When Becoming A Mother Isn’t What You Expected

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expectations are odd. the word ‘expectation‘ is defined as a strong belief in something going a certain way or someone doing a specific thing. i had many expectations when it came to becoming a mother.

i expected the sleepless nights (though honestly, those take much more of a toll than one is prepared for). i expected breastfeeding to have its challenges (and in reality, it was much more than a ‘challenge.’). i expected my heart to immediately burst with love and affection for my new baby the moment she emerged into this world. i expected for this volcanic eruption of euphoric love to completely outweigh the exhaustion, the frustration and the tears (it didn’t).

in the days and weeks after the birth of my daughter, i did not expect to cry more than i laughed.

i did not expect postpartum depression.

i planned so carefully for my natural birth. we did the classes, we met the midwives, i had my birth affirmations plastered everywhere. i set my expectations for childbirth and motherhood early. while i do believe there is power in setting intentions, i now know how important it is to leave room for how the real story plays out.

this isn’t easy for me to share. i typically like to write and share things here that have already been heavily processed and ‘attended to’ – but this – i am in it now.

my reason to share even though i feel embarrassed (yes, i already know i’m not “supposed” to be embarrassed but that feeling is still there for me) is because it needs to be talked about more. if one other woman reads this and thinks ‘i feel less alone’ then that is reason enough.

most new parents can agree that those first few weeks are hard, even miserable. your life changes abruptly in an instant and there is not time to catch up. you are on. it’s go-time.

the changing and flooding hormones are fierce. my husband left for a keynote a week after our daughter was born (he had agreed to it way before i was even pregnant). he would be gone one night. my reaction to him leaving was as if someone told me he was being kidnapped and all of his limbs were being torn off. i was truly beside myself. i did expect pregnancy hormones leaving my body to be intense, but never that intense.

i actually didn’t expect the bursting and oozing love for my daughter right away (thanks to honest friends sharing how this bond wasn’t immediate for them). i did, however, expect it within the first few weeks. i think our very rough road attempting to nurse played into this heavily. that’s another post for another time but every time i nursed her (mind you – that’s 10-12 times per day), we each left the session beyond frustrated and sobbing. every. time.

when becoming a mother isn't what you thought

i expected to gaze into her eyes and know on this new level that she was a part of me. i didn’t. i carried that tiny human in my own body for 9 long months and yet, it seemed like neither of us cared. both my mom and a friend sent me this blog post about the terrible thoughts new moms sometimes have and it made me feel less alone and crazy. i reread it three times in a row and sobbed harder each time.

it was finally around week 5 when i knew i was no longer experiencing the expected ‘baby blues’ but something more intense. i remember thrusting my daughter into my husband’s arms after a particularly horrible nursing session, darting out of the apartment and into my car where i completely broke down. i remember thinking to myself, “if this is motherhood, it’s shit. this is not what i signed up for. those woman who say being a mom is the best thing ever are obviously lying or high because this is not fun.”

then i drove to target, bought a $3 chevron pumpkin and felt 1% better.

after i walked back in the apartment, i told my husband that i thought i had postpartum depression and then, you guessed it, cried some more. he held me and told me he needed me to call the birth center in the next 15 minutes and ask them for resources. i did.

i talked to one of the midwives who was genuinely compassionate and told me i did exactly the right thing. she set me up an appointment the next day.

as i sat in the waiting room, i looked around at the other women there. one was pregnant and two were cooing at their fresh babies. i sat by myself, my own baby at home with her dad and feeling only sadness that i didn’t feel connected to her in the way i expected and wanted.

i met with truly the perfect midwife there. as she asked me what i was feeling, my cries overtook my whole body and she wrapped her arms around me (midwives are the best). she shared her own struggles with postpartum depression and assured me it does indeed get better. she also applauded me for reaching out, which i needed to hear. after diagnosing me with postpartum depression, she gave me resources and also a prescription for anti-depressants/anti-anxiety.

i was hesitant to take them at first since i worked so hard to get off of them a few years ago. then i said to myself, “pregnancy and childbirth have tangled up your hormones and there is a chemical imbalance happening now. take them. your husband and your daughter need you to be you again. YOU need to be you again.” so i did and i am.

