Post Partum Depression…Please Don’t Judge

by Mrs. BWF on July 9, 2012

Post Partum Depression…Please Don’t Judge

By Heather Waddington

This blog is hard to write. Even as I am typing this in Word I am debating on whether or not I will actually send it to be put on the web. I’m asking that you please make no assumptions as to the type of person/mother/wife I am, because I am writing this.  This blog post is not a reflection of me as a whole, just a thing I am going through.  So, here it goes…

My little one just went to her 2 month check-up and gotten her first round of vaccines.  She isn’t happy, her little legs hurt, and last night she ran a fever, but it’s not her fault.  I know it will be better in a few days.  Regardless, I find myself amazingly short tempered.  Not just with her, but with myself, my husband, the dogs, and our roommate, hell, not even the guy in customer service for the navigation system is safe from my fury.  I’m not violent; I’m short, snippy, and just plain not very nice when my fuse gets this short.  I am depressed, lonely and sometimes extremely agitated with absolutely nothing of any real importance at all.

These feelings aren’t something new for me.  When I had my son 6 years ago, I suffered from really bad post-partum depression.  I was a lot younger then, barely 21 and a 1/2.  As I got closer to delivering baby #2 I promised myself that this time would be different. I have a great husband, I’m more prepared, and I’m in a better place mentally and physically.  But, no matter how much I try to deny it, it’s here again.

I felt it creeping up inside me weeks ago.  Things were great the first week. The second week was a little tough, but mainly just because I was adjusting to everything.  By the time my 6 week post-partum appointment came around, I was beginning to feel really overwhelmed.  My midwife and I talked about it, I told her that I really didn’t want to go on medication, that I was doing yoga, meditating, talking to my friends and my husband about how I was doing, that I was just under a lot of stress…that I would be OK.

Well, I lied. About some things anyway.

I do talk to my husband and to my friends, but I am pretty good at making it out to seem like it’s not as big of a deal as it really is.  When people ask, “How are you doing?” I am an expert on smiling and saying “I am doing great!” even when I’m not.

So, tonight, as I am working on an invoice for a cake order, my sweet little girl starts crying.  It’s hot, she hasn’t taken a good nap all day, I’m sure her little legs are sore and she is probably hungry.  I ask my husband to get her a bottle so I can finish up. He says, “Sure.”

He had been starting to doze off, and instead of actually getting up, he starts snoring.  Sensing my frustration, our roommate says, “I’ll get it, I need to practice anyways, so you will feel OK with letting Uncle Dan babysit.”

I sigh, but get up and get a bottle started.  My frustration mounts as my husband sleeps through her crying and fussiness, and peaks at the image of our roommate feeding her instead of her father.  To try to push it aside, (because it really isn’t that big of a deal) I wash her bottles and my pump parts that were sitting in the sink, and go over the packing list for our upcoming trip.

As our roommate says “Oh boy little one, you just blew your diaper up.” I reach my breaking point.  I stay calm and reserved as I change her diaper, walk over to my husband, give him a nudge and say “I need you to wake up.” Once he is awake I tell him that he needs to get Olivia and take care of her, because I am going to go out for a drink.

At first he seemed confused, but he woke up, took her from my arms, and says “OK.” I assure him I won’t be long, that I just need to get some air.  He asks if I’m OK, and I tell him, “No, I’m not.  I don’t know how I am going to manage you working full time, making sure you are getting things done for your B.A. classes for school online, me working part time, keeping the house cleaned, going back to school myself, AND taking care of the baby, all while keeping my sanity… I just don’t know how it’s going to work, and I need to think.”

He didn’t say anything and I left.  I got into my car and drove to the bar.  I tried to call my aunt, and then an old friend from back home, but neither could talk.  I’m sure if they realized what was happening they would have, but the moment they answered the phone I put my ‘tough girl’ face on and smiled as they asked if they could call me tomorrow because they were just too busy to talk to me.

I looked at the bar doors and  thought about how good that drink would taste.  So, I pulled out of my parking spot, went to the empty parking lot a block over, and cried.

