Postpartum Depression.
April 24, 2014, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I knew something was wrong the first time I was handed my daughter in our hospital room. 


She was a perfectly lovely baby, don’t get me wrong. 

But I did not feel a glow from within recognizing this as the best moment of my life. 

I felt, in fact, nothing. 



The days that followed were full of painful recovery, painful breastfeeding (and eventually, failed) attempts, and crying. 

I would cry. My Tiny Human would cry. My husband would cry for us both. 

The crying would not stop. I felt completely disconnected from this baby that I had grown and housed for nine months. I would hear her wail and scream for what felt like 10 hours at a time, and sometimes it felt like it was from far away; down the hall and around the corner. I held her, close to my body. I refused to put her in the crib. The crib was too big; too scary. She had to be on my chest, on my belly, the exact same place she had always been and where I ultimately thought she belonged.

I punished myself, in retrospect. 

I would not let anyone help me. I would not let my husband take care of her while I went to nap. I would not let my mother help. I would not do what I now tell new mothers to do–PUT HER IN THE CRIB AND WALK AWAY. Instead, I sat and slept on my couch for 3 weeks straight while my child screamed and I wept. 

I wept so much and had so many thoughts of escape that I cannot even talk about it. 

But there were thoughts. Strange thoughts that felt foreign even as I had them; like someone was whispering evil things into my ear from over my shoulder. 

Postpartum depression is exactly like any other kind of severe depression: it is a lying bastard. 

It takes perfectly prepared mothers; perfectly excited mothers, and it breaks them into little slivers of emotions. We lose our courage. We become afraid of ourselves. We doubt everything. 



I wish I could say that one day I woke up and the child stopped crying and birds were chirping and woodland creatures helped me get dressed. 

It took several weeks for me to let my child go. I placed her in her bassinet and remained on the couch, watching her. It physically hurt to have her separated from me. And then one night, I crawled back into my own bed and slept for 3 hours straight and I started feeling better.

I still have depression. I will always have depression and if you struggle before, you should be open with your OB so you can have a plan for your postpartum battle. It is a battle and we are soldiers. Do not break formation. Do not retreat. Hold your damn ground and the baby will stop crying and you will stop feeling as crazy. You will feel like a mother; maybe not immediately and maybe not even a month after you give birth. But you will feel like a mother and then you will push on through the continuing battles of motherhood. 


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

It’s so brave of you to put this out there, especially when you’re talking about such a sensitive aspect of your life.

Comment by Sue

This is so beautifully written. I don’t know this kind of experience but my heart is with you, now and retroactively for this time you’ve written about.

Comment by Wendy

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