Grief Motherhood

My Struggle with Postpartum Depression

Game Changer www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Mikayla Haggard

After suffering a miscarriage, My husband and I decided to try again for another child. I never thought I would be ready after the miscarriage, but God has a way of healing hearts and giving courage. So we became pregnant with our 3rd child. Due date October 15th. Talk about anxiety pregnancy after a loss of a child. Whoooo – Weeee! Every cramp, every day I didn’t throw up, every little thing led me to panic! I would self diagnose bed rest and would drink a gallon of water because I was NOT going to loose this child. Ball of stress.

At this point in my career, I was a sales consultant traveling an average of 400 miles a day and eating at every gas station when I stopped to pee.  I can tell you exactly how many minutes and seconds between each town along Interstate 80 and which gas stations have the best bathrooms, the best toilet paper and the friendliest cashiers that let you just take the 44oz big gulp cup to use as a “emergency toilet.”  I highly doubt there is anything funnier then watching a preggo try to run to the bathroom with a dead leg that fell asleep while driving and a half eaten snickers bar hanging out of her mouth. Nebraska folks really do have compassion and a sense of humor.

But I made it through 9 months of misery on the road and the day of delivery finally arrived. I was going to meet my baby boy #2 with this uneasy sense of not being the slightest bit ready whatsoever.

He was born and I cried when I held him.  I wasn’t sure if it was happiness or fear, or maybe both. As we were packing up to leave the hospital, my husband was sensing something was wrong, but I told him I was fine and we went home. I couldn’t WAIT because my parents and family were going to be there waiting for me and I just wanted to put my feet up. You are told after you have one kids the second one is always easier, you are prepared and know what to expect.

That is a total lie.

Once I got home, I didn’t feel the relief I was expecting.  In fact the little inkling of anxiety that was in my gut when we left the hospital was now the size of a baseball in my chest. But I ignored it and for some reason the baseball turned into a basketball and by day 3 at home I had a full blown panic attack where I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t hold my baby. I felt complete disconnect and I couldn’t get myself calmed down.  I was running a fever and my blood pressure was through the roof.

Travis ended up taking me to the emergency room where they diagnosed me with Postpartum Depression and got me on medicine right away. I was completely ashamed and embarrassed.  What kind of mother was I? I had prayed for so long to have this precious baby boy, and for God to protect my pregnancy, and here I am doubting myself as a mother.  I wasn’t sure if having another kid was the right choice and I felt paralyzed.  But I knew in my heart I was happier than I could ever be to snuggle this amazing baby.  

I was struggling with – what I called – a love paralysis.

I was so afraid of doing something wrong.  I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to get him to calm down when he was crying.  

I was so afraid he wouldn’t wake up and die.

I was so afraid that I wouldn’t know how to soothe him.

I was so afraid I was going to trip with him in my arms and hurt him.

I was so afraid to put him in the car seat in fear we might get in a wreck.

I was doubting and fearing every little thing.  This was truly one of the hardest times of my life.

I doubted who I was as a mother.  I was extremely dependent on my husband.  I knew he was scared to leave me at home alone in fear I might hurt myself, which only made my own insecurities worse.  Being so scared and alone made me realize I needed God. I needed him to physically get me out of bed every single day and face the music.

Literally. Music. It was my healer. God blasted his word through music.  My baby Roo and I would lay on the floor for hours engrossed in the melodies of God listening to the words, praying for peace. It was granted on most days.

I could not have made it through without my husband.  What a miracle he was! He got up with the baby EVERY night and would put Roo to bed at night while I sunk into the covers at 7 pm. He would sleep on the couch so when the baby woke, I wouldn’t hear him get out of bed to feed him. Our marriage was suffering, but he didn’t care, all he cared about was getting me better. He made me realize relationships aren’t always 50/50 sometimes its 90/10 sometimes its 80/20 and sometimes – times like this – it’s 100/0.

But it’s because of love you can push through.

God blessed me with my little saving grace of a child too. Roo was a perfect baby.  He hardly fussed, he was sleeping through the night at 12 weeks, and had these amazingly peaceful eyes that the second I looked into them I just knew God was with me. He is my little rock and always will be. To this day when I look at him I feel peace. Even when he’s dumping spaghetti on his head, I still get this sense of calm. Isn’t it amazing how God knows exactly what we need, and never gives us more then we can handle? He knew I was going to struggle with Postpartum so he gave me this angel of a newborn to ease the pain.

I struggled more than I ever had in my life, but came out stronger, wiser, and closer to God, my husband and my child. 

If you were to ask me then, I would have said I would rather die than feel the way I was feeling. Now if you ask me, I can say it was a curse that turned into the biggest blessing I’ve ever received. That night was a game changer. And it was a long game. But I won.

About the author

Mikayla Haggard

My name is Mikayla Haggard. I’m married, live in Nebraska and have 2 teenage step-kids and 3 children of my own ages 5,2, and 1. Life has handed me many many topics to write about including blending families, marriage, having an “ours” baby and being raised in a step-family myself.

I rely on God and my faith to get me through 100% of the struggles I face including a miscarriage and extreme postpartum depression and anxiety. I also fought the change of being a successful business woman to a stay-at-home-mom. The feeling of never being enough or not being at the right place at the right time is a true struggle for many moms. I am very honest, very real, and very black and white. I always try to find humor in every single situation. Being different is how we learn from one another and I just want to share with the world my views thoughts and how I’m different.