What No One Wants to Talk About

I kicked my feet back and forth from the exam table at my final appointment with my OB, months after Keira’s birth. My doctor sat across the room from her chair, her concerned eyes focused on me. “Did you have any questions for me….?”, she inquired.

I looked down at my bare feet beneath the hospital gown and muttered out, “I’ve been having a bit of baby blues lately.” The truth was it wasn’t baby blues I was fighting, but the pure overwhelming postpartum depression taking over. In my moment of strength I was finally admitting the pain I had been fighting for months but I just couldn’t admit to the full extent that it had consumed me. I was ashamed.

She nodded at me and in that moment I saw her transform into a woman who struggled with the same battles instead of the often cold, reserved doctor persona. She explained, “As women, we expect a lot of ourselves. With trying to keep up with a baby, other kids at home, trying to handle a job, you know, Kirsten, I would be surprised if you didn’t have some sort of baby blues!”

Almost immediately the tears began streaming down my face as she continued explaining that what I was feeling was normal. The months of feeling like a small airplane that just was just too heavy to make it off the ground, the aloofness, the hopelessness… all completely normal. I promised her I would call if things got worse. But I knew in that moment I knew I would never call. I had just spent all my courage just to tell her there was something wrong. In that moment, I was sure that if things got worse, there would be nothing they could do for me. I would be completely gone.

The week following that appointment, I felt more grounded; it seemed her pep talk had helped me put things into perspective. My plane was finally making it into the air, only to be pushed back down to ground by the cloud of depression in the weeks that followed. I gave up on my friendships. I gave up on trying to be the perfect mom, the perfect employee, the perfect wife. I gave up on happiness. Instead I fluttered through each day in a fog, never knowing if one day I might wake up.

There would be days where I say on the edge of the bed and stared at the wall. The thought of any sort of housework left me in tears and frusterated. Friends that I confided in tried to help me through it but nothing ever seemed to be enough to jump start me back.

Almost a year to the day after Keira’s birth, I finally started to notice myself change. The clouds were clearing and life was finally starting to fall into place. I marked the calendar, curious if this was just another upward bump, cautiously wondering if the depression would just return to rear its head as the weeks marched on. A month later, I realized…. It hadn’t. I had finally shaken that pest from my life.

Perhaps it was the job change or reconnecting with friends. Maybe finally forming a routine with the children or getting more than 5 hours of sleep each night. Either way, I finally came to a point where I could finally say to myself: “Everything is going to be just fine.”


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sara
    Aug 05, 2011 @ 10:10:54



  2. melissamilazzo
    Aug 05, 2011 @ 11:27:27

    I’m sorry to hear that postpartum depression has had a hold on you for this long, but I’m glad to hear it’s lifting. Thanks for the honest post about an important subject.


  3. Erica
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 15:27:49

    getting more than 5 hours of sleep helps. for me, prozac helps. whatever it takes!


  4. Trackback: Post-postpartum Revelations « Domestic Deeds
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