I’m watching you as you push your pram down the street & noticing others look at you with a glint in their eye reminiscing about the time when they walked their baby along the same path. I see people taking sneak peaks at your baby & smiling at the newness of life & the innocence of the little face in the bassinet. Then I look at your face & there is a strong sense of familiarity. I’ve seen that face before. I don’t know you nor do I know your story, but I know that face.
I have the strongest urge to stop you in the street, look into your sunken & sad eyes & hug & tell you that things will get easier & you will get through this.
I want to tell that you didn’t ask to feel this way, that you didn’t choose to become unwell, nor did you do anything for this to happen to you. It’s either/or a combination of a chemical imbalance in your postpartum brain, torturous sleep deprivation, dealing with a traumatic birth or having a baby prematurely or with medical issues. It might be because you’re struggling with the transition to motherhood & all the expectations (yours & others) placed on your already overwhelmed & fragile shoulders. Whatever your reason, there is NO shame.
Please promise me that you’ll be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling & be honest with those around you that you trust, as well as with your healthcare provider. You don’t need to feel this way, nor do you deserve it. As tiring as motherhood is (especially with a newborn) pretending you’re ok is utterly exhausting & takes up too much room.
You’re not going to believe me now, given you’re in the eye of the storm, but having a PPMD will be one of the best things that will ever happen to you – as a person & as a mother. Your recovery will be hard, frustrating & challenging & there will be days you feel as though for every step forward is like two steps backwards, but as long you keep moving, you WILL get there.
I want you to know that you’re not alone.
I want you to know that help is out there.
I want you to stop believing everything you think.
I want to tell you that you will get through this.
I want to tell you that this is not forever.
As I sit here & watch you continue to push your pram down the street, I see that you’re putting one foot in front of the other & I know in my heart of hearts that you’ll be ok. I know this because I walked the exact same path. I just hope you see all the directions I continue to leave along the path making your journey easier & less lonely to navigate.
~ Yuz Rozenblum
Yuz is a mum of two (premature) kids aged four & two, a PPMD survivor & an advocate for speaking up about mental illness (PPMD’s) thereby reducing & one day eliminating the stigma. She’s the admin for the #PPDChat FaceBook support group, Den Mother for Mama’s Comfort Camp FaceBook group & started a closed group dedicated to supporting those that have had a PPMD & planning, TTC or having another baby called ‘Baby After a PPMD’. She is also an Admin of the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation (an Australian charity supporting the families of premature & sick babies) & also LTBM Australia (an Australian based online support group for families affected by Laryngomalacia, Tracheomalacia &/or Bronchomalacia) a condition my son was born with. She blogs at http://www.notjustaboutwee.com & you can follow her on Twitter @notjustaboutwee.