The arrival of a baby is truly one of the happiest moments of a family, especially for the mom and dad. After all, they have long waited for this gift. Most parents assume that nothing could possibly go wrong. Except there is this thing called postpartum depression. Trust me, it’s real. No one can see it, but it does exist. In fact, it happens to a lot of new moms.
Most mothers get the postpartum blues, but postpartum depression is a condition that is much more than that. Most women who have experienced this have feelings of sadness that are so powerful to the point that it prevents them from doing their daily tasks. Often times it starts with the little things. This is where the mommy guilt becomes more apparent.
After giving birth to Josiah, there is no doubt that I am at my happiest. But despite that, there’s this intense, nagging feeling that no matter what I do, it simply isn’t good enough. =The sad feeling consumes me up to the point that I would just freeze. I’m doing what I can do yet it is not registering. Like as if I haven’t anything at all. I’m exhausted but I didn’t want to sleep. My mind is too busy stressing with all the thoughts. If I could silence the nagging thoughts, I would. I no longer have the energy nor the zest to do the things that used to excite me. I function on caffeine. I try my best – but again, whatever I do is NOT enough.
The negative feelings got stronger when I got hospitalized due to mastitis. I took pride and joy that I am able to breastfeed our son. That despite all the sadness, I am able to draw some positivity from breastfeeding. Then it hit me hard. I had to question myself and hated the fact that my body couldn’t function the way that it should. I felt so weak AND defeated that I got sick over something that mothers do all the time. The mom guilt CONSUMED ME whole. I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that my body may not be cut out for breastfeeding and yet it is such a natural thing to occur. A mother’s body can produce milk for her child and here I am having issues with it. That I may never be able to give my baby the best that he deserves. I felt like I am drowning from all the negative emotions and I have no idea what I can do to survive.
THIS IS WRONG. THIS SHOULD STOP.
I am just glad I have family and friends who keep trying and doesn’t give up on me. Who keeps reminding me THAT I AM ENOUGH. That I am doing the best that I can. That I AM AN AMAZING WOMAN, WIFE, and yes, as a MOM!
Frankly, every day is a struggle for me, up until now. Every day, I feel as if I am alone in this journey. But what keeps me going is the smile of my baby and the support of my husband, family as well as friends. I hold on to my little one’s laughs and to the idea that he needs me and I am there for him. I also cling to my husband’s support. I am more than grateful that my husband is very understanding of what I am going through and that he does everything he can do to show me that I am doing okay. Through it all, I have learned that the emotional support of your partner (or anyone close to you) can help mothers go through this very challenging process.
But one tricky thing about postpartum depression is that it is difficult to tell if a mom is experiencing it. That’s why women need to speak up. Tell people (or at the very least, the people closest to you) about what you are feeling. Don’t try to overcome it on your own. Seek help from the people you love. It is not something to be ashamed of but it is something that people need to know, and it is always up to you to tell them.
To my fellow moms, I just want to leave you with this:
You are good enough. Your child appreciates what you are doing. No matter how challenging your situation can get, please know that it will get better.
Sending virtual hugs to all of you!