Postpartum Depression Is Awful, But You Will Survive
It wasn't until the ice-maker broke that I realized something was wrong -- very, very wrong. My young son was nine months old, and while I'd managed to juggle sleepless night after sleepless night, ever-lasting colicky screams and the anxiety that accompanies long-term sleep deprivation, I lost it.
All because of an ice maker.
I sat there, grieving over my ice maker, the tears falling heavily from my eyes, unable to comprehend what to do next. I'd always wanted an ice maker, see, and I'd finally gotten one when we'd moved into our new house two years before. I'd also desperately wanted a second child. Finally, I had it all.
Except not so much.
I don't know how long I wept over the ice maker. A couple of days. A week. I don't remember. But I did know that something was very wrong. I just didn't know what. As a trained nurse, I tried to keep an eye out for things like postpartum depression, but I honestly didn't see it coming. I was too tired, I suppose, to think about my mental health for more than six seconds a day. The other 23 hours and 3,594 seconds, I spent caring for my very demanding child.
So by the time I finally realized that I had postpartum depression, I was pretty far gone. Hence the ice maker. Hence my tears. Hence my grief.
I'm not sure when I realized hey, I have postpartum depression, but I do know that once it did, I quickly called my OB who got me in to see her the following day. Knowing that I was going to get some help, I finally relaxed for the first time in over a year.
It was hard to admit how bad it had gotten, mostly to myself, I mean, I was too strong for this sort of thing...right?
It's not about strength. It's not about will-power. It was about feeling lower than low -- about admitting that there were things out there greater than me. I hadn't failed. I wasn't a bad mother -- I had postpartum depression.
And I survived it.
Did you suffer from postpartum depression?