Kimberly: On Perpetual Waiting & Postpartum Depression

postpartum depression mother's day rallyDear New Mom,

A quick passing breeze rustled through the flower beds. The late summer bloom’s scent carried in through the patio screen was so gentle and calming.

I couldn’t remember the last time I had been out there.

Briefly, I dreamt about what it would be like to place the screaming bundle on the floor and run out there. I’d run through the grass in my bare feet and climb my neighbour’s fence. I didn’t know where I was going to go but the simple thought of leaving Motherhood far behind gave me such a release.

Then I’d guiltily look down and see him.

His face reddened and strained through screams.

It didn’t matter what I did to try and comfort him.

The colic was ferocious.

The postpartum depression was ferocious.

The time my day started was the time I began to wait for my husband to come home from work. Just like every night before it, I would sit in the same chair at the dinner table with Chunky swaddled in a light receiving blanket. Its position let me check the clock, the driveway, and the door.

I waited.

Watched.

Waited.

Waited.

Soothed.

Waited.

Clenched my teeth.

Waited.

The moment I saw Shawn, the tears would flow. He’d ask me what was wrong and I’d always say the same exact thing.

“I’m not a good mom.”

My husband would praise my efforts and my psychiatrist would assure me that I “was doing everything that any normal mother would be doing” but no matter how many times I heard it during those first few “critical” months of my recovery, I never believed it.

I was just not a good mom.

Postpartum depression can make you think and believe some horrid things about yourself.. You feel guilty for having thoughts of running away. You feel guilty that you wished that you never got pregnant at all. You feel guilty for not being able to handle the stresses of Motherhood.

You just feel guilty.

I want you to know that if you have postpartum depression, you are not a bad mom. Write that down.

“I’m not a bad mom”

Then I want you to feel your child’s tight hugs that emanate from his or her full heart. And if she can’t hug you yet, feel how comfortable she snuggles into your arms. Feel her safety and trust in you.

And I want you to stop and hear his soul speak when he says “I love you” or “coo”.

For it’s there in the way they love you that you’ll see that you’re doing everything right.

You’re a Good Mom.

Know that this does get better. You will be better. I promise you that.

Love and hugs to you,

Kimberly

PS. Even moms without PPD have bad days and they even question if they’re doing things right. If they don’t fess up to it, remember this: They’re full of shit.

Kimberly is a regular contributor to Postpartum Progress and blogs at All Work & No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something. Follow her on Twitter at @momgosomething.


Donations to Postpartum Progress can be made here: http://postpartumprogress.org/donate-postpartum-depression-2/

About Katherine Stone

is the founder of Postpartum Progress. She has been named a WebMD Health Hero, one of the fiercest women in America by More magazine, and one of the top 20 Social Media Moms by Working Mother magazine. She is a survivor of postpartum OCD.

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Comments

  1. Hahaha. I really was starting to tear up until I got hit by your curveball!! Thanks for your encouraging words.
    Joey Fortman http://www.RealMomMedia.com

  2. I remember my wife waiting for me. I remember waiting for the day when the dark veil would lift from her. I remember not being able to go out of sight unannounced as the grip of depression grew tighter. But eventually, despite setbacks, my wife started to shine through the haze. Yes, it does get better, eventually.

  3. this is EXACTLY what it's like. Waiting. Waiting and willing yourself through the day so you don't just leave.
    sigh…
    but it DOES get better. You're so right, friend.
    And so strong.
    Happy Mother's Day to you!

  4. Yes, the waiting! "The waaaaaiiittting is the hardest part!"
    (Did you like that song I just dropped here? Be glad you can't actually hear it.)
    Waiting is so hard. But you're right. The snuggles and their relaxation is their way of saying "Hey, lady, you don't suck at this."
    Love those babies and their ways.
    (And the PS? Spot on. Full of shit.)

  5. Katherine Stone/Post says:

    The waiting is so frustrating. It's such a slooooooow process, like you are in purgatory. Thank you so much for sharing this, and for being here today!
    – K

  6. Fascinating (in a scientific sense) how the body's neurochemical "state" of PPD can sweep your dominant thoughts to "…. make you think and believe some horrid things about yourself.." and to trick you into believing those thoughts are really YOU.
    But of course those thoughts are NOT you…even though they "hurt" and feel so real !
    It is so important that we keep awareness of this important issue in the forefront…and work on ways to control and manage PPD.
    Thanks for you inputs !

  7. amen! i wish more of us were honest about our doubts!

  8. You made me laugh at the end. Thanks! Motherhood is not all magical and happy and amazing all the time! It just sucks more often with PPD 🙂

  9. You're going to make it, Kim. I know you will.

  10. P.P.S. You rock!