You all have been so kind to my guest posters the past week or so! Since I'm on vacation, I've been enjoying my time with family, helping with my sister's wedding plans a little bit, meeting up with old friends, and just plain ole' relaxing. I SO appreciate my blogging friends who have jumped in to give my readers some great material to read & think about during my 'Expanding your Family' guest series.
Today we have Lori from I Can Grow People here to share her thoughts about having another child following postpartum depression. She is a boy-mom (I'm partial! Her little man is soo handsome!) and a survivor momma. Lori, thanks for sharing your experience so candidly.
When I was six years old, my parents gave me some life-changing news:
In nine months time I would have a brother or a sister.
Let me tell you, my Cabbage Patch Kid loving, Punky Brewster watching mind was blown!
Being an only child could be lonely at times. Sure I got a lot of attention, but I also watched cartoons by myself on Saturday mornings. It seemed to me that having a brother or a sister was like having an instant playmate and friend. Finally, I would have someone to sort Halloween candy with after a long night of trick-or-treating. We could spend Christmas Eve together giddy in anticipation of Santa’s arrival. I was positive that having a younger sibling was going to be TOTALLY AWESOME (I’m a child of the 80’s, what can I say?)
And it was--and still is. My brother arrived about a month after my seventh birthday. I can’t imagine living the past 25 years without him. Yes, we are seven years apart in age and that did have some affect on our relationship growing up, but now that we are both adults our bond is the strongest it has ever been.
I most definitely want to have another child. It seems as though our family wouldn’t quite be complete without another little one around and I want my son to experience the special connection that having a sibling brings. But as with any life-altering decision, there are a lot of factors to consider—timing, finances and, for me in particular, my history of depression and postpartum depression (PPD).
I can tell you without hesitation that I want to have another child despite the possibility of going through PPD after another pregnancy.
I told my husband that I thought I was suffering from postpartum depression about three months after our son was born. I’ll spare you the details (you can read them on my blog) but I can safely say that because I had dealt with severe depression in my teens and early twenties, I was able to identify what I was feeling those weeks after my son was born as depression. I got help as soon as I figured out what I was feeling. That made all of the difference. I know that there is a chance that I may experience the symptoms of PPD all over again, but I do feel that because I have gone through it once already I can better prepare myself and my family for the possibility of it happening again. With medication, counseling and support, I can get through it. And not only do I have amazing support from my husband, but I have found strength in so many mothers I have connected with online. Knowing that there are so many of us dealing with the same issues has made all the difference.