We were in the car—the whole family—and I was talking about a friend I really love. K-Pants got mad. “When you love other people my heart gets smaller and smaller,” he said.
“But remember what we talked about? Love is something that grows and grows. And my love for you only gets bigger. If I love someone else, it doesn’t mean I have less love for you.”
“No,” he said. “It gets smaller and smaller.”
I’ve been suffering from postpartum depression. People talk about PPD. It’s not off-limits. I just figure I should share because I’m a normal, extroverted, sarcastic, fill-in-the-blank kinda girl. And I’m a great mom and an excellent writer and a kick-ass cook and a pretty bangin’ wife while we’re at it.
These things and postpartum depression are not mutually exclusive.
In a related scenario, there’s an adorable baby on one hand, and my sense of dread about getting through the day with her on the other. She likes to be held and played with all the time—you know, baby stuff.
I don’t like that she stole my sense of self and has yet to give it back.
This stuff can be awkward to write about, because even though it’s not taboo to talk about postpartum depression, it automatically shuts you out of the gold-star moms club. I mean who doesn’t love babies? But I need to talk about it because friends have been saying, “Do you really have postpartum depression? I thought you were okay,” in ways that make me feel like I need to go through the exhausting task of explaining postpartum depression and then checking off the boxes that apply to me. I’ve also been getting a lot of “But the nice thing is that it will pass,” and “Keep it up,” and “Have you tried letting the baby play with plastic spoons while you do the dishes?”
So let me try to explain how this postpartum depression thing works for me.
I’m like a cell phone.
I like to charge my cell phone every night no matter how much juice it has left. Because what if there’s an earthquake and it takes me a few days to find my solar-powered emergency radio with the USB connection in order to hand-crank my phone battery back to life? So my phone usually only gets down to 75% battery life before a charge. Maybe 40% if we’ve been out on adventure and I need to use GPS and Instagram and Snapchat all day.
Parenting my two boys through baby and toddlerhood as a mostly stay-at-home-mom was exhausting. My battery would hang out in the red zone most of the time. If I had time to recharge, it would take things up to maybe 21%, and then I’d be right back in the low-battery pop-up-screen zone again. But I had started to get out of the red zone. I got to hike or write every Saturday. I spent time in the garden. I exercised. I had regular chunks of time when the boys were in school when I could reliably schedule appointments. The boys started to play with each other more. Having play dates didn’t mean I had to be involved the whole time.
And then the baby came. [Read about her entry into our family here.]
She doesn’t let me do anything except care for her.
“Being with real people who warm us, who endorse and exalt our creativity, is essential to the flow of creative life,” writes Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.
The baby smashed my flow of creative life.
I’m not looking for a way to entertain the baby so I can get the dishes done: I’m looking for a way to let my soul sing. Passion and creativity glow within me. The baby takes them away through a program of sleep-deprivation, diaper changes, and feedings.
My cell phone battery hangs out in the 3–5% range.
The phone works. But one extra Instagram post or group text message may just shut it down. Even with babysitting, a great therapist, and a supportive spouse, I can barely get to 10%.
As we pulled into the parking lot of MOD Pizza for my birthday lunch, I said to K-Pants, “It smells delicious.” “I don’t want pizza,” he said.
This kind of thing would have irritated me before, but I would have had the energy and the soul-fire to parent through it. K-Pants is not a kid who makes it easy to feel like a good parent. But now, a quick interaction like this, combined with the earlier admonition that I’m shrinking his heart, makes the phone shut down.
I decided to go to the grocery store while they ate lunch.
I wanted to walk around the aisles, shopping for sweet potatoes and avocados and frozen fruit and olive oil, acting like a person whose soul was on fire and who was going to cook some things that people might enjoy.
These days I most often describe postpartum depression as this condition that makes me very fragile. I’ve temporarily lost my resilience, which I find to be a personal trademark in normal circumstances.
These days I often don’t have the energy for normal interactions. I’m an extrovert, but not now. I’m too overstimulated by constant crying and whining and problem-solving. Often, I just need to be in the garden by myself.
I’m not open to suggestions on how to be a better parent and I avoid situations in which I may be judged for my parenting decisions. I’ll tell you if my feelings are hurt, and I have very thin skin right now, so I try to protect myself by being with people with whom I feel very safe.
Once the baby is older and I can get away on Saturdays again to hike and write, and the battery charge reliably stays above about 15%, then I’ll be able to access my normal self more often.
If you see me or talk to me I may tell you about my postpartum depression or I may say things are going well. It depends on the moment. I like to feel well, so I like to enjoy those moments.
In the meantime, I wanted to tell you what it’s like, and why sometimes I’m fine and sometimes that last Instagram post shuts the whole thing down.
If I need your help, you’re probably already giving it. I’m seeking joy and balance in a very active way with the help of my wonderful people (who include my husband, friends, family, therapist, naturopath, babysitter, acupuncturist… the list is long and you can find my individual postpartum depression toolkit here).
And to my friend who anonymously left chocolate on my doorstep a few weeks ago, I love you gloriously, and in a manner that doesn’t shrink anyone’s heart.
You describe something dark with such dexterity and beauty. When I was going through my PPD, I often got, “You look like you are doing so well.” I think the reason for that was…if I was out…if you were seeing me…that meant it was a good day. I was leaving the house. I was functioning. It was all the days I couldn’t leave my house. When I had too much to do to even think about interact with other people, that’s when it was the hardest. The hardest parts were the moments no one but God saw.
“The hardest parts were the moments no one but God saw.” Yes. And in those moments I often wonder where God is, even though I rest in a deep river of holy. Love your thoughts and compassion.
