My Journey Through Post-Partum Depression: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Recovering post-partum depression : symptoms, recovery and how to admit it

I have to admit to eating my share of humble pie in the last two years.  In regards to my knowledge of child development and confidence in parenting skills, I didn’t think I was arrogant or proud, merely experienced.  When post-partum depression literally knocked me off my feet in the first few days of motherhood, humble pie became a daily meal for me.

I waited ten years to begin my mothering journey, and walked into it with my eyes wide open.  With ten years experience as a Preschool Teacher, I was no stranger to hard work, and considered myself a pro at diffusing tantrums, writing amazing lesson plans, and tracking the development of my children daily.  I held all of these amazing talents and boundless energy that allowed me to play and have fun with them too.  There was also no reason to suspect that the gargantuan organizational skills needed for motherhood would knock me off my “A” game.  I was an over-achiever, over-thinker, over-planner, and unknowingly setting myself up for a terrible fall.

Motherhood turned me into a whimpering shell, unrecognizable to myself, and even my loved ones.  I was unable to move some days, glued to the chair, or laying on the floor beside Sweet Girl’s bassinet.  Simple tasks became rocket science.  Purchasing bread and milk at the grocery store became prime opportunity for melt downs, tears, and confusion.  I was suddenly in foreign and scary territory.  Anxiety and post-partum depression clipped the wings of motherhood for the first 6 months.

It didn’t take my doctor very long to see that I needed intervention. He offered me medication on my 6 week check up.  I refused, and said that the moods would pass.  Not less than 3 weeks later I was nearly crawling back into his office begging for help.  Recovery took a full-year.  The broken record in my brain told me that the moods would never even out, the anxiety would never ease, and that the terrible sadness would never allow me to feel joy.  The truth was, the sun would shine again.  With a combination of medication, meditation, and behavioural therapy the post-partum depression began to lift for longer periods.  Eventually tasks seemed easier to manage, in fact I began looking forward to what each day would bring.

Are there any other parents who are struggling with post-partum depression or just feeling overwhelmed by their parenting responsibilities?  Of course there are.  My first step to recovery was admitting I needed help, and the second step was accepting the support offered.  I have had a few set-backs but there are joys and challenges to be found in every stage of parenthood.  The next great hurdle for me will be surviving the TERRIBLE TWO’S.  I march forward, armed with coffee, chocolate, and a brighter outlook on our new family life.  Watch out little girl I know how to throw tantrums too.

*Author’s Note:  One of the books that really helped me was When Baby Brings the Blues by Toronto doctor Ariel Dalfen, MD.  It’s available at most book stores.

17 thoughts on “My Journey Through Post-Partum Depression: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow”

  1. Deanna,
    I stumbled you in return, after reading your post about how to do it 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing the love.
    Amy

  2. Thanks to all, you have responded so kindly to my post. I may sound a little out of it, but can you give advice on how to “stumble” ? Teehee, I have so much to learn!
    Amy

  3. Thanks for sharing your story! I suffered PPD with both of my kids and it was such a hard thing to go through. I was lucky to have great support through my local chapter of The Mommies Network. It’s unfortunate that more women don’t know about/understand PPD.

    Thanks for stopping by Mama.Mommy.Mom. today. I’m stopping by to stumble back. I tweeted you too!

    Jamie @ http://www.mamamommymom.com

    1. Thank you for sharing your story in return. I thought I understood PPD, at least I had empathy for friends who experienced it. It can be a different experience for everyone, but talking/writing about it, and making positive social connections have really helped. Thank you for the tweet, it is really appreciated!

      Amy

  4. Kelli, thanks for sharing your story. You’re right, some women do hide their struggles, maybe a little too well. At first I was very ashamed of admitting illness, and felt like a failure. I even doubted whether I could return to work and be an effective teacher. I ended up being too ill to return after my MAT leave was done anyway. My only regret now? That I waited so long to get help. Thanks for the advice, we will stock up on earplugs ASAP : )

    Amy

  5. Kelli aka One Blonde

    As a matter of fact yes. I didn’t know it then, but realize now that I had suffered from post partum as well. Nobody knew, i guess i hid my insanity well. It took me about 3.5 years to feel and resemble normal again. Post partum went into terrible two’s then the diagnosis of autism followed by all the therapy for my baby finally gave way to one day where I didn’t feel gloom. The clouds parted and the sun finally shined through I guess. Its amazing what it does to you, and most suffer in silence because we are to ashamed and scared to say something.
    Good job on speaking up and getting help. I commend you it takes great strength. As for the terrible two’s all i recommend is buy earplugs. lol

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