Last week in New York a woman killed herself by jumping out of her 8th story apartment window.
She had her 10-month-old son strapped to her chest.
The baby, miraculously, survived.
In fact, he was almost unscathed.
Postpartum depression appears to have been the reason.
This mom was also completely overcome with guilt because her son had fallen.
Once from a playset, and once from the bed.
She (wrongly) thought she had caused him permanent damage.
And it pushed her over the edge.
I’m thankful that I’ve never had any issues with postpartum depression.
But I have had plenty of issues with good old major depressive disorder.
So I can relate on some level.
And the mom guilt…
We’ve all been there.
Most, if not all, of us have had a scare with at least one of our kids.
A scare that sends you spiraling into the “what ifs?”
But I don’t think people want to talk about a lot of that stuff because, well,
you feel like shit.
You can’t imagine that any other mom would ever let anything bad happen to her own child.
Well, at least not a good mom.
So let me make you feel a little better.
When Number 3 was just a couple weeks old, I was breastfeeding him in bed.
I fell asleep with him on my chest.
And I was jolted awake.
By the sound of him falling face-first onto the floor.
Just his face and the hardwood floor.
A combination of a SMACK and a THUD.
I will never forget that sound.
It was one of the worst moments of my life.
And I’ve had some pretty bad moments.
I was sure I had fucked him up for good.
He was screaming.
Just thinking about it now still makes me sick to my stomach.
And I couldn’t even silently live with the guilt.
Because my three-week-old son had a busted lip.
And bump on his forehead which was growing increasingly larger.
So I had to call the doctor.
And tell her that I just dropped my infant on his face.
I couldn’t even get the words out.
I was hysterical.
The nurse told me I was not the first person to make this kind of call.
And that babies are pretty resilient.
Kind of like Bumbles.
So ultimately, Number 3 was fine.
But I wasn’t.
It took a long time to get over that one.
A looooong time.
If you are there right now, I get it.
And while I can’t totally comprehend the magnitude of what postpartum depression does to your thought process, I sure as hell understand the magnitude of the grip it has on a person.
I know it’s real.
If you are struggling, please know this:
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! PLEASE!!!