i also feel the need to share that i thankfully never felt like harming her or myself but those can be feelings associated with postpartum depression. if you are feeling that, please seek help immediately. i sort of just felt like i was babysitting a random kid that got dropped off and i was not getting paid nearly enough. oh and a babysitter that cried 23 hours a day.

i can honestly say i feel a ton better than i did in mid-october so i know i am on the right path. i finally felt the heart-burst feeling towards our sweet daughter around week 7. it was during our trip to austin.

it’s still hard and i still don’t feel completely back to the mental state i want to be in but it does keep getting better.

so other moms or even non-moms struggling with mental health issues, reach out. as annoying as it can sometimes be to hear “it will get better. it will get easier.” it really does. it may not happen overnight and it may present itself in unexpected ways, but it will get better.

while my first few months of motherhood are nothing like i expected, i am forever grateful for the village of people around me, continuing to love me in my darkest, vulnerable moments.

all of that being said, i can genuinely say i feel grateful to be atlas’ mom.

 

53 Comments

  1. Samantha Truman

    December 13, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Oh such raw emotion….
    I’m glad you have shared this little piece of your heart. I KNOW this will help a Mama during this time of change.
    I too suffered with PPD. However, I didn’t know it at the time. I never reached out. I should have, because those thoughts I had towards myself and towards my baby are truly haunting…. (Things got a little better around the 6 month marker)
    You are not alone!! I think the number one thing you need to do, is set aside 10-15 minutes to just help yourself. Whatever that may be. Shower, take a drive, do your nails, exercise, buy a Starbucks and walk through Target and have Ravery watch the babe. Anything to give yourself a moment of peace. The mother can’t pour love into another cup, if she is empty and running on fumes…..
    Sending love from afar. <3

    • chelsea

      December 13, 2016 at 9:30 am

      so sorry to hear you suffered from PPD too samantha and that you didn’t know it at the time. that would be so hard. i am glad things got better for you! you are so right, i absolutely HAVE to take my daily shower to get myself in a better mindset and thankfully that happens regularly. thanks for your comment <3

  2. Claire

    December 13, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Honestly, vulnerability is really so courageous. And this is the ultimate vulnerability, sharing something that you are currently going through.

    This post will most definitely fall into the right person’s hands and it will be so helpful for them to hear.

    Always appreciate your realness.

    Cheers!

    • chelsea

      December 13, 2016 at 9:30 am

      thanks for reading and for your comment claire. it was quite a vulnerable post but i have already had a few women reach out so share their feelings so i know it was the right thing to do. thanks for your support

      • Claire

        December 21, 2016 at 9:14 am

        So amazing that women are reaching out to you directly. And after reading the comments below…so incredible how your insight is touching the hearts and experiences of women from all over <3

  3. Lynn

    December 13, 2016 at 7:39 am

    There are so many more resources out there now. I’m so glad that you have such a strong support system and were able to reach out and tackle it.

    30 some years ago there was just inklings of awareness – mostly spoken about on whispers – and little help. My experience was very different. My husband belittled my feelings and told me to get over it. It took a lot longer for me to seek help and recover, for the situation to improve, and the scars are many and deep.

    Thank you for writing this incredibly important blog.

    • chelsea

      December 13, 2016 at 9:33 am

      you are so right lynn, i have had numerous women share exactly what you said about how it was not acknowledged. i am so sorry that your husband belittled your feelings and had that attitude. that would be so hard during an already incredibly difficult time. you are obviously a strong women and i am glad that it sounds like you found help. thank you for sharing a piece of your heart lynn

  4. Elyse @ Just Murrayed

    December 13, 2016 at 8:03 am

    The internet ate my first post, I think, I don’t know I wrote it when I first woke up, anyways. HUGE hugs to you Chelsea. As usual, you’re SO awesome for speaking about your experience. I am SO glad you have a great support system and that you’re slowly feeling better. You’ve got this, you will get through this. Motherhood is hard without the hormones that are swirling around still in your body, so I’m glad you’re doing everything you can to help yourself feel better. Keep leaning on your support system and you will get through this.
    Elyse @ Just Murrayed recently posted…6 Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List

    • chelsea

      December 13, 2016 at 9:35 am

      thank you elyse and thanks for writing your comment again, sorry the internet got hungry. i am so grateful for the support system too – i have relied on my family and friends immensely. so grateful to have moved near them. i appreciate your words of encouragement and support <3

