Postpartum Depression: My Story | Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Postpartum Depression: My Story

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Today's post will not be about the usual homemaking topics but it is a topic that I feel so strongly about. I'd like to share my story about living through postpartum depression.  I'm laying it all out so that maybe someone will recognize themselves or someone they know and she doesn't have to suffer as long as I did.  To find out more you can visit

As all new-to-be moms I had things planned out in my mind. I would breastfeed, nap when the baby napped, eat well and drop the baby weight quickly, and cook wonderful meals.  I went in on Halloween to deliver my sweet baby, Molly, and that's when all of my plans crashed down around me.

Molly was beautiful. Perfect. Scary. Breastfeeding HURT. Molly was such a light eater that she could go hours without food and the nurses would hound me to supplement, "The baby must eat every 2 hours!"  By the end of the first day the message was clear. I was failing at this already. 

Fast forward 4 days and we bring her home. I delivered her via c-section and I was stuck in bed recuperating while trying to be her super mom.  The healing process was painful and worrisome for me and I didn't feel physically ready to do what was expected.  She still didn't eat according to the books and I was constantly pumping.  I pumped morning, noon, and night. I pumped at 3 am every night since Molly never wanted to eat. Now I realize she was fine, she was always gaining and she was happy. She still doesn't eat. But according to the book she should be eating up a storm. And yes, it still hurt. Like alligator attached to my nipple hurt. 

Then the crying started. Hers, not mine (yet).  She cried for 3 hours every evening at 6 PM and Jim's facade started to crack. He was losing it too.  He told me she was hungry, that breastfeeding wasn't working. My mom told me the same. Everyone told me to switch to bottles. I had no one on my side. Of course, they were on Molly's side and while they thought they were being supportive (take the pressure off of me) it was exactly what I didn't need. I wanted cheerleaders, "You can do this! Don't give up!"

I started to resent her. I didn't see her as a bundle of joy but rather a pack of trouble. This person has made me fat, tired, angry, and miserable. I couldn't nap so when the baby slept I ate. Everything in sight, actually.  I didn't recognize myself in the mirror.

Where was the rush of love?  Where was my glow?  I remember going to a baby shower 3 weeks out and had to leave early to nurse her.  My friend smiled and said "Miss her already?" and I nodded slowly.  But I had a horrible secret. I didn't miss her. I wanted to get in my car and drive the opposite way of home.  

Jim struggled with his own feelings as a new father and now with his wife who seemed to become angrier and angrier every day. He didn't know what to say or do and frankly, it wouldn't have mattered because it was all wrong anyway.   I started to spiral down even more. Jim started to be my enemy along with Molly.  They were a team and they were against me!  The worst night I can remember is being up in the middle of the night and having a fight with Jim. I screamed "90% of my unhappiness comes from YOU!"  He looked like I had smacked him. I meant it though and I was so sad about it all that he could have taken Molly and left and I would have felt relief rather than sadness.  I remember holding the baby on the couch and having daydreams of getting in the car and disappearing.  I truly believed that she and Jim would be better off without me.  Jim could meet a normal woman who wasn't going to hurl hateful words at him and Molly could have a stepmother who didn't resent her existence.  I would be doing everyone a favor!  I told Jim, "I wish I could evaporate into the air." 

Harsh, isn't it?  It was. I lived a lie every day. I cried in the shower, ate my weight in mac-n-cheese, and tried to get Molly to sleep as much as possible. I pumped and decided I must love my baby if I worked this hard, right?  But I didn't feel love for her. I felt obligation, responsibility, even protective. But not love.

You know how they give you a postpartum depression screening when you go back to your OB?  I answered every question honestly and know what happened? Nothing. I told them that I was scared and suffering and I was told to take the baby for walks. 

A lactation consultant noticed and called my OB office. They then called me and I was given a hot line number. I called and no one answered. I called a bunch of psychiatrists in my network and told every receptionist why I was calling and not one could fit me in before 2 months. Oh good. That gives me plenty of time to hurt myself, my baby, and destroy my marriage completely. Awesome.

We are told to ask for help. I was screaming for it. I knew my feelings weren't normal and that they were out of whack. I was willing to do whatever to make it right whether that was therapy, meds, whatever.  It shouldn't be this hard for people who suffer from  mental illness to access help. Eventually I found a psychiatrist who could fit me in right away and I practically ran to his office. He was the weirdest, most bizarre doctor I have ever met but he was willing to write me a bunch of scripts and I was grateful.  Molly was 6-7  months old. I stopped nursing and started to bottle feed my stash to her and took those pills every day. 

After a few weeks it felt like the black cancer that was contaminating my brain was shrinking and I could see clearer. I started to enjoy my time with Molly but in a way it was bittersweet. I had missed so much. I would snuggle her now and my heart would swell. I did love her!  I loved her beyond anything or anyone before.  How could I not love her?  She was the smartest, prettiest, happiest baby in the world and I felt privileged to be her mom!  

Things with Jim took a bit longer. We had hurt each other so much during this time. We came back from it all with a lot of talking and a lot of forgiveness.  I will never be able to understand his acceptance and love for me. He just does and I am so, so grateful.

Why did I decide to share this story with you?  Because I worry that there are other women out there suffering like I did. And maybe she needs to know she isn't alone and that she needs to just keep calling out to people.  If one Dr. doesn't have an appointment she should call another and another and don't stop until someone says they can help. And if she is beyond helping herself than I beg her friend, mother, sister, neighbor, anyone do it for her.  Don't worry about upsetting her. That will pass. Be nosy, ask questions, make calls for her, drive her to the appointments and hold her hand (or the baby) in the waiting room.

Look at this love bug!  Perfection!

Love to all,


  1. Thanks for sharing! I'm sorry you had such a hard time, but glad you eventually got some help. I've had periods of depression in my life, several of them were debilitating. I was terrified of developing postpartum depression after my daughter was born last summer, so I chose to encapsulate my placenta. I did not (thankfully!) develop PPD but nursing was painful and we discovered that my baby had a severe lip and tongue tie. I am so grateful that we were able to correct it. We moms go through so much to bring our babies into the world and sacrifice to keep them healthy and to just keep going ourselves. I definitely have gained an appreciation for all that my mom has gone through. I've learned not to judge other moms and that we should all just try to help each other through a difficult and wonderful time.

  2. Jenny... Kudos to you! You are so brave to share your hurt. Thank The Lord, you are on the otherside of this. Thank you for sharing your heart!


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