I needed to create this project. If not for a passing grade for my final graduate class, but for myself. Postpartum depression is rampant; it feels isolating, as if someone slowly rips happiness out of your soul and all you’re left with is the shell of what used to be you. Having a child does change you—mentally and physically. Your bones widen, skin stretches, and suddenly you’re expected to forget yourself and turn your full attention to a small child, who sleep deprives you and has completely upheaved your life. A picture-perfect rendition of what motherhood looks like is ruptured nearly instantly, and yet, there is nothing that anyone can say to prepare a woman for what motherhood is.
Now, this is not to say motherhood isn’t beautiful and in many ways euphoric. However, sometimes things don’t get better after the initial adjustment to having a child. Sometimes things continue to slope downward instead of upward and what feels like rock bottom suddenly caves into what is a new rock bottom—a new terrible low.
This is why I created this project. The statistics are too high, and the suffering does not need to be had in solitude. Postpartum depression and anxiety is serious and individual, but it is not an isolated issue. There may be darkness, but the light can dichotomize: behind every night, the sun will always rise.
Ten women. Ten different stories of postpartum depression.
Because it can happen to at any age, after any birth to any woman.
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