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How I Beat My Mom Guilt & Post-Partum Depression By Never Giving Up Despite Setbacks

“I tried to keep a smile on my face and pretend all was great, but deep inside, I had this sadness, bitterness, and anger. I was in denial that something was wrong, and in my mind, if I admitted it, it would confirm what I knew all along. That I was a failure at being a mom. I even compared myself with other moms. Imagine that! I tried to hide it from the world.”

Hello! Who are you?

I’m Wendy Yehia. Mom of 4 beautiful daughters ages 23, 20,13, and 6, I’m originally from the small town of Rogersville, New Brunswick, Canada now living in Cairo, Egypt with my husband and two youngest daughters. I am also homeschooling them. 

What is your struggle and when did it start?

All my life, I struggled with depression, not feeling good enough, people-pleasing, shame, guilt and the list goes on. I always felt like a “weirdo” and like I didn’t fit in this modern world. 

However, the birth of my first-born daughter Kaitlyn in 1999, triggered a severe post-partum depression which sent me spiraling down a very deep dark tunnel that lasted many years. The birthing experience was traumatizing, for both myself and my daughter.

I was so happy when I found out I was pregnant, but I was also scared at the same time. I signed up for prenatal classes and remember watching a video about the use of forceps. I told my then-partner that I never wanted that procedure! 

In my mind, all would go perfectly exactly the way I had planned it with no complications. My waters broke and, we were off to the hospital. At first, all was progressing well, but that changed quickly for the worst. After 34 hours in labor, and trying to birth her naturally, she couldn’t get into the birthing canal. Her tiny head was in transverse, slightly tilted to the side (not straight) and my pelvis wasn’t wide enough for her to pass through. So, after pushing what seemed like forever, my Gyno took out the dreaded forceps! 

Everything just spun around me so fast after this. I didn’t have time to even react or tell him no. I think I blocked out the pain at that point! It’s pretty much a blur. After a long time trying to push her out, my baby girl was in distress. I remember hearing her heart beating fast and then getting slower and slower. They were losing her. All was just spinning around me. Then, the doctor announced that he would have to perform an emergency C-Section. I remember her father breaking down and crying at that point. I was whisked away to the operating room. Everything was happening so fast. I was so scared, exhausted, and, in shock! 

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I heard her first cries. I was relieved that she was safe and here with us. The nurse brought her to me and put her on my chest. I was relieved and filled with so much love for my precious angel. I noticed a big red mark across her face caused by the forceps and my heart sank. What had they done to my girl? They took her away, and I passed out from being so exhausted. I slept for a very long time and I woke up in my room as a scared brand-new mom filled with mom guilt. I felt like I was robbed of the chance to bond with my little girl since I slept for almost a full day. 

I felt like I had failed my daughter in so many ways and this was the start of my post-partem depression journey. 

Motherhood is a transformation, a rebirth that changes your whole perspective on life. It is a gift, but also the most demanding job, and nothing can prepare you for it. You have to experience it to really understand. Becoming a mother, was also a catalyst for a major spiritual awakening for me. It made me question who I was, my purpose in life and so much more. 

How did this struggle make you feel at your worst moments?

With time, my body healed, but my mind kept telling me I was a failure and I didn’t deserve my daughter. I also had a fractured coccyx due to the forceps. This is still painful to this day. I tried to keep a smile on my face and pretend all was great, but deep inside, I had this sadness, bitterness, and anger.

I was in denial that something was wrong, and in my mind, if I admitted it, it would confirm what I knew all along. That I was a failure at being a mom. I even compared myself with other moms. Imagine that! I tried to hide it from the world. 

I was breastfeeding and my daughter didn’t latch well. She was colicky for the first 6 weeks, but I was determined to not give up. Many times, I cried thinking I was a failure at everything. I blamed myself for not being able to provide for my daughter. I didn’t trust my own motherly instincts.

I realize now that she must have felt my nervousness and my doubt. She had felt the trauma at her birth as well. I know in my heart that she was also traumatized. I can still remember that mark across her tiny face like it was yesterday. 

