The End of the 4th Trimester

me with happy Penelope

At a point in time that once seemed SO.FAR.AWAY.

Everyone tells me that they miss the newborn times and the early days. I smile and say, “Yes, aren’t they the best?” and then laugh in my mind because I personally think the newborn days are kind of terrible. Sure, it’s amazing to have a sweet baby snoring on your chest, see the beautiful first smiles and listen to soft coos. But, I can’t say I’ll miss the four thousand diaper changes, constant wake-ups, breathless screams, and from this situation, the never-ending vomit. 😉 I certainly don’t miss seeing P in pain from the reflux, choking, or lying awake all night next to her, worried sick with anxiety. (Thank goodness for the Owlet.) I’ve said it here on the blog before, but to say it again: babies are awesome, but I think kids are SO much more fun. If I could birth 3-year-olds (you know, without my body breaking), I’d be the next Octomom. Of course, you have to go through the newborn phase to raise these amazing humans, and I don’t regret any second of it because I’m so in love with our girls, but instead of lamenting the past, I’m loving the present and looking forward to what the future brings. It just gets better and better. 

I also won’t miss postpartum depression and anxiety.

Like the prolapse stuff, PPD is something I don’t think is often discussed, so I’m going to talk about it. Because it’s not a common topic of conversation, it can make you feel isolated and even more alone when you’re going through it. And I get it. It’s obviously not the happiest subject, and it can put the ones you love in a tough situation. They’re worried about you and want to help you, but aren’t sure how. They want to be there for you, and don’t know what you need. It’s tough all around. 

I had postpartum anxiety and initially undiagnosed postpartum depression after Liv was born. It was undiagnosed because I figured I should fight through it, and had a hard time accepting help from anyone. I  couldn’t talk about it while I was in the trenches, and it wasn’t until Liv was a year old (a year old!) that the fog lifted and I finally started to feel myself emerge from the shadows. It was horrible, and I promised myself with baby #2 that I wouldn’t let myself get to that point.

Steps I took to Combat PPD

I did everything in my power to be proactive about it.

-I started therapy sessions and got an action plan of steps we could take. Tom went with me so he knew what to look for, and how to help me

-I pre-wrote almost 20 posts for the blog so I could take a “maternity leave” without the site going totally dark. I’m still really proud of myself for doing this, and I was able to take almost 4 weeks off from the blog (except for a couple of sponsored posts that popped up and adding in a couple of current posts). It was amazing, and there’s no way I would have been able to maintain my posting schedule with all of the doctor’s appointments, etc. that became necessary. I was able to nap whenever possible, shower, and take care of our girls, while easing back into work. 

-I rounded up my “village.” My mom came to visit, my nana came to visit, and Tom took two weeks off. We also extended Liv’s preschool hours. She had a few weeks of difficult transition when P was born, mostly from being bored at the house while I was holding P (who was crying and spitting up constantly, for hours), she wanted to be with other kids, play outside, and enjoy learning with her wonderful teachers. It was a smart choice, and she has been thrilled ever since. At first I felt guilty that she was at school longer, but my therapist put it perfectly when she said, “Do you really feel bad that she gets to be at an amazing place she loves, learning and playing with her friends? Or do you feel bad because you think you’re supposed to feel bad, and think you’re magically supposed to do everything on your own?”

The Return of the Black Cloud of Depression

Even with all of the things I did, I felt so discouraged to feel the black cloud creeping back on. The reflux, diet changes (from cutting out multiple food groups as the pediatrician recommended to see if it would help P), and constant doctor’s appointments compounded with the worry, stress, and my own medical issues began to take a toll.

It went from “Ok, I can handle this” to “Ok, I’m dealing with this now too, but it’s ok” to “this is just too much.” A significant endorphin contributor (sweaty exercise!) had been put on hold shortly after I was cleared. I knew we were surpassing the normal baby blues, and heading into PPD territory. There was a span of a few weeks where I cried every.single.day, sometimes multiple times a day.

And then there’s the guilt. Here are I was with such a beautiful, wonderful family, and feeling so sad at the same time. It’s very confusing to be simultaneously overwhelmed with love, happiness, and despair. I felt guilty from feeling sad, and also felt guilty every time I needed help from anyone else. I felt like I was failing at everything, and the negative voices in my head started to crush me. 

