(outer print Blue Nude by Pablo Picasso)
Originally Seen on The Yummy Mummy Club
My daughter Zoe was born on my thirtieth birthday. She was the loveliest gift a person could wish for. I was unprepared for the post partum depression I would struggle through for the next six months. As with all periods of breakdown in life, there is much to be learned – maybe more from the shadows, than from the light.
Here are the five things I learned from Post Partum depression.
1. Accepting my Imperfections
I remember looking in the mirror, thinking the only thing that hadn’t changed were my lips. My Porsche of a brain was now a battered Volkswagen. I had fifty pounds of pregnancy weight to lose, my breasts made Pamela Anderson’s look like wanna-be’s; my stomach’s stretch marks were a road map to oblivion; nursing made my hair fall out, I was retaining water everywhere; and then there’s the exit wound Zoe left down below.
The state of my body contributed to my depression. I had gone from hot babe to mushy mama. And yet, I was aware that the scene of the crime was also the scene of the miracle. I tried to appreciate the wonder rather than the plunder of my physique. And, I was receiving so much love, for once it didn’t matter what I looked like
2. Positive Disintegration
When depression left me an exhausted shell, able only to nurse and sleep, it gave me time to reflect. Having had the mask of independence yanked from my face, I had the opportunity to re-jig some boundaries. I learned better ways to ask for what I needed, and to let go of unhealthy people and situations. I decided to refer to my breakdown as a “positive disintegration”.
3. Living On Child Time
The only thing my disoriented brain seemed capable of was the slow, methodical nursing, burping and changing routine. It was a speed bump nature provided, so the fast pace of my professional life could settle down to a crawl, preventing me from doing anything but bond with my baby in my rocking chair.
4. The Opportunity To Give
While I wouldn’t recommend having your spouse get ill so you can experience enhanced bonding, that’s what happened to Marc and I. When his formerly independent wife became so vulnerable, it gave him an opportunity to give in new and profound ways. I viewed him with new appreciation. His unconditional support made me love him more. He also shared his vulnerabilities. All of that honesty and openness saved us hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in a therapist’s office!
One of the biggest lessons I learned from being temporarily disabled is how any of us is susceptible to a breakdown. It’s part of life. Hopefully, others who suffer from post partum will have the same support and understanding from their loved ones I received; and will find the same willingness to push forward through the pain. There’s gold in them there ills!
Amy Sky is a singer/songwriter/performer/producer/entrepreneur. As a songwriter, she’s written songs for Diana Ross, Olivia-Newton John, Heart, and Sheena Easton. She currently lives in Tornonto with her husband, singer/songwriter Marc Jordan and their two children.