Feb 142011
 


“Even if your hands are shaking . . . and your faith is broken. Even as the eyes are closing . . . do it with a heart wide open. Say What You Need to Say…”


Thank you, Sarah…for being brave enough to Say What You Need to Say.




************



Hi, my name is Sarah and I have post-partum depression.

Thanks to Glennon, who has cured me of the need to measure up to her blogging standards, and after much agonizing, procrastinating and rewriting, it finally dawned on me that I don’t need to tell you all my story and teach you something about post-partum depression (PPD).

Instead, I just want to have a conversation. And maybe while we’re talking, you might have a “me too” or “aha” moment. Because I believe that it’s not PPD that kills mothers, it’s the silence that surrounds it. It’s how much like an untouchable you feel while experiencing it; an outcast. Even among your closest, most supportive friends, spouses, sisters, mothers. At least that’s how it felt to me. By admitting I had PPD, I felt I was breaking the universal law decreeing that women are born to be warm, natural, stable mothers. Like I was breaking up the band

Things are much better now, but I still don’t really feel like a true success story–my oldest son turned 4 years old in November, his little brother turns 2 in March. I’m still dealing with PPD, but in ever-changing ways. Just when you feel like you’ve really gotten one over on it, it bites you in the ass. That has been the hardest lesson for me, that I have to be ever vigilant in order to maintain the balance I’ve clawed may way back to. Frankly, it tires me to be that vigilant. But on most days, I’d tell you—joyfully–that I love my children, my husband, my life as a mother.

I’ll start things off by laying it out there and doing what Brené Brown, a wonderful researcher, teacher and writer, calls “speaking shame:”

I suffered from PPD with both of my kids, but didn’t get help until the second one. Yes, I went to therapy weekly once I got help, for over a year. Yes, I just saw my therapist again a few weeks ago for the first time in almost 6 months. No, I’m not taking medication. But I think almost weekly about trying it just to see whether I’ll feel better more consistently. Yes, my husband is supportive and wants me to get better. But no, he doesn’t really understand it and might never do so.

Yes, my oldest son would tell his Daddy that he didn’t want to be alone with me because I “yelled at him and cried all the time.” No, I didn’t think I was suicidal, but then had thoughts about how much better off my family would be without me. Running away was another possibility.

Yes, there were a few times when I was afraid I might hurt my second son. No, I did not tell that to my therapist. Yes, I put him in his crib, crying (both of us), and walked away when I felt that way. No, I never hurt him. Yes, it ripped a hole in my heart, and continues to, when I think about it. Yes, I’m caught off guard many days with waves of nausea-inducing shame for aiming that much anger toward a small, helpless baby. Yes, I have a normal, loving bond now with both of my boys.

Yes, walking, fresh air and time alone helped. Yes, yoga helped. No, bubble baths and wine did not help. Yes, getting four consecutive hours of sleep for several nights in a row helped, a lot. Yes, I seethed with hate for my husband for a long time, for no clearly apparent reason. Yes, our relationship suffered. No, we never went to couples counseling. Yes, I wish we had. Yes, I had to hire a babysitter to stay with me and my sons when my husband played golf every Monday night during the summer my second was born. Yes, I called him on the phone, hysterical, the first time he tried to leave me alone with my two boys to play golf. Yes, I was working full time when I was in therapy, still fighting PPD. Yes, it sucked. Yes, I did tell a few colleagues.

No, I don’t plan to have any more children. Yes, I’m happy with that decision. No, I didn’t have complicated pregnancies or deliveries. Yes, I needed and enjoyed therapy.

Of course, there is much more, but I think this is enough for now.






Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  60 Responses to “Postpartum Depression, A Guest Post by Sarah”

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  6. I suffered from PPD after the birth of both my boys. I finally started meds 18 months after the second and I feel much better and consistent so much that I’m afraid to go off. Glad you posted this it still helps me when I’m open about it.

  7. Somehow I just found this post. Thank you for sharing your story! I too have been dealing with PPD – for 3+ years now. You are not alone! Hugs to you – and I hope you are feeling much better these days…

  8. Oh my goodness. I had PPD with both of my boys and didn’t get help till the second one either. This could be me, and I have felt so alone. I opened up to friends about it thinking they’d appreciate my efforts to shatter the silence, and I was met with a surprising amount of antagonism, disbelief, and infuriating pats on the head. Thank you THANK YOU Sarah.

