Coping with Postpartum Depression
All of a sudden all of these things I had wished for finally were coming true. One of those things, was to start a family...
I got pregnant and three months after finding out I was pregnant, I found out I was having TWINS!!
I felt better in knowing it was two and that, that HAD to be the cause of my hormones being so out of control and being sick beyond anything I had ever known in my life.
But with this news came some of the most terrifying information of my life. Our twins were not the typical twins, we were considered extreme high risk due to the fact the they were sharing the same amniotic sac (called Mono/Mono Twins). Short version of the story, was they were at risk of entangling with the cords and never surviving the pregnancy.
Not knowing if your babies are going to survive is one of the most anxiety provoking situations, especially to someone like me, who is already an anxious and hypochondriacal person.
Fast forward 19 months later and we have two beautiful, healthy and SUPER active little dudes!
I could not be more grateful for this.
But in the midst of this excitement of becoming a mother, exhaustion from a never ending lack of sleep and a ridiculous amount of poop diapers, I realized that I no longer knew who I was.
Even saying I am a mom and I have two sons seems foreign to me most days. Which made me feel increasing guilty and even more lost.
First I thought that if I got my “body back” that I would feel better.
Then I had this nagging feeling that if I could finally start my health business that I have wanted to do for so long I would FINALLY feel better.
Although these are both things I want to do. I went about it in the wrong way.
I was searching for my “old life” to feel the energy I had, to be fit, to be creative, to have time to work on my passions.
I started to hate myself for not “doing more” before I had the babies….. Surely if I had started to blog BEFORE I had kids, I could have had this whole business up and running and not as overwhelmed trying to piece it together now.
I was mean to myself, beating myself up and in doing so becoming increasingly more lost.
I want to take a moment here, to tell you that as I write this, I in NO WAY have this figured out - I also realize I may never have it all together.
What I have come to realize is that trying to bring myself back to my former self was not going to happen.
Here I am a mom of twins. In a body I no longer recognize and a mind that is still battling the ups and downs of postpartum anxiety (with some depressive moments).
I so wanted to start helping other women in their own health journeys. I thought that maybe, by helping others it would start to heal myself as well.
But I was wrong.
To heal myself means I need to dive fully into self - care. To make myself a top priority so I can be a mom that is actually present. Not in the room with my kids, but mind in a far off land of to-do lists and worry.
When I say I had to step into a self- care mode, it does not mean that I needed to take a break from life, to sit in a salt bath, drink a green smoothie and read a self - help book. Though of course those things can be helpful. Trying to take a break from your life, that is NOT self- care.
I had to check myself into weekly therapy sessions. Find a MOM support group and get active in there to get the help I needed. Get my body checked out, because I had back and abdominal pain, that truly, I am not sure how I have been dealing with it and migraines that cause me to lose time away from my kids and home. So weekly physical therapy got booked on the calendar as well.
Making these appointments made me automatically start to feel guilty
….If I need to leave the house for my part time job, and then go to therapy one day and PT the next. I will be taking time away from my boys and the home.
In that moment, I felt God swoop in, he called me out and said that I had put all of this on hold for way too long. It was time that I took care of myself.
Last year I spent hours beyond hours looking for something external. Comparing myself to other successful coaches, some mothers even. In spending time in these places, mentally and online. I lost myself even more.
I could not go down that road anymore.
I finally woke up to the fact that my old life was gone. When talking to a friend who also recently had a baby, we came to a conclusion: That as mothers grieve for our old selves. We miss our bodies, our energy levels and doing all the things we effortlessly were able to accomplish in a day.
We mourn for the days we used to be able to sleep in. For the days we didn't have a mystery stain that smells either like vomit or poop on our clothing and for the moments where we could lay in bed with our significant other and watch an entire movie without disruption.
This does not mean that we, as mothers don't love our life. I know I am far happier having a family to take care of. I would never, ever trade this and I would never want to go back to life Before Kids.
What I have been craving is to just feel, human again. To feel rested, energized and strong. To feel like I am enough and did enough the days that I could barely get out of bed, and the days I didn't or couldn't make a healthy dinner for my family. To accept that I have been trying to do my best each day.
The comparing myself to how I used to do things has to stop.
I am no longer that person. Sometimes the best I can do in a day is to leave the kitchen a mess and defrost some chicken nuggets for dinner.
The point in all of this is ACCEPTANCE. To accept where I am, day by day, moment to moment. Some days will be great. Some days will be a shit show (literally, some days there will be shit coming out of diapers or kids vomiting all over the place). So I have to roll with it.
I can’t beat myself up if I had a crazy productive day and the next day I did nothing beyond getting out of bed and feeding them. In the end, all that matters is that my boys are happy and healthy.
Over the past month, I have realized how much I have to let go. In order to heal my body, mind and soul. I have to let go and accept where I am.
I have to stop the pressure I put on myself to have it all together.
I also realize that this can’t stop me from sharing my story and what knowledge and experience I do have in being able to help others.
As much as I would love to coach other women, specifically moms. I realize I am not able to do that! I just can’t right now. And that is okay.
What I can do is write! I can write about the real struggle I am facing.
In my writing I can still help, just in a different way.
That is why I have changed my website from having coach offerings to being just a basic blog.
Because I still have this dream and vision of what I want to accomplish one day.
But for now, life is all about being a mom.
About going through a new self discovery of who am I, now that I am a mother. And how I can get my mental and physical health on track again, not necessarily BACK to where I WAS.
….Lord knows, there are some things, that are NEVER going back to how it was…
My goal is to show up here and write. For myself. To write and get my message and story out to heal myself and in doing so, I can only hope that my story finds its way to the mom’s who need to hear it. To know they are not alone in this mom identity struggle.