“Being a parent is the hardest thing you will ever do.” This statement is what I heard a lot before my son was born. So after a good labor and delivery, and actually a good first few months I was surprised that I was doing pretty well. Then I had to find a new job closer to home, because after starting back to work I was really only getting about two hours a day with my son and maybe four hours of sleep. We had to find a new house because we were getting kicked out of our rental home.
In hindsight this is probably when it started to get bad. One thing would go wrong in my day and that was it, I would sink into a hole of depression. I could still go through the motions of the day. I had to make it through the day. I had to care for my son. I had to keep my job. I had to get us settled in our new home. They had said that being a parent was the hardest thing do, and it was, so I just kept going. My husband would come home from work, we would get the baby into bed, and then I would disappear. He would find me on the floor in the closet or in the bathroom and spend the next few hours picking me up and putting me back together.
This went on for a few months. It didn’t happen every night, so I thought maybe things will get better. They had said being parent would be the hardest thing you will ever do, so I kept going. One day as I was contemplating leaving the house and just walking, not like a normal walk, but a walk at 11pm out into the night and not ever coming back walk, I realized I needed help. I made an appointment with my midwife. We tested my hormone levels and I began seeing a therapist.
At first, things didn’t get better. In fact they got worse. My husband was working one weekend and I’d had a horrible day, so I put the baby in the car, took him to my husband’s work and walked away. I didn’t get very far. There were other people there, too, so he left the baby with them and came and found me. We decided then that I needed more help. After speaking with my midwife and my therapist again, I went on medication. Within a few weeks of starting the medication I began to feel like myself again. I am still recovering from my battle with PPD but right now I feel like I am winning.
They say that being a parent is the hardest thing you will ever do, and they are right, but it shouldn’t feel like you are drowning in a sea of misery. Now I see the joy and enjoy my son’s laughter. I can deal with things going wrong in my day and not get stuck in the sticky mud of depression.
When I first went to get help I felt weak, but now I know really I was making the best choice I have ever made and being strong for myself and my son. I hope that by sharing my story maybe I will give another mom the courage to come forward and get help.