“Hi this is nurse Dani, how can I help you?”
“I don’t know, I just feel so dark.” I said, followed by an uncontrollable, rock-bottom cry.
“Let’s get you some help, sweetheart.” she said in the most beautiful, saving voice I’d ever heard.
Postpartum depression is something that I feel grateful to have gone through to understand other moms, but it’s something I don’t wish on anyone to have to go through.
You see all these beautiful newborn pictures and life just looks so blissful after people have babies. But you don’t usually see the real life behind those pictures and I think it’s so important that this taboo topic is finally rising to the surface for moms to realize they aren’t crazy and to get some help.
For me, I felt like there were so many different triggers.
Breastfeeding being one of them. For us, it just wasn’t working. In those first few weeks I had mastitis twice, thrush, all while losing 25 pounds in just 2 weeks because it stressed me out so much I stopped eating (which, doesn’t help breastfeeding at all!). After seeing a lactation specialist over and over again to try to make it work, she finally saw how infected I was and said, “You need to stop.”
I was a little shocked that the “breast is best” lady told me to stop! I was also shocked at how much guilt I felt as a brand new mom. There are so many right ways to be a good mom but I wasn’t even meeting my own expectations and was frustrated that things weren’t going as I had wanted them to.
After giving birth my body broke out in hives and my hormones were all over the place. I was so grateful to have had a healthy baby…
But I felt really dark.
There were times where I had suicidal thoughts of killing myself and my whole family. I had to hide knives and would constantly try and pray, sing songs, and try everything to rid myself of those crazy dark thoughts. I never told anyone because I didn’t want people to think I was a complete psycho.
I finally opened up to a sweet friend who encouraged me to tell my husband. I had this irrational thought that he would up and leave if he knew I had these kinds of thoughts. But I finally realized those thoughts weren’t me. They were coming from an imbalance of hormones so I finally opened up and told him everything and he became my biggest supporter and still is.
One evening my husband was at work and my baby was in his crib and I was trying to get myself a plate of food. My body literally collapsed and my plate came crashing down. I know this sounds so dramatic but I truly thought I was going to die just out of pure exhaustion and depression. I looked up from where I was laying and saw my favorite picture of Christ hanging on the wall. It’s one with his soft eyes and gentle smile. I cried out in a prayer asking if this was the end for me because in my foggy state of mind, I really thought it was.
That picture was a reminder in that moment that I was going to be okay. That I had a loving Savior who was completely rooting for me and was there to pull me out from drowning. I needed strength beyond my own and He was there.
It’s been about 3 years since all of this happened, but that moment taught me that I am never alone and I can’t do it alone. Motherhood is a partnership with God and I’m constantly needing help even still.
So to all you new mamas who are struggling, hang in there. You got this. Don’t give up. You stay strong because it does get easier, and it is completely worth it. Keep fighting through those long nights and dark days and get the help that you need. Whether that be the medicine route, a natural route, or taking time for yourself. You need it and so do your babies.
You are never alone.