I've debated back and forth if I should write this post or not. On one hand, I myself found another blog post to be eye-opening and to help me realize it's okay to admit I have a problem. On the other hand the same post that made me start thinking about my own feelings got a lot of flack, and the poor poster got a lot of nasty comments mixed in with the supportive ones. I have gone through the full scale of emotions, ashamed, embarrassed, and proud I finally admitted I had a problem, loved by my family and friends, but mostly scared.
The unknown is very scary. I was scared what would happen if I told someone I didn’t feel right. I was scared what would happen next. I was scared what people would think of me, scared how they would react. I was scared what it would mean for future children. I’m still scared, but I think I’m finally realizing that being diagnosed isn’t the end of the world; it’s really just the start for me.
I admitted to my husband first that I wasn’t just joking when I said “I feel like I’m going crazy” – that I really meant that. I felt like from day to day I was a different person, even from hour to hour I would feel happy and energetic to sad and frustrated. I was not certain I had Postpartum Depression because everything I had read about was mom’s who felt like they weren’t bonding, or didn’t want to be around their children. I read of people feeling like their child would be better off without them or ladies who didn’t want to even hold their babies. These feelings were not mine, how could I have PPD?
What did I feel? I felt stressed everyday. I was stressing over laundry, dishes, what clothes to put Aiden in, did we pack enough wipes or diapers, and was he going to wake up 5 times tonight or just 2? I was worrying about everything. I felt overwhelmed. There were not enough hours in the day to get things done, so I just didn’t do them. My poor hubby had to pick up my slack with laundry and dishes. Of course then I felt guilty. I felt guilty that Kris was doing so much work around the house, and taking care of Aiden more than I was when he was fussy. I felt like a bad mom for not knowing how to take care of Aiden sometimes. I started to ask Kris “what should I do – I don’t know what to do”. Kris kept telling me to “take time for myself”, “go read a book”, “take a bath” and so I would. I would try to relax or just take some time for myself, but even when I did I would just be thinking about how I should be trying to take care of, or play with, Aiden. It was a never ending cycle; I couldn’t calm myself down, or feel content.
I was having mood swings. I would be perfectly fine one minute and then Kris would say something to me, anything really, and I would just snap. I’d pick a fight, I’d bicker, I’d cry. Then I would be sad and apologetic and tell him I think it was the hormones, I didn’t mean to fight with him over nothing. I just didn’t feel like myself. Sure I had times where I felt fine, normal, but not as much as I knew I should be feeling. My mind was always going and I just knew that something was not right. I needed help.
I blamed my random hormones on my IUD for awhile, but I’ve had it for way too long now for it to be making me feel crazy. I had already made an appointment with my OB for something unrelated and decided the night before that I had to talk to her about what was going on. This was on Wednesday March 31st. I started crying as soon as my nurse asked how I was doing. I told her everything and she just hugged me while I was on the scale and told me “it’s very normal, it happened to me – it will be okay”.
After much talk with my Dr. and my nurse we all agreed I had Postpartum Depression. She went over how PPD isn’t always such negative things like mom’s who hurt their babies, how it is often just someone who feels they have to be “super mom” and feeling like they are failing at it. Moms just need some help adjusting and that that was normal and okay. She told me she wanted to start me on an antidepressant (Celexa) and that if after a couple weeks that wasn’t helping I should make an appointment to see a therapist. I’m going back to my Dr. for a follow up appointment in 6 weeks. She said we can adjust my meds or switch me if need be at that time.
I don’t know when I really started to feel out of control. I think maybe it started when Aiden was 4 weeks old and I finally made the best choice for us and stopped breastfeeding. That was stressful for me and I felt like a failure for quitting. I think I slowly started feeling overwhelmed after that. My Dr. said that the stress of being home daily and my husband having a hard time finding work could certainly make my feelings unmanageable on my own. In the end it doesn’t really matter when I started having problem or what caused it, it just matters that I did something about it
Since starting my meds I am finally starting to feel some relief. The meds at first made me feel sick to my stomach and dizzy, but that is slowly going away. I’m starting to feel a little less stressed, like the edge is taken off. A few times the last few days I’ve felt that sense of being overwhelmed or out of control, however, just knowing that soon I’ll feel more “normal” makes it a bit more manageable. I am so very glad that I reached out for help.
I have such wonderful family and friends who are so very supportive of me. I thought I would have people tell me I’m just overreacting to the normal stresses of being a new mom. I was, and am, still afraid of people who read my blog or strangers who find this post judge me. I thought I would get religious people (and some friends even) telling me to just “pray about it” – but just praying about it wasn’t helping me. After giving it much though I decided that I was inspired by someone else who admitted they needed help, and I wanted to hopefully help someone else. Having PPD is not going to define who I am. I am still a WONDERFUL mother who adores and loves her son (and hubby). I still plan to have future kids, and won’t wait 5.5 months to get help if I need it either. I just hope other moms get help without guilt when and if they need it.
There you have it. That’s my story. It’s not over; it’s just beginning for me. I will continue to keep you ladies filled in of course, but it won’t be consuming my blog – that’s not who I am. I’ve taken some time off from blogging this last week and haven’t done any working out since last Tuesday. So McFatty Monday’s is on hold this week. I’m hoping to start back up this week, but right now my mental health needs a boost before my weight does. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions – just please keep in mind that this was a very hard post for me to write and is not something that I take lightly.
PS - feel free to share my story with anyone you may know in real life or on your blog if you know someone who would appreciate reading my experience, or if it could reach other new mom's please share.
Wow, after several years ive decided to try and resurrect this little blog of mine. I recently told a friend I missed having a place to write. Then out of nowhere a blog "challenge" if you will came about on a public group im in. So here I am and I'm going to try and keep this thing going. Bare with me as I make changes and update content. Feel free to sift through my old posts, you just might learn something new about me....