Kasia’s Story: Life Got Very Real, Very Fast
I had my first babies at a much later age than most women – I was 36. For me getting pregnant was not the easiest thing to do. Thankfully after almost 10 years of trying, we got pregnant with twins – a boy and a girl. Life couldn’t be any better, right?
Struggles with Infertility
Actually, my pregnancy wasn’t too bad, besides the occasional morning sickness, night sweats and swollen feet. Our babies came six weeks early and this was a huge surprise to all of us. Because of how early they were born, they had to spend some time in the NICU. The stay in the NICU wasn’t too bad, and the NICU nurses did most of the work. When we got home, it was a different story. Life got very real, very fast.
Sleepless nights because of breastfeeding every 2-3 hours, pumping, and getting into silly arguments with my mom (who was there for support), quickly took a toll on me. I cried all the time, thought I was losing my mind, and didn’t really want to spend any time with my new born babies. It got so bad that I obsessed about ending my own life.
Feeling Completely Alone
I felt alone, and that nobody else knew or understood what I was going through. It was truly the worst time in my life for me, for my husband and close family members and friends. Everyone could tell that there was something wrong with me, but they didn’t know how to help.
So many new and seasoned moms experience the same horrible symptoms that I did and they don’t know how to cope. They don’t know what it is that they’re feeling. The more I talk to people and explain to them what I went through, they’re like, “I know someone who went through this” and this needs to change!
I think every woman and their partner who are pregnant or planning for a baby need to fully understand what postpartum depression is and how to manage it. I’m very thankful and proud to say that I’m over it. I’m healed of this “chemical imbalance” as my psychiatrist called it. With that said I know that there are many women out there that are still dealing with this. Trust me when I say that you’re not alone! Speak to your doctor, pastor, or friend, tell them how you’re really feeling.
We’re honored to share Kasia’s story as part of the Maternal Mental Health Research Collaborative’s Marathon of Moms campaign. Stories of lived experience are one of the most powerful tools we have to combat stigma and the shame surrounding mental illness. They’re also vitally important as we look to develop tools, resources and treatments that work for moms and meet their needs. Thank you, Kasia!