I acknowledge you

Summer 2014

Sometimes those are the three words you need to hear. Sometimes you need to hear that acknowledgement.  Depression has been something I have been battling with for some time. Before then, I didn’t have a name for it. The overwhelming feelings were just the norm for me. It hit me the hardest during post-college-career-transition but much worse during the winter of 2012.

The peak was after giving birth to my first child. I was constantly crying, unhappy when I felt I should be happy, and angry for feeling unhappy. At that time I kept telling myself that it would go away.  My first son was about to hit the 6 month mark when I was diagnosed but at his 2 month mark his pediatrician was asking questions since I was showing signs. Even then I had a hard time comprehending what it meant. Ultimately I just felt like I was a bad mother. Now that I look back at it, with what I was dealing with at that time, I was definitely depressed the first year of my first child’s life.

I would feel myself lost, I could not think or see clearly due to the weight I constantly felt. I felt like I was just going through the motions in life while feeling this weight of sadness in me. I was rapidly losing weight from the lack of sleep.  I even found myself crying in the break room at work unable to determine why.  Fortunately, it didn’t take away from how I cared for my first child.  I just wasn’t taking care of myself. If anything, he provided the motivation to seek help.  I wanted to be better for him.  After taking a quick medical leave and counseling, I felt as if I was stepping towards the right direction.

Then I found out I was pregnant. 

Due to my history with depression, my mid-wife and primary physician introduced me to an OB/GYN that was working closely with pregnant women in my situation. She was an absolute God send.

My first meeting with her, I was nervous to go over my history with her. After explaining how I was feeling and my fears, she looked me straight in the eyes and said, “It’s hard, don’t let anyone tell you different. It’s okay that you feel this way. I acknowledge you. It isn’t easy.”  All I could do was burst into tears.

With all that I was feeling, there was just so much relief that I felt with what she said. Every visit was like that. Discussing my fears of how I was feeling would effect my baby, what the subchoronic hemorrage and bleeding I experienced around 12 weeks meant, my desire to make breastfeeding work this time around, and my fears of having postpartum depression again.

It’s still an everyday struggle now but I feel that I have a better grasp of it then I did during my first postpartum.  Some days are definitely better than others.  I guess this is where I have a soft spot for new mothers, especially those that don’t have other friends to share the experience or thoughts with.  The isolation I felt with my first was such a horrible feeling. At the time I was pregnant and had my first child, my friends were still focusing on their careers.  I had no one to confide in and it just made me sink into myself.  I still have a hard time pulling myself out of a dark state at times.  It helps that now I have a name for it, my husband is much more understanding of it, and I am feeling more comfortable with acknowledging it.  I want to get to the point where I can say that I deal with depression, mainly postpartum depression.

If you’re a new mother, second time, or x-time mother and trying to overcome postpartum depression, I acknowledge you.  Sometimes you need to hear that you’re doing a good job.  You need to hear that it’s okay if not everything gets done.  Sometimes you need to hear that motherhood and parenthood is taking it one thing at a time.   For now, I will remind myself that my babies are healthy, they are happy, I need to keep doing what I’m doing.   Maybe one day I will get to say I dealt with postpartum depression and that I found a way to overcome it.

2 thoughts on “I acknowledge you

  1. Love this mama.. Your words spoke straight to my heart. I also went through PPD, and though things are much lighter now, it some times feels like a shadow in the background that never quite goes away for good. I so respect and admire your courage to speak about it 💚

    1. Thank you so much. It really means a lot to hear that it’s okay to speak about PPD since it’s still something not too many people are comfortable to talk about. I’m glad that things are not as heavy as before, I’m making my way to that direction as well.

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