  5. Sheila

    December 13, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Sharing our stories is a big theme for me right now. Our stories have immense power over us when we hold them inside. We take that power back when we say the words out loud. The thoughts have less effect on us and we can begin to heal. Plus, it is so helpful for other people to hear our stories, like you said, to know that they are not alone. Thank you for sharing your story, Chelsea. You are not alone, your story has less power over you now, and your post will help others feel less alone. You’re doing the right thing. Big hugs to you and your family. xo
    Sheila recently posted…The Other Side of the Table

    • chelsea

      December 13, 2016 at 9:36 am

      oh sheila, how right you are! after sharing this part of my story, i did feel a weight lifted and it does hold less power of me. hugs to you too – hope you are doing great and thanks for this insightful comment

  6. Lindsay

    December 13, 2016 at 8:17 am

    This is so brave and honest. Thank you for sharing something so personal – I wish I could reach through the screen and give you a big hug. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this, and am thrilled to hear you’re on a path to getting back where you want to be. Sending so much love and light your way. You’re a fantastic mom, and Atlas is lucky to have you!

    I’m not a mom, or even pregnant yet, but honestly, just reading this post made me feel so much better about the resources available should I need them. I’m grateful for you talking about this – it makes me feel less scared. Thank you. <3

    • chelsea

      December 13, 2016 at 9:38 am

      thank you lindsay! i appreciate your support <3 i am also so glad it's getting better because for a hot minute i was like "shit. what have i done?!" glad to hear this helped squash some fear around PPD should it present itself to you (fingers crossed it stays far away) but yes, thank goodness for lots of resources today that our moms and grandmas did not have!

  7. jenniferhastonsays

    December 13, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Oh Chelsea! I am so sorry it’s been so hard on the three of you. I am so glad you shared the struggle you are facing. I can assure you, you are not alone. I am positive that asking for help is the smartest thing you could have done. I struggle too. it’s so easy to focus on the good and try to downplay the bad. As women, as a society, I think we all need to be real (to whatever level that is) about how HARD it is to be a new mom. I have other moms telling me the first 6 weeks are the hardest (you think?!?!?) and it DOES get better – but when you’re in it, it’s hard AF to KNOW that emotionally. Hang in there, mama! We are all doing better than we think and asking for help proves we are great moms!

    • chelsea

      December 13, 2016 at 9:41 am

      you are right jennifer, i feel like it’s our duty to be able to shed more light that it’s actually a lot harder, especially in the beginning. i think it’s also important for us to remember that being strong also means asking and getting the help we need too. we are doing better than we think too – 🙂 thanks jennifer!

  8. Amanda

    December 13, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Oh my, this is a great read. Something I needed to hear! All we ever read about is the stories of love at first sight and all the pain worthwhile. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard — or at least very rarely — of someone admitting it was not the case. I worry about that moment too. Talk about pressure to feel something that you don’t necessarily have control over! Thank you for opening up and sharing this. Indeed it’s something we need to talk more about. And I’m so glad you asked for help and received it.

    • chelsea

      December 13, 2016 at 9:42 am

      agreed amanda! thanks for reading. it is a lot of pressure to feel something you aren’t, especially when you don’t have control over it like you said. thanks for your encouragement and i’m glad i found the help i needed too!

  9. Kate

    December 13, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this, even if it was difficult to put out into the world. Society has expectations for us moms, and that really doesn’t help matters. People would say “isn’t motherhood wonderful?” Like I was supposed to be so overjoyed, and at times I was, but I was also exhausted and often times frustrated and unhappy because of all the hormones and not knowing what I was doing. Breastfeeding was a huge struggle for me too. There’s also this expectation out there that you MUST breastfeed, and it’s such a wonderful and amazing experience and you will love it so much! Truthfully, I kind of resented having to be the only one who could feed Aida. Yes, we have her a bottle every now and then, but I never seemed to find the time to pump so it wasn’t often enough for me to really get a break. It wasn’t until I stopped breastfeeding completely, a little over a month ago, that I started to feel more like myself again. I was way less moody and cranky, and honestly was a much better mom at that point because I wasn’t always in such a bad mood. Sorry for such a long post, but I wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone, and I’m happy to hear that you’re starting to feel more like yourself, and it sounds like you’ve got a really supportive village for help!
    Kate recently posted…6 Month Update