I cried for about 10 minutes.  I cried out of the fear, the frustration, and the desperation I have been feeling.  I knew that by even having one drink, I was opening myself up to a very easy downward spiral, and I wasn’t going to do that.  I wanted to, but I knew it wouldn’t fix anything; it would just make it worse.

So, I drove to Dunkin Donuts, got an iced coffee and a dozen donuts, and went home.

Olivia was in her crib, cooing to her mobile and my husband was getting his work clothes together.  He smiled at me, but behind his smile, I saw his fears.

I told him I was sorry, that I’m just feeling too much, and I can’t keep it all contained.

I told him about how I feel weak, because I am struggling to stay happy, despite having a great husband, and a wonderful healthy little girl.  I told him about how I feel guilty, because he works his butt off 50-60 hours a week to provide for us, and I need him to take care of Olivia sometimes so I can get a shower or go run a quick errand baby free.

I told him about how hard it is to keep smiling and stay optimistic when all I want to do is cry.  I told him that it sucks because even though post-partum depression is a very common issue, it’s still hard to accept it.

I told him how my social anxiety is stopping me from going to play groups to meet other moms, because I’m worried that they won’t really like me or Olivia, that they will just tolerate us to be nice.

Then I cried some more.

Olivia had started to get fussy, so I picked her up and fed her.  I was calm and looking into her big bright eyes I shared with him one of my deepest fears.  I was afraid of screwing her up.  I told him how my great-grandmother screwed my grandmother up, and she screwed up my mother.  He knows my mother is manipulative, and a liar.  He knows how she used my insecurities about being a good mother to my son as a way to get me to agree to her adopting him, only so she could attempt to completely cut me out of his life.  He knows that I struggle with that all the time, and how I feel like I have already screwed up my sons life, and how despite all my attempts to change things, I will inevitably screw up my little girl’s life.

I told him that I just couldn’t do it alone anymore, and that I was calling the midwife in the morning.  He said “OK.” And told me that we would get through this. We just have to keep talking, I need to stay healthy, and that I am doing an amazing job.  I smiled, even though I wanted to scream ‘LIAR!’ at him.

I have a 12 and a half pound, 23 and a half inches long beautiful baby girl. The pediatrician was raving over how healthy and active she was yesterday as we sat in her office. Her blue eyes are the most calming and beautiful thing I have seen since my son’s.  Her little smiles (when she decides to share those) are the highlights of my day.  She sleeps an average of 7-8 hours a night, and will usually take at least one 4-5 hour nap a day, along with a few ‘power naps’ after feedings.  I’ve been able to breastfeed (which I couldn’t with my son) and when she is awake, she is typically mild mannered, (unlike my son, who was colicky.)

I have a hardworking husband, a supportive roommate, great friends, and an aunt that is more like a best friend.  I am a very skilled chef & baker.  I’m artistic, love music, and laugh heartily (normally).  I have a great apartment, we have 2 cars and some (not much) money in the bank.  There is food in my fridge and clothing on my back.  I have it great compared to most people.

And yet despite all this, I am unhappy more often than I would like to be.   I know it’s not really my fault, but still, I feel guilty.  I know many other women struggle with this, but many don’t always feel comfortable talking about it with each other.  We circle the answers on the questionnaire we are given at our post-partum visits with a very careful and strategic method, Not too many “EVERYTHING’S GREAT” sort of responses. Not too many “I’M DYING ON THE INSIDE” responses.

We don’t want our midwives or doctors to suspect our lies, so we become perfect at projecting a fake smile.  We cry during our appointments just enough so they won’t think we are trying too hard to seem ok, and laugh about little things.  When we see other moms on the street, we exchange pleasantries, not wanting to burden the other mom with the truth.  Even when it’s a truth she probably knows all too well.

I know it will get better, it always does. This feeling doesn’t last forever, but while it’s here, it can cause havoc.  I consider myself to be a very strong person, and even stronger because I am making the right choices on how to handle my post-partum depression.  I guess I am writing this because I have something to say to mothers out there.

Don’t consider yourself weak for asking for help, consider yourself strong and wise for knowing this is something you can’t do alone.  To all the other mothers out there, please don’t judge!

