We are now approaching 8 months. Siena does not even seem that old to me. I still perceive her as a newborn. A lot has changed over the past couple of months. She has a bedtime and wakeup time. We have started solid foods. I have started to receive treatment for postpartum issues. Yes, you read that right, and I said it out loud. Certainly not easy by any means. Nevertheless, necessary I feel, based on the response I receive from other moms regarding this issue.
Around Christmas things were dark. I struggled through extreme anxiety and this heaviness. At first, I thought that this was something all new moms felt. However, it was not letting up. I seemed to be “down” a lot and I could not talk my way out. I wanted to leave the house less and less. I wanted to see people less and less. I knew then something was possibly wrong. I looked at Siena who really did bring a smile to my face. I knew there was so much more to life with her, but something was in the way. By the end of December I was crying in public, yelling at Brian in front of people. I felt out of control and ended up with a panic attack.
I chose to reach out because I thought if I could be “better” what a shame to wish I had started sooner. If there is nothing really wrong, maybe it would help to know. Of course I still had issues, still do, with getting “help.” Shouldn’t I just rely on God, is this me not trusting him? Maybe I need to get a grip and try harder? Funny enough, one of my counselors says they notice I “should” all over myself. I see through writing these blogs, they are right. I need to work on these “shoulds.”
I finally went to see someone and at the second appointment I was asked how I felt about medication. In my rational mind I know there is nothing wrong with it, and it is helpful. Some people really need it, I know this. I “know” better. At this point I was willing try, but so ashamed. By the time I met with a psychiatrist and got my prescription, I was devastated. A week into taking the medication I started feeling a shift. I knew that there was an adjustment period to taking it. One day I agreed to do something I wasn’t comfortable with. I felt silly for admitting it was too much, I mean I should be able to do it. Long story short, I ended up yelling like a lunatic. Racing back and forth to a store, then crying in my bathroom. Crying because I knew what had just happened. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and I didn’t recognize myself. This is who I have become. A complete wreck, who is now taking medication to manage her emotions. It has been explained to me that there is and was nothing I could do to stop the onset of postpartum anxiety and depression. I could have been in counseling prior to pregnancy, during, and after it still would not correct the chemical imbalance that happened. There are a lot of factors at play. But, sometimes you hormones really do a job on you. I still struggle with why is it affecting me this way and not the next person?
Apparently, a lot of women go through but do not even realize they can be helped. More than the medication, I needed to begin to advocate for myself. I need to start verbalizing when I need help and saying no when I know something will send me over the edge. You can’t depend on anyone else to regulate that for you. I need to give myself time to heal and some grace. I bet most women in general do not give themselves enough. Sometimes we need to make a mess to be able to clean things up, sort things out, and start fresh.
I have good days, and bad days. Good weeks and bad weeks. I know as Siena is growing and learning I am too. I am able to think a bit more clearly and accomplish more. On the days that she is tough I am able to talk myself through them. As I was able to talk through bad situations once before. I definitely get discouraged and let “why me” creep in. When I see other people with 7/8 month old babies hopping on flights, having date nights, still able to work as if nothing in life has changed. Their babies seem happy all the time or they seem able to deal with everything with a smile. I get frustrated when I realize I haven’t had time or been able to make time to recipe test. Or do any of my work as it is. I start in on wondering how “everyone” else does it. At this point I pray for God to take hold of my mind and thoughts.
Yet, I am hopeful there is continued healing again. This is just another part of the testimony I have to share with others. Besides Siena’s story, there is also mine as a new a mom. I hope this helps bring comfort and hope to others. Not just because you are looking at my story but you are looking at my relationship with Christ. He is leading me to the right people and realizations so I am able to get back to where he wants me to be. Once I am there, I can’t wait to see how he uses my family and I. I hold onto the truth that he has me right where he wants me. If I stick with him I am going to see blessings unfold that I could not even imagine for myself.