    • chelsea

      December 13, 2016 at 9:45 am

      oh how i feel you kate! it’s so hard when someone says “isn’t it awesome?!” and at that moment you want to yell “actually NO” i’m sorry to hear breastfeeding was such a struggle for your too. i am very very happy to hear things feel better after stopping last month. i have basically been exclusively pumping since she wouldn’t latch for more than a few minutes after chomping on me. i finally stopped about a week ago and it has been much better. i appreciate you sharing your story – we have to be real and stick together. that’s the kind of life and people i want to be around, not those painting only rainbows. aida is lucky to have you as her mama!

  10. Audrey

    December 13, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Oh Chelsea 🙁 I don’t know that Atlas will ever fully understand how lucky she is to call you “mom.” You’re a wonderful, self-aware human. I’m so glad you recognized the signs and sought help. And bravo to Mr. WS for encouraging you to help yourself. You guys are such a power couple.

    This will definitely help other mothers. I’m worried about the threat of PPD someday. I won’t know until I get there, but I think you’ve provided a wonderful resource for moms that might feel like they’re going at it alone.

    And totally off topic- you and Mr. WS make a GORGEOUS baby!
    Audrey recently posted…What I Read… November 2016

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      your comment gave me all the feels, thanks for saying that about being atlas’ mom 🙂 so very grateful to mr. ws too – he’s pretty damn grand. and should you experience PPD, i am SO here for you (or even if you don’t experience it). from this post it’s been so apparent that the majority of women do feel some intense emotions those first few weeks.

      and thank you – she is pretty darn gorgeous and just started to GIGGLE this week!

  11. Jackie Bailey

    December 13, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Chelsea, you are so courageous to post this. It’s not easy to let your vulnerabilities show. Motherhood is a thankless, exhausting role, however it is worthwhile.
    I’m delighted you were humble enough to seek help; and know you will be an inspiration to so many. This will not be the last time you will feel inadequate, but I pray you never feel hopeless.
    Best to you.

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      i appreciate your comment, thank you jackie 🙂 that is a good thing to remember that it won’t be the last time i feel inadequate and i appreciate the comment about not feeling hopeless. i hope i don’t feel that either. thank you and hope you are well!

  12. Justine

    December 13, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Thank you for sharing and my heart goes out to you and Atlas. My mom was alone for 2 years in Poznan/Poland with her birth and her postpartum depression when she gave birth to my brother 33 years ago, cause my father had been doing his advanced PhD/Junior Professorship at Cornell University at the time. He made the choice to go despite his wife being pregnant due to the political situation at the University in Poland and in Poland in general. Back then, it was a miracle he had the passport and a visa, and it took months to get the University’s dean to agree to the exchange. I know during that time my mom went through a lot, and came out the other side only because she had a good friend who looked out for her. Times have changed, but postpartum depression hasn’t, and I’m very grateful for your post, which, just like my mom’s friend, is a lifesaver.

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      wow it certainly sounds like your mom did go through quite a lot justine 🙁 glad to hear she had a good friend look out for her and came out on the other side okay. thanks for sharing that and for your words

  13. Cathy Gidley

    December 13, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Your blog could have been my words 35 years ago. I felt so alone and scared. I am thankful every day for my mom who helped me when I could not look at my baby without having bad thoughts. I admire you for writing this article. It was brave of you to share your most personal thoughts. I also admire you for accepting the gift of antidepressants. They have helped me to be functional for many years. If your brain is not producing enough of a particular chemical, or too much of a chemical, it is NOT a weakness. I am proud of you for doing what you needed to do to be well and be present for Avery and Atlas.