Post Partum Depression

***Heather Waddington is a 27 year old mother to 2 beautiful children.  She lives in Barre, Vermont and both she and her husband are chefs.  Her son, Gabriel (age 6) is currently under the care of her parents in NJ and she is raising for her daughter, Olivia (9 weeks).   She is a strong believer in raising awareness of the seriousness of post-partum depression & has a strong desire to let other women know that its O.K. to ask for help. ***

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Cassidy July 9, 2012 at 8:57 am

Wow, thank you for writing this. It is beautiful and raw. It’s been gone for over a year now but reading this makes me realize that I DID have postpartum depression but it has taken me this long to admit it to myself becaus I felt so….abnormal and weak. Thank you! You are an incredibly strong woman and I wish you the best in life!

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Nicole July 9, 2012 at 9:14 am

This was so difficult for me to read. Though I have never experienced PPD, I have been through several rounds of depression since I was in college. It’s something we all try to hide. You are right: We are experts at faking it.

I often found more relief in telling someone I trust (family or doctor) than the treatment (medications and counseling). The weight is lifted almost immediately; just knowing there’s someone else on your side 100%.

I wish you the absolute best. Thank you for passing along this message and I hope every person who reads this continues to pass it along.

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Amy July 9, 2012 at 9:23 am

Thank you for the bravery it took to write this. Know you are NOT alone. You are amazing and Strong. It takes Strength to open up and accept this. Just remember, This too shall pass.

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Heather B July 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

Thank you for sharing! I have struggled with PPD with both of my girls. It does get better! You are awesome for breastfeeding Olivia. After my first experience with failed breastfeeding and not believing that my first child was mine (I was sure she was switched at the hospital because I had no positive emotional connection with the child we brought home) it took a lot to put baby number two to breast (Baby 2 is now exclusively breastfed for 1 yr and counting). I am sure you felt similarly. keep up the good work. Give yourself some space. Give yourself some grace. Best wishes!

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Jenny K July 9, 2012 at 9:38 am

I feel like you took the words right out of my head… because this is my life right now. As much as I hate hearing that other people are feeling as badly as I am, it is nice to know I’m not alone in this mess. <3

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Nathalie July 9, 2012 at 10:14 am

Thank you for sharing the truth is a beautiful thing!!! I’ve not struggled with PPD, and I can tell you I support your truth and your story with great appreciation. You are very strong you have people in your life who are loving and willing to help you through this. I know the over-whelming feeling you speak of, (I have three kids) and my husband sees it instantly, he always mentions to me, ” I’m right here and your over there (Literally right next to him) but what he’s trying to say is, I’ve separated myself and in my own bubble of fear darkness and it makes me feel weak and alone. He brings me back to the light. Enough about me, I wish for you the best and take care!!! :)

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Candice July 9, 2012 at 10:17 am

Thank you so much for sharing. It’s like you wrote my story.

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Ashley July 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I’m going to get my husband to read this article to help me explain to him how I am feeling. I’m doing my best at trying to hold things together for my daughter, but its so hard sometimes. Thank you for posting this.

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Heather Waddington July 9, 2012 at 10:46 am

I am honored that my story has been able to help other Mommas. Writing that was a big step for me and seeing it where others can read it makes me feel both scared and proud. It still is a struggle sometimes to feel completely normal, but I am doing well. My midwife and I detirmined counseling and a small dose of perscription anti-depressants would be a good solution for me. I was extremely proud of myself the other day for calling a GF to ask her if she could come over and help me tackle some of the house work I just didnt have the umphf to do alone. We made a day of doing laundry, making (and eating) brownies, hanging some shelves, shredding paper and talking. I hope that my story encourages others to ask for help if they are struggling and lets those who already have know that they did the right thing. Thanks for the love and support!

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Angie Fitzpatrick July 9, 2012 at 10:49 am

Heather,
Same happened to me. I had PPD with my son (who is now 6) and severe anxiety during pregnany with my daughter (now 4). Even though I ‘knew’ what to expect and what to do, I became depressed again after my daughter was born. I’m the program director of a non-profit that supports women and their families coping with PPD/A. Even with all of the knowledge that I gained from my experiences in my job, it still happened again and I was so ashamed. You are doing the right thing by speaking up and reaching out. Of course you are. You know that. But just to confirm it because we can never hear it enough: it’s not your fault, you’re not to blame and with help, you will get better.
Postpartum Support Interntational will likely have a volunteer in your area if you would like someone else to talk with. You can also email me. I won’t judge.

