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Age: 26 | Pregnancy: #2, baby boy | Current Gestation: 25weeks
ROUND TWO?!?! ALREADY?!!? It feels like just yesterday (cliché, I know) since Miss Baby Bubbler was brought into this world. At the same time.. HOW has it only been two years? How is it that I've known this little human for just a fraction of my life, yet can't remember a time without her?
You may remember my blogs about pregnancy from 2018, if not, they're fairly informative and a mildly comical read -> Part1/2 & Part 2/2. Well.. a lot of these things still hold true, but pregnancy #2 has taught me a few more life lessons that I would love to share with you guys. Including personal struggles, pregnant life with a toddler, and finding myself through the "mom" title, while balancing an ever growing business.. and belly. But my main focus for today?
My dear old friend, Post Partum Depression.
You get tired of hearing pregnancy stories when you're pregnant, so I'll spare you the details. Pregnancy with Keira= so amazing it makes other moms shoot daggers into my soul. Morning sickness? Not really. Tired? Nope. Cranky? Nope. Braxton Hicks? Nope. Birth? Necessary Caesarian with super easy recovery. AFTER?!
You got me there. We had a lot of changes going on, (business relocation, rebrand, move across the country, first house purchase and.. oh yeah.. OUR FIRST BABY). All within the first 3 months of her life. And to be quite honest, I suffer from depression at the best of times. Let alone through changes (which I'm GROWING to not despise AS much).
And then things evened out. Things got better. I was able to ween off my PPD medication and handle life again. I remember literally looking at Justin- Keira fast asleep in her bed while we watched RuPauls Drag Race- saying "I feel like we have our shit together, like REALLY have our shit together. That can't be a good sign." (Because I'm always so optimistic *Insert husband's eye roll here*) but he agreed. We were settling into our house, the business was starting to get traction, Keira was the most well behaved little girl who slept through the night religiously (DAGGERS!), we were recovering from the debt of moving every aspect of our life across the country. Things felt right. So we said "Let's complete our family."
Aaaaaaand suddenly my ducks turned into squirrels. They were no longer in a row. And someone fed them all freaking pixie sticks.
The first trimester was met with morning sickness. Not the "spittle" that comes with excitement of "Tee hee I had a bit of morning sickness." for a grand total of 3-times-the-entire-trimester. No. This was head-in-the-toilet; morning, noon and night asking why the kind pregnancy-gods had forsaken me. For they had.
The joyful, happy, glowing pregnant lady who had once carried my daughter was no where to be found. I was exhausted, nauseated, short tempered.. and that's when panic struck. PPD. How am I going to manage Post Partum Depression, a baby, a toddler, household responsibilities AND A FREAKING BUSINESS?!?!??!?
Fast forward a few months into the second trimester and this thought began to replay and spin out of control in my head. We also decided (for some reason all decisions must be made whilst I grow or birth a child) to change our business structure to better encourage growth. Panic attacks struck me down. To the point where my husband physically had to pick me up off our bathroom floor and sing kumbaya as he rocked me back and forth. I ugly cried for days.
Isolating myself in my own tornado-ing thoughts of "I'm going to be depressed. I won't be a good mom. I'm going to be depressed. I won't be a good team member. I'm going to be depressed. I'm going to ruin the business. I'm going to be depressed. my husband's going to leave me. I'm going to be depressed."
Then I'd breathe.
I'm a good mom. I'm a hard worker. I make amazing products. My husband loves me. WHO ELSE WOULD SING KUMBAYA TO YOU WHILE YOU UGLY CRY IN PAJAMAS ON YOUR BATHROOM FLOOR LADY!!! Right. My partner. For a minute, I didn't see his effort, his love, his support or his helping hand. But it's there, it's always there. Because we're partners. Life, love and business. At the end of it all, our goal is to high-five each other and say we had a great life, together.
I have a support network. I have a loving, patient partner. I am an advocate for my own mental health. I have (healthy) coping mechanisms that I can utilize. I WILL sleep again. I (kind of) remember what to do with a newborn. I have the liberty of bringing him to work if need be. Keira will still be loved. She will always be our little girl. Billions of woman have birthed children before me. Billions have had the "Baby Blues" or Post Partum Depression. I GOT THIS.
So how do I plan to "have this"? Prep work and SELF CARE. Do I plan to breastfeed? Yes, but I will also have a container of formula in the cupboard should I get to my breaking point and not want to be touched for 30 minutes.
My sanctuary, my baths. Although post birth baths may not be possible for a couple weeks, our Body Bombs are perfect for just such occasion so I can continue to get my aromatherapy. I also plan on stock piling bath salts for when I can rejoin my regular tub time routine.
My confidence? I have a LOT of hair, which I typically cut myself, but after baby I fully plan on making the transition into my post partum body as easy as possible. Including things like a professional hair cut to help boost my confidence. Deep treating with a DIY hair mask of egg, coconut oil & honey (slightly warmed on the stove) is another way to feel a little more Feminine in a severely depleted hormonal body.
I also plan to schedule something extra, something special, prior to birth for the month following delivery, like a massage or a float. This gives me something to look forward to, AND gets me out of the house when my maternal instincts of needing to nest and stay in (important, but occasionally in over drive) may prevent me from booking the appointment post birth.
But my best plan of attack, of all time, ever?
COMMUNICATION. Justin & I have gotten a lot better over the years, after realizing just HOW important it is. I remember driving back home in silence after an argument, both of us angry and unsure of how to communicate our feelings, when Justin simply turned to me and said "I really want to talk, but I just don't know where to start." And that alone opened the gates of communication, leading to a better understanding of each other and a quick makeup. It's so simple, can be HIGHLY uncomfortable, but is so worth it. Every day, all day.
Feeling overwhelmed? Talk it out. Too overwhelmed to talk it out? Make a list and text it. We're certainly not perfect, but we try to improve every day, and it's what makes life SO much more enjoyable.. and life-changes easier to handle. Whether it's your partner, your parent, your friend or your sibling, make sure you communicate how you're feeling. No one knows your inner thoughts but you. Don't get stuck in that tornado.
I truly hope this has helped anyone going through similar emotions or issues to see that they are not alone. You are worthy of love. You are strong. You can fight.
You can do this mama.
And please, if you think you may have Post Partum Depression, or even the Baby Blues, tell your health care provider right away, or call 811 to get the ball started. You don't need to suffer in silence <3
Love you, mamas.