Remembering Me (Getting over PPD)

Getting over PPD

This post is incredibly difficult for me to share publicly, but I know I’m not the only one who has been here, or who is here, or who will be here one day.

For the past 11 weeks, I have adored every single moment with my sweet baby boy. I love him. He is my preview of Heaven – the scent of him, the feel of his head nuzzling my cheek, and the thrill of his perfect baby smile. When I started to feel the postpartum depression (PPD) sink in when he was a few weeks old, I felt betrayed by myself. My brain tried to explain to my hormone-imbalanced body “stop it, you are happy, you are blessed, life is good.” But, the PPD came anyways, as it always has after each pregnancy.

For me, PPD looks like this:

  • Extreme mood swings. From over-happy to over-sad within the same five minutes. And neither emotion necessarily makes rational sense in the context of reality.
  • Irritability.
  • Sleeplessness during normal sleeping hours, and over-sleepiness during important times to be awake.
  • Eating sugar and other comfort foods in over-abundance, even when I’m not hungry.
  • Lack of motivation to do much of anything, but with a constant stress that I’m not being productive.
  • A messy house. Shocker! This is incredibly hard to admit on my blog about organizing and homemaking (also read by people who pay me to organize for them), but when I feel crippled by my PPD, it is hard to do even the basic things. The silver lining to this is that I feel true compassion for others who struggle. Really, though, any of my friends don’t even need to ask me how I’m feeling if they come to my house and find a mess. This is one outward manifestation of my PPD that really drives me to get better!

Remembering me and trying to forget PPD

This time around, I’m confronting PPD head-on. My previous experiences have taught me a little bit about what helps me get my head out of the fog.

  • I don’t try to hide it anymore. After my first pregnancy, I mistook the symptoms of PPD as signs I was doing things all wrong as a mother. Now I know it isn’t my fault and it has nothing to do with how much I love my babies. Getting the help I need is the best thing I can do for my children!
  • I try to accept the support of friends and people who care. I am the independent type. I like to think of myself as self-sufficient, but really what it boils down to is that I have an incredibly difficult time asking for help.
  • I talk about it. I talk to friends who have been through PPD before, because I know they are listening without judging.
  • I need to take care of myself. This is the hardest one for me. It is so easy to get caught up in taking care of my baby, my family, my home, this blog, my organizing business, and forget to take care of myself. So far, I’m doing a terrible job at this.

Last weekend, I hit a wall. I had just come from a number of hectic weeks in a row without ever fully recovered from pregnancy and delivery. Some of the highlights were Cougar’s baby blessing, Easter, some family medical emergencies, dealing with Cougar’s reflux and a medicine shift for him that didn’t go well, all with about 3 hours of sleep each night. So last weekend, while I was volunteering to help at my mothers of multiples consignment sale, my c section incision opened up.  I guess since I had been blatantly ignoring all the other red flags telling me to take care of myself, I needed a super obvious sign to get me to stop and take note.

Trying to recover from PPD will help me be a better mom

What does a professional organizer do when confronting something difficult? MAKE A PLAN!!!! 

Here is my plan to Remember Me:

Eat better – I’ve decided to join an online support group who are all following this plan. I know eating healthier will help me feel better, and I need a support group structure to give me some accountability.

Read for pleasure – I have a book group that helps keep me reading, not to mention offers a chance for a girls night every month. Even though my PPD can make me want to cut off from the world, it is so important that I keep getting out and seeing my friends.

PPD has many faces

Sleep more – Sleep is a hit and miss for me, which makes it so important for me to sleep when I can. Matt feeds Cougar early in the morning on the weekends and sometimes during the week if I need him, and that extra sleep really helps.

Feel pretty – Do my nails in fun springy colors. Having my nails painted always makes me feel better about how I look. Also, I use the best skincare products there are, but they don’t do anything if I don’t use them. Lately I have skipped steps in my beauty routine and I need to take that extra 10 seconds to apply the eye cream! Another big thing that will help me is to take the time to shower and get out of my pjs every day, even if I just get into yoga pants. I feel so much better when I do!

Walk – My goal is to walk 15 minutes a day until my c section heals all the way, and then increase as my body allows.

Spend time with friends – I feel lucky to have great friends who always make me feel better when we spend time together. I need to spend more time with them. Friends can’t help and support you if you don’t give them a chance!

Dates nights – Staying connected to my husband is the most important thing of all and makes the biggest difference. Because he is the closest person to me, I need his support most. This is especially difficult with four kids, including a new baby.

 

If you are suffering from PPD too, I hope you will get the support you need. Feel free to comment below, I’d love to know I’m not alone!

Happy thoughts,

Also, subscribe to this blog and never miss a thing! Enter your email in the box on the sidebar and new blog posts will arrive directly into your email inbox.

Join us on Facebook, where I share even more Organizing tips, thoughts, pictures, and inspiration.

25 thoughts on “Remembering Me (Getting over PPD)

  1. I’m so grateful I never had to fight postpartum depression. I am so sorry you are going through this/have been going through this for so long. If I lived nearby I would help in every way I could…and you wouldn’t even need to ask!! Love you. Thoughts and prayers your way.

