POST PARTUM DEPRESSION – BREAKING MY SILENCE

It’s so easy to lay blame when we see news stories like this one in which a pregnant mother, with her three kids on board, drove her van into the ocean. We cry out “That mom is so selfish”, ”Why not leave the kids with someone if you want to take your life” and the always popular “What kind of mother are you?”. Chances are that she was a mom that needed more help than she was getting and she went from a place of clear and rational thought into a place where there was no rational anything. She only had the voices in her head. In fact the police had gone to her house earlier in the day, but didn’t think she was a danger to herself or others, so they did nothing.

I can sympathize.

When my second daughter was just three months old I had to return to work for financial reasons. On top of that I had to drive home for lunch because she wouldn’t take a bottle and going nine hours with no food was not an option. When I was home at the end of the day I would have my youngest constantly on the breast and my eighteen month old bouncing around me. On top of that my oldest refused to sleep alone and if left to cry it out would cry so hard she would throw up. The only thing that was acceptable was if I was in her room sitting on her bed, or in a chair. Looking back I can see that the kids just missed me while I was gone and were craving that contact and connection they missed during the day. I was so exhausted from the long nights and even longer days that it just felt like one more thing on the to do list. The physical toll of having two little ones so close together, coupled with exhaustion and the hormonal side effects from Depo Provera, left me feeling very much not like myself.

 

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