Postpartum Depression. Two words that changed my life forever. It’s hard for me to even know where to begin with this subject. It was the darkest, scariest and loneliest time of my life. It probably will be the hardest blog post I’ll ever write. I’m having to go back to some of those moments and open doors I didn’t want to ever have to open again. The reason I am willing to go there, to the scariest moment of my life, is because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I went through.
I had only heard of the word postpartum a few times but really didn’t have any idea of the magnitude of what this could mean.
December 19th, 2012 at 4:01 p.m. my first baby girl, Mikayla, was born. Happiness and excitement consumed me. Holding this little ray of sunshine, this little innocent being is almost indescribable. And yes it’s true your world has been changed forever. This little being is solely reliant on you. They are completely helpless.
The first few hours everything went pretty much okay. She was eating well and sleeping good but then she started getting super fussy and nothing seemed to work. At this point I think my anxiety began. I’m her mom… how come I can’t calm her down? What’s wrong with me? What am I not doing right? The feelings of self-doubt and being unfit all came to mind.
The next day at the hospital we couldn’t even get pictures taken, that’s how fussy Mikayla was. I was scared to be alone with her because I didn’t feel like I could take care of her. Later that afternoon we left the hospital and again she was crying. Once we were home my husband had to leave for a bit to go get medicine for me. I called my mom and she came over to help me. I already didn’t want to be alone. Even with someone in the room with me I still felt alone. I just didn’t feel like anyone understood what I was already going through.
About five days later I started having depressed thoughts. I think the lack of sleep started setting in. I’ve always been one of those people that really need 8 hours of sleep or do not function well. I got to the point where I didn’t feel I had any connections with her. I would just stare at her. It is so hard to say this because this makes me feel like the worst mom out there. I was looking at my baby girl, this beautiful creation and really not feeling anything.
I knew that something was definitely wrong because I had wanted kids my whole life. I had always been the one that would babysit everybody’s kids in the neighborhood. I went on and worked at a daycare and then I became an elementary teacher so I loved kids…I mean loved kids. How could I look at this sweet little baby and almost not want to be her mother. It’s like something’s taking over your body and you can’t control it. No matter what positive thoughts I tried to focus on, it’s like nothing could get me out of this darkness. This was definitely postpartum depression. After 14 days, I finally decided to go to my doctor and get on antidepressants. After three days I felt more like myself. I was finally in control of my emotions and feelings.
Postpartum Depression affects many women. It is also a topic that is not talked about enough. If I would have been aware of the possibility then I could have stopped it sooner. I can’t ever get those first two weeks back….I missed out on special bonding time with Mikayla. I just couldn’t find strength at all to help me. It doesn’t matter how many people are around, you still feel alone. What does surround you are the thoughts and the horrible, dark and disturbing feelings. Even now thinking back I’m having trouble explaining what this really felt like.
If you are having any of these feelings please find a support group or make an appointment to see your doctor. No one should have to go through this paralyzing depression.