Postpartum Depression is a mood disorder that can affect up to 15% of new mothers. It can cause feeling of severe sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that make it difficult to do daily tasks
for themselves and others.
PPD has affected me in so many ways. It made me feel as though I wasn’t a good mom, like I wasn’t doing my job like I should be, and like my kids weren’t being cared for as good as they
should be. My depression, sadness, and anxiety got to the point that I almost couldn’t handle daily life, but because of my kids who depended on me for everything I had to push myself to
keep going. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
I never wanted kids when I was young. I honestly hated kids. I never saw myself as a mother. I
always thought I would be some sort of successful business woman, an oceanographer, or a
chef. In my late teen years I started having feelings of needing and wanting a family and that’s
when I knew that I wanted to be a mother. At 34 years old I now have 5 children who are my world. And I am so blessed to be able to be a stay at home mom and raise them myself.
My last pregnancy was my son C, who is now 9 months old. This was a completely unexpected
pregnancy for everyone including my OBGYN. I was on 2 separate forms of birth control, so this
little man is truly a miracle baby. After a loss just a year earlier we suddenly found out that we
were expecting again…number 5. I worried excessively. Who wouldn’t? I had just lost a baby
not much before this pregnancy so of course I was concerned that this would end in another
loss, something that I just couldn’t handle again. I started to stress myself to the point of
sickness and my depression grew worse. I felt sad and angry because of my previous loss and I
felt guilty that I may be able (and thankfully did) to carry this baby and deliver. I feared so much.
I ate as healthy as possible, I tried not to do anything to compromise the pregnancy.
Towards the end of the pregnancy I had to visit my OBGYN weekly. Due to my health issues
and my “advanced age” (according to the doctors), I had to have weekly ultrasounds and non-
stress tests to check on the baby and his growth. I started seeing the doctor bi-monthly and then
weekly. It was exhausting. My depression started to worsen. I worried about delivery and what
life would be like after he got here.
My delivery was sudden. I was at an appointment for a non-stress test when a contraction
dropped the baby’s heart rate. They rushed me to the hospital where I found out I was in labor
and he would be coming that day. It was a super-fast labor and delivery compared to my other
kids. It was also an easy delivery. Three pushes and he was born. And he was the biggest of all
of my kids! I was so happy that he was here, and he was healthy. But deep down I still felt that
depression and sadness from the loss before him.
The time came to go home and I was so excited for his siblings to get to meet him. But I was
nervous. Would I be able to care for 5 kids? Would I be good enough? I wasn’t sure that I would
be able to do any of it, it was scary. I started falling a little deeper into my depression. The
happiness started to be replaced by sadness and anger for the loss I had to go through before
It was difficult, I won’t lie. I was sad and angry and cried a lot. I was exhausted beyond belief. I
was alone with 2 young kids five days a week for more than 8 hours each day. I had to care for
them, myself, and take care of a household. I didn’t have any help, I was doing it all on my own.
When my husband got home from work he would help but I still felt alone especially with my
feelings of depression, sadness, and anger. The exhaustion was unbelievable. I barely slept
and when I did it wasn’t good sleep. I was constantly checking on the baby to make sure he was
ok and that he was breathing. My depression got worse. I had to talk to my doctors and started
seeing a counselor. Medication was their solution. Looking back, I wish I would’ve said no, but
in the midst of everything going on I figured if it could help then I would take it. (It ended up not
helping at all, and neither did the counseling.)
One day I realized the depression I was feeling was not just my normal depression that I had
been dealing with for so many years or the baby blues. It was not just depression, it was post-
partum depression. My sadness was constant and so severe that I barely had a few hours
without crying for no reason at all. And of course, I hid it from everyone because I was
SuperMom and I could do it all and handle everything. My anxiety was worse than I had ever
experienced. I constantly worried if the baby was ok, if I was doing a good job, if I was paying
enough attention to my other kids. I was angry. The anger was because of my previous loss. I
was so upset that I couldn’t carry that child to the end and I felt like it was my fault. I was
exhausted. I had always been tired, but this was an exhaustion that no matter how much I slept
it wouldn’t get better.
Seeking help was exactly what I needed, although it didn’t really help me. I saw counselors,
therapists, psychiatrists, and even talked to my family doctor and OBGYN. None of them
helped. I was prescribed anti-depressants and those didn’t help either. I had to deal with all
these feelings by myself.
I quickly learned to cope with everything I was going through and to push it deep down. I had
always been the type of person to never want to burden anyone with my problems. There was
no reason anyone needed to know what I was going through. So, I bottled it all up and kept it to
myself. I felt lonely because I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone about what was going on. I
panicked often because I was afraid that my PPD would affect my abilities as a mother. I was
exhausted and could never seem to shake that feeling. Stress became a normal part of life,
most likely because I was going through PPD alone. And I was sad. I would cry constantly, and I
didn’t even know why. I felt like I was in mourning even though it should’ve been one of the
happiest times of my life.
Even though my son is now 9 months old, I am still dealing with PPD. I have opened up to
others about what I am going through and am actually on some medications that have started to
make me feel a little better. PPD wasn’t and isn’t my fault. It didn’t happen because of
something I did or didn’t do. It just happens and there’s no real reason why. Dealing with all
these feelings is overwhelming but it was necessary to seek some sort of help and to not block
my loved ones out. I realize that now.
PPD can be devastating especially if you don’t seek help. It can be extremely overwhelming and
can end up taking over your life. It is not something that happens because of something you do
or don’t do. It’s not your fault. It just happens. Finding the right help for you and talking to loved
ones about what you’re going through is essential in your treatment and recovery from PPD.
If you or someone you know is struggling with PPD and needs help contact:
http://www.postpartum.net/ or 1-800-994-4773