The circle of women surrounding me had some pretty heavy stories circulating about their postpartum experiences. I had been attending a breastfeeding support group where throughout the hour we could share any stories or ask any questions about breastfeeding, or anything else that we needed to let out as a new mom. The more visits I had, and the more comfortable I became, there were some questions I had inside of me. Not necessarily about breastfeeding, although that was sucking big time. More like how hard this adjustment to motherhood was for me.

I knew I had a hard time adjusting to change. Moving was hard and I felt myself always sad about letting go of a home, graduating college was very challenging for me and I was very depressed about letting go and fearful of the future, and leaving the city for the suburbs took me five years to get used to. So it didn’t surprise me that the biggest change in my life, becoming a mother, was extremely difficult. I look to the past a lot, which I believe was the main contributor to my postpartum depression.

Now let me say one thing first, I was never diagnosed with postpartum depression nor am I a doctor myself. But I’m finally honest with myself that I definitely had it. But it was different than other moms’ stories. I was functioning, eating, and I even went back to school with goals to be a health coach. I’d listen to other’s stories at my breastfeeding support group (breastfeeding was a main source of my depression) and there were some pretty heavy stories. Mine didn’t seem to compare to theirs. Who was I to complain about having a really hard time adjusting to my new role, letting go of my career, resentment towards my husband, loneliness, boredom, sadness, regret, and a slew of other emotions that may just be me adjusting to being a mom. I’ve never been good with change, so maybe this is just another situation that I have to deal with on my own and it will eventually get better?

I would keep my mouth shut and just talk about my boobs and ask questions about breastfeeding. I was passing the postpartum depression tests at my pediatrician’s office so I thought I was making a big deal out of something that really wasn’t. I didn’t have the “Postpartum Depression”, “Postpartum Anxiety”, “Postpartum OCD”, or “Postpartum Psychosis” stamps so I didn’t feel what I was going through was worth bringing up. But I was so wrong.

Even if you don’t have a formal diagnosis, or if a doctor brushes you off as “fine” because you don’t exhibit enough symptoms (note: just because you’re showing up for work doesn’t mean you’re functioning and mentally healthy while you’re there), you still have a REASON to talk about your feelings. Your feelings are valid, true, and need to be acknowledged. And even if you’re still not diagnosed after talking about your feelings, you’re still having a HARD time adjusting to motherhood and deserve to heal like anyone else. If you don’t acknowledge, talk, and work through what you’re going through… you could be like me where it took a good four years to enjoy being a mom. Don’t wait. Find the courage and know what you’re going through isn’t how motherhood has to be. Break through the bricks to find the help and solutions in order to find happiness and enjoy the mother you’re meant to be.


Michelle Mansfield Blog

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