WellMama Resource Guide: Pregnancy and Postpartum Recovery Stories
You are not alone.
All women are at risk for depression and anxiety during pregnancy and the first year postpartum. Pregnancy and postpartum mental health disorders are common, treatable medical conditions. One in five women will experience distressing emotional reactions during pregnancy and the first year after childbirth. These emotional conditions also effect fathers and those who have adopted or suffered perinatal loss.
You are a good person and a good parent.
The mere fact that you are trying to stay well means that you are a good mother. You will not always need to manage these difficult feelings. You will get better, and you will feel like yourself again.
This section of the resource guide shares inspirational pregnancy and postpartum depression recovery stories. If you would like to contribute to the WellMama Resource Guide, please email resource guide volunteer Mandy Lindgren.
I held the pregnancy test in a death grip as terror caused my midsection to tighten fiercely and my lungs to gasp for air. Consistent birth control and lack of physical intimacy, since my husband traveled for a living, were supposed to negate all possibilities of pregnancy. Our blended family tree overflowed with eight children and was wrought with complications. Fearlessly, a positive test result appeared and nearly severed the weakened tightrope to which my husband and I clung.
I went through a severe perinatal mood disorder after my daughter was born. I guess it all started when she was being born. Her delivery didn’t go “as expected” – which sounds stupid since one shouldn’t expect anything in particular when giving birth, but somehow I expected my labor to go similar to how my mom birthed my sister and me and how my sister gave birth to my nephew: easy and fast (about five hours).
As my daughter Taylor’s first birthday is coming up tomorrow, I’ve been dwelling a lot over this past year and all I’ve learned from it. How much Taylor’s changed, I’ve changed, and our lives have changed. At the moment in which I’m writing this post, she is happily snoring next to me, probably dreaming about a better way to sneak into the planter again or about how delicious her last dinner was (right?). But of course, things weren’t always this simple…12 months ago I sure as heck wasn’t able to leave the house without a feeling of doom, let alone write a blog post while she slept peacefully next to me.
Competition is a good thing; I understood this concept at six years old when I got sent to sit at the wrong side of the classroom. My teacher told my parents that a little humiliation was good to get ahead in her classroom. Her formula was simple. She would divide the classroom into two parts: the “smart children” in one side and the “not so smart” in the other. To top it off, there was the bulletin board where the “smart” students would have their picture posted for everyone to admire.
Jessica is a Midwestern native and moved to Oregon with her husband Mike. Before coming, she taught school for four years and worked as a CNA for three. She is now a stay at home mom. Jessica has two young boys, George and Gilead, and has also had four miscarriages. Jessica loves to sew, create, and read.
My story with depression is a long one and a difficult one to put to into words. I haven’t only struggled with postpartum depression. I’ve been battling one form of depression or another for my entire life. Because of this, the struggle with postpartum depression has been closely intertwined with a battle to overcome abuse from my past and has morphed into an overall attempt to pull myself once and for all out of the cesspool of damaging thoughts and personal beliefs about myself not only for my sake, but now for the sake of my children. For brevity’s sake, I’ll begin with a pathetic attempt to sum up my entire childhood with as few words as possible.