Experiencing Depression After Pregnancy Loss
For much of my life, I didn’t understand what it meant to be depressed.
I thought it meant feeling down, feeling sad.
I had never experienced the overwhelming depth of that kind of experience.
I am a naturally sunny person. I love mornings, and a good song can always put me in a good mood. I thought that I could motivate myself out of any pain or sadness. Until I experienced pregnancy loss.
When I lost my baby my whole entire energy shifted completely.
I did my best to function but I felt broken.
I felt like something was wrong with my body, that it didn’t work.
It wasn’t able anymore to bring forth a baby into this world.
Immediately after my loss, I needed time for my postpartum hormones to rebalance and for me to find my bearings again.
The depression that I experienced changed me- I understand now the intense physicality of depression. I couldn’t be motivated out of it.
Sometimes when I couldn’t get out of bed, it was because the world felt too heavy to hold.
Sometimes I couldn’t find the strength to move forward because I had never felt more tired.
Sometimes I found that I was not interested in starting life again because I felt too numb.
I felt a loss of the dream of that boy and the joy he was going to bring to our family.
Even now when I watch my four older boys, I remember that they were going to have another brother, and I feel the gnawing emptiness of his absence. There was supposed to be another handsome, smart, kind young man running alongside them and I miss him.
I think about the joy that we all would have shared with each other.
Looking back, I can hold space for the grief of that loss and the loss of my fertility.
I can hold space for the beautiful family and life that I adore.
I can send love to that version of myself who was emptied by depression.
I can tell her that it was real even though it felt foreign.
I can tell her that she’s going to be OK no matter how deep her pain, and that she will find herself again.
She may not believe it, but one day her strength, motivation, and interest in the world will resurface.
She will feel good and she will feel joy– again