Surviving Postpartum Depression

Join me in popping the largest bottle of champagne I could find because Parker is ONE and WE SURVIVED. Everyone in my house is still alive. Not only are we alive, we are stronger than we thought we were a year ago. We are healthier, we are messier, we are sillier, and we love each other deeper than we could’ve ever imagined.

When I wrote my blog post about post-partum depression in June, I wondered when I would be able to write about it on the other side. I wasn’t sure when I would see this day. As a survivor of depression, I am no longer ashamed of how I felt. Quite the contrary, I am proud to have overcome such a trying time in my life. I’m more empathetic and sensitive toward others who are hurting, especially new moms. Perhaps postpartum depression is best summed up with this simple quote from a doctor who said…

This is an illness that takes away a woman’s ability to access joy right at the time she needs it most.”

It took me seven months of being depressed to finally open up and tell others I was hurting. Within 24 hours of publishing the blog post, I had meals lined up, brownies on my doorstep, dozens of text messages, cards in my mailbox, and visitors dropping in to hug my neck and hold my cranky baby. I heard from strangers and long lost friends who identified with my situation in one way or another. And let me tell you, that did me so good. Letting your guard down, and letting people love you when you are hurting. There’s nothing sweeter.

I have a personal conviction that you show up for your people. No matter what, when, or how inconvenient. You show up for your people. After admitting I was depressed, my people showed up for me in a mighty way. Even strangers showed up.

But some people didn’t show up. People that I thought really cared for me. And that hurt. It hurt more than I wish it did. No matter how much you want someone to show up and love you at any time – hurting, or not – they won’t. They won’t reach out. They won’t send a text or make a visit. They don’t care enough. And I’ve {finally} reached the point where I am okay with that. Really, it’s okay. I’ve got an incredible army of family and friends who have shown up for me again and again. And for these people, for my village, I am eternally grateful.

With the arrival of Parker’s first birthday, a whole set of emotions I thought I had buried have started to resurface. It’s almost like I am reliving those first few days with him. Having him whisked out of the operating room before I could see him; not holding him until the day after he was born; seeing him for the first time in the NICU with so many wires strung all over his little eight pound body and the cpap securely in place. I remember struggling to hold him for the first time because I didn’t want to mess up the jungle of cords that were helping him to breathe. During this moment in the dimly lit wing of the hospital, time stood still. I just sobbed. I couldn’t believe this was my baby. He almost didn’t look real to me. But even harder emotions were yet to come as I was discharged to go home without my baby. I had a baby, but I didn’t get to take him home. That broke me.

And yet, I survived. Little did I know that this was the first test of a year filled with moments I would simply survive. And you know what I learned…surviving, and just getting by, is okay. I have learned to be okay with getting by, and I have stopped trying to overachieve in every area of my life. I’ve stopped putting so much “mom pressure” on myself. What a relief it is to let go of so many little things that really don’t matter.

If you are going through some dark days where you are knee deep in the trenches of motherhood, here is what I need you to understand – you are not alone. It might be weeks, months, or years down the road, but one day, the light at the end of the tunnel will be your reality. The darkness will subside and you will love being a mom. You will love your baby, and you will love the man that made you a mommy. You will find your new normal, and find joy again. Love will win.

Wherever you are in your postpartum journey, I am cheering you on. And when you are on the other side of this dark season, I’ll be ready to pop a bottle of champagne and toast to you!

Surviving Postpartum Depression

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Originally from Louisiana, Brittney has called Houston home for nearly all her life. Brittney graduated from Houston Baptist University where she was a member of Phi Mu and a four-year cheerleader. It didn’t take long after graduation for her to meet her husband Jeremy on the sand volleyball courts at Memorial Park. She jokes that when marrying Jeremy, she also married LSU because she tied the knot with the most passionate Tiger football fan. Many weekends in the fall, they can be found in the shadows of Tiger Stadium at their big family tailgating party. Brittney has a Master's Degree from LSU and works in secondary education as an administrator and a cheerleading coach. Brittney and Jeremy have three boys, Connor {Nov 2012}, Parker {Nov 2014}, and Ryan {May 2018}. Brittney is a big baby-making, food allergy fighting, NICU surviving mom. Though she grew up surrounded by hairbows, pom poms, and lots of pink, Brittney now embraces being a boy mom. She loves raising her three boys and learning all about superheroes, baseball, and the pain of stepping on a lego when barefoot. In her kid-free time she enjoys working on craft projects, getting lost in a good book, and watching Grey's Anatomy.


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