Dream vs. Nightmare: What’s your mamahood?

What I had dreamed would be the greatest time of my life turned out to be a complete nightmare.

The dream began when I was a very little girl. All I thought about was the day when I would become a mother. I spent every day playing house, taking care of my baby dolls and practicing on my younger sisters. I had this vision of motherhood and how someday I would be the perfect mom.

My dream thrived with the passing of my childhood. I pursued schooling and talents the best I could but at the back of my mind nothing could possibly top the role of mother I would someday hold. It was hard for me to focus on anything else. I wanted to be a wife and mother that much.

In August of 2013, I fell head over heels for my incredible husband to be. I had never been happier and one of the biggest reasons was his mutual dream and love for the role of parents we would fulfill together. My dreams were becoming a reality quicker than I imagined.

Within the first month of newly wed bliss, as happy as I was I couldn’t deny that there was something missing. I would cry because of the void I felt in my heart. It was the strong feeling that we needed to start our family that was causing these emotions.

It was shocking to say the least. Young, poor, and just getting used to marriage were three things that defined us. Those double pink lines indicated our family was about to grow about a month after we were married.

We were beyond happy!

I couldn’t stop thinking about the dreams I had had since I was a young girl and how they were becoming my reality.

I noticed that I would get anxious about random things around the time we found out we were having a boy.  Because I was raised with only sisters, I often found myself wondering…

“Am I capable of being a mother to a little boy?  Will I be able to give him the upbring he deserves?  Am I even good enough to raise a good man in this scary world?”

Although these thoughts were normal, the way they consumed me on the daily were not. I tried my best to not let it affect me but the anxiousness grew.

On March 22,2015, my sweet son D was born. It was the happiest day of my life other than my wedding day. I had fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a mother.

After laboring and working so hard to bring your child into the world, there is nothing like holding them for the first time.  When you feel like you can’t get any happier, you witness your sweetheart become a father. Words can’t convey the joy you feel.

Just hours later that joy started to quickly turn into intense feelings of anxiety and fear I had never felt before.

I began to notice there was a problem when D would start crying. The worst case scenarios would come to mind and I would tense up wondering why he was distressed.

The feelings only grew darker and scarier.

I kept telling myself it’s probably just the medicine or lack of sleep.

One of the scariest hours of my life was when we took D home from the hospital. I literally thought that we were going to die in a car crash and I’d never get to raise my son.

I remember feeling so angry!

Bringing my first born son home from the hospital, I wasn’t supposed to feel this way. I had always imagined it to be one of the best days of my life.  I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and it only grew heavier.

As the next few weeks unfolded I experienced an array of emotions and feelings I didn’t know existed.

I felt like a complete and utter failure.

I was convinced it was the last time I was going to see my husband in this life every time he left the house. I would sob uncontrollably.

When I looked at my son I often felt like he deserved someone so much better than me and I couldn’t be what he needed.

My head would be filled with self defeating thoughts when I would try to sleep.

I felt worthless.

I felt ugly.

I felt like I had let my family down and I wasn’t the woman I was destined to be, and that I never would be.

There was one day particularly that felt so dark. I was crying to someone in my family and they told me I needed to snap out of this! However, I really didn’t know how and I didn’t know what to do.

I didn’t want to appear weak or fragile so I was scared to talk to my husband about it. Except, this was my reality.

As we talked, I witnessed the incredible love that he had for me. The first step for me was acknowledging that I needed help to be the wife, mother and woman I was meant to be. My husband and I started to make a plan of action. We felt that I needed to get professional help after giving it much thought and prayer.

I can easily say going to therapy was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I was able to work through the emotions and feelings that had been plaguing me for so long. I learned…

I am not alone in this; it was no fault of my own that I was experiencing these hard emotions.

we’re all human and to have these moments weren’t punishment for being a bad mom.

coping skills and was educated in how I could push the darkness away.

We run to the doctor if we hurt ourselves physically, but for some reason there seems to be such a negative stigma to get help emotionally and spiritually. Like somehow you are less of a person.

Some people in my life absolutely supported me; others looked down on me for “not being strong enough.”  That was the hardest part for me.

I’m here to tell you though that getting help if you need it is being strong!  It’s being a good mother!  It’s making the future bright for your family. 

I am a different mother today than I was the first few months of my son’s life. I feel like most moments I’m the mother I was meant to be.

I’ve learned how to love and be patient with myself. I’ve allowed myself to not be perfect.

Let me tell you, it’s changed my life.

I am so grateful for the professional help I’ve received and the medication that regulates my hormones and emotions. Most importantly, I’m so grateful for the love that my family gave me through that hard time, especially my angel husband.

Being a mother is hard, and unfortunately some go through PPD/PPA and it can be overwhelmingly scary.  But there is hope!

These experiences were so hard but because I got help I’ve become a better woman than I was before.  I love deeper, I care more, and I have empathy for others who experience similar pain. I am able to love my son in a way I didn’t know I could. 

My husband and I are eagerly awaiting our second child and I can’t convey how grateful I am that I chose to take action and get help.  This time I know what to do if I any symptoms return.  I don’t want to know what my life would be like if I didn’t have the courage to get help.

Remember if you’re experiencing these feelings, you’re not alone!

There is help, love and understanding in your near future if you allow it!

Do all you can to be the mother and wife your family deserves. Be the woman you deserve to be!

The nightmare can become the greatest dream and reality you’ve ever experienced if you allow it to be so.

 Julia

You can find Julia on Facebook.


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