I lost my energy. I didn’t want to get dressed, or eat, or blog, or do anything, but I forced myself to keep on keeping on, because my girls needed me. They didn’t need a mom who was in bed crying all day, so I put on my happy face and did what I needed to do. I felt like I wasn’t good enough at anything, and often felt helpless with everything going on. I recognized that I needed help, and sought it immediately.

Seeking Help for PPD

I upped my therapy appointments, started going back to acupuncture, talked to Dr. Flynn about getting my hormones balanced and started herbs for that, and also addressed things I was doing that made the situation worse. I knew I felt worse when we stayed home all day, so I forced myself to get out of the house. I met up with friends for coffee or went on walks with P for some sunshine.

I finally asked for a prescription for depression (my doc prescribed Lexipro) and the weekend I picked it up was when I ended up in the ER for the second time, postpartum. It’s funny, because sometimes you have to hit the bottom to start creeping back up to the top. When I found out that the Urogyn wasn’t worried at all about the prolapse -she said it’s exactly what she’d expect at this stage postpartum and expects it to fully heal- but rather another issue (which is going to be fixed, even though it sucks), and when P turned a corner with the reflux, I started to feel better. It was like a light switch was turned on, and the difference has been astounding. My energy is coming back, I feel productive, and I don’t feel like I’m wearing a mask all day.

When I was at the ER, I was talking to my nurse about the PPD (it’s in my medical chart) and she said something that I really needed to hear,

“Whatever you’re going through, just remember that it’s ok. You’re going to be ok. I know you will.”

To all of my friends who are going through something similar: you are going to be ok. 

Please, please don’t hesitate to take to someone, call your doc, and get the help you need. I waited way too long last time, and I regret it. Even if you’re away from family (like me), you can find a village. Talk to a therapist. Hire a postpartum doula to take care of YOU. Get some reliable childcare, even once a week, so you can sit in a coffee shop alone, meet up with friends, take a long shower, or nap. Hire help with the house or anything else you think that could reduce stress for you. Don’t be afraid to take medication if you and/or your doc think you need it. Tell your partner and friends how to support you, because they want to. They just might not know how, or know what you need. Get fresh air. Take deep breaths. Know that you are doing an amazing thing and an amazing job, even if you don’t feel that way. Remember that you don’t get a medal for doing everything on your own. You don’t have to suffer anymore.

Sending so much love to you all <3 Thanks for being there for me during the ups and downs of life. Thankfully, we’re hitting an up after some downs.

xo

Post Navigation:

139 Comments

  1. Amber on February 18, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I was recently struggling with anxiety and guilt over good things! Not baby related, but got a new job, built a house, moved into it, holidays etc-all exciting changes but felt down for awhile! I think it was just everything all at once. Feeling better-exercise and meditation totally help me manage my anxiety! XOXO

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      the holidays is a weird time for that, i’ve noticed. so happy you’re feeling better

  2. Jill on February 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks – and kudos – for speaking so candidly about this. While I have yet to have children, we have clinical depression in my family, so I understand how hard it is and what a taboo subject it is. I’m happy to hear that you were proactive this time and are strong enough to seek help. Sending you positive thoughts!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      <3 thank you!

  3. Laura @Fit Mama Love on February 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    I completely agree about the newborn phase and I’m so glad you’re doing better now! As someone who has experienced PPD, I was wondering about how you were doing, especially given the reflux issue and knowing you struggled with anxiety the first time around. Like you, I didn’t fully acknowledge my PPD the first time around until after the fact, so I was hyper aware the second time and had s much better experience. I’m glad you got the help you need this time!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      thank you, friend

  4. Julie Arangio on February 18, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    This is such a powerful post. I had my twins 12 years ago, at only 27 weeks gestation. I was “on” for the 3 months that they were in the NICU and then when they came home, spent the next 9 months anxious and in the middle of major PPD. I wanted to take care of them myself and didn’t want to admit that I needed help for fear of appearing weak, or not a good enough mother. I would like to sometime write about the whole experience of having micro-preemies and the emotional toll it takes. Thank you so much for putting this discussion out here and for being so open.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      oh man, i can’t imagine what you’ve been through. i hope you can write about it and that it’s healing for you <3 sending lots of love your way

