I wanted to do something a little different for this blog entry. I wanted to be able to hit a wider audience and try to spread the word about postpartum depression, anxiety, being a first time mom, along with how hard relationships can be at times.
I as a first time mom, know the daily struggles of trying to balance myself mentally and spiritually, along with being the best mother I can be, and partner even when I fail at times. My postpartum was honestly a hard thing to face, still is to this day! I am very open about my depression and anxiety; as most of you know. I had the privilege to interview a dear friend who I have known for quite a while now. She is fighting her fight daily. I admire her for all the right reasons. I’m very fortunate to have friends that are willing to give me the privilege to dig into their hearts and souls and let me get my hands messy with them and dig into to rawness of their pain, to not just help them, yet to wanting to help others. Hearing Kaila’s story helped me in so many ways.
This interview is real, all pictures have been approved by Kaila. Nothing has been modified. Here is Kaila’s journey….
Me: We have known each other for little over 7 years now. We were once co-workers. It’s funny how fast time flies by. We both have children now roughly the same age. Has becoming a mother been challenging at times? Or do I feel alone when it comes to being a parent?
Kaila: Yea, becoming a mother was the most challenging time of my life and still is. I really wasn’t ready for a baby and was scared to death when I found out. My doctor had told me about a year prior to me getting pregnant that I shouldn’t have children. He said it would be very difficult for me to conceive and if I did, I would have a really difficult pregnancy and the child would have medical issues if it survived. So when I got pregnant it was a complete surprise. Billy and our families were really supportive during my pregnancy. I did end up being a high risk pregnancy and had a hard 10 months. I was in and out of the hospital and would have go to multiple doctors’ visits a week. After I had Paislie I had awful postpartum depression. I thought at first it was just my hormones all out of wack, but it continued for months and ended up lasting over a year. I didn’t want to accept the fact that I had postpartum and I didn’t really know who to talk to. I was always under the impression the people that had PPD were the ones that killed their babies. I didn’t want people think I was crazy and wanted to hurt my baby because it wasn’t like that at all. I was just sad, I felt numb, felt no emotions. I would feel so guiltily not being happy over a new thing Paislie had done, but I couldn’t help it. I would try my hardest but I felt nothing. I would have some good days and finally think I was better, but most days were dark. I wouldn’t even be able to get out of bed or get dressed some days. At first Billy tried to help, but towards the end he couldn’t handle it. He became very inconsiderate towards my feelings and was very neglectful. The first year of Paislie’s life was the not only the most challenging time of my life but the loneliest. I felt that if I couldn’t even talk to my own husband who was my best friend than who I could talk too. If that person couldn’t love me and help me than no one could. I considered taking my life multiple times the first year but couldn’t imagine leaving Paislie and Billy alone. I convinced myself their happiness was worth more than my depression. Some days that worked, but most it didn’t. My family helped me a lot with her the first year since Billy worked so much. He was never home and when he was home he didn’t participate, so I felt like a single mom. After Billy and I separated this took on a whole new meaning. I could no longer call him when I was stressed out with Paislie or needed to vent to him about my day. I no longer had that person to share exciting or happy moments Paislie and I had. I no longer had him to call to share a new “first” she just did. Being a single mom is the loneliest thing which make it so much more complicated. Thankfully my sisters, my parents and best friends help out a lot because without them I wouldn’t be able to do it. I thank God daily for such a strong support system, because every day there’s a new complication and of course somedays aren’t bad but somedays I look forward to when Paislie goes to her dad’s so I can get a break, but then of course I feel guilty after and miss her so much when she is gone. I think the days I don’t have her though are the most challenging. I have to try engulf myself in something so that I am so busy that I don’t worry and over think. Unfortunately Billy and I have an awful relationship now and we can’t even co-parent, so when she is gone I know nothing. I don’t know if she had a good day, what she ate, if she had a bad dream, if she was happy, if she woke up sick, if she learned something new, nothing. So those are probably the most challenging days because even though I am a mother I know nothing about my daughter those 3 1/2 days. I’ll try to reach out to him somedays to see how she is hoping he will just respond and tell me she is happy but every time it ends the same, with no response.
Me: You told me not to long ago that I inspire you to share your voice, along with to not give up fighting my fight. Do you believe the same for yourself? Do you think by doing this interview with me you wish to help new mothers, single mothers, and mothers with postpartum depression?
