PP contributing writer Robin Farr, who blogs at Farewell Stranger, wants you to know that your postpartum depression is telling you lies and stealing from you. Big time.
You know the saying, “Depression lies”? Those who have been there, especially those who have come out the other side, even a little bit, know exactly what that means.
It means depression tells you things that aren’t true – things about yourself, your life, your family, your abilities, your likelihood of ever finding the light again. It lies, convincingly and indiscriminately.
But depression doesn’t just lie. It steals too. This is especially true of depression of the postpartum variety.
If you feel as though your experience with postpartum depression or anxiety has taken things away from you, you’re not alone.
Memories of your baby.
Your relationship with your partner.
Your ability to be the mom you want to be.
Your ability to simply live each day without each minute, each hour feeling like an agonizing struggle.
I’ve lost some of those things, but for a long time I felt as though my experience with postpartum depression had stolen one thing in particular from me: the family I had always envisioned.
My husband and I have always intended to have more than one child. He always said two; I – coming from a family with four children – joked that three might be better. (Based solely on my experiences being pregnant I can tell you that two is quite enough, thank you.)
Before our son was born we always figured we’d have our kids a couple of years apart (or so). But around the time we would have had to start trying for a second I was really struggling. When my son was 18 months, I was really struggling. When he was 3, I was really struggling.
It took me a long time to get past that struggle, and throughout that time one of the things constantly on my mind was how much I wanted another child and how very far away, if not impossible, that seemed.
My husband used to try to reassure me that if we only had one that would be okay.
But it wasn’t.
I never saw myself as a mom of an only child. It’s just never how I pictured my family. For reasons I can’t explain, I wanted more. And I raged against postpartum depression for taking my vision of my family from me.
As of this writing, I am two weeks away from my due date with my second child – the child I thought might never be.
My son turned four three months ago, which is a bigger gap between my kids than I had originally desired. But it’s okay. And in some ways it’s really good. He’s more independent and I’ve had time to really get past my earlier experience and start to feel really and truly better. I’m re-entering the new mom phase with a bit more faith that things will be okay.
So while postpartum depression stole something important from me, I can now say that I’m happy about what I’ve been able to steal back.
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