This is my story about baby blues & postpartum depression and reflecting upon it. I am not a medical expert.
It’s crazy to think that my little guy is not-so-little anymore. At 18 months old, I feel like we’re officially in the unpredictable toddler stage. He’s climbing everything, crying when he doesn’t get his way and completely sweet when he wants to be. Lately, I’ve been thinking about my journey since he was born and how much I’ve changed.
I feel like I’ve just hit a milestone where I’m motivated to lose weight and I’m finally happy as a Mom of two. It’s a very recent change in my lifetime and it’s had such a positive effect on me. It wasn’t always that way though. That had me thinking, “What was wrong with me until now?” and “What changed?”
Looking Back on Postpartum Depression
The Immediate Problem
I’ll never forget the night I came home from the hospital after giving birth to my second son. I stood on my feet, held him in one arm when he cried, and made homemade chili. I remember trying so hard to convince myself that I could do it – I could be a great Mom of two kids and it was going to be easy for me.
WAS I CRAZY? Yes. Only a crazy lady comes home after giving birth to make dinner for the family. I was desperate for things to go smoothly and be this fantasy of a mother that I built in my head.
I built up this idea of the type of Mom that I had to be. I fought very hard to live up to this and that was the immediate problem. It’s impossible to be perfect and I never embraced the chaos. I was setting myself up for disappointment in the long run.
Suffering From A Prolapsed Bladder
In the midst of my “fourth trimester”, I experienced a pain and odd sensation coming from my groin area. I was only a few weeks postpartum and I knew something wasn’t right. On Christmas week, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a prolapsed bladder. It was caused from weak pelvic floor muscles, a quick delivery and poor postpartum care on my end.
That diagnosis sent me into immediate “Baby Blues” and I don’t think I ever addressed that. I had a lack of energy, I wasn’t motivated to take care of myself and I my confidence plummeted. I felt really ugly. In retrospect, I should’ve sought support for postpartum depression.
Lack of Self-Care & Tipping The Scale
While I calmed down a bit on trying to be the June Cleaver of Moms, I was not putting my health first. In 2014, after the birth of my firstborn, I dropped the baby weight quickly and felt motivated to be healthy. This baby was a different story.
Everyone kept telling me “give it 9 months, the weight will fall off” and that just gave me false hope. It’s a huge amount of pressure to put on a new Mom.
I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to. Food was just for comfort and lacked taste. Even though I was occasionally active, like a random marathon I ran with my Husband, there was nothing consistent. Depression was settling in as the scale topped 235 lbs and none of my clothes fit. It was definitely the lowest point of my life so far.
The Wake Up Call
In June, I finally had a wakeup call from my Husband. I had been going about my daily life ignoring my weight issues, lack of motivation, irritability and depression. Things that used to make me happy were no longer working. It was truly awful.
After a heated argument, my Husband told me that he was worried about my health. I was no longer the same person that I used to be. In a sweet and loving way, he explained that he wanted me to be healthy for our kids. He believed in me more than I did.
I felt like I was going to lose my Husband if I didn’t do something about my life. I needed a change and I needed to start immediately. On June 9th, 2018 I started to change my life around. One smile at a time, one step at a time and one meal at a time.
Moving Forward With Self-Care
I wish I had talked to my OBGYN about my feelings. I wish somebody would’ve educated me more about postpartum depression. I should’ve told people how I felt after my diagnosis. So much could’ve gone differently, but I let myself go because I was too afraid to talk to anyone. A year and a half is such a long time to go without giving myself the love I needed.
Today, almost two months into taking better care of myself, I am feeling the difference inside and out. I signed up for Run Disney’s Wine and Dine Half marathon weekend to give myself a goal. I’m running three days per week and eating a low-carb diet.
For the most part, I’ve tried my best to cut out processed foods from my diet. I’m eating whole foods again, cooking more and respecting what I’m putting in my mouth.
I’m finally starting to see my life turn around, my happiness increase and the weight drop. I’m still trying to be a good Mom, but cutting myself some slack. We can’t be perfect and it’s vital that I put my health first.
Expect to see more information about my weightloss journey and about falling in love with running again. I’m going to be sharing my self-care tips regularly. Hopefully, it can help another Mom who might be going through the same struggles.