Depression is a stigma, it is the conversation that sometimes happens behind closed doors if it does at all!

Depression happens every day to every single one of us at some point.  Perhaps not always as severe but it is REAL and there are many forms of it. Manic and Post Partum are perhaps the most common forms of depression. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to speak about it, LOUDLY!  Speaking about depression is also the best thing we can all do for each other! Once we all tell our stories, it is not such a scary thing for others to examine and eventually, we will stop giving so much power to this monster that truly doesn’t need to be this larger than life presence! WE are MAKING the CHOICE to give depression life!

Depression happens every day to every single one of us at some point.  Perhaps not always as severe but it is REAL and there are many forms of it. Manic and Post Partum are perhaps the most common forms of depression. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to speak about it, LOUDLY!  Speaking about depression is also the best thing we can all do for each other! Once we all tell our stories, it is not such a scary thing for others to examine and eventually, we will stop giving so much power to this monster that truly doesn’t need to be this larger than life presence! WE are MAKING the CHOICE to give depression life!

After the birth of my 1st daughter in January of 2009, I did not feel right.  It took a long time for me to identify what the problem was.  Most of the time when I get “down”, I tend to view it as being somewhat homesick, especially now after having a baby.  I had a really difficult time knowing what was real, what was normal and how do I stop feeling this way? I was lonely, I wanted my parents, I wanted my friends, I wanted to not feel scared!  Bruce had always been there for me and he is my best friend, however, he is not a female,  trying to vocalize some of the things I felt were not as relatable to a man as they were to a girlfriend if I had one there to lean on!

A while back, I touched on my pregnancies being classified as “High Risk”, my first pregnancy really did a number on me! I was labeled as an “incompetent cervix”, which is truly an awful term in every single regard.   Nothing about me or my cervix is incompetent, we are just sensitive!  Being stamped “High Risk”, people ask you to explain and then you say Incompetent. Every time that you say it, it feels like the ink is darkening and none of these terms are fun to converse about. They are not often spoken about, so you get a lot of eyebrow lifts and in that moment, I did not want to discuss it anymore! I didn’t want to be labeled, categorized, stamped, I would not allow this define me as a pregnant woman!

We moved out to Burnaby into our first apartment together and shortly thereafter, I was put on modified bed rest, which meant that I was to get out of bed to go to the bathroom etc. but to not really do any walking.  After having spent the last 2 years living in the downtown core of Vancouver, most of my friends had always remained within walking distance and now I was technically in another city. You even had to do a sky train transfer *GASP*, which meant that I wasn’t going to be getting any visitors. No one came to see me. I was at home, sometimes with Bruce, but no friends to see or people to converse with and I was “incompetent”?!

I gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Ava Blaire who was 7lbs, 7oz, and 19.5 inches long.  She came into this world like the true Rock Star that she is, a day late at 3:55pm. She came out healthy and a dream come true!

We had a baby, we went home and I was just supposed to be happy! I had this beautiful bouncing baby girl and all the pictures show the mommy as being so happy, they had that new mommy glow, why didn’t I? Why didn’t I sit and stare at her while she was sleeping and revel in every single breastfeeding moment? Why was I so short and angry with almost every single person? I just didn’t feel anything really, and what I did feel, didn’t feel good… at all!

I began to research mood disorders and had my Ah-ha moment! Things clicked in place, it made sense.  I was suffering from postpartum depression! Immediately after this moment, I called my doctor, made an appointment and KEPT it! We sat down and I had the hardest conversation that  I had ever had with a “stranger”. She referred me to speak with someone at BC Women’s Hospital. I was given medication to take with instructions on what to do and what not to do,  I followed them! Life got happier, I got happier. For me, saying it out loud took ALL the power away from this Depression. Those words claimed my life back.  I recognized my problem, identified it, and I solved it! I made that choice!

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As I’m approaching my final few weeks of my final pregnancy, I feel strength! I feel like I am heading into this situation more prepared for what I could possibly be facing after the baby is here. More importantly, I felt empowered with knowledge. This pregnancy, no doubt to anyone that knows me, has been an experience all on its own.   I did not have a lot of time to truly enjoy my last pregnancy, as I was scared and lonely for most of it.  I want to enjoy this experience, for me, for Ava, for Bruce.  This is a different pregnancy and I need to keep that perspective in mind as I approach roadblocks both physically and mentally!

I acknowledge that I am susceptible to Postpartum Depression.  I want to ensure that I am taking all measures to prevent it from happening again. If it does, how to identify it quickly and not give IT any more power or strength within my life!  I have said it, I’m not ashamed of it! This monster doesn’t need any more power and it doesn’t need to be a quiet hush behind closed doors. It’s real and we all go through it!

Men: Would you want your sister, your mother, your daughter to suffer quietly? No?  Then say it if you have it, or have lived with it! Mommies/Women: You would NEVER want another mommy, or your daughter when she becomes one or any other female to suffer quietly from any ailment,  let alone one like depression.  Speak up! I dare you!  Together, let’s take all the power away from depression and turn our own volume up!

Now you know my story! I had it, I’m susceptible to it, and I refuse to encourage depression to ever take part of my life away.  That strength I WILL give to my daughters! Will you say it out loud? What strength will you give to your family? Will YOU make the CHOICE to remove Depressions power from YOUR life?

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