A was unplanned. She screamed almost everyday for the first 6 months of her life. She has been to more doctors in her first year of life than I have in the past 6 years. She is stubborn. I cried for the first 5 months of A’s life. I was unable to breastfeed. I had to hire a mothers helper because I couldn’t deal with being alone with my child. I keep asking myself why? Why me? I see my two nieces who were/are wonderful babies and I feel angry. I see moms who enjoy spending everyday with their child and I ask myself, what is wrong with me? The past year has not been easy. Motherhood has not been easy. A was born and I didn’t instantly fall in love. I have spent the past year of my life fighting. And it’s not over.
The moment I knew I had PPD was the night A made her appearance. She was brought up to the NICU, everyone visited, they left, my fiancé stayed upstairs, and I sat in my recovery room…alone. And I cried all night. And then I cried everyday for the next 2 months, until I finally started medication, and even then I still cried. And life was just false. So after three months of meds, I had to learn to make myself happy. I had to fight for myself. Postpartum depression is one of the darkest places I have ever been in my 25 years of existence, and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I felt angry, sad, annoyed, and frustrated over the tiniest thing. I had thoughts of hurting myself, which I have never told anyone. I know our family has talked about this past year and about me as a mother. I have felt ashamed for something that I cannot control. I was told to hide it, and not tell anyone. But I will not hide anymore because NEWS FLASH, postpartum health is NOT EASY! My postpartum depression isn’t something I can wish away or turn off. But it is something that i have worked everyday to overcome.
Medication was something I needed. And then it was exercise. One of the things that has helped me the most was a great moms group, and finding two moms who listened to me through the good and the bad. I found little ways to help me be me again. Eating healthy was such a great recovery for my body and my hormones. But I leaned on family the most, and I can’t thank them enough for being there. Nothing makes you appreciate your mom more than having a child of your own and realizing how much mothers do. And now I have sort of made it my mission to shed more light on postpartum health. To bring awareness, and support to other women who are or have gone through something similar. I want things to be different for my daughter if she chooses to have a child.
When A turned a year I knew things were starting to level out, but I still deal with triggers every day of my life. A week ago a young woman attempted to take my child in a mall. A is safe and I have thank God everyday for that, but I have been a mess ever since. I broke down, I shut down, and I couldn’t handle all of my emotions. It’s triggers like these that set me back. In the moment I handled the situation like a true momma bear, but in the aftermath I have broken down. But I know I will be ok because of my support system.
My goal for this post is to reach out. To create a support system of mothers. If you are going through a hard time, or know someone who is please comment or send them this link. Three amazing moms have shared their stories with me, and I have shared their stories on the blog. Postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, and psychosis are nothing to be ashamed of. We can no longer hide it. We must stand united as moms.
*Please note, I am not a physician and these are just my own experiences with postpartum depression. If you or someone you know is in need of help contact Postpartum Support International.*