I was laying in my hospital bed watching as my family gathered around my new precious pink bundle when it suddenly hit me square in the face, that feeling of nothing. The feeling of being indifferent towards the world, indifferent towards my family, and for a split second the feeling of being indifferent towards my precious baby. That feeling was not something I was expecting and I just crumbled on the inside. How could I be a good mother if I had a second of feeling nothing? I didn’t research postpartum depression during my gathering of information before the baby came, I knew I wouldn’t have bad thoughts or feelings; I knew I would be happy 110% of the time. I didn’t let my family or medical staff know because I figured it was only a one time thing and besides I was exhausted. The first night home I just crumbled under the pressure of my mental battle I was so desperately trying to win but thankfully I had family to help me with a good night’s rest.
Just to clarify there was no doubt in my mind that I loved my family, it was just hard to push myself to keep up with the daily tasks.
The days came and gone with family beginning to trickling back to their own homes. As each person left I could feel my anxiety increasing with thoughts of failure circling around. My grandmother was the last to leave and I was pretty sure I saw my last bit of hope clinging on to the back of her car for its life as she drove away. I was alone.
Or so I thought.
By this point I was sleep deprived, overwhelmed, and depressed about my body which was taking a toll on my marriage. I deprived mine and Vander’s relationship of the one thing it needed to thrive: communication. I unintentionally let my husband think he was doing something wrong instead of opening up about my feelings.
The thing is, not only did I not involve my husband but I also didn’t involve God. A relationship lacking those two components is not a relationship at all because after all a marriage is a union of three, not one. It was a day after valentine’s day (Yvette was almost 2 months old) when I truly faced this beast in the eye and asked both God and my husband to forgive and help me. February 15th was the turning point, I refused to let this depression have power over me. When a negative thought started to creep up on me I would pray about it, let Vander know, and together we would find something else to entertain my mind. Sometimes I would study the next chapter in the bible and other times all it took was reassurance from my husband that I was a good mom.
I am not perfect though, I mess up often but now I have the support team that will help pick me up when I fall. So, this goes out to the women who think you need to live a perfect life to be a good mom. It is not the sins that defines us but rather the way we bounce back and use God’s help to become better than we once were.
If you’re struggling with postpartum depression please talk to someone whether it’s a family member, mentor, or counselor. Sometimes all that is needed is for someone else to tell you what your mind can’t yet process.
To all the mothers who feel like you are alone, you’re not.
For all the mothers who feel like you aren’t good enough for your children, God knew you would be an amazing mom and specifically picked YOU to be the mother of your children.
To all of those moms who are afraid, God has been and always will be there for you, all you need to do is reach out to Him.
For all the mothers who are self-conscious about your body, those stretch marks and extra fluff you’re trying to hide is proof to yourself of just how much your body went through to create your little miracle.
Soon those stretch marks will fade and your babies will grow up, leaving you with the sweet memories of their childhood to cherish.