"I found out that we were having a baby the day before everything was shut down. The moment we waited for, would suddenly be changed drastically. I would miss my grandfather’s funeral, my husband would miss all the rest of my doctor’s appointments, and I became isolated at home. I knew what postpartum depression looked like because I had it after the birth of my first child (Although, I didn’t know that it was happening then until months later). This time, it started while I was still pregnant. I didn’t want pictures of myself, I didn’t want to celebrate, I just wanted it to be the end of the pregnancy. But even then, with a pandemic still at a high, there were many scary unknowns that lay ahead. I thought the depression would go away after the birth of my son, but unfortunately the actual birth was the only hour of joy I had. I constantly wondered why I wanted another child, and how I could ever think that it couldn’t be much harder than what I was already doing. But I struggled, like a fight to catch my breath every day for weeks after he was born. I kept telling myself that this too shall pass, and I just had to push through.
I finally reached a breaking point when my world felt like everything was continuously crashing down upon me and I couldn’t get up. I reached out for help. I signed up for anything and everything that ReBlossom offered in hopes that something would stick. I was first connected with my theraparent. We met (safely) at a park, took a walk around, and just chatted. It was so nice! I don’t have many friends, and just having someone to talk to was a huge relief. She occasionally checked in on me, and still does to this day. At a time when you aren’t sure if anyone out there cares, having someone let you know that they are a listening ear and that they get it, can be a life changer on it’s own.
And then came therapy. I’ve never taken therapy a day in my life. I feel like older generations have frowned upon it, and because of that it is something I felt embarrassed or ashamed of. I was nervous, but my theraparent said I would enjoy it and I trusted her. After my first therapy session, I felt a huge relief! A few more sessions later and I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My stress related health symptoms began to disappear, I felt a purpose, and I was happy again. I took the opportunity, and I ran with it. And I’m so thankful that I did! I would have never been able to be at this point of my life without the financial help of ReBlossom as well. It can be a little scary asking for help, and sometimes we live in denial, but when we accept what is happening and lean on a shoulder of someone who can help then our destiny starts a fresh line and in the right direction."
"Being a Daddy has been without a doubt the greatest experience of my life. I have three awesome kids who I love unconditionally, they are aged 7,4, and 1. We play together or dance together every night and sometimes we play video games together, whatever hits our mood. Life is good. But not always easy or smooth. I’ve had my fair share of tribulations raising three kids. Thinking back on the tribulations, the worst moments have been the nights.
Our first kid and our last didn’t sleep, and my wife and I were constantly getting up in the middle of the night. When I become so sleep deprived, it affects my mood and mental state. As it would anyone. As my first got older, things got easier, I got a new job, and my depression went away. Years later my wife came to me telling me she has realized she had postpartum depression and wanted me to go on a walk with her with a group advocating for the awareness of postpartum depression. At the walk they had a few quick speakers and one mentioned that men also suffer from postpartum which made me realize that I had suffered from postpartum depression. The depression, lack of sleep, terrible thoughts, things I had gone through but just thought I was either a terrible person or a weak man. Not realizing what I was suffering from at the time.
When my second was born, I suffered from none of this. She was a great baby. Sweet and loving. Slept through the night. Then the third came. I mentioned they still don’t sleep right? When those same old feelings of depression began creeping back in I was able to realize what was happening this time around. My wife knew that ReBlossom was dedicated to the mental health of parents and reached out to them. They set me up with a program to give me six sessions with a therapist, Dr. Stevens. At first I didn’t really know what to expect. I had never talked to a therapist before. I met with Dr. Stevens and before I knew it, an hour had passed like it was five minutes. After each meeting I felt more comfortable with Dr. Stevens until it became something I looked forward to. I genuinely enjoyed my time with him and getting to talk to someone outside my immediate circle. It certainly helped my mood and helped me realize that I’m doing ok as a father and depression is a temporary hurdle in the road.
After the six sessions were over and I graduated from the mental wellness program he turned to me and told me I was a good father and that while I may be in the thick of it now, it will pass and get easier. I think about that a lot now that the program is over. I am genuinely grateful to ReBlossom for the opportunity to improve my mental health and the support I received. They helped make my life a little less heavy and helped me navigate the fog to help keep me on the path I need to be on. Thank you ReBlossom and Dr. Stevens."