  5. Ali on February 18, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you for writing this! I had my 2nd baby in Nov. and still cry a lot and have ups and downs. I have suffered through some anxiety but I’ve gotten some help in various places too and am doing better I think. The guilt is horrible! My mom loves by me and everytime I ask for help, I feel so guilty about having to ask and needing it. This is such a hard time despite all the blessings.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      i feel ya on that. i used to feel horrible asking my mom and nana for help, but they loved it! like i said, you don’t get a medal for doing everything yourself <3 sending lots of love to you and hope you continue to feel better and better

  6. Ginette on February 18, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Thank you Gina for candidly sharing all of this! I really believe that it will help so many others. It’s so hard in the beginning to overcome the stigma that is associated with mental health in this country. You are part of the change that this country needs so much. Removing the stigma of mental health/PPD and exposing to the world that it is alright to get help if you need it is extremely powerful. It takes a lot of strength to be honest about this kind of thing, so I wanted to thank you for being so brave. You are a true inspiration to so many of your readers, myself included.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      thank you so much, and thank you for reading <3 i really hope that the stigma dissipates over time and people get the help they need and so deserve

  7. Karla on February 18, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Beautifully written, Gina. So sorry you went through all of this. I too had PPD with my first child and it lasted almost two years, I breastfeed for that long too. I sometimes wonder if this was part the problem because I am already hormonally imbalanced. I did not tell anyone about the PPD until now. My mom threatened to take away my baby in the beginning, she sensed I had it, but taking the baby is NOT the way to handle the situation. I felt helpless, cried all the time, I hated how much breastfeeding hurt for the first few months, no family around me, no help, loss of self as I became a stay at home mom, and some medical issues. I had chronic pain and thinking about it, it was probably pelvic prolapse. I had no idea…I also had painful hemmrouds that I cried for 11 months postpartum. It was a tough time and I am going to have baby number two in June. I don’t feel depressed as last time during my pregnancy, but know my limits and what I can do to help myself this time around.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      i think breastfeeding does wackado things to hormones. i’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been through so much <3 sending lots of love to you for this next experience. i hope it's so much better for you

  8. Laura @ SheEatsWell on February 18, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    What an amazing honest and powerful post. We’re planning to have kids in a few years and I’ve always loved following along your journey. PPD + anxiety IS something very relevant and you putting your story out there is a wonderful thing. Here is to many more ups! xo

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      thank you!

  9. Julie on February 18, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Sending you lots of love Gina- I can relate on so many levels and feel heartbroken you’ve had such a difficult time. The mommy guilt is so real. Thank you for sharing and I hope things just continue to get better from here on out!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      thank you, friend. sending love to you!

  10. Mollie K on February 18, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    this is such a beautiful and honest post. keep it up, you’re amazing 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      thank you, friend

  11. Akeller on February 18, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you so much for telling your story with full honesty. I struggled for so long and just wouldn’t ask for help. It finally hit when my husband was gone and my son was crying in his crib, while I was on the floor having a panic attack. That was the moment I finally found help I had refused.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      i’m so sorry you went through that, but happy to hear you got help to feel better <3

  12. Brittany on February 18, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you for your honesty and sharing! I also dealt with PPD and PP anxiety after my son was born, and was also going through a separation when he was just a few weeks old. Reading mom blogs where the writers somehow managed to look gorgeous, have their house and work perfectly together, have a happy baby, etc just made me feel more alone! I’m sure this post will help moms going through this issue currently.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      that was really hard for me after liv was born, too. i had to stop reading a lot of mommy blogs because i felt so inadequate! i was like there you all are in your beautiful j crew outfits and i’m here in sweats with a unibrow haha

  13. Jenn on February 18, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I can so relate, and thank you for sharing. I fully agree that talking about it will help take the stigma away and help others not feel so isolated.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      <3

  14. Katie on February 18, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    So beautifully written! <3 Sending hugs & love your way!.. I actually just seeked help a few months ago (my little guy is 8 months) because let's be real, raising two little kiddos is a tough job!!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      thank you so much <3 happy to hear you're getting help, too! raising kiddos is definitely a tough job <3

  15. Christine T on February 18, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    You are awesome. Thank you for sharing this. No one should have to suffer through mental health issues on their own … Nor should anyone feel stigmatized for admitting they suffer from mental illness. Your open, honest dialogue is a step in the right direction. ?