  9. thank you

  10. I have read this website over and over in the last months since it was published. It helps to understand. It helps in my attempting to heal. My gratitude to you all. I wish people would continue to write.
    Barb

  11. Love you, too, Paula!! I feel like I spend so much time sharing what's gone wrong in my life that I don't sound grateful for all that has gone right. We've had our struggles and I am so so lucky to have such amazing family and friends. Like Glennon, I'm completely shameless and will tell anyone anything (probably more than they want to know). Sarah, thank you for being so brave to put it out there. Barb, my heart aches for you and those sweet babies. I'm sure you already know this, she loved them, even at the deepest point of my depression I loved my son. I felt incapable of caring for him, but never did I feel that I didn't love him.

  12. Sarah,

    Thank you so much for posting, for sharing, for starting a conversation. After my second child was born I was very sad and anxious for a very long season. a very long season indeed. i too believe I have to be ever vigilant in order to maintain the balance I've clawed my way back to. Beautifully said. I resist eating well, exercising, standing in the sun, and getting enough but not too much sleep. but I have to. everyday.

    i also had to change my mindset. i thought a (crying?!) baby or a (whining?!) toddler would fuel me. but actually it's taking care of myself, discovering God's plan for me, and allowing grace into my life everyday that energizes me and my love for others who need grace too. but my life is not all tied up with a bow on top, so apparently I forget these things often.

    sending lots of love to you.

  13. @Rach: You're absolutely right. That depth of shame and anxiety and depression and panic is not normal.

    But it's something that needs to be looked at, just like you'd have a sore tooth or a nasty mole looked at — no one wants to do this. No one. Even more so with PPD. We want to NOT look so badly. And so sometimes, finding a way to make ourselves feel slightly less like outsiders, slightly more normal, helps us get that nasty mole biopsied so we can really figure out WHAT that sucker is…

    Pls excuse the dermatology references, and full disclosure, I have had a nasty mole removed… ;-)

  14. Sarah and all monkees….
    I was fortunate enough to NOT suffer with PPD, but can empathize with those who do…
    I'm sure it is a heartbreak on so many levels. I recently read a book…
    "It Sucked, and then I Cried" by Heather B. Armstrong, and it was a truly enlightening, and yet humorous look at what some women go through. I would recommend the book to any of you who have ever had kids…
    And to those of you with PPD- someday your children will be SO grateful that you stuck it out- you went the extra mile to be the good mom you knew deep down you wanted to be.
    Kudos to you!!!

  15. All of you ladies are so freakin awesome.

  16. Wow – so important to talk about PPD. I was lucky to be in a mom's group/playgroup when my oldest was very little and an amazing woman – a L&D nurse who was also a nurse educator had gone through a horrible bout of PPD with her first child. She was so open and honest about all of it, her complete detachment, the drugs that helped her, the conversations she had with her OB when she wanted to get pregnant again. Took all the stigma of PPD away because she was so willing to share, so willing to answer any question.

    It's the silence that hurts us the most.

    Thanks Sarah and all the other commenters on here who are willing to share their story. It takes great courage to put yourself out there. I know from experience what an impact that courage can have on others, how much your own stories can help. Keep contributing to the village that's raising all us mommies.

    Thank God for all of you!
    Also, I love Heather M :)

  17. I feel you, sistah! You. are. not. alone. I felt so much of the same thing with my third. The shame-part, so not worth hanging onto because it isn't true or real! Hoping and praying for PEACE over you, Sarah.

