The Little Blue Pill
I have been going through old posts, grouping them together for my "popular posts" tab at the top and upon going through the posts I realized I never talked about the emotions and feelings I went through after Eli was born.
I've alluded to them here and there but I've never actually explained it. And I've realized that not too many people talk about it, and sometimes when I do talk about what I went through I will have people scoff at the fact that I would speak these things out loud. WHICH IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD.
Just because my experience wasn't like yours or your experience wasn't like mine doesn't mean one of us was wrong. We are humans with different experiences, emotions, backgrounds and hormones.
Prior to having Eli I was always an emotional person. I would get overly attached to character in books, movies or TV shows and cry when said book, movie or TV show concluded. Which sounds weird but I have found that others deal with this also. Doesn't make us any less crazy but still, together we will stand.
That is just a somewhat silly and vague example but trust me, I am an emotional person.
I always joked around with Luke, even before getting married, that when I had a baby I would probably go through a bit of a funk. I imagined myself sitting around and crying.
I didn't imagine myself LOSING MY EVER LOVING MIND. And by that I mean I thought I would cry and cry and feel down. I had no idea that I would be faced with anxiety like I had never felt before.
The emotions I felt after Eli was born were so hard for me to not only comprehend but also to voice. I felt like there wasn't a soul in the world who understood what I was going through. I would look at my baby with more love than I had ever felt wondering what I had done.
How could I bring a baby into the world that I knew nothing about? How was I going to care for him? How would he fit into our lives? WHY did I think this was a good idea? And on and on.
When I would try and talk to someone about my emotions I was met with "oh I was so emotional over my deep love for my baby also". Which did nothing but frustrate me. Why did nobody understand what I was going through? Why could nobody relate? Why did nobody else feel like having a baby was the hardest thing they had ever done (and I'm not talking labor, that was a piece of cake compared to the emotions after I got home)
These thoughts had no influence on my love for my baby. I loved him and cared for him as any mother should. But these thoughts were swirling in my mind constantly which led to fears that I felt I couldn't express.
I kept just "waiting" for the thoughts to go away. Over time the thoughts of wondering how I could care for a baby went away for the most part but they were replaced with anxious thoughts. Thoughts of overwhelming doom and fear. I'm not talking normal fearful thoughts, I'm talking being afraid of everything involving my baby. It was really unhealthy but I was determined to just "get through it".
I continued going through life looking like a normal person, while dealing with intense anxiety at all times. Sometimes it was almost crippling.
At my 6 week postpartum appointment I shared with my doctor what I had been going through. She strongly encouraged that I get on some sort of anxiety medication.
She assured me that my level of anxiety was not normal this far postpartum. I listened to her words, took the prescription home, put it in my desk and never touched it again.
I have no idea why I did this. I would like to blame it on my anxiety. So that's what we will do.
Weeks went by and I was still having anxious thoughts. I would get so stressed out about the smallest things and feel so overwhelmed about virtually nothing. Finally one day I called the nurse and asked her to call me in a prescription. I have no idea why I decided at that moment but I'm so glad I did.
While I don't know for sure what was going through my mind I think part of me as a Christian was scared to get on medication. Wasn't I supposed to turn to God to help me through these things? Was taking a little blue pill my way of saying I can't rely on God, I don't have enough faith, I need something else to help me day to day?
I have come to the conclusion that all of those thoughts were simply part of my anxiety. I do not use my medication as a way to replace my relationship with Christ. I do not think because I take a pill to help relieve me of some anxiety that I do not need to spend time in the word. I do not see the pills as a "be all end all" solution.
And it isn't a cure all, there are times where I still have anxious thoughts and irrational fears and I remember to take it to the Lord, not just pop another pill hoping for a sweet release. I am still accountable for my thoughts and actions, a pill is not a coverall. I am still to take every thought captive.
Taking medication has helped me get a handle on my anxiety. But it has not cured it. I still have to work through it.
Sometimes I do get nervous about having a second baby and going through all of this again, but while I know I can't control my hormones, I can go into it more prepared, knowing what to expect and how to better handle all of it.
Through all of this I have learned that everybody has a different experience. I can't tell others what to expect, just as I hope others won't look at my experience and think I did something wrong or handled it wrong or even be scared of going through it. The joy of my baby boy was well worth all of it.
Posted by Megan at Monday, August 13, 2012
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I am so glad you wrote about this. Everyone's story is different than the other person's, but I know you're not alone in this. I wish I had gotten some kind of prescription when Hudson was born. I'm glad that it helped you and I know that you telling your story will help someone else feel a little more comfortable to ask for help.ReplyDelete
It took me over a year to come out of "the cloudiness" as I like to call it. I was lucky to not have anxiety too much, but I was really affected by all the changes physically, emotionally and the whole new environment around me. I was concerned the second time around, but thankfully it was a very different experience. Hopefully it will be for you too.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing this. I can't relate to the having a baby part, however, I can relate to the struggling w/anxiety and feeling like no one understands what you are going through part. I struggle w/it on and off. Just really wanted you to know you are not alone.:)ReplyDelete
AHH! This is me exactly. I struggled with hormonal stuff and PPD for awhile and had a prescription but beat myself up for feeling like I needed it to be sane. I am currently preggo with number 2 and REALLY nervous about going through what I went through after my first. I am trusting the Lord, my husband and my healthcare providers and this time I will be more outspoken if I am struggling. Last time, I was SO embarrassed and to this day, my family still doesnt know. That only made my depression that much worse. Thanks so much for sharing this and being transparent. Your honesty will help so many just to know that they are NORMAL!ReplyDelete
While my anxiety/depression wasn't (isn't) postpartum related, IT IS REAL, and there are times when medication is necessary! Kurt and I are actually discussing this for me right now. I think you wrote about this perfectly; meds aren't a replacement for Christ. It's a chemical imbalance that needs help.ReplyDelete
Love to you!!!!
