Adrienne’s Postpartum Depression Story

Adrienne from Peace of Mom talks about grief and postpartum depression.

Grief and loss are one of the biggest triggers of depression, not just in postpartum mothers, but for anyone, in any stage of life.  Pregnant and postpartum mothers are especially susceptible to depression when tragedy strikes, due to those fluctuating hormone levels.  I can relate to Adrienne’s story because I, too, lost my grandfather when I was 6 months pregnant with my third child and suffered a major postpartum depression relapse.

Adrienne's Postpartum Depression Story

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* This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of www.runningintriangles.com.  Due to the nature of the topic, this post may contain graphic details that some may find disturbing.


If you’ve ever heard the expression, “A phone call could change your life,” know that it is absolutely, positively true…

As I sat in the hard plastic chair of the pediatrician’s office, looking down at my sleeping two-week-old baby, it came. My mom, proud new grandma that she was, joined me on my daughter’s very first doctor’s visit. We had lovingly dressed her in pink, ruffle-y pajamas with faux ballet shoe feet. I was so proud of myself for leaving the house for the very first time since having her, happy that the spinal headache-an unending migraine I received as a complication from my epidural-was finally subsiding after nearly 12 days of constant pain.

My mom was smiling as her cell phone rang, eager to talk to her brother about her brand new little love.

“Hello?” she said, ready to gush about her granddaughter’s cuteness.

[I could hear my uncle clearly through the phone and I will never forget the sound of his voice, the pitch of his tone, or the scream that rang out after the call.]

“Listen,” he said. “Daddy passed away last night.”


My grandpa was 87 years old. He had a heart attack, alone in his house, sitting up at his kitchen table. Given his age, it doesn’t sound like a shocking proposition-except that grandpa acted like a young man. Just a week before, he climbed a ladder on top of his roof to repair it. His own mother had lived until 101, was actually featured on her 100th birthday on the Today Show. We thought Grandpa was going to live forever.

My grandpa was a second father to me, was the person in my life who always made it feel like everything was going to be ok. I was his “Bub”-I never asked him what it meant, because I knew it meant he loved me, and that’s all that mattered. Whenever I needed encouragement, his eyes would twinkle and his lips would curl into a smile. “You can do that,” he would always say. And, because of him, I believed I could.

I was lost without him.


On the night before his wake, my daughter’s umbilical cord fell off. My breasts leaked all over my blouse on the day of his funeral because I was so new to breastfeeding and didn’t think to pump. One of my mom’s friends held my hands as we stood in front of the coffin and said, “Do you feel like a mother now?” I said yes, but inside I only felt numb; I didn’t feel like a mother at all, which only added to my shame.

I wish I could say that the worst ended there, but that’s not true. I was grieving, but I didn’t want to cry in front of my baby, my baby who refused to go down for a nap, who I held as she slept. I was never alone, so I wouldn’t allow myself to cry and let it out.

14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression
Here’s how to help

For the first two weeks, my mom had helped me transition into becoming a mother, teaching me all the little things you can never learn in the books.

I needed her help so desperately, but after Grandpa died she was grieving herself, and, although she did her best, was mostly unable to help.

I was all alone with a colicky baby and a tremendous grief in my heart.

My husband worked very long hours, so there would be days I would be alone, for 12 hour days. I had a constant companion in my arms, at my breast, and yet I never felt so alone in my life.

If you didn’t have a colic baby, you would never believe this, but it’s true: colic babies sometimes cry all the time. There were days that I couldn’t wait to feed my daughter, just so her mouth was occupied and she wouldn’t scream at the top of her lungs.

After a few weeks, I felt like I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like I just couldn’t get up another day and do it all over again. I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this! became my constant mantra.

But, one day, it hit me: I thought, “I have to do this because I’m the only one who can take care of my daughter. I need to get better because I need to take care of her.”


Thankfully, I did. I already had an excellent therapist and she encouraged me to join a PPD support group. Those meetings were a godsend because women who had survived and triumphed were there too.

I learned the most important thing of all for a PPD sufferer: It gets better.

Self Care Tips for Battling PPD
Self Care Tips & Advice

In therapy, I worked on learning how to take better care of myself. It took me over a year to learn how to do it and make the time for it, but I learned and I began to triumph too. I learned to enjoy my daughter and my life with her, instead of dreading the days. I learned how to feel like myself again. I learned how to be a better version of myself because I learned how to take care of myself.