Kaitlyn grew into a very energetic toddler. My depression followed me, but I learned to live with it. I was pretty good at wearing a mask to hide it. This is something I had done all my life. She was displaying behavioral issues at 2. I had her assessed and they thought she had ADHD, but they wouldn’t be able to diagnose her until she was older. I was so tired and couldn’t keep up with her energy. I burned out! 

I found out I was pregnant again in 2002 with my 2nd daughter, Kayla. I was happy but also scared. I didn’t want to go through the same experience. The birth went smoothly this time and I delivered her naturally, but I was in fear until she was finally here. My mom guilt was still there. 

As time passed, I still felt those awful feelings deep inside me. Life was pretty normal most of the time. I didn’t show it to my girls, at least I tried not to. I went through the motions and took care of them as best as I could. I had gotten used to hiding my sadness from the world, but it still grew and grew inside me. I felt disconnected, sometimes frustrated, angry, and that mom guilt always crept up on me, but I just kept going. 

In 2005, I had to go for a gallbladder removal surgery by myself. My partner could not come with me since he had to work. I remember waking up with no one around me. This was the worst feeling. That made me question a lot of things and my depression hit me like a slap in the face even more.

After my surgery, once I got home, on a whim, I told my partner that I was leaving him. If I had to go through that alone, then I didn’t want to be with anyone. So, I left him. 

I moved out with the girls in my hometown and started a new life. I was alone for the first time in my life, with 2 young children on welfare, no car, no house. I lost everything. That hit me pretty hard. My depression went downward even more at this time, to the point where I didn’t even want to get up from the couch.

I had 2 small girls to take care of, but I just couldn’t find the energy to do so. Kaitlyn’s behavior also got worse. I called social services for help. They were already involved with Kaitlyn. They came to assess the situation, and when my case worker saw my condition, she suggested they go live with their father temporarily to give me time to take care of myself and get better.

Of course, I resisted as it only affirmed what a failure as a mother I was, but I had no choice. I had to turn my life around and take care of myself for my precious girls. 

On the day they left, I was devasted and my whole world came crashing down. I curled myself in a ball on their bed, hugged one of their stuffed animals, and just cried. For 3 days, I just stayed there in a fetal position. I couldn’t bring myself to eat even. I just didn’t want to live anymore, and suicidal thoughts overcame me. My mother came to my door a few times and I didn’t even want to see her. People called and I didn’t answer.

Then in the darkness, a voice told me: “Wendy, get up, do not give up. Your girls need you to stay strong for them”. So, I slowly got myself up, took a shower and called my best friend, packed my things, and went to her place. I never looked back. 

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Was there a moment when you started to turn things around?

During this time, I kept myself busy and stayed with my soul sister. I found a full-time job and moved to the city and my girls came to visit on weekends and holidays. I slowly started to get better. I finally had a purpose again and I met new people at my work. 

I asked my ex to have my girls with me again. He refused and told me that they were with him now and that I would have to take him to court. He played with my guilt and I wasn’t strong enough to go face a judge who would put me under the microscope.

So, I let them stay with their father and they kept coming on weekends and holidays. I knew they were in good hands, but I missed them so much. There was an empty void. I missed Kayla’s first day of school and many other events. I sometimes felt robbed of these milestones and this left me feeling bitter. My mom guilt still followed me, but I kept pushing through no matter what. 

In the meantime, I met my current husband. We met online way back when the Internet wasn’t even a thing yet. My family and friends were shocked and tried to talk me out of it, but I followed my heart.

This was the start of an amazing love story. 3 years later in 2008, I came to meet him in person and, I knew he was the one from the first glimpse I saw of him waiting for me at the Cairo airport that day. We got married a week later. I stayed 3 months and went back home. 

During my 2nd trip, I got pregnant with Jamila, but I went back to Canada alone to give birth. My husband was not allowed to travel with me due to immigration laws. That was a challenge! It brought back many feelings from the past. I had a pretty hard labor, but I got through it and my depression didn’t take over my life this time.

