Ellis' Story

On July 22, 2016 I gave birth to my little boy who became the light of my life.  However, I would not have been that positive the day I had him, or for the next 5 months for that matter.  Truthfully, motherhood was quite an adjustment and challenge for me and some days it still can be.  So, to get a better idea of how ppd affected my journey as a mother, I’m going to start at the beginning.  I had a relatively easy pregnancy.  I felt great most of the time and to this day I’m still in awe that I grew a tiny human.  I remember when Matthew would move, and I literally had no words to describe this amazing sensation.  I went to childbirth classes, parenting classes, went to every appointment, and braced myself as much as I could for this incredible journey I had no expectations for.  When my water broke, we headed to the hospital and I began a 30 hour active and inactive labor which culminated in an emergency C-section.  As I held my baby hormonal, exhausted, and scared, my heart sank and the guilt creeped in.  Wasn’t I supposed to have an instantaneous connection to this bundle of joy sleeping in my arms?  Immediately embrace motherhood in all of its wonder?  Why did I feel so disconnected and unprepared?  The uncertainty, fear, and guilt only intensified once I was discharged and began the recovery process from a c-section.  Fortunately my mother helped me navigate through the coming weeks before she had to leave for work.  After she left, I had to create my village on my own and rely on my best friend and amazing mother of two as my primary support. The coming days I spent a lot of time crying, and wondering if the next day would be just as long and hard as the last.  My best friend did all she could, but was at a loss when I could not shake the “baby blues”.  I barely understood the depth of the guilt, exhaustion, frustration I would feel on what seems like an hourly basis, let alone describe or reason through them with someone else.  I just wanted to crawl in a hole or for it all to go away and that was just not possible.  Did I make the wrong decision? Can I do this?  Will it ever get easier?  Am I a horrible mother?  These questions would creep into my mind morning, noon, and night.  The fight to make it through this blur of emotions and through the day while taking care of this little baby completely dependent on me was real and the hardest thing I have ever done.  I knew something was wrong, but I did not know what to do or where to go through the dense fog of exhaustion, guilt, breastfeeding issues, c-section pain, and adjusting to my new role as a mother.  Fast forward 6 months later and it feels like I have been in a literal battle.  I finally saw the light and realized the lies that ppd had told me; the guilt that would feed the cycle and the frustration that would start the cycle.  Throughout the coming months, I realized all of these cycling thoughts permeated with guilt and frustration were lies.  I was not a horrible mother, it does get easier, and I did not make the wrong decision.  To all the mamas out there, don’t listen to the lies ppd will tell you.  You are not a horrible mother, you can do this, and the journey does get easier.  A crucial step in this journey, however is to be real and open about ppd.  I truly believe that if mamas, dad’s, families, and society as a whole would create a positive dialogue, the grip of ppd and its lies would lessen its hold and each mama’s journey could be just a little brighter.

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