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I Didn't Have a Village When I Had Postpartum Depression – So I Made My Own

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

It takes a village, but I didn’t have one. There I was, struggling with postpartum depression (PPD), postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and postpartum anxiety. I thought I was going to overdose on all the 12 different medications my new psychiatrist prescribed to me. Yes 12! My husband had to go back to work. My family lived out of state and could not stay, as they had their own lives to live. Friends turned their backs on me because I was “no fun to be around.” One said I “stressed her out.” I hired a nanny but watching her take care of my baby made me feel more alone.

As sick as I was, I fought hard to not get trapped in my own hell. When my son was 6 weeks old, I decided to form my own village. I went to my first mommy and me group. I worked hard and made playdates. I even made mom dates where we would get together for a walk or coffee to just talk. Some days I couldn’t leave the house and I would cancel. They seemed to understand. 

My new friends did not struggle with PPD, but because of my honesty with my own problems they felt comfortable opening up to their own; whether it was with breastfeeding, lack of sleep or a colicky baby who cried all day. Together we were on this new mom journey; all the highs and all the many lows. 

As the years have gone by I’ve lost touch with some of my first mom friends, but a few have remained and I’m extremely grateful they stuck around with me. Not everyone has a built-in village or mom tribe. It’s not always easy and many will run away from a mom in extreme turmoil. I’m grateful I used whatever energy I had at the time to form a village. We can not and should not get through it by ourselves. Being a new mom can be very lonely, isolating and scary, but we shouldn’t have to go through it alone. 

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Lead photo via contributor

Originally published: October 7, 2017
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