  18. Sarah – thanks for sharing your story. I recently shared my story with a group of ladies and was amazed by the "me too" responses. Post Partum Depression is a terrible disease, that I believe rocks women to our very core. It is different from passing moments of frustration, tiredness, sadness, anxiety and helplessness regarding our children. I believe that every mom (and more realistically, every parent) experiences these lows. And we should definitely talk about these things and find ways to diffuse stressful situations.
    But, I just want to say to everyone out there dealing with Depression – whether it be post-partum or otherwise – the thoughts and feelings you’re having are a lie and they are NOT normal. Your children ARE wonderful. You ARE a good parent. There IS light at the end of the tunnel. Please, PLEASE find whatever you can to teach yourself the Truth again. Sarah has found her way back through therapy; I found my way back through medication and my faith community. Barb – my heart is aching for you and your daughter’s precious family. PPP is one of my deepest fears.
    One last thing – this was my favorite part: “Just when you feel like you've really gotten one over on it, it bites you in the ass. That has been the hardest lesson for me, that I have to be ever vigilant in order to maintain the balance I've clawed my way back to. Frankly, it tires me to be that vigilant. But on most days, I'd tell you—joyfully–that I love my children, my husband, my life as a mother.” Internet hugs to you Sarah- preach it :)

  19. Sarah- You are a great writer! Love reading your thoughts. Yes, I did make it but still have some residual! Probably if I openly talked about how bad it actually was, it might be better but that shame creeps in…

  20. Oh, yes. Love.

  21. Heather M, Cindy — A huge hug to you both. Heather M, you are an inspiration. I should have stayed in the hospital for support and help the second time around, but I clamped the blinders on HARD…

    I read this and I think back, and I was in that hole. In fact, the worst for me is looking back to the first 3-6 mos of each son's life, and realizing it's almost a complete blank.

    It pricks me at the oddest times, this loss of my children's earliest days. It's a kind of mourning. And I have to remind myself that I have so much NOW and that I'm PRESENT and there are still many special, loving, wonderful, frustrating moments to come with my boys.

    "Nuclear Families Exploding: Where Are OUR Renewable Resources???"

  22. Jill- If they do this study I hope they call it:

    NUCLEAR FAMILIES EXPLODING!!!!!!

    back to blow drying my hair.

  23. Thank you for the post, Sarah. PPD is so real and I think it is a completely marginalized problem, much like most female ailments, ykwim? I am still sorting through my girls' first year trying to figure out what was up with my head! So much pressure is placed on nuclear families. Extended families aren't around to help, communities are practically non-existent off of the internet. I would like to see a study about whether or not PPD has risen since these changes have happened in American culture. Lots of love to you. I applaud your courage. XOXO!

  24. Heather M, anyone who tells you infanthood/early childhoood is the best time of mothering has clearly NEVER done it!! It's hard, it's scary, it's life-altering in ways you can't imagine until it happens to you . . . and everyone expects it to be so cozy and happy. Not fair.

    I have three kids and the youngest is 3 and a half and I'm starting to feel very good about our little family. But that's not because I've got it all figured out! It's because it's getting easier. They can dress themselves, wipe their own noses, they sleep through the night, no one is getting their sustenance directly from my body, etc. The beginning was so so so so hard.

    So try to let go of the guilt. You are surviving what's usually the hardest part. Now that you lived to tell the tale, you can enjoy it more and more as it gets easier and easier . . . until they're teenagers, of course. :)

    Love to all of you,
    MK

  25. ME TOO!!! I didn't even make it out of the hospital when my first son was born before PPD hit. I was shaking, crying uncontrollably and consumed with "what have I done" thoughts. Everyone told me that I just needed sleep, time, love, whatever. I'm sure that's true, but I needed so much more. I ended up spending a few hours in the psych ward at the local hospital before doctors took me seriously. My husband, my family were confused, scared, and completely clueless as to how to handle it. We fumbled our way through it, I found a therapist, a support group and I started antidepressants. One of the hardest decisions I had to make was whether or not to continue the antidepressants through my second pregnancy. My first son is nearly 3, my twins are 8 months and I'm still taking the antidepressants. I feel better than I have in ages, but I still feel guilt for "spoiling" what was supposed to be the happiest time in our lives. I can never give that back to my family, I can never erase the fear and uncertainty, but I am trying to forgive myself and remind myself that it wasn't "on purpose" it wasn't "my fault." I try to talk about it, too, to break down the walls of shame that prevent moms from reaching out and getting the help they need. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being brave enough to start this conversation.