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Julie W July 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

Thank you for opening up to us. I know how hard it can be to do that. I struggled with depression before a baby was ever in the picture and although some days are better than others I am definitely dealing with ppd. My husband works out of town a lot and as a first time mom I can feel very overwhelmed, alone, and depressed with my 3mo old. And I feel guilty bc all I ever wanted was to be a mom. I love how you listed all your blessings too. I feel like I cannot talk to many of the others moms my age (I’m 24) about my struggles bc they only see the blessings in my life and how secure we are. I just wish we could all find the strength to not judge each other and allow others to be struggling no matter what their circumstances.
How can I open up to another mom if they are just going to say,”well at least your husband makes good money and you can stay home” or “at least you are back to your prepregnancy weight” or “yeh but breastfeeding worked for you, so at least you have that”.

Yes, maybe I do have that. So does that make me even weaker of a person for having ppd? That’s how it makes me feel.

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Nicole July 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Thats so true Julie – most people will always point out the thigns you have going for you when you tell them you’re depressed or struggling. Though their intentions may be pure, it only makes matters worse because then we’re thinking to ourselves ‘I must be completely nuts because I have all these good things people keep pointing out but I’m still miserable, whats wrong with me?’

Sometimes when we’re crawling in the mud we aren’t looking for someone to come along and pull us out, but we want someone who will get down there with us and give us the strength to do it ourselves!!!

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Andrea July 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I just wish we could all find the strength to not judge each other and allow others to be struggling no matter what their circumstances….

I love the statement you made Julie!

I struggled with PPD with my first three…I never would admit it with my first or second but with my third it came to the point that I had to. With my 4th I started taking meds the last few weeks of my pregnancy and the first month of his life. It made a world of difference. I was able to fully enjoy the newborn stage for the first time ever.

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Maddie July 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Way to go, Heather! I’ve never struggled with PPD, but my mom did and she also has Bipolar disorder. You are exactly right when you say that you are STRONGER for getting help. It is the best thing you can do for not only yourself, but for your husband and Olivia (which is incidentally, my daughter’s name!) Thank you for being brave and writing this. Go, Momma!

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Christine J July 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Thankyou for sharing your story. It has been 5 years since my silent battle with PPD and only in the past year have I been able to face and talk about what it did to me and the relationship with my son. I wish we didn’t have to be so scared to reach out because of the fear.

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Kerry R July 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Your self-awareness, Heather, is astounding. I cannot imagine that any mother would judge you in any way, although I am sure it is hard to see or maybe accept at the moment. It sounds like you have taken control of your destiny with inspiring power and courage and that alone tells me (and perhaps you too some day soon) what an incredible mother you are going to be to your beautiful daughter. Reaching out to you with love and admiration.

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Kristal July 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm

In sitting here in the library with my four month old and my four other children…. Crying. This is me to a t. Minus the getting sleep and being able to breast feed. I e never had post partum til now and it does reek complete havoc. Thank you for sharing!!! I love just knowing that this feeling WILL end!

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katie young July 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

It’s been 32 years since I had my first child, and at the time, there wasn’t even a word for PPD. I suffered in silence and guilt as I feared that I would harm my child and myself. It was only many years later, reading stories like yours, that I realized that I wasn’t a bad person, just one with a temporary condition. I admire you for sharing your story. As women, as mothers, we need to stick together, support one another and share our truths without judgement. Thank you for your honesty.

