Postpartum Depression? No. I’m not weak.
Postpartum. A postpartum (or postnatal) period begins immediately after the birth of a child as the mother’s body, including hormone levels and uterus size, returns to a non-pregnant state. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes the postnatal period as the most critical and yet the most neglected phase in the lives of mothers and babies; most maternal and/or newborn deaths occur during the postnatal period. You might even say that it’s at that moment in two people’s lives that they are at their weakest.
Let’s go over that again…. Right after having a baby, that time? It’s the most critical and neglected phase in a mother’s and baby’s life.
The Truth About Motherhood: Facebook Lies.
Now, here in the United States, we’re very lucky to have tons of appointments to make sure our babies are well taken care of. We took both our daughters to their one week old appointment, their two week old appointment, month old appointment, two month old appointment…you get the picture. And we, of course, called whenever anything seemed out of the normal for either of our girls and rushed them into the doctor’s office.
For me? Less so. I had an appointment at six months postpartum in which I had my lady parts checked up on to make sure everything had healed properly and were still in good condition. And I filled out a form about postpartum depression that asked questions that of course a good mother would never respond to in the way that I should have responded to if I was being completely honest.
No, I didn’t want to kill myself or my daughter(s). But I felt horrible. And I knew that I shouldn’t. Mothers should be glowing and so happy to have their little babies. Not questioning what I’d done and if I was capable of this role that I seemed so ill-equipped to handle.
Good Mothers didn’t have postpartum depression. They were strong for their babies and their families…they were capable, not weak. Right? After all, no one ever explained any differently. And certainly Facebook was full of happy Mothers who loved their children and not Mothers who wanted to hide out in the bathroom to avoid screwing up their kids, right? Mothers who needed a break but as soon as they got it, felt horribly guilty for needing the break and being away from their children? That’s weakness. Good Mothers aren’t weak, right?
The Ultimate Lie: Somehow Our Weakness Makes Us Less
Since when did we get this lie in our heads that when we are weak, we are less than we should be? That we have to do it all on our own? That if we can’t, or don’t, we are not living up to what we should be.
Even if you don’t believe in God, look at our society and world. Everything about our society speaks to working together. We get married to share the burdens of life with one another. We are parts of families to shoulder the burden of growing older and facing new age hurdles together. We work together in groups to achieve great things. Why do we suddenly think that we have to do it all alone in order to be successful as a person? Boy, that is one seriously good lie that the devil is telling people.
It is NOT weakness to ask another person for help.
We are designed to NEED help throughout our lives.
You are stronger to see your weakness and to strengthen yourself by getting aid.
God’s Thoughts on Weakness
And of course, one of the best (and my favorite) Bible verses addresses this so well…
Delight in Weakness? Are you Crazy?
Read that again with me… “My power is made PERFECT in weakness.” And then Paul, who wrote 2 Corinthians, says he’s going to BOAST about his weaknesses…no, no, more than that – he’s going to DELIGHT in them! Yes. It definitely sounds like someone who might have gone off the rails. But then you read that last line… “For when I am weak, then am I strong.”
When we are weakest, and when we realize that we aren’t self-sufficient (which we never were, it’s just a lot more obvious when we’re facing those tough moments), when we reach out and rely on others and most importantly, on God, THAT is when we truly are at our strongest. Because that is the moment when we aren’t alone in this world. And we never really were, God’s never abandoned us. But that moment when we reach out, that’s when WE realize we aren’t alone. That we have friends, family and a very powerful God holding us up when we can no longer stand.