Category Archives: depression

PTSD and Postpartum-something

Shit went down.

A couple of months ago my partner and I decided to buy a house, while going through the process of dealing postpartum pain, learning how to take care of a new bundle of joy, new job and still a new marriage. My husband was fortunate enough to have parental leave of up to 4 months, while I had to put my feelings to the side, still be pain from my C-section and go back to work at 8 weeks postpartum.

We were really lucky for that but I somewhat am resentful that I had to go back to work after all that work of being pregnant and going through labor; to end one of the most precious moments you will never get back.

All while this was going on, my husband relapsed from his PTSD and I, had to repress my emotions to take care of him and the baby. I never told him that and it only hit me when his therapist asked how I felt, and all I said was, “pushed to the side”.

For a moment there my husband kept saying that I might have postpartum depression but when you go through so many transitions and get hit with something so traumatic, you get tired. Im not depressed but my anxiety has increased over the past couple of months.

At this point, my workplace is the place I seek peace. Its pretty bizarre that the one place that caused so many problems is now where I turn to, to relax. Im not saying that the issues I had posted about dont matter, they do but I dont have time to deal with that stuff anymore. I just think positively, speak up when I have to and always have data at hand in case I have to prove myself.

Im just tired and I hope this doesnt come back and bite me in the ass for not dealing with my emotions ealier. I wish I could have expressed this to my husband but as we all know, when you have your partner has PTSD, the last thing you want is to cause is more anxiety. I wish I had friends to talk to, that I could depend on.

My husband has a great support system and everyone showed up for him when he was going through his relapse, and all I could feel was pure loneliness. Because the one time I needed him, I couldnt depend on him or lean on him emotionally but thats not his fault. He did his best and he did marvelously.

Those moments for me, were moments of reflection. It had me thinking of what would happen if I went through all that, who would be there? If I died tomorrow, would they even notice? Till this day, I still feel like I have no one, and thats on me. I may need to try harder at being a better friend, sister, aunt, cousin, daughter, wife and mom because right now, I just dont think im cutting it.

My advice: if you ever feel like this, dont stay to yourelf, reach out. Talk to someone about your feelings. This is my outlet, find yours. As always, if you ever need a listening ear, im here.

Damaged Goods- Baby Brain and Work

“It’s a myth”, that’s what I’ve heard and read in research articles of how mothers’ brains who are expecting are unaltered.

Although I still think that at times I am going crazy and that I am not able to be as productive as I use to be, I do think that your mind is affected by the changes your body goes through. Just alone in month 6, theses are symptoms you will be going through:

  • Those baby flutters or as I like to call them, worm feelings, will start
  • Oh the gas
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Backaches
  • Uterus is the size of a basketball
  • Increased vaginal discharge- yea i change underwear at least twice a day
  • Pain and stretching in the underbelly
  • Swelling
  • Most recent, bloody booty-hemorrhoids

Okay, you get the point. Well its no wonder that we can’t focus or multitask as much as we would like to. Something you have to realize is that you actually are multitasking while doing everything else, like work or thinking about what you and your partner have to do before the babe gets here.

Giver yourself a break. I’m trying too. I have become excruciatingly frustrated with myself because I was the type of employee that was able to do it all. Now i’m missing meetings because of appointments, getting undermined by people from other departments and co-workers and my boss are giving me a break with work (I hate it). To top it all off, our VP spoke to my direct supervisor and insinuated that my supervisor should not expect much out of me, as a result my student enrollment goals should be adjusted. Talk about sexism and discrimination. Although I truly am blessed to have coworkers and a boss who is wholeheartedly understanding, it sucks. I want to do it all but I physically, mentally and emotionally can’t. However, there are things that you can do to make it no one else’s business of what you can and cannot do. You also don’t want people’s pity.

  1. Stop talking about baby brain and mommy brain. Even though you are convinced that you are going crazy or feel like you are a bit more clumsy than before, stop mentioning it and stop complaining. I know, you are going through so much but at the same time, you are what you want people to see and if you want them to see you as a person who is tired all the time and needs help doing the work, then who is losing out here? Believe that you are this human who was given the opportunity to pop a sucker out. You are strong and you CAN do it. You won’t be able to do it all at once but be patient with yourself. Also seek out a group outside of work and/or talk to HR about what your rights at work are. If you can’t find anyone, I’m here to help! I can be your support!
  2. Plan! Not only plan for what changes will happen with baby coming into the world but plan for the things you can control such work events or responsibilities and be intentional. If it takes you longer to complete a task, start early and give yourself time to successfully complete it. I use to be able to do projects within hours of receiving marching orders but that’s not the case anymore. You are now responsible for yourself and another being. Time is no longer your own. You will have to adjust to the changes and pee a lot more or pump!

white paper with note
Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

All in all, as a person of color as my dad would say, “don’t give them a reason to fire you”. And although it would be illegal to not provide certain accommodations, don’t be surprised by anything or anyone that might try to undermine your ability to successfully complete your job. I have always been a firm believer of being ten steps ahead of anyone and ALWAYS have paper trail, be transparent and work with integrity.

