Your feelings matter; your experiences matter; you matter

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Miranda Laubie
  • 445th Force Support Squadron Commander

I had my first son in 2015. Overall, my pregnancy was good.

I continued to work during the day full time, drilled up to my due date, and maintained mostly normal workouts.

Although my son was nine days late, I was very happy that delivery was only four hours from the time I left my house to my first time holding him.

A few hours after labor, I developed HELLP syndrome, which stands for hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count. The nurse told me my pain was as from childbirth and that it should wear off.

My husband then had to get the doctor because I passed out. Immediate treatment was critical. To say the least, my post-partum experience was extremely traumatic.

Fast forward one month: I was a new stay-at-home mom with a healthy newborn baby boy. From the outside, I had nothing to complain about.

However, I was experiencing panic attacks, constant worry, lack of sleep (even when the baby was sleeping) and loss of appetite. I felt boxed in with no one to talk to except my husband, and even then I felt like a burden.

Everything made me cry. As a new mom, all I kept hearing was “You’re so blessed” and “Be grateful for every minute,” which aren’t untrue sentiments, but it was hard for me to believe them, which led me to feel extreme guilt.

I didn’t tell anyone outside of my husband and parents about my HELLP syndrome experience, how traumatic it was, or about my anxiety and panic attacks. I was embarrassed and didn’t think anyone could relate.

The night I knew I needed help was when I told my husband that I thought he and my son would be better off without me. I told him I wasn’t planning on doing anything to harm myself, but I also wouldn’t have cared, for example, if a bus or car hit me.

Depression, let alone suicide ideation, wasn’t something I’d ever experienced personally. After that night, I made an appointment with a local therapist and my primary care doctor.

As you can probably guess, I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and depression. It took some time and honesty, but I got to a place where I felt like myself again.

I would imagine that those who know me and are reading this may be surprised because I hid everything well. I decided to speak up about my experience because I don’t want others to feel as though they have to hide it too.

You’re in control of how much you share with your trusted Wingman, doctor, mentor, parent – whoever – but I do caution you: holding in certain negative thoughts and feelings will eventually cause negative effects in your life.

My story isn’t just for new moms, but everyone, as depression/anxiety/post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. are all valid feelings and medical diagnoses that desperately need addressed.

Your feelings matter; your experiences matter; and you matter!

If you or anyone you know is experiencing some type of depression or anxiety, even to the point of suicide ideation or known attempts, speak up.

Please ACE (Ask, Care, Escort) your friend, coworker, peer and Airman to the appropriate helping agency.

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please call, text or chat 988 for the National Suicide Lifeline or visit and click on the “Suicide Prevention” button.