The only thing I’ve ever wanted was to be was a mom. I was blessed with that five times in less than eight years. When I had my fifth child, I was ready for the challenge and couldn’t have been more excited for our perfect new addition. I thought I knew exactly what to expect, since I had already done this four other times.
After a couple weeks, my sweet baby became colicky and screamed no matter what I did. For weeks I had to sleep on the couch, sitting up, with him on my chest, just to get a few hours of sleep. This is when my postpartum depression crept in. It started with thoughts of feeling inadequate to be raising my children, then quickly escalated to thoughts that they’d be better off without me. I had the thought that I may have PPD, but since the only thing I knew about it was that one of the side effects could be wanting to harm your baby, I pushed it out of my mind, since that wasn’t the case.
There wasn’t a day that I didn’t cry, often times tears pouring out of my eyes without warning. I felt helpless and numb to everything going on around me. Every tiny task felt difficult and somehow I was supposed to take care of a newborn and four other kids when I couldn’t even take care of myself.
Just when I was at my peak of pain, a friend sent me the link to “The Emily Effect”. After hearing about her tragic story, I began to read the articles posted about PPD. They could not have related to me better. I’ve always had a hard time asking for help, so I had to have something push me to desperately want help.
That day my sweet daughter came running in from school, excited to greet me. She found me in my dark room and wrapped her arms around me. I shrunk back, cringed and told her to go clean her room. How could I be such a terrible person? How could everything that’s ever made me happy, make me cringe? As she ran off, with confusion in her eyes, I sobbed and sobbed, knowing I couldn’t fix this on my own. That was when I told my husband and my mom everything I was suffering from.
Thankfully, my mom started problem solving and got me in to the doctor. I’m someone that’s always been against medicine, but I knew after trying every natural remedy without any luck, medicine would be the only thing to save me. I quickly got on medicine, and started to feel more like myself again.
Even though it’s all still pretty new to me, with my baby being 2 ½ months old, I’m happy to say I have hope and I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I look forward to being back to myself, but hope I can be a better person because of this. I hope to be more compassionate and aware of people struggling. We never know what people are going through, so it’s best to give them the benefit of the doubt and offer a helping hand, instead of judgment. I’m grateful for the people that have offered exactly that and hope to pass the love along.