I chose to participate in We’re In This Together because I have personally been affected by postpartum depression. This is my story.
I had my son a month premature. He was a healthy boy, thankfully, and was an amazing baby. My fiancé was extremely supportive and my mom was able to stay with us for a few weeks early on.
I never experienced baby blues or symptoms of PPD in the early months of my postpartum journey. My postpartum depression began to show itself about 5-6 months postpartum, but I played it off as lack of sleep and my hormones being out of balance. I never truly figured it out until about a month and a half ago, when I did some reading and realized that the symptoms I had been experiencing, mainly anger, was a common, but not often talked about symptom of PPD.
I was embarrassed, ashamed and guilty that I would get so angry over such tiny things. I didn’t want to tell anyone, including my fiancé how I was feeling, for fear that he and everyone else would think of me as a bad mom. I finally opened up to my fiancé after I reached my breaking point. It was 3 am and my son wouldn’t sleep. I had been with him all day and he had been fussy. I was exhausted and needed time alone but I wasn’t getting it. I began to feel anger towards my son and fiancé, and then that’s when it clicked: something is wrong, something isn’t right, something needs to change.
I began to read other mothers stories about anger and PPD and realized it was more common than I thought. I realized I wasn’t alone. I shared this with my fiancé and a few close friends and decided to get help. That’s when I decided to participate in this project.
PPD is one of those things that often gets downplayed or isn’t discussed enough. I am so happy to see more awareness around maternal mental health, especially this year. There have been a number of tragedies involving mothers losing their lives and mothers not seeking help because of the stigma of PPD/A. I know this because I personally have felt scared to seek help for fear of judgement.
I want other moms who might be struggling to know that they aren’t alone, and that it’s important they seek help. PPD/A shouldn’t be dealt with alone, after all raising children truly takes a village. We need to support mothers and maternal mental health, we really are all in this together.
I want other moms to know they are loved, they are doing a good job, and that having PPD/A does not define them as a mother.
This is my story, and this is why I chose to participate in this project.
To all moms everywhere: you are loved & you are enough.
We’re In This Together is a photography series, coordinated in partnership with the Pacific Post Partum Support Society and the Good Mother Project, that offers messages of encouragement, hope, support and love to new parents.
For more information on how you can share your message, please visit: http://goodmotherproject.com/were-in-this-together