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....

Monday, April 5, 2010

I have Postpartum Depression: My story - please read.

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.


The Shavers Family said...

What bravery to put this out there for us all to read and ADMIRE about you, your open-ness and honesty. Too many moms put on the "everything's perfect" front, which makes the rest of us feel inadequate, stupid, worthless, and like bad mothers and further causes those, like you, with PPD to keep it hidden for fear of what others will think. I'm so proud of you for coming forward and really appreciate you showing this side of yourself.
Best of luck in your healing and keep on doing a great job (because you ARE doing a great job!!!) with that beautiful son of yours! :)

Stef said...

Oh! You know, there is nothing for you to be ashamed of. YOu can't control it. I went through about a year of depression and it was so hard. SO HARD! I would cry all the time over stupid stuff. I could see that I was being irrational, and yet I couldn't help it. SOunds like you have a pretty supportive husband and that makes all the difference in the world. ANd great that you were able to get some help to get out from under that rainy cloud. You can make it through this!! You can!!

Fidgeting Gidget said...

I'm so proud of you for sharing...I think it's so brave and will help you to overcome this. I know you will. You're a great mom and you obviously have an awesome support system. Keep on keepin' on, girl! You can do it!

Lindz said...

Thanks for sharing! Did letting it out help at all? Sometimes I find that the random act of blogging "out" something like this helps me vent and let's a little of the weight I am feeling off of my chest. I don't know what you're feeling with regards to PPD but I have felt and been diagnosed with anxiety since college and it's a horrible feeling. I am just thankful that there are bloggers like you out there to refer to one day when I have kids. Hang in there chica, I know it will get better!

Muser Grace said...

What a beautiful and brave post! Thank you so much for sharing. I struggled with ppd too and have recovered and am loving mommyhood now. I know you will too. I wanted to let you know I featured your post in my "weekly round-up" where I list blogs dealing with ppd and other perinatal mood disorders. I'm hoping to build up a little blogging community through which those of us who have struggled with ppd, etc., can give one another some support. Here's the post: http://musings-musings-musings.blogspot.com/2010/04/weekly-round-up.html

Again, thanks so much for sharing your story.

Beth Anne said...

You are BRAVE.

and you are right - PPD WILL NOT DEFINE YOU. It's just part of our journey that will make us stronger, better, & even more empathetic to life.

Let me know if you ever need anything.

Crystal said...

I went through the same thing Kerri. It happened after I had my 4th baby, and I had no idea what the heck was going on. I kept telling myself it couldn't be PPD because I hadn't had it after any of my previous 3 children were born. Like you, I didn't feel detached from my baby or anything, so I kept questioning what was going on. When I finally got up the courage to talk to my doc, I think my daughter was about 3 months old. She told me she would prescribe me Zoloft if I wanted it. I opted not to...and just tried to push through. I started working out again, and that really helped me to feel better, and my hormones evened out by the time my daughter was about 6 months old. Then, when I got pregnant with AJ, those same feelings came back in the first trimester. I had prenatal depression. This time I decided to go on the medication because my marriage and relationships with my children were definitely suffering from my mood swings. I weaned myself off before the 3rd trimester because I had read that there was more of a possibility of complications with the baby in the 3rd trimester. After AJ was born, I didn't experience the mood swings (thank goodness)...but after knowing the symptoms of how depression affects me personally, I would have gone back on the meds in a heartbeat if I needed them. You are doing the right thing, and you most likely will not need to take the medication forever. I think we are stronger for admitting we need the help than just trying to ignore the problem, you know? Thank you for sharing your story Kerri. You rock. :)

Kim said...

I admire you for your bravery and honesty. Thanks for sharing your story. So many people out there with PPD won't admit that they have it and in turn won't seek help. Kudos to you for admitting it. It will get better!

Mrs.Pink said...

Thank you so much for being so honest. I too am going through something. I call it a funk! lol
I've had a REALLY hard time falling to sleep. My mind just goes and goes and its not on any one thing specific.
I had a spout of depression about 8years ago and never wanted to feel that way again. I hope I can get out of it on my own but won't hesitate in a few days to call the doctor for meds. Last time I took Lexapro. The hardest part for me right now is not being able to fall asleep! GAH!
I wish you the best of luck! Thanks again!!

