Heather King: On Getting & Accepting Help for Postpartum Depression

postpartum depression mother's day rallyDear New Mom,

When you can’t believe that you’ll feel better, let us believe for you.

When you can’t see through the hormonal and chemical induced fog that has taken you over, let us see for you.

When you haven’t slept enough in weeks or months to have any hope that you’ll ever find yourself, let us hope for you.

Come to this space or ask someone to come over. Write down how you feel or read the words of those who know your pain. Tell a trusted friend exactly how you feel. Get help. Accept help. Don’t you dare feel guilty for needing help.

And now please, don’t feel guilty for feeling guilty.

Feelings can’t be wrong. They just are. They are yours and they can be very mixed up, but they are like weather, they really are. Sometimes it seems like the weather will never change, but it always does, in time.

Waiting is hard. So while you wait for healing, know that your child has exactly the perfect mother. You. Imperfect, messed up and scared you. The new mom that is you. The one who has to feel all kinds of things right now because that is how the love explodes. That is just what happens. Sometimes it turns itself inside out and looks nothing like anything good. But it is … it’s just working itself out, growing you, preparing you, allowing you to become.

I’m about to have my third baby, in about six weeks. I struggle through the postpartum period when I do that. I’ve done it twice before. I will need to read this to myself. I will need help. I will need someone to carry some of my pain. I will weep and I will want to always stay in bed. Most likely. That’s just how it goes for me. And then one day my baby will be so big ad I will have grown too. Like we were in a cocoon, a sometimes very uncomfortably small space. We will come out better, despite and because of the tightening pain.

I only know because I’ve witnessed it, over and over in my life and the lives of other mothers. We need each other. That’s all I really know for sure. We need to speak our truths, no matter how ugly they are, allowing the words to steal the power from the pain, and then we need to wait in the hope that springs up through an unconditional listening heart. So please keep talking. Just keep talking.

You are good, sweet Mama. Believe it.

Heather King, soon to be a mom of three, blogs at The Extraordinary Ordinary and is also a Story Editor for Story Bleed. She won a 2010 BlogLuxe Award in the category Blog You’ve Learned From. Follow her on Twitter at @heatheroftheeo.


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

About Katherine Stone

is the creator of this blog, and the founder and executive director 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 15 most influential patient advocates to follow. She is a survivor of postpartum OCD.

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Comments

  1. "The new mom that is you. The one who has to feel all kinds of things right now because that is how the love explodes."
    Gorgeous and true! I love you for writing this and I love YOU, Katherine for hosting this wonderful healing day. I keep popping in to check on the goodness that awaits. I've not yet been disappointed! šŸ™‚

  2. Katherine Stone/Post says:

    Heather, you know how I love ya! I'm so glad to know you and so glad you do everything you do for other women. Thank you for being here friend!
    – K

  3. Such a wonderful message about the power of support, Heather! Nothing but the best to you on the birth of your 3rd!

  4. Just delivered number three. And first time feeling this so thank you.

  5. "Feelings can't be wrong. They just are."
    Thank you for this.

  6. Good luck to you mama as you wait for #3. I'll be sending you some positive thoughts that perhaps your third time around will be an easier row to hoe.

  7. Heather of the EO says:

    Thank you, each of you.

  8. this post is so beautiful, Heather. I know I will be bookmarking it and reading it again and again as I go through the downs of mom-hood.