Giving birth to a child is by far the most beautiful part of life. The things a womans body is capable of is amazing. Unfortunately something so amazing doesn’t always come so easily or favorable. One of the hardest things of having a child is PostPartum Depression/Anxiety. I’ve been contemplating whether or not to share about this topic but decided I was going to do it since I can count a few ladies who have recently had a baby that I would love to share with.
Let me start by saying, some women are very fortunate and are not affected by PPD/PPA. I wasn’t very fortunate. I was diagnosed with PPA with Rudeena when she was about 3 months old. Although not medically diagnosed, I had PPD with Sanaa. The hardest part about experiencing this was the shock that came along with it (as a first time mom). I wished I had been warned. I was confused why I wasn’t ecstatic and joyous after I had just had my first baby (because, well, isn’t that how we should feel?). It was like a slap in the face. I gave birth and automatically it felt like a switch had turned off inside me. But I did really well with hiding it, because I didn’t feel normal. I thought I would be judged, and as a new first time mom, I was terrified of that. I convinced myself everyday, tomorrow you will feel better. Days came and went and things only got worse. It began with sadness. That sadness evolved into fear.
I began isolating and detaching myself. I would stay home everyday because that’s where I was safest. Then the fear only grew and grew from there. I was indoors all day but always felt uneasy. I suffered from insomnia. My baby was a decent sleeper, but even as she slept I couldn’t sleep. I was awake throughout most of the night. I was constantly looking out the windows, checking doors and just kept an open eye. I wish I knew what i was afraid of, but i didn’t. I was just afraid. That’s when I decided to turn to doctor Google. I had never heard and never knew about PPD/PPA. I was surprised my OB/GYN never mentioned anything about it. I knew plenty of moms but no one ever talked about it! No one ever talked about it because it wasn’t a social norm. They were afraid to talk about it because of fear of judgement. A woman has a baby and it has to be raining flowers for her. But it’s really not for most women who have just had a baby. We’ve all came across a news story about a woman hurting herself or her infant postpartum. People lack the understanding of their situation, but only mothers who have experienced PPD/PPA would think “Why didn’t you ask for help?”.
That is why I feel compelled to share this. Because as long as women are giving birth and having babies, this will continue to go on. It’ll only make matters worse when a mom has to hide to relieve the true emotions she has been experiencing. It is normal to feel sad, confused or even angry. It is okay to ask for help! You will not have your baby taken away from you by CPS (because only God knew that was my biggest fear) for feeling sad and/or depressed. It is ok to seek help, especially from a medical professional, when you feel that it is really getting out of control. Because with many women it does spiral out of control, and they begin to get thoughts of harming themselves or their infant. So talk about this with moms around you! Talk about how you feel. It’s okay, it’s normal. There is nothing wrong with you. There will be a better tomorrow and we must remind eachother of this!
I was very lucky to be amongst those who just got better with time. Where one day that switch inside me just turned back on. But with many moms, it’ll take more than just time.