In the four years since having kids and going through postpartum depression and anxiety - my main take-away is that things hardly ever go to plan.
Pre-kids, I was so type-A and such a control freak that I felt like I had control of the direction my life was going. Of course that wasn't the case, but my brain said it was and I believed it.
Which is why when I had kids it was so earth-shattering. Nothing was in "my control" anymore. Thanks to gestational diabetes while pregnant, my diet was out of my control. Then when my son was born, he had crazy milk protein/food allergies so once again I was eating to sustain him, not myself, which made me sick and unstable. Then the depression and anxiety took hold and it took two good therapists and medication to get me back on track. Then I got pregnant again. But this time, there was no gestational diabetes, just a move cross-country for my husband's job which added a fair bit of stress. But then I found a great OBGYN and a great therapist and a doula and felt like this time I was going to be prepared for my daughter's birth and the after.
Wrong again. This time the PPD/A hit me harder and with a force I never saw coming that drove me to depths I never thought possible for myself.
Even when in treatment with therapists, I had to relinquish some control because I was at the mercy of these medicines - a lot of which made my symptoms worse - so for a solid year/year and a half I was just a swirling, rage-filled, crying, hormonal mess, until I switched psychiatrists and found one who listened, got me on the right meds and my body settled into it's new normal.
Even having been through all of that, I still find myself grasping for control and freaking out when I feel like I have none. I guess, like everything else, it's going to be a work in progress.
For example, this book. The writing of it was hard, and triggering, but I was able to keep myself on a production schedule of writing, interviewing, researching, etc., but the actual production, design, printing, etc. has taken a lot more steps and a lot of relying on others - like my amazing brother-in-law who redesigned the entire book for me - to get it finally ready for print.
I had originally intended to launch this book in January - new year, new book. But my family and I had to spend a month in North Carolina to take care of my mom who was having complications - and we thought near death - from terminal cancer. We had planned on only being there for two weeks.
Then we came home and immediately put our home on the market so we could go back to North Carolina permanently because we realized during that month just how much we missed being close to family and that support system. But now it's been a month of showings, open houses and ZERO offers so, again, another thing I have no control over.
So the book got pushed back another month. And another. And now finally, this book that I hope will help so many women and families know they are not alone in this postpartum fog and give them the resources they need to start their healing is ready to be released and I am so humbled and thankful for the support it's already received.
All of this is to say, thank you for being here. If you've had your own Postpartum Mood Disorder Journey, join our member's section as I'll be creating opportunities for us all to share our journey's and discuss what's worked, what hasn't, where we still need help, etc.
Motherhood is isolating, and motherhood with a postpartum mood disorder is even more lonely, but it doesn't have to be. Not anymore.