  26. Sarah……thank you for opening your heart. I refused to accept PPD with my first child, but it wasn't until I had forgotten to shower for three days, walked out the back door handing my daughter to my husband, drove aimlessly for hours refusing to answer my cell phone that I stopped and paused. My eyes swollen from the tears. My head throbbing from the sobbing. Hands shaking from refusing to eat. I made the decision to drive back home. The love of my life said you need help.
    I look back at that time and had no idea how deep I was in the hole. A lot of women don't. Thank you Sarah. Huge hug….bravo to you.

  27. Ok, sharing one last resource, then signing off. This is a great site to check out. Happens to be a local to me in upstate NY, but she does conference calls as well:

    http://www.ppdtojoy.com/

    BTW, she is the wise woman of the "bad mother" quote above…

  28. Barb – You are a warrior. As I read these comments, all the anxiety and fear and shame and fear (did I mention that?) that I had about sharing this post TO THE WORLD vanished.

    Poof.

    I don't care anymore. I just don't. To every Anonymous: They can't take your children because you had a hard time adjusting to motherhood. Retrofitting your life, your self, your marriage, for this new life. And as one woman says (and she should know): "If you really were such a bad mother, would you be feeling guilty about it?"

    And now onto my soap box: the Pamelas, and the vrwfoxs, and the Christis — what the heck, EVERY MOTHER OUT THERE: Getting upset with your child is not a sin. It's not abuse. It's not "rare" or "abnormal." Amen, Fitch-Jennet!

    I just wrote dear Monkee Chimmy about this: the cult of happiness, our culture of happiness. Of being very afraid and wary if you're NOT as happy as you should be. If you're kids aren't. I'm all for loving and responding and caring for your children. But, going on the record here, NOT at the expense of caring for yourself. Putting yourself last.

    I'll get plenty of flack for saying this, but I do think some of the Attachment Parenting philosophy/proponents propogate this myth of the Mother (capital M) being constantly at the beck and call of her offspring — ostensibly to produce better, more well-adjusted kids.

    But what about their mothers? Who's nursing them all night in their shared bed? Who's wearing them all day while trying to pee and do errands? Who's never leaving them alone with another caregiver or a bottle or a TV or whatever else is deemed "bad" for growing children?

    Mothers. Women. Fragile? Who wouldn't break under this weight. Then again, we prevail most of the time, so we are stonger than we think.

    I'm spouting some nonsense here (which goes back to my own shame/struggles with breastfeeding, and the pressures around all that jazz) — but the point is that you are all normal. Some of us may be a few standard deviations from the average, but we're still on that curve somewhere.

    Beccy – yes, saying the words out loud can break the spell, but also brings a lot of responsbility to DO something about it. For me, talking to my therapist was huge. Admitting to my husband that I needed help when I was huddled on the floor of my bedroom with the baby crying in his crib. That was huge. Taking one 10 min walk outside each day. Huge.

    Feeling not alone is still a challenge. This place is a wonderful place to start. Thank you all for being brave and speaking out.

    Andie – I hid and hid and hemmed and hawed until I could take it no more and feared for myself and my family. Shame drives us to extreme ends. What happened to you is real, and it's also ok. You made it. We made it.

    Amen.

  29. Thank you for your words, your honesty and for sharing. You shouldn't be ashamed but for some reason, PPD drowns us in shame. I had PP anxiety and was so filled with shame (and anxiety!!!) that I tried to hide it both times. I still have never admitted to anyone but my loving husband how bad it was the second time around. But when I look back, it still scares and saddens me. Thank you for sharing.
    Andie

  30. I'm so moved by the post and the comments. We mommies are brave and fragile all at the same time aren't we? I can't exactly say, "me too" but I can say, "me sometimes" even still and my youngest is 3. I have had thoughts, feelings and actions that leave me with shame and remorse. I love the idea that it takes a village to raise a mommy. Amen to that. An thank you Sarah for opening the dialogue.

  31. I am very grateful for the comments of support. My daughter actually had Post Partum Psychosis, which is another branch of the PPD. Too have people that I could talk too, others that would help me better understand, for that I would be grateful. Share, talk, read, ask questions, but don't let these beautiful women in your lives or you yourselves not reach out. There is help out there. Please ladies. Know how much you are loved and appreciated by your friends and families. How much you are needed. Even tho you don't feel that way. YOU ARE….. Our lives were so blessed with her presence, the memories are so wonderful, but I would give anything to have been able to know how to have helped. Those beautiful babies, her wonderful husband, her cherished friends and her ever loving family, will have missed so much. If only she knew how precious her life really was to us all. Thank you again for your kind and loving thoughts..SPEAK OUT….