I am currently depressed. Can it still be postpartum depression when your youngest is 4? Probably not, but it still sucks ass. I love the battery analogy. I feel like I’m hovering at that 3-5% as well. I try really hard to rally throughout the day, but then a kid starts whining or complaining or is needy…all things I can totally handle and have the perfect motherly thing to do when I’m not depressed…and right now I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut and the battery drains to 0. I wonder why I even tried to rally in the first place. It failed miserably. Why do I even try? Then I want to run away. If I run away I can’t hurt their hearts when I yell or snap at them. If I run away, the endless sucking of energy from me might slow down. If I run away, maybe I can recharge and get out of this hell hole I’ve fallen into. But I won’t run away because I also know that running away will hurt their hearts more and I’ll lose their trust that I’ll always be there and no matter what, I want to be there. And so I rally again…and the cycle continues again and again and again.
Thanks for sharing your journey. As I lay on the floor of my bedroom and cry, I feel a little less alone. thank you
This is such a poignant post on its own, C. I’m really grateful to you. And it’s funny because I have been wondering when and how this will go away–really more how I will be generally successful at managing PPD rather than having it magically “go away”–and if the baby grows out of babyhood and I’m still depressed, then we’ll just change the name and keep working on the cycle.
And I’m glad we can feel this connection. Lately I’ve been getting some comfort from the fact that there are so many of us out there suffering behind whatever facades we have.
I don’t remember how mine went away, but one day I realized I had been doing so much better…less days where I wanted to scream. Of course, that was until I wasn’t okay again, but it took awhile and it isn’t the same now. I recognize it sooner, I am better prepared to adjust things, and I’m not as sleep deprived. It is really strange, but this time of year seems to hit me the hardest, I don’t really understand why. I don’t get SAD any more in the winter, but late spring/early summer is cruddy.
I had been suffering in silence this past week. I mean, I told my husband that I was struggling, but I didn’t spell it out so he just thought the days were just extra tough ones. Your post helped me articulate how I was feeling in a way I think he actually understood. Thanks for having the amazing talent to express this stuff in a way that I haven’t been able to.
I love the battery analogy! Spot on, as always. That’s how SAD feels to me. I wish I were still in school, maybe working on a PhD. I’d love to know whether the incidents of PPD and depression in mothers have consistently occurred at the rates they occur today. I think there is something about child rearing in this modern time that sets up the right conditions for depression to be so ripe. Keep speaking your truths and writing about the hard stuff. And thank you for giving yourself the props you deserve for all of the things you do so well. “Bangin’ wife” made me laugh so hard I think I shed a few happy tears.
I had PPD with both kids, and with my second I finally got some help for it. I’m on medication and seeing a therapist, and I feel sooooo much better! My battery is still almost never fully charged — is that possible as a mom of young kids?! — but I manage to hover in the 50 to 75% range most days now. I highly recommend getting treatment!
I don’t think it is possible to have a fully charged battery! You’re right. Getting into the zone where you have enough charge to make it through the day is so important, isn’t it? I’m so glad to hear that medication and therapy were the winning combination for you. Finding the right combination of support is critical.
This is a great post and said so much that I didn’t know how to express. And I am so glad I am not alone feeling this way because it makes me feel super guilty and like I am a bad mom. The cell fone analpgy is spot on. I am in below 10% zone most of the time but I have to stay on.
This! (And this is also the reason we’ve stopped at one, although I would’ve loved to have a larger family.)
I’m right there with Mommy C. This time last year was hell. This year….it’s bad, but I know how to work though it…a little. Therapist, meds….both help me but I am still in this weird place and I don’t know what I am supposed to do. E is about to be 2, K is 4, S is 14…wide range I know. I had PPD with S but never said a word because it was taboo. With K I didn’t. With E, it hit hard. Like…almost tore my marriage apart hard.
I have had those laying in the floor crying my eyes out moments as well. PPD isn’t a joke. Some people who haven’t had it think “Oh, she’s just having a bad day”. If they only really knew……
No joke. Word.
Thanks for sharing your story on depression! I understand what it feels like to live like that. Its not always easy! Keep going and don’t give up!
I needed this. Dealing with this while caring for my 1 year old and currently expecting new baby in a couple of weeks.
Brilliantly put. Great phone analogy. Excellent work. I felt like that with my first, that I used to be a sociable extrovert but then I only had (barely) enough of myself for her and me. Sending you extra battery life xx
When my aunt had her baby she told the nurse that she was already depressed in the hospital and the lady just gave her a pamphlet and left. She did not even care which put my aunt and the baby in danger. Thankfully my aunt is a pretty strong lady who allowed friends and family to help carry the load. This is so serious and it is horrible that it gets looked passed so often.
Nice work explaining how it makes you feel – it’s such a struggle & there are so many Mum’s with different levels of PPD affecting them in different ways. This may sound silly, but it’s awesome that you KNOW you have it because at least you can talk about it & you do have a great support network around you to ride it with you. My Mum had it with my little sister, but it went undiagnosed. Same as me with my son. Only upon a box of photos falling out of a moving box one day did I sit down and wonder when on earth they were all taken – really I had no idea who the people were or what events we were at… Mine went undiagnosed too. I hope you get your Hikes & Writing in soon. Sending love xx
Yes. Thank you for calling attention to the fact that there are many different levels of PPD. People experience it differently and also have varied resources available to help. Not knowing and not being able to reach out for help is the worst. Thanks for sharing some of your experience.
Very serious topic in which more awareness needs to be raised.
I went through PDD and had no clue that I had it, I had university and morning classes to attend plus an annoying boyfriend. How I managed to finish university I have no idea, she’s 6 now and I’m married to a lovely man but the idea of having more kids sends chills down my spine, I love kids though.
Super good subject to be talking about. Good on you 🙂
A topic that needed to be covered. And you did it so gracefully.
Thank you, Keith.
