Hey guys! Welcome back to another post with The New Mom On The Block.
I’m desperately searching for a welcoming opening so if you have some ideas, let a girl know and I will praise you and give you a lifetime supply of shout-outs on social media 🙂
I think it is time I bring up the topic of PPD, Post Partum Depression for those who do not know what it is, and how real PPD really is. It’s like a real life monster that comes and goes when it feels like it to ruin your life. You know that Zara Larsson song, Ruin My Life? Catchy right? But YEAH, NO, LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE PPD, I don’t need anything ruining my super blessed life at the moment, k? Thanks.
I struggled with PPD after having my first child, Caleb. A lot of people don’t know about it and I would have rather no one know about it but it is an important topic to talk about.
As I type this out, I cannot help but think of all the people from high school that are going to read this and tell me I am a liar because I did not seem unhappy in high school after having my son. Just thinking about this gets my heart racing and my anxiety reaches a whole new high because I still do care about what others think of me despite how hard I am trying to not let that kind of stuff get to me.
When I had Caleb I was 16 years old. I was a Junior in High School and I was in a really difficult situation. I WAS 16! That is difficult enough. 16 years old. I was a baby and I just had a baby. It’s so crazy when I think about it because like I was 16. I mean, I can’t even stop thinking and typing “16” because that is so freakin’ wild to me even though it happens a lot. I mean, there is a whole show about it on MTV (or is it MTV2 now?!). I was not mature enough to be a parent. I barely got out of puberty and to be honest I feel like I wasn’t even done with puberty until I was like 21. I was a kid who still got upset and slammed doors when my mom would tell me no, how on earth could I possibly have a baby. But I did. Shortly after I had Caleb, his dad and I were done for good. WOOWWWWWW, APRIL. You are a 16 year old parent and have a baby daddy. Definition of trash right? That’s how I felt. I kept trying to convince myself that I was meant to be with my son’s father no matter how many times I saw that it just was not going to work out. I was scared. The first couple days after we broke up I lied to my mom and told her that he was just hanging out at his moms for a while, he was kind of staying with us but not really.. we lived down the street from each other so weird I know but anyways, I lied because I was afraid to tell my mom I was officially a SINGLE TEEN mom. The shame I have already brought to my mother and now this.
Before I had Caleb, I was an honor roll student who took honors and AP (Advanced Placement) classes and had dreams of becoming the greatest teacher in the world. When I started dating Caleb’s father I let my academics pass me by. I failed a couple classes and retook them in summer school. I felt like a rebel and I liked it. People started to know who I was (for the wrong reasons) but I was getting recognized by people. I was 15 when I made the decision to lose my virginity. OMGGGGGG 15. I cannot with myself right now. I was pregnant shortly after and it was the most emotional roller coaster ride of my freakin life! I always felt that Caleb’s dad was cheating on me and he was. I didn’t want to tell people though. I was so ashamed. I mean, I gave this kid (KID, I SAID IT!!) the cookie. My sacred cookie.. like the one that I don’t even like looking at. I had an awful pregnancy, not just emotionally but physically. Caleb tried to come into the world 3 different times and I was given medication to stop contractions and eventually I was placed on bed rest. I had Caleb 3 weeks early and at the end of my 1st semester of Junior year and I was a damn mess.
