70 Postpartum Depression Survivors Share How They Knew They Were Getting Better -postpartumprogress.com

A mom who is currently struggling with postpartum depression recently asked me how to know when you are getting better. Rather than answer that question myself, I put it out to my followers on Twitter and to the members of our Facebook page.

Reading through their answers brought me so much happiness, as well as a few tears of remembrance!  Here’s what I love most about them:

  • The diversity of responses: Some moms were glad when they could laugh again, whereas others knew they were getting better when they could sleep again or could be alone with their babies without fear. Just as mothers’ experiences with postpartum depression are not one-size-fits-all, neither are their experiences of recovery.

  • The hope: I feel such joy in the collective hope these moms represent. All of them went through the depths of despair and are here to show that you will get better, too.

I Knew I Was Getting Better From Postpartum Depression & Anxiety When …

  1. Jackie K.: When I was able to smile with my baby, laugh with my husband and enjoy my family.
  2. Jade R.: When I could enjoy my children.
  3. Anna P.: When I didn’t have to try so hard to act “normal.”
  4. Tara S.: When I looked forward to leaving the house.
  5. Candace E.: When laughing didn’t feel forced.
  6. Kate S.: When my mom told me I was a delight to be around again.
  7. Erin B.: When I could lay down for the night and be excited about the next day.
  8. A’Driane D.: When I could laugh as my 18-month-old was screaming and refusing to let me wipe his nose.
  9. Tempest B.: When I finally felt that surge of love for my daughter that had been lacking.
  10. Jenna S.: When I could enjoy the moment with my toddler and see the world through his eyes.
  11. Alicia H.: When I started enjoying the little moments with my baby boy.
  12. Jennifer L.: When I was able to sleep without any help from medicine.
  13. Amy R.: When I didn’t cry for a whole 24 hours.
  14. Jennifer F.: When I felt like I was in control instead of the depression.
  15. Kristina G.: When I realized the day had passed by without me having to worry and plan each moment.
  16. Mary L.: When I finally saw the light and felt a huge weight off of my shoulders.
  17. Crystal B.: When my kids hugged me and told me they were glad I wasn’t mad anymore.
  18. Alice M.: When my husband was gone all day and I didn’t feel panic at being alone.
  19. Nadia M.: When I started talking about my experience with postpartum depression in the past tense.
  20. Brooke P.: When a week went by and I didn’t have a depressed day.
  21. Sara M.: When I didn’t dread the next day.
  22. Janna H.: When everyone started saying Janna’s back because I started singing out loud at work and making people laugh again.
  23. Shannon S.: When I felt like myself and had emotions.
  24. Kristen H.: When I had a day in which I mostly felt like myself, and I was too excited to fall asleep because of how good I had felt that day.
  25. Stephanie P.: When I looked at my son and saw the blessing God placed in my care.
  26. Crystal B.: When I didn’t wake up in a panic from the nightmares and I felt rested for the first time in ages.
  27. Jennifer C.: When I was excited to come home from work at the end of each day and see my daughter.
  28. Melissa B.: When I was able to believe that it was okay to cry and that it wasn’t a sign of weakness or failure.
  29. Stacey P.: When I woke up in the morning and didn’t immediately wish it was time to go to bed; hours, minutes and seconds were no longer my enemy.
  30. Elizabeth C.: When I realized I love my baby.
  31. Melissa D.: When I no longer wandered the aisles of Target at midnight.
  32. Emily L.: When I admitted I had a problem.
  33. Allie B.: When I felt excited to hear my twins cry. They were awake and wanted mommy love.
  34. Laura R.: When I stopped hating my daughter.
  35. Alicia S.: When I could go back to sleep when the baby did.
  36. Elizabeth R.: When my baby started smiling at me and I realized he was smiling back at me.
  37. Amy T.: When it became okay to go to bed at night without going through the OCD ritual I created to protect myself from dying in my sleep.
  38. Deanna D.: When I started laughing my head off instead of crying when both my boys were have giant meltdowns.
  39. Laurie S.: When I was able to start my morning without a massive panic attack about something stupid like cleaning bottles or packing the diaper bag.
  40. Becky P.: When I finally felt that “connection” with my son.
  41. Stacey H.: When I became excited to rock my baby boy to sleep.
  42. Amanda K.: When I was no longer obsessed with the number of hours of sleep I got each night.
  43. Amanda L.: When my daughter’s cry didn’t cause me to go into a full blown panic attack.
  44. Jennifer L.: When I started to enjoy food again.
  45. Ann Marie W.: When my OCD thoughts of harming were not 24/7 and didn’t give me anxiety any more.
  46. Claire P.: When I could be alone with my baby and not panic about it.
  47. Iri Z.: When I could look at a pregnant woman and not feel sick or sorry for her.
  48. Cristi C.: When I asked for help.
  49. Allyn O.: When I felt happiness instead of dread when my baby called me “mama.”
  50. Lauren P.: When I could finally say “this is my son,” and not feel like a complete and utter fraud and failure.
  51. Anne R.: When I slept 8 hours in a row consistently.
  52. Vanessa B.: When I realized I didn’t need people around me 24/7.
  53. Sarah O.: When I enjoyed playing with my son for the first time.
  54. Theresa M.: When my negative emotions stopped controlling me.
  55. Roxanne W.: When I no longer wanted to give my daughter away to a complete stranger.
  56. Danielle P.: When I could congratulate someone else on their pregnancy/attend a baby shower for a friend.
  57. Jennifer G.: When I felt joy in just being with my husband and daughters.
  58. Dara K.: When the thought of leaving my house didn’t make me feel sick to my stomach.
  59. Laura.: When I could drive the route to the hospital without crying.
  60. Katherine S.: When I looked at my son’s first portrait from nursery school and thought, “That’s my boy!”
  61. Quinn: When I held both of my boys and didn’t want the moment to end.
  62. Kim: When I wanted to take care of myself, and my home, again.
  63. Anne: When I could look at pictures from the hospital after my daughter’s birth.
  64. Ashley: When I stopped cleaning the kitchen floor obsessively.
  65. Liz. C.: When I could imagine a day alone with my children without drowning in a sea of panic and anxiety.
  66. Melissa: When the baby crying didn’t make me want to crawl out of my skin.
  67. Suzanne: When I didn’t cry every day.
  68. Leelah O.: When I wanted to be a part of things again.
  69. Lauren H.: When I could laugh again.
  70. Mirjam R.: When I laughed instead of crying when something went wrong.
  71. Nicole M.: When I could leave the house with my son without being overwhelmed by anxiety.
  72. Christina: When I FELT the sun, not just saw it. It was warm. It felt like life, finally.