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      thank you so much, friend

  16. Cassie on February 18, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I love how honest you are. My MIL only talked about how wonderful pregnancy was, how easy it was to raise her son, and I thought a lot of it was attitude. But you know what I’m not afraid to say anymore – a lot thanks to you – Babies suck! Little one is 5 1/2 months, and we have lots of moments now where we play, we smile at each other, she plays and lets me gets other things done, and it feels awesome. But then she insists on crying herself to sleep, and I think how terrible it is. And for a little while, I thought that I was doing something wrong… because my MIL said how easy and wonderful and amazing it was. Thank you for telling it like it is. And maybe it was easy for her. But it doesn’t mean anything about me to say, sometimes it’s terrible and the hardest thing ever.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      i totally get that it’s beautiful and easy and rainbows for some mamas (and i think it’s awesome!) but it can make you feel like something’s wrong when that isn’t how you experience it.

      • Cassie on February 19, 2016 at 8:30 am

        Exactly!

  17. Kylie on February 18, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing <3

  18. Corie on February 18, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I’m sure it’s not easy to speak publicly about your struggles but you did it so eloquently. I just had my first baby at the end of October and am still struggling with anxiety and PPD. I’m really having a hard time with having to return to work in a few short weeks even though I was very lucky to be able to spend the first 4.5 months with my sweet baby girl. I’m also dealing with milk supply issues which in turn caused my daughter to lose a bit of weight – talk about mommy guilt. Being a mom is hard. But it’s also the most amazing thing I have experienced in life. Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s reminded me that even though we don’t know each other, there are other moms out there struggling through things like I am and coming out on the other side.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      you’re right- it’s so hard and so wonderful at the same time <3
      sending you lots of love for a smooth transition back to work
      xoxo

  19. Lisa on February 18, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Thank you thank you for sharing. Love and light to you and the family.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      thank you <3

  20. Ashley on February 18, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Great post with great advice! Thank you for sharing! I do have a question – you’ve been so open about the pelvic floor issues…are you going to discuss the other medical issue you’ve referenced a few times (the one you need surgery for)? I get this is totally personal so of course it’s your right to maintain some privacy. I’m a long-time reader and even though it’s weird I feel like I “know” you and it just seems kind of weird to be so open in some areas (pelvic floor, PPD), but to be more guarded in other areas (or half guarded, since you have mentioned there being an issue). I hope this isn’t coming across as critical because that’s not at all how it’s intended. I’m just curious and genuinely care (again – long time reader). I hope all is ok!!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you for reading for so long! It’s super tmi so I’m just calling it my repair surgery in case readers are eating breakfast or something. Basically a spot has to be fixed that is a combo of how it was stitched and how I healed. This is why I’ve been in so much pain and why certain things hurt (like spin!) and others are totally fine

      • Ashley on February 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm

        Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear it! I’ve only had one pregnancy that ended with an emergency c-section so I know next-to-nothing about vaginal issues related to birth (since that’s not the route we ended up with). But my hope is that’s less major than the alternative (i.e., prolapse/pelvic floor stuff that could be happening). Maybe I’m totally wrong and it’s equally horrible (and surgery is surgery, which sucks). I feel like I’m putting my foot in my mouth so I’ll just stop. HUGS and thoughts with you! I hope all goes well!

        • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm

          yep it is way less major, so that’s the good thing! after i heal from this, i’ll hopefully be back to my old self again 🙂
          xoxo

  21. Erin @ Erin's Inside Job on February 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I love any post that exposes the vulnerability and truth of living life. I was officially diagnosed with depression last summer and I wrote a number of posts on it. You’d never know from the outside and given the fact that I’m a fitness instructor and exercise was a constant part of my life. Even regular exercise wasn’t helping things, so I turned to the professionals. I am so happy I did because I am finally feeling like myself again.

    Again, I applaud anyone who writes so honestly and thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      i read something that said sometimes the people who need help the most look like they need it the least. appearance and disposition can be deceiving.
      so so happy you’re getting help and feeling better <3

  22. Shannon on February 18, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Gina, this is why I love you! You’re so real, and your stories/experiences are inspirational. I fully believe you’re strong enough to get through anything — I look to you for strength and advice when I’m feeling down/anxious. Thank you for being so candid and continuing to help and inspire women from afar 🙂 Sending you lots of positive vibes ??

