Battling, managing, and overcoming postpartum depression is not an easy task. It runs deep in your blood, and overpowers your mind, body, and soul.
I sunk into a deep rut, as I like to call it, while being pregnant with Mckenna after continuously getting bad news. Throughout my pregnancy I gained over 50 pounds and towards the end I ‘gave up’ on myself. I stopped watching what I ate; I would eat a dinner at 5pm, and another big meal at 10pm before bed. As time went on I began to dislike my belly bump. I didn’t feel ‘cute’ like most pregnant women tend to feel and I didn’t feel like I glowed.
I could see the rapid weight gain all over my body and my face and I felt like there was nothing I could ever do to make myself feel any sort of love for myself. I stopped doing my makeup, stopped straightening my frizzy hair, stopped wearing my favourite clothes, and overall I stopped taking care of myself and stopped loving myself.
Nearing the end of my pregnancy, around 30 weeks pregnant, very large dark blue stretch marks appeared on my breasts, my sides, hips, and thighs. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror at that point and lost the last bit of selfesteem I had.
Now not only did I hate my new body, but I was also processing the stress of the news about Mckenna’s health problems, and the mountains we would have to overcome once she was born. Every day I felt miserable, angry, confused, and hurt that my family, my baby, and I had to go through this situation.
After bringing Mckenna into this world, I went through unbelievable amounts of stress with her being in and out of the hospital and her unsteady health so I stopped eating. I would only eat two yogurts cups a day and this went on for weeks. At my prenatal check-up appointment a week before Mckenna was born I weighed 193 pounds and three weeks after Mckenna was born I had already lost over 30 pounds.
When Mckenna was finally able to come home with us, I was an absolute mess. I continued to not eat, and not take care of myself. Shortly after that, I went in the opposite direction and I started to eat junk food and gain fat weight back.
What I have learned through this:
- You have to take time for yourself
- You have to make time for yourself; once I established our daily routine, I take the time to do stuff I enjoy while she naps; I watch a movie on Netflix, play on my phone, blog, do a craft, catch up on texts, or organize. I choose something I want to do, not something I have to do. This is something I really struggled with balancing between taking care of Mckenna as well as daily life stuff. When I brought Mckenna home, I had it in my mind that ALL I could do was take care of Mckenna… which yes, was my main priority, but I still needed to have Darby time in between doing that
- I have learned to start loving the new me; I’m starting to love my curves and marks over my body. My stretch marks are my war scars, I’ve fought a war. I am beginning to become proud of them. I carried my daughter safely for 39 weeks, delivered her naturally and did everything ‘right’ – I am very proud of that!
- I have to joke, laugh, be goofy, and be myself. I felt like I lost a bit of my personality and ‘sparkle’ after giving birth. I was too busy focusing on everything else in my life, except me.
It has been almost five months since giving birth to Mckenna, and I finally have built up the courage, strength and intuition to make positive changes for me. Because to care for my daughter ultimately I have to be at my best. The best possible physical, mental, and emotional health I can be in for her.
Positive changes I have made in my life:
- A 28 day day Detox plan (starting in the new year after Christmas)
- Blogging regularly
- Keeping close and connected with friends
- Seeing my doctor regularly
- Cutting junk food out of my diet
- Acceptance – I bought my first pair of size 12 jeans from Dynamite; I used to be a size 6. I have accepted I am not the size I used to be, that my body has changed since giving birth, and accepted that it will take time to get back down to “my size”.
I’m doing more things for myself. I do my makeup even if I’m not going anywhere. I straighten my hair everyday. And I take long hot baths, lotion my body, and do daily Arbonne face care routines before bed.
Those are just some of the things I do for me now! Everyday I’m learning to balance my new life!
Thanks for reading!
From my heart to yours,
– d ♥