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Ozzie July 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I had tears in my eyes while reading your story Heather. I know your EXACT feelings. I remember looking at my baby boy and feeling so much love but also crying and feeling like I made the biggest mistake of my life – it was serious torture and I felt like I was really losing my mind! You are not alone and THANK YOU for sharing your story. You are a brave and strong woman! Because of my PPD I founded AlternativeMothers.com and am surrounded by wonderful women and have a strong community backing me up. I urge you to try and find like-minded women in your are to connect with. It really makes a HUGE difference! Love & Light… Ozzie

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joy July 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I have had ppd 2x…severe the first time…moderate the second…my problem was there was noone to ask for help…keep going darling…there is so much to live for

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Natalie July 9, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Thank you for sharing. I had postpartum depression with my second child and speak openly about it. I run a natural parenting business and when the appropriate time comes up, I actually enjoy telling clients and friends about my experience. I want others to know that it is normal.
It was a really tough time in my life and things got really bad before they eventually got better. They are still not perfect, as I don’t feel 100% and have more bad days than I would like. But there are just so many more good days. It truly is a wild ride and one that you have no control over.
I just had my third child 4 months ago and this time things seem to be going much better. I am hopeful that I will continue to thrive.

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Jenna July 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Apparently I’m a Facebook addict because all I can think is that I want to “like” every comment on this post. What a brave woman to step out and voice your fears and insecurities. You’re not the only one. :) bringing your fears to light of day will continue to help you heal. I can’t tell you how many sleep deprived, exhausted, at the end of their rope women I have offered help to and they just say “I’m fine!!”. We need to stop lying to each other and start accepting the help that’s there, or asking for it If it’s not obviously there. I am all about encouraging other mommas. We are all going down a long hard road. :). God bless you and your precious family. Thanks for sharing!

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Lauren A July 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm

I want to hug you, not only for writing this article, but also because I’ve been there too, and I know how much of a struggle it can be at times. Tears welled in my eyes as well while reading this, as it took me right back to my own struggle, that only began to lighten months ago. I am so proud of you, not only for recognizing your need to talk about it and ask for help, knowing your resources and using them, but also for staring your fear in the face and deciding to move past it while helping other women at the same time. Bravo mama! While Julie was right to point out a truth we run into frequently while seeking a shoulder to lean on, my hope is that we, women as a whole, can begin to simply emphasize with each other better. I am very glad to hear how supportive your husband has been. I am still amazed, and thankful everyday, that mine was able to understand the seriousness of what I was going through (despite not getting any help other than some anxiety meds I took for a very short time), he truly helped hold me up when I couldn’t do it for myself. Your message is so powerful, thank you very much for sharing. It took a lot of courage. Wishing you lots of love, light, and healing!

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Bailey July 10, 2012 at 1:58 am

I’m not a mom yet, we’re currently TTC. I have bipolar disorder, I’ve heard that makes me very susceptible to PPD, and I’m terrified. I want a baby so bad it hurts, and part of me can’t imagine not being happy. But I know it’s possible and I know it’s most likely going to happen to me. And I’m terrified. This posting makes me feel so much better, knowing that I won’t be alone. BWF in general makes me feel better, because I know I have a place to go when I’m feeling that way.
I can relate to this posting more than you know. I deal with depression on a regular basis, and even though there’s no child involved yet, I feel all of those things. Thank you. Thank you for making me feel not alone.
From someone who deals with depression, you will get through this. It doesn’t last forever. I know it feels like it, but I promise it will pass. I’m glad you’re getting the help that you need.

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Amy July 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

You have expressed in writing precisely what I have struggled to put into words myself. Thank you. Also—I used to live in Barre, VT, and now live a quick jaunt up 89 in Essex Jct. I have a 12 week old son—we could get together for a playdate, and I promise you that I won’t judge:)

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Heather Waddington July 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I would love that!! I have been going for walks with everyday for the past 2 weeks, and yesterday I saw a woman on the other side of the street, pushing a baby in a stroller. She waved at me, and I waved back. As we walked in opposite directions I slowly built up the courage to turn around and ask her if she normally goes for walks, and if she would like a buddy. I was so nervous I almost dropped my rootbeer popsicle i had bought at the store around the corner. Sadly, by the time I finally built up enough courage, she was gone…. Knowing that you already understand my anxiety and are close by makes me feel more comfortable. :) My email is hrwcookie@hotmail.com Please get in touch. I only work Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings, so my schedule is very flexible.

