Postpartum Depression is silent.
I remember when I found out that I was expecting, what I know now was my first of three boys. I was ecstatic. That may even be an understatement. With how much joy I had about becoming a mom, I never thought about the demon they call “postpartum depression”. I’d always wanted to be a mommy, I always had baby dolls ,I was a typical little girl. Isn’t is amazing how little girls at the youngest age, are so nurturing? It amazes me how God created women, that even at the age of two, we’re nurturing…our mama spirit shines through.
In the Spring of 2017, I found out I was expecting baby number three! My husband was over the moon excited. Me, I’m not sure what emotions I felt. I thought I wanted another baby, but was I sure? Did I really want to do this again?
Where The struggle began…
When my second son was born, just two short years after my first, I struggled. Two in diapers, one needing to be nursed all the time, chasing the toddler…any mama out there with babies close in age gets this.
Time went on, my pregnancy with baby number three was fairly similar to my first two. So I had a suspicion that number three was a boy. But I wanted a girl. It was the whole reason I agreed to have another babe. (I’m being really vulnerable here) If it wasn’t a girl, I knew I’d be devastated. Weeks went by, and I noticed myself becoming extremely agitated. I was always in a bad mood. If I wasn’t crying, I was screaming. When I’d wake up in the morning, I never knew who would come out of me that day.
The thoughts got worse.
I still struggled with shame, I withdrew from all of my friends, I quite reaching out to people I love, I stopped going to church. I was always looking over my shoulder. Thinking people were staring at me.
“Look how fat she is”
“I don’t want to be her friend because she’s a loser”
“She’s just a stay at home mom”
“I don’t want to be “associated” with someone like her.”
The thoughts were endless. My self-esteem and self-worth had never been lower…even in high school. And here I am a mom, a grown ass woman, feeling this way. I lost my faith. Questioned everything I had ever believed. This was the darkest season I have ever faced.
One day I specifically remember standing in my boy’s room, screaming. Not yelling, but full on screaming, screaming so hard my throat hurt. All because they didn’t fall asleep right in that moment for nap. It was like I could see myself acting this way, and I immediately stopped and left their room. I went outside to get some fresh air. And in my mind, questions started running like a wild cheetah after his prey.
Feelings Of Postpartum Depression
- I’m a complete and utter failure.
- Who do I think I am?
- What the hell is wrong with me?
- I should just leave, my family would be so much better if I wasn’t around.
- Run away.
- One day just put your boys down for a nap late and when daddy gets home they’ll maybe just waking up. No one will even notice your gone.
- No one will miss you.
- Look how terrible you are.
These are real questions a mom with Postpartum Depression asks herself.
This afternoon, I knew something was wrong. I remember having these thoughts after my first was born. But never when I was pregnant. The word Depression came into my head like a light bulb shooting on, and I thought, “Could I be struggling with depression, or anxiety?”
When I was a teenager, I had debilitating anxiety attacks, But I blamed that on the chaos I surrounded myself with. But now, my life isn’t chaotic. I have a husband that is over the top loving and supportive. My children are well-behaved. There is no reason that I should be struggling with depression or anxiety.
After crying my eyes out that afternoon I knew I had to call. In shame I called my OB, asked for the secretary, because I had known her for years, and crying tears of shame, I spilled my heart out to her. She said that it sounded like depression. “Is this normal, during pregnancy?” I asked. She replied, “Its a lot more common than you think.”
The next day I went in. In complete shame. Shattered. In Fear that if I share with her what I’ve said to my babes she may think I’m unfit to be a mother.
Maybe she’ll call child protective services on me.
They’ll see how bad I am. Should I leave?
My husband doesn’t even know I’m here… He doesn’t think anything’s wrong with me.
Maybe I’m overreacting.
She walks in, I’m in a puddle of tears. I love my babies I tell her. I truly do, but I’m so mean. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
She goes on to tell me, that there is a thing called prenatal depression, which happens during pregnancy and how dangerous it is. It starts with negative thoughts about yourself, thoughts of failure, and can lead to suicidal thoughts. It can have terrible consequence’s for me and baby. She puts me on some antidepressants, and they helped me immediately.
The Moment that Changed everything.
4 months later I’m induced, I have huge babies. He was weighing over 8lbs at my 35 week check up. My water wouldn’t break. So in the hospital as they came in to break my water, she sees that there is waste in his amniotic fluid, which is a sign of stress in the womb. Y’all this ripped my heart out. And as I write this I’m in tears, thinking of how this depression effected this tiny baby boy in my womb that I was blessed to carry. I’m suppose to keep him safe.
Stress? He’s in the safest place he’ll ever be in, in his entire life. And I, his Mama, created stress for him?
I ran into some complications that made me bedridden for the first week of his life, And I remember laying in bed, looking at this sweet baby, that was so perfectly created in MY womb. And I decided right then, laying in bed looking at this beautiful little boy, no more. NO MORE. Do I want all of my boys growing into men having these issues? HELL NO. I am raising men. Confident, strong, respectful men. I can’t raise these boys the right way if I continue to think terribly of myself. I’m just showing them to do the same thing.
How I overcame MY Postpartum Depression
Still on my medication, I went on a journey through faith, and self-help. It was a long extensive journey. And I am still on this journey. But 7 months later, I am mentally healthier then I have ever been. With the help that I have received, I can say I am closer to my youngest baby than I was with my other two at this age. This is hard for me to admit, but because I am mentally healthy I can work on building even stronger relationships with all of my babies.
After going on this journey and doing so much research about PPD and prenatal depression, I believe truly that I struggled with PPD after my two previous pregnancies, and when I became pregnant with my third it came in like a roaring lion trying to devour me. After getting the help I need, I am closer to my children now then I feel like I have ever been, and it saddens me that I didn’t know years ago about PPD, because I’ll never get those years back that I lost. This, my friends, is why I share this story. Why I’m being so vulnerable by putting this out there. Because if just one mama reads this and finds out sooner that she is struggling, and doesn’t waste years to depression, it will all be worth it.