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From the June 2008 issue of The Christian Science Journal

AFTER THE BIRTH of my first child, I found motherhood to be overwhelming. The labor and delivery were longer and harder than I had expected. When I took my new baby boy home from the hospital I was completely exhausted, but unable to sleep. I had no appetite, would often sob uncontrollably, and I became very depressed. My mother told me that she had had such an easy time giving birth and making the transition to motherhood, so I expected my whole experience would be peaceful. That's why these feelings surprised me.

Early in the pregnancy, I had called a Christian Science practitioner to pray for me and our child throughout the labor and delivery. As any mother knows, there is a great deal of focus on the physical development of the baby and on the mother during pregnancy, and I felt that prayer would help me stay focused on the true, spiritual origin and heritage of my child—and of me. My husband was supportive of Christian Science and my desire to have this help from the practitioner, but we agreed that I would regularly visit a doctor for prenatal checkups and have a hospital birth.

Yet, when our baby was still a newborn, I felt so overwhelmed by what I viewed as my inadequacy as a mother that one evening I came up with a plan to kill myself just before my husband was expected home from work. Thankfully, a few minutes later I recall coming to my senses and thinking, This is not me! It was completely out of character for me to think this way.

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