Hey Ya’ll! I’m Danielle Camp and I’m a 24 year old girl mom of 2, ages 2 years old and 3 months old. I’m here because I want to talk about motherhood. I also want to talk about mental illnesses and being a mom with mental illnesses. I want to talk about it because I am going through it myself and I want to share my story and coping mechanisms in hopes it’ll help someone else. I want to pay it forward. I’ve been surviving depression and bipolar disorder since I was 15 & 16 years old. I’ve had years of experiences and learning from my mistakes to be confident in my knowledge of this subject. I became pregnant for the first time with my oldest right after my 21st birthday. I had a healthy pregnancy mentally and physically with the exception of gestational diabetes, but i knew I was high risk of postpartum depression given my history. My daughter was born the beginning of March 2015 and the following 2 weeks were a blur and I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I was sleep deprived because I couldn’t sleep even when she was sleeping. I wasn’t taking care of myself the way I should have been. I wasn’t myself anymore. Something within me was missing or was lost and I had no idea what it was. I was upset because I imagined motherhood to be different. I imagined it to be peace & serenity, smiles & laughter, sleep & baby cuddles. No one told me about the struggles of breastfeeding and how miserable I could become doing it. No one told me what to expect during postpartum and I was so “in the dark” that learning the hard way as I went was terrifying. To me as a brand new mom, motherhood was the worst but the best thing to happen to me. I became someone who was unfamiliar to my own self and even my husband. I was a different woman who had taken over his wife because he didn’t know the depressed & bipolar me until postpartum. He didn’t know the darkness that was within me. Postpartum was the true test of our relationship.
I felt like I lost my sense of self, almost like I lost sight of who I was and what I stood for. I no longer knew who I was. I knew I was a wife & mother, but I didn’t know what my hobbies or interests really were outside being a mother. The title “mother” became my identity. I no longer felt like an individual and outside being a wife & mom, I forgot how to function in the real world that wasn’t motherhood. I even forgot what it was like to be a wife. I guess I never really knew how since I was 20 weeks (half way) into my first pregnancy when I became a wife. The responsibility was overwhelming now that I think about it. Would I go back and change anything if I had the chance to? NO! Once I started taking care of myself after I had my youngest, I love the mother and woman I am now. It’s taken a lot of self-reflecting and self-evaluation to get to the point where I currently am now. I am happy. I am confident. And most importantly, I am becoming the mother I’ve so desperately wanted and needed to be for my girls. They deserve my best self. I deserve my best self. I am happy with who I am on the inside and out. This feeling is worth every obstacle and bump in the road I went through to get to this point.
As I continue this blog over time, I will be sharing my good moments, bad moment, and how I overcame the bad ones. I will be sharing products that have made Mommin’ a lot easier for me and you’ll also hear from other moms and their stories as well. I hope you enjoy my blog and I hope that it helps at least one person. This blog is my way of giving back and paying it forward to those who have helped me along the way. To those people, I thank you.
Danielle S. Camp