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      that means so much to me- thank you <3

  23. Meghan on February 18, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    This post is amazing. I am pregnant with our first, due in 10 weeks, and we have had in-depth discussions about this very subject. My type-A personality, combined with history of anxiety and occasional depression, have me concerned about PPD. I really appreciate you opening up about this topic. It helps reduce the stigma, and hopefully will encourage women to be aware of their own symptoms. I’ve been reading your blog since you started and can honestly say this is the best post I’ve read so far. *cue the third trimester tears* 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      it’s amazing that you’re already aware of things that may make you more susceptible. you’re already ahead of the game <3 i hope that the newborn phase goes well for you and i'm sending you lots of love. thank you for reading for so long, too!

  24. Allison d on February 18, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    What a beautiful post about the reality of life and the human condition. I am sure this openness about a taboo issue will help another new mom who needs to hear she is not alone.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      thank you, allison <3

  25. Kassie on February 18, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Beautifully written! So many people are shamed to ask for help. I’m very vocal about mental health for this reason. I started having horrific panic attacks when my daughter was 5 months old. I struggled for years and years. Emergency room visits, failed medication. It wasn’t until last year (keep in mind she’s now 8) that I finally seeked therapy. I’m a mother of 3 and I had become so reliant on my husband. I couldn’t do anything alone, panic attacks were ruining my life. After months of therapy and 6 months of finally finding Prozac I’m normal again! Mental health affects so many. The stigma that’s put on it keeps so many from ever finding help. I’m glad you’re feeling better.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      so so happy to hear that you’re feeling better and found the help you need and deserve. i really hope more mamas (and people in general!) start to realize that they deserve to be happy <3
      xoxo

  26. Guest on February 18, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    It’s great of you to share your story with others. I know it will help folks out there struggling. Those first several months with a baby are not at all easy. I am loving it now that my kids have graduated to 1.5 and 3.5. As you say, so much to look forward to ahead!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      so much to look forward to 🙂 xoxo

  27. Katie on February 18, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    I really appreciate the honesty Gina!! It is something no one talks honestly about but most of us go through, suffering alone. Thanks for being so open… Us mommas need to stick together!!!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      amen to that!

  28. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on February 18, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    That’s a wise nurse! I think no matter what someone is going through there is comfort in knowing it’s going to be ok.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      <3

  29. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on February 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Beautiful post!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      thank you friend

  30. Christina on February 18, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    So so well said. I have two boys. One had the reflux too. AnD I also suffered from PPD. PPD is so misunderstood. You are doing everything right. The main thing is take care of YOU! You can’t take care of them if you don’t take care of you!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      so so true! i felt guilty last time, and this time i have zero hesitation about getting a babysitter when i need it <3

  31. Amanda on February 18, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I have been saying the same thing lately. When people ask me if I’m going to have a third I say if I could pop out a 2 year old I would. Newborn phase does bad things to my sanity. Looking back now I definitely went through the same thing, anxiety, not accepting help. It’s unfortunate that you don’t realize it’s happening until you’re out of it. I’m glad to hear that you’re on the up and the fog is lifting! Love your blog 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      same! even from the newborn days until now is night and day. thank you, and thank you for reading <3

  32. Katie @ Live Half Full on February 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I’m four months PP and started talking to someone last week because my fog hadn’t quite lifted and work made it a little worse. BUT, after one session I instantly felt better. My husband is joining next time and I think it’ll be great for both of us. It’s good to know someone else is going through the same thing!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      so happy to hear it’s helped you!! sending love to you and hope you keep continuing to feel better

  33. Cheryl on February 18, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks for being so open about your struggles– I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this.

    You don’t need to answer this if you don’t want to, but did you say that you had your placenta encapsulated? Just curious.

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      I did. He got 270 pills because it was so giant haha! I took the pills for a couple of months. I found they helped a lot initially and after a while, I was more anxious and wired when I took them

      • Cheryl on February 18, 2016 at 10:36 pm

        Interesting! I also took placenta pills and credited my lack of PPD to that …until i started hearing from friends who still experienced PPD or other negative symptoms even while taking them.

        Thanks again for sharing, keep up the good work.

