Written by Gabbie Ortiz
Depression. My dark passenger. We weren’t strangers. We were companions. At the age of 21, I had accepted that my depression was a part of me. I learned to manage but no one told me about the mother of all depression (no pun intended)-postpartum depression.
I didn’t know I had postpartum depression. I thought I was just being a baby. I kept telling myself that I made the decision to have this baby so I should be able to deal with all the responsibilities that came with that. I remember my boyfriend coming home from work and I would cry hysterically. He was so scared. I was so scared. I didn’t know what was happening and it wasn’t until I started looking into postpartum myself that I self-diagnosed.
Of course our healthcare system seems to fail whenever it comes to anything having to do with mental health. I reached out to my OB only to get shut down. He said there was a fine line between PPD and the baby blues. He said if I felt like I was in a manic episode and I wanted to harm myself or my baby I should call 911. Instead of recommending me to a therapist to avoid getting to this point, he just hushed me away.
My baby is 11 weeks and I’ve been in therapy for about six. I don’t have a happily ever after. I can’t sit here and say that I saw light at the end of the tunnel and it’s all gotten better. I can tell you that it’s hard. It’s so hard and there are days when I still cry my eyes out.
I never thought motherhood would be this way. I never even knew about postpartum depression until it swallowed me whole. But I’m fighting. I’m fighting back every day. I appreciate the moments when I feel love for my child. I appreciate the moments when I am kind to myself. I appreciate the fact that we’ve made it to the two month mark. The process is ugly but with the help of a therapist and the will to want to get better things will change. Not instantly, but you’ll see the progress.
It’s okay to feel like you don’t love your child. It’s okay to be afraid, overwhelmed or to regret the decision of being a mother. No one talks about how truly life-changing becoming a mother is. You can be an awesome mom and deal with postpartum depression. You can be an awesome mom and hate motherhood. I can’t say that I know what it’s like to overcome postpartum depression, but I know what it’s like to live with it and still enjoy happy moments with my child.