“Somehow I made it through. But at first, I couldn’t believe my daughter, Carrie, was born with Down syndrome. I felt so bad for her, for us, and I was in a constant state of fear. This was a total surprise to us, and I couldn’t accept it at first. I didn’t realize it, but I was extremely depressed. I had to leave work, and I couldn’t sleep or eat for about three or four days. My mom had to move in with us. I tried to nurse Carrie, but she wouldn’t latch on. Some days I just sat on the couch and rocked back and forth. My friends and family were worried about how depressed I had become. I didn’t realize how bad I was.
Before Carrie was born, I worked full time as a nurse. I was organized and had family parties all the time. Now, I was in some kind of deep hole. I was unable to shower, have a conversation or enjoy anything. I had to accept that depression had taken over me, and I had to deal with it. I had to talk about it and not hide within myself. I accepted the help I needed in order to deal with fear and to find myself again. I was worried that other people would think I didn’t want Carrie because she was diagnosed with Down syndrome. It wasn’t that. It was the shock and fear about the diagnosis I couldn’t handle. Getting help for depression helped me to deal with all my guilt. I felt like a terrible mom, wife and daughter for not taking care of my baby and for worrying my family so much. Carrie is our beautiful little girl. I’m reminded of how blessed I am each time she calls me Mom.”