Thursday, November 14, 2013

Brave Mama: Morgan's Guest Post - Being Free from PPD

Post. Partum. Depression.

Three words I never thought would come out of my mouth. Three scary words. I never thought I had to worry about postpartum depression. I thought the least that could happen were the all so common “baby blues” so many women get with all of our raging hormones after having a baby. Let’s face it, they are raging. But sometimes those “baby blues” don’t go away after a few days. You don’t feel right, like yourself. Post-partum depression affects women in all different kinds of ways. It is not the same for every woman.

I went back to work 4 weeks after having my baby boy (my second child & c-section). Way too soon if you ask me. I did it because I had to, for my family. That’s when I really noticed I wasn’t right. I wasn’t happy, I didn’t want to get up in the morning, I felt like I had no purpose. But most of all, my anxiety was constantly overbearing all of my thoughts. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Death is all I thought about. I was scared my son would stop breathing in his sleep. Scared I might drop him and he may never take another breath. When my husband offered to take the kids off of my hands for an hour or so, I was too scared to let him go out of the house and in the car without me. Because I thought I am being selfish wanting time to myself, that something might happen to them, I would be punished for wanting time to myself, a car crash that would end their lives therefore ending mine too. So I never let him take them without me going with them. He never understood, but I never told him why. I never confessed that I was too scared that something might happen. I never let family take them for just a few hours so that Stephen (my husband) and I could have some alone time. I was scared no one would take care of them the way I do. That someone might crash into them and kill them instantly. I never wanted my children out of my sight. EVER.

I never told anyone. For months I never told anyone what was going on. The biggest mistake I made. I was too ashamed and embarrassed people would see me as weak, as a sissy. I was worried of the judgment I would receive. Of the thoughts and looks I might get or how people would treat me differently. It would be what was expected from a mother of one child already. “She knows what to expect, she can’t be going through post-partum depression.” And so many other things that went through my head.

I did, however, finally confess to my doctor. She acted completely normal. Which shocked me because who gets post-partum depression? Only "sissys" do. SO NOT TRUE. She told me how normal it was AND in my circumstances it didn’t surprise her (we had a lot going on at that time). She prescribed me to get out and exercise and sunshine. I tried for about a month with her prescription and no change. Fearfully and dreadfully, I went back. I told her I tried my best and no changes. She then prescribed me medication. I tried that and it didn’t work. So I went back, bound and determined I would get over this, one way or another. I was suffering deep down. I wanted to enjoy my life. I wanted to enjoy the sweet moments of my newborn and my beautiful daughter, who was ecstatic about her baby brother. Finally, a prescription that worked. It took about a month for me to see any change, but it worked. 

I still hadn’t told my husband what was going on. He’s a big tough guy who thinks a pat on the back will make everything better. And for some that method does work, but not for me. He found my prescription I had been hiding because I was SO embarrassed and ashamed and thought he would think so little of me. He was mad. Not mad that I had to take something to make me better, but mad because I couldn’t confide in him. Which I should have done. I should have told the one person I share everything with. He did ask, “This is not something you can just suck up?” At those last two words, I burst into tears. The one question I had been dreading all of this time. It’s something he couldn’t understand. And now I truly believe it’s something no one will ever understand until they have gone through it. I tried explaining to him how I felt every single day, how I was terrified of him running up to the grocery store (less than 5 miles away) with both children, out of fear something might happen to them. I still don’t think he understands, not fully.
The medication worked. I was back to myself. I was the old Morgan again. I remember the feeling of a weight being lifted off of me. The liberating feeling of “being free” again of all of the crazy thoughts and worries. So I stopped taking my medicine. I acted as a doctor. I started feeling the same way again. I don’t know what to do now, now that I’m pregnant with our third. I don’t want to take any medication regardless of the studies being done that say it’s ok to take it. I’m worried I’ll do harm to our unborn daughter all because I can’t be happy. This, I haven’t told my husband either. I don’t want him to worry about me when we have so many other things to worry about. I am making the best of things and when those old thoughts come to my mind, I do my best to push them out any way I can.
I am writing this to warn all women expecting, it can happen. You may think “it can’t happen to me!”. But boy oh boy can it happen and it happens in an instant. So watch for the signs (every woman’s may be different), TALK to your loved ones, TALK to your doctor, get out in the sunshine, go for a walk, take a deep breath and know that you’re not alone and this to shall pass. Having children is not all hunky dorie, rainbows and pots of gold. It takes a lot of hard work with or without PPD. You can get through it. Don’t give up and keep trying for that sweet baby of yours. They are so incredibly worth it.

