Hello everyone. I hope everyone is doing great. We ended up in the ER with our youngest this morning and of course we were there all day. He is doing well now.
After that long day and getting my boys to sleep I decided to take some time to myself and poke around Pinterest. This brought me across a blogger I really seem to identify with. So I decided to spend some time reading some of her posts.
I came across this one of hers that really hit home hard with me regarding Postpartum Depression.
I was always terrified of PPD as I already have a history of depression and anxiety/panic disorder. I know how helpless it all makes you feel to not be able to control your own body and thoughts, and the idea that that could get worse while also being in charge of a tiny person was just horrifying.
I hoped beyond hope that I would be fine and everything would go smoothly.
…it did not.
Now if you have experienced being pregnant in the past few years I am sure you will notice they ask you at many visits if you feel depressed or unhappy with life. My doctor had me do a questionnaire every time I had an appointment while I was pregnant with M. While I was pregnant I actually felt better than I even normally did regarding anxiety and depression. So there were no red flags thrown up there.
I know everyone has different pregnancy experiences and not everyone really enjoys being pregnant. I absolutely loved being pregnant. I had terrible morning sickness for more than half of the pregnancy with M but I knew it was because I was making life and I knew it was all worth it. I ended up with Gestational Diabetes as well, and while that was not fun it wasn’t too bad. I just had to monitor my blood sugar and keep track of what I was eating very closely.
I worked up until the day I had M, and loved being able to keep busy. In my spare time at work I would work on things for M like the cloth wipes I was making, as well as cloth diapers, blankets, no scratch mittens, ect. I kept my trusty Brother Sewing machine with me at all times. Luckily at the time we owned our own business so I could work on those things in the back when things were slow or we had an employee working the register.
The day I went into my last appointment where they would monitor M’s heart rate and my contractions they did another ultrasound and noticed he had grown a lot (often an issue because of gestational diabetes). They also noted that his shoulders were a lot wider than his head, and he was barrel chested. This worried them because if they let him go any longer they thought he would only get bigger making it harder for me to birth him naturally like I wanted and urged us to schedule a c-section which I really didn’t want to do. They were sure he would be a 12 lb baby and with his broad chest and shoulders he would get stuck after his head made it’s way through.
This hit me hard because I really wanted to give birth naturally (for me not for any other reason). I was like someone pulled the rug out from under me. I know the best laid plans and all that but I really did not want to lose the experience I had been preparing for for all these months. However, I also did not want to put my precious baby in danger so I agreed to the c-section, and they scheduled it for the end of the week.
This did not give me much time to come to terms with having to give up on natural birth. It took me time to process it and I don’t think I fully did even when they first cut into me. I was devastated. The night before our c-section I laid on the couch crying about having to have a c-section.
The C-section didn’t go well either, but I won’t go into that right now.
After I was finally able to hold my son, and was in my room I was out of it but okay. He latched right on and nursed wonderfully for a good hour. People came to see him, and I just kind of tuned them out. Nothing against them but I was exhausted and just wanted to hold my son.
Once everything slowed down and visitors stopped trickling in was when it really started. I had panic attack after panic attack. My son was collicky but I just kept nursing him and soothing him. After years of anxiety and depression I have learned the art of doing what needs done despite what is going on in my head until I can’t anymore.
I was terrified of everything and nothing at the same time. It was worse than any of my normal panic attacks because I couldn’t let go and panic I had a baby to care for. What was I going to do when it inevitably got worse?
Finally it came time for me leave the hospital. I finally decided I need to tell someone about the crazy thoughts running through my head, and the fact that I had not eaten since M was born. I was able to only keep down water and juice barely. Eating terrified me. I could barely sleep for the same reason. I was afraid to pick my son up and I was afraid to let him lie there. I could barely change his diaper I was shaking so uncontrollably. It was terrible and on top of it I felt like I had failed my son and husband.
When I finally decided to tell someone they made sure I was prescribed medication before I left by my doctor.
That was not the end of it though. I took the medicine even though I was terrified to take the medicine they gave me. I still couldn’t eat for weeks. I had to force myself to down assure shakes. Not all of those stayed down. I still had the tremors, and panic attacks but they were slowly dying down. Then my meds started making it worse and they had to adjust the dosage. Once they got it right everything seem to slow down and I could finally focus on my new baby boy. I felt more in control than I had in so long.
I tried to ween myself off of them a few times since but I think it will be awhile before I can fully do that. Every time I have tried everything comes back so quickly. I never liked having to take medication but if that is what I need to do to be able to care for my children that is what I will do. They need me.
I hope writing about my experience will help someone else know it is okay to admit you are having problems and that it is okay that doesn’t mean you are failing you just need a little help and that is okay.
Thank you for reading,
The Momnipresent Mother