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Rebekah July 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Thank you for your courage and honesty in sharing this. I’m currently 33 weeks with my first and terrified of PPD. I had horrible depression during my teenage and college years and I’m so scared of going to those depths again, while trying to care for another tiny little human. I have talked about it with my midwife and my husband, so it’s something they’ll be watching me for. I have also opted to encapsulate my placenta hoping that will help ward of PPD. (Actually, my husband is encapsulating it himself. He’s willing to do it since it can help with my ‘moods’ post-partum, as he says.) I hope that if I do end up with PPD that I can recognize it and seek help rather than do the typical ‘I’m fine’ lie that I got so good at in the past.

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Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli) July 11, 2012 at 5:13 am

Hi Heather – What an awesome story. Thank you for sharing your story here. You are very brave and i don’t judge you at all, being a PPD survivor myself. take care, Kathy

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Ashley-Michelle July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm

When I had my baby, I was prepared and knew I’d probably have PPD. I guess you could say I expected it, because I have such a long, exhaustive history of depression anyway, it just seemed par for the course.

What I was not prepared for, however, was the almost paralyzing fear of failure when my daughter was born. A fear born of my own complicated and difficult childhood, which has continued to haunt me even after the other symptoms of PPD have faded.

So I empathize greatly with what you wrote. I’m 27 years old, I have an incredible daughter who isn’t yet two, and I still cry, hysterically, at least once a week because I’m convinced I’m screwing her up. I present a confident facade that I trust my decisions completely, never questioning that I instinctually know what’s right for her.

But behind closed doors, I’m clueless. I fall apart. I consider finding a family to adopt her so she might actually be a success. Because on a very deep, tortured, emotional level, I believe that just by virtue of me raising her, I’m setting her up for failure. I struggle with the idea that you can be a good mother, even if you didn’t have one yourself.

So thank you for writing this. No judgments. Just understanding.

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Heather Waddington July 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Believe me, I totally understand how you feel. I know I had PPD when my son was born, and now that my daughter is here I know I have PPD as well, but because of my families history of screwed-up women I find that the fear of continuing this ‘tradition’ is totally overwhelming. The fact that you can indentify that you came from a broken home already gives you the upperhand. Believe me, it is a struggle everyday for me to realize that I can give my daughter the proper tools in life to succeed. I am working on my own path, not following the one that was established and followed by generations of women in my family, and its not easy, but it is doable. As hard as it is to do sometimes, have faith in yourself, open yourself to new ideas and new experiences and you will find a way. I have faith in you. :)

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Mae Redmond July 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

thank you so much for sharing mama!

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Shirley July 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I’m a little late to this but thank you for sharing. I never thought I would have issues with PPD but it is such a common thing and nobody seems to ever be willing/ready to talk about it, so reading about it is very helpful. I had the *worst* time ever trying to go back to work. Everything just seems so trivial and mundane, and meantime everyone was telling me it would be “good to be back among real people” – not hardly!

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wendy morlewski December 18, 2012 at 11:58 pm

As a mother of two children that has suffered from PPD, I know how you feel. It is very hard to admit how we feel and how it can effect the people we care the most about in our lives. I did go on medication and it helped me a lot. As soon as people understand PPD and know it is a real medical condition ( imbalance of chemicals in the brain do to rapid change of hormones) the better off we will all be. Thank you for your story, just reading this story I can tell how strong and loving you are. Things will get better. Sending love your way. <3

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Lizz December 19, 2012 at 1:27 am

This made me cry! I saw a link to this blog post tonight and this is what I’m going through right now. My little man (baby #4) is 6 months and with his sisters I didn’t have ppd at all. I hadn’t heard the anger or overwhelmed feelings as ppd at all. I just assumed it was only the depressed feelings. My doula told me that I don’t have ppd it’s probably just circumstances, she hasn’t seen me since I had my son and if she had she only would have seen my fake smile, she has only talked to me through text or Facebook. Reading this helps me to feel like this is something I can get through. Thank you!

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Erica Wray December 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

I had PPD with both of our girls (my only two ) . We got pregnant with number 2 only ten monthes after number 1 . I refrused meds it only got worse , I tried to wait 2 years when I finally caved . YES PDD can last that long. I got on meds and it really just takes the edge off . should have done it earlier .

