Why We Are Not Traveling With Joaquín Just Yet

October 4, 2015

Once I made the conscious decision to become a mother, I could not stop daydreaming about showing my future child the world. Lucas and I discussed in great length about how instead of giving presents for holidays, we would go on trips. We planned to take full advantage of not having to pay for our child’s plane ticket while s/he was under the age of two. Whenever someone would say to me when I was pregnant, “Are you sad that you will not be able to travel anymore?” I would laugh at their comment and let them know that we would be traveling all of the time — that travel was our #1 priority as a family.

Then Joaquín was born and everything I so fervently believed in changed, because I changed.

I have been attempting to write this post for over six months. Every time I would write it, I would delete it. I have always tried to be as personal as possible with my readers, but this seemed too personal. The truth is: I have postpartum depression and anxiety. It came on unexpectedly after I gave birth to Joaquín. There were so many things that contributed to it, that maybe it should not have been so unexpected? I did not have the pregnancy I had dreamed of due to pre-eclampsia, I had a horrific birthing experience with my emergency c-section, and then I failed miserably at breastfeeding. On top of that, recovering from my c-section prevented me from returning to work as quickly as I had imagined I was going to. I lost a lot of patients and clients, which severely impacted my jobs that I had worked on successfully building for years with blood, sweat, and tears. Instead of thinking about where and when Joaquín’s first trip would be, I was simply thinking about making it through the day (and if I am honest sometimes through the hour). Everyone kept asking me about travel, which made the situation worse. No one could understand why a travel blogger had stopped traveling just because she had a baby. I made excuse after excuse, never telling anyone that the thought of traveling was panic attack inducing for me. Simply going to the store right down the street with Joaquín seemed like an arduous feat. This was not the “baby blues”; this was so much more and having never struggled with mental illness before I did not know what to do. I felt like I was drowning in an ocean from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep, that I could never take a deep breath or I would fall apart completely. I was angry with the world, especially my poor husband. I eventually made the decision to get professional help when my mother said to me, “The only time I ever see you smile anymore is when you are with Joaquín and it is breaking my heart.”

I decided to write this post for a multitude of reasons. I wanted to put a new face to postpartum depression and anxiety. So many people mistake it to mean that a mother has gone crazy and wants to harm her child. This could not be further from the truth. Joaquín is the love of my life and the best thing that has ever happened to me. I never in a million years would do anything to endanger him, nor do I regret his presence for a second. What I am going through has nothing to do with him. In fact, one day in the future I hope to have a second child! It was a combination of out-of-whack hormones, sleep deprivation, unfortunate events before, during and after the pregnancy, and having zero balance in my life that triggered it. I also wanted to let other mothers who are going through something similar know that they are not alone. Which is how I felt for months, until I started discovering that I had friends and knew bloggers that were also going through it. Kym, a fellow travel blogger and new mother of Our Fox Tales, just last week wrote about her struggle with postpartum depression so eloquently. Please, if you are a mother and need someone to talk to, reach out to me. I am here for anyone that seeks a listening ear and a nonjudgemental heart.

While I still think traveling is one of the greatest things about life and it will always be a huge part of my life, in this moment I have zero desire to travel. I am sure this is shocking a lot of you. I am a writer and a photographer, but I am also a healer and I know that I need to heal myself before I can begin to travel again. One of the things that helped me the most was putting Joaquín on a somewhat strict schedule at 8 weeks old (we followed the Babywise book). He and I have both thrived once there was some sort of order to what felt like chaos. I would hate to mess up his schedule with a trip and I would hate to take a step back in my healing process as well. We also lucked out big time, by finding truly the most amazing nanny that helps us out a couple of days a week. My own mother has been my biggest blessing. She treats Joaquín as if he were her own son and has shown me so much grace and compassion when I needed it the most.

Yes, I have sad days and anxious days, but thankfully they are getting less and less. I am learning to let go and embrace the fact that I cannot control everything and that most likely I will never find the balance I so desperately crave. I will never be the best Acupuncturist, the best blogger, the best photographer, but I will be the best mother to Joaquín. He is the person that made me a mother, that taught me true love pours from a bottomless heart, that there are parts of myself that need a little tweaking, and who without a doubt makes me a better person.

I want to be clear, we will travel with Joaquín. We talk about exploring the world with him every single day. His entire nursery is travel themed. It is just that we are encouraging his curiosity at home — we explore our city of Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding areas and that is enough for all of us right now. I know a lot of people will disagree or be disappointed with our decision, which is okay. I firmly believe that you have to do what is best for your family. Travel is not best for our family in this moment. I hope my readers who have been following me for over the last five years looking for travel inspiration do not give up on me. I promise you, travel will always be a huge part of My Beautiful Adventures and I cannot begin to express how exited I am for Joaquín’s first trip whether it is domestic or international. For now we are taking. . .baby steps.

