POSTPARTUM RESOURCES

A Journey To Postpartum Healing: Kelly’s Story

Let's Thrive Postpartum | Postpartum Healing

 

Ever feel like parenthood isn’t all sunshine and rainbows? Yeah, us too. Today, Kelly Siebold gets real about her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety. We’re talking fertility treatments, surprise C-sections, and the whole “not feeling myself” thing that hit her weeks later. From battling intrusive thoughts to finding the right therapist, Kelly spills the tea on her journey to healing. Plus, she’s created an awesome online space for moms to connect and get support. It’s all about honesty, helpful tips, and reminding you that you’re not alone. Tune in, mamas!

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

A Journey To Postpartum Healing: Kelly’s Story

We are happy that you’re here.

Ashley, how’s your day going?

It’s been a little interesting. My kids had a tougher-than-normal drop-off at school and both cried. All the kids at school everywhere were crying and it was a little stressful. It took longer than normal. I have an extra large cup of coffee and we’re going to keep the day rolling. It’s Friday.

It’s been a day, the end of a long week. Hopefully, you guys are having a great start to your week.

What about you, Kelly? How is everything going so far?

It’s been good. My husband was on drop-off duty. It’s nice when you get a little moment, not in the drop-off line, enjoying the day. Thank you all for joining us. In this episode, we are going to jump in and talk about how postpartum depression and anxiety pretty much changed my and Ashley’s life. We want to tell you our story, why we’re here, and walk you through the good, the bad, and what it was like for us. Ashley, anything you want to add?

Kelly’s Story

I think that covers it. Kelly here is going to share her story and experience, and how it’s changed things for her. That’s what part of this show is all about. It is giving a real talk, a dose of reality and honesty to everybody out there about what postpartum depression looks like, what it feels like and how you can move through it. Kelly, thank you so much for being willing to open up and share. It’s going to be powerful and helpful for everybody out there.

That is our goal. We want to normalize that this is the number one birth complication from pregnancy. It’s very normal that 1 in 5 moms will get postpartum depression and anxiety. We don’t talk a lot about what it means and feels like, normalizing that and that’s one of the things we want to start doing. My story, my daughter is a little over two. Thinking back to 2022, we were right at the beginning of the second year of COVID. Shots were becoming a thing, but we were overly cautious while I was pregnant and while our daughter was a newborn to be on the safe side. That brought on some social isolation. Thinking through that as we’re going through this story.

1 in 5 moms will get postpartum depression and anxiety. We don't talk a lot about what it means and feels like, which is why normalizing this experience is one of our goals. Share on X

I had a child late in life. I didn’t meet my husband until my very late 30s. He was in his 40s. When we decided to get married and have a kid, I was pushing 40. It didn’t happen right away. We went down the fertility route. We ended up doing IVF. That was their recommendation for us. Luckily, we had a wonderful doctor. If you’ve ever done IVF or fertility drugs, you become a crazy person. The amount of hormones that we shot through me, I was not a sane person for about 6 to 8 months, which was fun.

We got extremely lucky in the fact that we did get an embryo. It did work and we did have a daughter on the first try, which is rare. We were very lucky that way. Getting pregnant was great. We were still doing hormone shots to keep me pregnant and people love pregnancy. I never got that glow. I got sick the entire time I was pregnant. It wasn’t bad enough to have the diagnosis and you’re put in the hospital. It was constantly every day sickness for nine months. I’m still happy to be pregnant. That was our goal. We didn’t know that was going to happen. It was not relevant for pregnancy. I was sick and it wasn’t fun at all, then childbirth wasn’t bad.

I was induced because I was 41 at this point. They had planned an induction to make sure that everything was okay because I was a geriatric pregnancy, which is the absolute worst term to call it. She ended up getting stuck. We didn’t come out so we did the C-section. It was fine. She had some birth complications, nothing serious, but at the moment, she had jaundice.

She was under a heat lamp for 23 hours a day. There wasn’t any of that cuddling. You couldn’t hold your baby for 3 or 4 days. It is the experience. You miss some of it. That started the anxiety from the front, “Is she going to be okay?” It wasn’t anything bad. It was enough to bring that mom’s anxiety into the picture. I did pretty well for the first six weeks. What do you do for the first six weeks? You were straight surviving. We were living off of no sleep. I had a C-section so I couldn’t move a lot. There wasn’t a whole lot of walking your baby down the street, but we were surviving. Despite the sleep deprivation at the end of the day, in my core, I still felt like who I was.

I was still me. I was still happy. I went through the baby balloons like everybody does the ups and downs. About week six came and it hit me like a truck out of the blue. I have never been depressed in my life. It was this feeling that I was suddenly in a very dark hole where I was all alone. I was no longer me. This was never going to end. I was never going to feel better. This was now my life. It was this extremely dark and lonely place. I wasn’t by myself. I had a husband. I had great friends that I could have asked for help. When you’re in that moment, it was extremely isolating mentally. It affects everything I do. I don’t have any pictures of my child with me. I have one for her first nine months. I didn’t want to be in pictures.

When you're depressed, it's incredibly isolating mentally. It affects everything you do. Share on X

It’s one of those weird, the lows were low, and then my anxiety went through the roof at about the same time. I may have been an anxious person growing up, but suddenly I worried about everything. I didn’t know that was normal. After she was born she had food allergies and GERD. She could never lay flat. She couldn’t do tummy time. You couldn’t lay her down flat to sleep. She had to sleep upright. In other words, she was in pain. I started having all these worries about what if she could never eat real food. What if she’s always going to be in pain? What if she can never lay flat in a bed again?

All these things that were valid consumed every thought I had. That’s the triggering point. If you think back a couple of years ago, there was a baby food shortage and that crisis. Because our daughter had food allergies, she was on a very specific formula. That was affected by that. We didn’t know where her food was coming from. I had people all over the country, friends and family looking, going to stores trying to find this food. I had a relative in France who offered to try to figure out how to ship someone to the country for us.

It was crazy and extra anxious, “How am I going to feed my child?” We ended up finding Facebook groups, not black marketing, but finding people who had extra copy versions that could send us some. It was that feeling of, “Is it ever going to be okay? How am I unprepared for this?” I was stressed and worried all the time. I thought, “How was I not prepared for this?” That became this vicious cycle where my worries made me more depressed. That made me worry more. It kept going in this very unhealthy spiral downward, then I think because my anxiety was high, I got extreme mom rage. I’m not usually a mad person, but the instant flashes of mom rage are real that would come out to my child who was innocent or did nothing, or to my husband.

Following that, I would have moments of complete dissociation, which means all the emotions went away and you were looking at yourself from the outside. I never experienced that. It was one of those very weird moments in life. I still at that point was thinking, “I can do this. I can hold on. Maybe this is normal. I’ve never had a kid. Maybe this is what motherhood is like.” I got intrusive thoughts. I didn’t know what intrusive thought was. That’s what my therapist told me. I started out in the middle of the day, getting these flashes and it was like somebody held up a Polaroid picture.

If you remember Polaroids, it was a black-and-white picture that popped into my head. There was no timeframe, no rhyme or reason. There was no emotion connected to it. It was a still black-and-white picture. Every time, it was somehow I killed my child. I was walking up the stairs and suddenly the picture was I had dropped her down the stairs on accident or our living room has a balcony above it that you walk by. I threw off the balcony or she ended up in her swing passing away.

It was all of these moments that came out of nowhere. I was protective of my child. I never would’ve done anything to her. I started having these thoughts that I couldn’t control in these visions that I’ve never had. That’s when I think I hit my low and said, “I don’t think this is normal.” At that point, I was like, “I need help. I don’t think mom sees visions all the time.” I went to my OB-GYN. She was who I knew. She was fabulous. I loved her. She was amazing during birth. She immediately was like, “Come in tomorrow. Here’s some medication.” I took meds. As any of you moms who have taken medication for depression, it took about four weeks for it to kick in. During those four weeks, the side effects were not something I enjoyed whatsoever.

At that point, my OB-GYN referred me back to my normal doctor. I went to my normal doctor. I said, “I don’t love these side effects.” We transitioned to another antidepressant, which took another four weeks to kick in. I didn’t like the side effects but it wasn’t as bad as what it was. It made my lows less low and my anxiety less high. It didn’t cure anything, but it brought me into a good middle state, which I appreciated. I stayed on medication for a good 6 to 9 months. That’s two months right there of waiting for help when you are in something. To me, that wasn’t helping. I found a therapist.

I decided, “I need somebody to work with me. I’m seeing intrusive thoughts. This is terrifying.” I thought it would be a lot easier to find a therapist than it was. I wanted somebody who specialized in postpartum depression anxiety. I didn’t want a great normal therapist. I had those. I wanted somebody who said, “This is what you’re going through. Let me help you.” I live in the state of South Carolina and you’ve got to find a therapist who’s licensed in South Carolina. I couldn’t find resources. I spent hours at night in bed crying, looking for a therapist. I found a couple, “Do you spend time on their website reading about them? Do you like them? Do you want to tell them your scariest thoughts?” I approached about four. All of them had waitlists. I finally found one practice that had an opening.

I got placed with the most amazing therapist. She was great I started seeing her on a weekly basis. That process took me a month and a half to get into a therapist. She started working with me and teaching me 1) This is normal. That was the first thing that the intrusive thoughts, the anxiety, the depression, the feeling all this way is very normal and common and we don’t talk about it. We started going through self-care, meditation, and food that I could eat to help myself as we were going through cognitive therapy on a weekly basis.

The intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and depression, and all those feelings are very normal and common, yet we don't talk about it. Share on X

I met with her weekly for a good 6 or 8 months and she started teaching me how to help myself. Between the two of those, that’s when I started moving out of my lowest low. What I learned is, and Ashley you may have had the same thing, but recovery is not linear to me. It wasn’t like suddenly one day I woke up and said, “I’m great. That’s amazing. I feel good. That’s over with.” There are good days, then for no reason you were forced to step backward and there are bad days. Going through all this, I wanted to know what was happening. I was in my 40s, I planned for this child, I wanted this kid, “Why was this terrible for me?” I learned that 1 in 5 moms get it, but also 25% get this and it will last over 1 year.

I was one of those people. It took me close to eighteen months to feel like me again. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% gone because I don’t feel like that’s a thing at the moment, but I will say it’s 95% gone and it is way better than it’s ever been. That is my weird postpartum depression story in a nutshell. It wasn’t great. It wasn’t fun. I’m still very thankful for my daughter and getting to do all of this. That’s not the purpose of any of this, but it’s the fact that you can be very happy about being a mom and also struggling very much as being a mom.

I always like to highlight that it’s okay that two things are true. Something can be something you’ve always wanted and it can be hard, frustrating, and completely bewildering in terms of like, “What on earth has happened?”

I probably could have done things completely differently had I known what I was getting into at the forefront. I have an amazing friend. My mom is wonderful. I have a great family. I could have said I need help, “Here’s what I need.” I didn’t know how to do that. Basic things that could have set me up to make it not low are things I’d love other people to know because if it’s going to hit and it’s arbitrary, there’s no real rhyme or reason to who gets it. How do you make it where it’s not bad? How do you help yourself in this situation? That’s why we’re here and what I wanted to do to the show is to equip moms with things that they can do or know. If and when it does hit, there are ways for you to say, “This is normal. It’s okay that I feel this way because it is.”

An Unexpected C-Section

You had a very unexpected C-section. What did that do? I don’t know even your husband, were you scared?

It was a blessing in every possible way. I’d been in labor for 26 hours at that point. You’re allowed to push for 4 or 6 hours. I hit the limit and she was not coming out. We were given options and when we went through our birthing plan at the hospital, they said, “We can use a vacuum. We can do all these things to get her out.” One of my great friends had a child nine months before and she was in a similar situation. He got stuck when they were trying to get him out and they had to break his arm to get him out to do all these things I was overly cautious and I didn’t want to do that.

Our OB talked to us about the pros and cons because it wasn’t an absolute emergency like she needs out now. It was, “She’s not coming out, we’ve got to do something.” We had a moment to talk. I said I felt safer with a C-section, which was great because she had the cord around her neck. She wasn’t coming out. It was good in the moment but we also had a moment to process it. I got to make that decision and I think that made my birth feel better to me because I got to make that decision myself.

It still felt like you were in a little bit of control over the situation.

We had two options, which should I feel safer and I could have gone either way, but I felt she might be safer in this situation.

When some moms, if you’re having an emergency C-section or these other complications that then we would call birth trauma, those can be big risk factors for postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety.

If you're having an emergency C-section or other complications, which we call birth trauma, those can be big risk factors for postpartum depression or anxiety. Share on X

My OB was wonderful and joking. She helped that birth trauma from happening to me, making sure they informed me and I wanted to make decisions and know. She was a wonderful person.

Birthing Expectations Vs Reality

In thinking about expectations versus reality on the birthing side of things, did you feel like you were fully prepared and had a full understanding of that process?

Because I think everything else hit with the depression anxiety, I don’t think I’ve gone back and thought about what it was like to have a child. We did the birthing classes. We went to the hospital. They only let a couple of couples in at a time because it was COVID. We went through all that but get me each other. We’re old parents. All of our friends have already had kids years and years ago. It wasn’t top of mind. We wanted to remember how to do all this. I spent time on Pinterest trying to find what to pack for the hospital. We brought in bags and bags of stuff. I can’t tell you the ridiculous amount of things I brought to the hospital. I never left a hospital gown.

I had clothes, but from an expectation of what did I expect and what did I deliver, I was way off base. I had every recovery because I had time to plan. I’m a big planner, which also might lead to a little bit of postpartum depression and anxiety when you’re an over-planner. I had every recovery thing at home. I had stations in every bathroom but I didn’t have a vaginal birth. That changed that plan every once in a while. At that point, it was more of a funny “Let’s roll with the punches” type of mentality. She’s okay. I’m okay. That was our baseline.

A Postpartum Plan

Looking back, did you have a postpartum plan in that bag that you packed for the hospital in terms of how you’re going to take care of yourself instead of just the baby?

What’s a postpartum plan? That’s my answer to that one. I never thought about me. I had every plan. We had a plan. I had a return to work plan because I loved my job and I wanted to go back. I was in my 40s. I’d worked hard for where I was. We had that plan. We had a plan for who was going to sleep at night. My husband had meal-prepped, weeks of food and had them in the freezer so that we didn’t have to worry about cooking. We had that plan, but there was never a plan of how we were going to look after your mental health. We didn’t know that was a thing. That could have been helpful. Moms, if you are pregnant, let’s think through a postpartum mental health plan. I missed that mark completely.

We should do a whole episode postpartum wellness plan.

To equip moms upfront, here are things you can do to lessen what could happen. Plan for it.

There are many questions that I wish I had known to ask myself, my husband, and my doctor, “What if?” Just to have some information in my back pocket in case I needed it. Most moms, we don’t.

My husband and I did talk while I was pregnant. We both were like, “What happens if you do get postpartum depression?” I said, “Please, if I don’t realize I have it, tell me. Let’s go to the doctor.” That was the conversation. At least we even knew it was a thing. It was out there., but that’s all we knew. We didn’t know how to help prevent it. We didn’t know how to treat it. We didn’t know the impact sleep deprivation has on it. All the things that we could have put in place to help mitigate, even though you can’t stop it, what could have made it better? We knew, “It was a thing. You go to the doctor.” That was our entire plan.

Tell me a little bit about the timeline when you realized at the first six weeks of survival mode getting through things and then at the 6th-week mark when you realized, “I’m feeling depressed. I’m not feeling like myself.” How long was it do you think between then before you were able to talk with your OB-GYN?

I’m trying to go through the timeline in my head. I might be slightly off. I did my six-week OB- appointment. It was great then. It was after that appointment and it was probably later that week because I know I would’ve brought it up. I ended up going back with her. I think I started feeling bad around week six. I don’t think I went and got medication until I had progressed when the intrusive thoughts started happening. That was probably around week twelve. I took that six-week downturn from depression and then anxiety, and it kept going down and down. That’s probably around week twelve that I went and then started a couple of months process of medication. I did try the same week to get in with a therapist and that took about a month. It kept going until about eighteen months.

The Hard Days

Can you describe what one of those hard days looked like?

Depression and anxiety are very different. I don’t think I realized I had anxiety. I realized I had depression. Maybe I won’t tell that story. I get teary-eyed every once in a while. I started having panic attacks and that wasn’t something I’d ever had. We were in a restaurant, I had a panic attack. I had to leave. To this day, I will not take my child to a restaurant because it triggers me. That’s one of those things I’m not ready to do yet. The fun choice of motherhood.

You have a funny saying, we’ve both said that we asked our husbands in the middle, which has to do with how the earth is populated with many people.

I didn’t realize that what I was going through was not everybody’s experience. I didn’t understand this was what having a child did to you. I feel like the population would’ve stopped hundreds of years ago and moms would’ve been like, “Sorry, I’m done.” Everybody doesn’t have this. Normalizing that this is okay and it is still 20% of our experiences.

I had the same thing. I remember thinking, “Everyone feels this way,” and then I was like, “That’s not possible because no one would be having children if everybody felt the way that I do. Is there something wrong with me? Everybody’s having kids even though this is how everybody feels?”

That was the conversation for me that was a light bulb. There might be a little something else going on if this is the thought process that you’re on. I remember my husband was also like, “I’m not sure if this is completely normal and we might need some extra help.” You had two children. You went through the first one and decided, “Let’s do this again.” Anything you did differently for the second one because we were a one-and-done mostly because we’re old and we did the IVF situation.

I did a lot more planning with the second one. I had a postpartum mental health plan. It was a much different experience. It wasn’t perfect. I still had lots of anxiety, but it made a huge difference. Knowing the questions to ask myself is what it is, being honest with myself, and knowing how to say, “I need help. I need this right now. I think I’m going to need this tomorrow.” Being able to ask the questions and make those requests of my support network, which ironically seems to take a lot of bravery that I didn’t know that it was hard to say what you need.

 

Let's Thrive Postpartum | Postpartum Healing

 

Let’s get into that in a future one because having the ability to vocalize what you need when you need it is something I’ve learned through this experience and I’m terrible at. I didn’t realize it. I pray everybody else around me has realized it. Having that bravery and learning to do that when you are suffering from postpartum anxiety or depression is very tricky and extremely needed for you to get the support you need.

Having the bravery to seek help when suffering from postpartum anxiety or depression is both very tricky and extremely necessary. It's the key to getting the support you need. Share on X

A Change In Perspective

You’ve got a two-year-old, still very young. Through this experience, where has it led you? How has it changed how you look at things in your life like relationships, the world, or your job?

For me, it changed everything. It could be I had a child later in life so I already thought I knew who I was, what I wanted to do with my life, and all of that. Going through this also at the same time becoming a mom and having an identity shift, I decided that I didn’t want to do what I was doing before. I spent the last twenty years in technology. I was a marketing executive for a tech firm. When I went on maternity leave, I went back to work after having our child. I was working and going through all this at postpartum depression. Looking back, I loved what I did. I loved my job. I had amazing people. I loved the career I got to build.

One day I decided I wanted to do something different. Moms are going through this. I feel like from my experience, it wasn’t easy to find help. It wasn’t easy when I needed it. It took months to kick in or to find. There was also so much I learned that I could have done to help myself during all that time and I want to help other moms going through this experience. I want to make one that it’s a thing that we can talk about. You can say, “I’m not okay today. I’m not doing great. As a mom, I need help.” Nobody judges you. It’s a thing that we don’t just check on the baby, but we check on the mom. I would’ve shown up differently for all of my friends who had kids over the years. I just didn’t know.

I ended up leaving Corporate America and have decided to start Thrive Postpartum. It’s a virtual community of moms who are suffering from postpartum depression to take classes, learn about what it is, how to help themselves, get support groups, meet other moms, and have a safe place to say, “I’m not okay. How do I help myself?” Learn how to ask for medication. We don’t do that, but how do you talk to your doctor and have that supportive community? That’s my new venture and I love to, if you need help, come check us out. I want to help other moms who don’t know what’s happening have an easier way to get help.

When you said something a minute ago, I was thinking a lot of times I feel like people in our even well-meaning friends and stuff, if you’re a mom that’s going to be returning to work, sometimes people look at that as the cure-all for any hardship that you’ve been going through, “You’re going to go back to work soon. Everything will be fine.” That’s not always the case. What does that look like for you? How old was your daughter when you went back to work?

I went back to work twelve weeks. I took longer, which was nice. It was good. I needed that. I still physically couldn’t do much at that point. I was still in the recovery process. Twelve weeks was right when I was at my lowest of low of postpartum depression. I’m trying to get drugs. I built a career. I loved what I did. I didn’t want to go to work and say, “I’m struggling. I’m coming back.” I didn’t want to do. Going back to work did help me. It helped me feel like I had that sense of identity that I had suddenly lost. I was having adult conversations again. I was thinking and talking about people. I was very lucky that I’ve worked remotely for a decade.

My company’s in Washington. I was in South Carolina. I didn’t have to try to drive and do all the things. I could sign on in bed with a shirt and some yoga pants. It did help me maintain my sanity. Work was a blessing in that way. As I started getting better, realizing that I could use all the experience I had from tech over the last twenty years to create something that could help other people. That’s why I decided to finally make that shift, “Let me use what I’ve learned and done for the past decades and try to help some other moms.” That moment gave me a little bit of my identity back because I lost that in the depression, motherhood, and all those changes. I wasn’t me anymore.

Advice For Moms

Do you have any thoughts or advice for moms that maybe, “I wonder the difference between working remotely or having to go back into an office environment and be around people,” if you’re feeling like you’re at your lowest low? What are your thoughts?

Looking back for me, being around people was extremely helpful. It was extremely challenging to do. It was like if somebody said, “Go run a marathon,” that’s what I felt like when I’d be around people. I didn’t want to have to get dressed. I didn’t want to have to engage. All of that took energy I didn’t have. As soon as I was there and did it, social support is key to helping treat and support your postpartum depression and getting that time with people, even if it was a Zoom meeting, even virtually getting to engage with somebody was beneficial. If you are going back to work if that is placed in your life in what you’re doing, look at it as a positive in certain ways. It did give me something that I was lacking very much. We were in the COVID era, you couldn’t have friends and family and all of that over. It was my only way to break isolation outside of my husband.

 

Let's Thrive Postpartum | Postpartum Healing

 

Our daughters were born around the same time and I forget what the world looked like still at that time.

You couldn’t take your child to the park or go do things. It still wasn’t safe at that point. She was a newborn. We were overly cautious. Getting to go back to work helped me socially and mentally. It helps me in a lot of ways. It was hard. It was the mental challenge of getting yourself up and being a person. It was exhausting but worth it. If you’re in that situation, look for the positives.

I don’t know about you but when I went back to work, I remember having this almost dissociative experience of I’m going back to a job that I already had before I was pregnant and around all these people who knew me before and during my pregnancy, and now I’m back. No more baby bump and I’m suddenly a mom back doing the same thing, but my entire life has changed. I couldn’t figure out how to reconcile these worlds. I was like, “How do I fit in now as a mom coming back though to a role that was very familiar and it was an identity change.”

It’s very much an identity change because who you are fundamentally changed even though who you are did not change.

Nothing else changed except that I had a baby, but that also meant that everything changed.

Especially if you were having anxiety or anything on top of it, everything changed.

We’ll do a whole thing on identity.

In my moment of lows, it grounded me to back up. I had been with the company for a long time and they grounded me back of, “You are still you,” and I needed that. I had great coworkers. I was very thankful that they didn’t treat me differently coming back. They were aware of, “You might need to now leave early to go pick your child up from daycare.” Those types of things. I wasn’t different to them, and I needed that. Motherhood is fun.

It’s sometimes not fun.

That’s the one thing that over these episodes we want you to get that it’s fun and not fun. We want to be able to talk about the not-fun times as much, if not more because social media’s going to tell you it’s great the entire time. It’s great in flashes. It’s not great in flashes. It’s all there.

Is there anything else you were hoping I was going to ask or inquire about?

No, but I think if you’re tuning in to this and you are struggling at the moment, the one thing I would’ve wished I would’ve known, there are lots of things. The one simple thing I could have done better is sleep deprivation. You can’t help yourself heal mentally if you’re not sleeping. When I hit my lowest of lows, I remember I got one hour of sleep one night and I thought, “Nobody needs more than an hour. The world should not need more than an hour of sleep. This is great.” That’s not normal or healthy. It took me having to ask for help to get sleep and us getting creative as a family until I could catch up on sleep before I could do anything to help myself. If you can get a couple more minutes of sleep today than you did yesterday, I think that would be key because you have to have sleep even if your child isn’t sleeping or else you won’t be in your right mind.

I know it’s hard. Every single mom in the world rolls their eyes when somebody is like, “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” That sent me into the biggest internal rage tornado when somebody would say that to me. It is also true that you need sleep. How did you get sleep? What did your family figure out?

I am with you. I told my husband at one point, “If one other person says sleep when the baby sleeps, I’m going to throat punch them.” I had mom rage at that point. I wasn’t sleeping because my child didn’t sleep very well. She had stomach issues. She couldn’t lay it down in a crib so she didn’t sleep well. We ended up having to ask friends and family. We had my mom come on certain nights where she would be the night nurse. It got desperate because I still couldn’t sleep. We were both back at work that we ended up having to say, “Let’s take money off our savings to hire somebody to come sleep in our house three nights a week.” That person showed up at 10:00. They left at 6:00 in the morning.

It was something I’d never planned on doing, but when I was desperate that I needed a couple of hours of sleep, that was our best call. There were times that I had to sleep and say, “Someone take the child. I’m going to go take a sound machine and go in my room at 2:00 in the afternoon because I haven’t slept in 30 hours.” The little things, but I had to ask for help. Friends, family then we ended up having to pay someone that we used for four weeks to come in and give us sanity.

It’s important. It’s knowing when to ask for help. Having a list ready to go of people that you can call and ask because with all of this, with postpartum depression and anxiety, there’s this spectrum of what’s normal and what’s not normal. If things are affecting how you’re functioning, sleep is a major life function. It’s one of the most important life functions that we have. That is a sign, “Let’s reach out and figure out how to get support so that mom can get more sleep,” because you can’t live without it.

Know when to ask for help. With postpartum depression and anxiety, the line between “normal” and “needing help” can blur. Having a list of trusted contacts ready to call can make a big difference. Share on X

I learned that the hard way. That’s my one advice. Get a little bit more sleep. Ask for help. You’re going to make it through this. You’ll make it through. It changes you for the good. I feel like coming out of a much stronger person than I ever was. I might be as strong, but I realize I’m stronger than I ever was coming through it. You can do this. Can we hope that you’ll join us again next episode? We’re going to go through some additional stories and tips on how you can help support yourself, and your family members if they’re going through this. Thank you.

It was great. Thank you for sharing. I know it’s hard.

You’re welcome. We see you guys next episode. Thanks, bye.

DOWNLOAD FOR FREE: Mental health plan

JOIN THRIVE TODAY

 

LATEST PODCAST EPISODES

FEATURED BLOGS

6 Steps to Tame Mom Rage

6 Steps to Tame Mom Rage

As a mom, have you ever had a moment where extreme anger suddenly and unexpectedly exploded from you? If so, this could likely be mom rage – a real emotional outburst that can feel scary, followed...

Get resources directly in your inbox

We’ll send you regular postpartum support tips in our Thrive Newsletter.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Read our privacy policy.