Now, four years and two kids later, I have begun to devote my time to teaching other mothers what I learned during that time. I started a website called Peace of Mom, which teaches all moms how to take better care of themselves-because self-care saved me.

[Read more from Adrienne at www.peaceofmom.com]


If you have a postpartum depression story to share, Running in Triangles wants to help.

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
Click here for more information

The Ultimate Collection of Postpartum Depression Stories

I am a huge believer in speaking out about postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders such as perinatal depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD and postpartum psychosis.

Mothers should not have to suffer alone, yet so many women do because they are ashamed of speaking up due to the stigma that surrounds these disorders. [Related post: 9 Reasons Why Mothers Don’t Speak Up About Having Postpartum Depression]

It’s time to change that…

It has become my mission to collect and share the stories of women who have battled mental health disorders along their journey through motherhood.

Many of those women are talented mom bloggers who know how important it is to speak out, and I’ve shared their stories below as inspiration.

But so many of them are not and have no idea where or how to begin speaking out about their pain.

If you are interested in sharing your story about a postpartum mood disorder, I want to help.  Please click here for more information.


Here you will find a constantly updated list of posts from other brave bloggers who have decided not to keep silent about their battle with postpartum depression and other mood disorders. 

I hope these will inspire you to write your own story and know that you are not alone in this.

A compilation of posts from bloggers who have bravely told their postpartum depression story
* This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

** Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

A compilation of posts from bloggers sharing their postpartum depression story.

Sign Up for the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide
join the mailing list!

Adrienne’s Postpartum Depression Story  *NEW*

[added February 13, 2018]
Adrienne from Peace of Mom experienced the loss of a loved one shortly after giving birth.  She talks about what it was like to grieve while caring for a colicky baby and suffering from postpartum depression.

Surviving the Darkness Series from Muddy Boots & Diamonds *NEW*

[added January 30, 2018]
Emma from Muddy Boots & Diamonds is running a series on her website called Surviving the Darkness that’s open to survivors of Perinatal (Postpartum) Mood & Anxiety Disorders.  You can read some of the interviews and take part in the series to help spread PMAD awareness.

Read the interview I wrote for this series here – Surviving Prenatal & Postpartum Depression: Vanessa’s Story

Kate’s Postpartum Depression Video

[added January 25, 2018]
This emotional video was submitted to me by Kate, who suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her second child and came very close to taking her own life.

Kisha’s Postpartum Depression Story 

[added January 22, 2018]
Kisha from The Kisha Project shares her story for the first time in a moving post about how unexpected postpartum depression can be, even if you’ve battled with depression before.

Kara’s Postpartum Depression Story

[added January 03, 2018]
The first postpartum depression guest post submission on Running in Triangles.  Kara from Moms Gone Outdoors tells her emotional tale of battling the pressures of school while trying to raise a baby at a young age.

Vanessa’s Postpartum Depression Story

[added December 14, 2017]
The first in a series of posts offered on Running in Triangles – this is my own personal story.  Even after dealing with prenatal depression while pregnant with my second child, I did not expect actual, full blown postpartum depression.  

Postpartum Depression in India is Real – I have experienced it, have you?

Anjana from Mommy Republic talks about how she suffered from postpartum depression despite having a supporting husband and plenty of help during her first few months postpartum.

How to Overcome Fear & Worry: My Journey Through Post-Partum Depression

Lauren from Lil’ Olive Tree shares a powerful story of how her faith helped her get through a dark time in her life. 

Postpartum Depression – Adventures with Zoloft

Bailey from Simply Mom Bailey expresses a concern many other mothers have during their battle with postpartum depression – whether or not to start taking antidepressants.

When the Baby Blues Don’t Go Away

Shawna from MishMash Mommy can relate to many other mothers out there who put off seeking help because they’re waiting for the baby blues to pass.  

This is My Postpartum Anxiety

Alaina from Mom Eh! shares her story of battling postpartum anxiety, which is different than postpartum depression and gets even less awareness.

Dear Overwhelmed Mom, You Are Not Alone

Jessica from Life of a Cherry Wife was like most women who assume postpartum depression will never happen to them.  In this post, she offers words of support to women who feel completely overwhelmed by motherhood.  

