You “Shouldn’t” Have PostPartum

8 months into my postpartum journey

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.

8 months into my postpartum journey

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?

8 months into my postpartum journey

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.

8 months into my postpartum journey

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.

  • Are you now medicine free? I experienced post partum anxiety and am now pregnant with my second and it seems the panic attack’s and anxiety have already crept in. I’ve always been one to do things naturally and have not tried medication but I’m not sure how things will play out this time. What other coping strategies do you use?

  • I just started medication a month ago. It is not something I have to be on forever, nor do I plan on it. How it was explained to me was there is a true chemical imbalance that is standing in the way of me using my regular coping skills. Sometimes your body just needs extra help getting back on track. I mean there are many facets to the depression and anxiety I know. I spend a lot of time in prayer. When my thoughts are running out of control I take the Bible out and read it. It just distracts my mind, redirects me. Talk therapy has helped me a lot. As the weather gets nicer being able to go outside for a walk helps. Sometimes I have to work hard to remind myself that when I have heavy feelings that they will pass. This is just a tough day or moment, and avoid letting myself think how this “always” happens. Going to my moms house once in awhile is helpful. If you have a relative or friend that you can spend a day/night with. I bring the baby and just have someone else there for moral support even if they are not physically helping. That is also because my husband travels a lot. Being super honest with your husband is important. I am working on that. I have to ask for help more! I will keep you in prayer!

  • Hi Dina,
    Thank you for sharing your honest account of motherhood. Although I am not yet a Mom, I look forward to always checking in on you & your journey with Siena through motherhood. I wish you all the best. You are doing a terrific job and Siena is such a cute little girl. Praying you find peace today and that your struggle with postpartum anxiety & depression gets easier. Lots of love to the Deleasa-Gonsar household

  • Nicole, it is always nice to hear from you! Thank you for your constant support. You will no doubt be a fabulous mom when the time comes!!!

  • Hi! I don’t normally comment on Instagram, but I could totally relate to this post. I have 3 beautiful daughters and I suffered from depression as well after they were born. I was completely ashamed and embarrassed with my first. It was tough to understand what I was going through. I’m a positive person for the most part and I could not understand what these new emotions were. I did eventually seek counseling but I struggled alone for a long time. After I had my second daughter I was very aware of what the depression felt and “looked” like and I took a completely new attitude about it. If I was feeling down, I was bringing everyone along for the ride. That sounds horrible, but truly being open about it helped me so much. My husband and my Mom were my saints during those few weeks. I seemed to snap out of it much quicker this time around. I truly believe that God was in my corner and he was telling me to share my feelings and thoughts. I’ll never forget going in for my daughters first well check and my Pediatrician asking me how I was feeling. I broke down in tears. She ended up writing me an RX for an anti-depressant. I was mortified!! I was so thankful that the depression only lasted a short time, but none the less it is never easy. My doctors monitored me closely with my third and thankfully I did not suffer from these symptoms with my 3rd baby girl. It’s tough to share our personal feelings with the world, but know that every time you do, you are helping someone through the same season of their life. Thank you for sharing your story! Your baby girl is beautiful and so are you!

  • It is so helpful hearing these stories. It truly is lonely and scary place. Especially when you feel like you know better, it makes you embarrassed for sure. I totally relate to that. I have to work through that feeling of shame as well in counseling. I know that there is no shame in needing help. However, this was not what I pictured or could have imagined. I am normally the one people go to for help and here I am. Being honest with your husband is so crucial. We are both working together now. It is a hard adjustment regarding your married relationship. I was super wife, and now I wanted to be super mom. What happened? But I know thats the wrong attitude. I have to accept that this isn’t something I can control. I am so glad to hear you are doing better! God bless your family!

  • I to have struggled with postpartum anxiety. Mine started around Christmas as well. It is such a horrible feeling and did not know what it is, is even scarier. You are a strong woman and a great mother. Counseling and meditation has really helped. There is a great app called headspace and is a must. It helps you clear your head and your thoughts and also has helped me sleep a lot better. Also taking vitamins has really helped as well. And getting back on birth control I feel has helped my hormones. I hope this helps. I too felt alone like no one understood me or what I was going through. So anytime I hear or read about Mother’s going through this as well I love to share my experience and what is helped.

