Faces of Postpartum
Faces of Postpartum
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Ariane, Dumfries VA (3/4)

“Despite my efforts, I didn’t get better. After another week of not sleeping and crying all night, my counselor worked out a way for me to stay to at the Perinatal and Mood disorder psychiatric unit at UNC. The only unit like that in the country. They only have room for 5 mothers at a time, so I got lucky to even be admitted. I packed a little bag and cried the whole 6-hour drive to North Carolina. I couldn’t believe I was about to check-in to a mental hospital. I couldn’t believe I was abandoning my family. I couldn’t believe I would only see them a couple hours a day, never at night, and have to pump around the clock to still be able to feed her. I was scared. But the thing is, I ended up loving the hospital. I was able to see specialized psychiatrists, to talk about the right meds, and risk vs benefits to breastfeeding moms. I met with counsellors, did group therapy sessions, and painted my finger nails for no other reason than self-care. Mike would come with Lou at lunch and in the evening, and I was – surprisingly – relieved to see them leave at 7pm. I met amazing women who were as hurt, or even more, than me. I had gotten my routine back and I thrived with the nurses’ help, which let’s be honest, are the true angels of every hospital. I have no shame in saying that they saved my life. Not because I wanted to die anymore, but because they told me to put my phone away, put Google and the mommy groups away, and to trust my gut. Again, I rationally knew all that, but because of them I finally understood that motherhood was something you learned, that there was a life after having babies, and that routine would come back eventually. I needed to be taught how to trust others and to care for myself.”