Let's Normalize Feeling Sad
I am a mother of four children, and honestly, I have felt different after every one of them was born. I was never on medications before my first baby was born, but boy, did the postpartum hit me like a brick wall. Looking back, I should have always been on some sort of antidepressant or anxiety medicine, even before kids, but I just always felt embarrassed or ashamed.
My son was born, and being a stay-at-home mom, I figured I needed to handle everything on my own. I nursed him, so there was no need for my husband to wake up with him in the middle of the night, and the whole “sleep when your baby sleeps” never really sunk in with me.
After taking on so much, I completely lost it after just two weeks. I cried every single day, multiple times per day. At times I wanted nothing to do with my son. I would sit and stare at him, rocking in his swing, both of us crying, and I felt nothing but sadness and just annoyance. It wasn’t my son's fault; it wasn’t my husband's fault; it was my fault; I wasn’t taking care of myself or doing anything to help. Finally, my husband and friends had an intervention for me and sat me down and told me I needed help and I needed to call someone right away.
I was so embarrassed, I just cried and finally agreed to talk to a nurse they had on speed dial. Long story short, I got on meds (Zoloft), and things started to get better. I finally let people around me help, and I began to rest or sleep when my son did.
Of course, I didn’t want to accept something was “wrong” with me, and I didn’t even think about postpartum depression because, honestly, it was one of those things I thought wouldn’t happen to me. It’s scary and beyond painful to look at your baby and not want to pick them up. At that moment, that was the last thing I wanted to do, but looking back, I still feel horrible about it.
It’s so important to speak out, whether to a doctor, your significant other, friends, anyone! Don’t be ashamed, don’t feel bad, and most of all, don’t you dare question being a good mom. We need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our families. I have a total of four children now, and I have been on medication since that postpartum intervention. I don’t regret it, I’m not embarrassed, and the only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner or take it more seriously.
Please take care of yourselves and put yourselves first.