To the Brave and Tired Mama Just Diagnosed With Postpartum Depression

Dear brave and tired mama,

I saw you walk out of our doctor’s office today. You were carrying your crying newborn with one arm, and dragging a stubborn 2-year-old with the other.

Your face revealed your utter exhaustion. You tried to hide it with makeup, but I’m a mom too, and I could recognize the truth: six weeks postpartum means you’re still not sleeping more than a couple precious hours at a time each night. And that busy toddler who’s pulling at you and asking you for juice? I’m betting she doesn’t let you rest much during the day.

I heard the nurse at the front desk hand you a prescription for Celexa, and tell you to schedule a follow-up appointment for next month. Your eyes were filled to the brim with tears, threatening to spill over at any moment, and I read both shame and relief in your pained expression.

I wanted to run up to you, hug you and let you cry on my shoulder, and tell you I’ve been there too.

I wanted to tell you how, even though I know you don’t see it, you really are a good mama.

I wish you could see who I saw this morning: a woman in anguish who was still strong enough to get up today.

A woman who was overwhelmed with fear, but still brave enough to ask for help.

A woman who didn’t know if she was going to make it through the day, but still puts one foot in front of the other.

That’s what warriors are made of. That’s what heroes do.

Oh, brave and tired mama, I know. I know your feelings of frustration and defeat. I know how often you say to yourself, It’s not supposed to be this way. I hate myself. I can’t do this.

But you can. You can. You already are.

Stay in the fight.

No matter how hard it is now, keep fighting. I promise you, it will get better.

It will take hard work. You will want to give up. But if you persevere, you can be well again.

You will be yourself again, and you will be better than you were before. I know; I’ve been there, twice.

And I promise, no matter what your demons whisper to you in the darkness, you are needed, you are loved, and you are worth it.


Another brave and tired mama

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Postpartum Disorders

Mother holds daughter to the side of her and looks into her eyes

You Don't Need to Justify Your Postpartum Depression

Today, I stopped making excuses for my postpartum depression and anxiety. I had all the reasons in the world to be depressed and anxious. I had a preemie baby in the NICU. Due to preeclampsia, I suffered under magnesium sulfate treatment for days before delivering my son at 32 weeks by C-section. Then, I developed [...]
Mother carring sleeping baby in park

5 Destructive Myths About Postpartum Psychosis

Three days after giving birth to my daughter, I energetically went to my 6 a.m. spin class and had an intense workout. I had just given birth, but I felt like I could take on the world. This high quickly wore off, and I felt dead tired, yet I couldn’t sleep at night. My sleep [...]
Mom holds baby son up to her face

What Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Really Look Like

This is the face of postpartum depression: And this: And this: RESOURCES FROM PSYCH CENTRAL Anxiety guide Find help Support groups Postpartum anxiety and depression don’t always look like what you think they do, particularly under a good Instagram filter, do they? Surprised? I was. I had a wonderful birth experience, but it didn’t take [...]
Hands of married couple wearing wedding rings

To the Person Who Told My Husband to Divorce Me When I Had Postpartum Depression

I wrote my own vows when I married my husband, so although I didn’t exactly say, “in sickness and in health,” I meant it. When I chose to marry him, I didn’t mean I would only love him when he was at his best. I meant my love for him was unconditional. In return, I [...]