Postpartum Part 1: Depression, The Day My World Went Dark

FWBlogDarkAccording to, postpartum depression is directly related to pregnancy and childbirth, but is temporary. Approximately 1 in 8 woman will experience a form of postpartum depression. Many woman experience the “baby blues” in the first few days after childbirth when a surge of hormones runs through their bodies. Usually this will resolve by itself in a couple of weeks. The later onset of postpartum is more severe and is recognized after the “baby blues” time period has ended. It can start anytime within the first year after delivery.

Each woman is different when it comes to how she falls into the statistics. I fell into the later severe postpartum depression, and I can pinpoint the exact moment my world went dark.

During the first few days of November 2010, I was like every expectant mother wondering when my first born would arrive. I had everything ready. The diapers were neatly stacked on the changing table. The nursery was decorated and clean as could be. The crib, swing, and bassinet were ready to be used. My hospital bag was packed sitting by the door. So when my water broke the night before the due date, things seemed to be lining up exactly as I had planned.

After 21 hours of labor, my son finally arrived! I was beyond thrilled, albeit extremely tired. I can still picture the fall afternoon sunlight streaming into the room the moment he was born. It was beautiful. I was ready for this new chapter.

The first few days were rough, as it is with any first-time parents. We struggled nursing. I was struggling with a second degree tear and a horrible allergic reaction to Lanolin.

It wasn’t a pretty situation at our house. But we made it through the first week. I definitely had the baby blues. I was an emotional train wreck. I cried. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat.

My parents were here the first week to welcome their first grandson and to help out as much as they could. When it was time to say goodbye I was a extremely emotional. I knew I could do it, but, saying goodbye is never easy. As we drove home from the airport I cried, and I couldn’t stop crying. I had never cried like this before.

My dear husband stopped at Target to buy nipple butter, our last ditch effort to help with nursing, and I stayed in the car with the baby. I remember sitting in the back seat of our new family car with my sleeping newborn in the car seat. I looked out at the white fluffy clouds on a crisp fall day. In a split second, the colors faded into darkness.

It’s very hard to explain and almost seems a little crazy. In all reality, it was. Here I was with a brand new beautiful, healthy baby boy, and I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. I pushed through the next few weeks. Everyone says each week gets easier. I was holding on to this hope, but it never got easier.

My husband went back to work. I spent my days praying for nap time, cursing during every feeding, and feeling horribly guilty for not wanting anything to do with my son. There was never a moment when I didn’t take care of him, but it was a challenge to force myself to do it.

I never really knew about postpartum depression except what I had seen on the news about the horrific stories of what mother’s do to their children. I kept thinking I could never hurt my son, but why don’t I want to have anything to do with him?

I shut the world out. I didn’t want to see friends. I didn’t want to see family. I honestly didn’t want to do anything. Nothing made me happy. I felt alone.

Six weeks after giving birth, I was having issues with some postpartum bleeding. I called my doctor and told her nurse I was having some postpartum issues. Immediately she got me in to see the doctor. The nurse asked me the routine questions, and then asked, “So how long have you had these depression feelings?” It stopped me in my tracks. WHAT??? Depression??? No not me . . . but wait . . . .

When the doctor came in, we started going over my symptoms:

  • Overwhelmed? Yes.
  • Feeling guilty? Yes.
  • Don’t feel bonded? Yes.
  • Angry? Yes.
  • Extreme sadness? Yes.
  • Uncontrollable crying? Yes.
  • Hopelessness? Yes.
  • Disconnected? Yes.
  • Thoughts of running away? Yes.
  • Mourning “old life?” Yes.

A lightbulb went off in my head, and of course I started crying. An ugly cry. I had a complete breakdown sitting in the doctors office. The walls started closing in on me. This was rock bottom.

The doctor and I decided I needed to try anti-depressants and get some more therapy. I started seeing my therapist weekly, sometimes more. We talked through many of the issues I was feeling deep down inside. It wasn’t fun at all. Many sessions I spent an hour crying. But pressing through, I started making progress. Unfortunately, the side effects of the anti-depressants were horrific for me. We decided to do it without medicine, knowing this would make recovery longer.

Many doctors believe that the postpartum period ends at the one year mark. Like every person, it’s not textbook. I continued to have a bumpy road until my son was 18 months old.

Looking back I missed so much of his newborn life. I wasn’t myself. My goofy, silly, kid-loving self felt shame and guilt for missing my alone time with my husband, sleeping well, sleeping in, showering, and really, all these things that as a non-parent you don’t realize you are going to lose and miss. There was an emptiness I felt and nothing could stop it.

Time, along with professional and personal support was the fix for me. If you feel even the slightest bit of the emotions I described, give in and get help. You will be stronger if you have more people lifting you up. Call your doctor immediately. Go see a counselor. Take care of yourself. Make sure your significant other understands what’s going on, or at the very least, allows you to work on it. If you can’t explain, ask him or her or whoever is helping you at home to read about it, maybe it can make it easier.

Our minds and bodies have a remarkable, almost divine way of healing themselves. Not even doctors can force a wound to heal; they can only support the process and ensure we don’t see other troubles down the road. It’s the same here, but you have to give yourself the tools, the time, and the patience to heal. If you have postpartum depression, please get help.

Laura F
Laura F grew up in Colorado but couldn't get to Texas fast enough! She's a wife to Shawn (2006) and a mom to two wonderful children Reid William (2010) and Emmy Katherine (2013). She graduated from TCU in 2005 and is a die-hard Horned Frog fan. Since birth, she has been a chronic crafter. Not a day goes by that a new project isn't started or a trip to the craft store isn't made! Recently she opened her Etsy store, Laura Lizzies to share her passion. If she isn't crafting, Laura is spending time with her family, watching reality TV, or snuggled up with her cat and a good book. Her lifelong motto is: Facing fear is the death of fear. You can follow her blog, Laura Lizzies where she discusses crafting, overcoming fears and anxieties, and her crazy family!


  1. Thanks for opening up and sharing your story! This is a topic we need much more discussion on and I appreciate your honesty and bravery to share.

    • Thank you Kelly! I also think there needs to me more open discussion around PPD. It was a very scary and I am glad I was able to share my experience. I hope this opens the eyes of someone who may be experiencing symptoms and not know they are, like in my case. And hope they are able to get the help they need.

  2. I am so proud of you for sharing your story, Laura. I am even prouder of you for fighting through the darkness and getting the help you needed!

    • Thank you Elizabeth! Sometimes It is still difficult to open up about this time in my life. But I really want to get my story out there to other moms who may be going through this. I want them to know they can get the help they need!


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