80 thoughts on “Why We Are Not Traveling With Joaquín Just Yet

  1. Colleen Brynn

    Awww… first of all, sending you HUGE hugs. xoxox
    I have dealt with anxiety for many years now. I can’t ever say I know what you are going through or that I understand (because I am not you!), but I do know that it’s tough. I’m really glad to hear that you are embracing your need to heal. This is something I struggle with because it sounds like we might be a bit similar – very high achieving, ambitious women… ever curious, always seeking knowledge, forever looking forward to the next adventure. It’s hard for me to step back and accept that I need to take care of myself, but I have become a LOT better at listening to that voice over the years, and I’m always a lot better off for it.
    To be honest, I have always loved your blog, but I’ve been more intrigued since the introduction of Joaquin; while I don’t have children, I also don’t know a lot of people who do, so I am wondering how life changes after babies, I wonder if this is in my future. In many ways, you have been that window for me. I still don’t know the answer to whether babies are in my future, but I am grateful that you are sharing an honest portrayal. You have a heart of gold.

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Thank you for your hugs, I send them right back to you babe! Anxiety is a tough beast, especially coupled with depression. In the first months after Joaquín was born anything could set the anxiety off. My Dad would pick him up to hold him and I would imagine him dropping him and I would just cry for an hour straight with that image in my head. Craziness! Yes, my Doctor said the same thing about our personalities…that we are designed to have anxiety, especially after becoming a Mom, because we have no control or balance. It makes me tear up what you said about my blog being more intriguing after the introduction of Joaquín! I do hope you become a Mommy some day. I know the PPD and PPA is so scary, but I also can say that nothing has come close to bringing me as much joy, happiness, and light as my son. I truly feel like the luckiest woman in the world!!! Much love to you!

      Reply
  2. Erin D

    Lots of love and hugs to you and the family! I can’t speak from experience, but I can tell you that strangely, travel has made me more anxious and more of a homebody the last couple of years so I do get some of what you’re saying and how confusing it must be to explain that. There is no right or wrong answer to when is the right time to travel with a child…I’m sure there are some that would say traveling with a baby is irresponsible as well. I look at it this way, when you’re ready, you’re ready, and that also means if he’s a bit older, he’s likely to already remember his first trip as well. There’s something to be said for that. The most important things to focus on are you, Lucas, and Joaquin. Heal first, worry about your business, and the rest will follow. Heck, even though you haven’t been traveling, I’ve enjoyed some of your baby-themed and more lifestyle posts and I don’t have a child. 😉

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      This is the most perfect comment, this is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so very, very much my friend! Traveling is an interesting experience. I’ve never had depression or anxiety before becoming a Mom, but I definitely got burnt out from traveling right before I got pregnant and so I thought it was the perfect time to try and conceive and take a step back from traveling. I just didn’t realize the step back meant zero desire to travel. I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed my lifestyle posts! There is definitely more to come!!! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Ceri

    Andi, you’re incredible, girl. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m not a parent but have struggled with depression on and off for years and it really is a hard thing to talk about. I can’t thank you enough for having the strength to do so and I hope you know that you have a huge community of friends and followers who completely understand and are here to support you. Sending you love. X

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Depression is such a hard thing to talk about. My anxiety is worse than my depression, but I have had some dark days over the last year. It is not a fun place to be in. I am so very sorry that you’ve had to struggle as well. I hate that for you! You’re so welcome for me sharing my story. I was scared to death, however felt extremely compelled to do so. I knew there were so many people out there that needed to hear my story. I need to hear their stories too and thankfully I have received countless emails from people because of this post telling me that they have been through or are going through the same thing. It helps to feel not so alone! Sending you lots of love too!!! If you ever need to talk, I am always here for you.

      Reply
  4. Leigh Shulman

    Oh sweet Andi!

    I am so sorry you’ve been dealing with this. Believe me, I understand. I’ve always struggled with some level of anxiety, but it got so much worse after Charlie was born. And that even without the complicated issues you dealt with during pregnancy, L&D and breastfeeding.

    I also want to say there is absolutely no failure in not breastfeeding. We unfortunately live in a culture that polices what we do as moms. It’s been my experience that there is literally nothing we can do right. If we breastfeed, it’s too long, too short, too something. If we don’t at all, we are either depriving our children (if we decide not to by choice), if breastfeeding doesn’t work properly, we have failed.

    That is way too much pressure, and it is ridiculous. It’s no wonder so many moms suffer from anxiety and depression both post partum and in general. But we are worth so much more than that.

    I know you’ve read this already, btu I wanted to share this post of mine again (I hope it’s ok).

    http://thefutureisred.com/meditation-cat-baby/

    Because when you describe how you’re only smiling with your baby. Oh, how I completely understand that.

