As an Albuquerque Newborn Photographer | Postpartum Depression is always top of mind. I say this because I have had two beautiful, healthy babies, but I went through it with my first. However, I didn’t fully accept it until my I had my second.
With my first baby everything was new. I had no idea what I doing, just wingin’ it wholeheartedly. I felt like it was a domino affect from the onset.
3 am contractions but turned away because I wasn’t dilated enough. At 6 am, I was able to be admitted. The birthplan was set: no meds, all natural. Pain is excruciating, but I can do this. Immediately after being admitted the nurse tells me if you can’t handle this than you aren’t going to be able to do it without an epidural. Mindset Thrown!
22 hours, 2 epidurals and a transverse little one later, I had my first child. Due to meconium at birth she had to go to NICU for a short time, but I got hold her sometime later. My nurses strongly encouraged formula on her in the nursery, but I was too exhausted to argue. I wanted to breastfeed her solely. That is what you are supposed to do right? So many expectations are put on new moms. That failure alone felt debilitating.
My hormones were insane. When I finally was able to breastfeed, it was not something we just picked up. My little one and I was continually working on it, the entire year to follow. We tried everything. You name it. We didn’t give up. And she was always a healthy thriving baby, thank goodness.
Throughout my breastfeeding, however, especially in the first 6 months, I found that I had D-Mer (depression or other negative emotions during let-down). It wasn’t until I spoke to my sister who is a nurse that this was even a thing. I would cry so much during let down, multiple times a day.
This melded into the rest of my days. I would cry and sit in a confused state just constantly questioning my presents in this life. Not in a suicidal way, but actually asking myself, do I exist in this world. I know that is very odd. Mostly I felt like I would get consumed in a void. Thankfully, I was able to confide in my husband each step of the way. He always feels like he journeyed through breastfeeding with me. That is okay with me, because I didn’t ever feel alone in it, which is amazing. I was able to make it out of this season of my life.
It wasn’t until the birth of my second child did I fully accept that I had postpartum depression. Labor was amazing. My nurses and doula came in, had my birthplan and said YOU CAN DO THIS. And they helped me do it! I have nothing more to say but that I was induced, due to gestational diabetes, and I had me new baby within 5 hours. He was able to breastfeed immediately.
Now I cried this time too, but because I was in a blissful state. I felt like superwoman. Looking back from my first, I should have felt the same way, but my mind told me I did so many things wrong. Are you crazy woman? No matter how you do it. You gave birth to a BABY. No easy task. A couple DAYS following, I was up and taking my kids to the park. The first, I felt hit by a truck for weeks.
This 180 opened my eyes to the truth. I had postpartum depression. I think everyone knew around me, but didn’t want to talk about it. Luckily the people I hold close, did allow me to talk about it. And I am so thankful they did because it was a such a rough time. Remember new mothers, you are going to be okay. Be Vocal, make sure you say how you feel. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You got this!
So, as an Albuquerque Newborn Photographer | Postpartum Depression resonates with me. I pay attention to the new mamas that come to me. I listen, I know your life is crazy, hormones are crazy. You will feel comfortable with me. I have been there, good and bad. Come and rest, while a photographer you newborn. I want you to rest. You ARE superwoman!
You can find more information regarding postpartum depression vs. baby blues, and what to do if you feel you may be experiencing it here.