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ML March 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I was there too. Try not to be too hard on yourself. I had undiagnosed PPD for 9 months after telling myself it must be normal to feel the way I did after having a baby who did not sleep very well and that crying was a normal part of breastfeeding. I couldn’t hold it together anymore and went on Zoloft. I tortured myself over choosing to take the Zoloft and switch to formula. It was the best decision for me. I gained 25 pounds but felt better within a few weeks. I am currently pregnant with number 2 and am concerned about PPD recurring but I have done a lot of research about the effects of placenta encapsulation and hope it will help. Stay strong and know that many women have been and are in your shoes and we are here to support you.

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Maria Giacalone March 23, 2013 at 9:17 pm

There’s no shame in asking for or needing help. The only thing that’s a shame is when your family suffers because you aren’t getting the help you need. PPD sucks balls, but it’s temporary and it doesn’t have to define you. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and good support. See your midwife, take the Meds, and feel better.

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Taylor March 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Thankyou for sharing that, I really needed to hear I wasnt alone, and I wish you all the best :)

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Angela March 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Hello all mamas!

I am greatful that you wrote this. I can see that it has helped many other moms realize they’re not the only ones. At the same time, I feel really bad that so many of you have had to endure this struggle. I just got home from a seminar all day today… One of the topics was PPD. It was an MD teaching, but his focus in using essential oils to help with many health conditions. My husband and I have 6 children and have taught community education classes on the use of essential oils with pregnancy/family/birth/babies for the last 5 years. It’s our passion to help others through essential oils education. Today the topic being taught on PPD was that the normal range of progesterone in a ladies body should be from 20-90. When you get pregnant, it shoots way up and by the day of delivery, that number reaches about 900!!!!! HOWEVER, that means the day after you deliver the baby, that 900 number needs to drop all the way back down, which can cause major issues (like some of you are struggling with). The good news is, there’s a completely natural and safe essential oil (with natural progestrone in it) that can totally help your body balance out so it’s not such a dramatic, immediate drop. So, please feel free to see our website for additional information on what essential oils are if you’re still struggling with this and would like to try something totally safe and natural. We’ve used them through my pregnancies/natural births/on the babies for 7 years. We’ve never needed any pharmaceutical for any of the kids in that time because we can use oils right at home to address everything from fevers/thrush/ear infections to healing from the birth, headaches, toothaches, cancer, cellulitis, shingles, burns and so much more! I’m sorry to hear so many of you have struggled with this, but through education and making other moms more aware that is really is a real thing, then people like myself are also able to offer our help (and some explanation of why this may be happening to you) so moms know that there are natural substances you can use right at home to help with many things, PPD included. I wish all the best to all of you and hope you can find some relief! There are many options out there (different essential oils) and I would love to help all of you learn about them so you don’t have to go through this tough stuff alone! http://www.theoilzonellc.com You can also find us on FB, The Oil Zone.

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Lynn March 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm

What a brave and beautiful letter. Thank you for sharing your experience. Hopefully, others will see themselves in your story and will draw the courage from it to seek help themselves. God bless and be with you and your wonderful family.

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Melanie March 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

YOU are not alone. You ARE worthy. You are NOT a bad parent. You CAN survive this. I wrote this article a few years ago. I’ve been there. http://www.examiner.com/article/baby-blues-or-something-more-serious-when-to-get-help?cid=db_articles I hope this helps you. Please consider calling Helena and tell her that Melanie sent you. She will find you help in your area and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. HUGS And much love!

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Beth March 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm

I have had depression since I was a teen. I know all about the facade. So many people tell me that I don’t seem depressed – that is because you learn to mask it and cover it up. I turned to alcohol for a quite a few years to deal with it. Its an ugly road, and pregnancy just made it worse. I had to go off meds once my daughter was born, they made it worse. I was standing on the brink of making a really bad choice, and decided to cut myself off the drugs.

