04 September 2013

My mom's thoughts on PPD

In honor of the fact that my mom is celebrating her birthday this week, I thought I'd share a guest post she sent me a little while back. My mom is a wonderful and amazing person; I can't imagine having anyone but her as my mom and I'm so blessed to have such a supportive woman in my life. Please welcome my mother, Sharon O'Neal.

I would like to share some of my thoughts about PPD, in hopes that it'll be helpful.

I experienced some mild baby blues after my second baby's birth. They would happen unexpectedly at the strangest moments, but then pass in a short while. I'm sure my two-year-old daughter wondered why Mommy would tear up while reading about cars, planes, and trains! But, within a few weeks or so, they were gone, and life was wonderful and busy. 

Life happened and time passed, and I didn't think about it very often. Then, when our granddaughter Elizabeth was three months old, we received a call from our son-in-love letting us know that Esther had gone to the hospital to seek help for Postpartum Depression and he was at home with the (breastfeeding) baby. I promised to pack some things and go the next day. I stayed with them, helping with Elizabeth. 

When we got clearance to go visit Esther at the facility, we would go and take turns visiting Esther while the other one waited with Elizabeth in the waiting area. I remember the first time I saw Esther after her admittance. She had the bleakest, most lifeless look in her eyes. The despair in her was almost physically palpable. It broke my heart to think of how much she was and had been suffering. As I think back now, I have tears in my eyes, and I remember thinking, “We will do whatever we need to do to help this daughter and her precious family.” 

The following season was one of the hardest in my life. But, when I see how hard Esther and Eric have fought this disease, and how passionate she has become on behalf of others, I am so thankful that she had the courage to say, “I need help and I deserve help.” And that's the message I now try to pass on to others: no matter what you're dealing with, you are loved, you do deserve help, and there's no reason to feel any shame or guilt for this problem. If there's a family member of a woman with PPMD who needs someone to listen, I'm here for you.

I can't put into words how grateful I am for Mom's love, support, and acceptance during that difficult time, and ever since, extending now to how grateful I am for this post. I love you, Mom!


  1. Oh my. I'm almost tearing up reading this. What incredibly lovely words.

    She sounds a lot like my mom and I'm so glad you had this support. Hugs for your mom.

    1. I literally teared up reading it when she first sent it to me.

      I don't know what I would have done without her. It was such a difficult time (to put it very mildly) but it helped so much to know that she was taking care of my husband and daughter while I couldn't.