I read this blog called Dooce. I started reading it a few months ago, and Heather Armstrong, the author, is hilarious. She has the most wonderful sense of humor, and posts beautiful photographs to accompany her posts. Plus, she talks about her dog a lot. She just had her second child, and she's mentioned the depression she struggled with after having her first little girl. This struck my interest, and I decided to go back to before I started reading her blog and read all her posts from that time in her life.
How heartbreaking. Terrifying. And beautiful.
I've given some thought to postpartum depression because my mom struggled with it after she had me, and to some degree, it's genetic. She mentioned this to me one day, telling me if I ever felt like that when I have children to make sure I called so she could come help me out and get me through it.
Obviously, if she talks that casually about it, she didn't experience depression as badly as she could have, but it's something that's scared me a little bit ever since she told me. I want kids more than anything. I want a family. So, naturally, as I started reading about Heather's experiences, I started freaking out. I don't want to go through what she went through, I don't wan to have to go to a psych facility, I don't want to feel that helpless. I got scared, and I switched into freak out mode.
But then I got to the end of the story. The part where she got better, the part where her fantastic humor starts coming out again. The part where her husband was there, the part where she got the help she needed. She wrote this about her husband during that time:
"Jon has been a Superhero throughout this whole thing and I am once again reminded that I scored the Best Husband in All the Land. He is so supportive and giving and so very, very hot. I miss him so much that I physically hurt, and when he visits I plunge my face into his neck so that I can smell the shaving cream he used earlier that day. That is my favorite smell in the world, right up there with the smell of Leta's(her daughter's) head and the smell of bacon frying."
He was her strength. From the posts he wrote, he didn't even realize it. But he helped her more than he knew, simply because he was there for her to fall into his arms. And doctors helped get her on the medication she really needed to help her through that time. She was broken, but it became an encourging, beautifully heartbreaking experience.
I'm not sure she'd see it that way, she has no problem saying she's not a Christian. But I am a Christian girl, a girl who believes that everything happens for a reason. And looking at the people she's touched by sharing her story, looking at how her husband was able to help her, looking at how the doctors were able to figure out a way to make things better...if that's not God, I don't know what is.
My parents were divorced before I was two. One of the factors that can increase risk of postpartum depression is poor support from your spouse, or a high amount of stress. Something tells me both of those factors were a part of my mom's experience.
Yeah, there's a possibility I could struggle with postpartum depression myself. Maybe more of a possibility than the next person. But the beauty in that is I won't be alone. I'll have my mom. I'll have my future husband. And most importantly, I'll have God, who reminds me just how big He really is every day. There will never, ever be a moment that I'll have to do anything on my own, at any point of my life. What more could I ask for?