Having a child is an amazing experience (even more so with two) but there are aspects of the experience which are definitely not wonderful. Gina had postnatal depression after our son was born and it was a tough year before we realised what was going on and how to help her. I just came across a great video about a new father’s experience titled “Mike’s Story” which echoes many of my experiences in that year:
When you have a baby everything is supposed to be rainbows and unicorns farting rainbows in the sunlight so you don’t want to admit that it’s anything but that. You don’t want to admit that the family isn’t perpetually giddy with excitement about this little person who just ushered in that “family”. In retrospect, I think the best thing was moving past the shame/worry/denial and seeking professional help.
Just knowing that what Gina was experiencing was postnatal depression somehow made it easier to deal with it because we understood what was going on. Putting a name to the darkness opened the door to solutions and it made such a difference in what felt like a pretty short time period.
The more I think about what she must have been going through in that year, the more I admire my wife for her courage in the face of what must have felt like utter darkness. You can read about Gina’s experiences in her post titled “I didn’t know …“:
Postnatal depression is nasty but it can be beaten if you understand what you are dealing with and if you seek help, together. It really works better if you do it together. As Gina put it:
I hope that reading this makes a difference to someone who needs it. I hope they know they are not alone.