Anonymous: It all started 23 years ago with my first birth

My Story: My story starts with my pregnancy 23 years ago. I was 28 years old and married for four years. I never had that deep desire to have children, but I thought it was the thing to do and my husband was relentless about having a baby. I got pregnant very quickly after trying for only one month. I was a wreck from the beginning. Worried constantly, could not understand how other women were so happy about being pregnant. Didn't they know all the things that could go wrong? I worried about birth defects, my mothering skills, etc.

I gave birth after being induced, it was hard, but it got harder after the birth.

I had planned to breast feed, but my son would not latch on. We tried and tried. I felt like such a failure. My son just would not eat. He had to stay in the hospital one day longer than me. I went home without him and the whole thing felt surreal. I was numb. We brought him home and I tried to pump my breast and feed him by bottle. I felt fat, sweaty and disgusting. I had never been so miserable in my life. I was so depressed, but didn't KNOW I was experiencing post-partum depression. At my follow-up visit, the nurse asked me how I was feeling. I told her fine. I was afraid to say how I really felt, what kind of mother resents her baby, isn't happy about having a healthy baby boy.

I begged my husband to let me put the baby up for adoption. I felt like I was going crazy.

I hated this baby so much. I did the best I could though, but I just never connected with him. I did my the best I could on my own, without help (there was no internet at this time, no commercials for depression and anxiety).

Fast forward four years, I give birth to my second child. The pregnancy was much easier, the birth was easier and I was happy to have a baby girl. But soon I began to slip into depression and have sleep issues. By the time my daughter was one, I was having a nervous-breakdown. I was having panic attacks and I could not sleep. I contemplated suicide daily. I finally went to my ob/gyn and explained my symptoms. They checked me for physical illnesses and then sent me to a psychiatrist. It took me a couple of tries on medication, group therapy and a great therapist to finally start getting better.

I am on medication still to this day, but I am very healthy and happy. I still experience so much guilt, however, that I was not the best mom I could be. I still apologize to my son and over-compensate for not loving him enough as a baby. My advice: get help, reach out for help, don't be afraid. You are not crazy, you are not a bad mother. You have a chemical imbalance and you should not be ashamed. Get the help you need. Don't suffer in silence.

Anonymous | Connecticut

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