Last, but certainly not least, I’m excited to introduce Amaris Beecher from Crumbs and Glamour to the blog for the last installment of the motherhood series. She’s telling her story about postpartum depression.
They finally told us it was time to go. The moment I had been waiting for had come. I didn’t know what to expect next, but I knew I was excited.
He was a little over 24 hours old. I had a 26-hour labor and delivery experience. It was intense, to say the least. I went 14 hours on Pitocin without an epidural, and I wasn’t dilating. I wasn’t handling the pain well. So, finally, the midwife recommended that I get the epidural. Shortly after that, I had a baby in my arms.
He was perfect.
All the waiting.
All the anticipation.
He was worth it.
I couldn’t imagine my life without him anymore.
We carefully loaded him into the car. He cried all the way home. I remember thinking about taking my seatbelt off and shoving my boob in his mouth while he was in his car seat, just so I could console him. I knew my protective husband wouldn’t go for it, though, so it just stayed as a thought.
Once we got home we experienced all the first-time-parent things. Learning to breastfeed. Trying to sleep through his little noises, or no noises and wondering if he was still breathing. Changing his diapers. All new and scary and exciting.
And just so.many.feels.
I remember being frozen in fear when I would hold him, terrified of the thought that I would trip and kill him. I was often tormented by terrible thoughts in the middle of the night. I started to wonder, maybe I shouldn’t be a mom. Maybe I’m not cut out for this.
All my years as a little girl daydreaming about having my own children, maybe I was wrong all along. I’m not sure I like being a mom. It only makes me sad and scared. So many moments of my sweet boy’s first year were stolen by sadness and fear.
I didn’t even record his first steps because I felt so indifferent to it. To this day I still feel regret, my heart still feels heavy over that first year of being a mom.
When he was about 11 months I got pregnant with my second. I had normal pregnancy hormones, but I wasn’t sad anymore. I figured there was no correlation, but that God had answered my prayers and somehow fixed me.
After I had our second, our baby girl, I went home and adjusted much quicker. I knew how to breastfeed, change diapers, sleep. The transition was so much smoother.
But then I started to get sad again. The tormenting fears came back too. But this time, it was stronger. More sadness and more anxiety. I started imagining my life without me. I began to think that maybe my husband and children would do better with another woman, one that was happy and excited about life.
And then I thought, could this be what postpartum depression feels like?
I called one of my best friends and spoke with her about everything, and she said, “I think you had postpartum depression after Andrew (my first born), but by the time I had connected the dots you were already pregnant with Reese (my second) so I didn’t mention anything.”
And when she said those words, it was like a lightbulb went off in my mind.
That’s what was wrong with me.
I wasn’t a terrible mother. I didn’t hate my child.
I was dealing with Postpartum Depression & Anxiety.
I set up an appointment with my doctor but knew that I wanted to go the alternative route regarding medication.
She recommended two things:
St. Johns Wort (depression) – https://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/st-johns-wort-concentrate-tr-60-tabs/653/
Nutri-Calm (anxiety & gives energy) – https://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/nutri-calm-100-tabs/1617/
Once I started on those two supplements I almost immediately saw a difference. But here is what I will say: even with supplementing you can still have dips. Once I realized that dips come, I started coming up with tactics and getting the tools I needed to conquer and overcome!
The main way I started to overcome, though, other than supplementing, was to learn to have grace with myself. I learned that depression and anxiety really do zap your energy, so instead of worrying about non-essentials in my life, I learned to let things go and take care of the important things.
I learned to live in a position of grace.
Where I could extend it to myself and other. And I learned to be patient. Nothing in nature blooms all year. So, why would I expect myself to constantly have it all together?
In hindsight, I’m thankful for the pain that I experience in those 3 years of depression and anxiety. Because of it, my blog was birthed, my relationship with God has grown deeper, and my I am able to empathize with those that deal with chronic or cyclical depression. My eyes have been opened to the pain many women experience on a daily basis, and now I have set out to reach those women to provide encouragement.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Want to hear more from Amaris? Amaris is a whole-hearted Christian, richly blessed wife, and mother of two stunners, living life in sunny Orlando, Fl. Her goal is to inspire women to live their lives with authenticity and freedom through Jesus Christ!Be sure to follow her blog Crumbs & Glamour for more!