It’s nice when someone says, “Your feelings count.” More than that; maybe it’s important. Maybe it’s necessary. Many of us go way, way too long without hearing those words. This is why I feel what you wrote is very, very important.
Wow! I love this post! I love your writing, but even more, I love that you were able to articulate what it feels like for me on a daily basis. I also get through with a combination of people, medicine, time for myself and lots of other stuff. I often wonder if it’s still PPD or if I’m all healed and just can’t cope. But it’s amazing to see all of these comments, along with your words that say it’s a day by day thing. My therapist would check in with me and ask how did I know that I’m feeling better/more like myself. Most recently, I’ve been able to seek out things that I want to learn/enjoy/experience which is so wonderful. Thank you so much for writing!
Sweetie I think all moms go thru this at one point or another. Dnt feel bad about it! Im here for u & luv to read your post! Keep writing!!
I’ve struggled with depression since I was a teenager. With my last pregnancy, I was so severely depressed, I would just lay in bed all day with my sweet 4 year old girl, watching Disney, and wish I could fall asleep and never wake up again. I could be just like sleeping beauty, or was I already? I was there but not. I eventually came through it, but now the sound of Disney channel sends me reeling.
thx for sharing..i have child with austimse
A great post like this really deserve appreciation. You did an awesome job 👍👏
I’m single and doesn’t have a child but this enlightens me of the struggles among Mothers. Being one is indeed a tough job. Hope you completely overcome this soon. A very well expressed post by the way. Thank you for sharing. 🙂
I wanted to reach out to you because I have a pretty close relationship with my mom, and we’ve talked at length about postpartum depression. Both my mother and I have dealt with depression, and the above commenters are completely incorrect when they say that your experience is inconsistent with depression. Your feelings are totally valid for a woman of your experience, and it’s admirable that you’re pushing through.
Just a thought, but I wanted to add that when my mother had severe PPD after having me, Paxil helped her a lot. I mentioned the battery analogy and she said it helped her go from hanging around 1% to 50%. It’s not a cure-all, but I hope you talk to someone who can help you feel better.
Love your honesty
God bless you, darling….decades later, the memories still make me shudder. Have you ever read about Patty Hearst’s kidnapping? Babies are like little Symbionese Liberation Armies. They deprive you of food, sleep, silence, rest, sex, normal circadian rhythms, baths, adult human contact and common sense, grinding at your sanity until you fall in love with them…stupidly and completely, and for the rest of your life. Keep writing. It will help you, and your sisters going through it.
I love how some people can talk so openly about themselves positive or negative, I think to be able to be honest about ourselves to help ourselves and others is just amazing 🙂 well written
Great to see things people can relate to and feel a sense of normalcy when at times they might feel alone when this happens.
Prior reading this article
I thought I’m the only mom on this Earth who feels like this
But your article gives me wings and some solace to understand that life is all about knowing yourself afterall
This is amazing. I love it. I want children so badly, but I’m pretty terrified of the change it would bring. We aren’t planning right now, life is too tumultuous. Thank you for sharing! I really appreciate reading this.
as men may be we cannot understand full agony of women but one thing is for sure women are creater of this world and are doing things which men cannot even imagine . long live women power.
I loved reading this post. It was very honest to say the least. I am in my early 30’s and have no kids and one of my greatest fears is still having a baby. I have experienced so many of the things you are referring to in this post; and that’s just with my boyfriend. I love my friend’s kids. I love my godchild. But I feel I would never be able to give of myself so much to someone who needs even more than what I can give.
To you and everyone else who feels like this, who feels guilty for trying to hold onto themselves a bit. Be strong. Know, that we all feel the same and that there is love here…..
Heart-warming and honest writing – many hugs!
what an open and honest article, this decribes how I felt when I had postnatal depression too.
Hey ! I am here for you ! 🙂
Hi, just bumped into your post this morning. Your writing is so striking and well expressed. I liked the way you wrote about a negative feeling in such a warm and matter of fact manner. Wish you the strength to pull through. I don’t have any kids yet but I babysat my sisters’ kids for years and it was exhausting. Being a mother is definitely a super hero kind of thing and needless to say that mothers rock-so do you. Keep up the good work.
Beautifully explained… awesome
What a read! A well thought out piece. I write on something similar but it’s not as eloquently put and deep as yours. Would love for you to check it out https://chilawson.wordpress.com
I love that you start your post, “Can I keep it one hundred with y’all?” Yes! Always. I’m including the link that takes readers directly to the post.
😤😭 Thank You
I too suffered from it with my first child. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve written a blog about it too. ❤️
So glad you’ve written about PPD, too, Linda. Sharing about it helps us and others, don’t you think?
A really like your writing style missus it gives me a proper sense of the type of person you are. Which in my opinion your seem like a sound lass. Interesting read as well, I have never heard of ppd before, so thanks for bringing me into the fold with that.
Being called a “sound lass” has me smiling and laughing! Thanks for the kind comment.
Love reading posts that come from an honest place!
Thank you! Authenticity makes us vulnerable, but it’s so rewarding. I love your blog’s title, “Story Shucker”! Just started following.
My friend had been going through same .She used to complain a lot but after her second baby ,she is calm now … You have written it nicely. I am not a parent but you have written it in much easier way to be understood by non-parents too. It is always good to follow up your passion and you are doing it 🙂
So glad to hear from a few people that even though they don’t suffer from PPD, this helps to understand it better. I’ve been given that gift by other readers about issues that I couldn’t quite wrap my mind fully around. Thanks for being here and sharing your thoughts!
This is beautifully written, Ev. Great analogy with the battery.
Thanks, Lara. Seeing you over here is the next best thing to getting drinks together. 🙂
Pingback: Dimensions of Depression – BrainMindSpirit
Reblogged this on Aaron Elmore and commented:
This post gives some insight into how postpartum depression can feel from the perspective of the person who is living through it. It really encourages you to look at your own “battery percentage”, and helps to understand PPD too.