  • I am definitely going to look into the app! I appreciate you sharing. It is a very lonely place when the world is telling what a beautiful time this is. In your rational mind you know it is. You want to feel like you are “supposed” to feel like. But when something is wrong, it is just wrong. And it robs you of those feelings you want so badly. I am dealing with the disappointment in myself at this time. But I am happy I decided to try to get help in whatever capacity. I am glad to hear you are doing so well!

  • Thanks for putting this out there! I dealt with the same thing after my third child. No problems with the first 2 but oh boy after the third one I was a mess. It wasn’t until my son one day said “Mom why are you yelling all the time” that I decided I best go see someone. Mind you I am an L&D nurse so I know about post partum depression, but you never think it will be you. It’s a shame there is such a stigma around it and we have to feel ashamed to take medications, but boy were they a game changer and something I should have done way earlier.

    It has been 13 years now since that dark time and I no longer take the medication. Just know there is a light at the end of that tunnel and it is OK to ask for help ( I didn’t like doing it either, but have learned too!).

  • I love u and how u keep it real unlike most moms only show the glamorous parts.

  • Thank you! There are definitely beautiful moments and hopefully more to come. But I would be only adding to someone else’s pain if I only showed the pretty pictures. Because I know how it has impacted me!

  • Deanna DelGiorno

    I appreciate your honest posting more than you know. I’m not one to write to “famous” people, but felt so connected with every sentence you wrote on your blog. I have two boys one will be 3 in May and the other was two in October. I suffered with horrible postpartum depression (anxiety) with my first and also with my second, but not nearly as bad a case. Every word you wrote resonated with me and I geared up reading it all and watching you talk about it on Instagram. I’m sure others have already told you this and it’s hard to believe it, but things WILL get better. I was in such a bad place and I’m simply not there anymore. Motherhood was supposed to come easy to me and it never has. Nothing about motherhood has been what I expected, but things have turned around and I really thought this time would never come. It gets easier as time passes. It is really a learning process and over time you will heal. I wish you all the best and thank you for being so open and honest. It is really important to a lot of people.

  • Thank you so much Dina for sharing your heart. Your honesty reveals your strength, and having been through postpartum anxiety and come out the other side, I can tell you that you will emerge on the other side your normal, old self again, only stronger. I think the fear of “will I ever feel like the old me again?” was one of the scariest things as I waited for my Zoloft to kick in. Once it did kick in (takes a month of more for many of these SRI’s to accumulate in your system and provide relief), I felt normal again. Not drugged. Not high as a kite. Just normal. My appetite returned. My energy, interests, and hobbies returned. And it was wonderful. My ARNP tapered me off Zoloft after a year (she liked her moms to be on meds for a year), and here I am my same old self just a stronger and more open version. I once heard someone say “don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides,” which is easier said than done but it’s so true that often times the people we compare ourselves to–who we think are so happy and put together– are actually going through some pretty gnarly things. When we’re open with them about our struggles, like you are doing, they can reveal their own struggles, and we (who we may think of as being flawed or weak) end up being a point of strength for them.

    Also, my ARNP said that women who are kind of type A/ very organized/ planners/ usually very in control of themselves are more likely to develop postpartum mood disorders than other women. I don’t know if you’re a woman like that, but I sure am! It’s not our fault. It’s just how our brains are wired. And while raising a child requires flexibility, being a planner and having strong self control makes certain aspects of motherhood much easier on everyone involved.

  • My counselor(s) say the same thing. That most women who are type A are more likely to end up with postpartum mood disorders. I am type A in a lot of ways. I handle everything, I am the helper, the responsible one, and etc. I do like schedules and some degree of control (or maybe controlled choas). I like to know everyone else is “good” or “happy” even if its at my expense. All of the sudden for a moment you are the one needing help and out of control. It can be scary! I love your saying “don’t compare your insides to someones outsides.” I will be holding onto that thought, because that is what I am torturing myself with! THank you so much for sharing. I am so glad to hear you are healing!

  • Thank you as always!! Beautiful!!

  • Thank you!

  • Praying that the peace of God guards your heart and mind in Christ Jesus! Thank you for sharing

  • Thank you for your prayers! GOd is good!

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