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Surviving Postpartum Depression When Your Baby Isn’t a Baby Anymore

 

This week, the Dallas Moms Blog contributors have come together to create a series of posts inspired by so many moms who feel alone or lost in this unique role. We recognize that motherhood isn’t easy, but as we get ready to celebrate Mother’s Day, we embrace this incredible, rewarding journey that even our own moms couldn’t have prepared us for!  Join us for this Mother’s Day Series :: “Things My Mom Never Told Me About Being a Mother”

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“I sorry, momma.”

I could feel nothing but shame as I stared down into the beautiful blue eyes of my two-year-old son. The anger that had propelled me moments before fell flat at my feet. Harsh words directed at my husband died in my throat.

“It’s not you, baby,” I told him, as I wrapped my arms around his small shoulders. “It’s me.”

And it was.

The next day, I called my doctor to schedule an appointment. Things just weren’t right. I felt off, quick to anger, and anxious all the time. Small things grated on my nerves, and once my anger welled, not much could quell it.

At my appointment, I broke down in tears.

“I just can’t do it,” I told her. “Sometimes, I want to run away. Other days, I want to hide under a rock. It’s not supposed to be like this, right?”

She looked at me with caring eyes and explained that what I was experiencing was most likely postpartum depression. I was stunned.

Postpartum depression was something that happens to mothers with newborns, not women with toddlers. Right? Not necessarily. 

When undiagnosed, it can have lasting effects, even after your child has left infancy.

“Some people can go through life treading water,” she told me. “You’re doing good, keeping afloat. And then you have a baby, and it’s like someone threw a cinder block on you. You just sink.”

That’s exactly what it felt like.

We talked through some different treatment options, and decided on a low-dosage medication. I left feeling better than I had in month, just knowing that I wasn’t crazy. There was a reason for how I felt.

Sometimes, motherhood isn’t exactly the picture perfect reality we imagined. 

To all of you mommas out there — whether you have a new baby or your kiddo is a bit older — know that you are not alone. It may not be “just hormones.” And that’s ok.

There are tons of resources available online for help and support. This list of postpartum depression and anxiety symptoms (in plain English) was a great help to me. And then there’s this list of treatment programs.

If nothing else, consult your physician to explore your options. It can get better.

It did for me.

 THINGS

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One Response to Surviving Postpartum Depression When Your Baby Isn’t a Baby Anymore

  1. George May 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    Women are twice more susceptible to men when it comes to experiencing depression, a mental state that affects about 25% of the U.S. population.

    If Postpartum Depression is left untreated, it may take a long while – even up to more than a year – for symptoms to disappear. During this period, the disorder may affect not only the mother, but also the rest of the family. Postpartum Depression can adversely affect a mother’s relationship with her child and can cause tension and distress to build up within the family.

    Good to know also Postpartum Depression symptoms and treatment:
    http://www.medicalook.com/Womens_health/Postpartum_Depression.html

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