Postpartum depression manifests itself in different ways. For Tova Leigh, the symptoms were not what she expected.
On Aug. 16, the blogger opened up about her experience with PPD on Facebook. Leigh posted a photo of herself with her first baby when he was 4 months old.
In the caption, Leigh described her state of mind as a new mom three months postpartum.
“I was that mom who sat next to her baby’s cot for hours while [he] slept just to make sure they were still breathing,” she wrote, adding that her husband used to beg her to go to sleep ― which she only agreed to if he promised to take over watching the baby.
“I kept waking to make sure he was still there, sitting by her cot, watching her asleep. I would open my eyes, see him and fall back into a haze of weird dreams about losing her or forgetting something really important,” Leigh wrote.
“I remember sitting there, shattered and broken and utterly exhausted but I just couldn’t let go,” she continued. “The fear that something might happen to her, and the overwhelming love I felt made me completely crazy and although I knew I was being ridiculous ― I just couldn’t help myself.”
Leigh said she felt alone, desperate and like she was “slowly losing [her] mind.” Though she didn’t realize it at the time, she was experiencing postpartum depression.
She concluded her post with a message to her fellow moms and to people with loved ones who might be suffering from postpartum depression. “The reason I am telling you this is because I want you to know the signs. I want you to know that for each woman, they may look different,” she wrote.
“And ladies - please reach out and tell someone if you are suffering,” she added. “There is no shame in asking for help. You are not alone.”
Leigh’s post received nearly 3,000 likes. She told HuffPost she shared her story because postpartum depression looks different for different women, who often don’t realize what they’re experiencing.
For the first three months of her baby’s life, she was exhausted from not sleeping, struggling to breastfeed and comparing herself to the seemingly perfect parents around her.
“I felt utterly alone and really broken. I was really lucky and that awful fog started to lift around three months and things started getting easier and I felt like myself again,” she explained.
Since posting her piece, Leigh said she’s received many messages from moms thanking her for her honesty.
“I really want to help mums who are going through it right now and let them know that they are going to be OK and that it is OK to ask for help,” Leigh said. “It’s also really important that the people who are around them realize that something is happening and give them support as much as we can.”