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A Mother Shares Her Postpartum Depression Story

Nobody Told Me the Joy of Having Triplets Would Be Overshadowed by Postpartum Depression

When Desiree Fortin dreamed of becoming a mother, she imagined being overwhelmed with joy and love for her kids. Read on to find how postpartum depression changed her expectations and how she was able to come to terms with her emotions in this post originally featured on Our Journey to Parenthood.

I dreamed so much about being a Mom. I wondered what I would be like and what my kids would be like. The joys and satisfaction of motherhood sparked deep curiosity of who I would become and the role I would take on in my family.

Once becoming a Mother, I realized that my dreams and expectations I had about motherhood were a bit different than what I imagined. In many ways, it is far more rewarding than I could have ever dreamed of. However, in other ways, there were expectations and trials in life as a Mom that made me feel weary and defeated.

During my pregnancy, I remember a close friend sharing with me some of her struggles as a Mom with Postpartum depression. I was naive to think I would never experience such difficulty as a new Mom. My friend was brave to expose her heart to me. However, never did I imagine I would walk through thick walls of depression through sleepless nights and lonely moments, but I did. One morning I laid depleted in my bathtub and knew that something was wrong. I wasn't quite myself. I was embarrassed and ashamed because I wanted to be a Mom for so long, yet I was experiencing more tears than smiles at that point as a Mother. I was more exhausted than I knew any human being could even feel. And to be blatantly honest, I wasn't enjoying motherhood. A cloud of shame covered my heart for even recognizing these feelings. For weeks I put on my super triplet mom smile while on the inside my heart was grieving my expectations as a Mom. I knew some of the things I was feeling were very unhealthy and that I needed to take a stand and make a change so I could be the very best I can be for my children. However, sometimes that is not always easy.

Guilt. Shame. Embarrassment.

How dare I even feel so sad about my role as a Mom. I waited for this. I longed for this. I was deeply embarrassed by my unwanted feelings. Guilt covered my being for some time. There was such high when I found out I was pregnant. So many people had been walking alongside me and praying for this time in my life. And then to make the joy of an expectant Mom even more joyful, I found out we were having triplets!! The icing on the cake was our gender reveal video, which went viral and the support came rolling in like you wouldn't believe. Before I knew it thousands of people were loving on my husband and I and our babies that were destined to be. It was such a high. However, weeks after our babies were home the high came toppling down as the stress and anxiety of caring for my triplets in a healthy and manageable way turned to depression due to the sensitivity and difficulty in feedings and caring for three babies with reflux problems and colic.

Just a couple weeks after we got our triplets home they started showing signs of some pretty bad reflux issues, along with colic. They spit up a ton and we noticed they all were wheezing and coughing. Our babies were feeding every three hours. The feedings typically took (and still do) an hour and half to two hours. Following that I would pump for thirty minutes and start the process over, which would give me enough time for sometimes a cat nap in between feedings. The sleep deprivation in itself was literally making me insane. Our babies, all three of them, were diagnosed with GERD. If you aren't familiar with GERD, it is severe reflux. We even found ourselves in urgent care with Sawyer one night because his wheezing was so bad his breathing became faint. We have to burp them 6-8 times through every feeding and they usually have more reflux following every feeding. They often cry during their feedings because they anticipate the pain of the reflux. They also need to be sitting up right for 30 minutes after every feeding, which can be hard especially during the midnight hours. I sometimes feel like the baby burping police when anyone other than myself is feeding my babies because they are so sensitive. As you can imagine these issues can be very difficult with one baby, let alone triplets.

The anxiety alone of feeding my babies was enough to swallow my joyful, confident, sparkling spirit as a Mom. There was nothing I could do to help them feel better. The colic hours were exhausting. I felt helpless. I am their Mom, but I couldn't offer anything to soothe them. The loneliness of my depression and my inability to care for my babies the way I thought I should was taking a toll on me. The gloom in my heart was like nothing I have ever experienced before, quiet and lonely.

My loneliness during this season was worse than my infertility. I wasn't afraid to share my infertility. And people stood by me because perhaps they had been there too or they understood the agony of an empty womb. When I exposed the rawness of my postpartum heart to some people I trusted, in return I heard things like "I guess you prayed a little too hard," or "Be careful what you wish for." This only aided in my anxiety as my role as a Mom and the dark cloud that seemed to saturate my being. Postpartum depression has a bad stigma. No one likes to admit when they are in it. Because postpartum depression is not talked about the way it should be, it made me feel alone in my weary moments as a Mom and made it difficult to be vulnerable even with my own Husband.

Yes, I prayed hard to be a Mom. And God gave me the greatest desires of my heart and more, a Mom to 3 precious hope babies. But there is no such thing as praying too hard. God is great and He has always been in control of my womb, even through some of the most heart wrenching parts of my journey. When God gave me two extra bonus babies it was apart of His perfect plan in making me a Mother. He beautiful painted my story more perfectly than I could have ever made for myself.

My postpartum depression and anxiety has been devastating and embarrassing, but God has used this season in my life to reveal to my heart how much I need Jesus because He is the only One that can offer me true hope and satisfaction in all things. Every meticulous detail in my journey has been used to glorify the King. And God has continued to use this season of broken expectations in motherhood to open my eyes to the gift of sharing burdens. My family has been immensely blessed by many people, some who I do not even know well, that have given their time and hearts to serve and love my family. It is humbling to see a servants heart and remarkable to see Jesus in my brothers and sisters in Christ who have loved on my family. God has used my heartache to draw me closer to Him and reveal a greater picture of his Gospel. I will not be ashamed of my story because God is using it for His glory — even though this season was not what I anticipated it to be.

That day when I laid soaking in my bathtub, I knew it was time to get help. I knew I needed to see a Doctor. I knew things needed to change. I knew I should't be ashamed of my depression or the season I was in. Soon after that day, I found myself sitting across my Doctor sharing with her what it really has been like being a Mom so far. I have experienced by far some of the greatest moments in my life. And equally, some of the hardest moments of my life. She understood, and even told me I was high risk for PPD. I was diagnosed with situational postpartum depression, which was a hard pill to swallow. I was given some medicine as a security take as needed blanket. I have triplets. Not to mention, reflex and colic triplets. Being a Mom is a hard job and even though it has been a rough start to Motherhood, I am not ashamed of my story or the challenges I have faced as a new Mom.

I am making some big strides as a Mom through this season. My heart is finally covered with more joy than sorrow-even though I am still bearing some sleep exhaustion. Many people told me "it gets better," and they were right. My babies smile all the time and their personalities are starting to blossom. I rejoice in not feeling lonely like I used to because I am confident in who I am because of Jesus. My identity as a Mother is found in Him. If that means at times it feels like I am standing alone as the depressed and weary Mom for a little while it is okay because I know the truth is I am never alone and He is with me in all my seasons of life. Being a Mom is just a hard job. While this job as a Mother may feel overwhelming and drowning at times, being a mother, is undoubtably the most precious gift the Lord has given me. The love I have for my darling hope babies is like nothing I have ever experienced before. And although being a Mother may come with some really tough days, I will choose to face the trials of motherhood with joy, honesty, and grace.

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