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Sarah March 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm

What an inspiration, seriously thanks for sharing this story! Its nice to know that you are not alone…I felt this way some with my son and never felt like I could share with anyone except my husband because I feared what others would think of me…

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Janelle Diehl March 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm

This was an awesome blog. IT touched me. I wanted to reach for you with a hug and start crying. I loved it. Everything. When my first and only son was born, I knew genetics were against me, I tried avoiding PPD. By the time he was 5 months I couldn’t deny I had it, and bad. Crying at everything, night after night. My husband travels, works 70-80hrs a week and is never home. I wanted to deny I needed help. I knew my problem was bad when I sat with a doctor finally and couldn’t begin speaking without crying. Once on meds, everything seemed so much more controlled. Breastfeeding didn’t seem as overwhelming, being a stay at home, starring at the same wall 7 days a week, 80% of the time single-mom was a more manageable. This is an amazing blog and I feel touched you shared :)

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Kim March 23, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Thankyou for sharing your story. its a very difficult thing to put into words, and so brave of you to risk the judgement of others. I dont judge you, at all. PPD is a type of hell on earth. i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy. I suffered from it with each of my 3 kids. The last child, particularly badly. I also have Bipolar & personality disorder. i turned into a monster. i was hospitalized too many times to remember. i tried to kill myself too many times to count. i have scars all over my arms. i actually dont remember more than a few things for the first SIX years of my little girls life. i was put on so many medications i am surprised i didnt rattle. I became an expert in hiding my pain, inner turmoil, hatred of myself for being a failure. no one tells you that it can be so hard. ur story can help other mums, and dads too for that matter. i dont think enough attention is paid to PPD, during pregnancy. its still a taboo subject for many. wishing you all the best for the future.

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Michelle March 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Wow it’s like reading my own story. I had tears reading it remembering those same feelings just under three years ago with my daughter. I fought how i felt for 9 months when it got too much and it finally ‘hit me’ it wasnt going to just get better on its own. With counselling and medication I got through it. I’ve just had another bub and know i won’t take so long to seek help. So much “wiser” the second time around.

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Catita March 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I had horrible post partum depression and didn’t get help until 6 months after my son was born. I continued to think it was going to get better, I’d have a few good days and start to think I was coming around. Your story was very similar to my own. This pregnancy I tried weening of my low dose of antidepressant and within 3 weeks my depression was back. I would feel empty, nothing brought excitement and I felt overwhelmed in situations I wouldn’t normally. I reluctantly began taking the antidepressant again and am so thankful I did. My doula is going to encapsulate my placenta to help with ppd and to help with my milk supply. When I was not taking the medication I was not able to mother the way I wanted to, gentle parenting was not an option, I couldn’t stay engaged with my little one and had no real interest in being around him. I was just able to meet his basic needs and then I was tapped out.
I found the few people I opened up to were very uncomfortable discussing what I was feeling. I would be met with generic sentiments that left me feeling invalidated and not understood.

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Heather March 24, 2013 at 8:57 am

Thank you so much for writing this amazing article. Its difficult for us to articulate how it really feels and you have done this honestly, beautifully and boldly. Thank you for sharing xxxx

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Sidney May 23, 2013 at 9:35 am

Thank you for sharing, i suffered from whats called post natal pyschosis which is sever postal natal depression – it was a dark time and after wanting a baby so bad and completeing 10 fresh cycles of ivf working full time finally acheiving pregnancy was spactacular i was on cloud 9 – as soon as my baby was born my body shut down – i cried at the hospital begging them not to send me home – but they did – they said “you’ll be right its just the baby blues” i never hurt my baby but did want to hurt myself. 5 weeks after the birth i had dropped 13 kilos in weight – i couldnt speak i was being fed stustagain through a straw and finally was hospitalised for 3 days where they put me on a drip and fed me – they also put me on antidepressants and within 2 months i was feeling a whole lit better .. 7 years on now i am unfortunataley still suffering from depression but finally have the feeling back of wanting another child but im so afraid im terrified – i would rather shoot myself in the head than to go back into that darkness of not not being able to eat, drink, speak, get myself out of bed, walk 1 meter, not be able to shower myself. But i want another baby :( im afraid im scared im crying how can we stop this from happening to us… I pray everyday but im too afraid to try again.

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