A picture from our weekend because Mia fell asleep on me and hello? I was in heaven!A few years ago I went through an awful experience when I stopped taking birth control. My hormones went crazy which resulted in hard core acne on my face and back, and a bout of depression. I touched on my experience a couple times on this here blog, but it's not something I like to remember. I was horrified by my ugliness, the pain of the acne was incredible and so surprising (my heart goes out to those who suffer with acne even more so now that I understand it's not only emotionally painful, but the physical pain can be unbearable!), and I pretty much hated myself. Once my dermatologist got my hormones and skin back on track I *think* I've made the connection that whatever hormone causes my acne, also causes me to feel depressed (I thought I just suffered from seasonal depression, but I've never experienced it since!)
Fast forward to getting pregnant with Mia. I was 99.9% ecstatic and .1% terrified of what I'd experience after she was born. I'd heard what a roller coaster it was for the hormones to get back in order and I was positive I would get PPD and have the worst time (mentally) after she was born. Aside from the normal 2 weeks of crazy after she was born, I felt totally normal! A couple weeks ago I shared my story when we stopped nursing. It was great and super easy and I was expecting that to be the end. I was surprised to find out I was wrong.
As my body has been adjusting and finding its way back to "normal" these past few months, I experience a break out on my face once a month. Let me tell ya, it's just so much fun having zits as an adult, not! Well, when I stopped nursing I started to break out and I chalked it up to my excuse every month. But my skin never got better. After two weeks I made an appointment with my dermatologist (I had wanted to get in to see if he could help with my scarring from a little bit of pregnancy acne I experienced. My skin is just so great...) I had been feeling pretty low mentally, but I didn't realize how dark I was getting, if you know what I mean. When I saw my Dr, I told him I knew I was in there too early because my hormones hadn't adjusted yet, but I was mortified and starting to be really embarrassed with my skin (that was the depression talking, because my skin was nowhere near as bad as it was a few years ago). He told me I was absolutely doing the right thing and he gave me meds to help regulate my hormones and to fix my skin. It took another week for me to feel like myself again, but it was one of the longest weeks of my life.
Mia is such a bright spot in my life, and she helped me during those weeks of depression more than she will ever know. She made me feel SO happy and I experienced a lot of joy with her. I have an amazing husband and friends who also made me forget how crappy I was feeling... but when I was left alone to my thoughts, I just wasn't happy. If I heard bad news, or something as simple as plans being cancelled (which happens all the time) I was distraught and couldn't pull my head out of the misery I was feeling. I wanted to cry allllll the time. Thankfully I understood what was happening since I had experienced this before, but as much as I told myself "it's just the hormones, it's really not that devastating, wait until the meds kick in" etc, I still couldn't shake the dark feelings away. I couldn't make myself feel better even though I knew it was ridiculous to be feeling like that. I remember one morning at the gym, I arrived before my friends so I went straight to the treadmill, blasted my music and ran as fast as I could, just praying that the endorphins would kick in.... because it totally works like that, right? :) I started crying because I was so overwhelmed with the depression and I wasn't feeling better, AND I was mad that I couldn't stop myself from crying at the gym (ha!) I felt like I was loosing myself to the depression, and it was my body's fault, my hormones fault!
I've heard that nursing acts as a form birth control so I shouldn't be surprised with how my body reacted, but it's such a foreign feeling for me to be depressed. Sure, I have my low moments just like anyone else! But this was more than "a moment" and it was a lot more intense. Luckily I caught on really early to what was happening and got it taken care of, but apparently there is a lot more going on with the body when you stop nursing, besides your body stopping making milk. I'm probably one of a kind with this type of reaction, but just in case I'm not, I wanted to share my story. I have a hard time admitting when I need help, but getting help asap was the best decision I could have made!