Stories are everything. Sharing stories is our oldest human tradition, and also the most important. Stories teach us about life and love and allow us feel connected.
I have heard and read hundreds of stories from women who have suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety and rage and other perinatal mood disorders. Heartbreaking stories. Stories of survival. Stories of loss.
I recently came across Rachel Papo’s story written by Andy Wright, in an article titled After Birth. As written in Wright’s story, Rachel Papo suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her son and wanted to create a photo essay of the journey, but was unable to one year postpartum because the memories were still too fresh and painful. When her son turned 2, Rachel sought out other mom’s through a Facebook group and started interviewing them about their postpartum depression journeys. Their stories paired with photos of places and objects that embody their experiences, as well as photos of Rachel herself, her son, and personal text messages created the “It’s Been Pouring” project – which is still ongoing.
“It’s Been Pouring,” is a peek into the despair, anxiety, sadness, and many times anger that is perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Below are a few of the photo’s and texts from the project. To see Andy Wright’s full article on Topic Magazine click here.
I felt I was a bad person, a bad mama: How can you have these horrendous thoughts about harming your child? How can you not breastfeed properly? I am getting better now, but some days I’m still like, Oh, maybe you shouldn’t go meet those moms—if only they really knew about some of the thoughts you’ve had. The minute I’m with them, though, I never have those thoughts. It’s really therapy in itself, being with other moms. —Vicky
“Everyone, as soon as they saw her, said, ‘Oh, I love her. Don’t you love her, isn’t she just perfect?’—and the only thing I could think was: I wish I had never had her. I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t like anything about her. I just associated her with pain.” —Leshia
“I would alway put on these happy, pretend faces, and act like everything was OK … and inside I was dying.” —Nikki