I remember the feeling when I first noticed I wasn’t “my normal self”. It seemed to have been the combination of it all; the lack of sleep, all the extra work of twins, and the inability to breastfeed which thanks the world made me feel like I was not “giving my kids the best”.
It was a time that I should have been feeling nothing but love and newborn bliss. How lucky was I- I had gone full term with my two babies and got to bring them home. We were surrounded by so many people that loved us and were just as excited. But when the newborn fog lifted I was left with anger, frustration, resentment, and pure exhaustion.
When most of us think of Postpartum Depression you think it must mean you don’t want to connect with your babies. I felt the opposite, I felt so much love for my babies….but everyone else irritated me. Something I had no idea was associated with Postpartum Depression was Postpartum rage. My husband would do something as insignificant as put burp cloths in the wrong section and I would get so angry I could cry.
I remember the first time I felt a rush of unexpected emotions was two days after coming home from the hospital, my husband helped me up the stairs and my parents were downstairs with the babies. They were there to help so we could nap before they had to eat again, I made it up the stairs and I just started to cry uncontrollably. I had no reason to cry I was just overwhelmed by it all.
One night after some heated argument over who knows what I typed in: postpartum anger into my Google search bar and found it to be related to Postpartum Depression. As I kept reading I felt the lightbulbs click. I could literally check off what I was feeling and match myself to an online profile of someone with postpartum depression.
I felt unheard. I felt alone. I felt lost. I knew I did not feel like myself. I knew what I felt was not “normal”. My cousin had a baby two days before I did and when we began to talk about how we felt we both knew we had to do something. At my 6 week postpartum appointment I sat in the room with the infamous Mental Health Survey as nervous as I could possibly be. I felt afraid of what would happen if I told them the truth. But I was more afraid of what would happen if I lied and this got worst. I sat there and I was honest, and when the nurse came back with the pamphlets and numbers to call the fear of telling the truth disappeared. I knew I owed it not just to my family, and to myself- but I owed it to all the moms who suffer in silence. I owed it to all of you who had been so amazing to me during this difficult time.
I started to open up to you guys on Instagram about what I was feeling and I was met with an immense amount of support and so many of you guys sharing your stories with me. So many women experiencing the same thing I had been feeling. This is when this truly became my safe haven. Any time I would open up about my mental health I was welcomed with open arms and the undeniable truth that I was not alone. I was not alone in suffering. I was not alone in being stressed. I was not alone in the limbo of loving your kids but feeling overworked and overwhelmed. I was not alone.