I traveled back and forth quite a few times until finally, he was able to immigrate to be with us in Canada in 2014. Jamila was finally reunited with her dad. We’ve had many challenges over the years. Having a long-distance relationship wasn’t easy, but our love for each other was stronger than the challenges we faced. In 2016, I gave birth to Yasmeen at 43. 

We were living happily in Canada until the pandemic crept up on us and, the introduction of the Covid vaccine mandates were imposed on our family by our government. You see, we chose not to get the vaccine. Being an “outside of the box” thinker, I didn’t follow this narrative. I believe we all have an immune system that can help us fight off any virus or bacteria and we didn’t want to risk our health with this injection.

In September 2021, we were forced to take a major leap of faith and leave Canada for our safety, survival, and freedom. Our rental house sold, and at the time, landlords were asking for vaccine proof to rent and also, our government in New Brunswick was trying to mandate proof to even buy food.

We were screwed! We knew that if we stayed, we risked being homeless and starving with 2 young kids in tow. So, 3 weeks later, we were on the plane for Egypt to start our new chapter. 

Boy! What a stressful time that was! I had to get rid of all my belongings and could only take a few memories and clothes. I call this the Great Purge of 2021. I purged and let go of everything.

Once again, I was having mom guilt, for leaving behind my daughters. It triggered old feelings in myself and also for them. They had felt abandoned in the past when I traveled to Egypt and it brought back those painful memories for them. They were living their own lives in Canada and could not come with us.

We had open discussions about this, and they know that it was a difficult decision for me to make. Thank God for technology. We have video calls often and they will be planning to come and visit us here this year. 

The uncertainty of living in Canada with the rising costs of housing, food shortages, job market instabilities the mandates caused, was our motivation to leave and we are so glad we did!

We are proof that any life challenge can be overcome, you just need to be willing to leap into the unknown, trust the process, and go with the flow without fear of the outcome! 

What steps did you take to overcome your struggle?

What really helped me in my battle was not giving up and to keep fighting for my 4 girls. 

Even though I felt I failed my 2 oldest daughters for over 20 years, and my mom guilt kept me stuck, I kept strong and kept going. 

I am grateful that God gave me a second chance to make things right as a mom. I now have Jamila and Yasmeen and, I promised myself that I would never let my negative limiting beliefs, mom guilt, and challenges get in the way as they did the first time around. 

Being a sexual abuse and post-partem depression survivor, I realize now, that my past childhood traumas and sexual abuse were the triggers to my post-partem depression. We are not taught tools to cope and release these heavy emotions associated with trauma, and if not dealt with it, it stays trapped and follows us into adulthood causing a plethora of issues in our lives as it did with me. 

In 2022, after many dark nights of the soul for over 20 years, I worked hard on myself and did the inner work. I accomplished this by doing my own research on trauma and post-partem depression, attending webinars, and learning different tools to help me release it.

This introspection allowed me to fully heal from my own past traumas and life challenges, to forgive myself, change my mindset, step into my power, and be my true unique self as the free sovereign living breathing woman and momma warrior that I am. 

I also had deep discussions with Kaitlyn and Kayla before we moved to Egypt about everything. This allowed us to speak openly about how these series of events made them feel over the years and I assured them that I had always loved them even if they were not living with me full-time.

This helped us all forgive and clear up any negative feelings or emotions from the past. I know my choices have affected them negatively during their life and knowing they forgave me, helped me forgive myself and finally put it behind me. 

I am finally healed and no longer have this mom guilt and depression that I struggled with for so long. I now have confidence as a woman and a mother and, I know that I had to go through these life struggles to learn valuable lessons. 

I am now on a mission to help other women and moms overcome their life challenges, including post-partem depression by giving them valuable tools from my tool belt that helped me overcome mine. My goal is to support and guide them on their journey to recovery, so they can also break the cycle and be their best selves for themselves and their children. 

If I could overcome post-partum depression anyone can 😊 

Here is one of my favorite pictures of me and my girls:

Wendy Yehia 1

Have you shared any of this with people around you in real life?

