I wrote in a previous post about my excitement of finding out that I was pregnant with my second child and soon after, the negative feelings that ensued after hearing the reactions of others, craving some “me time” from a very demanding 18 month old and a husband who was/is so excited about the news, it literally was annoying theee shit out of me. Oh! and by this time, I had gotten the news that I was having twins. I still feel compelled to defend the fact that I, in no way, shape or form, regret any of my children but crying almost everyday in my first trimester left me with no other explanation except for the fact that I was indeed depressed.
I had concerns about money, losing my great job, my son losing all of his mother to two other children, my husband deploying again and really just flat out losing my damn mind!
When I was pregnant with Gabriel, many of my fears stemmed from having so many miscarriages before him. The loss was enough for me to tread lightly, not have any expectations and to savor every single piece of good news that I received; even if it meant not sharing it with anyone else until I was ready. But just as soon as he was born, I went from celebrating a love like none that I have ever felt before to literally feeling like the most incompetent person walking the Earth. I had entered the world of post-partum depression. I cried when Gabe cried, I cried when he slept, I cried when I showered, I cried when I cooked and I cried even more when there was no one to talk to and felt like everyone had that basic “Ashley expectation” that my sisters and I joke about where I need to push through because “I will be alright, I always find a way”.
I wish we could bring light to this issue because it exist. Depression is not as culturally accepted as we may think and as unfortunate as it may sound, I have had to push through for a very, very long time. Sometimes even still dealing with things others looked at as growing pains from childhood lingering into my adult life. Never touched, never resolved. Maybe if I had known having a child of my own would stir up these emotions, I could better navigate through my crying sessions? Okay, maybe not but acknowledging what sets these wheels in motion could help women get involved in activities and or positive behaviors that keep them in a positive mind frame.
Some of the main triggers I have seen and read about include but are not limited to: Previous pregnancy loss, history of depression, current relationship problems/ toxic relationships, stressful life events/stressful lifestyle and even trauma experienced in childhood.
Depression is real. Depression before, during and after pregnancy is real as well and instead of placing a band-aid on our mental health issues with medication or non-informative talks on hormonal imbalances, we need to bring light to this issue. Building stronger women who don’t feel guilt or resentment for bringing life into the world. Encouraging them and definitely letting them know they are not alone. Treat yourself with love and remember, you are a WOMBman – powerful beyond measure.
Have you experienced depression before, during or after pregnancy? Please feel free to comment below and let me know how you are fighting to reach the best version of yourself. Thanks for reading.