Hayden Panettiere made national headlines for speaking out and getting treatment for her postpartum depression, and more than 10 months after giving birth. I'm not sure if I'm more surprised that people are acting so surprised, or that the little girl from Remember The Titans is now a grown up and a mom.
She's proving that "Baby Blues" aren't just something that start from the first sleepless night and end at that first real smile. They can last as long as they darn well please, and even start before baby makes his or her grand appearance. And there is a full range of ways that it can present itself.
The most basic of mothering roles is monumental in itself, whether you're a first-timer and the craziness therein, or a returning champion with two hands to take care of, well, many more hands.
Pile on the common, yet difficult, issues such as colic, reflux (silent too), and general high needs and fussiness, and you tell me all about how GREAT you are feeling overall. Especially after the consecutive weeks, months and years of scarce and low quality sleep.
Add in uncommon diseases, illnesses, special needs and more, and I can't honestly comprehend how some moms stay standing and smiling through it all. These are superheroes in real life.
Now while celebrities and surely other well-off moms can shuffle to treatment or sanctuary, most of us live in the real world where we have to do our healing while still taking care of everyone, and everything, else.
So, how do we cope?
With that, I will share my brief journey in this arena (the notes will be BRIEF, the JOURNEY is ongoing).
The first 6 weeks of my first son were rough due to colicky symptoms, peaking around week 4-5. At 6 weeks I had to go back to work (for another time and another post) and frankly he outgrew the incessant crying around the same time and was sleeping most nights at 3 months. I'm prone to depression and anxiety, and this was a major trigger, but realized I had PPD too late in the game to help me when I needed help most. Good with eating, bad with teething, but overall we had a good year one. Good enough that we were open to more bundles of joy and was pregnant with son number 2 when number 1 was about 15 months.
As number 2 came along, and a new full-time job along with the pregnancy, I felt these symptoms all along. Combined with life stresses and new challenges with my first son, I went home from the hospital with a prescription for PPD. I knew I had it before we brought him home and through the hormone changes, and reflux that started almost immediately, that foresight of myself and my doctor was critical to making it through the next 18 months and counting here. My additional coping mechanisms included a commitment to my health (reasonable attempts at best but something), counseling for stress management, and best of all, the creation of this website! It was through DownWithSpitUp.com that I really found healing in connecting, sharing and helping others - even if they find these posts and resources years from now.
I still don't get sleep, and managing stress will be a lifelong commitment, but I wouldn't trade a second because it's changed me and made me stronger than I knew I was. My moments of weakness are still plenty but they make the moments of beauty that much better.
And hey, if it takes Hayden Panettiere's pretty face splashed all over the news to spread that message, then she's one of my HEROES. ...(anyone?)....yea maybe I should go take a nap.
Check out the video below!
Spit Up Support Blog
Yea, I went there. Nearly half of all babies spit up, regularly. Some more, some less, and for many it's just plain scary.
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