MY STORY -
I read every what to “Expect during Pregnancy” chapter, my husband and I attended all of our prenatal classes, I read all of the mommy blogs (well as many as I could). I was well prepared to become a mommy…some would even say, I went a bit over board with the newborn checklist. However, if you know me you know I am bit of an overachiever! :-)
Just days after the birth of our son, I thought I had made a mistake. I couldn’t get the hang of things. Although my husband, my parents (especially my mother who practically moved in to care for our son), and mother in law, were the best support system anyone could ask for, I was still struggling. I couldn’t breast feed my son, I was fatigued, I was scared and I felt trapped. I just wanted to GIVE UP! It was the one time in life that I felt it was OK to give up…..
Undoubtedly new motherhood was hard. It was much harder than I ever imagined it being but, I knew something deeper was happening to me. I felt trapped in my own thoughts and body. No matter how fast I would run, I couldn’t out run the odious thoughts, depression, OCD and anxiety.
I thought I was broken…..I recall thinking “no mother feels this way about their newborn”, all of the important women in my life have been awesome moms, I ADORE kids, WHY ME?
I asked myself questions like: Why can’t I just snap out of it? When will my days not feel like nights? Why can’t I bond with my child? What if I leave my home never to return? I am the person who people rely on to “fix” things…WHY can’t I fix ME? How can I be selfish as God has granted me the desires of my heart? How can I feel this way after losing 3 of our babies (one to a rare genetic disease called Trisomy 18)? I had so many questions and I just couldn’t seem to answer any of them. I was broken...I was in a dark place and I knew that it would take more than prayer to restore me mentally and emotionally.
I isolated myself from many of my friends, I lost over 50 lbs in 2mo. (that was one favorable outcome during my journey), I couldn’t step out of my home for over 5 months…I was crippled by fear and anxiety. I was ashamed and petrified to share that I was living with maternal mental illness. I couldn’t live out my life truth.
I thought my journey was some cruel punishment for something that I had done wrong. PPD almost wrecked my marriage. Yep, that’s right…my marriage! Thankfully my husband was with me every step of the way. He understood I needed him for better and for worse!!
I am one of great faith but, even my faith was tested. I couldn’t understand why God would allow me to suffer and struggle. Then I begin to reflect on Robin Robert’s wise words: “Everybody’s Got Something and PPD was my something.
My life lenses are no longer obstructed…I no longer judge other moms…no matter what the situation is.
After months of anguish, prayers, and intense therapy (Dr. Tammy Moore – YOU GAVE ME HOPE AGAIN) I am no longer ashamed to tell the world I SUFFERED FROM MATERNAL MENTAL ILLNESS. I am stronger, I am wiser, I am a WARRIOR MOM…and most importantly, I climbed out of the Darkness!
I own my PPD!!
PPD/Maternal Mental Illness does not discriminate. Let’s talk about it. Please share your story and join me in fundraising!
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