A Massachusetts dance teacher committed suicide amid severe postpartum depression, just nine days after giving birth to her twins.
Ariana Sutton, 36, died May 31 at her home in Norton, 40 miles southwest of Boston, a week and a half after giving birth to her son Rowan and daughter Everly.
When their daughter, Melody Ki, was born four years ago, she was already suffering from severe postpartum depression and had to be treated in the emergency room.
But Sutton and her husband, Tyler, an Easton police officer, decided they still wanted to expand their family and prepared medication and a plan in case she had more mental health problems.
Still, Tyler was surprised at how quickly his wife’s decline progressed after the birth of their twins.
Ariana Sutton (left in black) killed herself just nine days after giving birth to her twins Rowan, a boy, and Everly, a girl, while battling postpartum depression
Sutton is pictured shortly after giving birth to her twins on May 22nd. On May 31, she took her own life
The doting mother proudly showed off her newborns to husband Tyler and daughter Melody Ki while the babies lay in an incubator. Tragically, Arianna will not be present for the hospital discharge in the coming days
“I didn’t think it would happen so quickly,” he said Boston 25 messages. “She loved being a mother. It was her favorite thing in the world and that (her death) has nothing to do with (the children). If she could have, she would have stayed.’
The twins, a boy named Rowan and a girl named Everly, were born prematurely but are doing well and will be home from the hospital in the coming days. Tyler Sutton now faces the prospect of raising three children alone.
He said he wanted to raise awareness about the terrible effects of postpartum depression, which he says is not widely understood.
“Get more people to focus on it and realize that it’s a real problem and it hasn’t been talked about enough,” he said.
“When we first started looking at postpartum depression, we were groping in the dark. We weren’t prepared. We weren’t warned.’
His wife, who grew up in Easton before earning a BA in dance education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, loved her work and family.
Melody is pictured with Rowan and Everly. Due to the tragedy last month, the children are left without a mother
Tyler, pictured with his newborns, now faces the daunting prospect of raising his three children as a widower
She worked at Starline Academy for the Performing Arts in Stoughton for five years and then bought the dance school in 2013 along with her sister Rayna Flaherty.
“Ariana inspired children to explore the joys of dance and was an avid animal lover,” reads her obituary.
“Her greatest joy has been spending time with her family, especially her daughter Melody.”
But Tyler Sutton said the cloud of depression lingered and she was embarrassed.
“It was like a shadow behind her, reminding her every now and then that it had happened and embarrassing her,” he said.
He said the change in his wife after the birth of their children was shocking.
“It was so strange to see this sudden change. And it was noticeable.
“Like I said, we had a plan to get her on medication right away.”
Ariana and Tyler had discussed the prospect of her depression recurring as they considered trying to have more children.
They were delighted when she became pregnant with twins as this allowed the couple to have two more children in one pregnancy.
The couple had engaged a therapist and a psychiatrist and believed they were prepared.
It was months after Melody was born before the worst of the postpartum depression set in.
But this time it took days.
Ariana is pictured with her older daughter, Melody, shortly after she was born. The bond between mother and daughter is evident, even as the new mom struggled with depression
Ariana and Tyler are pictured on their wedding day. The sudden and tragic death of his wife has deeply shaken her husband
“We thought we had time,” Sutton said.
Harrowing video clips shared by Tyler showed Sutton excitedly displaying her newborns in an incubator just days before she died.
Another older video, captured shortly after Melody’s birth, showed Sutton’s apparent joy at being a mother and the close bond she shared with her adorable daughter.
A GoFundMeThe organization, set up to support the family, had raised $339,000 as of Friday night.
“The weight of this tragedy is unimaginable, but together we can offer our love, strength and financial support to help this family on their challenging journey,” the organizers wrote.
“Ariana, a vibrant and devoted mother, was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her twins, Everly Irene Sutton and Rowan Stephen Sutton.
“Unfortunately, her early arrival brought unforeseen challenges that took a tremendous toll on Ariana’s mental health.”
“Despite her tireless efforts to seek help, the burden of postpartum depression became too great to bear.”
“Our hearts break for Ariana, her babies and the Sutton family as they now face the unimaginable task of moving forward without her.”