I was cleaning off my fridge this past week after I bought some new clip magnets from Target (woo!) for the upcoming school year. I took down pictures and artwork that had accumulated and then I stopped at one item in particular. After looking at the picture since November 2015, I finally felt I had the strength to take it down. It’s not a spectacular picture really…so much so that if we had company coming I’d stick it in a drawer so they didn’t think I was some kind of weirdo. Two months after our 4th son was born I had read an article was about Hayden Panettiere and how she struggled with postpartum depression. Her picture wasn’t a personal one, it was from one of her Nashville episodes showing her in mid-depression. I cut it out, hung it up, an glanced at it whenever I thought I was losing it. On days when I thought I just couldn’t take it anymore…and there were many to choose from.
I very clearly had told my doctor before birth that I was having PREpartum depression (much less common) and she simply said she could give me pills. I didn’t get a prescription as I felt she was way too dismissive and not being thorough at all. I don’t think it was the pregnancy alone, those were never much of a big deal with the other kids. I think it was a combo of moving across the country, starting two kids at two different schools, and having the baby that just pushed me over the edge. Not to mention, the HEAT. I am the type of person that starts sweating around 65 degrees, which basically made me the hottest person in the state. At that point in time, I knew there was something wrong. I FELT wrong. All the time.
The picture is such an odd choice as it is not inspirational…it’s not pretty…it just is what it is. It was something I could look at on a moment’s notice and move on with my day. When I didn’t want to bother friends, or family members who had plenty of kids of their own, or even my poor mother who endured most if not all of my depressive ups and downs. The picture was one of solidarity and gave me a small acknowledgement that “you are not alone.”
Today is different. I had mentioned to my husband that “I finally feel good about things” and he looked at my quizzically saying….”uh you had the baby a long time ago.” Yup. Sounds about right. I am finally feeling back to my regular self. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been good for quite some time. But the picture remained. She was my on call backup for the baby blues. We’ve got a lot of good stuff going around here. Just wrapped up some back to school shopping. We have two goldfish and a giraffe planter with bamboo in it (totally awesome). We just turned the crib into the full bed because the baby thinks he is 10 years old. Heaven forbid he not be like his older brothers. I see our family moving on and learning new things as the boys get older yet I still cuddle with them at night. I used to resent how much time the cuddling took, but now I’m so glad I did it. Of course the time goes very quickly and supposedly, the kids grow up and don’t want to snuggle all the time. So goodbye Hayden; you’ve been a good friend. The sun is shining, the kids are laughing, and it’s going to be a great day.