Effective, empathic therapy to support recovery from perinatal or postpartum mood disorders
Letter to Mothers Suffering from Postpartum Depression
Open Letter to Moms suffering with PPD Youíre not alone. I feel you and I hear youÖ
If you have recently given birth and are on this website late into the night - sleepless yet again and searching for answers Ė you may be experiencing what feels like the worst time in your life. Ironic isn't it, that the birth of your child may have resulted in feelings that are less than blissful?
We know you moms are out there, feeling lonely and afraid and unsure of where to go from here. First it's vital to know that youíre NOT alone, youíre NOT to blame and with help, you WILL get better! This was something I wish I had known at the time of my darkest days suffering with postpartum depression. I gave birth to a beautiful healthy girl named Melina in 2000. She was so very perfect in every way (and still is). However, my heart was filled with overwhelming fear, sadness, loneliness and depression.
She was undoubtedly the most beautiful gift from God that I had ever received. But, I would sit in my room quietly and ask Him if He would take the astonishing gift back or find a home that was filled with love. I remember thinking that I would never get better, so whatís the point of keeping her? My husband Michael was suffering along side of me, trying to make sense of this then nameless illness that had robbed him of his wife and Melina of her mother.
The birth of my daughter should have been the happiest day of my life, but it felt as if my life had just ended. I spent 5 days in the hospital and during those 5 days I never held her, fed her or changed her. I even spoke to one of the nurses about adoption. Her first 9 months she lived at my parentís house. I could barely take care of myself, how could I expect to take care of this small little being. I also had the most disgusting and intrusive thoughts of not only harming myself, but harming my daughter.
I lost the first 9 months of my daughterís life. At times when Iím dusting photos of my daughter taken by my mother or my husband in the first 9 months of her life, I break down and sob. I sob because, I couldnít be there for her and share her first smile, her first cries. If it werenít for those precious photos, the truth is, I wouldnít have any recollection or memories of her first months on this planet.
Melina is now 8 and she is the lifeline to my heart. Thereís no one I can possibly love more than my precious Melina. She doesnít care that I didnít change her, feed her or hold her for the first 5 dayís of her life. She doesnít even care that she spent 9 months living at my parentís house. The only thing she really cares about is having her mommy around and being loved by her mommy. The truth is, I always loved her. From the moment I gave birth to her, I loved her. I just didnít know that at the time because I was suffering from a very real, a very debilitating and disgusting illness called postpartum depression.
The truth isÖ POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION SUCKS!! I canít and wonít sugar coat what I truly feel about an illness that wreaked total havoc and chaos in my life, my husbandsí life and my familyís life. Trust me, I can choose quite a few colorful words on how I really feel about postpartum depression, but I need to have some decorum! Every woman experiences postpartum illness differently Ėsome canít sleep at all, some sleep too much, some are agitated, some are very sad, so please donít compare yourself to others and think either, Iím not so bad, or, I am worse than she is. You know yourself and if youíre not yourself, please, please get help NOW.
I know youíre sitting reading this and feeling as if you will not be able to get through the despair that postpartum depression brings, but with the right help, you can be well again. Through my words in this letter, please know my arms are embracing you and your heavy heart with the hug of universal motherhood. Donít ever think that youíre alone. I hear you and I feel you. Though we may never meet, I know you. And you know me.
I hope this letter soothes your heart, but donít let it end there. Please, please, call and reach out for help. Postpartum Support International has an 800 number you can call RIGHT NOW 1-800-944-4773 and find help in your state. In addition to that, PSI offers free and anonymous Momís Chats every Wednesday (www.postpartum.net) which you can join from the privacy of your own home.Donít let another day go by enduring suffering that can turn to recovery. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME and WITH HELP, you WILL BE WELL.