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      i am so grateful for our family too who has been there with me for those first few months whenever ryan was away – it’s scary to think about how deep i could have spiraled without them. i am very glad you had your mom there for you too cathy! glad antidepressants have worked well for you too, sometimes it is necessary and glad they exist

  14. Vivien

    December 13, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Thank you for having the guts to share. You are an inspiration to women everywhere.
    Vivien recently posted…Teamwork and Leadership

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      thank you vivien. it’s not always easy but it’s important. grateful for the love and support

  15. Paula Howley

    December 13, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Hey girly-whirly. Sending you warm Canadian hugs. Super proud of you for sharing. No, it’s not easy being a mom. In fact I don’t know that it ever gets easy but you do get better at it. My daughter was born on July 25 of 2006 and I don’t think I really bonded with her until Christmas Eve that year. 5 months. I didn’t have as hard a time with breastfeeding – it took us about 4 days to latch but I understand the frustration and the hormones. I’m so glad you had help. You’re a freakin’ super star. And all this during the Trump fiasco too. Happy Holidays to you all.
    Paula Howley recently posted…What’s So Funny?

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      good point that it may not get easier but you get better at it. i am going to remember that – plus that’s more empowering so thank you. those 4 days of her getting to latch right still must have been hell but glad it finally came together. i continued to try until week 10 but this little one just has a tiny mouth and cant get it.

      oh man. the election was so shitty. ryan wasn’t home so i literally had to get in the car and drive to see my mom at work. we sat in her office and cried.

  16. Sara

    December 13, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you so much for your vulnerability. I’ve definitely felt the pressure of expectations for marriage during the last year. It’s been a really hard year in a lot of ways. And it certainly doesn’t help when it seems like we only see the highlights reel of other’s lives.
    Sara recently posted…What Depression and Anxiety Feel Like

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      i am sorry it has been hard for you this past year, sara. you are right that it doesn’t help when we only see highlight reels. i’m sorry you’re experiencing depression and anxiety but know you aren’t alone!

  17. Hannah Haworth

    December 13, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Well done for such a brave post. Really got me in the feels! So sorry to hear of your experience. I found that the first few weeks were difficult for the fact that you dont really get much back. But once they finally start to do a half smile at you things start to all seem a lot more worthwhile. I didnt get PPD (not yet anyway) but the hormonal changes were bad enough so i really do send the biggest hugs to you. I took the decision to stop nursing really early on as it was no fun for either of us and it put a major strain on my emotions, and my husbands. It was a difficult decision but i think i came out the other end better for it. Glad to hear youre feeling more your normal self and thanks for sharing the true side of motherhood xx

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      oh those smiles! it definitely helps everything way more, you are right hannah! glad you did what was right for you and your mental health when it came to nursing. it’s so hard! thanks for sharing some of your story and hope things are getting better each day!

  18. Ashley

    December 13, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Chelsea, you are awesome for writing about this! I have no words to help but I’m proud of you for realizing that you needed help and going to get it. I know this post will help a TON of other people who are either in the same situation currently or who may be in this situation years from now. I am sure writing about it was incredibly hard but I appreciate you for doing it 🙂 Also, I hope my complete fail of a meetup attempt in Oct didn’t make things worse!! 🙁 <3

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      thank you ashley 🙂 your words did help because i appreciate your support and encouragement. and no no just wish we could have met but next time for sure! 🙂

  19. Bridget Lohman

    December 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Hugs to you Chelsea. New motherhood is hard. I am still breastfeeding my 2.5 year old daughter and I still have out of whack hormones and many times wish she wasn’t still nursing (I also have days where I never want it to end). I too didn’t feel an immidiate bond and immense love right away with my daughter. I struggled through nursing the first 2 months where it was endless, nursing 12-15 times a day with many sessions lasting hours and hours. She was waking up every 20 mins- hour at night. I was her pacifier and food source and her everything. I could not even put her down without her screaming her head off she had to be with me all the time. It was so exhausting. I felt even worse that it wasn’t easy for me considering caring for children was my profession and I had a degree in child development. I had cared for many babies and children and this was so different. Luckily my baby blues wore off and now I am so completely in love and obsessed with my little girl.

    I am so glad you got help and are on the road to recovery. Do not feel ashamed feel proud that you are such a great mother and you love her enough to get well so you can be the best mother to her.

    If you need to talk motherhood, I am reaching out as someone who has an ear to lend.

