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Surviving Postpartum Depression

Surviving Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a slow road to madness.

After my first child I thought life would be all snuggles, hugs and kisses. But after a few weeks of struggling to breastfeed and the lack of sleep, or really no sleep at all, I realized something was wrong. It felt like a slow fall into a well, a maddening lack of control, and crazy anxiety you can’t even define with words.

I spent years going through fertility treatments to have my son and I remember looking at him one day thinking, “I prayed for him for so many years and I don’t even like him.” He was a very difficult baby; he cried all the time and he had terrible reflux. To help with the spit-up, I was trying to navigate feeding him different formulas and breast milk. After two weeks of not sleeping and having anxiety, my milk dried up. I also had terrible mommy guilt for not being able to feed my child or make him happy. I would have tormenting dreams about someone killing my family. It was awful. In the meantime, we went to church and everyone commented how I amazingly lost all my baby weight so fast. Little did they know I had so much anxiety that I couldn’t eat anything but protein shakes and bars. I soon relayed my symptoms to my mom and she said I needed to call my OB-GYN.

My doctor diagnosed anxiety and postpartum depression and put me on an anti-depressant. Little by little, I felt myself get out of the hole. After six months, I weaned myself off the medication, but still felt a little anxiety. I was led by a friend to an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine consultant who helped me further. It literally took a year to feel like myself again.

I never thought I would be a person to go through postpartum depression and get that low. I am a happy, upbeat person and having postpartum took me to places I never thought I had inside myself. I was so glad to be out of it and it was also so good to get to know my son and really bond with him once I could appreciate him. I wish more people would talk about postpartum depression and share their stories more often; it is much more common than most people realize. Women shouldn’t feel ashamed; they just need help and guidance, and I am so blessed I got it when I needed it.

Read more of Bethany’s story and you may also like When Someone You Love is Depressed or Is Battling Depression Disappointing God?

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Bethany is an average cook, coffee lover, and ninja house cleaner. She's been found dragging her boys out of Lowe's garden center from time to time for peeing on outdoor trees ... it's what boys do.

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