Imagine a small, square cottage in between fields, trees, and one road in front of the cottage. Imagine yourself in a room, in the corner, crying. Screaming. No one can hear you. Not even God can hear you. You are scratching at the walls just to escape the room. You suddenly hear a baby crying. Crying on the top of their lungs. You wonder if you should go observe. You look at the wall. The wall seems better to scratch at to escape YOUR world. Suddenly, you snap back…. into reality. You run into the room and see your baby, your burden, your world…. Wait, is she a burden or is she your world. You pick up the baby and she is looking into your eyes, you lock. Finally, you don’t feel like you are in a cottage. You feel at home, at ease. You break down and cry. You promise your baby you would NEVER have those thoughts again.
Post Partum Depression (PPD) sucks. Above is a little excerpt from my journal I once wrote in as I went through motherhood. Looking back now, I wish I had NEVER wrote this. I wish I didn’t have those feelings. According to Webster’s Dictionary, Post Partum Depression is: “depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue.”
It doesn’t have to be caused from trauma in your pregnancy. It could be a simple hormone change, and you feel trapped in a square cottage. So, I am a fan of facts. I like discovering what others go through as well. Nearly one in seven women suffer from PPD, while 10% of men suffer. Yes men. 15 percent of women get treated, while others suffer without help. Without treatment, PPD can last for months, if not years!
In my case, Post Partum Depression was an every day occurrence. It began when I got home from the hospital. It was in full-swing. I had my mother stay with me to assist throughout the day, but that shortly ended when she had to return to work. My daughter’s father was not around, and when he was, he did not want to assist with the newborn. I went days with giving my daughter a sponge bath because I was terrified she would drown in a small sink bath. I not double, but triple checked to see if her diaper was too tight. Suffering from OCD, anxiety, and PPD did not flow well. I always had to lay my hand on my daughter to see if she was breathing. I had to escape for awhile. I needed time to be… alone. I would sit in my room as a hermit wondering “what the hell did I do to deserve a baby at this time”. At the time, I was Christian but didn’t attend church. I prayed and worshiped, but did not want anything to do with church. Everyone said to pray, but I felt like prayer wasn’t getting me out of this one. After returning to work from my Maternity Leave, I worked from 7 am to 5 pm, came home and tended to my daughter, went to bed, and assisted her every two hours of the night (while he played video games).
One day, I was in the shower (an hour shower) and just cried. I didn’t know how I deserved any of this. At the time, I lived with my parents, so my mother was out in the living room with my daughter. I come out, expecting my daughter’s father to be there, but he was gone. As dinner was coming up, he arrived. My daughter started waking up in her swing. My mother mentioned me getting a plate, while Christopher would need to feed her (since I have done it all for a few weeks on my own). He stated, “no I am hungry, and she can wait”. Girl, I lost my shit. I threw my plate on the floor, grabbed my daughter, ran upstairs and hermitted with her for over two days. No communication, me not eating, and me crying.
Once again, Post Partum Depression sucks.
Below are some tips that I would recommend, for any mom going through PPD, to do:
Shower regularly. Nothing feels better than a fresh, hot shower. Get into some cozy clothes, or dress up (whatever you prefer). I was in pajamas majority of the time since I was at home for a few months. I was on Maternity Leave for two months, but requested an extra month to seek Mental Help.
Grab some fresh fruit, or juice. I craved steamed broccoli. I did lose nearly thirty pounds while suffering PPD (expected since the lack of appetite). I noticed fresh orange juice in the morning help give me some type of energy for the day.
Ask for Help:
Do not be afraid to ask for help. Whether it be family, co-workers, or your local clinic. There are so many options for assistance. Locally, we have a clinic that assists PPD or Domestic Violence. I spoke to them, and there are so many sources that helped me. I also spoke to my mother, since she is a very understanding person.
Get Some Sun:
What ever the season may be, the sun is normally out. Even if it is hidden behind a cloud, the vitamins are just waiting to sink into your skin. Just an hour outside can do you some good. I would always try to find a way to be outside, even if it was just for a small walk.
I hope whoever is suffering from PPD, gets the assistance they need. Do not become a statistic. You can over come any obstacle that this life will bring you. As Psalms 42:6 states, “My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon–from Mount Mizar.”. Please remember, even if you are feeling like you are hitting rock bottom, about to give up, or thinking about harming yourself; God is there. He is listening and he is working up the best plan for you. That plan is to be the best parent you can be to your little one. Hang in there momma, we all are here for you. What ever your location may be, we are here! Do not give up, do not give into the Devil’s work. God is in control.
Let go, and let God!