Even though I could reflect on making it through PPD two times previously, I could easily recall how horribly the "getting through" part was -- especially during my pregnancy with Abigail.
One thing I knew for certain.
I did not want to feel that way again.
I also did not want to stop having to breastfeed because of a medication I had to take to combat a vicious emotional attacker.*
JB and I discussed PPD often during my pregnancy. We knew that the fact that I had faced it previously increased my risks. We also knew that the fact that I was battling depression during my pregnancy did not help my case either.
I prayed hard.
I asked others to pray.
We also brainstormed ways to help prevent a repeat of pregnancy number two. We decided that to give myself the best chance of keeping that darkness way, I would:
- Get as much rest as possible
- Surround myself with as must support as possible
- Not stress about breast feeding
- Not over extend myself
It was very important to us that JB was present post-partum as much as possible. It was for that reason we chose to have me fly to the USA solo. We wanted to save as much of JB's leave time as we possibly could for after delivery.
We also planned to have his mother come back to Portugal with us. We couldn't be positive, until the twelfth hour, that this would occur, but we were hopeful that it would. And it did.
My mother, saved a week of her vacation to use while I was home. But while I so wanted her to use that time during the end of my pregnancy, I held back my requests as much as possible so that she could use those days after I had the baby -- a key time in my healing time.
And so far, so good. I am now five weeks post-partum and feeling amazing.
JB asked me today: "Do you even feel slightly depressed?" I do not!
I really haven't had any moments. Not a single one.
Oh praise the Lord!
He asked me: "Do you feel like you are just getting trough each day?" I do not!
I feel like I am thriving. I am enjoying my days. I am enjoying my children. I am in love with life. There are a lot of adjustments. There are four children under five in my home. That's a lot. But we are doing as well as we possibly can.
It is amazing to be able to say that. Depression is a dark, terrible place. Mental illness is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. I'd rather be physically ill than mentally ill without question.
I continue to pray that PPD stays at bay! Each day that I am healthy is an amazing blessing from the Lord.
*Many women choose to breastfeed on antidepressants. This was a personal decision my husband and I made regarding medications and breastfeeding.