All interesting stuff, so please give it a read and see what you take from it.
I have never thought about describing resilience as a battery before, that’s a really interesting way to look at it. Thank you for sharing your story, wishing more mystery chocolate your way 🙂
🙂 So glad you referenced the mystery chocolate, Aaron. And thanks for the share! Very appreciated.
a child is a most beautiful gift a person can have and not everyone is lucky to have such a gift. once a a person has a child i believe all of his world circles around that not because he feels responsible but because he loves it to an infinite extent.
Beautifully honest words. I am a new mom, so i know my share of PPD. You will get through it beautifully,just hang in there :*
I have started writing too(infant writer),to let go of whats cooking inside my brain.
So glad you are writing to “let go of what’s cooking.” Such a lovely way to put it! Writing is such a critical outlet for me, and I hope it is for you, too. ❤
Motherhood is hard. Suffering from any form a depression definitely doesn’t make it any easier, especially when depression is still something a lot of people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand. I wish you the best, and I thank you for sharing this post.
Thanks for writing this. I just had a baby 10 days ago! 👍👍
Thank you for writing this so much better than I ever could. You have described how I felt/feel exactly when I suffered with the illness. People saying ‘oh but you have lovely children, and a lovely husband’ just didn’t help. You have really captured how I felt and still feel on a daily basis.
People can easily be dismissive. Don’t let them get to you. :]
Much love, Arouge.
Thank you. Hindsight is 20/20 – I was never diagnosed, it was never well managed. I was always one of those mentally/emotionally strong people, so depression was not a consideration at the time. Lack of good support system meant no one was looking out. I was alone at sea for MONTHS. My kiddo is now 3. We are doing great. It’s so important to have someone telling their story.
love the cell phone comparison! thanks for sharing your soul
People often feel “down” when their energy slumps and that must be especially true for any mom. Moms need a lot of energy. I’m not providing medical advice, just sharing my experience with B12. I take a B12 tablet whenever I start to feel my energy is low to the point my mood feels less than positive or feel I don’t have enough energy to get things done. It’s not often, but when I need it, B12 is an incredible energy booster and mood-improver.
After supplementing with B12, I just feel like I can handle whatever needs to be done and I feel my energy pick up, not in way that I’m bouncing off the walls, but up where I have plenty of energy to get through the day with ease, and then some, and with resilience. B12 vitamins are tiny tablets and are made to dissolve on the tongue, so they are fast acting. I am not kidding. After 50/mcg of B12, by tomorrow, if not within hours, I’m feeling like my battery is fully charged, even after just feeling totally exhausted and that boost lasts without have to consume a B12 supplement everyday. The quickest remedy I know of, for a lack of energy or lack of resilience (for me), is B12. For me, B12 works so well, I have to take it in the morning or I have too much energy left at night and don’t want to go to sleep, depending on the days activity.
This is an important topic, postpartum depression, because of the life long effect it can have on the relationship between mother and baby. It is vital to both, mom and baby, that mom gets the nutrition she needs and if supplementing with B vitamins and vitamin C can help, so Mom’s energy is up, and therefore her coping mechanisms and resilience are in full swing, then that is a great thing– because Mom’s do have so much to deal with on so many levels and it does take a lot of energy to be a Mom and feel good about it.
Love and understanding go a long way and are important too, but they don’t always boost your body’s energy and therefore your mood as needed. The good news is, there’s B12 vitamins.
Livestrong.com talks about declines of B12 in pregnant women at: <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/298265-pregnancy-b12-level"
Yourdays.com tells how just 1/mcg-2/mcg can improve postpartum levels of B12 at: <a href="http://www.yourdays.com/articles/postpartum/remedies/natural-cures-for-postpartum-depression.htm".
I think the average B12 comes in 50/mcg and I find that is plenty for me to boost energy and mood without supplementing everyday.
Consumerlabs.com reports what dosages can aggravate acne and rosacea and how very high dosages can hurt people with diabetes and advanced kidney disease at: <a href="https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/Can+taking+too+much+vitamin+B-12+be+dangerous+The+label+on+my+B-complex+states+it+contains+50,000%25+the+Daily+Value!/too_much_b12
So choose dosage accordingly, if you supplement with B12.
Wish the best to moms with babies and kids to take care of!
I have to agree with you–you’re an excellent writer. Thanks for sharing in honesty and realness. Thanks for not romanticizing motherhood or anything to do with it. I pray that you find the opportunities to grow back into yourself and find the activities that make your soul sing. I hope that sharing this helps you to!
There are several books on how to recover from the havoc childbirth can have on women’s body’s and mind and how to recover body-mind wellness without medication. One is “Creating Postpartum Wellness, Natural Solutions to Banish Depression after Childbirth”- it is a well reviewed book that addresses the whole women, her body, her mind, her feelings and her energy levels. Another is, “A Natural Survival Guide for Postpartum Depression Kindle Edition.” I’m not an affiliate, I blog about books, so I only mentioning it to help women.
One natural supplement that can boost energy and improve mood is vitamin B12 and one holistic practitioners recommend to help treat postpartum depression.
You can also find websites online that talk about B12 and postpartum depression and how B12 supplementation can help women with postpartum depression and in finding the right dosage.
My experience with B12 supplement, in general, has been very positive. If I find I can benefit from it, I imagine women after childbirth could benefit from it. I find the quickest boost to a lack of energy and a lack of resilience is B12 vitamin. I take 50/mcg of B12 whenever my energy gets to the point where I feel I don’t have enough to get through the day and my mood is down. B12 boosts my energy and improves my resilience, not to the point where I’m bouncing off the walls, but where I have energy to get throughout the day with ease, and then some and feel more positive B12 dissolves on the tongue so it is fast-acting and I find it boosts energy and improves resilience without having to supplement everyday. I have to take in the morning or sometimes I have too much energy left over at night and won’t what to go to sleep, depending on the day’s activities.
