Pregnant Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Survivors: This Valentine’s For You

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post partum depressionThis is for everyone out there who is a survivor of postpartum depression or anxiety, or antenatal depression or anxiety, is having another baby and is perhaps a little worried about what is to come. (This is also for everyone still thinking about having another one)

 

To the survivor mamas who are currently pregnant:

I want you to do something for me. Go grab your child. You know, the other one, not the one in your belly.

The one you already delivered. The one you diapered, fed and clothed.

The one you bathe. The one you care for when he is sick. The one whose Cheerios you’ve picked up off of the floor. The one you sing or read to.

The one who can walk now, or talk, or say her ABCs, or sleep in a big-girl bed, or count to three. The one who can use a spoon or cup, who can stack two blocks, or dance, or clap. The one who giggles. The one who makes this whole world better.

You did that.

Yes, other people helped, but you did that. Despite having had antenatal depression or anxiety, or postpartum depression or anxiety, you did that.

Now look into your child’s gorgeous face. Think of how she smiles at you sometimes. How he laughs at you. How she kisses you, perhaps with slobbery kisses. Think of a scribbled drawing that’s been made for you or a word you’ve been trying to teach that comes out funny but comes out nonetheless.

Think of HOW MUCH this child loves you and needs you and wants you. And HOW MUCH you love this child. Despite all that happened.

This will be you, again. Even if you are afraid that postpartum depression or anxiety or OCD will come back. Even if it does come back. This time you will know what can happen. This time you will know what to do. This time you have us, all the other people who have been there too, to support you. This time, if it does hurt all over again, you know you will make it. And this time, as last time, you will still be loved.

No matter how you get there, the beautiful story you have with the child that’s already here will be repeated again, because you are a good and loving mom.

Love,

Me

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About Katherine Stone

is the founder & editor of Postpartum Progress. She was named one of the ten most influential mom bloggers of 2011, a WebMD Health Hero and one of the top 25 parent bloggers using social media for social good. She also writes the Fierce Blog, and a parenting column for Disney's Babble.com.

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Comments

  1. Not to mention all that unconditional love that comes from my first sticky offspring. She doesn't care that I'm broken. She just cares that I'm around.
    Which I will be, for a long time.
    xoxo

  2. Thank you! This is an issue I've been thinking about a lot in the past couple days as my due date approaches. I'm feeling much more prepared for a manic episode should one happen. I know that if it happens again, I'll get through it. Good wishes for all those other second-time moms out there!

  3. ::crying:: Thank you. Bookmarking for reminder when I need it again. :)

  4. Thank you, friend. This was beautiful.
    And to all those mamas out there hurting, I get it. This is baby #3 for me and what Katherine has said here is entirely true. The first months were not easy with either of my boys, but they're here and they know I love them and I'm here and I know they love me. This is grace.
    Peace to you all.

  5. Amber @Beyond Postpa says:

    I can't say THANK YOU loudly enough.
    With much gratitude and love, A

  6. This is so beautiful. putting this one aside for when Baby #2 is on his/her way around here and I need the reminder.

  7. Katherine….thanks for all your love! Happy Valentine's Day to all the mom's who walk this postpartum road together….thanks to Katherine. All of you make a huge difference in my life and my family. My heart is full on this special day!

  8. Glad I'm not the only one crying.
    thanks for posting!
    My courage is continuously increasing thinking about baby #2!

  9. Thanks – My new baby is 2 weeks old now, and tonight (valentines day!) my husband was scared that PND is coming back. Makes me feel awful. Thank you for making me feel better looking at my 7 year old and 5 year old (The gap is big this time because of the fear you're talking about.) Sending you a valentines right back! Thank you for being there.x

  10. Me too *sniff*

  11. I needed this. Thank you.

  12. Thank you for the reassurance. your words are beautiful and true.

  13. Thank you!!!!!! Definitely going to read this a few hundred times in my life.

  14. I just wrote about this fear today, I needed this. Thank you! I'm going to bookmark it and read it next week…when the little one is here :-)

  15. Wow, you must have been reading my mind. I am so scared to even get pregnant with #2 because of how bad it was with my first child. Somehow I have forgotten how bad labor was but I have not forgotten one moment of how bad PPD was. I am having to hold onto my faith to become brave enough to even think of getting pregnant again.

  16. Thank you so much for this, it is exactly what I needed to read today. I have shared it with many friends and printed a copy for future reference when I am feeling vulnerable.

  17. I absolutely LOVE this. Baby #2 will be here in 8 weeks or less, and this is just perfect to read right now. It's words like this that just validate even further that things will be okay.

  18. Somehow I did forget how bad PPA was with the first one and now I am expecting #2. I am terrified. So much so that I don't even think I have to wait for POSTpartum anxiety this time, it's antepartum. Except I'm only six weeks pregnant and wondering if I can do this at all. I will go hug my sweet little girl and try to remember that I did it once and she is beyond words wonderful…