“Why I Kept My Postpartum Depression A Secret”

“I’d tense up the moment I heard my daughter's cries. I’d stiffen at the thought of touching or even holding her. I became bitter and resentful, and the rage I felt consuming me was absolutely blinding.”

“It all started with the crying,” Kimberly Zapata said in her Romper confession. “A few tears here. A heaving, uncontrollable sob over there. I would cry if I spilled a glass of water or if my coffee got cold.”

She cried every time her husband left for work.  She cried when she got hungry. She cried when she got tired, cried when the house was untidy.

Kimberly knew she was suffering from postpartum depression, but instead of reaching out for help, however, she kept it to herself.

The reason for it? She was terrified others would see her as flawed, unstable, generally an unfit parent.

“I couldn’t tell anyone about my PPD because I was terrified that if people saw who I’d become, they’d take my daughter away from me.”

So she plastered a smile on her face in front of everyone and pretended that everything was A-okay.

But soon her condition worsened.

“Tears came without rhyme or reason, and soon, they streamed down my face unnoticed. I could comfortably carry on a conversation while crying.”

“Why I Kept My Postpartum Depression A Secret”

Photo credit: Kim Zapata

Sadness quickly turned into anxiousness and anger.

“I’d tense up the moment I heard my daughter’s cries. I’d stiffen at the thought of touching or even holding her. I became bitter and resentful, and the rage I felt consuming me was absolutely blinding.”

Kimberly finally turned a corner when, one cold November day while she was feeding her daughter, she had a terrible vision.

“I saw myself holding my daughter, feeding her, rocking her, and coddling her, and then the next, I was squeezing her. Hard. The way a mother should not hold her child.”

When she snapped back into reality and realized it was not real, she picked up the phone called her husband and told him everything.

“Well, I told him about everything except that vision and the suicidal thoughts. Fear of what he might think of me held me back. But I took that first step. I made the leap and admitted something was wrong.”

Then set an appointment with her OB.

Of course it was not a easy road to walk down on; she underwent months of therapy and a cocktail of medications to help her improve.

“Therapy gave me a lot,” she said. “It gave me a safe, judgment-free space to talk, vent, and share. It gave me perspective. It gave me stability…and though opening up my heart and mind to feel everything at once sucked, everything I went through to get back to my daughter was worth it.

“Asking for help gave me a second chance. I’m not sure what I would’ve done without it.”

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