MY STRUGGLE WITH POSTPARTUM ANXIETY

postpartum anxiety houston blogger

Piper turned 10 months yesterday and I’m not sure how that’s even possible! Every month keeps going by faster than the one before. I know motherhood has ebbs and flows but I finally feel like I’ve come out of the newborn fog over the past month. Let me preface this by saying, if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression please, please, please contact your doctor.

I'm normally a glass half full type of person who chooses to focus on the good instead of the bad or difficult situations. But I've shared about my journey as a mom on Instagram Stories and I'm always amazed by how cathartic it feels. I get to connect with so many women who have experienced similar things. If you don’t feel like yourself, I pray this is the tiny push you need to seek help.

When I was pregnant people would ask me if I was nervous and I would go on and on about how I nannied in high school and college so I wasn’t worried about becoming a mom. The role seemed so natural to me in theory and I was beyond excited.

My pregnancy was relatively uneventful besides seeing a chiropractor on a weekly basis everything else was good. I would even say that pregnancy was the first time in my adult life I wasn't self conscious about my body. Then the delivery was surprisingly better and quicker than I imagined it would be. We got home from the hospital and for the first week I was in a total euphoric state. The house was picked up, I was getting in my sleep when I could and I even turned to Trent multiple times and said "this is amazing, when can start trying for baby number two?!" I felt like I had everything figured out and then the crying began.

We immediately assumed the ice cream I ate upset Piper’s stomach so I eliminated dairy but it didn't get better. I removed anything that fell on the 'do not eat while breast feeding list' and was told it would take weeks to get better. I stuck it out. Then eliminated eggs and cut back on caffeine. But still she cried for hours a day. She was only happy when I was holding her bouncing on an exercise ball. So we bounced for hours. There were times when I was drenched in sweat and my step count was well over 20k because of all the bouncing.

Fast forward a couple months and Piper was diagnosed with a UTI. Trent was out of town for several days and I hit a breaking point. Holding her tiny body down on the table during her catheter test was like actually living a nightmare. A couple days later she was still refusing to eat because the antibiotics upset her sensitive tummy. The crying was worse than ever. I was hanging on by a thread and I called my sister and I said something I’ll never forget. I told her I regretted wanting a baby so bad. It makes me teary eyed when I think back to that time and how I was in such a bad place. Of course I don’t regret having Piper, she’s the light of my life but at the time I felt like my world was caving in. She told me to hang up and call my doctor then call her back. I made an appointment for the next day and this was such a turning point for me.

I met with a postpartum specialist at my OB’s office and we had an open conversation about how I was feeling. A LOT of tissues were used but by the end of the appointment I felt like a huge weight was lifted. She talks to women in similar situations all day so I knew it was a judgement free zone. I was prescribed a low dosage anti depressant and decided to stop breast feeding. I’ll share a different post soon about that but I shared how I came to the decision on Instagram Stories and it’s saved to the Baby Highlight you can find here.

Looking back at that time I wish I would have been more honest with the people around me. When some of my closest friends asked how I was doing, I’d pretend everything was great. I’m in no way shape or form a doctor but looking back these are some things I learned or wish I would have done differently.

  • Answer the postpartum questionnaire at the pediatrician honestly - looking back I knew I wasn’t right but I was too afraid check the truthful boxes on the survey.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, etc. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak.

  • If you’re not feeling like yourself, speak up. There was a time when ordering Piper’s birthday announcements was too overwhelming. This is so unlike me but I couldn’t pin point why or what it meant.

  • Don’t be ashamed of how you feel. Everyone’s experience is SO different.

Motherhood is nothing short of a rollercoaster and after going through this I told myself I’d openly share about my struggles because no one should have to keep it inside.

Xo, Meredith