Why I Wasn't Afraid of Postpartum Depression

Navigating the waves of postpartum depression with honesty amongst family and friends.

I have a history of depression, so when the cloud didn't seem to lift after the birth of my second son, I knew something was wrong.

Unsure of how long the wave would last, I chose to be honest with my family and my closest friends. I truly believe that is why I was able to walk through Postpartum Depression as well as I did.

I'm not going to lie; it was a very dark time.

According to the Mayo Clinic symptoms of Postpartum Depression can last longer if they are untreated.

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Some of the symptoms of Postpartum Depression I experienced were:

  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
  • Intense irritability and anger
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia)
  • Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby (this one was the scariest of all

I had done enough research to know that I couldn't fight this battle on my own. I also knew that my greatest weapon in this fight was truth and being honest with what I was feeling.

I found out that it's common.

I did not experience Post Partum Depression with my firstborn. When my doctor told me it is more frequent in second pregnancies (we are much more sleep-deprived) it made sense. I couldn't exactly nap when my new baby was napping with a toddler running around.

It was liberating to find out I wasn't alone in this. In fact, Drew Barrymore opened up about her struggle with Postpartum Depression with her second child on the Today Show

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No one who's been there thinks less of you.

When I opened up about what I was feeling and experiencing, I was met with support and tangible love. My family and close friends helped in practical ways. They cooked meals for me, cleaned my house, did my dishes, let me nap and held my baby when I didn't want to.

It's not unusual to dislike yourself or your baby.

In allowing other people to take care of me, I was able to move into being able to take care of my new baby and give him some focused attention. This helped me transition from not liking my new baby, to learning to love and appreciate him.

Perfect love casts out all fear. This is why I was not afraid when the first signs of Postpartum Depression crept in. My support system stood firm around me while I ran the gamut of emotions surrounding the birth our second son.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms after having your baby reach out for help.

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If you think you may attempt suicide, get help now:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
  • Call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255). Use that same number and press "1" to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

The bottom line is this: don't suffer alone. You won't know if it's Postpartum Depression or not until you ask for help, and there's no shame in asking for help. In fact, it just might be the most important thing you do today as a mom.

Disclosure: This article is not intended to replace medical advice and purely represents the author's opinions and personal experiences. 

Lena Vogelgesang

Lena Vogelgesang

Lena likes to define herself by the Seven C’s: Christ, Chris, Children, Comrades, Coffee, Cheese, & Cardio. Due to her love of coffee and cheese, she must also have a relationship with increasing her heart rate. The Lord has given her a wonderful husband in Chris and they have two young boys.

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