Postpartum Depression is a Con Artist (Among Other Things)

Lisa from Step Back and Breathe writes a lot about her struggle with postpartum depression, but this post is by far my favorite (especially the part where she gives her PPD a name and describes her as a “vicious skank” ).  [Read more of her posts about maternal mental health here.]

The Truth About Postpartum Depression

Jen from Modest House, Extraordinary Home does a great job of explaining all the different ways postpartum depression affected her.

Postpartum Depression: Signs and Treatment

Aubree from A Mother’s Field Guide wrote this awesome post packed with information about postpartum depression, followed by her own journey.  She, like many women, battled with depression prior to getting pregnant.

My Struggle with Post Natal Anxiety

Taylah from The Tired Mumma Blog did not suffer from postpartum depression at all, but her postnatal (postpartum) anxiety caused an entirely different level of stress in her life.

PPD: Real Stories; Real Sadness; Real Life

Kristin from This Wife and Mommy Life put together this compilation of postpartum depression stories from women of all walks of life. 

The Secret Struggles of Postpartum

Erica Fraser from Mom Break shares her story in a video as well as a post and speaks about the pain that’s often hidden behind closed doors.

This list will be constantly updated, so be sure to check back often for more inspiring stories!


End Your Depression Book


If you are a blogger and would like your existing post to be featured, please e-mail vanessa@runningintriangles.com

To submit a new postpartum depression story, please click here: postpartum depression guest post submission


Ready to tell your own story?  Download this free workbook to get started!
Click to download!

The Baby Blues vs. Postpartum Depression vs. No Postpartum Mood Disorder

I’ve given birth to three kids, experienced three similar pregnancies,  labored through three natural, drug-free births, but ended up with three very different postpartum recovery periods…

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


The Baby Blues

Shortly after the birth of my first child I experienced symptoms of what I believe were the “baby blues.”  They didn’t last long and they didn’t disrupt my life (much).

The dogs and kids get along great now!

The mood swings were my first indicator.  I remember watching my husband interact with the baby while our two dogs sat at his feet watching.  I thought about how the dogs had no idea how much life was changing and I instantly burst into tears.  I’m not usually a sensitive or emotional person so this was a sure sign to me that I was experiencing some type of hormonal imbalance. It was very similar to the mood swings I experienced during pregnancy.

The sleep deprivation added to my emotional state.  The way someone would feel after staying up partying all night long (which may or may not be a familiar feeling for me *wink wink*).  I felt irritable and edgy but sleep (when I could get it) was welcome and helped to alleviate the stress.

Indigo.ca

I blamed the extreme “mom brain” on the sleep deprivation as well.  It was probably one of the hardest symptoms for me to manage as someone who prides themselves on having a great memory.  Suddenly I couldn’t multi-task because I would forget what I was doing in the first place.  I wrote down absolutely everything in a log book, significant or not, in a vain attempt to remember when I last fed him.

I felt an overwhelming urge to protect him and I worried a lot about everything he did.  I worried about holding him too much, or not enough.  I worried about the way others were holding him.  I worried about his diaper being put on properly.  I worried about such small and insignificant things (in addition to all the normal motherhood worrying like how much he was eating, pooping and sleeping).

I didn’t bond with the baby as much as I thought I would.  I spent a lot of time talking to him but the lack of a response discouraged me.  I wasn’t absolutely head over heels in love with him the way motherhood is portrayed in the media.  While I didn’t have any negative feelings, I felt very indifferent towards him.

We didn’t get out of the house much at first.  I was extremely overprotective of him and convinced that he would contract bad germs from strangers.  Aside from worrying, I honestly just didn’t feel like leaving the comfort of my own home.

Carseat "No Touching" Sign
Wish I had one of these signs from NikkiDanielDesigns on Etsy.ca

It eventually went away on it’s own.  Similar to a really bad case of PMS, I started to feel “normal” again.  I didn’t cry at the mere thought of something sad and I couldn’t wait to get out of the house and socialize.  By the time he was 2 months old he was smiling, making eye contact and interacting and I did fall head over heels in love with him.


Postpartum Depression

After the birth of my second child, things felt a little bit different.  That first baby that I didn’t bond with?  Well he was two years old now and the absolute center of my world.  So for the first couple months, things were monotonous and scheduled and boring – as long as the baby was concerned, at least.

She had basic needs and I didn’t try too hard to bond with her.  I knew that would happen eventually so I didn’t put too much pressure on myself this time.  The first two months after her birth were extremely busy in my social life so I didn’t have time to stew over the fact that life as I knew it had completely changed.

