Wendy had known about postpartum depression, but figured she was the last person it would happen to. “To be honest, I kind of skipped over those chapters in the baby books,” she said. “This is supposed to be one of the happiest times in my life, you don’t want to have to read about something that might not happen to you.”
She thought certain elements had to line up for it to happen, she didn't have a history of depression, no troubles in her marriage and the pregnancy was planned, so she didn't pay much attention to the topic.
The delivery went off with few complications, and within two days they brought their daughter home. Her husband, Ron, took time off from work and Wendy’s mother came to stay with them to help out. Initially, everything seemed to be going smoothly but that changed quickly.
“It was the second night we were home, I was holding my daughter and we were watching a movie and this feeling came of being overwhelmed," she said. "These feelings came in of, I can’t be a mom, I can’t do this, I didn’t sign up for this, and now she’s ours.”
They had been told to expect mood changes as the body flushed out pregnancy hormones, but nothing they had been told about or read about prepared them for this.
Wendy described the worry, the sleeplessness, the constant crawling of anxiety inside of her, the feeling of problems just piling up without any ability to fix them.
The way I saw it, everything was fine and I was just a defective mother. I felt like such a burden, on my husband, on my baby. I wanted to run, but I knew that wasn’t going to solve anything. It just seemed like it was never going to end, I couldn’t foresee finding happiness in anything again. “
During one of her low points, Wendy was approached by another mother in a coffee shop and told about a new mothers' group. Wendy decided to go, to see if other women were experiencing similar feelings. There she found a community of women willing to share their feelings and experiences. Even though no one else was experiencing the same thing, Wendy felt like it was a safe place to talk.
Through the meetings she was also put in contact with a psychiatrist.
Talking about her fears and the natural course of time helped to alleviate the anxiety and depression she was facing. Soon, she began to have more consecutive good days, but her emotions still fluctuated from time to time. After her daughter was a year old, she was finally able to say that she was recovered.
“Once you reach out, it takes on its own source of support where more people can get involved, people checking up on you. You need someone taking care of you so that you in turn can take better care of your baby.”
Wendy's Video | Video Transcript | Ron's Story (Wendy's husband)