I am going to share a little more about my experience with post-partum depression. Some of you may think I’m a loon and some of you may empathize. I want you to know I am only sharing my deepest, darkest feelings because I wish someone would have shared with me to help me feel a little better during such a hard time.
I cried a lot when my first son was born. I cried during labor. I cried when he was born. I cried the whole time in the hospital. I was completely and utterly freaked out. I had never in my life made a decision I couldn’t undo until now. Even in college I went away to Washington State and came back to my parents three days later. That decision could be undone, but having this little human being could not, and I was beyond terrified.
I don’t know exactly what about the situation was so scary, but my entire body felt it. My skin felt as if it were crawling and my brain couldn’t concentrate on anything. I saw my friends having babies and posting pictures of their happy little families. They looked like a postcard for new mommies, even had their make up done (at which I am still rolling my eyes). I could not have been farther from that image.
I knew I loved my son more than life itself. That wasn’t the issue. I loved him just as much as any mother loves their child. He was my world and the thought of not having him made me panic. It was amazing to love someone so unconditionally right away. Maybe that was part of the reason I freaked. All the talk of SIDS and jaundice and hearing tests…it is so much for a first time mom to handle.
I still feel sick to my stomach thinking about how I didn’t want to hold my baby. I got overwhelmed with anxiety at the thought of having to take care of this little person. I loved him so much but regretted the changes at the same time. I would look at him, happy as can be sitting in his bouncer, and felt unprepared and unworthy. I cried day in and day out for about a month and a half.
With time the crying fits became less frequent and I started enjoying my bundle of joy more and more. I started taking walks several times a day so I wasn’t stuck in the house (or what I called the crazy box) and I took some time in the evenings to myself during the “witching hour” (when the sun went down I started to freak out again).
By two months I was past the bulk of the post-partum depression and didn’t want to leave my baby to go back to work. Now, two more kids later I could not be happier (well I could be happier if Buddy would stop being such a little booger). I had post-partum depression with all three of them, but I got better at recognizing the signs and dealing with my emotions. I asked for a lot of help and was blessed enough to have my mother come over every day for a while and then twice a week, and now still once a week.
If you have struggled with post-partum depression, I am with you sister. You and I both know we love our kids and the baby blues didn’t change that and could never change that. If you have overcome your battle with depression, I am so glad you have. I invite you to share your story for the many mommies who can’t. If you are going through your baby blues now please know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We are here for you and will pray and support you.