But when the dust settled and I was left at home, alone, with a toddler and a newborn who wouldn’t stop crying – things changed…
Read my full story here

I was tired and emotional but this time I couldn’t sleep no matter how hard I tried.  Every time I closed my eyes I thought I heard the baby cry and got up to check on her.  Sometimes it was 15 times in an hour but I couldn’t stop myself because I knew the one time I didn’t check on her would be the time something bad happened.  If someone else offered to look after her while I took a nap, then I would lie in bed for 2 hours worrying if she was alright.

In hindsight, I should have taken the help

The mood swings were extreme and uncontrollable.  As the weeks went on, I started to despise her.  I blamed her for everything I was feeling.  She felt my negative feelings and cried harder and longer which made me dislike her even more.  But then I would think about how I’ve always wanted to have a daughter and I would suffocate her in love – until she started crying again.  The slightest things could send me into fits of rage and I got offended and jealous very easily.

I was terrified to leave the house with her.  I was certain she would cry and I wouldn’t be able to handle her and everyone would stare at me and think I was a horrible mother.  So I stayed in my house where no one could judge me.  I avoided contact with almost everyone.

It’s not easy to admit

And the worst part of all was that I lied about what I was feeling to everyone.  I felt humiliated and inadequate and worthless but I hid it the best I could.  I dressed the baby up in cute outfits and took cute pictures of her to post on social media.  I posted captions about how much I loved having a baby girl and how all of my dreams had come true but in reality I just wanted to rewind life to a time before she existed.

The more I tried to “fix” things, the worse they got.  Even when I tried to “snap out of it” the baby was still reacting to my negative energy and crying all day and night.  My brain was full of terrible ways I could get her to shut up but instead I locked myself in the bathroom and cried for what seemed like hours.  The guilt eventually built up huge walls that closed in on me.

For months I battled in silence, not knowing it was postpartum depression.  I kept waiting for this funk to pass, waiting for the “hormones to regulate” but they never did, not without help, that is.

Find out if this is the right option for you

For more information about postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders, check out this comprehensive guide from Parenting Pod.


No Postpartum Mood Disorder

Considering I went to hell and back with my last baby, I must have been absolutely crazy to have another one, right?  The postpartum depression was forefront in my mind but this time I felt more prepared.  I knew what to look for, and I knew that I needed to speak up if I felt something was even a little bit off.

Perhaps it was because I WAS prepared for it, that it never came.
How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression
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The first time she was placed in my arms, I felt it.  That immediate love that legends were made of.  I couldn’t wait to hold her and I didn’t want to do anything else except just stare at her perfect face.

The early days with her were peaceful and calm – despite the sleepless nights.  The other two children often played with each other and so I had her all to myself.  The fact that she couldn’t talk back to me actually made me want to spend MORE time with her!

Trying to balance three children was definitely a challenge, and extremely overwhelming at times, but instead of being afraid and nervous and frustrated –  I felt excited and determined to make the best of it!

I felt like I could control my mood.  Even on days when she was extra fussy or I was extra tired, I always managed to stay calm and relaxed around her.  I never felt a sad or negative thought about her.  And she was a calm and relaxed baby because of it.

Initially I worried about how the older children would handle the new baby.  But they never once showed any signs of jealousy towards her and completely welcomed her into our family.  I cried more tears of joy in her first few months than I ever have in my life.

I worried about how much she ate, pooped and slept and whether she was hitting her milestones on time.  Mostly because I was always comparing her to the other children.  In an attempt to get things right this time, I asked a lot of questions, I sought a lot of help and I socialized as often as possible.

I took all three kids out as often as I could.  It was next to impossible to manage all of them in public (and it still is) but I sure didn’t want to get stuck inside the house with them!


I can’t say for certain what factors affected these different postpartum outcomes but this is the way it worked out for me.  After my battle with postpartum depression, having another baby was not in the plans but she surprised us all and I’m glad she did. 

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
click here for more info
When I think about life with a newborn, I try my hardest to reflect on the happiness of my last one, but will never forget the darkness that came before.
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Here’s an example of the different emotional intensities!
The baby blues vs postpartum depression
The Baby Blues vs Postpartum Depression vs No Postpartum Mood Disorder The Baby Blues vs Postpartum Depression vs No Postpartum Mood Disorder