When I said goodbye to Rediscovering Jetta - I meant it. At the time. My life is full and almost unrecognizable. In a mostly good way. But I have something to say - and it demands a voice bigger than my own.
This post has been brewing in my heart and soul for almost 16 months. Since March 20, 2011. The day baby Gabe was born. That was the day pure, pint sized joy was born. That was the day we witnessed nothing short of a miracle. That was the day I realized the true success in healing my body.
That was the day my battle with Postpartum Depression began.
To be honest, I felt like a fool. It seemed impossible. After all, how could someone who TEACHES others about pregnancy and childbirth; someone who wakes up in the middle of the night and LOVES a woman through labor; someone who has fast labors herself and loves giving birth, EVER suffer from Postpartum Depression. What in the world is there to be depressed about when you are holding a perfect newborn??
But Postpartum Depression is a bigger MONSTER than all that. Postpartum Depression is a THEIF that steals joy. Postpartum depression is scary and lonely and most importantly, Postpartum Depression is REAL.
As I look back on the last 16 months, so much of it is dark. It felt like I was living in a hole. A big, black, lonely hole. Especially the first months after Gabe's birth. There were nights when I would go to bed crying and I would just pray that God would make me not wake up. My reality was a place where it seemed better to be dead than alive. The crux of Postpartum Depression is that people around you don't understand. How could I be depressed? I had a new baby, a great husband, two great big kids, an enviable job...I wasn't thankful enough. I needed some perspective. I needed to "get over myself." That's the advise people gave me. Let me assure you...it was not helpful.
I can only write this because I feel like I have finally come out of my fog. Two weeks ago, Chad and I got into, what could easily be considered the biggest fight we have ever had. Chad EXPLODED. He was SCREAMING at me. Horrible, mean, completely TRUE things. It was awful, and raw, and just what I needed. You see, Postpartum Depression doesn't just hurt the new mama. It hurts everyone who loves her. It's easy to ignore because she will deny it. She will be offended that you would suggest it. It's easier for those close to her to continue to walk on eggshells than to be tough and try to help. From experience, I can say PLEASE HELP HER! DON'T IGNORE HER! This monster is REAL, but it can be defeated.
I am thankful that I am here now, in this place where I can talk about this, where I NEED to talk about this. If you read this, and you are either a new mama struggling, or someone close to a new mama who is struggling, reach out. Find help. If you need to, email me and I will help you find someone to work with. This doesn't have to continue. You CAN have your joy back. It might be a long, hard road - but I promise, it's a road well worth traveling.
PS. Please excuse any spelling errors or typos. It has been so long since I blogged -and alot has changed about blogspot. I felt that I need to get this post out, so I did the best I could and published without proofing...