    I’m so happy, though, that you and I have been more in touch over the last months of our pregnancies and early years of our little ones. Our little Argentine cuties. 🙂

    And please know that I am always here for whatever you need. Besitos, amiguita! xoxo

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      My dear, I should have reached out, but for a long time I was too embarrassed to say anything to anyone, even my own family! I actually made peace with not being able to breastfeed about a month or so after he was born. I think if I had ended up being able to breastfeed, I probably would have ended up in the hospital with my PPD and PPA. Not breastfeeding allowed me to let others help with the feedings, sleep through the night, and go back to work without worrying about pumping. Joaquín LOVED formula from day 1 and as a preemie I wanted him to eat whatever he would eat, so that he would grow quickly and thrive. He refused to latch and my milk never came in. I gave up after 2 weeks! I feel like now, however, wherever I look there is someone posting something about breastfeeding and how it is the best thing in the world and that they are the best moms for doing it. I think it is so amazing for the moms that are able to do it, but on the other hand I do wish more people who formula feed would say how great their kids are doing as well. Even as a preemie, Joaquín has been months ahead of crossing off milestones and he is in the highest percentiles for height and weight. He loves being fed by everyone in the family. He has only been sick one time, where a lot of my friends who breastfeed their babies have been sick multiple times. I do not feel as though I should defend formula feeding, but lately since breastfeeding has become such a hot topic I have had to over and over again. Anyway, anxiety sucks and I hate that we both struggle with it. I loved your morning meditation with cat/baby video. It is the greatest video ever and makes me sad that as moms we have to deal with anxiety when all we really want to do is devote all of our energy and love to our gorgeous babies. I know I am going to look back 10, 20 years from now and regret that I spent so many precious moments being sad and anxious. I can’t get these moments back with Joaquín and that is the hardest thing about having PPD and PPA. It is completely out of my control (for the most part). I am getting better though and I hold on to that. Thank you for letting me know that you are always here for me. That is so comforting to know! I am always here for you too. Much love! XO

      Reply
  5. Grace @ Sandier Pastures

    Hi Andi, I feel you. I have gone through PPD too when my first child was born, up until she was 6 months. When we become mothers, our priorities shift and sometimes, life can get so overwhelming that we find we lose ourselves in the process.

    Everyday was like a battle to thrive. But this I can tell you and maybe you already know: it will get better.

    You are raising a wonderful child, healthy, beautiful child. Keep up the good work mama and take care.

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Thank you so very, very much for sharing with me that you had PPD too. At 6 months I also definitely felt a shift. I am having many more good days than bad days, so yes I do know that it will get better and I see a light at the end of the tunnel in a sense. Like you, I felt and still feel at times completely and utterly overwhelmed and I absolutely lost myself. I take life day by day and I am trying my best to find myself again. Thank you again for your kind words, they mean the world to me! You keep up the good work mama too!!!

      Reply
  6. Corinne

    This. This x1000. I experienced similar anxiety after the birth of my first child. I fully anticipated I’d be one of those new moms who just popped their baby in a sling and carried on, and the exact opposite was true–I felt paralysed. This is why I get so angry when I see families shamed and criticized for traveling with lots of stuff or feeling like they need to provide goody bags for fellow adult passengers. Traveling with a baby for the first time is tough enough, never mind feeling like you’re already a failure for not “traveling light” or needing to look after grown ups as well. I created Have Baby Will Travel to inspire and motivate families to travel with their babies and toddlers, but also to help them. When you’re ready to plan your first trip, please feel free to reach out for advice, or just for a pep talk 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Thank you so much for letting me know you went through something similar! “Paralyzed” is the the perfect word to describe how I feel a lot of the time. I too was caught completely by surprise. I never once thought during my pregnancy that I would have PPD and PPA. The anxiety is much worse then the depression, but thankfully seems to have gotten MUCH better after 6 months. Have Baby Will Travel is SO inspiring and I will definitely be reaching out to you for advice when the time is right. We almost booked a trip to the mountains for this coming weekend and I chickened out. It is about a 2 hour drive away, I am just so nervous to disturb his sleep patterns, since he is such an awesome sleeper and I worked so hard to get him sleeping through the night. We definitely need a change of scenery though! So, maybe I do need a pep talk…

      Reply
  7. Dana

    Thanks for writing this, it floored me that I can relate to almost every word. Travel was also the basis of my profession before I had my now 6 month old beautiful girl. I had to ‘give up’ both my work and adventures to join the mom life. Between a rough L&D (Emergency c!), rough go at breastfeeding (seriously, why don’t they tell us it sometimes just sucks and doesn’t work?) and and extended stay in the NICU (Down syndrome), it’s been a huge adjustment. Trying to heal and balance the people we were before and the new people we are is the hardest thing ever! I love that travel is still a part of our lives – but until we’re ready, day by day is what we can do! You’re doing awesome and it sounds like making great, healthy decisions with your family at the core. Keep it up!
    Ps. I’m sure this is true about your whole life: but your blog has only gotten better with Joaquin in it!

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      I knew there were going to be some moms out there that were going to be able to relate to my post, so I honestly wrote the post for them. I spent so many nights googling my symptoms thinking I was going crazy! Congrats on your baby girl!!! And happy half Birthday to her! I am so sorry that you went through everything you did. Emergency c-sections are the worst and breastfeeding just nearly did me in! Trying to heal and balance is exactly the root of my problem. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your loving words. If you ever need a friend to talk to, please email me. I am always here for a mom in need! It sounds like you are doing awesome too and your PS made me tear up!!! XO

      Reply
  8. Alisha

    So proud of you for sharing this. You do what’s best for you and your family; no one else knows what that is but you. I’ve admired you for years and do now more than ever. Keep being strong and moving forward and loving that precious baby boy!