Kaila: Of course. I never even would wish my worst enemy to feel the way I did and do at times. I made a lot of mistakes which ultimately I believe was a factor of my divorce. I never thought it was before, I thought you could just “snap out of it” and I’m a medical professional, but you can’t all the time. Sometimes you need help or medication and that’s okay. I don’t want other women to feel alone and scared like I did. They are so many resources out that and if we all spoke out about our struggles we could help each other, we could embrace each other, and help strengthen each other. What I learned is that you can’t do it alone, you need a support system, you need people to talk to, people to listen to you, people to pray with you and sometimes a person that can just tell you it will be okay. Too many women fight this ugly beast behind closed doors because they are scared of what others think. They think others will see them as weak and that they are looking for attention, but that’s not it. That’s not okay that society has made depression into a thing that we are too scared to seek help for. It is an actually medical disorder. It took me a long time to realize that because I was that women that people looked at as strong and who had the “perfect” life, but I really wasn’t. I would cry myself to sleep every night because I didn’t know what was wrong with. I can only wish that if anyone is struggling or even has thoughts of killing themselves like I did that they get help and know that it is okay to get help. And most importantly I want women to know that they are NOT alone. That things may not be okay right now and everything may seem hopeless but it does get better.
Me: Your honesty has me moved. You speak the truth, I bet you have some eyebrows raised. Some are probably thinking “how can she be so honest and raw?” You have managed to be the few that supported me with kind words when it came to me placing. Were you still proud to call me a friend once you learned my story?
Kaila: Of course I was. I truly feel that is one of the strongest things a women can do. A mother’s love is doing what is best for your child no matter what and you did that. Sammie, not a lot of girls could have done what you did and I am so proud of you, still to this day. You took responsibility for your actions, carried a baby a full pregnancy and made the ultimate sacrifice for your daughter which results in not only the best life for her, but also happiness for a couple that wanted a baby.
Me: Thank you; that honestly means a lot. I still feel like not many are pleased with me. I still get side comments, hate mail via email, sometimes and a random text of hate. It’s friendships like yours I truly value. Tell me three things about Paislie.
Kaila: What is there to say about Miss Paislie lol.
- She is obsessed with minions
- She is an outdoors girl and would live outside if I let her, but she is totally girly at the same time and loves to play with makeup and wear jewelry
- She is very musically inclined. She loves to sing and dance especially to Justin Beiber. Her favorite songs are Baby and Sorry, she actually sings the chorus for both too which is hilarious Me: Wow that’s amazing! I noticed a complete change in you once we started talking about Paislie, I can tell she brings the life back in you. What are some coping skills you have managed to learn now that you have fully accepted the fact you have depression?
Kaila: She is my life and my joy. I love her with every fiber of my being. Well, there are multiple things I do. I read my bible and pray daily for God to fill me with his love, joy and peace. Without his love and forgiveness I wouldn’t be where I am today. Whenever I am having a difficult time I just start to pray and feel immediate calmness. My lowest point of depression brought me into the deepest relationship I have ever had with him and I am never turning back. He has saved me in some many ways. I have my sisters and my bestfriends who I can always turn or vent to after a long day. They know I am depressed and check on my daily. They inspire me and fill me with positive thoughts. I know when I am having a bad day they will be there even if they have to drive to talk to me face to face. Another thing is exercise. I can always take out my frustration and sadness out in my workouts. This helps my nerves alot. Lastly, I see a psychologist weekly and a psychiatrist monthly. Honestly, seeing a psychologist has helped me tremendously. It’s nice having a third party look into my life and help me process my thoughts. My psychologist is amazing. He was the psychologist I saw in ICU when I tried to kill myself. I thought he was awesome but I didn’t want to drive an hour to see him. It took me seeing over 15 other psychologist until I realize God brought him in my life for a reason. I now drive over an hour to see him and it is totally worth it. I look forward to our visits.
Me: What is one thing you wish to tell those who suffer from a mental illness?
Kaila: First, that is okay to get help. It took me losing my husband and going through the worst experiences to realize that. I was so prideful and thought I didn’t need help, but I did. If you are depressed reach out for help. It will be the hardest task to overcome this ugly illness but it will be so worth it. Secondly, I would tell them that not all days will be dark. It may seem like it will never get better and that it will only get worse from where you are at now but someday there will be light at tunnel and you just got to keep pushing forward to see it. Make a checklist daily and look at every task as an accomplishment even getting out of bed because anyone that suffers from mental illness knows that is the hardest task of each day. Thirdly, that you are NOT alone. There are so many people that suffer daily but are too scared to reach out. Lastly, you are not weak and you’re life has a purpose. Everyone was placed on this earth to tell a story and to touch somebody’s life. You may never know who’s life you changed but you changed somebody’s. You story might be filled with some more ups and downs than others but it is okay. God will never give you more than you can handle and even though sometimes it feels like you can’t handle anymore he knows what he is doing. He believes you are strong enough to endure these hardships.
Me: Thank you for doing this with me. I know it’s hard to let someone in when you have so many feelings running through you.
Kaila:It was actually a nice healing project, thank you