What Is Wrong with Me? A Silent Battle with Postpartum Depression


I prayed for her, I longed for her, and I waited so many years for her. I grew her for nine months and fell in love with her more every single day as I felt her sweet little kicks. But now that she’s here I somehow feel like I don’t even know her. I don’t feel like I love her. She should be given to someone more suited to be her mom because I am not. This isn’t meant for me. What is wrong with me?

I’ve waited my whole life for this moment, and now that it is here, I wish it never happened. I wish I never wanted a baby so much. Why did I long for this so desperately? What is wrong with me?

I spent the last month of pregnancy sad that I was going to have to share my baby with her daddy and our family who had been patiently waiting for her just as long as I have. And now that she’s here, I want nothing to do with her. I’m so thankful they are here now to scoop her up and give her the love she deserves that I can’t give.

What Is Wrong with Me? A Silent Battle with Postpartum DepressionWhat is wrong with me?

I don’t want to hold her, but I also can’t breathe when I’m not holding her. I don’t want to look at her because I feel guilty for not loving her like I should, but if I look away from her then I just know she’ll stop breathing and I’ll never forgive myself. What is wrong with me?

Everyone said breastfeeding would be an amazing bonding experience, but I can’t even look at my daughter because I hate this so much. I want my body back to myself. I don’t feel like we will ever bond. Isn’t bonding supposed to just come naturally? What is wrong with me?

I can’t sleep because I know the second I fall asleep she is going to die and I can’t fathom the idea of waking up without her, but also I sometimes just wish she wasn’t here. Maybe I just wish I wasn’t here. Yeah. That’s what it is. I wish I were dead instead. She would be better off without me as her mom. I just want to die. I can’t do this. I hate this. I thought I would love this, but I don’t. What is wrong with me?

I remember spending hours upon hours wondering what was wrong with me.

I felt like the worst mom in the world. After all, I spent years praying for my sweet girl after being told by doctors I would never have babies. And then all of a sudden, I was feeling like I hated every second of being a mom and hated myself for it. I didn’t feel like I loved her and that pained me. How could I not love my baby?

I spent every shower just sitting there sobbing, hoping my husband wouldn’t hear me. I didn’t want him to know what I was feeling. He was so madly in love with our daughter, and I felt guilty. He would hate me, and I didn’t need him hating me too. Me hating myself was enough.

I didn’t want anyone to know how I was feeling.

Everyone knew how much I wanted this. What kind of person was I for feeling this way? All I wanted was to die, but also, all I could think about was all the different ways she was going to die.

I planned to take her to my 6-week checkup appointment, but my husband assured me she would be okay at home with him while I went. Part of me was drowning in guilt that I desperately needed to get away from her to feel like I could breathe for a minute and the other part of me knew I needed to go alone, hoping the doctor could see through the front I had been putting up.

I sobbed the whole way to my appointment, and as soon as I walked back into my room, the nurse knew something was off. She sat me down and started asking me some questions. My doctor came in and said, “Taylor, you have postpartum depression, and it’s time for help.”

Wait, I HAVE WHAT? I had done so much research on postpartum depression prior to having my baby because I have a history of depression and my doctor and therapist told me it was almost a guarantee that I would end up having it. I didn’t really want to believe them though because I wanted this baby so badly and loved her so much while I was pregnant. How did I not see this? How did I not know this was what I was facing?

I finally had the answer to what was wrong with me. Nothing. Nothing was WRONG with me. I was facing something that was entirely out of my control and that millions of women also face. And I wasn’t alone even though I felt entirely alone.

What Is Wrong with Me? A Silent Battle with Postpartum DepressionI breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that I wasn’t actually a horrible mother and I wasn’t the only one going through this. I didn’t have to hide it anymore. Or did I? I don’t hear moms talk about this struggle, so maybe I should still hide it from the world? Is this something we battle silently?

I called my husband on my way down to my car with tears running down my face, knowing I had to tell him. What kind of person would he think I was? Did he know what I was going through? How did he not see it? How did no one see it? I simply told him, “I’m leaving now, and I have to stop at the pharmacy to pick up a new prescription. I’ll be home soon.”

He responded with, “Okay, what new prescription?” I held my breath for a moment and said “antidepressants for my postpartum depression.” Then I hung up and sobbed in my car for a few minutes. We really didn’t talk about it again for months though. It remained a silent battle.

I wasn’t sure if or how I should tell my friends and family, so I did what I love to do–I wrote it out and posted it. You can read my letter to everyone here.

My husband’s phone began ringing and several people were calling him, saying they had no idea and asking if I was okay. Never once did anyone ask me though. He just told them I was fine. I wasn’t, but I also didn’t tell him that. I continued to just deal with it alone. Somehow I thought that would be easier.

Once I had the official diagnosis of postpartum depression, I was determined to force myself to bond with my baby. I didn’t know how to do that, but I was willing to try anything. I started by forcing myself to stare at her while she nursed. It was so hard to do because I had spent weeks purposefully looking away from her.

I remember one day we just locked eyes and stared at each other and tears began to stream down my face. I felt so guilty. How did I miss out on so much of her little life already? I couldn’t even remember what she looked like when she was a newborn. I didn’t study her face and memorize it. From that moment forward, I tried to memorize every little detail about her. Her nose, her eyes, her toes, her lips, her ears, her little fingers. All of it.

I couldn’t tell you exactly when I started to love her, but I fell madly in love with her. She became my best friend. We finally bonded.

What Is Wrong with Me? A Silent Battle with Postpartum DepressionBut it didn’t just magically end there. I still struggle with the guilt of the time lost. I don’t understand how I couldn’t feel the way I feel about her now when she was born. It still makes me feel like a horrible mom, but I only have whatever is in front of us, not behind us. Thankfully I took A LOT of photos of her from day one which I spend countless hours looking at now.

Momma, if you are going through this, please don’t do it alone. It can become very dangerous when you sit alone in those thoughts. If you aren’t ready to reach out for help, maybe start by writing your feelings down in a journal. Anything to not bottle them up inside because they will drown you. I know how hard it is when you are in the thick of it, and some days will be easier than others. It comes in waves.

If you find yourself wondering what is wrong with you, just know that you are not alone and you can get through to the other side of this. If you suspect you are struggling with postpartum depression, please reach out for help.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.