It is vitally important for moms to get the support and nutrition they need to recover quickly from postpartum depression. Love and understanding go a long way, but don’t always provide a boost to energy levels and mood as needed. B12 can help provide that boost.
I have five kids and have had PPD after all of them, to varying degrees. It also never really went away. It’s not present all the time, but when I do have dark days, they’re jet black dark. What got me the most (and still does) is the old retort “Oh just think positive! It’ll get better!” Please. If I could think positively, I wouldn’t be depressed, would I? If I could magically think away my PPD, don’t they know I’d have done it by now? Thank you for sharing this; it sheds light on something that few people really and truly understand, let alone want to talk about. Wishing you the very best. x
Update: I checked my Spring Valley B12’s and I supplement with 500/mcg occasionally; I said 50/mcg above, but no, it’s 500/mcg, just so you’all know.
Lovely post. I had pod decades ago when my daughter was a baby 30 yrs ago. Tho, it wasn’t really talked about at that point and time. My daughter was a teenager before I knew what it was all those years ago.
You have a way with words. I know about PPD intimately, back in 2009 I suffered from it when my last son stopped breast feeding and than after a visit to a therapist (numerous times) she suggested some anti-depressants before (and I quote) I “kill one of my children”. After that I did not get the anti-depressants and stopped seeing her; but not before my last child passed away in his crib (2 weeks later)…. this was not from me; my son passed from asphyxiation due to compression of nose and mouth. Needless to say I now have to suffer from a form of depression I still do not know the technical name of (PPD, Grief-depression, Melancholia, SAD, or just major depression). This is why I have started on the road to write my own blog. I have not touch on this part of my life yet but will soon any words of advice? You can view my blog on https://livelifebymydesign.wordpress.com/
Great read. My niece is a very young mother at age 21 and has PPD. I try to talk to her but she just shrugs or yells at me that she has PPD so she should’t be expected to do anything. I get frustrated, then feel guilty that I get frustrated with her. PPD is tough for the entire family. Thanks for articulating what it’s like for your family. Helps me as I try to understand what my niece is going through.
I am a single mother of almost 4 month old twin, bit and girl.. I as well have a 3 year old.. And, I struggle pieces of almost everyday. I constantly feel and believe I’ve given up so much of my life for my children and sacrifice my young, and fun years as a 23 year old. I carry along with a a disease I’ve never been able to shake, being a manic depressant, troubles even my well concern.. Lots on my shoulders and stress to add to the pile, so I understand to a T, the darkest times only the higher power has scene.
Boy and girl ** excuse my mistake, 4 AM has me different ways.
Thanks for writing this ^_^
A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing your story on misery! I comprehend what it feels like to live that way. Its not generally simple! Continue going and don’t surrender!
Such a lovely read ❤
This is incredibly beautiful and painfully raw. I know many moms in your situation are probably glad you’re sharing the struggle and being so open about it. I hope your good days keep growing, and the bad dwindle. Much love to you, momma! 💓
Hugs to you. Parenting isn’t easy and this brings it to a new level.
This is just so – I was going to say beautiful, but after some contemplation I am going with – yep, beautiful. Your writing is absolutely lovely.Your experience is remarkable. Thank you for letting me into a world I might not otherwise know or understand. I have children but was not the one who Had them. It is a terrible balancing between your child who you may love and your self, who you may still be learning to love. Thank you for this – your vulnerability shines a light on things that we otherwise rarely see from others or we do see it and don’t know what to do about it.
“I try to spend my time around people I feel really safe with” ….. Wow, can I relate to this one. The tears come so easily and so frequently now- and being around “safe people” and in good situations has become so crucial to somewhat functional days.
At first I thought I was reading my own story. I was there too. I got the “you’re doing just fine” comments from the closest people I thought I had. I reached that point where, the battery was always plugged in but never gets above 5% charged…
From someone with zero previous experience/knowledge of postpartum – this was beautifully written and definitely provided a damn good insight. Lovely.
Great post! I love when women open up about postpartum depression because it’s one of the most taboo and misunderstood things out there.
I myself had it with my first child, and I was so angry all the time and felt like he always got in the way of my life. I literally despised him. Nowadays it’s hard to believe I disliked him so much because my feelings once I got better were the complete opposite.
I love how you likened PPD to a partially charged cell phone. Spot on! Thanks again for this post. Now to continue to tackle the postpartum anxiety I’ve had with my second child! ❤️
Good post. I know it doesn’t help right now, but does knowing it will eventually pass help?
Great post. Thank you for sharing.
Much strength to you, and your purpose 🙂
I feel the same way most days. I’m a single mom. I developed depression during my pregnancy and after my lovely little lady was born it just made it so much worse. And like you’ve said in your post, it’s not your parenting decisions. It’s the loss of your sense of self. My girl is going on six in July now. Still as depressed as ever. But thankfully I do have good days. Thank you so much for sharing . ❤
Awesome post and such insight. I am helping my niece with her 16month old and she has told me she suffers from postpartum but as a woman who never was able to have children my depression is much different and I haven’t been able to understand hers. This ha helped me tremedously and I believe it will help our relationship. Thank you!
Wonderful post. I am currently a stay-at-home mom to my five kids (boys 8, 6, 5, and 2 and a girl 4mo) and the battery analogy is perfect. There are days I struggle, a lot of them, but I’m hopeful I will dodge PPD again. I hope you start to feel better and more energized soon.
And I really wish I hadn’t read your pregnancy story. I’m hoping paraguard works better for me.
