Written by Sarah Perez “I have to get out of here,” I screamed as my mom and husband got their stuff together before taking me to the hospital. My daughter was just 2 weeks old when postpartum depression and anxiety came like a thief in the night.
My crying was endless. The daydreams of being childless and carefree overwhelmed me. Then the anxiety made it impossible for me to think of anything other than how I could cease to exist.
The first hospital visit I was just told to go home and get some rest. I was given a pamphlet on deep breathing exercises when I went to see a therapist the next day. They didn’t hear me. Something was very wrong.
I was not sleeping, eating, or taking care of my two-week old daughter. I didn't want to be around her. My postpartum depression was so bad and dangerous that I could not stay at home.
I live in Tennessee and was taken to the University of North Carolina Center for Women's Mood Disorders. I stayed in a five bedroom psychiatric unit for perinatal mood disorders and there is where I began my recovery.
I kept telling them I was never going to get better and they kept telling me I would get better. I clung to that. I stayed there for a couple of weeks going through all types of intense therapy. I felt safe and was terrified to leave.
Coming home was a struggle and I found myself day dreaming of living at the UNC hospital. I begged my husband to let me go back there numerous times. I was taken there on March 28, 2018 and I am still trying to overcome postpartum depression and anxiety months later.
Days feel like years sometimes. I love my little girl so incredibly much and my husband has been very supportive and loving but wow--I was not prepared for this. No one told me about this.
I feel like some sort of super woman when I realize that I am still alive and still fighting through this, all the while making sure my girl is the happiest little one on this earth. We named her Matilda when we found out she was a girl at 15 weeks pregnant.
Matilda means “strength in battle.” Who knew that is exactly what she is. I want my story to reach people in some way, but I don’t know how to turn it into good yet. I am not there yet.
But I will be.