Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Benefits of This Blogging Community We Have Here

I have always been sort of internet savvy, particularly on the research end. I have always been a creature of instant gratification, and the internet has fed into the obsession for me, because I can find the answer to anything and everything at any given time. I seriously do not know where I would be without the internet. And that holds so true now that I have become a mom.

It was the summer of 2006 and I was at a pretty amazing place in my life. I was married to the man of my dreams two years prior, we had recently purchased our first home, we both had full time jobs, we had both graduated college, and were on our way to the typical American lifestyle. I knew we would have kids some day, I just wasn’t so sure that having kids was something I wanted RIGHT THEN.

But that night in June 2006 was a night I will never forget. I was taking my millionth pregnancy test of my life (for real, you all should have been buying stock in First Response, because I was taking at least one pregnancy test a month for years and years before that!). I didn’t expect it to say YES, because my monthly “friend” has NEVER been a regular visitor, so going 3 weeks, 5 weeks, 7 weeks between her visits was not uncommon, but I always had to check. That night though, I found out, she wasn’t coming back, for 40 weeks or so to be exact.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want kids, I just didn’t think I was ready. I had a really hard time dealing with it. I went into a deep depression and thought horrible thoughts for those first few weeks. I DID NOT want a baby, mainly because I knew life would never be the same. But, I had an amazing doctor who saw the signs of pregnancy-related depression right off the bat. He quickly referred me to a therapist who changed my life and got me on an anti-depressant that was safe to take while pregnant. He told me that I had 2 weeks, and if in 2 weeks I decided I did not want to have the baby, he would support me and send me to the appropriate professionals if need be. I was not in my right mind before that, because once the medication got into my system and I got the psychological help needed, life changed dramatically. I was happy and excited and thrilled to be pregnant. I couldn’t wait to have the baby; I was a totally different person! To this day, I am still ashamed at feeling the way I felt, but I know, that my story can possibly help other women, who think there is no help when it comes to pregnancy-related depression. It is simply never talked about and it is a time in your life where you feel so isolated and empty, when you should feel joyous and happy.

So what does all of this have to do with the benefits I have felt from the blogging community? Well, I am now currently pregnant with my second baby, a baby girl who I am due with on March 4, 2009. If you would have asked me while I was pregnant with my first if I would ever do it again, I would have quickly told you “NO!”, but God has had other plans for me. I’m not going to say that this pregnancy has been easier than the first, but I have had a completely different support system this time around; my blogging community. When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately thought to myself what it would be like, and how I didn’t want to go through what I did before. But unfortunately, I did.

You see, I was able to defeat it, without the assistance of modern medicine and without those weekly appointments with a therapist. I was able to conquer and beat the depression this time around with the simple and kind words that would pop up on my screen whenever I needed a smile or virtual hug. And since I had begun blogging when my son was 4-5 months old, I had already established an amazing community of mom’s and woman and fellow bloggers who would read my posts and respond in ways that made all the difference. I cherished those comments on my blog and on Twitter, because I knew that these women truly meant what they were saying, and genuinely felt for me, and to this day, I know that if I need a pick me up in regards to whatever life is throwing at me, that I will be okay. Because this community is always there…all hours of the day and night. They don’t have office hours and I don’t have to worry about the side effects of them. They are real and true and authentic. And the door swings both ways, because we are all always there for one another. No matter what. Here in the blogging world, you can let it all out and never fear what sort of judgments people will have because 9 times out of 10 these women have been there and know exactly how I feel. Their words are what got me through the day and kept me from burdening my husband with things he really didn’t understand. It made my real life relationships better. I didn’t have to grumble and whine to my family members, who didn’t understand what I was going through. These women were my lifeline, and I don’t think they even knew it.

With this pregnancy, I didn’t have to go back to my weekly therapist, and I was able to not have to take the anti-depressants either. I seriously think that it is because I have had an outlet and support system in the blogging community that has kept me strong and able to handle everything I have been going through. I don’t need to personally know these women, or see their faces to know they care. It is simply in their words. Those words that pierce directly into my heart and my head. I can feel their presence when I read what they have to tell me. And sometimes that is even better than a real life hug.

**This post is an entry in to the Mabel's Labels BlogHer '09 Contest**


Caitlin Jean said...

Hi Jen,

Thank you for entering Mabel's Labels BlogHer '09 Contest! Best of Luck!
Caitlin Madden

thediaperdiaries said...

Thank you for this post. And thanks for checking in on me. It has been a really good week!!