What a wonderful piece. I had PPD with my second, but not really with my first and because of that (not having the experience the first time around) there were days when I literally felt like I was crazy. I loved your analogies.
That’s interesting. I agree with just about all of it. I just assumed that’s what being a parent to an infant was supposed to feel like. I figured most of us were just putting on our superhero mom masks to protect ourselves from criticism while in this fragile state.
p.s. Currently typing while being kicked in the elbows.
My daughter is already twenty years old, but reading your post brouht me wright back in the moment, as if it was yesterday!
Hi there, though my elder son is 5 now, and I have been SAHM since, I still go through bouts of depression. When all I do is taking care of family, kids, firefighting unwarranted situations, not getting time to get groomed, I get really depressed and cry by myself. And then I get back to meditating, and in a matter of 2-3 days I am back to my cheerful self. But this is a recurring scenario 🙂
post partum depression is real, and while it is not a taboo to talk about a lot of cultures still do not recognize it as something real that a lot of women go through. talking about ppd helps those who are suffering from it know they are not weird, and they are not alone.
What an honest, beautifully written post. If more people were willing to talk about these things publicly, it could help millions of women who are suffering out there. Thank you.
I love the battery analogy. I suffered from postpartum depression with my second and it lasted 7 months! My battery was on 0% most of the time and 1-2% the rest of the time. I don’t know how I got through it. I didn’t have much support; just my hubby and a psychiatrist at the hospital where my son was delivered by emergency C-section three months premature! On top of that, I live in Japan and my Japanese is great for conversations but abysmal when it comes to medical stuff. I wish I had had your tool kit. You describe the experience so clearly. Thanks for sharing.
Postpartum depression is a very disappointing guest that accompanies most of mothers along with the joy of a baby. I went through it with both my kids and remember looking out of the window and watching people go by and had a sense of imprisoment with my new baby. It took away many days where I could’ve been happy enjoying my child but instead left me empty and in disparity! It feels good to share with you lovely ladies and know we are not alone in this. Thank you all!
Brilliantly honest and raw post, well done!
Reblogged this on InLola'sWorld and commented:
Sometimes no matter how good of a writter you are, you cant find the words. What youre thinking in your brain does not come out of the pen or they keyboard. Well even if this lady is an American, unlike me as i am Welsh, she 100% said everything i have been needing to say!
Depression and Anxiety is like a black fog, it is forever hanging over you, except some days the sun is shining so bright it oushes through the black fog, and for 10 minuets you feel your self again.
When you have an 18 month old boy who is on the go from the second his two eyes open, to the second they close, who loves to climb and do anything he isnt, or should i say I dont want him to do is hard enough work as it is. Put a 6 year old little girl who has GAD and is on the ASD pathway in the mix and your day is a complete WHIRLWIND!!!
Sometimes i find myself in my own little world, a place where i can be selfish and not worry what anyone says, or thinks. But then reality kicks back in and those two beautiful babies i gave birth to are again more important than me.
It is hard, really hard but you just get on with it. You will never have just you to think about anymore, not even when they have brung you grandchildren. Motherhood is like a curse (Take that as you wish) until you leave for the next life you will never truly be able to just look after you.
I don’t have time to go to the gym, i barely manage to do the food shop without having a panick attack, but each day is different and i would not change my life, ever.
Be a thankful human being, someone elses kindness will repay you one day.
Lola’s Mam 🙂
Thank you for this post. Great post. Thank you for sharing xx
this is so well written , we all can relate with it
Thank you for your post, wonderful writing. Thanks for the share.
Some of the sentiments mentioned here, I could really relate. My children are older now, but there are times I wonder how I (and my husband) ever survived? Hats off to you for sharing the feelings and struggles. Someday when you look back, you will actually miss these moments.
Wow. While I can’t sympathize (never having ppd or even children myself), your words have helped build empathy in this heart of mine. Thank you!
I had to share this post on my own, the Grandmother Club. I personally had five children, and I wanted to strangle them all. I clung to some stranger woman’s reminder because it was all I had at the time – the most frequently used phrase in the Bible is “and it came to pass.” your phone analogy is perfect. We who have survived the trenches salute you. How can we help you?
Thank you so much for sharing. That’s a real gift to me.
“And it came to pass.” I like that. It’s affirming to know, but very hard to accept as you pass through the valley.
I love the idea of “the Grandmother Club,” and I hope to be part of it one day! Bravo to you. 🙂 In answer to “How can we help you?” I think you already are by being so thoughtful and self-reflective. I think the most beautiful question I can be asked by people who are close in my life is just that: “How can I help?” or… “What do you need?” Meeting someone where they are at and really putting the time behind the offer to help is an amazing gift. It’s not a gift we are able to give at some points, because we’re so tapped out ourselves. But my children’s grandmothers have been amazing after they ask, “What do you need?”
I had one such depression after I lost my twins .. I know how it kills you inside .. Life gives u back in either ways that’s true .. I love your piece of work . Amazing .. impeccable & incredible .. simply love it 🙂 !
I absolutely loved every word! To me, it was so hard to explain to people after I had my son. But if I had a sense of vocabulary and creativity like you.. Anyways, that was wonderful!
Amazing post, I have a two year old and have recently been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Sometimes it’s good too see your not alone.
I went through similar situations with my four–or at least the last three. Even though it may sound patronizing, I still will say that you will get through it, though it’s tough. To me it was a feeling of desperation that encompassed me. I would get so anxious at night, yearning for sleep but knowing that the sleep I longed for and needed would not come that night either. I was in a constant state of exhaustion.
Good luck to you until your Saturdays of hiking and writing and gardening return once again.
Really loved this post!
I feel your pain. I don’t have ppd, but i also see my life similar to yours. It feels like these two years of screaming baby i can hear in back of my head every time my girl starts a tantrum, and she is generous with these these days. My suppose is trying to help me, but his tone in voice is irritating me more, he can be very bossy without realising it.