  32. yes, yes, yes! it takes a village to raise a MOMMY. yep. love.

  33. Thank you for writing this.

    I also think part of what contributes to PPD is this bizarre fantasy that gets perpetuated that you will instantly fall in love with some weird alien looking, screaming, pain-inducing (if you're having trouble nursing) stranger that you're now stuck with for life. If you don't immediately have overwhelming feelings of love and affection for this rude creature(and given what the reality is like, who would and could?) then of course you feel like there MUST BE SOMETHING REALLY WRONG WITH YOU.

    I didn't give birth to my son so I didn't have the hormonal piece and also felt like maybe I had some "excuse" for how I felt (or didn't feel), but it took months to feel something for him other than a little fear, a little annoyance, a little dread when he cried…and I felt like a horrible parent.

    Now I adore him but I certainly wasn't writing Hallmark cards in my head every time I looked at him in the beginning.

    I'm so glad people are talking about it and so glad folks are getting help. It takes a village to raise a Mommy, not just a child. Reach out and touch that Mommy losing it at the park…

  34. Yes, I suffered from PPD with one of my pregnancies. Every Mama should have a Person. Someone who at the very least they can call on the phone and say, "I want to hurt my baby." Or, "I want to hurt myself." I am so thankful that I have my own mama, and my husband (when he isn't deployed), and I did have to ask for help sometimes. I faked it till I made it that I felt affection for my boy. But LOVE is a CHOICE, not just a feeling, and I chose. Every day. It took a LOT of time (he is bigger now, and there is no faking needed now.) Just saying the words out loud about how you feel to someone helps to take the power out of them, and a second opinion is often what is needed to see a way out of the situation. And my understanding is that group exercise therapy is as effective as meds in some recent studies done, if you are hesitant about taking meds because of nursing or whatever. I will say that in the thick of it – going to my exercise class and getting a shower by myself at the gym was a HUGE help. Thanks for posting this. We are NOT alone.

  35. Thank you for being brave and putting yourself out here! Hormones are crazy things and they way the rush into our bodies and out again with pregnancy it is a wonder any woman survives! But I think it is great that we can come here and be honest. It is important to have an outlet and Glennon you have created a wonderful place for that!!
    I know that there have been times I have lost my cool and yelled and then just felt terrible. I then apologize to my 3 year old and feel like such a heel. But you know she is a happy child who tells me she loves me so I try to not dwell on those, "ok I was a crappy mom moments" and realize that I am not perfect and that is ok!

  36. bravo, brave monkee

  37. Also, Sarah, what I think should happen is that you should write a book.

    But that's just me.

  38. Me Too.

    Me SO too.

    Better now.

    Thank you, Jesus, for honest women and your loving arms to fall into again and again and unexpected warm days and especially, Jesus, for psychotropic drugs.

    Barb, in honor of your daughter, I promise that we will keep talking and keep writing. We will Not Be Silent, Barb.

    Thank you, Sarah.

    Love You All,

    GDo

    Love, G

  39. Brave Sarah – ME TOO. It is so crucial for the dialogue to be open and welcoming regarding this subject, so THANK YOU for having the courage to share your experience. Raising awareness and discussion is the best way we can help each other out.

    Barb, I am sending you every single shred of Love that I have…

  40. I posted my comment without my google comment for fear that someone will think I'm crazy and take my kids from me. Although I don't suffer from PPD I think I did go through it and it's very scary.

    All that go through it and all that are going through it will be in my thoughts and prayers. It's not easy but there is help out there.

  41. Learned a lot here, Sarah. Thanks.

    Bubba

  42. After losing a daughter in August to PPD, I was so appreciative to have your writing forwarded to me. She had a 3 1/2 year old son and a 9 month old daughter. I struggled with all the questions a mother asks. All the fear that I didn't do all possible to help her, and yet knowing that isn't how the PPD works. Please keep writing. Keep sharing. Keep helping. That was one of my dear daughter's last requests. Don't Be Silent.