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Thank you, that means the world to me! You have no idea how hard it was for me to press “publish.” I consider myself the most non-judgemental person in the world, yet I am so judgmental against myself. I agree, no one else knows what is best for your family, but it feels like so many mothers these days judge judge judge and claim that the way they raise their children is the best — it is so overwhelming! I feel like we should all be lifting each other up and supporting each other more. I am so touched that you have admired me for years. I am humbled! Although “the struggle” is getting easier, it is still tough some days. I promise though that I am staying strong and moving forward and DEFINITELY loving my precious baby boy!!! He is where I get my strength from. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Edna

    Thank you for sharing something so personal, and good on you for recognizing that you need to heal and that travel is not the best activity for you at this time. Sending you hugs and thinking of you!

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      And thank you for taking the time to comment! I know you shared a deeply personal post last year too!!! It takes a lot of courage to share your soul with the world. I just kept thinking about all of the other mothers out there that felt like me and needed a voice. I did this post for them. Thank you for the hugs, sending them back!!!

      Reply
  10. Sarah

    Andi, thank you for sharing your personal story! So many people suffer from post partum depression and mental illness and effects not just the person suffering from it but everyone around them. I can say this as someone who has a close family member and friends who have suffered both. Also, I’ve worked 70-80 a week and started my own business knowing we were going to start a family. What I didn’t know was that we would move to a new city, have our first child, and then 18 months later have our second. It’s hard owning your own business and making it work, but you and your family should always be priority! Time does heal and makes us stronger. XOXO

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      I agree, PPD and PPA effects everyone around them, which contributed to the massive amount of guilt I felt 24/7. I know how much it has effected my family, especially my husband, as he has had to handle my ups and downs, my anger, my frustration, my craziness. Bless him for hanging in there with me! He really proved to me that he was there “through sickness and through health.” I can’t believe your story. That’s amazing that you handled it all so gracefully and successfully. My Doctor told me that most Type A women struggle with PPD and PPA and how common it was. She said she had it with all 3 of her children and it made me feel so much better. And yes, family should always be the #1 priority and time does heal and makes us stronger. That is my mantra! Thanks for sharing your story! XO

      Reply
  11. Erin

    You’re an inspiration, Andi! I have so many thoughts on what you’ve written here — all because I so completely get where you’re coming from. Though I haven’t dealt with postpartum depression, motherhood has been far from the beautiful experience that I expected: nursing was a nightmare (one which I tormented myself over for unnecessarily long since our culture hammers into us that “breast is best,” and therefore how could I be the best mom if I couldn’t do that?), and then my son is very spirited (to put it nicely), which means that most anything we do with him has been a giantly challenging and often very unenjoyable. Though I’ve managed to travel with him, it has been far from easy, and I often spend a lot of my time bummed about how I — the person who must travel at least 17 hours just to see my family — have what seems to be the most impossible child to fly with (literally, our first journey to SF from Madrid was the worst day of my life, hands down!). Pardon all of my complaining, but all of this is to say that you are such an amazing mom and clearly doing exactly what is right for you and Joaquin. Travel isn’t in the cards for you guys right now, and good for you for listening to heart and doing what is best for your family! Thanks for your candidness, Mama! You rock!

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Awww your comment made my cry! Erin, I had NO idea, zero, about your experience with motherhood!!! From what I saw on Facebook and your blog it seemed like you were not struggling in the least bit. Thank you so much for sharing. I wish I could give you the biggest hug right now. Nursing was such a nightmare for me too. I went in with a really good attitude, even though my Mom, nor my Grandmother had nursed, so I had no one around me to really help guide me. But, Joaquín refused from day 1 and my milk never came in. I tried and tried, gave up, and finally made peace with it once I saw how Joaquín was just thriving on formula. What happened with your son on the plane is what I imagine would happen with my son. The first nurse to hold him once he was born said he was the biggest “wiggle worm” she ever met. I think he would go craaaazy on a long flight, well to be honest even on an hour long flight. A year ago I would have bet a million dollars that we would have already made the trek to Argentina to see Lucas’ family, but I just can’t imagine it now. He would scream bloody murder driving to the store, so we eventually caved and bought a DVD player for the car and found that he was obsessed with the Chipmunks lol. That’s the only thing that keeps him quiet. You know what I love about you though, even though it has been challenging, you still have been doing it. That is super inspiring!!! I so wish we lived closer and our sons could play together while we talked over a bottle of wine. Thanks so much for your comment. You rock too!

