By Melissa Bangs. The agony of missing my daughter was accompanied by the shame of abandoning her.
It was only when I let go of my self-blame that I learned postpartum depression is a sly beast.
All I can do is keep pushing through and hope that by choosing to finally talk candidly about my struggles, I will help at least one other woman to not feel as alone as I did.
All I feel after a 22 hour labor (six of which I were in the transition phase), is relief that it is over. I don't feel joy or love.
Finding time to take care of myself isn’t easy. Yet I know I have to make the time.
I have considered both how much my husband’s life has been altered by our daughter and what, if anything, I would include on a list to encourage further change in his life.
I’m a family therapist. And here I was—drowning and struggling in life, in marriage, in motherhood, in mental health—and couldn’t find a way to dig myself out.
But I didn’t want to hurt myself or my baby. So, it couldn’t be postpartum depression.
Before I had children, being tired meant staying up late to finish a paper in school, or feeling run down from a mild illness.
Despite all the fatigue and discomfort and the lack of sleep and neglect of one’s personal hygiene, there is this baby that is the most perfect human being.