I'm no doctor and am in now way telling you how to cure PPD. I wanted to share my experience. I thought I was the only one in the world going through it. I hope being able to read one's confession can put you at ease (somewhat).  
Morgan's Blog: Life as Mommy Harris
Morgan shares her beautiful life with her husband, Stephen, and two kiddos, Georgia Lynn & Brantley in the Midsouth.  {AND, they've got a sweet baby girl on the way, Miss Campbell Easton!}  Morgan is my first courageous, beautiful mama to share her Post-Partum Depression story in my Brave Mama mini-series.  I am so thankful to have known Morgan for many years growing up but am just now getting to know a totally new, mommy side of her and I just love it!  Thanks so much for sharing, Morgan, you are welcome here ANY time.  You guys go check out her new blog!

Brave Mama

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


After talking with someone I see on a regular basis about parenthood, somehow the subject of postpartum depression came up.  I don't remember how, but I am so thankful it did.  After sharing a bit about my PPD experience, this someone in my life opened up to tell me about their experience.  It was moving and I couldn't help but get goosebumps throughout listening to her story.  I could relate SO much to what she was telling me!

But perhaps the most moving part about our conversation was the fact that she had only told ONE other person about her postpartum depression experience.  That broke my heart.  She had been carrying these feelings and struggles around for several years and she said after hearing me say that she's not alone in feeling the way she felt - this friend told me a weight had been lifted from her that was so heavy.  Just by this ONE conversation.

As I told you, I was moved.  So moved that I've decided to have several friends guest blog about their PPD experiences in hopes to demystify some of the misunderstandings or unknowns.  I want to spread some awareness about something that affects 20% of all postpartum women{For those who might not understand that clearly: That means roughly 20% of all women following childbirth.}  Did you know that rough estimates from 2010 suggested that 1.3 million women experience PPD every year?  That number is higher than the number of people who sprain their ankle every year.  That number is higher than the number of people who have a stroke every year.  Hard to believe, isn't it, that it affects such a large number of people and yet there are so many who are too intimidated to ask for help.

So, I hope you will join me over the next few weeks as I feature a few brave and beautiful mothers who will be sharing their intimate stories.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Currently {link up} x10!

This weeks prompts are {craving, waiting, remembering, liking, cooking}

Well, this past week I have found myself CRAVING some authentic Mexican food!  (Specifically Los Agaves for you Quad City locals.)  Since our income has been downsized we haven't been out to eat - with the exception of our Chick-fil-A spicy night special once every few weeks - and I have been dreaming of delicious tacos, salsa, bean dip, and chips.  Yes... I can make ALL of those things from the comfort of my own home and TRUST ME... I have!!!  But, as my bestie Betsy and I just recently talked about - it's just not the same as the real deal.  And I need to stop talking about these damn tacos before I lose it!  I just ate dinner and I'm starving for tacos already!!

I am patiently waiting for December!  As much as I LOVE November.... I cannot wait for the Christmas season to begin!  I'm excited for Christmas cards and decking the halls and my favorite Christmas albums!  I am looking forward to Presley visiting Santa Claus this year and hoping it goes better than last year!

Definitely remembering how much Presley detested being on Santa's lap last year so we're thinking of taking a family picture with Santa instead this year.  I would hate to scar Presley for life when it comes to Santa Claus so as much as I would love an adorable picture of just Presley and Santa... I think we will pass on that this year UNLESS she seems ultra comfortable with him beforehand.

I am really liking loving my giant Tervis and my new reusable Tervis straws from Bed Bath & Beyond!  I take it everywhere with me and it is always full of water.  It's also very important to me to cut down on waste and I think having a reusable cup that you really like and that will stand up to the test of time will help you stop buying bottles of water!!!

Tonight I cooked up some steak, eggs, and biscuits and it was just alright... I'm not a huge fan of that meal but my husband likes it!  Earlier in the week we made the ALWAYS delicious chicken enchilada pasta (yum! yum! yum!), shepherd's pie, and potato soup.  Those are three of my favorite recipes and they are staples in this house so feel free to add them to your rotation if they aren't there already!  Come back and let me know how you like them, too.

