Today I sat on the floor with laundry all around me. As I folded I watched my babies looking at books together and giggling. I had one of those, “Is this really my life?” moments. Thinking back on the last year fills me with all the emotions you can think of. However, the feelings I have right now are peace, happiness and hope. Hope for a bright future with my sweet little family and an eagerness to soak in everyday life. These were feelings I didn’t have at this time last year. Last fall I was in the middle of a battle with postpartum depression. I call it a battle because it was a literal fight each day to find even a glimmer of happiness. It was a terrible place to be. Through so many prayers, faith & the unconditional love of friends and family I made it through. I had to take it one day at a time, one moment at a time. It was a long, painful process.
As a woman who (usually) finds an incredible amount of joy in everyday life, I just wasn’t myself. It was hard to recognize at first. We were far away from home and the transtion to two children can flip anyone’s world upside down. This feeling I had was more than that. It was heavy and consuming. Up to this point in my life it has been the most difficult trial I have endured. When I look at pictures of Estelle in those first eight months of her life I can hardly remember being present. It’s heartbreaking. It gives me a renewed desire to soak in every moment from here on out.
I wish postpartum depression was something more openly discussed. I’ve often wondered how many women suffer in silence as I did in the beginning. I was embarrassed and confused. Shouldn’t this be the happiest of times with rainbows, butterflies and newborn snuggles? It wasn’t that at all and I felt an overwhelming guilt over it. It was an incredible blessing the love and desire I had to care for my children throughout this time. Meeting their needs kept me going. I share this in hopes of ending the “taboo” of postpartum depression. It is very real. It’s something that should never be endured alone. If we have the courage to speak up and ask for help the burden will be lightened and hope can be found. One year later, I feel like my entire outlook on life has been changed for the better. There will be times of challenge and maybe even darkness in life but there is always a reason to hope on and carry on.