All I ever wanted to be was a mom, so when I found out that it was very likely that I would never have my own child, I started getting panic attacks. I sought help from a therapist and went on herbal supplements. The next year was challenging, and included a difficult surgery, failed IVF, and extreme disappointment. However, I thought I finally had my anxiety under control. Then I surprisingly became pregnant after a failed round of IVF–it was a miracle.
Soon after learning I was pregnant, I began having horrible panic attacks, and nothing helped. My husband would have to come home from work and calm me down. One minute I was fine, and then the next I was living in total fear and anger. My doctor suggested a medication, but I was hesitant because I was afraid it would hurt my baby.
Around this time, I watched the story about Emily, and all of a sudden I could see myself in her place. That scared me. I decided it was better for the health of my baby and me to start the medication. Within a few weeks of taking the medication, I could see that I was feeling much better. My panic attacks had stopped, and I felt like myself again. I was no longer lashing out at others in anger, or feeling like my world was coming to an end for no reason. My anxiety did not go away, but I was able to deal with it in a healthy way. I felt so much better.
After my baby was born, I remained on medication. I still have mild panic attacks, but they are manageable and I love being a mom. Previous to my experience, I thought postpartum depression meant a woman was depressed and didn’t love her baby. I mistakenly believed it meant that a woman could not bond with the baby or was apathetic about the baby. I have learned that postpartum depression comes in many different forms, and it can start during pregnancy. I have not been depressed, but I have felt overcome with fear and panic. I am grateful that I was able to see Emily’s story on the news and that it encouraged me to acknowledge my postpartum depression and take action.