One month postpartum update and dealing with depression

On October 10, 2016 we gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. We named her Gwendolyn.

 At first for me this was a struggle to admit to myself that I was even pregnant. I found out I was pregnant on March 1, 2016. I was six weeks and five days along at this point and it was hard to believe. My son is now six years old and with all the trouble I had conceiving, I just thought I wasn’t going to have any more children. I really prayed and asked God for a child when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I was almost 14 weeks along when I found out I was pregnant with him and I must admit it was easier and quicker than this pregnancy. I’m a firm believer in God and I don’t remember asking him for a little girl, but I must admit, I was a bit envious of all the newborn babies I was seeing at the time. Everywhere I went it seemed like someone had a new baby girl. Maybe deep in my heart, I might have whispered that prayer. God blessed me with what my heart was desiring so, that means that the Bible is true. God will give his true and faithful the desires of their heart.

I had a lot of new symptoms with this pregnancy that I didn’t with my son. The swelling of my hands, legs, and feet were the worst. I like to move around and stay busy and the swelling just would not let me do that. I was so miserable and whiny. I also had a lot of shortness of breath with this one. I am already a high risk because of my diabetes. At the end I was ready to throw in the towel. I was so emotional and miserable and I had started to get preeclampsia, which prompted my doctor to deliver a couple of weeks early. I was so happy to finally be done with it and have my little bundle of joy in my arms. My excitement and joy came across a hurdle. My daughter had to spend some time in the NICU and that made me crazy. For nine months I was waiting on the greatest gift God could ever give anyone and she has to fight for her life. Being away from something that grew inside of you is the hardest thing ever. She was right down the hall from me in the hospital but it felt like she was miles away.

I cried and prayed and cried some more. The doctors don’t make it any better. Every few hours it seems they would come back to tell me something else they found wrong with my child. They really pissed me off. That made me cry. I was in pain from the C-section and the swelling still hadn’t gone down. It was hard for me to move and get around and that made me cry. Finally, after six days we could finally bring my love home. I was so happy. I held her so much and gave her lots of kisses and love. My heart was so full. I wondered, how could God, as busy as he is, take the time to make something so beautiful and perfect just for me? He must truly love me. I must be special to him. I felt so loved and blessed and that made me cry. (Tears of joy)

Today my love is a month old and thriving. I have the most beautiful little girl ever. I’m sure every parent feels this way. I wouldn’t trade my two children for anything in this world. Just when I thought my heart couldn’t love anyone else. Here Gwendolyn comes and steals my heart. My son CJ is being the best big brother ever. He and his dad are very helpful and protective of “little Gwen”.

A few months before my daughter was born I was treated for depression and was given medication. It seemed to not help. It was only a temporary fix. When I forgot to take that medicine, I felt it. I didn’t want to become dependent on it. I wanted to feel the joy I should have been feeling being pregnant with my beautiful baby girl. I shouldn’t have been sad or worrying before she was born, but I was. I couldn’t shake this feeling of dread. and I don’t know why or where it came from. I haven’t had a problem with depression since I graduated high school. I felt like I was loosing my mind. Everything drove me crazy. I just wanted to be alone all the time and I cried so much til my eyes were almost swollen shut.

I tried to get to the bottom of what I was feeling or rather why I was feeling what I was feeling. I had a support system. I had people around me to help and rooting for me to be great. My husband was loving and supportive. My family was rallying around me constantly. Everything was done by the time we delivered. What was going on in my mind? Why was I so confused, scared, worried and sad?

Honestly, I never have found out what was really going on. After Gwendolyn was born the fog just lifted. I knew what to do because I had done it before. Not just with my kids but with my cousins, nieces and nephews, all of which I helped to raise because I am the eldest. I remember thinking to myself one night that I was going to be a terrible mother and questioning why would God give such a terrible person children. This was the point when I decided to talk to someone about what I was feeling. I wanted to kill myself so the children wouldn’t have such a terrible mother. This was while I was still pregnant. I immediately checked myself into the hospital. I had people in place to take care of my son and my household for a few days while I seeked treatment.

While in the hospital I came across a situation that made me wake up. A woman had left her children in the car while she went in to the casino to play the poker machines. I was so furious. How could she leave those poor kids in the car so she could go gamble? What kind of mother is she? Then I asked myself; What kind of mother am I? I pondered this question most of the night, still angry from what I had heard and seen earlier that day. I realized how much I love kids. Not just my own but my friends’and families’ kids. I’m the most loving and kind person ever.(according to my friends and family) Oh yes. They put up an incredible fuss about me when I came home from the hospital and did their best to assure me that I was a great mother. That was music to my ears.

As a wife and a mother sometimes we need to hear these things. Even if we know it. I remember bringing my son to his first doctor’s visit and the doctor looked at me and said. “He’s so fine and healthy.You’re doing a great job. You’re a good mother.” This statement alone brought me to uncontrollable tears. The doctor embraced me, gave me some tissue and said it again. “You’re a great mom. You’re doing a great job.” I muffled through my sobbing a very humble “Thank You”. She truly humbled my heart with that statement. My husband also got the same reaction when he told me the same thing a few hours later when he came home from work. I laid my head on his chest and cried for what seemed like twenty minutes. He comforted me and gave me a kiss on the forehead, which was also a first. Later on he asked me was everything okay and I told him that I just needed to know if I was doing it right. He told me that there is no right or wrong way to parent, but the love that I showed our child was all he needed to see to know that I was a great mother. And the sobbing began again.

No matter how old your children are, from a few weeks to teenagers, or grown with children of their own, as mothers we need to hear that we’re doing or have done a good job. It  just validates all the pain and turmoil we go through with and for our kids. This kept me from jumping off a bridge, literally. Maybe it will help a mother you know who is new, tired, exhausted, or just telling it to your own mom will make her day. You never know how your words will affect someone else. Choose them wisely.

To: All the mothers

You’re a great mom.