      Reply
      1. Erin

        Guilty as charged: I guess I’ve only talked about the good stuff publicly and not the ugly stuff. But indeed, I suppose it’s never as easy as it looks, and that’s why I’m grateful for your honesty. And though I have traveled with Nico despite the challenges, I too think that it takes a lot of strength to say “no, this isn’t right for us right now”….and I’m not sure I’ve had that strength, so for that I really admire you! My trips to the States of course can’t be avoided, though, and you can be darn sure that I’ll be downloading some Chipmunks for our next journey in hopes that Nico takes to them like Joaquin has! On that note, I look forward to our paths someday crossing so that we can toast to enjoying a glass (or more) of wine while the kiddos play happily. Until then, besos!

        Reply
        1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

          I’m guilty as charged as well. Let me know if the Chipmunks work! The second we put them on Joaquín is in heaven. It is the cutest thing ever. I don’t know how at 9 months, but he knows the funny parts and smiles and laughs. I sure hope Nico and Joaquín can play together some day, fingers crossed it happens sooner than later. I’m always here for you. Know that you’re inspiring to me and I send you many besos as well!

          Reply
  12. Krista

    Dearest Andi, I’m SO glad you were brave and wrote this post. XOXO I have battled PTSD and Depression for a few years now, and it’s only been in the last couple of months that I feel all those choices I made for healing are coming to fruition. I think your decision is wise and beautiful, and just what you need to heal and thrive as a family. Further afield adventures will return, but until then, I’m cheering for you, hugging you tight from Australia, and looking forward to your home adventures. 🙂 XOXO

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      I know how much you’ve struggled over the years. You’ve been such an inspiration to me!!! I actually wish I had reached out to you to talk about what you’ve done so far in your healing journey that’s worked for you. I definitely think that further afield adventures await my little family. Even though I can’t mentally go there just yet, I am beginning to get excited about the possibility of traveling again. So, for me that means there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel I’ve been in! Thank you for being my cheerleader and for your kind words and for the e-hugs. You’re such an amazing soul! XOXO

      Reply
  13. Sally

    Good for you to share such a personal, hard-to-tell story. I know you’re helping out tons of people who are in the same situation as you. I have struggled off and on with depression. It’s hard enough dealing with that kind of thing when it’s only you, but I can’t imagine dealing with it while having a baby who’s depending on you. You are a strong woman — and even stronger for admitting your limits. Best of luck to you and your little one.

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Thank you so much for calling me strong — you too my friend! I’m sorry to hear that you’ve struggled as well. Mental illness is so very challenging. I had never been through it before, so I was totally caught off guard. I have a whole new appreciation for people who do suffer. Best of luck to you as well and if you ever need someone to lean on, please shoot me an email. I am always here for you!

      Reply
  14. Irene S. Levine

    What a beautiful and heartfelt post. At different stages of life, different things take priority. It sounds like you have the wisdom to know what’s important for now.
    Be sure to take care of yourself and seek out help and support if you aren’t feeling up to things.
    Hugs, Irene

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful and loving comment! I have been feeling so much better, but I know I will have setbacks from time to time. When I do, I’m going to come back to this post and read all of the comments for support. Hugs back!

      Reply
  15. Linda ~ Journey Jottings

    Your story is so important to tell and share Andi –
    Its only through the telling of difficult births and breastfeeding experiences that other mothers will realise they’re not alone and anguish silently over how they’re doing as they’ll know its OK not to live a lie and hide behind a false front of everything is fine.
    All your adventures are beautiful to read Andi because life, even when its hard is beautiful 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      I couldn’t agree more! The outpouring of love has been amazing since I shared my story. I have received countless emails from women who are going through a similar struggle, but don’t have the courage to share. I wish they did, because then we could all support each other and lift ourselves up together. I am at fault for putting up a false front, but feel so much better now that it has been taken down. I love what you said about adventures are beautiful even when they are hard. That will be my new mantra!

      Reply
  16. Julia Manchik

    Girl, I don’t know why you think anyone would be disappointed in you for not traveling!! I am not a mother, but I have no doubt what a life-altering and difficult time you’ve just gone through. Even without PPD, you have every reason to take it easy and stay home while you get used to your new normal. And take as long as you need. I think you’ll appreciate travel more this way, rather than forcing yourself to go just because it’s expected of you. Business will pick up too when you’re ready for it. Enjoy this season as best you can. Sending you lots of hugs!!

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      I agree with you 110%, which is why I made this decision. I just got really exhausted from constant questions (daily) about where and when I’m traveling next with Joaquín. I didn’t know how to answer those questions, because I wasn’t telling anyone about having PPD and PPA. I would skirt around the question and people would say oh it’s so easy to travel with a baby don’t make such a big deal about it. Well, it might be “easy” for someone who isn’t suffering from PPD or PPA… I guess at the end of the day it really isn’t about traveling per se. It’s just that I wanted to come clean to everyone about what I was going through. I was tired of hiding and even though yesterday I was nervous all day long to look at my phone or computer after I posted this post, I’m so proud that I told my story. I received at least 100 emails from people thanking me. Today I feel a million pounds lighter and inspired. Thank you sincerely for your kind words. You’re completely right about how business will pick up when I’m ready. Now that I’m starting to feel better, business has started picking up. I’m trying to be very careful though about saying yes to the right opportunities. Big hugs back to you dear!!!

