I had crushing anxiety, panic attacks and depression after the birth of all three of my boys. It got worse for me with each pregnancy. I visited a doctor after the birth of my first child because I thought I was having a heart attack. Throughout the day I would have spells of being unable to breath, heart racing and tingling and numb hands. I was certain I was going to be that news story of the new mom who loses her life and her newborn is left behind to be raised motherless. A quick assessment of my symptoms revealed anxiety and panic attacks. He sent me home with ways to combat this anxiety. Mostly, none of it helped and I just spent my days dealing with the anxiety and panic attacks willing them to go away. The eventually did but it was a miserable and terrifying existence for months. Once I suffered in silence because I was afraid to tell anyone because I didn’t want them to think I wasn’t a good mother.
After my second son, I experienced the same symptoms and was able to work my way through them in much the same way. Miserably.
Nine years later after the birth of my third son, I felt great. I couldn’t believe it. This time I was going to be one of those moms who got the perfect newborn experience. My bliss lasted about four months. Then the walls came crashing down. The panic was overwhelming. Daily I felt the floor fall out from under me. I counted the hours and minutes until five o’clock when I could dull the panic with several glasses of wine. I began to resent my sweet baby boy and I became closed off from the rest of the world. I hated myself and my lack of control and my inability to pull it together. I was angry that this kept happening to me. WHY? I asked. Why can’t I just be happy? This went on for about a month until finally my husband, frightened by watching what was happening to me, gently suggested I go see someone. I found a therapist and scheduled an appointment. I went twice a week for several months. She offered me medication, which I refused only because my mother was incredibly addicted to pills and they scared me. With her help I was slowly able to begin the process of understanding what was happening and put the pieces of myself back together. I was able to start loving my baby because I was slowly able to find joy in him and myself.
No one ever used the term postpartum depression when I was going through all of this. I had no idea that’s what it was until years later. Even the therapist I saw after my third son didn’t use the term. I thought postpartum depression meant the kind of depression that lead you to do terrible and harmful things to your babies. I suffered alone because I didn’t know and didn’t understand. Please share this video. I wish I had been able to watch something like this. I feel like crying watching the video I feel such relief knowing I wasn’t alone back then. I can’t imagine how significant it would have been to watch it during the times when I was actually going through it.
Please share this video. Someone that desperately needs this might see it. Someone you may not even know is suffering. Or may be in the future.