This is a hard post to write.
But it is this time of year when my memory is especially vivid, and this is my little corner to share experiences, no matter how painful. And the truth is I
want need to share my experiences. If this little blog resonates with one mom struggling with postpartum depression/anxiety, its purpose is fulfilled.
So here is a piece of my heart.
Our fourth baby, Allie, was about 3 months old; Caroline had just turned 7, Lilly Cate was 5, and Renn was a threenager. Yes, we welcomed four children to our family in a little less than seven years. Four difficult c-sections. Four delicate baby blankets. Four pristine “coming home” outfits.
It was Labor Day weekend 2014. I had already “snapped” with postpartum depression/anxiety; that happened August 18. It had been 13 days of clinging to life, surviving minute by minute. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t drink. I couldn’t sleep. My life was a vicious cycle of panic attacks interrupted only by the staggering depths of depression. The night was the most dreaded time of the day. I could drift off to sleep for about an hour, only to be awoken with severe night sweats drenching my pillow, uncontrollable shaking and horrifying nausea. I would silently sneak out of bed and make my way to the bathroom, praying that if I could only make myself vomit the pain would go away.
It never went away. Each day was a desperate recurrence of the day before.
My mom and dad were visiting from North Carolina, helping to fill the void of my ghost as a mother while simultaneously supporting me — sustaining me. It was that Saturday of Labor Day weekend that I was lying in bed with my mom and felt an endless sorrow that permeated my entire being. I knew I needed help. Quickly.
Huddled together, I promised RJ and my mom that I would try my best to help other mothers going through this terrifying experience. I felt so broken and isolated, but knew I would one day share my story of surviving postpartum depression/anxiety.
This weekend, although I am recovering from reconstructive ankle surgery, I feel like my life is coming full-circle. I’m sitting in the same bed, looking at the same toys, talking with my mom…finally sharing my story.