We’re approaching the end of Passover, and I’ve been thinking about what it means to be passed over and what it means to be chosen, and the times that I’ve prayed for each to happen or not happen. A close friend told me that I was in excellent company when she found out that I had postpartum depression; it came with the gift of poetry and sensitivity (all the cool kids get it!)
Anyone who has experienced clinical depression / anxiety while caring for a newborn knows that we are talking about a very specific type of terror, so I do not say this lightly.
But, today, reading about the women with whom I share the pages in this upcoming anthology, I believe my friend’s words.
I was not sure how I would survive it at the time. And no amount of knowledge or self-work could prevent its onset with the birth of my son, seven months ago. It is chemical. It is a physiological panic and grief. But I got help much more quickly the second time around and it made an enormous difference.
A few people, who witnessed what I had experienced after the first birth, said - as lovingly as possible - that they couldn’t believe I was going to have a second child. I’ve heard so many times that people forget the pain of childbirth, but I do not forget the pain of the postpartum, how long those days passed and how hard it was to make it through each hour.
So, this Passover, that is what I am holding in my heart –. the mercy that I have experienced, twice, now, as a mother to have been chosen and spared, to have come out on the other side, to have been blessed.
So much gratitude to Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger at The HerStories Project for compiling this anthology, to my loving family, beautiful babies, and to my husband, Dan, whose faith has made everything in my life more meaningful.