I was not the most excited to be pregnant for the second time. My excitement, however, did pick up along my journey, especially when I found out I was having a baby boy. Due to the fact that I lived a great distance away from my family, and was banned from traveling due to my doctor being very nervous (due to my previous pregnancy being so short), I wasn’t able to have a baby shower. I wasn’t the happiest, but understood. I had a lot of responsibility and a lot of emotions weighing on me during this pregnancy (I will be honest, I want to share my story, but some parts are not relevant to the overall point). But this did not make me an unhappy pregnant woman. It made me tired, but not unhappy. I was also preparing my daughter for a new baby. Yes, a soon to be 2-year-old, who has never been around another baby needs the education, so I enjoyed spending that time with her. (also, not to mention that we both were getting ready to face the reality that she will not be the only one anymore.)
You aren’t alone, and you do not need to suffer alone
The last family event we shared was Disney on Ice. It was the last time my daughter would experience these events, these moments without a buddy. I was excited to welcome my baby boy into this world.
No one never prepares you for what could happen in the delivery room. I went to the hospital for labor pains, and was told I needed to stay due to a high blood pressure. I was also told that I had to be induced because it was going to become dangerous to keep the baby.
It turns out that I had Pre-eclampsia. To give an appropriate definition, preeclampsia, according to Healthline.com, is when you have high blood pressure and possibly protein in your urine during pregnancy or after delivery. You may also have low clotting factors (platelets) in your blood or indicators of kidney or liver trouble. Preeclampsia generally happens after the 20th week of pregnancy. However, in some cases it occurs earlier, or after delivery. more about Preeclampsia
In my case, it happened right near the end of my pregnancy and continued afterwards. The birth was not something that scared me for life, but it made me pause, due to the fact that the doctors told me my son’s shoulder got stuck when coming out, and that I got a 2 degree tear in the process. (my son was 7 pounds 7 ounces, I was 150 pounds by then, only 5’2. I am a small girl so you can understand the tear.) It broke my heart and warmed my heart at the same time seeing him. He was the cutest thing, but he was super stressed as I was told. He was so bruised up and had a ton of vessels burst in his eyes. He was also angry he had to come out, he looked angry all the time. When we got home, it was a lot different than I thought.
“When I was finally released from the hospital, a few days went by and I began to realize that something wasn’t exactly normal with me. I wasn’t that fierce, strong, happy Rasheeda that I used to be. My mind was cloudy. I was tired. I felt down and lost, and would cry all the time. It came to a point that I would retreat away from my family and avoid my friends. … When I looked in the mirror, I did not resemble myself whatsoever. I felt worthless, and would get horrible headaches and bad anxiety. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I spoke to my doctor and found out I had postpartum depression. For me, the discovery was relief to finally be able to put a name to what was happening with me — something that had been affecting every area of my life. It was time to figure out my next course of action.” — People, April 2017
With my first, if you have read any of my other posts, you would know she was a micro preemie. When she came home 4 months later, she was on a schedule due to the fact that preemies do not have an internal clock. You have to wake them to eat, to get changed, to play, or in my case, to make sure she was still breathing. She was on oxygen. When it came to my son, it was a completely different experience. Not only was he angry for 2 months, (yes honey he did not smile for 2 months) he was also colic, and to make matters worse, he was allergic to my breastmilk.
So trying to find out what is making my baby sick, trying to keep my daughter in the loop and healthy (she ended up having breathing problems and getting sick when he came home), and feeding everyone, I think you can see where this story is going.
I was in denial. I couldn’t have postpartum depression. I couldn’t be going down a spiral. I was suffering. 2 kids, husband off to work, me trying to figure it out on my own, then it happened… COVID! We all got shut in with a medically fragile child and a screamer! This sent me in a spiral. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep, I ended up getting Mastitis, which according to Mayo Clinic, Mastitis is an inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes involves an infection. The inflammation results in breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness. You might also have fever and chills. Mastitis most commonly affects women who are breast-feeding (lactation mastitis). More info on Mastitis
Being locked in and not having no one to talk to (because my husband was still teleworking), made this SUPER hard. I couldn’t just leave and go out to get a breather. I couldn’t just take the kids to the grocery store; I couldn’t be me. I didn’t have any desire to do anything. I cried every day, just as much as my son. I had no desire to do anything but I knew I had to be a mom for my kids.
Here is the light at the end of the tunnel. I have been suffering for a while on my own. My husband didn’t understand, and I didn’t want my mom to worry due to the fact that she lived very far from me. One day out of the blue, my breastfeeding consultant called me to see how my journey was going. I told her about my hurdles and then just cried all my pain out on her. She told me she was in the same boat as me and assured me that letting it out was the best thing for me. I found a friend, this one just happened to understand. She called me regularly and let me let out my pain. This helped me overcome my depression. This helped me find my way and I am so thankful for her. Talking about it, screaming about it, breaking something that is not of value about it is what will get you through. I am one to admit postpartum depression is very real and can happen to the least expected person. I am a religious person and I couldn’t find the words or the mindset to pray. I did manage to get out “help me Lord”, and he sent me my breastfeeding consultant.
If you are going through a lot of mixed emotions during and/or after you give birth, please tell someone who will try to understand.
Find some objects that are not of value and break them in a safe space. Try not to hurt yourself in the process
Put on music to help you release anger or help you calm
Visit this site to get other tips that may help you:
I hope my story can help someone else that is looking for help. I hope it will also spell it out to someone who is still in denial about postpartum depression.
As always, let me know good, bad, ugly or anywhere in between, or if you want to just talk, I am always available, hit the comments!