Postpartum Depression & Returning To Work
Updated: Jun 26, 2020
It has been far too long since I have checked in with you all. A lot has happened since bringing Wyatt into the world and I am excited to fill you in. I want to continue the conversation of postpartum depression (PPD) and returning to work after 5 months of maternity leave. If you missed my most recent post, I discuss my postpartum experience after the first several weeks of giving birth.
Before getting pregnant I never felt concerned about PPD. If I'm being honest, I never thought it would happen to me. Fast forward 6 months and I am in the thick of it. I want to preface with the fact that everyone's postpartum experience is different. This post is not meant to scare you. It is meant to help you feel more prepared and or less alone if you are also experiencing PPD.
Let's dive in. Since the day Wyatt was born, my hormones have been all over the place. I wasn't concerned by my emotions in the first few weeks. I knew it was normal to have a wide range of emotions after giving birth. However, a few months had passed and I wasn't feeling any better.
For the past several months I haven't felt like myself. Some days are great and I go about my day like normal. Other days I'm sitting in my car crying on my lunch break. I had no consistency in my mood and I really struggled with not feeling "normal". This is the first week in a long time where I have felt like myself, for consecutive days. I owe a lot of that to my therapist, my husband and myself. I've given myself grace to experience these emotions knowing it wouldn't last forever. I know it's not easy to ask for help and not everyone thinks that seeing a therapist is "normal". For me personally, I didn't care what was "normal". I made the decision to help myself in whatever way I could. I knew I needed to be my own advocate. My husband, family and friends have been extremely supportive. However, it's not fair for them to help me with everything. I wanted to see a therapist that was experienced in PPD so I could better understand my symptoms.
Talking to a therapist doesn't make you weak or crazy. It makes you human. We all have emotions and hardships that we might not be able to overcome on our own. If you are struggling with PPD, or depression in general, I urge you to find a therapist that you are comfortable with. If you don't mesh with the first one you see, don't give up. I have seen a few therapists over the years for anxiety and I never really connected with them. When I found my current therapist it was a game changer. I finally felt understood. She is so knowledgeable and willing to make an effort to help me. Most psychologists or counselors have a bio on their website that describes their style of therapy. I recommend looking up various options and calling a few to help you decide.
Another major change for me has been returning to work. I took 5 months of maternity leave and I had a mix of emotions going back to work. I personally love my job and truly enjoy what I do. I knew that I wanted to go back to work but I also knew it would be really hard leaving Wyatt. I was really struggling the first few weeks. I was really emotional and didn't know if I could keep working 4 days a week.
I finally realized that I felt guilty about being happy at work. I was enjoying my job and then I would suddenly feel guilty for having fun without Wyatt. My therapist ensured me this is totally normal to have these feelings. She also helped me realize that I will be a better mom if I am truly happy. If my job makes me happy, then I need to keep doing it. Wyatt also makes me really happy so I'm learning to be a good mom while also continuing to work. I've learned to be present when I get home from work and on my days off. I focus on enjoying my time with him and my husband.
Becoming a parent is the most amazing experience but that doesn't mean you won't experience hardships. It's okay to have hard days. Just remember that the hard days will pass and you will experience so many amazing memories.
Thank you for reading!