For the longest time, my guilt kept me from speaking up about my struggle. I was ashamed that people would judge me as a bad mom. Again, this was my limiting belief of not being good enough, people pleasing, my fear, and my guilt taking over. My close friends and family knew my story, but it was not something that I felt comfortable sharing. 

When I first launched my online coaching business in July 2022, I hosted a 10-day Goddess Recharge challenge via my women’s Facebook group. I shared my story for the first time with my audience, and, it was so freeing. When a few women resonated and shared their own similar stories, it was such a big relief. It made me realize that I was not the only one who struggled with this and that many other moms are walking in my same shoes. 

When we are going through something, it can be a pretty lonely journey. We assume that we are the only ones going through it, but by sharing our stories, we realize that others are also going through it and, that is so beautiful! My motto is: “Women who gather together…Heal together”

My mission is to create a safe space for women to share their stories, and support one another on our journeys. We all have unique stories and sharing them openly and safely can help bring so much healing. I offer 1:1 and group coaching, host masterclasses, and share valuable resources to help support you. 

I would love to welcome you to my Facebook community Unleash Your Inner Goddess.

If you could give a single piece of advice to someone else that struggles, what would that be?

If you’re going through post-partem depression or any life struggles, please get help as soon as you can. 

It may be hard to admit you have a problem. You may feel guilty, or like a failure, like I did, but it’s so important to get the help you need early on. 

If I had sought help when I started struggling with post-partem depression and had access to the necessary tools to help me overcome this struggle, it would have made a world of difference for myself and my children. 

The longer you wait, the worst it will get over time. It does not just go away. It’s perfectly okay to ask for help! You’re not less of a mother for admitting you have a problem and getting support, believe me! 

Follow your intuition always. This is the GPS that will help guide you through life. 

Take care of yourself, your needs, and your health. As moms, it’s hard to practice self-care, but it’s so crucial. You can’t pour from an empty cup. We give away so much of ourselves to our kids and if we don’t make self-care a priority, we burn out. This is what happened to me. 

We are taught that it’s selfish to take time for ourselves as moms, but this is not true. Our kids need us at our best, and they reap the benefits of having a happy, rested mom. We need to break the cycle so that our kids can thrive. As the saying goes: “A happy mom = happy kids = happy life”!

When I started on my quest to heal myself, I came across many amazing resources. I have a whole plethora of articles, eBooks, self-help books, YouTube videos, and more that I’ve compiled over the years. 

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, YouTube channels, or other resources for you?

One that really resonated with me and spoke to me was a free 5-day webinar by Jay Shetty back in 2018. There, I connected with an amazing woman, Vas Bes. We are soul sisters today. Her story moved me in so many ways, on Self-Love. She wrote a best-selling book called 7 Ultimate Secrets To Real Love Success

That, and Sonia Ricotti’s movie Unsinkable.

Where can we go to learn more about you?

You can connect with me on many different social media platforms through this link here.

I’m a Divine Feminine Holistic Wellness Coach, Reiki Energy Healer, Massage Therapist, and Lightworker. Why did I become a coach? 

I have always been a life coach naturally, I just didn’t realize my potential until very recently. People, even strangers, have always been attracted to my empathic nature. I can be at the grocery store check-out and people start to talk to me, telling me their life stories. I often get private messages on Facebook from people asking me for advice, telling me they feel they can trust me and open up to me. 

In 2019, I left the corporate world, and my secure government job with the RCMP-Canadian Firearms Program, to pursue my soul’s calling to help humanity on their healing journey.

Need support? Let’s have a chat over coffee. I am here to support you on your journey and help you fill your cup! You don’t have to go through this alone! You got this! I also offer the Breaking The Cycle ~ Overcoming Post-Partem Depression Masterclass!

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Hugo Huijer AuthorLinkedIn Logo

Founder of Tracking Happiness, with over 100 interviews and a focus on practical advice, our content extends beyond happiness tracking. Hailing from the Netherlands, I’m a skateboarding enthusiast, marathon runner, and a dedicated data junkie, tracking my happiness for over a decade.

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