      Reply
  17. Vanessa

    Sweetie, you are so courageous in sharing what you have been going through!! I am no stranger to serious depression, even though it was postpartum. And I will say that it makes a lot of sense both hormonally and psychologically. Sometimes the most immense joys in life (like a baby, wedding, etc) can bring on the biggest pain because we are so not used to the joys!! Plus, a baby does change everything, and most importantly, he changed YOU. You have had to re-figure out who you are now that you are a mom, and there is not much time to do it when you are sleep-deprived and trying to make a living, heal, etc. So I hope that by being able to write this blog you have given yourself credit for what you are going through. I am sure you have given lots of fellow mothers validation for going through what they’re going through. I will add something that’s often hard to hear, but maybe you can take it in — it is also fully normal to *sometimes* wish you weren’t a mom, that you could have your familiar life back. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love your baby — not in the least!! It means you are human and you are struggling to figure out how to meet your own needs when you are having to be fully preoccupied with your little lobster!! That is such a difficult balance to strike that you might sometimes wish you didn’t have to deal with it. I hope you can give yourself lots of credit for being an amazing mom and that you keep taking the time and space to heal. Travel will be there when you are ready. For now, you can travel internally — which you’ve done with this blog post!! I love you so, so much, even if at a distance. Big, warm hugs to you. Please know that I am here for you (and I’m a therapist haha!!). <3 <3 <3

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Wow, totally blown away by your post! Thank you from the very bottom of my heart!!! I love you my dear friend and oh how I wish you lived closer. All I can say is that I agree 100% with what you’ve written. Writing and posting this post stirred up a lot of of the depression and anxiety, but today I feel a million times better. And yes, it was like traveling internally. I actually don’t ever wish I wasn’t a Mom, I just wish I had my old life + being a Mom, but I know that’s completely impossible. A lot of other things that I didn’t talk about contributed to my PPD and PPA as well… My Dad was very sick this past year with heart problems and he had accident after accident. My Mom was traveling a lot for work, so his care was in my hands, while I needed to heal myself from the c-section. I also had issues with my Mother in Law while she was here for 3 months. Etc etc etc. Anyway, I’m starting to have more good days than bad days, so while I definitely have a lot of healing left to do, I know with certainty that I’m on the right path. Thank you for letting me know that you’re here for me. I will definitely reach out! Love you so much!!!

      Reply
  18. Jenna

    I’m so sorry that you have been dealing with all this. Pregnancy, birth and motherhood certainly do present new challenges, and we can never predict what they will be or how we will overcome them. Obviously from all the supportive comments on here, you know that moms understand–we’ve all been there and know that despite all the joy, being a new parent is not all roses. I’ve said the same thing time and time again about traveling with my kids–it’s just not easy or feasible for us sometimes for a variety of reasons.
    About breastfeeding, I believe that the big push for breastfeeding is a result of previous generations that did not embrace breastfeeding or even saw formula feeding as a status symbol (that’s how my grandmother remembered it). You did the right thing, and as you said, your son is doing great! Breastfeeding isn’t a black and white issue–many new moms experience difficulty with breastfeeding, and for those who do breastfeed, many working moms end up supplementing with formula or stopping breastfeeding earlier than planned. There are no right or wrong answers…take care of yourself and all will fall into place. 🙂 xo

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Thank you for your sympathy. It has been a challenging time for me, but each day I grow stronger thankfully! The outpouring of love I have received once I posted this has been incredible. I wish more Moms shared how hard it is to be a Mom. Then I think so many of us wouldn’t feel alone and isolated. I have been really disappointed with how judgmental a lot of Moms are, especially re: breastfeeding. As Moms we should be supporting each other and lifting each other up. At the end of the day we all have one common goal: to do what is best for our children. Thank you for reminding me that life is not black nor white. I can’t wait for everything to fall into place…though I have a feeling it will just in time for me to get pregnant again hahaha! 😉

      Reply
  19. Kiri

    Bravo Andi! I have been catching up with your blog and as I am sure you know, the personal posts are always the hardest to write but ALWAYS resonate the most with so many of your readers. I know you struck a cord with so many women out there feeling the same struggles. Although it is scary that travel might be on the back-burner for now, just like you said, there are so many amazing things to do in Charlotte…not to mention it is the prettiest time of the year! I hope you and baby Joaquín come visit us at the shop just as soon as we open! Although beauty can be seen as a superficial thing, I hope that our experts can give you a little pep back in your step that makes you FEEL your best!

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Oh I’m counting the seconds until your shop opens! I’m so excited to see it and meet you. I know your stylists will definitely be able to make me feel my best. Thank you so much for your kind comment — means the world to me!

