How the Church Helped Me Through Postpartum Depression

My depression overwhelmed me; Jesus and his church saved my life.
How the Church Helped Me Through Postpartum Depression

Two toddlers are sleeping, all arms and legs and tangled blankets, and it is a glimpse of glory. My boys have it in their contracts that I must witness this little miracle after an especially unhinged day of the toddler-crazies. Tonight as I tiptoe in and nestle their soft heads with my hand, whispering prayers over their sleep, I breathe deeply. Charlie snuffles at me and for a moment, his eyes open. He looks like a newborn, weighed by sleep, squinting and groping for my hand.

Four years ago, when I would tiptoe in at night to reach out to my new baby, my prayers sounded like this: "I can't do this. Help. Please." I would stare down at the tiny head with all that goose-down hair and feel . . . nothing, or worse, duped. Resentful. My body was drowning in a cocktail of hormones, and within days I was choked by dread. I dreaded the waking cry of a hungry baby. I dreaded facing the mirror. I dreaded visitors. I dreaded my husband's increasingly confused and probing questions. I dreaded going to sleep because I knew I would have to wake again to that mewling insistence.

I dreaded myself. I had failed motherhood. I wanted to change my name and live in Wyoming as a ranch hand (yes, I actually did let myself wander to that state in my twisted musings). All the while, I fed Charlie, changed him, carefully swaddled and walked with him, but he just felt so very heavy.

Darkened Rooms and Darker Thoughts

After we brought Charlie home, it seemed like my house was all shut doors and drapes, darkened rooms and even darker thoughts. And then my mother came to visit, which, as you know, can be easy. Or it can be hard. With my mom, it was a mixture of both, mainly because I was trying so desperately to act like what I thought a new mother should be. Beatific. Peaceful. My hair smoothly tied back with a ribbon, nursing Charlie, and gently singing a lullaby. Rocking. Smiling tiredly—or something like that.

Member access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign Up For Our weekly Newsletter CT's weekly newsletter to help women grow their marriage and family relationships through biblical principles.

Read These Next

  • Building a Heritage That LastsMember Access Only
    John Trent and Kurt Bruner describe the tools you need to pass your faith on to your family
  • Christine Caine: Abused but Not DefeatedMember Access Only
    This Hillsong Bible teacher overcame a childhood of sexual abuse to become a fearless crusader for Christ in the fight against human trafficking.


Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

Follow Us

More Newsletters