As I held my son up to my chest he wiggled, squirmed and let out little cries to tell me of his obvious discomfort. I was trying to breastfeed him for the first time and he just wouldn’t take to my breast. I was tired, overwhelmed and frustrated. I thought to myself “I carried you and you needed me all this time and now you don’t want me?”
I didn’t realize it then but that day was the start of my tumble into a deep dark pit of nothingness. I didn’t feel anything. I felt helpless and numb. I’d cry, sit and stare at the wall, hold my son be in awe of him, cry some more and sleep when I could. I barely ate and just felt like a cloud was hovering over me constantly no matter what I did. I won’t sit here and say that it got to the point of self harm or harm to my son because I know that can most definitely happen but thankfully I never felt that way. I did however feel sad . . . So incredibly sad.
I knew that I loved my son but I couldn’t feel anything for him. I felt guilty for not feeling. For waking up everyday and feeling like a bad mom because I didn’t have the happiness that new mothers are “supposed” to feel. The numbness was all consuming and the reality of having a newborn child depending on me when I really only ever had myself to worry about was a hard pill to swallow. I was the girl who did whatever she wanted when she wanted. The girl who jumped on planes and flew around the world in a giant metal tube dying to see where she would go next. The girl who had plans. Plans that didn’t project a baby coming into play until she was like 32ish and had her life totally together.
The quote “Man plans and God laughs” comes to mind.
Before the medication I was drowning into a deep abyss of nothingness. Now I feel positive almost everyday for the most part and I now know that my love for my son is immeasurable, indescribable and completely all consuming. At first I said to myself “No way am I telling my doctor, getting on medication none of that junk! I am a strong woman! I can do this!! I don’t want to be dependent on a drug for my happiness!!” I spoke to my Mom and my boyfriend about how I was feeling and they both suggested that I tell my doctor. Although I am an incredibly strong and capable woman I really needed the help. I ended up telling my doctor and after speaking to her and doing a little research I found that I was not as abnormal as I felt and that Postpartum Depression is extremely common.
A CDC study shows that about 1 out of 10 women in the United States experience symptoms of depression. Using the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), CDC research shows that nationally, about 1 in 9 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Estimates of the number of women affected by postpartum depression differ by age and race/ethnicity. Additionally, postpartum depression estimates vary by state, and can be as high as 1 in 5 women.
Do you have or have you ever experienced symptoms of postpartum depression or depression in general? How did/do you cope with it and what are/were some things that helped you get through your hard days? I would love to hear from you and hear about your experiences, current struggles and your success stories!
Comment below or DM me on Instagram at @briannachrstine
As a new Mom that is potentially feeling this way PLEASE know that there is NOTHING wrong with you and there are tons of women who are in the EXACT same shoes! There is nothing wrong with getting and asking for help no matter what you are going through! You are strong, powerful, beautiful, capable and worthy of this amazing gift from God. No matter what you might think, how you might feel, or what you tell yourself you must KNOW that at the end of the day YOU GOT THIS!
Center of disease control and prevention. “Depression among Women.” Cdc.gov, CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/depression/index.htm.