I thought that postpartum depression looked like a Mom sleeping all the time, laying on the couch with no makeup and staying in her bathrobe all day.
It kind of does.
But not every day.
I am 10 months postpartum and I was recently diagnosed with postpartum depression.
Some days I am so filled with energy that I can make a smoothie bowl, take care of Bode, see 3 clients, teach a yoga class and shower twice before going to bed before 11pm.
Other days, I wake up like a zombie, make breakfast for Bode, turn on the TV and lay on the couch for the first few hours. I was NEVER a daytime TV watcher and we canceled cable this year because my husband and I talked about how we never watched it.
This year I've had such a hard time sleeping, averaging 3 hours for 9 or so months and people kept telling me it's normal for the baby to not sleep through the night. But didn't say anything about how that would affect me or how shitty I must be feeling. I started to resent anyone who told me it was normal and that it's part of the no-sleep first year.
I stopped going to yoga. I've maybe gone 10 times this year? And I've gone to 5 barre classes. This is coming from someone who taught up to 3 barre classes and 2 yoga classes per day! A fitness instructor to someone who wanted to work out but had 0 energy to give.
That is what depression looks like. Someone who can't pick themselves off of the couch, but not every day, just some days.
Then, there was the feeling during the night that someone was going to break into our home and take Bode.
Apparently this thought is very common among emergency C-Section Mama's. The last 30 or so minutes while I was getting stitched up, Bode and Alex were sent to another room while I laid alone with tears streaming down my face wondering what just happened and if the last 25 hours were real or not.
For the last several months I've had horrible reoccurring nightmares that wake me up. Recently it got so bad that I punched Alex in my sleep and screamed, "Where's my baby!?" We laugh about it now, but that's some serious PTSD.
Why am I so open?
Because I know so many women are going through this and we all feel like we're nuts. Well we are not, we went through a very traumatic event and had our entire life change over night. Motherhood on its own is a huge adjustment, throw in a traumatic birth and voila - perfect recipe for postpartum depression and PTSD.
When people are like, "You are so lucky and your baby is beautiful!!" I know this already. It has everything to do with my brain and the circuits not connecting or overlapping.
It's overwhelming and fleeting. Time flies by that's for damn sure and the best thing another Mama can do is just say, "it's the hardest thing you'll ever do."
I'm getting tons of support and help and have a great community of women cheering me on, but if you are struggling and need someone to talk to - there are GREAT counselors who specialize in postpartum depression.
And remember depression looks different on every person. It could be the perfectly made up woman you see on social media or the Pinterest Mom who seems to have everything together. It could be the Mom who got her 6 pack back 3 months after she had her baby or the full-time career woman who is barely hanging on but has to work to support her family.
I am with you.