Friday, February 3, 2012

Feeling Blue

I've been feeling a bit down for some reason. Ok, lets be honest, its been awhile that Ive been feeling down. Ok, lets be more honest, I've been feeling down since Paxton was born. Some days, I'm just a bum all day and other days, it doesn't even phase me. I went from working full-time and always being out of the house to staying in the house ALL DAY for 7 days a week while taking care of my 1st child. It was a hard adjustment. No one ever really talks about life after the baby comes and if or when they do they say, "ohhh life is SO wonderful. I have SO much energy that I just don't know what to do with it all.  I love my life. blah blah blah" For some people, that may be true but for the other 99% of women, its HARD. Learning how to take care of another life, learning how to breastfed, learning how to adjust to staying home rather then going out, and learning how to deal with all these things when you are very sleep deprived. Its hard. And since everyone knows that I don't sugar coat anything, allow me to share my struggle with you.

 Last March, I went to my family doctor in California and with 6 questions, she told me I had depression. What were those 6 questions you ask?

  • Did you have a traumatic delivery? Yes, i had a traumatic delivery but it could've been a lot worse
  • Do you eat 3 meals a day? No, I usually just snack
  • Do you sleep fine? No, I have to take Ibuprofen PM every night because i get bad headaches and it takes me forever to fall asleep
  • Do you love your baby? OF COURSE I LOVE MY BABY. This has nothing to do with my baby
  • Do you have energy? No, not really. Im usually tired from taking care of my baby. 
  • Do you have a sex drive? No, definitely NO sex drive. Could it be the IUD?
As I finish answering the first 3 questions, she immediately started writing on her prescription pad. Her reply: You have depression. Here is a prescription. It'll be very, very rough to get through the first 6 weeks you start taking it so i want to see you back in in 6 weeks. I told her that I live in Utah and that I won't be able to be back here in 6 weeks for a follow up. So she scheduled a phone call appointment where she would call me and check up on me. She then turned to my mom and asked if she could go to Utah and be my support as well as with Marc. Must be some kind of drugs, if A) she is making a phone call appointment and NOT getting paid and B) if she's trying to talk my mom into staying with me for 6 weeks. As we left the appointment, i immediately didn't feel right about taking anti-depressants. I guess i just didn't want to be the "new mom" all "drugged up" because her life is "so miserable". That was not the case. I was sealed to the man of my dreams in the temple. I have a beautiful new baby boy. I am lucky to be a stay at home mom and wife. So why did I just feel so alone and empty? 

After numerous prayers and talking with the husband, I decided not to take it. It just didn't feel right. And to be honest, I felt like those questions were too broad. Everyone whether they have a baby or not, may answer yes and no to some of those questions. Not everyone eats 3 meals a day. Not everyone has energy every single day. Not everyone can fall asleep immediately when their head hits the pillow and not everyone can stay asleep at night with no interruptions. I thought to myself, SELF: Your fine. And I am. I know that I am because I know that Im not alone in this. Heavenly Father has helped me SO much during this time. I know that Heavenly Father wouldn't send down one of his precious children to me and be out of our lives completely. I know that Heavenly Father listened to all my 27523723445238 prayers every other minute when I was struggling and needed help or needed comfort. It was a huge testimony builder to finally realize that for myself. I am so grateful for the opportunity Heavenly Father gave me to become a mother and to raise one of his precious children in the gospel. I am so grateful that we were sealed together as a family in His Holy House and I am so grateful for the challenging times I faced when Paxton was a newborn because it truly drew me closer to Him.

Nowadays, instead of letting me feel sorry for myself and instead of feeling so alone and empty, I immediately dismiss those ideas and I get up and do something. My house has never been so spotless and organized and my child has never been more nurtured and loved on. It is an awesome accomplishment and I am so proud to say that Ive come out on top of this trial with a better understanding of it. It also helps me to remember the importance of raising our children in the gospel. I can honestly say that without the gospel in my life, I know I would not have been able to overcome this not medicated. AND who knows what kind of mother I would be. Who knows, where I would be and what I would be doing. It scares me to even think of why life would be like had I not come back to the church.

I want any mother to know that it is OK to have these feelings. Its natural. Just always remember that you are NOT alone. When my mom had to go back to California after being with me for 3 weeks, I was devastated. But instead of relying on her, I had to rely on the Lord. I am so happy that I did.


  1. I think depression is a pretty normal thing as women, especially moms. There is a lot going on in your body- post-baby, also a lot going on emotionally (lots of guilt, stress, failures). I think you made a good choice to deal with the depression face on and not with drugs. Always better to try not using the medication than not medication. There are SO many better ways to address depression, we used to be friends with a therapist and she said that scientifically you have to change your thought processes and that at least six or something times a day think about what you have done that was good, what you could have done better, and then another question (I'm fuzzy) and that after a few weeks of that that you will start to see a difference. I'm sure you could do some research about it, but it does work. We all slip in and out of depression (rather, I do) and it's a crucial life skill to know how to address it. Keep up the good work, every day we all get better and better at this woman thing! Also yes, I do think it is an IUD thing, I've got a Mirena and have really struggled with my hormone levels. I take progesterone cream to help counter balance, but there is something real about being seriously hormonally messed up with a Mirena, I think. Anyways, sorry for a long response, but I just wanted to tell you that we're all kind of having similar-ish experiences.

  2. Beautiful post, Heather. I don't know if you've ever seen any of my posts on my blog, but I can relate to you 100%. I am proud of you for coming out on top and overcoming it without the use of drugs. While drugs are not BAD in all cases, I don't think prescribing them to every woman after birth is necessary. Sometimes there are some other things that are deeper and more psychological that should be overcome instead of being blanketed by anti-depressants. It's not always just a hormone imbalance!

    I totally give you props for helping spread the vision that motherhood is NOT always "I love this job so much" and that it's more work than we realize. AND for showing that it can be done with hard work and perserverance and reliance upon the Lord! You go girl. :)