(Photo By Julie Christine Photography)
Dear PPD… I wish I didn’t know what it’s like to struggle against you!
You showed your ugly self twice in my life. There was no escape. I was warned that each time I had a child it was going to get worse.destroyed my experience as a first time mom. You shattered my hopes for how things would be the next time round. This was not how I envisioned my life as a Mom. This was not how it was supposed to be.
PPD caused things to be very challenging not just for myself, but for my husband and our little family. Things became exceptionally difficult at 3 months postpartum both times. I became a different person. I didn’t like who I was. The anger that came out of me. The fear and anxiety that followed. The desire to stay in bed and not face the mountain of laundry that had been growing in the hallway. Laundry was always the first thing to go by the wayside when my postpartum depression started to take over.
That 3 month mark after the arrival of both of my precious babies… I don’t know what it was, but each time it was like I hit full force into a brick wall. I didn’t see it coming. In some ways I thought I was going to be fine, but there it was… PPD. Bursting into tears or flying into a blinding rage over the smallest things.
I fell into a million pieces. All I wanted was to be put back together again. I wanted to be back to me. Back to the wife I was. Back to being the mom I was meant to be for my children. I needed help to get through my battle with postpartum depression. It consumed all of me. I couldn’t get through it alone.
While I did my best to fight my postpartum depression on my own, the second time of being in the midst of the battle was so much more intense that I knew I needed to get further help. I called my doctor during my breaking point and was thankfully seen an hour later. I needed to start the open and honest dialogue about what was going on. My cry for help needed to be heard.
I was not the wife my husband married. I was not the Mom I wanted to be to my children. Little things infuriated me. Little things opened the flood gates of tears. I was overwhelmed with sorrow. My oldest daughter noticed that something was not right with her Mommy and was constantly asking “Mommy, are you happy?” No child should be asking their parent this. She has always been able to read me like a book. How do you explain to your child what is going on and how you are feeling? My toddler wanted her Mommy back.
I knew I needed to to get further help from my doctor. I was able to discuss what options there were to aid me in my fight with postpartum depression. It was time to get me back! After a lengthy conversation about everything that was going on in my life and how I was feeling and reacting, it was confirmed (thought I already knew it) that I was dealing with severe PPD. This time, I made the decision to try medication.
That was the best decision I made for myself and for my family. It made a huge difference within a week! I started to feel like myself again after a couple weeks. PPD attempted to steal me away from my children and my husband. It made me not want to be present and almost miss out on so much. It took months of being on medication and the support of those around me for me to end my battle with PPD.
The laundry did eventually start to get done again, though some days it does still turn into a mountain but that’s now the joy of having two kids!
Tamara is part of our new Mama Diary Series, #RAWmotherhood, that aims to provide purposeful portraits to break the “Instagram worthy” pictures of motherhood and be real for a moment. Thank you Tamara for supporting this campaign to unite and support mothers in their journey, postpartum. This initiative is to bring awareness and funds to BC Women’s Hospital Foundation as they continue the research and development of an app to treat PPD and PPA. Click here to find out how you can help.