This week we are focusing on Postpartum Depression. Roeline Burger shares her story with us:
“I had a very difficult pregnancy with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (excessive nausea & vomiting during pregnancy). I was still throwing up the morning of my son’s birth in hospital. I had this idea in my mind that my son will be born, I will no longer feel sick and I will finally be back to “normal” again with a baby.
But then there was breastfeeding, and pumping and sleepless nights. I kept on trying to reach out to people and kept on hearing this is normal, things will get better at 4months. 4months came and then someone would say 6months, and I would once again grit my teeth and hang in there till 6months and so it went on up until my son was just over a year.
I had this lingering sadness that just kept on pounding at my heart’s door like a salesman. I had fulltime help at home, and because of that I then in turn felt guilty. I kept on thinking if I just read this book, or complete this course or listen to this podcast I will figure it out and finally have this ‘mom thing’ down, but it was more than that. It was hormonal. It was chemical.
I needed professional help.
Finally, a friend of mine drove me to my GP where I sat there crying and talking for over a hour.
We worked out a gameplan for me: I had to go and see a psychologist for at least a few sessions, I had to put my son in a daycare for a day or so a week, take at least 15minutes quiet time a day… and then there was medication.
A huge relief came for me just knowing that I am getting help and that there is a plan.
Medication has been absolutely necessary for me. Why do I take it? Because I want to have the appropriate response emotionally to events taking place in my life.
So this is me, urging you to seek help if you have been feeling “blue” or down for a while already. Speak to a friend, your spouse, your doctor.”
Roeline, thank you for being vulnerable (and so brave!) by sharing your PPD journey with us.
This is a story that many women need to hear. It is estimated that in a circle of 10 friends, at least 1 or 2 of them will suffer (or have suffered) from Postpartum Depression.
If this is you, please get help. You are not a bad mom, you are not weak, you are not alone.