Congratulations! You must be so excited! You have so much to look forward to!
Your life is going to change in ways you can’t imagine.
You’ll be so happy!
Or at least you should be happy, right? I mean, what’s not to love about becoming a mom? It’s what you’ve been looking forward to since you were a little girl, isn’t it? Or maybe not, but you’re excited now, right?!? And you should be!
When that baby is finally here, you should be ecstatic, right? Sure, you’ll be sleep-deprived and your hormones will be all over the place. Your schedule will be like none you’ve never known. Not to mention the fact that your body will have just done something amazing that must have taken a lot of energy. You just created a human being, for crying out loud! And then endured labor and gave birth to that beautiful life.
That beautiful helpless life that depends on you for everything. When it’s hungry it cries. When its diaper is wet or dirty it cries. Every few hours, or less, it demands something from you. It seems as though it’s always either asleep or demanding something. A feed. A clean diaper. A rocking. A snuggle.
That baby will look at you like no one has ever looked at you before. Like you are the whole world. And you’ll look into those amazing eyes and feel…
Everyone’s heard of the baby blues, right?
But what if it doesn’t just clear up on its own? What if you’re feeling so overwhelmed, sad, or anxious it’s difficult to take care of yourself? What if depression closes in and you feel worthless, or hopeless?
You won’t want to tell anyone, will you?
If people knew what would they say? What would they think?
Okay, to be honest, there are some people in this world who just won’t understand. But others will.
They’ve heard of me; they know who I am. There are quite a few who have met me and know me intimately.
I’m writing this letter to tell you to tell someone if depression is sucking you into a dark hole. Being honest about how you’re feeling doesn’t make you a bad mom, and there’s help out there.
Admitting there’s a problem is the first step to getting help.
My name is postpartum depression, and I am very real. I don’t affect all new moms, but I can wreak havoc for some. The sooner you get help, the better.
According to the American Psychological Association, I pay an unpleasant visit to up to 1 in 7 women in the first several weeks after they give birth. As much as I’d like to leave you alone in peace to enjoy your new motherhood, I won’t just leave.
It doesn’t matter if you had an easy or difficult pregnancy. Your income, education, age, race don’t matter. You may not even be a first-time mother. I don’t choose whom I make miserable.
So, please, if you find yourself struggling, admit it.
Go in knowing that I’m real, and that I’m beatable. Don’t be anxious that I may show up, but be aware. If I invade your home, get help to get rid of me.
I wish I could be part of your joy, but I can’t. So don’t let me hang around any longer than necessary.
Remember, asking for help doesn’t make you a bad mom. Asking for help makes you a better mom.