After my daughter was born, I experienced all of the usual signs of the "baby blues." However, after some time, those "signs" intensified. I started to notice other, scarier symptoms start popping up and, after many months of suffering in silence, sought treatment for and was diagnosed with postpartum depression (PPD). I faced a lot back then, and realized that some of the toughest decisions you'll make as a mom with PPD aren't limited to yourself and your depression. I had a partner and, more importantly, a new baby to care for, too.
The Mayo Clinic describes PPD as a "long-lasting form of depression"commonly found in new moms. It's a disease that reaches far beyond "baby blues" and can be diagnosed when a mother suffers from anxiety, sadness, difficulty sleeping, and mood swings. These things typically disappear within a couple weeks. With PPD, however, everything is more intense and lasts quite a bit longer if left untreated. I ignored my symptoms for months, thinking they'd just go away on its own. I was wrong. Not only did I not get better, I spiraled into such a deep depression that I became suicidal. It was a terrifying part of my life I hope to never experience again.
After I began a detailed treatment plan (thanks to a caring doctor), it wasn't long before all the intense emotions of being a new mother with PPD passed. Still, because I'd waited so long, it took awhile for my depression to completely dissipate. I had to make a lot of important and daily decisions about my baby, my relationship, and my life, while also navigating and caring for my own mental health. When you're depressed, indecision runs rampant and even if you settle on something, you'll second-guess yourself a millions times over. At least, that's how it was for me, and I can safely say that making the following decisions wasn't my idea of a "good time." I did the best I could but, looking back, I wish I'd had another mother (who'd gone through it as well) to talk to about everything that I was feeling and how those feelings affected the following decisions: