• Dr Julia Hodgson (@drjuliaparents)

What postpartum depression takes from you

originally posted jan 21 2021 on facebook & instagram

Part One:

I hate photos from the day my second little one was born. It has nothing to do with how I look or anything even about the pictures themselves... it's because of the memories they bring up. When I saw my sweet baby for the first time, I felt nothing.

It is so painful and scary to admit that out loud. My partner knows. That might be it because of the shame I feel about it. It took me months to feel connected to my baby at all. Postpartum depression, which I now realize had sunk its claws into me before baby arrived, robbed me of so much with him.

Unlike with my first, I didn't cry, I didn't fall in love, I didn't obsess. I kept staring at him and trying to will myself to feel something other than an aching in my heart. I looked at my partner, who cried and said "he's so beautiful" when he saw our son for the first time, and I wondered what was wrong with me.

And I didn't tell anyone. I smiled for photos, I held him, fed him, cared for him, gushed when people asked about him. And, inside, I kept feeling nothing.

I mourn when I see photos from the day my baby was born because I will never get back those moments when I was supposed to be elated and falling in love. I barely remember it; all I remember is what was missing. I fear I will never look at them and not see all the pain that was going on inside me in those moments.

I share this part of the story with you because it was terrifying and I felt so alone in it. There is so much pressure for a picture perfect birth that I think it can be even worse when we feel something different. When things go wrong.

Postpartum depression can be such a scary and painful thing. It's so real and so hard and you are not alone. It's sadly far too common and yet our experiences are so unspoken. You may feel invisible, but you're not alone. I will keep saying that. You're not alone.

Love, Julia


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