God really laid it on my heart to share my story about my Postpartum depression. At the time, I was unaware of what was going on and this could be helpful for any of you that may be struggling with these same problems. Just realize that EVERY experience with PPD is different and unusual - my story is not the same as other women's stories. But here are some of the things that happened during my struggle with PPD.
- I was overjoyed to be a mom. But I was also devastated.
- I was happy. But I was also scared.
- I loved my baby. But I also resented her.
- I was prepared. But I was terrified I would mess it all up.
- I was a childcare professional. But I had no idea how to care for my child.
Within five minutes of coming home from the hospital I completely fell apart. I was exhausted of course and I had had a difficult time with the care in the hospital. But this was something more. My little girl had choked and thrown up more amniotic fluid out of her lungs. It terrified me and I realized that this little girl was now our responsibility - MY responsibility. And I no longer had a clue. I completely broke down and while cuddling with my now sleeping little girl, I sobbed myself to sleep. My husband stayed beside me completely surprised by my tears.
The weeks that followed are really a blur. My husband came and went and I was at home with this little girl who I loved but at times, I really had no idea how to do this mommy thing. People called me on my cell phone and I began to ignore it. I skipped church because I didn't want people to see what a failure I was. People would stop by and I would pretend to not be home. My husband would want to go do something together and I was too tired. I just kept curling inside of myself and crying. I have always been a crier but this was something else. Despair and confusion. God was far away to me.
Then one day a friend forced herself into my life and into my home. She recognized exactly what was going on because she had been there too. The thoughts that confused me so terribly and grated on everything that I thought I knew and believed were suddenly understood by someone who had thought those thoughts as well. She came in and brought food and gave me that listening ear. She called someone else when she couldn't be there to come and "kidnap" my baby for me and give me that needed break.
I felt like a failure when someone came and told me that I needed a break. I thought I was a terrible mom who couldn't hack it. I couldn't take care of my baby on my own. So when the sweet woman called and simply said, "Feed the baby and I will be there in fifteen minutes to bring her to my house for a couple of hours." I was mad, I was angry. How DARE she think she could do that! But my husband ever constant told me that she would be ok, and I would be ok. And then he used the magic words that I will never forget how much they helped. "We can clean up the house while she is gone."
That's what we did. We cleaned the house and I took a shower and suddenly all of the pressures that had been weighing down on me were slightly lifted and it suddenly seemed as if God was telling me, "Everyone needs help once in a while, who do you think you are to think you don't?"
The dark days were not over but once I realized that I was struggling with PPD and that I would need more help to get through these first days of my daughter's life, I knew I would be fine. I knew that God was in control and He would help me, sustain me, and help me be the mom that HE had called me to be.
If you are struggling with PPD or if you think you are - TALK to someone. It will be the LAST thing that you will want to do but do it anyway. You will be glad you did!
If you know someone who you suspect may be struggling with PPD - I will be posting a list of ways tomorrow that YOU can help and encourage her!
In HIS Grip,
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