I can remember endless arguments with Cody during Addie’s first year of life about who was more important, what was more important and how busy I was.
I didn’t have a job that paid any sort of money. I didn’t have any major hobbies. All I had was a cute baby and a major case of postpartum depression. I was probably a fairly miserable person to be around if we’re being honest.
When I talk to people about the differences between then and now, clearly the most obvious one for myself is no PPD. When I get the follow up question of “Why do you think it missed you this time?” I’m left with about a dozen different answers but one overwhelming sense of gratitude that I wasn’t blindsided by depression this time around. Just what are some of the differences with my second baby? Only just about everything.
I was smacked with antenatal depression at about six months. I sought out treatment and chose to stay medicated to the end (I continue to be on the same medication.) I found the right medication for me and staying consistent with it along with taking care of myself in general (ZOMG SO MUCH WATER DRINKING) has helped to keep me level headed and functioning.
When Addie came home from the hospital she came “home” to a tiny one bedroom apartment with endless possibilities in front of us. Cody was in undergrad full time as well as working graveyards at a mindless job within the post office so in a sense we were both living completely separate lives. He began the process of applying to law school and completing LSAT testing while I stayed behind, caring for our baby. We were still fairly young and newlywed so we didn’t really have a firm foundation under us, little did I know it would almost take ending our relationship to make it stronger.
Currently we live in a lovely, comfortable home, Cody has a steady and flexible job that he enjoys, Addie is in school and I have a job that allows me to stay home with my girls but still travel on occasion. Short of really good health coverage we are living our version of the American dream, we are happy, healthy and we have each other.
I know there’s moms out there who are going through what I went through the first time. It does get better. Unfortunately it sometimes has to get much worse to get better, but OH! The better is so wonderful. I lived in fear through most of my pregnancy that PPD was inevitable and that there was no way for me to get around it yet I did. I came through unscathed and with a whole new appreciation for my family, for mothers everywhere and for how good it feels to just feel normal.
I dare say I’m even willing to do this all again someday (that is until I think too hard about my pregnancy. Oof.)