      Reply
  20. Erin

    You sweet thing. I appreciate how hard this post was for you to write. Even though I have no baby, due to endometriosis and some mutated MTHFR genes, I have been dealing with severe depression and anxiety while trying to heal my body. It is HARD. I get it. I get how much you are suffocating. Thank god for your mama! My mom has been my life raft as well. And as I sit, day after day, watching my passport collect dust, I just have to give up the need to control and focus on the most important thing: healing my body. Which is where you are. My “travel” blog has pretty much morphed into a medical journal as I am now chronicling all my health adventures. It’s where I am now so decided to just embrace it. It’s been very cathartic, as I’m sure this post was for you! Cheers to you for honoring yourself and your body and giving yourself what you need right now. Not many people have the strength or insight to do that. Cliche warning: everything is temporary. Now, while I hate hearing that when things are good, I cling to it when things are bad. this “temporary” spell has definitely outworn its welcome, but things will change eventually….right? Right?! Here’s to hoping xxx

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Oh I am heartbroken to hear what you’ve been going through! I wish I could just hug you through the screen!!! I agree, it is so important to focus on our healing journey first and foremost. That it actually how I became an Acupuncturist. And I am fully aware that for some people travel is a part of their healing journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comment. If you ever need to talk please reach out to me. I agree “everything is temporary.” So true! I remind myself this like 10X a day. Things definitely will change for both of us. I know this 100% certainty. XOXO

      Reply
  21. Margo

    Hi Andi, I am so sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with all this! I too have faced and continue to face depression and anxiety issues over the years, including PPD. 23 years ago when I had my first child it wasn’t talked about much yet. Motherhood is indeed a remarkable journey; one that always seems to be changing and deepening in its mysteries. I have no doubt that you will know how to do exactly what’s best for your adorable family at the right time!

    This quote is sometimes used out of context, but I think when it comes to motherhood is applicable. I need to hear it over and over.: “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” Goethe. (When I think about it, I can always use a little Goethe when it comes to knowing how to live – he had quite a lot to say relevant to parenting and living in general!)

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Thank you so much for your comment and for letting me know that you’ve had similar struggles. I’m sorry that you’ve faced depression and anxiety as well, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy! Motherhood is SUCH a remarkable journey — you’re so right!!! I think what burnt me out quickly is that I kept thinking about it as a sprint and not a marathon. Does that make sense? I love love love that quote and will use that now to remind me that following and trusting my heart is always the right decision. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom with me!

      Reply
  22. Katie @ Domestiphobia

    Oh Andi I’m so sorry you’re going through this and I completely understand! (Well, as much as I can, anyway.) Postpartum aside, it’s also just crazy difficult to travel with a small child! I’ve known many mothers who *wanted* to prove that they could do it — maintain the bustling travel lives they had before having a baby — but the truth is, parenting has to come first. And from what I hear, it’s exhausting enough without bringing travel plans into the mix. Only you and your husband know what’s best for your family. Take the time you need, and travel will still be there when you’re ready. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      See, I haven’t seen one post out there about how hard it is to travel with kids. All I see are travel/mommy/lifestyle bloggers talking about how important and easy it is to travel with kids. Makes me feel like an utter failure! 🙁 Especially since pre-Joaquín I could handle any stressful situation with grace. I wish more people would write about the hard side of parenting. But, yes, parenting totally comes first, which is how I’ve been able to make peace with the fact that I have zero desire to travel. Thank you so much for your comment. It’s friends like you who make life a million times better! 🙂

      Reply
      1. Katie @ Domestiphobia

        But that’s just it — I’m talking about actual women I know in life who’ve had kids and aren’t afraid to admit that it’s hard. As a blogger, you know many of us often try to glamorize our lives because if we always admitted that our homes aren’t always clean or our relationships aren’t always magical or our children aren’t always perfect, we’re afraid it will affect how we’re viewed as influencers. So blogs are a horrible reference for what it’s like to function in the real world. 😉 There are definitely those who know how to keep it real, but your best bet will be to get involved in some mommy groups — where you can interact with real people and be honest with one another about how difficult it can be. It’s there where you’ll find the most camaraderie and support! (But yes, it would be nice if more bloggers were honest about their lives.) You are NOT a failure. You’re a mom! Just making the hard decisions that best suit you and your family. 🙂

        Reply
        1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

          Yes, you’re 100% right. I’ve wanted to join Mommy groups, in fact a friend who has PPD much worse than mine says she has found so much comfort in them. However, as a working Mom I zero time. The free time I do have I try to spend with Lucas and Joaquín. Thank you again for your kind words!!!

          Reply
  23. Lesley Peterson

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, Andi–a mother’s anxiety and vigilance is natural because that’s what has always kept babies alive. Let all the ‘other stuff’ go and focus on yourself and your little trio. With a baby, a trip to the backyard is a big adventure as he revels in the feel of grass, water, sun, and listens to the natural world. I always travelled a lot with my son from infancy onwards but I did my research beforehand. ‘Thinking positive’ is really not enough; it’s important to check government travel advisories to see, for instance, whether there’s been a flare of malaria or chikegunya in a favorite destination lately. Travel shouldn’t be a competitive sport, nor parenting. You’re on the biggest journey of your lives right now, take it easy, Andi, and bless you and yours.