We are not alone.
I always tell myself on hard they- others must have it worse. And then I sleep on it, and I’m sort of ok.
Yikes not looking forward to parenting AT ALL. Hats off to all the mothers out there.
Thank you for your honesty! Fantastic post!
Experiencing this with my first. Thank you for your honesty!
An article ever struggling mother should read…amazing that you got out of your way to speak up with or without the fear of being branded a heretic..haha
beautifully written – your honesty and vulnerability is amazing and touching
I love how real and raw this post is. I had PPD with the birth of my daughter too- I can certainly sympathise with the description. 3 years on and I swear there are still some darker days but more fabulous rainbow filled ones! Thank you for talking and sharing your story.
I have no kids of my own yet but I will totally not be surprised if I get PPD when I do have a kid. I think a person like me, who likes to plan almost everything, can easily be depressed when things go haywire and schedules are turned upside down by the uncertainties caring for a child brings. The demands are quite huge, nothing I would say compares to it. But on the bright side, me and you even know about PPD and can seek help for it. Many many many moms just go through it in excruciating mental pains without even been able to identify what is wrong with them not to talk of get help. They only get worse as the guilt that comes with it mounts. They suffer in silence and many times, from then on, their lives change. They see themselves and are seen differently.
I have no kids yet, but for someone who likes to be ahead of almost everything in life, I will totally not be surprised if I do have PPD after I get a baby. The demands, the uncertainties of raising a baby, turning your schedules upside down, making everything go haywire, it can be tough to deal with. But on the brighter side, think of it like this- me and you know what PPD is and can even seek and get help for it. Many many many women only know that something is not right but have no idea what it is or that it is actually normal to have such feelings. Their guilt (compounded by people around them) which makes them feel like failures, only worsens things. They suffer in silence. And for many of them, that is the beginning of a downward spiral in their lives. It changes their whole lives. Much awareness is needed really, for more women around the world especially in this crazy fast age of ours where a mother has only as little help as she can get with a baby (unlike times when a whole family, neighborhood or even community take part in raising a child).
I really appreciate your honesty in this post. I, too, have been going through PPD with my son. While I thought it had passed and I was back on track, being pregnant with no 2 has brought back a lot of the same feelings and emotions I had the first time around. It is comforting to know there is someone else out there who is living with PPD with multiple children and is able to make it work. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel! 🙂
I just started my blog since I am also struggling with postpartum depression and people around me aren’t being very supportive. I myself sometimes feel selfish for feeling this way but it post really put me in a better place. Thanks.
Great article. I suffered PPD when I had my second. It lasted almost a year for me. I felt exactly as you did. I was in the middle of getting my college degree and I felt that having a second child took a lot of energy out of me. I was motivated to get through school and finish. I was determined to prove everyone wrong who doubted me. And then I got pregnant and had a second baby. I was happy that I was going to have another baby after losing two before. So it wasn’t that I didn’t want another one, I just felt it had derailed my plans. In the end, though, it fueled that fire and help me finish and get my bachelors. So it was painful and hard to get through, but it also made me better.
Thank you. This speaks to my core. I hadn’t been able to put my finger on what was slowly killing my soul. It’s that I’m running at 3% and I have no ability to tap into my creativity. I started with PPD, but my youngest is now almost 3. It was better for a while, but last June i was hit with a soul-crushing, life-threatening bout of depression that I am still trying to dig out from. It ended my job, my few and dearly missed activities that I did just for me and hides me in my home so no one sees that I’m too weak to fight anymore.
I”d like to commend your honesty! Brilliant written.
and this is also the reason we’ve stopped at one..BUT STILL LOVE to have a larger family.
Loved your post! Great honest writing!
So brave of you to share this. is it possible to prevent it? during or before pregnancy?
Great post as a mother I can relate to PPD stay strong 🙂 keep shining x
My son turns 5 in August. He’s going to kindergarten, full day five days a week. I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I saw gym time and lunch dates. Then I saw a positive pregnancy test. I know exactly how you feel. You’re supposed to feel happy but in a way you feel robbed and you don’t want to tell anyone because you’ll look like a terrible human. Thank you for this. Feels good to not feel alone.
Oh girl. Do I feel ya. I keep saying that I am SO happy that the baby is here, but at the same time she’s robbed me of so much. Opposite feelings all the time.
Reblogged this on Crazy Pasta Child.
Thank you so much for this well written post! I have just started up my own blog about living with depression and anxiety and would love to incorporate some quotes and a link to your blog in an upcoming post about my PPD, if that’s alright with you 🙂
Yes, of course! And so glad you’re writing! ❤
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Glorious Train Wreck Mom! What a fabulous moniker. Word, sister.
You have a beautiful way of writing about such a dark experience. I have just started a blog about my journey into motherhood.. and having my very essence of being taken away by having a child is something I am actually quite nervous about.
The fact that you are thinking about it now is great. Being aware has helped me create solutions in tough times. ❤
That is a great description! I had PPD after I had my 2nd child. I had a rough pregnancy and she was colicky. I’ve felt like I’m at that critical battery stage now. I had a miscarriage 2 months ago and it’s harder than ever to be motivated. I need a weekend to myself! I hope we both get to charge our batteries and find more joy soon. ❤
You DO need a weekend to yourself. Do you still have PTSD from the colic? Colic would have completely destroyed me. And now only two-months-out from miscarriage, that’s a grief and emotional challenge of immense proportions on the other side of the spectrum. Life sure keeps us FEELING.
It sure does! I think I blocked out a lot of the colic days thank goodness!!!
It is great that you are writing through your experience, I remember these feelings, but over time they begin to feel like a hole in your life. As a grandmother, now it is hard to remember, so good you will always have a record. well done
Thank you for sharing your story- warmly, altruisticmom.com
You really described it so well. After you have a child its like you have to refind yourself and even maybe remake who you are because of your new role.