I’m foreign, I hate saying that because like technically we all are but whateva, I am half Mexican and half Laotian. My family does not see what PPD is. If you are in a state of mind where you cannot take care of your child or you feel inadequate or you cry too much because it is stressful then you are just a bad mom. PERIODT. There is no, maybe having a baby at 16 is emotional for you? NAH BITCH, you just weak. My parents never knew of my struggles with PPD and neither did my friends. I hid it very well. I had a really low point once… I just felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. I was so frustrated with school work and my friends moving on with their lives and looking at colleges out of state or even looking at where they were going to live after high school and me knowing I would still be with my mother. I have asthma.. so I have an inhaler. One day after school I was home by myself and I just could not stop crying. I could not stop being so ugly to myself and I decided I didn’t want to be myself or even know myself anymore. I took my inhaler, full of medicine, and emptied it. My heart began to race quickly. My heart rate was only increasing and I just felt so relieved. Typing this, I am so emotional, sitting in a Starbucks about to cry my eyes out, crying my eyes out because I let myself be in such a dark place and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I laid in bed thinking, here I go off to somewhere happier where I can handle anything and everything because I will have no worries. I started to look around and I looked at Caleb’s crib. WTH have I done, I can’t leave. I can’t go. I quickly called 911 because I realized how selfish I was being. My life wasn’t as awful as I thought. It was so perfect (at the time I still wasn’t thinking this but it was). I couldn’t leave Caleb to be without a mother and father. I couldn’t let him be one of those kids who gets raised by their grandparents (I don’t have a problem with this but I could never leave my child to do this if I had a choice) with unanswered questions about why their parents didn’t want them anymore.
Even when I got picked up by an ambulance, I played it off really well. They asked me questions, whats your name, age, what happened, blah, blah, blah. I simply told them that I tried using my inhaler because I was having an asthma attack and I thought I couldn’t get anything out but apparently I got too much. I remember this like it was yesterday because I had never told a lie like that in my life and it still eats me up inside that I tried to do that to myself and that I put my son in jeopardy. After that no matter how much I felt like I was struggling, I couldn’t leave Caleb. He is my everything, he brings me the most happiness in life and I was being selfish. I continued to deal with PPD but because I was not getting any professional help or because I did not have an outlet it did not go away.
Flash forward to finding out we were pregnant with Mila.
So, my kids have different biological genes. THEY HAVE THE SAME FATHER. My husband is the greatest father to both of OUR kids and I will not allow my kids to hear otherwise from different people just because you do not agree with it.
Mila was an accident again, WTH is wrong with me? Why can’t these babies be planned LOL
Ricky and I had just gotten back together. We went on a 6-month break because we both needed to figure out what we really wanted. I woke up one morning and just fell out of bed. Ricky was playing golf.
Now, He and I had already had the talk about kids and we pretty much decided we were okay with just Caleb because we both had careers we wanted to focus on.
I called him right away and asked him to take me to the doctor. I thought I had like alcohol poisoning because the night before I went to a going away dinner for a coworker and we got pretty lit off margaritas. We go to the doctors and I was having trouble breathing and still felt extremely light headed. The doctor came in and said, “You had a slight asthma attack so I am prescribing you another inhaler but you’re so lightheaded because you’re pregnant!” Ricky and I literally both said “OH SHIT” I started crying and bless this doctors heart. She said “Are those happy tears?” I yelled at her that NO they were not and she decided to give us some time alone. Every thought from my first pregnancy came to my mind and I just couldn’t handle it.
Things were tough with Ricky and I for a while. We considered an abortion and I just could not do it. We weren’t ready! We couldn’t have ANOTHER baby. I was just getting back into my career at the bank and he started a new career as an accountant. This pregnancy was the same emotionally and physically. I had a threatened miscarriage early in and from there my body was a mess and so was I… AGAIN. I was jealous of Ricky being able to do or eat certain things. YES, I said EAT. I’m a fatass and love my food. I was jealous that he wouldn’t lose his friends because he could still go out on the weekends with them to the bar or clubs and I couldn’t. He didn’t go often but when he did I was awful and definitely made him feel like shit. I accused him of everything in the damn book because I was as big as a house and everyone was telling me how your body is never the same after the 2nd baby. My husband is going to freakin leave me is what I kept thinking to myself.
