Tag Archives: Birth

” Like Momma Not like Daughter”

As I said in a previous post, my husband and I “planned” to wait for atleast 2 years after we got married to have children. I was in no exceptional hurry to have children. I  had a desire to get married and have children one day, but it was not at the top of my priority list because I had career goals and other life goals that were important to me before I settled down. So i knew when I was ready to have children I would be all in, beyond excited, ready and waiting with great expectancy to embrace and love my children to be.

My mother always talked about not having morning sickness in any of her pregnancies. She was fortunate to not be a “victim”(lol, but seriously that’s how bad it can get for some of us) of it. She would get nauseous, but her cure was, first thing in the morning, she would take her finger, put it in the back of her throat and bring up the (yellow) bile, that most of us get with morning sickness, and once that would come up she would be fine and there would be no vomiting. Momma dearest, thankfully, did not suffer with any complications such as Preeclampsia or Gestational Diabetes. Preeclampsia is when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure in pregnancy and it can also continue in postpartum and a pregnant woman is diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes when she has high blood sugar levels. Both of these conditions if not treated with proper medical care can be harmful to both momma and baby. Overall, my mother was a happy glowing pregnant woman. I, on the other hand was the polar opposite. I may have been glowing on the outside, which my co-workers, family and friends would say, but on the inside I was a hot mess! You can only smile but so much through the most harsh symptom I had, around the clock (morning) sickness!

I often heard that you carry/go through pregnancy the way your mom did. THAT WAS A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL! Atleast it was for me. I still consider myself blessed because I also did not have any complications such as Preeclampsia or Gestational Diabetes, but the symptoms I did have made me quite miserable.  I won’t sit here and say that is the circumstance or will be the circumstance for anyone else, but if you have yet to experience pregnancy be open to the fact that every pregnancy has its differences, so your mother, sister or cousin’s situation may not be your own. There may be similarities, but there will certainly be differences. You may even read a few books, read some articles on what the “symptoms/signs of pregnancy” are, but your pregnancy may not fit that profile either. Prime example, the cable network TLC had a show that they aired titled ” I didn’t Know I was Pregnant”. All of these women went through the whole 9-10 mths. of pregnancy thinking that their “symptoms” were attributed to everything but pregnancy. Some smoked cigarettes, drank alcoholic beverages, exercised vigorously, lost weight or barely gained weight and ended up birthing full-term healthy babies..NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE! The most interesting detail to their stories is that they all found out they were pregnant after intense pressure of labor and delivery and most of them were at the very final stage of labor where no medical intervention (e.g. an epidural) could be given. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT! Well don’t:), instead be open to the impossible and as I often say, “Never say never cause you never know”.

“Never the Same”

As a licensed psychotherapist I knew about postpartum mood disorders; postpartum blues, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. I knew that it could happen to anyone, including me. These disorders vary in their impact on a mother’s daily functioning after delivery of her baby. Postpartum literally means after birth (of a child). Postpartum psychosis is the most extreme of the three in the way it is expressed, postpartum depression second in intensity and then postpartum blues. Regardless of which of the three a momma is suffering with, it is a challenging journey to walk on, but can be overcome with social support, therapy and medication if necessary.

And so…

I figured that as long as I educated myself as much as possible about pregnancy, birth and motherhood, with the support of my husband and my extended family I would have a positive postpartum experience. My husband and I decided to take our time before we had children and I thought that would definitely help us transition from being a married couple enjoying “a grown folks only lifestyle” to becoming a married couple with “a settled down family lifestyle”. We had it all planned out, or so we thought. Now, don’t get me wrong, we were not naive about the not so good times that would come along with the good times of being parents and we knew the road of parenthood would not be perfect; but postpartum blues/depression was far from our minds.

Of course our primary desire was to have healthy children regardless of the gender of the baby, but I must admit a part of me wanted my firstborn to be a son. I always said if I had children I would want a boy first, which I believe stems from me having an older brother and the close bond we shared and continue to have to this day. I admired, respected and almost idolized my brother when I was growing up and the good times we had were priceless so I knew I would want nothing less than the same if not similar dynamics between my future children; a boy and a girl. So, I prayed and asked God for my boy and when it was confirmed that I was having a boy I was beyond ecstatic and felt so blessed

And then…..

After having my son, I mean immediately after having him, my world, my body, my mental state changed. I CHANGED! Once I was told that I would have to have a cesarean birth AKA C-section after 16 hours of active labor, I literally went numb. All of a sudden I felt like I was having an outer body experience. This couldn’t be happening to me! What did I do wrong?!?!! And from that point blaming myself and feeling like “I wasn’t good enough” was the central theme of my postpartum disorder. I had postpartum depression that appeared to be postpartum blues in the beginning, but because of the length of time and the magnitude of the emotions I experienced it was definitely postpartum depression. How could I be so excited to have a child, even more excited to have a son, and read articles, books and watch documentaries, but become disconnected postpartum. I had no reference point to return to because I was not the same woman, even more so, no longer was I walking on the same journey because I CHANGED, having my son left me no choice but to change. I couldn’t see clearly through my tears and my feelings of hopelessness to know that it does get better.

The key to getting better was accepting the change and realizing that I could not get better on my own. They say every doctor needs a doctor, so I let go of my knowledge, my title, my credentials and just let myself be me, a new mom who didn’t have it all together and THAT WAS OKAY TO SAY OUTLOUD! It was also more than okay for me to seek counseling even though I am a counselor myself. Although I did not remain in counseling for a long period of time, I went to enough sessions to get clarification on connecting these new emotions to the events that triggered them and obtained the tools that I needed to cope. I never became the woman that I used to be, but how could I, she no longer existed and once I came to terms with that, I began to have an indescribable peace. So, connect the dots and find peace in the change :)..

Here are some articles/websites that go into detail of every facet of postpartum mood disorders. Knowledge is power and it may not be your issue, but because 1 in every 7 women will suffer with a postpartum mood disorder there is a strong chance that you will encounter someone who could benefit from your knowledge and support. Be aware of the signs because sometimes someone is suffering in silence.


http:// www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/depression-pregnancy.html#moreInfo

http:// www.postpartumprogress.com/