  43. Ugh, damn the fates! Just lost entire comment.

    So here's the sound bite: Thank you all so much for the kind words and support. I'm stunned in a very good way! I'll post more later to try to answer some of your great, important questions.

    To ruminate on: How often you all used words like "vulnerable", "courage", "shame", "ashamed", "brave" in your comments.

    Now go check this out:
    http://www.brenebrown.com/books/2010/8/7/i-thought-it-was-just-me-but-it-isnt.html

    It's no coincidence … of that I am sure.

    Namaste,
    Sarah

    PS – And to show you how DEEPLY ingrained the shame can be, I hesitated about using my Google account to post this comment. Because then you would KNOW who I am. And the TRUTH would be out there. And then…. What would happen?? Guess we're gonna find out. ;-)

  44. @vrwfox: Your comment about giving up yelling for lent made me laugh out loud. It also made me sorta glad that I wasn't raised a Catholic. I'm not so good at giving up things.

    I must say, for the record, that I'm a proud member of the Prozac nation. If I hadn't been taking antidepressants after my son was born, I think everything would have been far more difficult than it was.

    Let's all stop being ashamed of the crazy thoughts we have after giving birth. Anyone who has survived labor pains and passed a human head through her vagina has done enough suffering, in my opinion. (And this is from a woman who had c-sections.)

  45. After losing a friend to PPD last year, I really appreciate your courage and vulnerability in sharing your story. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  46. Ok. I'm sitting here going 'Oh. Um. Ah. Uh-huh. yup. Me too. SHIT.'

    PPD = Sucks really, really bad.

    I used to have a horrible day and realize I wanted to throw my kid out a window. Closed window.

    I think the shame that we mama's deal with is the most debilitating thing. It's taken lots of counseling and grace to forgive myself for simply thinking horrible thoughts and not being a good mom some days.

    And I still can't do the crying baby at night thing. It makes me break out in a cold sweat and makes me extremely anxious.

    Thank you for being vulnerable in this. What did you find to be the best way to feel less alone in this process? I still struggle with feeling really alone.

    Tova

  47. Thank you, Sarah. Thank you for being so brave and so true.

    This morning, before I even checked the blog, I was thinking about how I should give up yelling for Lent. I hate how much I yell and I am really upset when I hear my oldest yell at his siblings because I know that I have made this kind of negative interaction normal for them.

    I have four children and have been home full time since the 2nd one was born. My darkest period was in that transition. I had left a world where I felt competent and successful to be with little people who never seemed happy. I felt like such a failure.

    We decided to have a 3rd child, who turned out to be a set of twins. Somehow, I'm doing better this time around. My perspectacles are working better and I'm more aware that this is just a particular era of our family's life where I need to be here. I am feeling very impatient right now to find the NEXT era. The one where I work part-time again and feel more satisfied and the kids see a happier mother.

    Thank you for reminding me that We Belong to Each Other– all of us, even the parts that we prefer to hide.

  48. Thank you Sarah, for your courage and your light today. So much of what you said speaks to me just as a mother of three challenging, frustrating, kind hearted, wonderful children who make me crazy to my core at least once every day. I don't believe I struggled with PPD but as Molly said, so much feels like this already, to add the weight of true depression is crippling even to think of. I am yeller and a grabber and neither is something I am proud of. I am often also an apologizer but realize that rarely makes a tender hearted child feel better.

    What does make me feel better? Knowing I'm not alone and repeating "We Can Do Hard Things" over and over in my head.

    Thank you Sarah for helping bind us together today. We DO Belong to Each Other.

  49. Sarah, you are brave and honest and so, so real.

    I don't know ANY mamas out there who haven't, at the very least, experienced "moments" of PPD. Just those little glimpses into what you and The Mommy One and countless others have had to endure is enough to see how truly strong you all are. Being a mommy is hard enough, couple that with PPD? That is a heavy, heavy burden.

    I hope that you sharing your truth will help lighten your load. Often times, we feel crippled under the weight of our troubles. Maybe you can allow this place, your husband, friends, etc. take some of the weight. We all need each other. I am certain lots and lots of women needed you and this today.