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      thank you for sharing part of your story, bridget! it really helps to hear what other women and moms have been through. well done on still breastfeeding but i get the pros and cons to it too! nursing really is such a hard thing. that does sound extra hard in having a degree and profession in child development but feeling so distant from that. so happy to hear your blues wore off and now your daughter is your fav (and insanely cute!)

      thanks also for offering your ear – it would be fun to get together!
      chelsea recently posted…When Becoming A Mother Isn’t What You Expected

  20. Farah

    December 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Wow! This is spectacularly honest and powerful!!! It makes me feel validated about being depressed. This is a woman who thought that she’s always been in control. I recently fell apart, and have been fighting with every fiber of my being to hide my vulnerability (that’s all I knew to do). Thank you for helping me get one step closer to allowing myself to be “ME”.

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      oh farah – i’m going to give you big hugs next time i see you! i’m sorry you’ve been struggling with depression too. it’s hard to have felt in control and then to suddenly lose that (i feel the same). thanks for reading and your comment. glad you are working towards being authentically YOU!

  21. Anita Ozolins

    December 14, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Big hugs to you Chelsea. Such an honest reveal, and as you can see from all the comments, you are most certainly not alone here! Although I have not had a baby I can only imagine how challenging and full on the whole thing must be. My sister had PPD, although I only learnt about it years later. Well done for speaking out about it, and well done for getting help. It will get better!!! xxxx Love Anita xxx

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      thank you anita 🙂 it has been really incredible all of the comments and email i’ve received. it helps immensely to know i am not alone. sorry to hear your sister had it and i also understand why she didn’t reveal it to you until later – it’s very hard to talk about. glad it’s getting better though 🙂

  22. Amberly

    December 14, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Hugs sweet friend!!!
    Amberly recently posted…Use the Love Languages to Give the Perfect Gift

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      thank you amberly 🙂 hope life with two babes is going well!

  23. chelsea jacobs

    December 14, 2016 at 10:46 am

    ALL THE APPLAUSE for you for sharing this. Sadly, this is not talked about nearly enough. When I went to my follow up appointment I had been building up my courage to ask my doctor about it, and before my appointment the nurse who was taking my vitals said, “They make us ask you about “Postpartum Depression” (air quotes and all) but you look happy enough. And let me tell you, there was no such thing as PPD when I had my kids” and allll my courage went out the window.

    It’s real. it’s common, and it’s treatable. And everyone deserves to know that.
    chelsea jacobs recently posted…Letters to Jack: Eleven Months.

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      oh my goodness chelsea i am SO sorry that the nurse treated you and PPD like that – how horrible. i am so sad that she has that attitude because she is obviously shutting women down when a very real mental thing is going on. damn her. hugs to you

  24. Anne

    December 14, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Chelsea, It’s so challenging to be a new mom! Thank you for sharing your experience. I had different versions of PPD with my 3 kids in different ways. With my second child, we were living in Berlin, Germany, with a language barrier and care that couldn’t reach me in the quick turnaround I felt I needed it. Sharing your experience is so helpful for moms and families going through it — care providers often need education too. When I started feeling better, there was a point that I wanted to bump the depressed girl inside me off the stage, she was kind of like an inconvenient sad twin I no longer wanted hanging out with me. Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t a choice to have her along. She just appeared and hung out until it was her time to go. Giant hugs to you and let me know if I can listen or write you a love letter about my gnarled journeys. xo, Anne

    • chelsea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      hugs anne! i am so sorry to hear you went through this too and oh my goodness, extra level on tough with being in germany. so so hard. i totally get what you’re saying about wanting to kick the depressed girl out but dangit she’s still hanging out. thankfully she moves a little farther away each week. thanks for your support xox

  25. Kelley

    December 20, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    I am so sorry you had to go through this difficult experience, but incredibly proud of you for everything in this post. Your vulnerability, honesty, writing to serve others, and choice to reach out and get help are amazing. I think you’re on to something with the breastfeeding struggles really piling on to make a tough situation worse; I had a similar experience. And with my son I experienced post-partumharm OCD – an experience so traumatizing I still haven’t brought myself to write or talk about it much 2 years later. So glad you finally got that heart burst moment. The depression gets easier and so does mommyhood, promise! Sending you big hugs!

    • chelsea

      February 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      gah i’m sorry i am now responding to this comment kelley! i am sorry you had a similar experience but i am thankful you shared that here i think we need more of that. hopefully you will be able to process your own experience when the time is right for you kelley – i have found it holds less power of me when i am able to share. sending you hugs too!

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