On the Seventh day of Dismissmas: Seven Sins a-lurking


On the seventh day of Dismissmas,

Postpartum sent to me

Seven sins a-lurking,

Six women a-denying,

Five hours of sleep,

Four Just Snap out of Its,

Three perfect babies,

Two depressed parents,

And a wailing mess in a pear tree.

 

 

“I’m a bad mother.”

“I’ve done something horribly wrong. I deserve this hell.”

“If only I pray for forgiveness, this will all go away.”

Postpartum Depression strikes 1 in 8 new mothers. Regardless of their faith, tenacity, past behavior, current status, income, support, marital status, etc. No one is immune. We do not appear before a judge and jury to be sentenced with Postpartum Depression as retribution for past transgressions. It does not happen that way.

You do not have Postpartum Depression because you said the wrong thing to Aunt Irma last year at the family Christmas party. You do not have Postpartum Depression because you had bad thoughts about your unborn child during pregnancy. Yes, depression during pregnancy does lead to a higher risk of Postpartum depression but it is not BECAUSE of those thoughts – it is not punishment for them.

Bottom line?

Postpartum Depression is SO not your fault.

On the fourth day of Dismissmass: Four Snap out of its


On the fourth day of Dismissmas,

Postpartum sent to me

Four Snap out of Its,

Three perfect babies,

Two depressed parents,

And a wailing mess in a pear tree.

Oh, if getting over a Postpartum Mood Disorder were that easy. Hell, Target sells red sequined shoes these days.

Recovery from a Postpartum Mood Disorder may be a yellow brick road for some. For others it’s more like climbing Mt. McKinley or trying to cross the Pacific ocean on a dinghy. None of them sound as easy as bouncing down to Target to buy a pair of red sequined heels. It may take meds, supplements, therapy, exercise, and most of all, it takes TIME.

What it doesn’t take is a friendly Good witch or a snazzy pair of red heels. Okay, so those may help but only if she’s bringing Ben & Jerry’s to the party. A good group of dedicated friends willing to get you out of any situation IS helpful though.

Even so, we cannot simply “snap out” of this.

We can’t turn it off. We don’t turn it on when you get home and off when you go to work in the morning. We are not secretly partying our asses off when you’re not looking. Sometimes we may wish we were but trust me, we are not.

Telling us to snap out of our PMD is a bit like well, according to @mooshindy on Twitter, “There’s no way to finish that sentence because I just nut punched whoever started the damn sentence.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

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On the Third day of Dismissmass: Three Healthy Babies


On the third day of Dismissmas,

Postpartum sent to me

Three perfect babies

Two depressed parents,

And a wailing mess in a pear tree.

 

How many of you have heard (or thought) this zinger: “But the baby’s perfectly healthy. Why on earth are you sad?”

As a mother of two children who were born perfectly healthy and one who was born with a cleft palate and needed major surgery at just 9 days old to help her breathe and eat, I know what it is like to be on both sides that statement.

Yes, having a child with additional needs is hard. But just because baby is perfectly healthy does not mean that Mama is going to be happy after giving birth. There are a whole host of reasons for mom not to be happy. Thyroid, Anemia, Vitamin D deficiency, history of personal or family psychiatric illness, perceived trauma during the childbirth experience, hormones that are now all out of whack and not shifting back into place properly, financial stress, moving, life decisions, etc.

Those who say things like “Baby’s healthy. You shouldn’t be sad” have never been depressed after the birth of a child. It happens. It’s real. And it is absolutely not yours OR the baby’s fault.

The next time someone says that to you – respond with this: “You’re healthy too. Why aren’t you helping me get healthy too?”

Then snap a picture. Trust me. It’ll be a Kodak moment for sure.

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