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Thank you so very, very much for your awesome comment! I agree, I have definitely come to realize that a trip to the park or the mall is like traveling to Timbuktu for my son. It’s been really incredible to live vicariously through him and to enjoy all of the things that I have become so jaded to. The other day he stared at a leaf for 20 minutes and it was such a beautiful moment. I do need to take things more easily. That’s my biggest hurdle. I just have such a Type A personality (thanks to my German Mom), that it’s hard for me to just “chill out.” Or be “tranquila” as my husband so sweetly says haha! Blessings to you and your family as well!

      Reply
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  25. Candice

    Anyone who questions why you’re doing what you’re doing (or not) doesn’t deserve to know anyway. 🙂 Take care of yourself first — that’s all that matters. Hang in there!

    Reply
  26. Nellie

    Andi, such a personal and moving post! It almost brought me to tears. As a fellow new mum, I know what you are going through and I feel so deeply for you. I had mild depression after Kaleya was born, but I’m glad it didn’t last long. My husband took over all the responsibilities of caring for the baby whilr I concentrated on recovering. Yes you need to heal yourself before other things. Travel can always wait. Just know that you can always talk to me. 😉

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Hi Nellie, so lovely to see you here! I’m very touched that my post almost brought you to tears. I know you know what I’m going through. I remember reading an honest and personal post by you after Kaleya was born where you talked about your mild depression. Thank goodness for you 1) it didn’t last long and 2) you were/are able to still travel. I’m not there yet, but one day will be! Your travel with baby posts are very inspiring. We are blessed to have such awesome husbands and such awesome babies. I will definitely reach out in the future! <3

      Reply
  27. Lois

    Thank you so much for writing this Andi. Holding you in my thoughts right now. I myself went through a difficult birth experience. I ended up having an emergency C-section as well. It was not the dream birth I had planned, but my doctor reminded me that it’s more important to deliver a healthy baby. I had to think of my daughter first. I also went through a painful recovery. But through it all, I’m so happy to have this girl with us. It’s not always easy, but we try to make small trips every now and then. Thank you for sharing what you’re going through. You’re absolutely right to choose in favor of the people you love. You’re not alone.

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      You’re so welcome and thank you for holding me in your thoughts. That means so much to me! I’m so sorry about your emergency c-section and painful recovery. Oh that recovery was just awful!!! Thank goodness we both have healthy babies now! That’s what I focus on when I’m having a bad day. Helps to know I’m not alone. Big hugs!!!

      Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Hi Lola, so lovely to hear from you! I have always been so impressed how you’ve traveled the world with your two kids so seamlessly and in my mind you were totally superwoman!!! Thank you for your support, love, and hugs — that means the world to me! I’m definitely going to check out your post, thanks for sharing. Much love to you and your gorgeous family!

      Reply
  28. Heather

    Andi, I’d read your post but didn’t have an opportunity to comment in the moment, and I knew I wanted to come back and give you a huge hug. While I’m not a mom, I know that many people navigate very similar feelings and experiences and usually don’t share it — but the more people who do, the easier it will be for women and families to discuss and normalize all-too-common life challenges. Thanks for opening up, writing, and sharing!

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Amen to this comment! I’ve noticed in the past month more and more women (famous and not so famous) are coming out and speaking about PPD and PPA. I can’t tell you how much that helps to know women who inspire me are also going through something similar. Thank you for commenting!

      Reply
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  32. Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate

    Awwww, as someone who has suffered from crippling anxiety in the past (but learned to deal with it…slowly), I can only imagine how it must feel to deal with that AND postpartum. Kudos to you for handling it with grace as always.

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Sweetest comment ever! THANK YOU!!! It was a tough year, but I’m past it now thank goodness! I know you and I have talked some about your anxiety. I hate that you’ve had to go through that as well, but am happy to hear that you’ve learned how to deal with it!

      Reply
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  34. Lisa Lubin

    Andi – Just reading this now. Thank you for your openness, candor, and honesty. I feel so much (good and bad)…it can be crippling at times. As they say, it surely confirms you are alive!
    Clearly, you have a lot of support as we should continue to lift each other up as much as possible. Glad to hear you are feeling better. xo

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! You’re so welcome. Motherhood has brought out the true authenticity in me. I do have a lot of support, but never is enough, you know? I’m so glad I’m feeling better too, but I still have some bad days here and there. Much love!

      Reply
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  38. Nancy Lee

    Thank you for sharing your story – so many people are scared too. I have had a very difficult time after my second baby and it is so hard bc people don’t understand. If it was a ‘true’ illness like cancer as i have been told many would have rallied around me but most just change the subject. It’s one of the lonliest places in the world but as you can see it really is wide spread and had nothing at all to do with not loving the child.

    Reply
    1. Andi Perullo de Ledesma Post author

      I am so sorry to hear that you’re going through something similar. Wish I could hug you! And yes, I totally agree with what you said about how people are uncomfortable helping women with PPD or PPA, because it is something they think is not a “true illness.” It is SO tragic! It is definitely a lonely place that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I think the best advice I was given was to focus on one day at a time and to let go of the idea of being the perfect mom and just focus on all of the love I feel for my son.

      Reply
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