I haven't had baby girl yet, but today I want to talk about postpartum depression. As someone who has struggled with depression for years, combined with my current status as an expectant mother, my ears perk up a little whenever I hear that phrase thrown around a conversation. Take yesterday, for example.
Yesterday was day two of our prepared childbirth class. It also happened to be our last day, so, technically, I guess we're "prepared". Maybe in the sense of I have a really informative booklet sitting on the table in front of me, but not many other senses. One topic of yesterday's class was postpartum depression; symptoms, treatments, past stigma, and the importance of open dialogue. Consider this post the beginning of my open dialogue. Sure, I've completed the class, but I don't feel prepared for tackling the care of newborn baby, birth recovery, sleepless nights, irritability (mine, Chad's, baby's, all of the above), new schedules (or no schedules), uncertainty, a roller coaster of hormonal responses, and potential postpartum depression.
What is one to do?
Recently, Chad and I were having a conversation about what we would do if we had "lots of money". Somewhere in the banter I said I would throw lots of fun dinner parties. Chad's response? Do it now. Live today like you would if you had "fill in the blank with whatever you feel life would be better accompanied by".
I got to thinking about how I would handle postpartum depression if I find myself in his company. I've read blogs, books, considered natural remedies, taken notes in classes, and-silly enough-worried. (Hence, this post.) As I continue to contemplate whether or not I will take any specific post-birth treatment measures, I plan to take my husband's advice and live today in a way that just might make life better if I do fall into postpartum depression.
1. Spend face to face time with people who care about and love me. Pour into them as they pour into me.
2. Exercise and eat well. (This will start after I publish this post, since I just helped myself to three pieces of chocolate. Hey, we can't all be perfect.)
3. Create and continue an open dialogue where I honestly share how I am feeling. (This counts as a start, right?)
4. Pray without ceasing. If the same power that conquered the grave lives in me, it certainly can conquer postpartum depression. If willing, pray alongside me!
5. Speak life!
6. Reach out to the SO many mothers I know who walk with the Lord and are the brightest lights to their family and children.
I don't know what awaits me following the birth of this wee little one, but her presence-even in the midst of this blog's subject matter-makes me one giddy and excited lady!
If you're a mom, I'd love to hear how you anticipated the potential onset of postpartum depression or walked through it. Heck, you can share it with me at my next dinner party! :)