have accepted my need for medicine because I just could not live that way any longer. I was at my breaking point and needed some guidance and support from someone who could help me heal. If you feel you’re alone email me and I will be there for you!

You are not alone.

Xoxo,

Emily

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