You can link up with Harvesting Kale with your "Currently" posts... the more the merrier!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happies & Crappies! {link up}

This is one of my favorite link ups for the fact that it is simple and the same prompts each week!  Feel free to join in using the button below.

  •  I haven't been motivated lately when it comes to scheduling and planning meals for the week.  Therefore, it seems like dinner every night is somewhat last minute/hectic!  I'd like to change that for the upcoming week.
  • Our financial situation has gone from bad to worse.  Because I am a seasonal employee, my hours were cut as the season ended.  Therefore, our only paycheck at this moment was cut significantly and will be even worse from here on out.  Thankfully, we are able to supplement this income with our savings... but this won't be able to go on much longer.  We have plans to leave the Midwest and move back to Tennessee... but at this point, plans to do anything are looking extremely bleak.  I know it will all work out one way or another eventually... but that doesn't help me in the meantime from worrying about HOW in the hell things are going to work out.
  • Presley's been sick for a week or so with what must be a cold.  She's been so congested and I feel so bad for her!  We've added an extra pillow in her crib, turned on her humidifier, and today I tried the saline/nose-sucker combo and she just flipped out.  We've also been giving her extra showers hoping that that'll help break things up.
  • We're currently on state insurance, which is SUCH A BLESSING!  Except for when it comes to certain things - for example, Presley's vaccines.  I guess the state is out of or running low on certain vaccines at the moment so instead of getting her vaccines as she normally would at her 18 month appointment, she's still waiting for them.  She will be 21 months old this month.  It just makes me upset that we can't give her things like this at the moment.  (However, it was much more stressful while we went without insurance for a few months... so having insurance at the moment is a huge relief in and of itself.)
  • So as you can see, my life has a few worries in it at the moment.  When I have a free moment to think (usually in the shower), instead of it being calm & relaxing, all I can think about in my mind are all the things that I find stressful in my life.  And I hate that.
  • What sucks is the money we saved wasn't meant to pay bills... it was meant to be a down payment on a future home!  But...

  • ...thankfully we have money to pay our bills.
  • Hanging out at the Quad Cities Birthing Conference today... spoke with lots of awesome vendors around the Quad Cities and listened to an informative seminar.  There were so many really great resources for parents and parents-to-be!  I especially loved my conversation with a local massage doula (Marci Worlton) and also someone from the La Lache League of the Quad Cities. All of it was free and the conference is reoccurring, which is good news.  It's also such a great way to really feel like part of a community... I can't wait for the next one!  (More information here.)
  • Picking up a fountain Coke through the McDonald's drive-thru this morning.
  • Finding something for both Presley & I at Kohl's today on super clearance... both items were 90% off!  Hers was $3.20 (cute pair of Osh Kosh overalls) and mine was $4.80 (super cute simple black dress).
  • Tony changing the oil in the Fit & rotating the tires! (Reason #6 I love my Husband:  He is a handy man and a hard worker!)
  • Having a great work week! (More on this subject later!)
  • I stopped talking about it and finally went for a walk in our neighborhood today.  I've been wanting to start walk/jogging a few times a week for a while now and I just got back from a nice afternoon walk during Presley's nap.  It was great!  The trees are so beautiful this time of year.  Also, I just started using a new app to track my progress... it's called Runtastic!  I got it for free through Starbucks (they offer free apps/song downloads in the store on through their Starbucks app each week) and so far I really like it.
  • Now that Halloween is over, it is time for two of my favorite months out of the whole year!  November means my birthday month plus Thanksgiving (which means getting the family together!!!) and next up is December which means advent, Santa, the Holy Family, & Christmas!  Oh... and Christmas cards!  I am hoping the current state of our life will be much different by December... I really, really, really hope that will be the case.
  • I've been having a lot of good hair days lately.  Ever since I got my hair cut (last month?) for the first time in a looong time, I've been so happy with my hair.  It's the little things, people!

Thanks for reading! I wanted to end with the positive things about this past week in order to not leave you all with my feelings of doom & gloom.  Hope life is good and if you link up with Happies & Crappies come back here and let me know so I can sneak over to read yours. :)

Also... Presley was an adorable tiger, owl, and ladybug this Halloween thanks to last Halloween's clearance costumes!

The Vintage Modern Wife: Happies and Crappies Link Up