Meet the *new* Motherly – your free all-access pass to motherhood Register now!

Deidre on depression and having her feelings ignored

deidre with baby- postpartum depression

Content warning: Discussion of postpartum depression, birth trauma, domestic abuse or other tough topics ahead. If you or someone you know is struggling with a postpartum mental health challenge, including postpartum depression or anxiety, call 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (tel:18009435746)—The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline This free, confidential service provides access to trained counselors and resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English, Spanish, and more than 60 other languages. They can offer support and information related to before, during, and after pregnancy.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression at 17. I gave birth to my first child when I was 27. We are actually part of a study through mother risk regarding Paxil and breastfeeding.

A few days after my son was born, I had a lactation consultant call me up who basically told me I was starving my child and I was a horrible mother because I wasn’t feeding him. Cue the postpartum depression. I drove him immediately to the emergency to be told he was fine.

11 years later, I gave birth to my now five-year old daughter. I suffered one miscarriage before she was born ( I do not like the term rainbow baby. She wasn’t conceived because I lost a baby before her. I don’t judge others who use the term. I just would have had three children by then instead of two.)

I went back to work way too early—four months after she was born. Because of this, I fell into an ugly hole of depression. With my depression, I feel like leaving, just packing up and going. I also have an overwhelming fear of other people wanting to hurt my children such as dropping them off balconies or pushing them into traffic.

I do have an amazing doctor who fast-tracked me into seeing a psychiatrist. Unfortunately, the psychiatrist’s intake person was horrible. She did not listen to me when I told her my feelings of others harming my children and threatened to call children’s services on me to have my children taken away from me. Thank goodness she never had my address.

When I got to the office, I told the doctor that she needed to listen to me because other women I had spoken to, especially those with children, also admitted that they lied to their doctors about their fears and feelings because they don’t understand and therefore misdiagnose us.

A lot of people believe that people with depression are suicidal. We are not all suicidal. I told her if I didn’t feel listened to, I would never come back. She did listen.

Fast forward two years and I had one more miscarriage and then the next baby was born with anencephaly, which is an automatic death sentence as the babies are born with no skull so their brains are exposed. I don’t know how many times people still tell me that I should try for another child. I feel empty and I really don’t want to put my mind and body through the ups and downs anymore.

I don’t think anyone understands what it’s like to be told that you have sentenced your child to death in the womb and that nothing can be done. The longest the baby would live is possibly an hour and in that time they would be in pain. We terminated the pregnancy. The doctor was so judgmental, thinking I was just terminating because the baby wasn’t wanted.

It wasn’t until I started crying because I was saying goodbye and sorry to the baby, that she showed me empathy. I love this group because I have never felt judgment in anything that has ever been posted. I try everyday to build up the women I meet and support them regardless of their story.

The only doctor that helped me without judgment was a man. The most judgmental ones happened to be women.