Postpartum Depression is “no joke”, as my husband says. After Michael was born, my greatest struggle was finding the joy and emotional strength that I previously had. Yes, I had healing to go through physically, and I had to adjust to the new world of Mommyhood. But when the “baby blues” continued beyond the typical two weeks, stretching up to 6 weeks postpartum, we knew that I had something more serious going on.
When I first went in to get pp depression taken care of I was put on medication that worked within a few days and continued working like a charm for months. But then things started going downhill for me again. Even though Michael was sleeping through the night I still was barely getting enough sleep to feel remotely rested. My moods swung low again. My doctor increased the dose, hoping that I just needed another boost. Apparently a bigger boost helped the moods, but the poor sleep just continued on. I went in again and switched medications. Now I’m sleeping better, but my moods have taken a major hit.
For the last few weeks life has gone topsy-turvy. I’m not going to go into details — for one, I’m trying not to write about that; and two (I wonder if I used the semi-colon correctly?), there’s just too much and I’m weary of it. Basically, life has gone crazy and I’m scrambled to get control again.
But I’m not supposed to be in control, God is.
That’s the biggest thing I’m encountering right now. How is my trust and faith in God? How am I letting Him take the lead in my life and my husband’s? Am I letting go of that need to control things? I thought I had, until something came up that wasn’t under my control. Then I realized I hadn’t given that up — I was still trying to get control.
With pp depression, I’m always trying to gain control. My emotions, even because I’m a woman, are way out of control. Daily I’m trying to gather my strength to conquer the beast of anxiety and depression. I’m daily attacking the moods, but end up attacking myself for failing, for struggling, and for even having this pp depression.
There is nothing proven that directly causes pp depression, except giving birth. I know I didn’t do things “naturally” and increased the risk, but head’s up everyone, even women who do everything the “right” way could end up with pp depression.
Part of my healing from pp depression is trying to come to terms with what happened. I struggle daily with second-guessing what happened the day I gave birth to Michael, and the following week. Did I do the right thing? Did I choose the best for my son and my family? The answer to these questions are “yes”, even though my heart keeps pulling the guilt trip on me time and time again.
And no, I’m not stressed and emotional just because I’m a new mom (that’s what my psychologist told me today). Yes, I get that being a new mom is stressful and tiring. I have my days, and Michael has his. Even Adam has his days! But telling me that the way I’m feeling and acting is something completely normal? No, apparently you didn’t listen to me like you should have. (“You” as in the psychologist.)
Some may believe that I’m not right with God. I don’t think anyone is totally “right” with God, but I also don’t think I am being punished for something I did. I believe that my pp depression is a trial — a test — to increase my strength just like He promised. He is building in me greater resolve, greater hope, endurance, and faith. He is molding me into a fierce woman of God — but that’s going to take time and yes, lots of struggles.
If I give up that control and let God do His work, life will not be so stressful and unclear. What am I worried about? Am I worried God will make a mistake in my life by choosing one thing over another? God can’t make mistakes.
Faith, trust, and surrender. These three things I am learning while I struggle with pp depression. With everything going on around me, I need to grab hold of the solid faith. I have pp depression, but God isn’t trying to figure out how to work with it, or leaving me to fend for myself. He is guiding me gently through these crazy waters of life so I won’t drown — but He isn’t taking out so I won’t learn how to swim and trust Him.
On one final note (yes, this ended up being a slight rant but I needed to get this out): I believe God has given intelligence to people. That means that those doctors out there who are prescribing medication aren’t clueless — they are using the brains God has given them. In this fallen world we aren’t perfect — so being on medication to help me learn how to cope is what I believe God wants for me. With medication I have been able to enjoy my new life with Michael more so than I was without medication. Why would God want me to be deprived of that joy and bond? Again, learning, not punishment.
Now time to eat that Nutty Bar.