According to the CDC, 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. I never thought I’d be one of those women.
Gosh, I don’t even really know how to say this, but there was a time after having Nora that I just wanted to die. My head was screaming at me that I couldn’t be a good mother. I couldn’t handle the stress, the crying, the sleep deprivation. For the first time in my life, I had real, scary, suicidal thoughts. I would curl up in my closet and cover my head with my arms and scream. I would pray for God to please take me – that Nora would be better off without me in her life. The depression truly made me believe that. I couldn’t breastfeed, I couldn’t get my baby to sleep, I couldn’t keep the house clean, I wasn’t cooking, I wasn’t keeping up with the laundry. I was failing miserably at motherhood.
One day I asked Matt if he would even miss me if I wasn’t here. I’ll never forget the terror on his face when he asked me if I’ve had suicidal thoughts. Through tears, I answered honestly, yes. He started crying while holding Nora close. Explaining to me how he and Nora needed me. To please not leave him – don’t leave our daughter. I found a journal entry during this time that said, “I’m not afraid to die. I am afraid of Nora not growing up with a mother, and her somehow thinking it’s her fault.”
I’m not afraid to die. I am afraid of Nora not growing up with a mother, and her somehow thinking it’s her fault.
It’s hard to admit to you that I had these intrusive thoughts for over a year after having Nora. Somehow this beautiful baby girl of mine holds me together and pulls me apart at the same time. Postpartum depression doesn’t have a time limit. You don’t wake up one day and go back to feeling like your old self. I’ve had lots of therapy. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection. I’ve opened up and shared my experiences with close friends and family. I’ve read many books. I’ve prayed.
Somehow this beautiful baby girl of mine holds me together and pulls me apart at the same time.
These days I’m very easily triggered by suicidal conversations and scenes on TV. I actually cry every time I proof-read this post – that I’ve been trying to write for months now. I haven’t had these intrusive thoughts recently, but I have a lot of guilt that they ever crossed my mind. Why would a mother with a healthy and happy baby ever think about harming herself? How could I be so selfish? I’ve had to work through these guilty thoughts, and remind myself that I suffered greatly from depression, but depression isn’t who I am. I am strong. I am a fighter. I looked depression right in the eyes and said “you will not win”… (yes, I’m crying right now).
Depression isn’t who I am. I am strong. I am a fighter. I looked depression right in the eyes and said “you will not win”.
I’m sharing this with you because it’s important for you to know you aren’t alone, Momma. You matter. Your life is important. You will get through this dark time.
I love this Bible verse, Psalm 116: 3-6 “The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me. I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, save me!” The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.”
Be sure to check out my resources tab for help if you are struggling. xoxo