Thank you, and I LOVE your blog’s name. Life Is Mossy. ❤
Thank you very much! I appreciate you and your honesty!
Very nicely written, you have presented all your thoughts in s generous manner. I also became mom recently, though its just starting.
Thank you,I love your blog
Thank you! ❤ 🙂 ❤
Thank you for opening the topic up. Very well written. I myself am going through the emptying nest side. I mourn the loss of my children, because they are gone forever, but take comfort that they are shaping up into young adults. All I wish for them now is to be healthy, happy and independent.
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Thank you for sharing, why is it something people feel ashamed to tell others? I had ppd with my third child and I don’t think it’s fully gone away. I still function and do what’s needed so no one really notices. It’s important not to feel alone so thank you.
Your words are beautiful and raw. Much love, stay strong.
Thank you so much, Sophs! ❤
Fantastic Blog post – just found you! I love your writing style – direct and to the point. Love the battery analogy – can totally relate. My kids are 20 and 23 and I’ve suffered with PND and Depression off and on all of their lives. It definitely improved in the teenage years, but now in the “Empty Nest” years it is back full swing to taunt me again. I started blogging about it just recently as a possible outlet and healing mechanism.
Looking forward to read so much more from you – and LOVE the title – my eldest calls me “Momsicle”!
Thank you so much! Just followed your blog. I love hearing perspectives of parents who are further along on the journey.
Okay… What if your doctor, physiatrist, and therapist all tell you that you don’t have PPD or PPA? But you just don’t feel quite right.
I’m only 22 and this is my first child, so I have no other experience to compare this with…
Meagan–I’m sorry it took me so long to respond! Work. Life. Always a balance that’s constantly changing. But I wanted to make sure to get back to this, because you shouldn’t be made to feel like your authentic experience isn’t validated. One of my closest friends was told she didn’t have postpartum depression, but she was suffering acutely. Doctors and psychs have lots of experience, but they are not 100% at realizing and validating what’s happening. And–more important–I think a diagnosis is secondary to getting the help you need and crave. We are made to feel, sometimes, as mothers, that we should pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, but the work of mothering is hard and overwhelming and isolating. A diagnosis is important if medication is needed. But there are additional ways to get support that don’t need an “official diagnosis” of PPD. Don’t stop advocating for yourself–it’s hard and brave to do. I’m sending you a huge hug of solidarity, and am happy to continue this conversation, so write back if you want to!
Thank you so much for replying! This motherhood thing is so terribly wonderful and frightening I am so glad I found your blog!
Reblogged this on LightExistence and commented:
Reblogged from the “momsicle” blog.
Thank you for a really relevent article, I suffer with it myself and it has only worsened after my stillbirths.
I’ve written an article myself on my own depression and history – and how I believe writing helps us and can help us to combat this. Check it out if you like. https://emilycrutcheruk.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/how-writing-is-helping-me-combat-anxiety-and-depression/
I remember after my third child, mind you I have three toddlers ages 4, 3, and 2. I had PDD really bad, my husband would come home to me just crying all the time. I couldn’t accomplish anything except taking care of the babies. It was hard to deal with. The Dr.’s and my husband were very concerned. They placed me on prozac. It helped so much, I was able to remain calm and not get overwhelmed as fast. I wasn’t emotional anymore either. However, my PDD nearly drove my husband away, he ended up cheating on me. It’s been two years since my last mental breakdown and my husband and I have rekindled our love. The prozac really saved me.
I’m really glad to here that you found a good solution in Prozac. I’m also glad to hear that you and your husband have rekindled your love. Postpartum depression can put a huge strain on how you feel about yourself and on how you and your partner interact.
Thank you so, so much for sharing your story.
I’m so glad I stumbled across this post.. I needed this, more than ever. To know that someone else feels similar to how I feel. Thank you for sharing this.
hello evelyn, i cried read this post. it happens to me too..it feels difficult to meet people in normal situation, i didn’t knoww this until i argued with my husband because i refused to go to so called ‘new year party’ with his freinds that i barely know..i mean how to get out of this; i feel isolated and powerless. finally my husband can accept and support me to get out of this, i have no friends nor community..i’m a desperate mom who is looking for a friend tht can help me from ppd. thank you,
Hi Gita! I’m so glad you stopped by here and found this post. Where do you live?
Hello Evelyn, nice that you reply my comment. i live in Paris
I can SO related… 3 kids and THREE PPD later.. I still don’t feel like myself. And yes, my battery is NEVER %100. But you learn to adapt.. to live.. to love the struggle because of what it brought.
I didn’t know much about PPD until my therapist and I talked about what I was experiencing with my third son. He’s 6 months old now but the first couple of months were like a tunnel with no kind of light shining in. I don’t have everyday pretty and pink now but there are more sunny days than gloomy days. I didn’t experience it with my other two boys to know its a real illness. Sometimes things like these should be top on awareness because it’s no joke and doesn’t classify us as a bad parent or that we love our kids any less. Thanks for sharing I’m glad I came across your story since I just started blogging as giving time to myself.
You are right. It’s no joke AND it doesn’t mean we love our kids less. Thanks for your lovely comment, Maricela. So glad you are starting to blog!!
Beautiful blog! I also seemed pretty ok during the days, but I spent my nights fantasizing about suffocating my baby with a pillow. I started to enjoy life again after 3 years and after 7 I finally felt like myself. I wish you all the best:-)
Thank you. And I love your honesty. ❤
PPD and PPA aren’t off limits but they’re not talked about enough!! Thank you for writing this! What a beautiful post. I recently posted about my struggles parenting with anxiety and panic attacks and it is HARD. Thank you mama for your honesty.