Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An open letter to a new mother.

Dear new mother,

By the time you read this you will have been home for a few days. You have survived the flurry of visitors at the hospital, the endless calls of congratulations, and are learning all about the new awesome little person who is now a part of your family. You are prepared. You've done your homework. Maybe you've even attended a parenting class or two.

The reason I write this letter is because I had a post birth experience that I wasn't prepared for. In my early mothering days I felt waves of emotion I have never felt before. They were extreme. The highs were overflowing with love, excitement, and inspiration. But the lows were incapacitating and full of fear, depression, worry, and guilt. I was irrational. I had intrusive thoughts about really scary things.

Luckily, because I was well versed in the warning signs of postpartum depression thanks to a wonderful support group I was attending I was able to seek the help I need. I called my midwife and made an appointment to come in and chat. I went and we developed a game plan.

I write this to you today because I want you to know that postpartum depression is real. It is common. It is normal. And it is okay to ask for what you need.

2.5 years after giving birth I can tell you that I still don't feel like my "normal" self. I've actually given up trying to find that person. However, I'm a new version of normal that is steady, strong, and happy.

You will find your path and your own rhythm as you grow into motherhood. You are your own best advocate.

Your friend who will always be here to watch your baby so you can eat, sleep, or pee in peace.

I'm linking this up with Shell over at Things I Can't Say.

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