Michelle@DomesticationoftheSingleGirl said...

I wanted to hug you the entire time that I was reading this. I can't imagine anyone having anything negative to say. If they do or did, please remember that it is because something is wrong with them; not you.

Good for you for being brave and honest. Not just with this post, but at the Dr.'s office as well. There is really so much pressure to do everything and to do it well. Then you add your most prized possession into the mix? Add in the guilt and the hormones and the natural tendency to be a martyr. It sounds cliche but men really do not have any idea. I'm so proud of you for not being silent and I love your family for being so supportive.

I didn't experience PPD, but I had a lot of anxiety about whether or not I would. Most of it was from the misinformation that was out there. My man associated it with women harming babies and he would nag me about 'Was I gonna get PPD?' while I was still pregnant as if it was a CHOICE. I've made a point of educating him.

You're a wonderful mom and a wonderful blogger. This post reflects both.


Unknown said...

Kerri - you are an amazing mom and thanks for sharing.

I have GAD - Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I was on medication before getting pregnant. There is a real high occurrence of GAD people getting PPD. I knew that and have been afraid of it the entire time since Eva was born.

So far - things have been good, but I am going back to work on Thursday and getting really nervous about how this change will be.

I haven't been brave enough to write about the GAD yet. Maybe I should. Thanks for your blog.

Care said...

I am so glad I read this. I am SO glad that you sought help and are taking meds. I think too many people are scared of the stigma of PPD or even depression in general.

My mother is a psychiatric nurse, so growing up, she was always trying to diagnose us. There was a point when 5/6 people in my family were on depression medication (it runs in my family). What I learned from her is that having depression or an anxiety disorder is so much more common than people think. It is not something to be ashamed of. Sometimes the chemicals in our brain need to be balanced. There is nothing you can do about that on your own.

I am so proud of you. I have had some ups and downs. I definitely can relate to the stressing over small stuff. I especially have a problem with comparing myself to people that seem to have it "all together". I have to remind myself that everyone has some flaws. Usually it is those "perfect" people that end up being not so perfect after all.

If it makes you feel any better, my kids wore pajamas for the ENTIRE day! It was just, one of those days.

Take care of yourself. You are a great Mama!!! :)

Ashley said...

That was so brave of you to post!

Sorry you went through it for so long before getting some help!
I already get very anxious and have anxiety attacks, and I fear it will get worse while pregnant and after I have kids.
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

((((Big Hugs))))

When I was diagnosed with PPD I was in denial because I wasn't depressed at all. Instead I felt like I was going crazy. I had severe panic attacks over stupid things...what to wear...what time to feed the baby...etc. and I was terrified to leave my house. Oh and I was so mad, like intense rage mad. I didn't have any intent or thought of harming my son, so when my OB said it was PPD, I was in shock almost. I didn't know that there was such a vast number of symptoms associated with this horrible illness.

Just know that it does get better. I promise you that. Telling someone that there is something wrong is the BIGGEST STEP, and you did it. You should be so proud of yourself!!!
I hope that you continue to get better and just know that you are not alone in this fight ok?

Big Hugs,

Anonymous said...

So proud of you for sharing! I suffered from Depression for my first and second year of college and always felt crazy and out of control of my mind. I ended up going to a Christian counselor who suggested both therapy and the meds, which I am so thankful for! I remember how great it was to feel like myself again, and I'm so glad that you get to have that feeling :) If you ever need to talk about a thing, I'm here for you!

Extra! Extra! Blog All About It said...

Big hugs to you. I found your blog through the SITS Girls. I'm not a mom, but hopeful. Thank you for your bravery and authenticity. I've had friends suffer with PPD so I'll pass this along to them. I'm a Christ Follower, and while I would have told you to pray, I would have told you I'm praying for you, too, and to please mention it to your OB since they know all about pre and post pregnancy. You did a courageous thing. No judgement, just admiration.


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