  34. Jessie on February 18, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I’m so sorry you are going through this! I’m glad it’s getting better for you! The newborn phase is no joke and I experienced PPD too but didn’t get help. My son didn’t take to nursing very well and I was up all day and night nursing and pumping, trying to recover from a c-section and worrying about his weight gain. I put so much pressure on myself and I waited too long to supplement with formula. I finally came out of the PPD when my son was 1. I got help and even though I didn’t stay on the medicine, getting out everyday and meeting other moms at moms groups for play dates really helped me. I’m praying for you and know so well all those hard feelings. You’re awesome and glad things are getting better! My son is 4 now and I’m really loving this stage minus him dropping his nap last yr Hugs!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      thank you <3 uhhh, the breastfeeding probs are the WORSE, especially the guilt when they're not gaining appropriately. love the 4 year old stage, too! (and yes, miss the naps though haha)

  35. Danielle on February 18, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I just recently discovered your blog and I love it! My baby was born in early November and I have a 3 year old too so I find your posts so relatable! I love that you are focused on the present and not lamenting the past!! I try really hard to live in the present too!! ??

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      thank you so much for reading <3

  36. Katie on February 18, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you, thank you for sharing your story. Mental health topics seem to have such an unnecessary stigma around them that will only change by people sharing their experience. I hope this post is able to reach someone who is struggling in silence. I am happy you’re feeling better!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      the stigma is horrible and keeps so many people from getting the help they need and deserve. thank you for the good wishes <3

  37. Amanda on February 18, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this! My father passed away 2 months before having my son. After having my son, he was super fussy. I prayed and prayed for the next day, just to say I made it another day. I was struggling with breastfeeding, grief, taking care of my family, and decided to quit my full time job. I went to working part time to be able to nurse and try to make ends meet.
    I did a lot of reading, working out, leaning on friends/family, and meditating to get where I am today.

    After a full year I am just seeking help now. Its never too late! I feel like as mothers we brush ourselves off. Thank you so so much for this post! I have read your blog for years and you keep me motivated as a mother!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      oh i can’t imagine. happy to hear that you’re getting some help <3 sending lots of love to you

  38. s on February 18, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    thank you for this post. <3

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      <3

  39. Grace on February 18, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, I am going through the trenches right now with an almost 3 wk old and have been going through baby blues with all the stresses and adjustment to parenthood as he is my first. I’m so happy it has gotten easier for you, I can’t wait until I can get more than 1-2 hours of sleep! Love your blog by the way, this is the first time I’ve written a comment but I’ve been following you since before you had Liv! You are looking so good too!!!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      oh man. hang in there. when you’re in that sleep-deprived cave, it really feels like it will last forever. and then it doesn’t. thinking about you and sending love (and sleep wishes!) your way. thank you so much for reading for so long <3

  40. Leah on February 18, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    You are a rockstar, Gina! Thank you for sharing your story. If only I had read this 8 years ago after my first child. I suffered from PPA and honestly had no idea what this would look like after a baby. I literally didn’t sleep at all for weeks making things worse. It took a long time to ask and find appropriate help. Both my kids had severe reflux and this made anxiety worse so I can relate to what you’ve gone through with P. Also had pelvic floor issues too. Motherhood is amazing but it also can be really hard too. Glad you found ways to help yourself feel better. I know your post will help many women. Hugs to you!

    • Fitnessista on February 18, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      thank you so much, leah. i’m sorry to hear that you’ve been through the reflux and pelvic floor stuff, too. it’s so hard when you’re in it, but it’s nice to know there’s light at the end of the tunnel <3

  41. Pam A on February 19, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Much love. Hope you aren’t in he trenches anymore and that things are feeling much better. If they aren’t yet, then they will. I understand the guilt about not feeling happy even though it have so much to be happy for.

    On another note, I feeling like having a baby with reflux as well as a medical complication of your own is enough to send every mom into a battle with PPD or at the very least a healthy dose of baby blues. I wonder if there is a study confirming that. If your baby cries all the time and/or you’ve had a traumatic event, there is just only so much you can take.

    Thanks for sharing your journey and I hope you feel better soon.

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      thank you so much <3
      i totally agree, and it helped me to recognize that. my therapist said, "with everything going on, do you think it's normal for you to feel like this? absolutely. no one would be going through this and be 'happy.' " she's a wise one 🙂
      hope you have a great weekend.

