It was so exciting having my new baby girl. She was absolutely beautiful and such a good baby. So why wasn’t I happier? I could not stop crying and no matter how deep down I searched, I could not find that joy that I knew that I should be feeling. What was wrong with me that this incredible blessing was not enough to make me happy? Does this mean that I am not a good mother and that there is something wrong with me? I knew how I should be feeling, how everyone had described this experience to me but as hard as I tried, all I could feel was the deep pit of despair.
I would take care of my baby and pray for her to take a nap so I could completely melt down. I would just lie on the floor in a little ball crying. I could not even force myself to get onto the couch. Then she would wake up from her nap and I would work very hard to pull myself together in order to take care of her. I would sit there rocking her with my silent tears occasionally hitting her little head.
I spoke with family and friends. It was pointed out over and over again that I have so many blessings in my life and so much to be thankful for. I was told to count my blessings, to take a trip with the baby out of the house, and even to “just snap out of it”. But none of these things worked. I was not able to “just snap out of it”. My husband was paralyzed by my depression, unsure of what to say to me and fearful that anything he did say would bring on more tears. No one could understand why I was not feeling happy, especially myself. There must be something wrong with me… I felt broken.
How could this be happening to me? I have worked in the mental health field for several years now and knew that I could not be struggling with depression. I blamed it on hormones and lack of sleep but these feelings continued. The months passed by but this deep depression did not go away. Soon my little girl was six month old. I read an article in one of my many parenting magazines and it had an article about depression and how it affects your children. It suddenly occurred to me that if I could not do this for myself I needed to do it for my daughter. I got on anti-depressants and was able to get the help that I needed.
Through help I realized that it was not that I was a bad mother or that I was incapable of feeling. I had a chemical imbalance in my brain, which was robbing me of enjoying my newborn baby. Once I was able to let go of my denial and face the truth, I was finally set free.
More from parenting