Vanessa, Postpartum Support International co-coordinator for the state of Nevada, sent me this lovely letter she wrote on her daughter's 3rd birthday:
My little girl turns three today. While I was getting ready this morning, tears filled my eyes. They were tears of joy. The celebration of her birthday is much, much more to me. With her birth came the gifts of knowledge, love, understanding, bliss and so many more things.
You see, she is not my first child. She's my second.
Almost six years ago I had my first child. With his birth, I experienced panic, fear, anxiety, sorrow, depression and an almost attempt at suicide. I had postpartum depression. But I made it through. I survived. I never wanted to go through an experience like it again. No more children. He would be an only child.
Then when he was two, I found out I was pregnant. I cried and cried and cried. My husband was in shock. Neither one of us wanted to go through it all again. I had suffered, he had suffered, our marriage had suffered. We were finally in a good place.
However, this time I was prepared. I knew what to expect. I also began antidepressants before the delivery. It was the right decision; no one needed to relive that horrible nightmare.
And no one did. Having our second child was a dream. It was perfect in every way. I loved every moment of her newborn life. Instead of dreading nighttime feedings, I cherished them. I held her, loved her, sang to her — it was magical.
This is why I silently give thanks and celebrate in my own way each year for her birthday. I can have more children and be happy. It is possible.
Thank you for coming to our home little girl. Your birth brought me more joy than most will ever know or experience.
April 29, 2010
I know exactly what she means. Exactly.