We got engaged after we found out I was pregnant. This did not sit well with me. Like I was happy because I knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together but I felt like he only did it because I was pregnant. I still thought this even when everyone was like “OH, it came early! He said he was going to propose on your vacay in the summer in NY.” I still didn’t believe it. We got married that summer and I was still a damn mess and continued to be so because I did not feel good emotionally or physically. I was in constant pain and was throwing up ALL THE DAMN TIME. Everything made me sick and there are things I still won’t eat now! I was worried about PPD because I thought it just magically went away for me but my new PPD just went on top of my old PPD. IF that makes any sense.
I had Mila around the same time Caleb turned 9 years old. The only thing that really went through my mind after I had her and got my tubes tied was “I am still freakin fat” We have pictures from the hospital and I HATE them so much because I just look unhappy because I was not in a positive head space. Ricky and I had our own personal issues, not with each other but with things going on in our own lives. Yes, when you’re married you can have separate personal issues. It was tough, so tough for us. Ricky would drink, this is how he coped. I would eat and do nothing.
I was a new stay at home mom. I didn’t want to be. Everyone told me the benefits and I understood that but I wanted to work. I loved my job and I wanted to grow there. Now where was I going to grow? The damn couch? Do not get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE seeing Mila grow and watch every milestone but I had always worked. ALWAYS. Sometimes 2-3 jobs because I could and I loved it. I felt like I couldn’t go shopping or just buy little things I wanted because our money didn’t really feel like our money. Sometimes it runs through my mind now but not as often. I feel bad for not being able to contribute, money wise. Ricky would constantly tell me how I contribute to the household by staying home. He would constantly say things like, “Caleb could never do summer camp if you weren’t here to be with him”, “The kids would have to be raised by strangers if you weren’t here to be with them”, “If you weren’t staying at home, I wouldn’t be able to stay at work later and help create a better life for us”, “If you didn’t stay home this wouldn’t be home.” All the nice things he would say and I would still feel inadequate. I cried, a lot. Especially when I was alone with Mila. I would just think about how I wasn’t meant for this. I would sit and just binge watch every show known to man and be in the same spot as I was in when Ricky left for work. I would talk to my doctor about baby blues but like I said, I hid all of this very well. I eventually told my doctor about what I was feeling and the steps I was taking that did not include medication and he assured me that I was on the right track.
I started seeing a Reiki Practitioner regularly. Her name is Peggy and I just couldn’t imagine being on this positive journey without her being the person I needed to have these deep talks with. I could cry and laugh and logically think while I was with her while she would uplift me and and keep my energy up. Ricky and I would see her and we went a couple times together. She would give us advice on how we can help each other and how to not make it seem so personal when we try to help each other. She would teach us to say things in kind loving ways because we were both fairly fragile. Me more than Ricky but she has been the biggest blessing for us. Although I still struggle with PPD.. I know that I can get through it little by little. And I have Peggy to thank for most of it, if I am being honest. She was the missing piece in what I needed the first time around. Someone to just talk to that was like a 3rd party in a way. She was unbiased in the topics we would talk about and I was at ease. All the hurt I was feeling could be released with her and I cannot thank her enough. YoRei Life- Book a Session with Peg or Kathy
I create vision boards and live every week with a different mantra to help me through my journey. My family is very supportive and I couldn’t be happier, honestly. People struggle with this, more than you think. It’s important for each of us to approach each other with kind words, but if you need to check a bitch, then you fucking do it. Other than that, I’ve learned that if I am not kind to myself I cannot be kind to others and I feel like a broken record by saying that but it’s true. I say that to myself each time I have a negative thought and then I vow to make someone’s day every time I think that because if I am thinking negatively about myself then I know others can put themselves through the same issues. It’s important to be open and to seek help if we need it. Therapy is not a bad thing. Therapy works wonders if you need it. If you don’t, more power to you! But if you do, it is okay to seek it.
I’m April. A mom of 2 struggling to fight PPD and I am here to talk if you need me. I am always available for topics like this… and for the latest gossip but like who isn’t?! 🙂
Reach out, I’d love to talk, virtually, grabbing coffee, baby dates… I am down for it all.
April- The New Mom On The Block