this is motherhood {too}: a story of postpartum depression.

January 22, 2014, This is Motherhood Too, 8 Comments

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My story of motherhood begins with two people praying and preparing to grow their family. We had decided not to avoid any pregnancies.  We were elated when we saw a positive test.  I was going to be able to stay at home after her birth.  She was the first grandchild on both sides of our family – to say we were smothered by love and support is an understatement.  We had a complication free delivery without need for intervention.  She was healthy and alert, and very spirited.

It was all going as planned.  This was the first BIG lesson in parenthood life – it isn’t really ours to plan.

I witnessed my husband cry when she was born – the first time I had ever seen him cry tears of joy. I watched each visitor look adoringly at her and take in the beauty that we created.  I was told by nurses how beautiful and bright she was.  But, I was apathetic.  I didn’t feel anything.  Some people told me this was normal, that I lacked sleep and my hormones were all over the place.  I was nursing and felt overwhelmed with the responsibility of sustaining her life – outside of me.  At first, my husband was at home and we had family and friends visiting.  After things started back to normal for everyone, it was blatantly obvious nothing about this felt normal to me.

In those early moments, I would cross off each day on the calendar as a victory that we made it, one more day.

I remember dividing my memories in two distinct categories – life before her and life after her.  It wasn’t a seamless transition.  It felt selfish, and I knew it.  I would watch the minutes go by until my husband would be home.  I was relieved when he was with me because I was lonely and scared.  However, it was also very frustrating because we were both exhausted.  I needed help and he didn’t know how to help me.  I didn’t know how to ask him.

One night when I was in bed, still unable to sleep, I was pleading with God, and I asked “how will I ever survive this?”  And then this thought crept in, perhaps the only way out was death.  I scared myself with my thoughts.  I walked out in the living room and told my husband I just wanted this to be over.  He asked what I meant.  I was too scared to tell him the truth.  Things quickly started declining at this point and my family stepped in to help, as it was apparent I needed it.   I was suffering from Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.

Fortunately (really really fortunately) for me, I have a supportive community of family and friends.  My husband was able to take some leave from work, as well.  He was essentially a single parent for a time.  I was able to seek help from a committed and compassionate doctor who was invested in my well being.  There were things that did not help my situation.  But, I’d rather share and focus on what helped me to heal.

Slowly I began living, for her, my daughter.  I carried (and still do) guilt for how my mood affected her.   You wouldn’t know it now by looking at her, my little girl, who laughs at my smiles and buries her head into my chest.  I am still healing and I am still living with PPD and Anxiety; however, I am not suffering.  It is real and it’s scary. I do wonder if this could all happen again with or without having other children.  I feel shame that this is how I felt despite all the planning, caring, loving and praying.

In the darkest moments, it helped me to know that I wasn’t alone.  I didn’t always believe I would get better.  But, I am. This is motherhood, for me.  And, I believe this is holiness, too – being family – living and loving and sometimes just surviving.

postpartum depression story

Written by Anonymous, edited by Michaela.

This is from the collective writing project: this is motherhood {too}. Do you have a story you’d like to submit?

8 Comments

  • Reply Jenna at CallHerHappy May 28, 2015 at 10:10 AM

    Beautiful and honest. This is such a wonderful and important post. Many prayers for you as you walk this road. You know I feel you in this. Prayers for me too?

    And thank you for writing it!

    xo

  • Reply Megapolis Hack July 13, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    It’s hard to come by experienced people about this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

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  • Reply Depressed | Daniela Schwartz January 28, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    […] More like this? This is Motherhood {Too}- a story of Postpartum depression. […]

  • Reply Claire J De Boer January 22, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Thank you for sharing so openly on this important topic Michaela. I too suffered from PPD but I didn’t admit it to anyone but my doctor (who tried to give me meds but I refused to take them.) It’s such an agonizing time to go through, where guilt seems to be a primary emotion – after all, we have been given the gift of a beautiful child. I’m thankful your family came around you and supported you and pray for peace and joy for you as you continue on this journey of mothering your little Flo. xo

    • Reply Michaela. January 22, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      Hi Claire,
      This isn’t actually me 🙂 It’s from an anonymous writer, for my little writing project, this is motherhood {too}.
      But thank you so much for sharing!
      xo

      • Reply Claire J De Boer January 22, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Oh, I’m sorry! I just saw the “by Michaela” at the top. Well it’s a great project anyway!!! xo

  • Reply TamaraG January 22, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    I connect to your story so much! It sounds like the same battle I faced against ppd and anxiety. Keep those supportive people in your life, they are such a blessing. I’ll be praying for you as you continue through this journey. It is on going. Our little ones are worth the battle always.

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