It is so amazing to watch how Sam shows her affection to this little baby. Always making sure her soother is near by, that she is wrapped gently in a "snuggle blankie", and the way she "teekle teekle teekles" her cheek. Clearly I am living the perfect life, right?
Tonight, while getting Evelyn to bed, I was putting her cream on (she has terrible eczema, I'll post about that in my next post) and she was crying, and crying and crying. And she hits this perfect pitch of crying that reverberates against my brain and drives me crazy. There is nothing I can do to stop this, except try to finish the task at hand as quickly as possible. Tonight, Daddy finished with bedtime.
With the Bell's Let's Talk campaign coming up on January 28th, I feel like this is a perfect opportunity for me to turn a light onto the taboo topic of Postpartum Depression.
First of all, let me say, I do not suffer from PPD; I am living with PPD.
Just typing those 3 little letters, I can already feel the stigma attacking me, see the eyes staring at me, hear the whispers around me. Excuse me while I climb back into my hole.
Mothers have this "supermom" title many of us feel we need to live up to. Whether you are a stay at home mom or a working mom, we feel like we need to do it all. The cooking, the cleaning, the bed times, the groceries, the laundry, oh and don't forget about getting to the gym, eating healthy, and getting a good nights sleep.
I am one of those moms who has tried to live up to that "standard", to that "title".
After Evelyn was born, life clearly got a little busier, especially with a busy toddler running around. As much as I love my children with all my heart, slowly, I began to feel more and more exhausted, more and more disconnected, more and more emotionally drained.
(The next sentence I have typed this 3 times now and erased it every time. But I want those who are living with PPD to feel like they can climb out of the darkness too.)
Then the yelling began, the feeling of wanting to throw objects against a wall, slam a door and just scream in frustration. The feeling of being completely helpless, and crying and crying and crying. Then I'd step on a toy that was not put away and feel completely trapped. Nothing is where it's supposed to be, everywhere I'd look is a disaster. To top it all off, there would be sticky rice from dinner stuck to the bottom of my socks and spit up or puke (quite possibly both) dripping down my my shoulder and stuck in my hair. There is no escape and everyone around me is crying...including "supermom".
I am not asking for you to pat me on the back and tell me I'm doing a good job, that I'm a great mom, that this is normal and "everyone" goes through it. I simply want to know that I'm not alone and that you are not alone. Let's talk about "it"...talk about Postpartum Depression, talk about the Baby Blues, talk about what happens behind the closed doors of "Supermom".
It's OK to ask for help, so let's help each other survive the steep and sometimes dark climb that is called motherhood. Together we can be that normal mom, who is generally happy and smiling, even when you have leftover dinner on your socks and puke in your hair.
One out of every ten women who give birth will experience a postpartum mood disorder.
If you are suffering with some of these feelings, you may need professional help:
- Frequent crying for no reason;
- Difficulty sleeping;
- Changes in your appetite;
- Feeling that you are unable to cope with daily activities;
- Mood swings that interfere with caring for your baby;
- Over concern for your baby;
- Difficulty bonding with your baby or a fear of harming your baby;
- More sensitive and/or irritable;
- Difficulties in your relationship with your partner;
- Loss of interest in sex
- Feeling very anxious or having panic attacks; and/or
- Feeling worthless or hopeless (leading to suicide).
You can get help! Help is available from:
- Your family physician or midwife;
- The Waterloo Region Public Health Department's Healthy Children Info Line (519-883-2245)
- Grand River Hospital's postpartum disorders support group at 519-749-4300, ext 2267 (meets every Wednesday from 2-4pm, follow link for details)
- Grand River Hospitals' crisis clinic (weekends/evenings). Please call 519-742-3611 and ask for the crisis clinic