A Final Farewell to Postpartum Depression

Today I took off my last bandages from my surgery and breathed both a sigh of relief and of saddness. This decision took me a few months to finalize and knowing that I am forever done holding a newborn of my own was not an easy pill to swallow. I have heard so many opinions over the years as to why this decision should not be made or taken lightly, but the alternative was far more frightening to me.

Postpartum depression is something I never thought I would struggle with (having never dealt with depression prior to my childbearing years). The thoughts that consumed my mind bring me to tears and the possibility of ever going through it again was too hard to bear for me. 

I am a year away from my thirties and have had three healthy pregnancies and babies. From a medical prespective I am an ideal candidate to give birth to healthy babies due to never having any complications. And as much as this makes me happy, I also feel guilty that unlike myself I have so many friends struggling with infertility, loss of an infant, or miscarriages. My hope is that although my season of childbearing is over I can now have the time, energy, and emotional capacity to better come alongside my friends (old and new) to love on them and pray for them in ways I was unable to before. 

I know at this point what some of you may be thinking: Why didn't your husband just get a vasechtomy? We tried. He wasn't a candidate. End of story. 

In fact my husband came home from going on a walk with our youngest the other day and told me how he was getting teary-eyed thinking about the fact that this is our last biological child together. It was a reminder to soak up the good and the bad, the sleepless nights and the endless teething, becuase one day our kids will be out and about on a skateboard rather than begging to be sitting on our laps. 

This decision was really a decision to put an end to my postpartum depression. I have been off meds for a few months now and besides the emotional changes I go through when the seasons change, (See post Here) I've been feeling great. I am not going to be naive and say depression cannot ever effect me again in the future, but I am more hopeful. In the years to come I hope that we can bring the joy of life into our house again in the form of adoption or foster care, but for now I am thankful for the three little boys God has entrusted us with. My three tiny marks are now a reminder on my body of the remarkable gift of life and how each child brought me down a road that brought me to where I am today and has helped shape me into who I am today. 

If you are struggling with any form of depression and anxiety know you don't have to get your tubes removed like I did. I am not saying this is for everyone, it was a decision for me. But know that you do not have to go through your journey alone.

Ask for help. Find a friend who can listen to you. Go outside. Practice self-care. What you are going through is harder to overcome when you are alone. Message me if you want to talk.

Thanks for letting me open up and be vulnerbable with this decision I made. It may or may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but for me it marked a closing of one door and an opening of many others. 

Farewell Postpartum depression, you sucked!

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 Instead of a “push present” I got a “sterilization present.” 

Instead of a “push present” I got a “sterilization present.” 

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Leo- 4 Months Old

Leo is a completely different baby than he was a few weeks ago. He is going through so many developmental changes at one time and it incredible how fast he is growing. For once in my life I find myself saying "slow down" and don't want the baby stage to end. Believe it or not he is already scooting/crawling. He mainly uses his knees and throws himself forward to get whatever toy he has his eyes on. Calvin and Max were early crawlers and walkers but Leo is setting a whole new record. Leo is up for about 1.5 hours before needing a nap and goes down super easy. We sing him the Gloria Patri, turn on the sound machine, leave the room and he is out within 5 minutes. His reflux is getting better but is still present. The other two boys outgrew it around the 6/7 month mark so we shall see if he follows suit. 

We have his 4 month check up in a few weeks and are anxious to see just how much he has grown. Leo is the perfect mix of Nick and I and we always comment on how thankful we are that he is part of our family. 

 

Leo's 4 Month Old Stats

Weight: 16.5 lbs (taken on home scale)

Diapers: Size 3

Clothes: 6-9 months

Eats: Leo is nursing every 2-3 hours during the day and still refuses the bottle

Sleep: 4 naps a day and sleeping through the night (most nights) He has been going down at 8:30 PM each night and we are hoping to put him down by 7:30 PM like his brothers in the next few weeks here. 

Likes: Scooting, toys, his brothers, bath time, music, and being worn in his Solly or Ergo

Dislikes: being overtired, bottles, being on his back for too long, bright lights, his car seat, reflux, and loud sudden noises

 

Gina's 4 Month Postpartum Stats

Weight: 4lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight

Sleep:  I have been getting 6-8 hours of sleep a night

Clothes: I fit into all of my old tops but still cannot button my old pants ;)

Likes: I like when Leo goes down and sleeps through the night, La Croix lime, pedicures, walks alone at sunset, and sitting outside at night time with Nick

Dislikes: daily anxiety, ants, Leo's blowouts, decision-making, grocery shopping and heat

I am still on anxiety and postpartum depression medicine but am seeing my OB and a postpartum doctor in regards to switching brands since the one I am currently on is giving me awful vivid nightmares. We are going to see if we can start tampering me off of meds and are also going to talk about my raised anxiety. I know having 3 kids is a lot of work and many moms have anxiety from balancing it all but I trust that my providers will help me make a good plan of action. I am often asked how I am doing but it is hard to answer that question.  I don't  like the fact that I need to be on this medication but at the same time am thankful that it allows me to not go throuh dark days like I did with Calvin. God is showing me each day areas of life that I need to surrender to Him and has blessed me with so many encouraging friends who help me walk through the joys and trials of marriage and motherhood.

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an honest look at postpartum depression pt 2

Postpartum depression, for me, has been such a hard thing to experience because it has caused me to be a slave to my thoughts and fears which I normally would not have. This fear, worry, and anxiety keeps me from doing what might bring me joy and often it keeps me from experiencing life that is right in front of me. 

I recently went to a Solly Baby event in San Diego with Leo and had a great time meeting new moms and hearing an inspirational talk on beauty and body image.  Our Solly is our favorite baby carrier and I knew I needed a night out so when they advertised on Instagram they were having a local event with food, wine, a motivational talk, and girl time, I was all about it.

One of my friends from college who was there said something to me that really made in impact on my life with regards to postpartum depression and anxiety. We were catching up and she asked me how I was doing and I vented a little on how hard it is to get out of the house with 3 kids and how it is easy to just want to stay home all the time. She replied (ES), "but, look, you're doing it! You are here and that's what matters!" She didn't know it in that moment but that was exactly what I needed to here. Those few little words gave me validation that taking a night off for myself was okay and not a total failure.

A light bulb went off in my head in that moment. Yes, Leo screamed for half the drive down, yes, I had to pull over to nurse, yes, I was stuck in 30 min of traffic, and yes, I had spit-up down my new J. Crew top the entire night. BUT I was there! I wanted to get out and do something for myself and I did it.  I usually say no to things that take a lot of effort because of the work required to actually make it happen and I am so glad that this time I made it a priority to get out and do something fun and different.

The night was filled with a room full of 100+ moms from all walks of life. Lindsay and Lexi from Beauty Redefined talked to all of us about how we are "more than just a body. See more. Be more." I originally didn't think I would get much out of the talk but I was surprised with how much I took away from the night. 

  I did a lot of people watching, like I usually do and tried to pray for those who looked like me, moms who can put a smile on but inside are battling with their own thoughts. These women were so inspirational to be around because many of them balance blogs, careers, and hobbies while simultaneously being a mom and wife. 

If you or someone you know is struggling from postpartum depression and anxiety please talk to someone. The worst thing you can do is battle this awful illness alone and there is help out there. For me, getting out of the house and doing something for me made such a difference in my life. I felt, for a few hours, like I still had value in purpose in the world besides being a caretaker in my own home. With help from God, my family and medicine I have not been having as bad of symptoms as I did when I had Calvin and is a victory to be celebrated

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