3 images overlapping at the edges on a colored background with the title of the blog,"I hate being a mom_ and that's okay". 3 images of mothers of various ethnecities with their children in challanging poses, not everyone is happy, frustration is being expressed in all the images from the mothers.

As I sit down to write this, I find myself engulfed in a whirlwind of emotions, memories, and experiences that I never imagined I would face. Postpartum depression (PPD) isn’t just a term I read about in a medical journal or heard about from my clients; it’s a reality I lived through, one that changed me in ways I never anticipated. And as I reflect on my journey, I can’t help but acknowledge the significance of this moment: Mental Health Awareness Month.

The births of my children were supposed to be some of the happiest moment of my life, and in many ways, they were. Holding my babies for the first time filled me with a love I had never known. But amidst the joy, there was a darkness creeping in, one that I couldn’t quite understand or articulate at the time.

Looking back, there were signs—subtle at first, but gradually growing louder. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness and emptiness, even in the presence of my precious newborn. Sleepless nights took a toll on my mental and physical well-being, leaving me drained and irritable. Simple tasks felt insurmountable, and the once vibrant colors of life seemed to fade into a monochrome blur.

Discovering a Wealth of Support for Postpartum Depression

How Doulas Support the Non-Birthing Parent

But it wasn’t until I uttered these words to a close mom friend (who also struggled with PPD), “I don’t care about anything or anyone,” and her urgent push to call my doctor asap that the reality of my situation hit me like a ton of bricks.

It was a confession that shook me to my core, a moment of vulnerability that I couldn’t ignore.

Admitting those feelings out loud made them real, forcing me to confront the shame and blame I had been battling in silence.

With the support of my friend, I took the first step on the path to recovery: reaching out for help. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.

There’s a stigma surrounding mental health, especially when it comes to motherhood.

We’re supposed to have it all together, to embody the image of the perfect mother who effortlessly juggles parenthood, work, and self-care.

But the truth for many, including myself, is far messier, far more complicated than any Instagram-worthy facade.

I sought out resources in my community, desperate for guidance and understanding while I waited for my appointment with my primary care doctor.

Once I knew the terms and started researching, I discovered a wealth of support for individuals struggling with perinatal mood disorders like PPD.

From counseling services to support groups, there were options available to help me navigate this challenging journey.

One of the most significant forms of support came from my own backyard, that very special friend who I originally talked to who also had experienced PPD and deeply understood what I was going through.  

Prioritize Self-care, Ask for Help and Embrace the Messy!

To be completely honest, I didn’t seek support soon enough.I struggled through my daughter’s newborn, baby, and early toddler years not fully present, with a deep despair lingering in my heart.

My struggle with postpartum depression after my son was born wasn’t an isolated incident. It was just one chapter in a larger narrative of mental health battles that I’ve been fighting for years.

Anxiety and depression were familiar companions long before motherhood entered the picture, but it took the birth of my second child to push me to confront them head-on.

After years of resisting medication, fearing it would somehow change who I am, I finally made the decision to give it a try. And let me tell you, it was a game-changer. Medication, combined with ongoing therapy and being emotionally open about these experiences, have transformed my life in ways I never thought possible.

It’s given me the stability and clarity I need to be the best version of myself, not just for my children but for me.

Today, I can proudly say that I’m in a much better place than I was two years ago.

My journey through postpartum depression was undoubtedly one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to endure, but it’s also been a source of immense growth and resilience.

I’ve learned to prioritize self-care, to ask for help when I need it, and to embrace the messy, imperfect reality of being a parent.

If you’re struggling with postpartum depression or know someone who is, please know that you’re not alone. There is help available, support waiting for you with open arms.

Don’t be afraid to reach out, to speak your truth, and to take the first step on the path to healing. You deserve to find joy and peace in parenthood, and with the right support, you will.

Postpartum Essentials - a line art drawing of a mother and father cradling each other and a newborn on the father's shoulder with a beige background with green water color circle and gold glitter accents

Resources:

  1. Perinatal Support Washington – 
  2. Postpartum Support International
  3. King County Mental Health Services
  4. Snohomish County Human Services
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