  42. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy on February 19, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. I just shared my experience with postpartum anxiety on Periscope. Although my symptoms are (were) different, I’m also taking Lexapro and it has been such a big help. I’d recommend anyone feeling badly seek help because it’s not worth feeling that way for a year!

  43. Ellen on February 19, 2016 at 5:32 am

    This is a powerful post and so well written and handled. I’ve had my two kids, dealt with the same things you describe, and I am certain many women in the future will find comfort in this very post. Thank you for being so open and honest. Now go celebrate that you survived the “newborn phase” — woohoo!!!!

  44. Amy on February 19, 2016 at 5:59 am

    You are so, so wonderful. I love that you are so committed to this blog and your loyal readers that you open up yourself so much- and such a raw area. Thank you for showing us a look into this world, and for helping to break through the stigma. Thinking of you, sending happy, healing thoughts.

  45. Alissa on February 19, 2016 at 6:23 am

    I’m a fitness instructor and I refer people to your blog all the time — and this post is why! Not only do I love your recipes, awesome workouts and WSU/SSU, but you’re a real person with real struggles just like everyone else. It would sure be fun to be real friends with you, but I’m so happy for this little internet that connects like-minded people from your awesome weather SD, to my snowy cold Minnesota. Hugs to you!

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      thank you so much alissa. i really appreciate it! <3 sending hugs back

  46. Melissa on February 19, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Thank you so much for sharing, Gina. My baby girl is almost 1 year, and our experiences are very similar- being away from family, not knowing how/ when to ask for help. It means so much to your readers (long-time readers!!) when you share these posts. Your ‘village’ from afar is rooting for you!

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      thank you so much <3

  47. Kristy B. on February 19, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Sooo, I just wanted to say that I’m not a mom and I’m not even pregnant, but this really hit home for me. Just finished reading it, and I have tears on my face. I’ve been thinking I’d really like to get a therapist for a while now, just going through some tough times and….well, basically you’ve convinced me to talk to my doctor ASAP about referring me to somebody. Thank you, Gina, and I’m glad you’re doing well!

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      i’m so so happy to hear that! i was seeing my therapist since before i was pregnant, and it has been amazing. it’s just nice to have an outsider give you objective and honest thoughts/advice. i hope you love it and find that it helps you as much as it’s helped me <3

  48. Katie on February 19, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Thank you for sharing, and I’m so glad you’re feeling better. Hearing you talk about this, I definitely think I had some postpartum anxiety and/or depression. I remember so clearly feeling guilty for feeling sad and overwhelmed sometimes. I needed to read this with Baby #2 due in less than 2 weeks. It’s so important to remember to take care of ourselves and lean on others during this crazy (and hormonal) time!

    I am also grateful for your therapist’s words about preschool. I work so our daughter goes to daycare, and I think we may keep sending her as usual during my maternity leave. I have some guilty feelings about this, but she really does love it so much and Baby #2 deserves some bonding time with Mama just like she had. Thanks again for bravely sharing your story.

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      thank you <3 i hope the experience is much better for you this time! sending you lots of love
      i would not feel guilty at all about continuing to send her! i felt like we should keep liv home -she was only doing half days at that point- and quickly realized that sticking to a routine and some semblance of "normal" was really helpful for her. and liv is the same way: she LOVES going. when she was home with screaming p, i actually felt like i was punishing her because we couldn't go out and do anything fun
      early congratulations to you 🙂

  49. Meagan on February 19, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Thank you so much for writing this, Gina. While I haven’t had a baby yet, I’m definitely aware of PDD and hope I can be as proactive as you were in preparing. Your well-written honesty about difficult subjects that no one talks about is just one reason this is my favorite blog. 🙂

  50. hillary on February 19, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Thank you thank you thank you for this post. It is so important for people to learn more about PPD and PPA so that they can help themselves and others. Like you, after my first (and currently only) child, I didn’t accept enough help or know what to ask for or even how. It was nearly 16 months until I began to feel like there was a light at the end of the long, very dark tunnel. While I have fears about returning to that place, your post helps me to understand what I can do to help myself in advance and reminds me that we’ll all be ok. Kudos to you!

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest