The first time I held my baby girl I felt this wave of emotions flood over me. It was definitely love at first sight. It seemed as though all the worries I had weighing on my back were lifted the minute I saw her. She is my first child so I didn’t really know what to expect. I was nervous, but an excited kind of nervous. How was I supposed to be able to keep this tiny fragile human alive? I read all of the books I could read. I made sure I took care of myself every day so that she was nice and safe on the inside but it was completely different once she finally got here. I instantly felt the bond with her I had only heard about. I had never felt a love that strong. I remember thinking to myself “maybe this won’t be so bad.“. Little did I know that there was a dark, depressing side of this waiting for me when we brought her home.
A few weeks after we brought Reagan home this monster revealed its big, ugly self and that monster’s name was Postpartum Depression. Of course, I had heard of Postpartum Depression before. I had heard of the warning signs and what to do if I thought I was starting to experience them. I remember thinking to myself “That’ll never happen to me.” The truth was, it did happen to me and it can happen to anyone. I would lay in bed and just cry for hours, even days. I didn’t know why I was crying but I couldn’t stop. I felt alone and worthless. Every time Reagan would cry I would hear this small voice, “She wouldn’t be crying if someone else was her mom”. When people would ask how I was doing I wouldn’t dare tell them about this because I didn’t want people thinking I was crazy, so I would just say “I’m fine.” I was so ashamed and embarrassed for feeling this way. I just knew no one would understand how I was feeling; I couldn’t even understand it myself. I mean, how can you be depressed when you have this perfect little baby in your arms, right? Once I finally opened up to my family about what was actually going on I was told “I don’t see how you can be depressed. Look at all of the beautiful things you have in your life.” That didn’t help at all.
I felt like a failure not only as a mother but as a wife. I would see all of these ‘Instagram moms’ and start to compare myself (which is the worst thing you can possibly do). I started to feel like my husband, William and Reagan would be better off without me. I would think about how “happy” I thought they’d be if I was just gone. I would often ask God ”WHERE ARE YOU?! You see me here battling this and obviously, I’m losing. Why aren’t you stepping in?!” I felt like I was drowning and no one was there to bring me up out of the water. I felt like I was screaming for help but no one was listening.
On July 23rd I hit absolute rock-bottom. I was going to commit suicide. I had the gun. It was ready to go. I just knew for sure I was going to do it. I was going to make everyone’s lives “better” and leave. I remember sitting in our bedroom on our bed holding the gun. I decided to call someone. Maybe if I heard someone’s voice telling me everything was going to be okay, then I’d be okay, right? Wrong. So I was stuck there again alone with my thoughts. Finally, I decided to pray. I asked God to take this away. Take this dark monster and throw it back to hell where it belongs. While I was sitting there contemplating whether to just end it all or put the gun away, Reagan woke up and I heard her giggling. At that moment I dropped the gun and grabbed her and just hugged her and cried. Of course, she didn’t know what was going on so she began to cry too. I was sobbing. I felt even worse for even thinking of leaving this sweet girl all alone.
After that day I decided it was time to seek help before it got worse so I began to see a therapist. That’s where I learned that I’m not alone. I learned more about PPD and began to work on myself. Still, to this day, I go to therapy once a week. Now, I still have my bad days where I feel those depressing thoughts coming back but I’m willing to fight. I’m fighting for my life. I’m fighting for my daughter to have a mother. I’m fighting for my husband to not be afraid of coming home and finding his wife dead on the floor.
I want to bring awareness to the people that question this or think that it’s just a woman being ”hormonal.” It’s a cry for help. It’s difficult and different for every person. It hits people in different ways and makes them feel different things. Postpartum Depression is real and it is terrifying but you can and you WILL overcome it.
If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255