Apparently more babies are born on October 5th than any other day of the year. Mine weren’t, though I can tell you that cold weather is good “baby-makin’ weather” as mine were born from November 17 to December 13. Just sayin’.
That aside, I’m here to talk about Strong Start Day. Postpartum Progress is hosting the day to talk about the grim numbers facing mothers (and thus fathers and children) when it comes to postpartum depression.
Currently, only 15% of women with postpartum depression ever get the help they need. That’s not enough. We want more women to be aware of the variety of risk factors and symptoms of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, to know where to go for help and to be able to find the support they need. When they have this information and support, they’ll be able to recover fully and their families will get off to a much-deserved stronger start.
Anyone remember this girl?
Or maybe this one?
I don’t. Because the first three months of either boys’ lives? Are a blur — and not just the sleep-deprived kind. I may be smiling in the first picture, but it doesn’t reach my eyes. Note that I didn’t even bother trying in the photo with LittleBrother; I had no will left to smile. I won’t even get into the lack of gleam in my eye after Munchkin was born. Know this: there was no gleam. There was nothing.
After each boy was born, it was a dark time. It was a difficult time. My only wish was to be a good mom, and I felt that I had already failed and could never be a good mom to my sons.
Her symptoms can range from the inability to eat or sleep, to disturbing thoughts about harming her child, to numbness or feelings of unbridled rage, among others. She is unable to function on a daily basis. She is convinced without question that she has failed as a mother.
I made it out — without driving into trees — with the help of therapy, medication, yoga, the support of my husband, blogs (like Postpartum Progress), my faith and a desire to do the best by my children. And food. Ahem. That’s why the work that Postpartum Progress is doing is so important to me. I know how important that work is, where I might be without it.
I donated today. And now I’m blogging to remind you that if you’re going through postpartum depression, you’re not alone. I promise you. You are a good mom. You will be a good mom. There is nothing inherently wrong with you.
I encourage you to share your story — whether you’ve already come out the other side or you’re still muddling your way through the muck of postpartum depression. Show others that they’re not alone. Help give their families a Strong Start. And pass on the post at Postpartum Progress so that others can get involved.
By the way?
I’m okay now. We’re okay. You’ll be okay.