Updated: Mar 13, 2019
I realized as I re-read my first post that I was kind of vague about why motherhood has caused such a massive shift in my life. So in this post I hope to shed a little more light on that. Firstly, I believe that every woman who becomes a mother experiences a change that is SO BIG that it is difficult to describe - it changes her in a way that is overwhelming and life seems to have restarted when you bring that tiny little human home with you. Everything is different, things feel unfamiliar, you are filled with every emotion there could possibly be, and the dog is just not as important as he was 2 days earlier. Seriously, though! Before you have a baby you think so much of your fur baby(ies) and how they'll adjust and you have grand ideas of how human-baby and fur-baby will be best friends their entire lives. Well I can promise you that the dog was not even on my radar after two days of labour and a day and a half of learning how to do SO MANY THINGS to keep a tiny human alive while in the hospital. In fact, I basically forgot that he existed until we walked in the door at home. But I digress because there is literally a whole other blog post that I could write about our dog and having our first baby. To return to the point - motherhood changes you a lot, no matter who you are. And I know this change doesn't just happen to woman - of course men experience their own father-version of all this, but I don't have experience becoming a father and feel like I should leave that for the men to talk about.
The second reason motherhood has made such an impact on me is because I have had Post-Partum Anxiety with all 3 of my babies. How is this different than "regular" anxiety, you might ask? It differs in that it is brought on by the birth of a child. It typically will show it's ugly face anytime within the first year of babies life. Being diagnosed with anxiety prior to children is not a requirement (I was not, though anxiety runs in my family). It also is not the same as Post-Partum Depression (PPD), though the two often like to piggy-back off each other (thankfully, I have not experienced PPD personally). In very basic terms, PPA is what happens when all of those hormones that get all whacked out from pregnancy, birth AND post-pregnancy do not return to a normal state. Every individual mother experiences it differently just as anyone with generalised anxiety does. I'll write another blog post that talks about what things have been triggers for me, so I won't really go into details on that right now. In short - Post-Partum Anxiety takes this wondrous and life-changing time of a woman's life and adds an entirely new layer of difficulty to it. I would dare say it kind of ruined it for me - becoming a mother. Which just hurts my heart to even type. But thankfully, by God's grace, I did not allow that ruining to prevent me from fighting THROUGH it and continuing to have the family that my husband and I wanted.
I'm sure after reading all that you are wondering what this really looked like for me...and I will be sharing that with you of course. After all, that's why I started this blog! But I need to take this slowly and since it is something I have not talked about publicly until recently, this is scary for me. I need to allow myself to write prequel information so that I feel that my journey will be better understood and received more gently. Maybe to some that seems silly, but we all process hard things in our own way so I guess this is how I process mine. Though I intentionally live my life in a very honest and authentic way this is a story that has only been told to a few before. And really, it's still unfolding since I gave birth to my son just 8 weeks ago. Which makes this a very vulnerable way for me to be working through my experiences. Mental illness is already a subject that is both hard to explain and hard to understand, so being a mother who is experiencing mental health difficulties can be even more intimidating to share openly about.
So I hope you will bear with me as we walk this road together - though there are certain pit stops I want to make along the way, there really is no destination in mind. However long it takes to get where we end up, I hope that you will feel welcome along the way.
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