On the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission you will find information about the type of rights you have as a pregnant person. Per law, while the PDA does not require employers to provide time off for pregnancy disability, it does require employers to treat pregnancy disability the same as other disabilities for purposes of sick leave or temporary disability benefits. Be your own hero and know your rights!

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Remember that any advice, tips, or recommendations you receive from this blog are not to be substituted for professional advice, please consult with a professional before taking any of the previously mentioned advice and/or plans. Visitors should take action based on the information provided at their own risk, as the blog owner is not responsible for any losses, damages, or injuries, that occur as a result.

#anxiety #depression #highereducation #latina #latinx #latinainhighered #lifestyle #mentalhealth #newmom #wokemom #woke

A Dark Place- 10 Pounds In

I was definitely in a dark place in the last post. Struggling with this new event in my life and worrying of whether I would fall in the same track as my sisters and mom with depression was excruciating. One thing is for sure, when you start letting people know about your news, it becomes something else. It goes from becoming this heavy burden to something joyous and unbelievable. My advice, I know you probably want to keep this little piece of news between you and your partner, but when you start sharing this news with your loved ones, the gifts start coming, and theres unconditional support and love galore (for those who are fortunate to have it).

In my eyes, and its probably from society’s doing, I felt like men would see me as passed due merchandise (as if I could ever see myself any lower than this) and I believed I would dissapoint the women in my life who I have preached to about doing me first.

Nothing could be the opposite and these thoughts only showed me how much self-esteem I lacked. My insecurities ran deeper than what I thought and its partially to how I was raised. Growing up I wanted to be the opposite of my primas; not bear children until I was older. I come from a family that believed having kids in high schools was the norm and that being in gangs was the only way out. I soon saw myself running in the opposite direction of what my primas and primos were doing. I didnt want to lose at life but its taken me this long to figure out that creating life is something out of this world. It is incomprehensible.

The men I told in my life, especially my peers and boss, were unbelievably supportive. To quote, “I hope you know that a woman’s body is a powerful thing, you can do anything”. When my boss told me this, I was shook. I grew up believing that being pregnant was giving up on my life but its not. It is about creating a new life, a new path, and turning a new leaf. For those who choose to have children and are in a dark place, know this, you are invincible. You are stronger than you think and you are great, regardless of what people tell you. You do not need a child to validate or invalidate you, nor a husband or wife. You are enough.

I may have chosen this path and maybe it was not in my original plan, and yes im fucking scared because my vagina is about to get really stretched out (TMI) but damn i’m giving birth to a human and theres nothing more fitting that this to a cis and trans-wombyn. Whether you want to live it or not, we were placed in this earth to bare children, and I find comfort in that. So believe in yourself and believe in what your body can do!

P.s First trimester I rarely had nausea or was vomiting. Now in my second trimester, I have a bit more energy but cramping. Its almost the size of a peach. My boobs hurt and I have a horrible pain on my back resulting in me not being able to bend forward. So far I think I have had it easy compared to other mothers to be. Best of luck!And yes im still aspiring to start a PhD program but not yet. I still dont know what I want to do.

#futuremom #futuredra #latina #postpartum #combatinganxiety #latinainhighered #mentalhealth

I’m Exhausted

Eight weeks pregnant.

I’m exhausted, I have nausea and had my first panic attack a week ago. Luckily im not vomiting but sure do feel like shit.

I’ve gone from not being able to sleep (not sure if it was from my anxiety) to sleeping 8-9 hours and taking naps. I told myself I would workout to be healthier but dammit, it’s so hard to not be in bed.

Recently I read that exercising eases your time in labor, which is the biggest fear I have. It’s so bizarre that something so big is coming out of something so small. SCARY AF!

I don’t even know if I could do this and im pretty sure this will be the only child I will have because I have to many dreams for myself.

To some extent, I also feel dissapointed in myself for giving into being pregnant. Latinas are known to be stereotyped at having a lot of kids, really early. For always putting everything before themselves. And I feel like I let myself down. I gave into what my husband wanted and forgot what I wanted….

Last night he asked, ” are you mad at me”

“No, im not mad at you. I’m dissapointed at myself”

This is something I have to learn how to come to terms with but its not a feeling I can get over, not from one day to another. I also dont want it to lead into other issues such as depression or anxiety or postpartum depression, which both my sisters had. I just feel stuck, at work and in my personal life, and one day im going to have to reconcile with this situation.

So the only thing we can do is educate ourselves. It is normal to feel this way because every path is different and not one person will have the same story.

Please read up on some resources! The National Insitute of Mental Health is a great resource.

 

ILLUSTRATION: ERIN MCPHEE

 

#fightingdepression #pregnant #anxiety #depression