As the creator of the lifestyle blog Me Before Mom, Bert supports millennial moms facing the challenges and changes of motherhood. Me Before Mom is an online community that offers support through real life stories, encouraging advice, and answers to questions about how a woman maintains herself during this self-sacrificial time of parenthood. Stories from Bert Anderson have helped women across the globe through the Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, and on the Harry show. Whether weathering the first year of motherhood or walking through the later stages of motherhood, Bert has helped many continue to find herself while still in the throes of motherhood.
Well, it’s been roughly six months since we launched ourselves into this place we call “parenting”. I don’t know if Ben and I really understood what we were getting ourselves into when we ventured on this unknown ground. From the uncertainty of whether or not we would be able to get pregnant (we’re fans of Friends and the storyline about Monica & Chandler scared me to death!) to my bout with postpardum depression, it’s been far more than a bumpy ride.
Let me start off by saying that pregnancy was nothing that I thought it would be. (Is it ever for any woman?) I was extremely uncomfortable to say the least. In my last trimester I started retaining water like it was my job! (Can anyone say, “Pitting edema?”) Then the labor and delivery came…cake walk compared to the actual 39 weeks I endured sharing a uterus with a very active little boy. I should be frank and admit that the contractions were not pleasant at all; I had back labor. I did opt (at the suggestion of my friend, Jeff, who just graduated med. school) for an epidural. Let me tell you, ladies, the Lord gave us modern medicine for a reason!! Can I get an amen?
Anyways, being a mother was not what I thought it would be. I was a supervisor at a large health insurance company before I had my boy. I enjoyed my job. Then Ben and I decided I’d stay home. I thought my sadness and lonliness was because I was a very social person and needed to be with people. I thought that I wasn’t handling being a mother well and couldn’t wrap my mind around why I didn’t feel closer to my son, Brennan. Four months of feeling that way. Yuck. Finally I sought help. Yes, I soon became one of the 25% of women that are diagnosed with postpardum depression.
I was ashamed at first. I didn’t want to tell anyone. There were a few friends that were very helpful and supportive. My family, of course, was beyond amazing. Right after I was diagnosed I felt terrible about the way I had been acting towards Ben and Brennan. Looking back (and again with the help of modern medicine) I see that those feelings were the depression talking. My doctor told me, “Your neuro-transmitters just aren’t working right.”
I’ve been on medication for over two months now. I am in love with my son. I love and appreciate my husband more than I ever have. I still have feelings (a common misunderstanding of what antidepressants do) and I am definitely happy.
So welcome to the adult life, kids! You wanted to get pregnant? Well, there’s a lot more where that came from. As for us, we plan to enjoy the ride.