There was a day that I was angry. I used a pair of jeans to pull across my shoulders as an outlet for the anger and frustration. After I’d fatigued my muscles doing that, the legs of those jeans found their way around my neck…
I was choking myself.
And the voice in my head said it was ok. Everyone would be relieved if I were gone. I wouldn’t be a burden anymore. My children’s emotional health would be better because they wouldn’t have a sick Mommy anymore…
That is an excerpt of a Facebook post from May. I walked that out. That was me in Postpartum Depression. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that we lost 2 babies in 2015. That alone is traumatic… but I also have walked through extreme depression in that time. I’ve had PPD after the losses as well as the live births that preceded the losses…
So last year when I was almost certain we were pregnant, I was terrified! I didn’t want to lose the baby and I stood a 50/50 chance of that. What was worse even than that, if history held any merit, was the 100% chance I had of PPD… again. I had had the best solid 9 months of freedom since having children and didn’t want to return to the dark. I prefer to be a proactive person rather than reactive. And all 4 pregnancies to that point I had been reactive regarding PPD. Mostly because I didn’t know what it was till my second child. So I started researching. I began looking for all the ways I could go about preventing PPD.
My midwife had suggestions. But I wasn’t sure what to do while pregnant to prevent it after. I know some people experience PPD while pregnant, but mine always comes after birth. I began taking a double dose of Omega 3s. One source had ample Vitamin D and was super bioavailable. The other I bought had added vitamin D. That was a big thing my midwife recommended. DHA is necessary for our body to properly create and regulate hormone production. And it was something I could do in pregnancy to try to stay ahead of the problem.
By 7 months in, I still felt like I was ill prepared. I was taking a mass of supplements, and was walking when I could. Through diligence over the last few years, our finances were in a place where I wouldn’t need to return to work after birth which was a huge stress and anxiety relief. Yet, I had a few days where I could feel darkness looming even though I was still pregnant. That was scary because in the past, I was always great while pregnant. If that was an indication of what was to come, I didn’t want it. But I didn’t know what else to do.
That’s when, in a beautiful Facebook group that I hold very dear, someone recommended a book called The First Forty Days. I don’t remember exactly what was said about it, I just remember having an urgent need to have it. We’re frugal… and I waited. If you sit on something 30 days and still want it, then it’s not an impulse purchase and makes you a better steward of your money.
Well… I waited. Though, I didn’t have a huge amount of time to wait. Baby pending, here! Finally after a few weeks of it remaining on my mind, I asked my husband for it. He is such a sweetie. He’ll pretty much get me anything I ask for within reason. He ordered it and I set to devouring it. This is a non fiction book which I usually really struggle to read. But this one read easy! With stories and recipes… I devoured it in a matter of a week or two. And then I went to work DOING what it recommended.
I learned huge amounts about a woman’s body. You’d think after learning about my cycle, 4 pregnancies and Postpartums, there would be nothing left to learn, but that is just so wrong! I had ingested several books in the last 7 years, but none of them said a thing about what I was learning in The First Forty Days. It is ancient wisdom that the western world has eradicated. It is nothing your doctor or nurse is likely to tell you. And, apparently not most midwives either as I’ve never had an OBGYN for my pregnancies. Only midwives.
I followed the wisdom given in this book to a T. And… I had the most beautiful postpartum journey I’ve ever experienced. True healing. No extreme lows. I’ve had 2-4 days that were rough days. The first one was after 4 months PP though. And it was ONLY a day. Not the pit that would last weeks and weeks that I’ve experienced before.
If you are pregnant… you need to get this book and get it before your third trimester if possible. If not, get reading SOON! If you know of someone who is teachable and pregnant, get this for them. Had I had it with my first, I don’t think I would be able to speak to you about Postpartum Depression at all. So, in a way that is a blessing. We face trials to help others, and I have had several opportunities to do just that!
Did someone come to mind while reading this? Please share this with them so that they can experience the healing and wellness I have been able to.
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Coming up in the next few weeks we have:
- The BEST Apple Turnovers
- Travel Necessities