> Testimonials

From Six Saskatchewan Women Who Have Experienced Maternal Depression

When I laid my head back in the passenger seat of my vehicle, my husband driving and son in the backseat and thought to myself "God, you can take me now!"....that is when I knew something was terribly wrong. Without the incredible love and support of my family and friends who knows if I would be here today. They lifted me up and carried me through my darkest days.                                                    
Sabrina-Saskatoon, SK

Every mother anticipates the birth of her baby - my traumatic delivery at 31 weeks left me with feelings of disappointment and incompetence as a mother - I could not even carry my baby to term!  These feelings were further amplified when I was unable to provide breastmilk for my daughter due to medications. I spiraled into despair, sadness, and depression. Self-hatred turned into obsessive thoughts of homicide, infanticide, and suicide. I wanted to leave the situation entirely and take those I loved the most with me. 

Depression is a mild word for the depths of despair, isolation, pity, and self-loathing I suffered with for 14 long months. What I craved was encouragement and validation - to be recognized as a human being - emotional, spiritual, mental and physical.  I needed to come to terms with my disease, forgive myself, release the guilt and learn to love not only myself, but my husband and my daughter again.

Tania - Regina, SK

I knew I was in trouble when my racing thoughts and anxiety attacks led me to five days with no sleep and I was on day six without eating. This was a very dark and lonely time for me.  I did not see a future I could see no light.

This was until I was introduced to the women of the postpartum depression group. I immediately made connections with the other mothers and the facilitators. I found a place where I could express the feelings I was having without worry of judgment or disappointment. The facilitators in the group offered education and advice. They were the foundation I so desperately needed. The other mothers offered support and hope, the light I so desperately craved.

My life after postpartum depression is enriched with happiness and love.  I am able to find the connection I need with my family and myself.  I owe my recovery to the love and support of my friends at the maternal mental health program.

Tami - Saskatoon, SK

My Psychosis hit without warning, my first night of sleep after becoming a mother ended with a violent and bloody nightmare about my newborn son being dead.  My next day began with voices telling me to smother my son, and seeing violent bloody pictures.  I had enough sanity to recognize this as abnormal and ask for help from the medical staff…The obsessive thoughts were persistent, horrifying and relentless, I wanted to run away from my son and scream, I wanted to die because I couldn't fathom living as a shell for the rest of my life, My dream was to live a normal life with my son and enjoy being a happy, healthy mother.

Finally after four long years I forgave myself and understood that I had the power to control my healing.  My obsessive thoughts, depression and sadness are gone.

Carla - Moose Jaw, SK

With each of my four pregnancies I experienced a different, but progressively worse form of Maternal Depression. It started with extreme weight loss and anxiety after our first baby was born. With our last pregnancy, I experienced Antenatal Depression, which means it started during my pregnancy with high anxiety, mostly at night, that someone would take our third child. I had a routine of checking on him and making sure doors and windows were locked, even through the night. I was working hard to avoid anxiety and depression I had had previously, but shortly after I gave birth a close family friend passed away and my brother checked into a rehabilitation center.

My Post Partum Depression was the deepest and darkest it had ever been. I never wanted to harm my children, I lived every moment in fear that someone else would. Paranoia, fear, and anxiety were my core emotions and I put on a numb smile for my children.  Even with a history of Post Partum Depression, I struggled to find help. When I was brave enough to ask for it, I could not find it. 

My family physician was our only saving grace; he understood Post Partum and how I was feeling.  With hesitation, I began the medications he prescribed and the healthy lifestyle suggestions. I avoided triggers, journaled, ate healthy, exercised, did daily devotions, and got as much rest as possible. Together my husband and I found our way out of the darkness by talking with our support team, working hard every day on a healthy lifestyle, praying together, and becoming educated about  Maternal Depression.

Sherry - North Battleford, SK

I constantly felt drained of energy because I was sleep-deprived and eating foods with little nutritional value.  I was suffocating with constant anxiety and chest pains.  Misery was my best friend.  The most awful experience I went through were my fits of rages and how I would take them out on my husband and daughter.  I felt defeated as a mother as I couldn't calm and comfort my daughter. I was a shell of a person who just did not know have the tools to move forward.

What I needed in those moments was to hear from a medical professional that I was legitimately having a difficult time, I needed help, and that there was support for people just like me.  I needed to hear, "Everything is going to be okay, Elita. You are going through a hard time, but you will get better.  You simply need to be loved and supported just as much as your baby. You are worth it!  YOU are a GOOD mother, because you care!  I'm here for you.  I'm ready to listen!  Now...let's move forward, together."

Elita - Regina, SK

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