Bumps in the Road

18 Nov

Going back through all my posts about mental health in the last two weeks was like digging up a time capsule.  Did you ever do one of those in school?  I assembled one my freshman year and when it was returned to me 4 years later, I almost didn’t recognize the “me” I had locked away.  I blog because the words want to spill out of me – because placing them here and sharing them brings me peace.  But looking back, the icing on the cake is that I have a record of my recovery.

When people ask about my experience having a second baby after experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety, I tell them that my second baby was the pregnancy and postpartum period I felt robbed of the first time around.  I share how I have never frightened my 2 year old with the rage my oldest had to face.  (On a side note, Robin is writing about rage on Postpartum Progress today.  It’s a must read!)  And I believe my story gives moms new hope that they can have a better experience the second time around.

But reading back?  I had some pretty big bumps in the road after Bean was born.  Periods of depression, a severe panic attack, and continued anxiety management.  I was actually surprised reading some of the pieces from Bean’s first year.  I clearly remember how awful Bug’s first year was.  It was hell.  But memories of my second daughter’s infancy have an overall joy about them.  It’s as if how I feel about my experience didn’t measure up to my actual experience, if you were to judge merely by the blog entries.

Gratuitous adorable toddler pictureI think the difference this time has been that throughout every depressive episode and every panic attack, I never felt hopeless.  I never felt crushed by the lies my brain was telling me.  I knew better and I had a support network around me mirroring that back to me on the days I couldn’t see it.  It’s not that I didn’t suffer from bouts of mental illness with my second baby, but that they were less severe and well-treated.  Simply put, I was ready for them.  And no matter how bumpy the road, I always felt like I was still traveling forward.

Have hope.  Always, hope.

7 Responses to “Bumps in the Road”

  1. Liz November 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    I *so* needed to read this right now. Thank you. ❤

  2. Robin @ Farewell Stranger November 19, 2013 at 1:04 am #

    I totally know what you mean. My second time was the time I wanted the first time, and yet it hasn’t been perfect. But it hasn’t been awful either, and that makes all the difference.

  3. story3girl November 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    You have all the tools this time. The bumps in the road were hard, but you did the right thing every time. Recovery isn’t about never having another bad moment, it’s about learning to respond and react to all the moments.

    Remind me of this, please. 😉

  4. tranquilamama November 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    I love the last paragraph. “Have hope. Always, hope.” The road will continue to be bumpy for me as I navigate parenting with my anxiety, but I have the tools. I know when I need to amp up my self-care.

  5. Alexandra Rosas (@GDRPempress) December 5, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    Hope is the key. I had a friend, my nurse from labor and delivery, she promised me i’d get better. I asked her, “really???” She said absolutely. Absolutely. I sighed and carried on and after months, I felt better, bit by bit. She started it, with the promise of hope.

    • learnedhappiness December 5, 2013 at 12:29 am #

      It really is. I’ve learned that just a tiny shard of hope is enough to pull me through.


  1. a bump in the road | Rebuilding Rob - December 1, 2013

    […] Bumps in the Road (learned-happiness.com) […]

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