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Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised.

Upon learning I was pregnant, my husband and I were so excited. However, within a month our world came crashing down when we noticed that my “mood swings” were not normal. I would come home from work every day and sob until I fell asleep. I had such bad anxiety that I locked myself away from people as much as I could. Although I put up a front at work so people would think everything was fine, my husband and I knew otherwise. I was not having a typical pregnancy; I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and I had so much internal pain. In fact, I had bad thoughts where I wanted to hurt or kill myself.

We talked to my doctor and told him I was having some problems with depression, but I was hesitant to disclose how serious the problems were. He gave me a low dosage of medicine to take if I felt like things were bad, but things were already so terrible and I didn’t want anyone to know for fear of judgment. I felt like everything I said or did was wrong.

I finally took the medication as my delivery neared, but things only got worse after my baby was born. I nearly committed suicide because I didn’t feel like things could improve. I felt like I was a terrible wife, mother, and person. Not only did I not want to live anymore, but I didn’t see any way out of the pain. Even though I felt hopeless, I fortunately changed my mind at the last minute and called for help. While in the psychiatric unit, things changed. I wanted to gain my life back, and I wanted to try to be happy.

Conquering depression takes work. It takes effort, but I am worth this effort. During this process, my husband and I decided that we weren’t going to have more children. We did not make this decision lightly, nor would we ever promote it as the only solution to prenatal and postpartum depression. We made the decision that was right for us after much reflection.

Prenatal and postpartum depression affects many women, and many suffer in silence when they don’t have to. Many don’t get proper treatment for it. Tragically, some die from it. I was almost one of them. I refuse to be ashamed of myself and my path that I have chosen to go down. Instead, I am promoting awareness, having a plan, and being ok if your plans change. Find happiness on your own path!