Jessika - posted on 02/26/2016 ( 1 mom has responded )
I definitely did. I also experienced Postpartum depression it was the worst thing in the world.
It was only days after my second beautiful boy was born. He was so tiny, quiet, beautiful, everything the “perfect” baby should be....and yet I didn't want to hold him. Having him in my arms felt so foreign. I wasn't connecting. I felt sick, how could this be happening? What kind of mother was I? It had taken me so long to get pregnant, and the pregnancy had been pretty torturous, and now it was over. I had the baby I had hoped and prayed for. Why couldn't I be happy?
Unfortunately this is one story among many more of new moms suffering with postpartum depression.
My mom was there after the baby was born and saw my struggle from the outside, my mother recognized the signs quickly because she had struggled off and on with depression. My father was also challenged significantly by bipolar disorder during my youth. So I knew what depression was, but experiencing it myself was completely different. Knowing I should be happy as all of my dreams came true, but instead having to put on that fake smile for visitors and family and always toeing the line of breaking down and sobbing. I just wanted to sleep through my life and forget I had a new baby. It was a truly horrible, gut-wrenching experience.
To make things worse I realized that my depression was affecting my oldest son, almost 3 years old at the time. I wanted to explain it had nothing to do with him, I wanted to tell him that I was okay, and that this would pass. But how do you explain something as complicated as depression, feeling sad for no reason, to such a young child? This was the question that inspired me.
After I was able to get help for my depression; thanks to my amazing mother, wonderful husband, and a talented doctor, I worked to channel that inspiration into a children's book. Growing up I had always considered writing a children's book about parents with depression, or anger, or bipolar, but it wasn't until I had experienced it fully myself that I knew what to say and how to say it. Thus, “Mommy's Imaginary Friend” was born.
“Mommy's Imaginary Friend” is a story told by a 5 year old little boy. He tells us about his imaginary friend Leon that he plays with often, and his mother's imaginary friend, Marvin, who makes his mommy sad. He explains that when Marvin is around, his mom only wants to sleep or watch movies. He says that he is sad that his mommy doesn't want to play with him as much when Marvin is around. And he explains that his mommy visits a doctor that teaches her how to get rid of Marvin.
It is a short, sweet little story written for 3-6 year olds, simply written to start the conversation about depression in a context that young children may better understand. It's a little fantastical, full of imagination, and holds a lot of truth for many of us.
I completed the manuscript for this book only a few short months ago and am currently in the process of getting it illustrated by the talented artist Melissa Mae (Thecheekywhale.com). My goal now is to get it published and distributed to all those who may benefit from it. To be able to do this however I do need to raise some funds and so I will be starting a kickstarter fundraiser in the next few weeks. If this is a book you are interested in or want to support please head on over to the book's Facebook page at
www.facebook.com/mommysimaginaryfriend and “like” and share it with all of your friends. And stay tuned for news about the kickstarter.