What It's Like To "Show Up" Through Postpartum Depression

"If you're going through hell, keep going" is clichéd advice, but one mother found that it got her through postpartum depression.

On Saturday, mom and blogger Bunmi Laditan opened up about her experience with postpartum depression, which she said happened after giving birth to her third child.

In a post to her Facebook page, Laditan said that after her son was born, she didn't feel the "magical insta-connection" that she did with her first two children.

"But when I came home with my little cub, while he was cute as a button, I knew something was missing," she wrote. "He didn’t feel like mine. I felt like I was taking care of someone’s else’s child."

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What she was going through are common symptoms of postpartum depression. According to the American Psychological Association, those who experience it may feel disinterest in the baby, experience anxiety, and have difficulty concentrating, amongst other things.

While Laditan was diagnosed and treated for PPD, she said that it took three years for her to feel that connection to her child.

"In that time, I loved my baby boy, took him to play centres, parks, we cuddled, I painted his hands and pushed them into soft clay for keepsakes, and snapped a million photos, but there was a valley between us that I prayed he didn’t feel," she said.

The experience, she wrote, made her realize that even when you've sought help for PPD, it can still be a difficult journey — but one that's entirely worth it.

Her message to other mothers who might be going through the same thing?

"Please just wait. Keep showing up. Keep rocking them to sleep searching their little faces for what you need. Keep wiping down that high chair and kissing their pillow soft cheeks. Every time you do you, the angels throw a handful of sand into the canyon between you. One day it will be full and you’ll walk across it to find you were always there somehow."

Of course, this is just one woman's experience, but she hopes that sharing her story will help others.

"No, it’s not fair that you have to work at what’s supposed to come naturally, but in life the only thing that’s promised is work," she continued. "Have faith, sweet mother. Your efforts will be rewarded. Speak gently to yourself. Breathe. Ask for help. Dawn will come, girlie. Just stay."

If you are experiencing postpartum depression, please call the Postpartum Support Helpline.

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