Thank you for writing so candidly about your experience. I completely understand the whole attachment to a character scenario! I have a 3 month old baby boy and I really struggled with the anxiety as well. I'm also an overly emotional person. It was rough around our house until I finally broke down and asked for "the little blue pill". It was so hard to do but made things so much better!ReplyDelete
perfectly said, megan! my experience was SO similar. and you're completely right - taking medication doesn't make you any less of a christian. just like if i had the flu, i wouldn't just rely on God to make me well without using the resources (doctors/meds) He provides.ReplyDelete
and if it makes you feel any better, having baby #2 was SO much easier mostly because i was more aware of what my body was going through and i was much more prepared and proactive with handling the anxiety. thanks for sharing! xoxo
so glad to hear you share this...everyone's experience post partum definitely is different! I had plenty of anxious moments & true fear (in relationship to my high blood pressure, post-delivery) of course anxiety & high blood pressure really don't work very well together!ReplyDelete
Thanks for being so honest...I have a feeling you said everything that so many of us are feeling and are just too afraid to share!
Thank you for sharing. I think many new moms can relate. I was a mess of emotions and anxiety that took over me completely. I had a prescription and tucked it away, thinking I would be weak if I took a pill. Im pregnant again and with stories like this and the help and encouragement of other moms I will hopefully get through the crazy anxiety I know I will feel. XoReplyDelete
Way to go for sharing! I went through the SAME thing and was embarrassed to talk about it because of other people's reactions. It's comforting to know others felt the same way!ReplyDelete
THANK YOU! Your story is very similar to my own. I am currently on a medication to deal with anxiety as well. I was suffering quietly for months because I was ashamed and scared and like you no one really understood. I finally went to my doctor and filled the prescription (month after she gave it to me). I am so thankful that I did. I wish others would be as brave as you are with sharing and talking. Maybe it would help other women to know they aren't alone and that anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing this-- I can totally relate as I went through the same thing with intense anxiety issues following the birth of my first son (born just a few weeks after your sweet Eli!). Again, thank you for sharing your story, it always helps to know you're not alone!ReplyDelete
I am a regular reader but have never commented. Thank you for writing about this. I went through the same thing after the birth of my son. I didn't want to talk to anyone about it and felt like I wasn't doing my job. No one else ever told me about how you might feel after giving birth and I wish more people would.ReplyDelete
I don't know where I'd be without my little blue pill! It has changed my life which in turn has made my family a better one.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for posting about your experience! I know that motherhood and pregnancy can be so fulfilling and happy, and yet overwhelming and scary too! I am a definite advocate of the little blue pill, and have been for may years. I am also very torn because now I am not sure how I will get off of it when I decide to become pregnant. My doctor is okay with me taking right now but I'm not sure how I feel about being on any medication while pregnant. Just wondering what your thoughts are. I would love other Mom's opinions or those who are trying to become pregnant.ReplyDelete
I'm also taking a little pink pill...and have been since I began having panic attacks in grad school almost 20 years ago. I too struggled as a Christian with my "need" for medication. Thanks for being transparent. You are not alone in your struggle.ReplyDelete
I'm terrified of feeling this way postpartum. I'm currently pregnant and an overly emotional person as it is. I'm afraid I won't be able to handle it :(ReplyDelete
Thank you for your honesty!!
I love this post and you and your heart and the way you reach people through your blog and make them feel less alone . . . you rock :-)ReplyDelete
Kudos to you for writing this post. You're right, this is like one of the taboo subjects when it just shouldn't be. Truth? I probably should have taken my emotions post Ella more seriously than I should. It probably would've helped me focus more on my newborn than on the constant waterfalls coming out of my eyes. But.. I didn't know. Thanks to this, now maybe some other Mom won't put off that talk.ReplyDelete
Thanks for writing this. I am so afraid I'm going to have the baby blues afterwards at some point in the future and it's good to know I've got someone that I can talk to about it!ReplyDelete
I am so glad you shared this Megan! I had a similar experience with baby #2. I had a lot of emotion, depression and anxiety trying to get used to being a Mom of two. I went to see a therapist but still have that prescription in a drawer. I felt horrible taking something while nursing. By the grace of God I got better on my own, not everyone does and I am so glad you did what was right for you! Thanks do much for sharing, it's nice to know we are not alone!ReplyDelete
Visiting from Blue Eyed Bride, where she mentioned this post. What a great post, I appreciate your honesty and your perspective.ReplyDelete
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