My first two pregnancies, births, and postpartum experiences were just fine. I had healthy pregnancies, "easy" labor and deliveries- no complications, postpartum I felt great. My third pregnancy was also perfect, until the postpartum part. My husband had to get back to work almost immediately (just like he had the last two times), but this time I was thrown into the world of an already emotional four year old, an independent two year old, and brand new baby who I just wanted to hold and snuggle.
I love my children with every ounce of my being, and then some. So, when my emotions started getting the best of me - I was scared.
It started out with rage. The rage was terrifying to me. I couldn't stop myself from screaming at my precious children. I couldn't control it. And after it would hit, I would break down in sobs. Uncontrollable sobbing. Out of the week, there was maybe one or two days where this didn't happen. I would call my husband and just cry- I couldn't even speak. I felt so alone. I felt like the biggest failure. I remember thinking to myself that my kids would be better off not being with me.
Let that sink it- I thought my kids would be better without me.
It was a terrible thought, and completely untrue. But at the time, I thought that me not being there would be better than me being there in my state.
It took a lot of courage for me to admit that it could be postpartum depression. It's not something I wanted to admit to. I felt it would make me weak- being depressed in my mind meant I wasn't strong enough. My breaking point was when I was in the middle of yelling and sobbing, and my four year old looked at me and said:
"Mom, do you even love me?"
It brought me to my knees. I hugged him so tight, and told him I loved him- no matter what I loved him so much, and that I promised to get better. I knew I had to to take action- I couldn't let my children think that it was their fault I was acting the way I was.
I went to the doctor and was put on a prescription- and as much as I didn't want to, I accepted the fact that I was dealing with postpartum depression.
It's my hope that no one else feels that postpartum depression is something to hide- it's not something to be ashamed of. I've always tried to maintain the image of strength- "I can handle it". But it took a lot of strength and courage to walk into the doctors office and tell her everything that I had been feeling.
Be there for the new moms in your life. Offer a kind word, go visit her. Whether it is her first or tenth child - she is a person, she is your friend, your sister - and she needs you. Ask her how she is doing. Bring her a coffee. Call her up. Motherhood is hard, but it shouldn't be lonely
Anonymous | Wisconsin.