    Thank you,
    Molly

  50. Sarah a big hug to you for sharing. I hope you will continue to let everyone around you know what you are going through – break the silence. So many woman are afraid, I think, to tell others of their pain no matter what pain that may be – until it eats you alive, or kills you. PPD – if you don't mind me saying Sarah – seems like such an unfair and cruel condition after someting that is supposed to be joyful.

    I hope you find your joy and lots of mommas going through the same thing you are. We are here to listen to you.

    XOXO

  51. i was afraid to give baths or walk next to a railing on the 2nd story of the mall or anywhere that wasn't on the ground floor. It's scary being a mother and men will never ever get it or understand it so there's no use getting angry with them even though it's so easy to.

    I hate that I get so frustrated that I yell and make my kids cry. THis happened yesterday and it breaks my heart to even think about it.

    Thanks for sharing Sarah.

  52. Thank you for sharing your story. It really helps me feel better that I'm not crazy for the way I feel. I too struggle with my two boys (24 mo and 7 mo) and hate it when my husband thinks I'm being lazy by not wanting to take both of them to the grocery store with me. I think he's nuts, he thinks I'm nuts. I'm struggling to keep it all together while working full-time. Sometimes I hate it but then my boys smile at me and the love they have makes the pain all worth it in the end. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone and the only crazy one.

  53. Sarah, thanks for sharing your story with all the mommas. So many moms are suffering in silence. Your bravery WILL help them. You are NOT alone. They are NOT alone.
    Hugs to You, Sarah.

    xo ~ kristi

  54. Sarah, thank you for using your candor and honesty to describe your experience. I am expecting my first child in June and feel more prepared for the potential of PPD because of women like you are becoming of movement – yes a movement – of people changing the world by normalizing the experience.

    Thank you for being a leader in that.

  55. Sarah, thank you for sharing and teaching us something that many of us did not fully understand. Is there any research that can identify why people get PPD? Are there any factors that makes a woman more likey to have PPD?

  56. Ah Sarah. If I were there I would hug you and say me too, honey! Me too! Only for me, I had visions of throwing my second son out the window, leaving him on someone's doorstep, letting him cry for hours, me trying to sleep in the garage in our car just to get away. Telling myself we would get through it if something happened to him. It was awful, Sarah, just awful. I, too, worked full time and was trying to do it all. And I did on the outside, but the inside of me was a complete mess. It wasn't until I read Brooke Shields book, Down Came the Rain, that it dawned on me that I really had a problem. It was like a light bulb went off. I spoke to me doctor started taking anti depressants and within a couple of weeks, I was nurturing and loving again. My son still wasn't sleeping but I was doing better. And I think because I was doing better maybe he felt more relaxed when I held him and didn't scream at me quite as bad. It sucked, Sarah. It sucked. He is 5 now. He is loving and affectionate and sensitive and wonderful. And I think, how did that happen? He had a mother that I am not even sure loved him the first 8 months of life. Yet, he is resilient and get this, he is a total mama's boy. He is mine. He is my heart. We have a bond now that (and I am crying as I type thinking of him) that nothing will ever break. Not that anything could break and mother's bond with her children. But his spirit Sarah, his spirit is strong and beautiful. He is wonderful. I was on medication for about 2 years then came off. We have a 3rd child now and I still can't take the crying in the middle of the night, but my husband can. So he does. I put a pillow over my head and pray that PPD doesn't creep back in our lives. It was hell. But we made it out.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is painful. And humiliating. And shameful. And embarrassing. And humbling. And one of those things that it makes you feel so comforted to know there is someone out there that can say, me too. Me too, Sarah.

    ((hugs))

  57. "Because I believe that it's not PPD that kills mothers, it's the silence that surrounds it"
    I believe this too.
    Great post Sarah. Thank you.

  58. Sweet Sarah, you are so incredibly brave. You put in writing what so many of us are afraid to say out loud.

  59. Yes, thank you, Sarah, for being so brave and vulnerable. Shining a light on PPD will help more people than you ever will know. Hang in there, and keep us posted, please….

  60. Sarah, Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    This is going to help many, many women take a deep breath and feel like they are NOT ALONE today.

    Thank you for starting this extremely important conversation.

    Love, G

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