Monday, July 22, 2013

Finally, Peace

The last few weeks have been hard. Okay, the last few months have been hard. At times I felt like they were the hardest few weeks of my life. Work has been incredibly stressful, Emmett has been teething and then sick and then teething and then sick, so we haven't slept much. Money has been tight. But it was more than that.

I've been angry, frustrated, sad and stressed out. I've never been angry before, but over the last few weeks I felt angry almost all the time. Not about anything in particular, but about everything. I couldn't explain it, and I didn't understand it. Poor Ray didn't know what to do. He'd tell me to just let it go, but I didn't know how. It came out of nowhere and I didn't know how to deal with it. I let it take me over, and my family suffered so much because of it.  I would snap at my husband and even at Emmett. I was having trouble sleeping- I'd wake up in the night full of anxiety and fear. I worried all day and all night about nothing and everything.

I felt so hopeless, so helpless, and so alone. I was angry at myself for feeling so awful all the time and for being so awful to my family. All I ever wanted was to be a wife and a mama, to have a family and to love them. I love Emmett so much, but all of a sudden the time I spent with him felt exhausting and I was so overwhelmed. I was racked with guilt because I wanted to be a good mom to him, to love every minute with him, but I couldn't find my way back to that.

I felt like such a failure, and hated myself for it. I wanted to be better for Emmett, my sweet baby boy who deserves me at my best. Everything felt so dark, so bleak. I didn't know how I would get through each day.

I wondered if some of my anger and sadness might be hormonal. I thought it was strange how deeply the little problems and frustrations in my life were affecting me, and how strong my reactions were. I felt like I had no control over myself and my emotions, and I didn't like the way I was behaving. I felt out of control, which was scary and only added to my stress and frustration.

And then this week everything changed. I felt a peace come over me that changed every aspect of my life. I am able to really, truly enjoy the time I spend with Emmett again, and he's even started sleeping better. I'm in love with my husband again. I'm able to leave the stress I'm feeling about work at work. I finally feel like my normal, happy self again!

Last weekend I got my first period in over 22 months. Just over a year after Emmett was born. I had a feeling that some of my crazy emotions were related to the stress that breastfeeding was putting on my body, and now I know that is true. My body felt sort of.. out of whack some how, and now I feel like myself again- physically and emotionally.

I've read about the effects that weaning can have on your mood, causing mood swings and even depression, but I never thought that was happening to me. I was breastfeeding still, not actively weaning, so it never clicked. Now I know I was stuck in a fog of depression and anxiety, and I'm so glad to be on the other side of it.

I remember reading this post before I had Emmett and told myself to remember it when it came time to wean, but I still didn't put two and two together. I wish I'd realized what was happening sooner. Maybe I could have done something to ease the pain I was feeling or at least helped my family to understand what I was going through.

Have any of you mama's experienced depression related to weaning, or know someone who has? 

9 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this Anna Kate, I am sure it wasn't easy. I would have never thought weaning could cause depression, but I guess with all the changing hormones it makes sense. This will help a lot of women and I will hopefully remember it when I need to wean Ted. Happy you are through and feeling better! (Also happy to hear you are getting more sleep!)

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    1. Thanks Kellie! I feel a little bit weird sharing this but I thought maybe it would help some other mama going through a tough time.

      I STILL need to meet that sweet boy of yours!

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  2. I think it is so great that you shared this! What a brave thing to do. I definitely experienced a small bout myself...it was so easy to wean Jack (well, because he weaned himself a few weeks after I found out we were expecting baby #2. I've read that the flavor of your milk changes which makes sense since he would literally nurse for 30 seconds and then giggle in the days leading up to him weaning completely) but it was hard on ME! I missed being close to him, since that was our special cuddle time and it reminded me of how much he needed me. All of the sudden, he didn't, and I thought, "What am I good for anymore?" :(. It's hard to have your sweet little baby be so dependent on you and then all of the sudden they grow up!

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    1. Thanks Kelly! Isn't it funny, the places our minds go as mamas. Our baby stops nursing and we go straight to "I'm useless now!" Being a mom is a crazy, wonderful, wild thing.

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  3. Thanks for such an honest post, AK!

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  4. Thank you for sharing! It's amazing the havoc that hormones can have on your mind and body, but it is so true.

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  5. Wow! I had no idea weaning can cause depression. I did have severe postpartum anxiety though, so I feel your pain. I hope you are feeling better. hugs

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