"With the Web you have so much access to information," Ron said, "everything just laid out for you, we felt like we had all the information we needed, so what could go wrong other than things that happen with the birth?"
Ron and Wendy were having their first baby and, like any new parents, they read all the books to prepare. Their daughter was born healthy and the labor was smooth. So when it came time to check out of the hospital and they were handed a brochure on postpartum depression, they did what any happy couple would, “We put it in our folder, and filed it at the bottom of all the rest of the papers.”
Wendy was screened for postpartum depression, but she didn’t have a history of anything mentioned, so they waved it off and considered it just another precaution. However, on their second night home from the hospital, Ron knew something was wrong when his wife started weeping, worried that she wasn’t ready for motherhood.
“I knew it was serious, but I thought it would work itself out,” Ron said, “I mean, I thought I’d be the one overwhelmed, I was the one overwhelmed when we first got our dog.”
Their family was lucky enough that Ron could afford to take a couple weeks off after their daughter’s birth, but once that passed, he was back at work, leaving the bulk of the childcare to his wife.
Wendy spent the majority of her time caring for their new baby with her only spare time filled with a growing anxiety that seemed to get worse every day. Ron felt bad going back to work, but did all he could to be there for his wife, spending time on the phone with her every workday to let her vent her feelings.
"Modern life is very isolated, we’re confined to our apartments, far from our families," Ron said. "The modern solution is that you have therapists, websites, literature, nannies to get breaks, and if you don’t have money there are other avenues like the State of New Jersey offers."
Wendy began to attend women’s groups and see a psychiatrist who helped her process what she was feeling by understanding what was happening to her and knowing that others faced similar hardships.
"It would've been nicer to have a smoother ride, but this is our story and it wasn't terrible, this is what it is. You just need to be able to find support, there's always a lifeline out there."
Wendy's Video (Ron's wife) | Video Transcript | Wendy's Story