I did not give my struggle with PPD/PPA and PTSD a name until my son was three years old. Until that time, I knew I wasn’t happy and had strong emotions about the traumatic birth of our son, but instead buried myself in other things (ie: work) to push those feelings aside. Due to the traumatic birth I experienced and lack of trust I had with the medical community, I avoided my annual with the doctor for three years. When finally talking with my new OBGYN, I broke down in tears while telling my story. It was at that moment that all of the built up emotion I had pushed away came tumbling out of me. I left the office feeling emotionally exhausted, yet stronger than I had felt in many years.
Leading up to this moment, I was depressed, anxious and traumatized from my experience. I did not seek help.
My husband offered support in the ways he knew how; however looking back, I now know we were both in a very difficult place and struggling to support each other while taking care of our little guy. I didn’t know how to communicate my thoughts, feelings, and experience to him.
Two years in, I did connect with an amazing woman who also had a child our son’s age. In many ways, the support we were able to offer each other gave me the courage to leave the house more, to laugh more and even to cry. This was the beginning of what I so desperately needed. Connection. Understanding. Validation.
Through this time in my life, I have grown as a person and have learned the importance of prioritizing my mental health. I am able to validate what a difficult period in my life this was for me, acknowledge the help that found me, and now know how to seek out help in the future.