If you are a mother, or perhaps even close friends with a new mom, the term "PPD" might already be familiar to you. If it's not, then this post may be enlightening for you. PPD stands for Post-Partum Depression, and yes indeed ladies and gents, I am suffering from it.

It's nearly 7 weeks to the day since little Emelie was born, and while I am of course, over the moon with joy about having her here at last after that challenging pregnancy, I am finding it hard to be joyFUL. There are so many reasons I could name to possible causes of it; history of depression in my own life, a challenging and stressful pregnancy, challenges with my other two children, feeling like a ghost in my own home, but really, at the end of the day, finding a cause isn't going to do me any good.

I need to find a solution.

Even as I say that, I feel a wave of apathy coming on. It's too late to fix this, part of me says... depression is already upon me, might as well wallow in it. Another part wants to only focus on the bad... my step-daughter has become more hostile since her sister's birth, my son more defiant, my husband barely acknowledges me, except in dealings with the kids, trading off baby duty, asking for my input about dinner, etc, feeling like a ghost in my own house (until someone needs or wants something), feeling upset when Emelie has a day where she just NEEDS to be held all. the. time.

Part of me is angry. Angry that my family doesn't seem to be rallying around me during this turbulent time. I barely hear from or see my brothers. My mother comes over, but mostly it's to hold the baby, our conversations are now limited to Emelie, and pretty much Emelie alone.. my attempts to have heart-to-hearts with her are interrupted by Andrew wanting Grandma's attention, and my mother's apparent inability to actually listen to me. My husband comes home, says hi to me, and then goes off to play Super Mario with the kids, or work on projects in the garage, or watches the Walking Dead. Angry that I can't find much time for myself these days. Angry that my incision still hurts. Angry that I even had to have a c-section in the first place. Angry that I'm not even allowed to go to the grocery store by myself yet, for fear Emelie will wake up and need to feed.

And another part of me is confused. I look around, and I don't understand. I actively participated in the making of this life... I pursued my husband, knew I was getting into a difficult situation what with him having a child. I was the one who couldn't wait to get pregnant the first time. I was the one who waited patiently for my husband to say we were financially secure enough to have another baby. I was over the moon to begin trying. I was the one who dealt with a miscarriage on Imbolc of last year, and then was raring to try again only 2 months later. So, why am I not happy? Why do I find it hard to get out of bed each day? Why do my children seem to bring me more grief than joy? Why is eating such a difficult thing to do some days? Why do I constantly feel the need to cry, but can't bring myself to find the tears?

These are questions I can't find answers to. These are the questions that will drive me towards finding a solution that will work for me. These are the questions that thousands of other women, if not millions, have asked in their own first weeks of motherhood. I know I'm not alone; about 25% of women in North America find themselves dealing with some level of post-partum depression or anxiety, but those numbers don't comfort me, they concern me. What is it about bringing a "bundle of joy" into the world that zaps that very joy from the mother? And while I want to ask myself "And why did I have to be one of them?" I will not let myself dwell on that particular question. Instead, I will take the challenge of PPD head on, and attempt within the parameters of my own design to find a solution for it.

***I welcome comments to this post, but not dogma. I am aware that some people feel that "thinking positively" will be enough to solve this little dilemma, but I politely disagree. If you feel the need to add your two cents, please determine first whether it will be words of comfort you leave behind, or words of criticism. I NEED the former, I do NOT need the latter. Thank you.


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