I AM 1 IN 7
Before Letty, I was under the impression that postpartum depression looked like not loving your baby & not wanting to hold them.
That simply wasn’t the case for me — and that lack of understanding led to me to be in denial for quite some time.
I wanted a baby so bad. I had this expectation that having a baby was going to be the most magical experience and I’d spend those first few days & months in awe gushing over my new born. But Letty’s birth was terrifying and after one long week in the NICU.. I was overwhelmed by FEAR.
Fear of losing her.
I watched her sleep like a hawk.
I checked her temperature all day every day.
I listened to her heart
I cried constantly.
I felt I failed her at birth.
I had panic attacks in parking lots.
The intrusive thoughts took over me — and they felt like very real fears & worries.
Add on sleep deprivation and living in the country in the middle of a pandemic, without ‘my village’ everyone spoke of — I felt alone.
I believed I was inadequate. I was failing as a mom & when I spoke out about my birth people would say things like “all that matters is you’re both fine now” Or “it was worth it though right”. (PSA.. these are not helpful statements to a traumatized new mom dealing with postpartum depression & anxiety.)
I am grateful for the women who nudged me to seek help. To talk to my health care professionals & to go to therapy.
Postpartum depression & anxiety can look much different than you expected and sometimes it’s hard to see in yourself.
If you’re seeing this and you’re struggling, please reach out.
You are not alone.