March 05, 2016

Don't suffer in silence// A story of postpartum depression and hope

photo credit// http://lyndsie.com   instagram// @lyndsiedesignandphoto 

Liam was born May 29, 2014. A day that should have been over filled with joy had a slight air of overwhelming feelings. I was now responsible for this tiny little life. As I brushed aside those feelings of uncertainty, I assured myself this is normal. I just gave birth after thirty six hours of labor and my hormones were everywhere. Surely, every mother has these feelings after birth. Joyful but overwhelmed. 

I remember laying in bed once we were home, closing my eyes only to then hear my my husband sneak in and say, "Liam won't stop crying I think you need to nurse him." As I sat up half awake nursing my baby I didn't feel that connection. I felt spaced out, detached and wondering what in the world I just got myself into. This sweet little soul knew nothing of the world and I was his everything. He nursed constantly. As a first time mom I knew nothing. I thought the disconnect with nursing was normal. I thought the shallow latch was normal. I just thought all the problems we had were normal. 

Nursing was not easy for us. In short, Liam has a tongue tie. I never revised it because by the time I got to that point I just wanted a happy and content baby. I could capture moments in pictures but he cried. All. The. Time. In my eyes I was inadequate and he was never satisfied. I grew such an aversion to nursing in such a short time. I HATED it. It brought me such physical and emotional pain. I felt so ashamed. So alone. So beyond overwhelmed. 

I realized my feelings surrounding my birth carried on for weeks and I didn't have the "baby blues" but that post partum depression was setting in and it wasn't going away. Our surrounding environment and circumstances at the time were less than ideal. We were living far away from our home, family and friends. It was a very lonely time I don't think I will ever forget. 

I joined a group in Washington called Kitsap Hope Circle. It is a support group for pregnant and postpartum moms. http://www.kitsaphopecircle.org It was the best group I ever went to. I felt connected, safe and allowed to speak about things knowing I was free from judgement. I felt like I wasn't alone anymore. 

When my husband and I decided to move back home to California I was sad and relived to be back home. I wasn't ready to leave my support group but I was ready to be home. 

Fast forward and my son Liam will be two in May. I can say moving home was the right choice. Our lives have been more enriched since we moved back. We've had more opportunity and support than we would have if we stayed but I still to this day miss that group of women. They were empowering in helping break the silence of my postpartum depression. I can't say my PPD has completely subsided. I have many days where I feel alone, isolated and wondering how in the world do I raise this toddler to be an awesome human. In my journey I know I have more work to do. Speaking up and reaching out is the best way to bring light to PPD. I'm very honest about my birth, those early newborn days and my chapters in motherhood. It's how I bring light to my PPD. That tiny beautiful human you created loves you and it's okay if it takes time to love them back. I can say wholeheartedly my son has made me love deeper and aspire to be the best possible version of myself. 

I pray love and light in the darkness. I promise you are never alone even in those moments when you feel you are. Don't suffer in silence. 

 

Written by// Chelsea