As her baby slept in the safety of his crib,
As she listened to his cries,
Her mind raced,
Her skin tingled,
Her heart constricted.
As he played quietly on the floor,
Her breath caught
As words attempted
Words that if uttered could
Words that would
Allay her fears and
Soothe her tears.
Every minute of every hour
She would breathe deeply and
Hope to find the courage
To let those words be torn from her throat.
Hope that today would be the day
She would once again find herself.
Hour by Hour she clawed against time
Fighting for her very soul.
Struggling against the dark storm surrounding
Her new existence.
Where was her bright and bubbly?
Her soft and cuddly?
She finds herself abandoned instead
In the land of the
Unabashedly Clamorous Infant
Only pretending to sleep.
Then her day came.
Brimming with determined fervor,
She let all of her fears tumble away into
The Ears of her doctor.
Even with a long road ahead of her
She discovers the joy of her infant's smile,
The peace in his drowsy rest,
The quiet happiness of his play.
No longer is she counting the seconds
Before his next nap. No, now she
Counts the seconds before they are
In due time even the thick fog in
Which she had been trapped fades away
As abruptly as a whisper in the wind.
She has survived.
Conquered fears, turned away tears,
Embraced the future of her years.
A simple message for all
Now resides deep within her heart.
There is hope.
There is strength.
Most importantly though
This newly survived Mother wants you to know
You are not alone.
Lauren Hale is a two-time survivor of Postpartum OCD. She serves as a coordinator for the state of Georgia for Postpartum Support International, and as moderator of the PPD and Pregnant & Depressed message boards at iVillage.com. She also writes the blog Sharing the Journey.