  2. I love love love that you posted this, and came up with a gameplan to battle it! After my twins were born, they stayed in the NICU for about a month, and I had a 2 year old at home, and a husband who couldn’t take time off work. I was a disaster and although I knew it was PPD, I still beat myself up…finally I asked for help, like you’ve done…it isn’t a shameful thing, it is part of the way we mommas are made! Your posts always impress me :)

  3. So impressed by your willingness to be vulnerable. Great article. You are a great mother and a wonderful person. I hope the PPD passes quickly and that your body makes a full recovery soon! Love ya!

  4. This is wonderful. I always had ppd after pregnancies. I will pass this article to my daughter and it can help her.

  5. Good for you for being willing to talk about it. I know your boldness will help others, both those who are struggling and those who know someone who is. I wrote a similar post about depression recently (although my baby is a toddler!) Once I recognized that I was legitimately depressed, and took proactive steps to help myself and ask others to help, I started to move towards recovery. Good luck with your journey.

    https://mamaneverfumbles.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/the-post-where-i-talk-about-depression/

  6. Thank you for sharing and being open! I think it gives hope and understanding to others. I hope it passes quickly and you’re able to fully recover and feel ‘yourself’ again. Much love!!

  7. Girl, I am so sorry you are going through this! I too struggled with this every time. It isn’t easy, but good for you for realizing what it is and confronting it. After next week, call me anytime and ill take a little 15 minute walk with you! I had a friend who would just come walk with me on my tough days, and it made a huge difference!

  8. Mary your pictures are beautiful!!! I appreciate your openness and honesty. I can’t believe your incision opened up. Scary! I hope that heals well this time. You have a beautiful family! Love you’

  9. Girl you are not alone. This is my 5 baby and I have always had PPD after each one. I swear it gets worse after each one I am sorry to say. My son is 6 months old and I am still so down. It has been 9 years since my last child. So I have forgot all the issues that come with PPD. I am so distance with my husband everything he does gets on my nerves. I am very self reliant and don’t like to ask for help even though I know I need it. So you are not alone. We just got to learn to keep our chins up and smile!

  10. i am so thankful for your courage to share and you are going to help someone through this. i just know it! my sister had it so so bad and she had ONE mom with PPD reach out to her and she never left her side (via phone calls daily). i pray that you have someone you can call and find out what is normal and what isn’t and let them know your hardest days and thoughts. so very proud of you and your plan sounds like a winner!

  11. Me too, Mary. Thanks for writing this & including your game plan. I had ppd after I had Crew, but I also struggle with depression on an ongoing basis & the reminder to take control of taking better care of myself is something I needed to hear. I remember that after Crew was born, every couple of weeks I was able to realize that I felt a lot better than a couple of weeks previous…and eventually it was gone. I’ll be praying for you!

  12. I am so sorry to read about you having ppd. I have four daughters and luckily I never experienced that. Reading your post brought tears to my eyes. I feel so sorry for you and will pray for you to be healed and over this hump.

    Your plan was very good and will even help me. My husband travels for work a lot and get it a little down at times. Especially evenings. I am going to refer to your list, your plan will help me too.

    Thanks so much for your blog and take care.

    Meg Nelson
    Woodbury, MN

  13. LOVE this post. You have such unbelievable wisdom, Mary. I love that you always seek to find solutions instead of wallowing in misery and playing the martyr like so many weary mothers do. You own your challenges, face them bravely and head-on, and keep moving forward, even when problems don’t disappear or ease up. I still think you ought to write a book someday ;)

  14. Thanks for putting your story out here, Mary. I’m currently struggling with depression at 24 weeks pregnant. I’m going to use your plan, along with what my doctor tells me tomorrow. It’s so good to know that I’m not alone, even though the depression is happening at different baby times for us.

  15. Wow! What an honest post and I am so inspired by how real and fearless you are when it comes to sharing your PPD story! You are going to help so many women! Thanks for sharing your heart and for linking up.

  16. No, you are not alone. Thank you so much for bravely sharing your experience! I am four months post partum, have just been diagnosed with PPD.

  17. I’m so sorry that you have to go through all of that. I’m sure this post will be a great source of inspiration for others struggling with PPD. I’m glad you have supports in place and I am sure you will get through this soon. I hope you are able to take all of your wonderful advice above!! ;)
    Jenn xo

  18. I know exactly how you felt! I feel like I’m finally getting out of the depths of PPD…5 months later. I’m glad I admitted it and now it’s not the elephant in the room.

  19. WOW Mary! I just happen to run across this article b/c I was searching medicine on your blog! I’m so glad I did and I’m so happy for you that you made a plan for yourself <3

    With our first one – a boy – I didn't have PPD but with our second one – a girl – I definitely did. Even my hubby noticed and we talked to my OB/GYN and he just said I would get over it. Sadly I did not and didn't seek any help until our daughter was 20yo and my Mom was dying. If I had only known :( Our daughter is almost 32 and our son almost 37 now so back in the day when they were born I was brought up that you didn't seek help if you had depression issues b/c the "shrinks" would just blame it on your mother :-/ So you just learned to deal with it and live with it. I have come a long way since then and encourage others now not to hold it in and don't let it consume your life.

    Thank you again for sharing yourself with something so personal. I truly believe it can help a lot of women that may not understand what is happening to them and their body.

    Hugs & Love,
    Diane

Leave a comment! I love to hear what you think!