Overcoming Post Partum Depression

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My recovery since writing my last Post Partum Depression post has been a roller coaster. I would have a month of feeling good and then Bam! I’d wake up one morning and would feel it all creeping back in. The post partum depression I experienced was so … textbook. It was like there was a post partum me and a normal me and I could instantly tell when I woke up how I was going to feel that day. When the obsessive thoughts, anxiety, and despair returned, the hopelessness would set in; that feeling that I would never get out of this.

I coped by letting it all out to my husband or mother or best friend when the anxiety became overwhelming. I attended a support group and met other moms that understood the awfulness. I kept busy!!! I made sure I got out of the house and around people (having a planned activity at least once a week really helped – mine was a dance class I enrolled my two year old in.) Anything I could do to occupy my mind- I did. (Now have a completely redecorated house and a high credit card balance to go with it- thanks PPD!) But I also recognized when I could use some help and would see my therapist during the really rough times. She was fabulous and if I could afford the $150/session I would have been there every week! If  you are going through PPD- it makes a world of difference to find a therapist you connect with – she was the third one I met with before really finding that relationship. The tools she gave me were invaluable and really what I feel led me out of the woods. I just recently wrote her a letter just thanking her, because although it was her job and she does this day in and day out, she affected me greatly and maybe even changed the course of my life. I owed her my gratitude.

And last but not least… good ol’ fashioned time. Sometimes the only way out really is through.
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Great Expectations

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It’s 11:00am. We have been up for four hours. The crockpot meal that should have started cooking two hours ago has half of the ingredients in it and the rest scattered across the counter. There are toys everywhere. Laundry in the dryer from yesterday that needs to be folded. I haven’t eaten yet for the second day in a row. We are all still in pajamas and the baby needs a bath but she won’t let me put her down long enough to get it ready. My toddler is crying to be held which I try to do one handed while the baby nurses in the other. I am crying. My toddler asks “Mommy Happy?” She will ask me later if I feel better. Because she has become so used to seeing me cry these last 7 weeks. I feel guilty for my toddler. I feel scared and overwhelmed. Scared by how I’m feeling. Because I know I don’t feel good. I thought if I just got the house cleaned I would feel better. But now I can’t get a handle on anything. Sometimes I look at the baby and feel angry. Sometimes crazy thoughts pop into my head. I’m afraid to walk through a doorway while holding her because I think I’ll hit her head on the door frame. Then I’ll think do I want to hit her head? Do I want to feed her a bottle of bleach? What?!?! Will I end up one of those mothers on the news? I picked up a knife today and felt scared. I couldn’t even tell you why. Then I get that pukey feeling in my stomach and the panic sets in. This is post partum depression. And it is a bitch.

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Post Partum: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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The feeling of dread washed over me as I descended down the stairs into the gleeful chatter. It was apparently morning but for me the days had no beginning or end in my newborn world. I had just showered and already my clothes were beginning to soak with sweat as the hormones exited my system. I stood at the kitchen sink finding dishes to wash to buy myself more time before I had to enter the living room and put on my happy “I’ve got everything under control, Yes, I’m so happy she’s finally here, too…” face. Panic starting to swell in my throat as I thought to myself…. Another day of diaper changes, I can’t do it, I don’t want to do it. Oh God, where did that thought come from? I thought I would be happy. I worked so hard for her, prayed for her on my knees asking God not to lose this one… how ungrateful am I? What happened to love at first sight? It’s obvious I don’t love my baby. That’s what it is. I. Don’t. Love. My. Baby. The panic starting to dizzy me with this revelation. Shame and fear muddled together. Another terrifying thought; How would I hide this from my family? Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a mother-maybe that’s why I suffered all those losses- but what will I do now… I can never go back, I. am. stuck. As I fight back the tears, I enter the sunny room where I see a tiny, fragile, almost primordial creature in my mom’s arms whom I felt no real connection to…. I paste a smile on my face, “Hiiii, yes she does look just like her dad, can you believe it…..”

Sound familiar? I will remember that day vividly for the rest of my life. I even remember what I was wearing that day (a maternity dress although I was no longer pregnant- yeah, that nice round pregnancy belly turns into a saggy, empty womb of weirdness for a while). This was the second day home from the hospital, my baby was 4 days old. Those gleeful voices were the voices of friends and family who had come to see my new baby and rejoice in the celebration of new life. However, I was so far from celebration. I was just trying not to burst into hysterics in front of my mother in law and ruin the facade that I could totally handle this motherhood thing. I mean, I was sitting in a room full of mothers. They all had multiple children and had gone through this experience more times than I had, and seemed unphased by the fact that I just gave birth. I felt like I was the first one to ever go through this. I remember thinking to myself that I just must not be normal. That this is not what motherhood was supposed to feel like.

(more…)

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Great Expectations

Great Expectations

 0474d72a9026e3ab928a8b532cf719b3

It’s 11:00am. We have been up for four hours. The crockpot meal that should have started cooking two hours ago has half of the ingredients in it and the rest scattered across the counter. There are toys everywhere. Laundry in the dryer from yesterday that needs to be folded. I haven’t eaten yet for the second day in a row. We are all still in pajamas and the baby needs a bath but she won’t let me put her down long enough to get it ready. My toddler is crying to be held which I try to do one handed while the baby nurses in the other. I am crying. My toddler asks “Mommy Happy?” She will ask me later if I feel better. Because she has become so used to seeing me cry these last 7 weeks. I feel guilty for my toddler. I feel scared and overwhelmed. Scared by how I’m feeling. Because I know I don’t feel good. I thought if I just got the house cleaned I would feel better. But now I can’t get a handle on anything. Sometimes I look at the baby and feel angry. Sometimes crazy thoughts pop into my head. I’m afraid to walk through a doorway while holding her because I think I’ll hit her head on the door frame. Then I’ll think do I want to hit her head? Do I want to feed her a bottle of bleach? What?!?! Will I end up one of those mothers on the news? I picked up a knife today and felt scared. I couldn’t even tell you why. Then I get that pukey feeling in my stomach and the panic sets in. This is post partum depression. And it is a bitch.

(more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Post Partum: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Post Partum: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

IMG_1689

The feeling of dread washed over me as I descended down the stairs into the gleeful chatter. It was apparently morning but for me the days had no beginning or end in my newborn world. I had just showered and already my clothes were beginning to soak with sweat as the hormones exited my system. I stood at the kitchen sink finding dishes to wash to buy myself more time before I had to enter the living room and put on my happy “I’ve got everything under control, Yes, I’m so happy she’s finally here, too…” face. Panic starting to swell in my throat as I thought to myself…. Another day of diaper changes, I can’t do it, I don’t want to do it. Oh God, where did that thought come from? I thought I would be happy. I worked so hard for her, prayed for her on my knees asking God not to lose this one… how ungrateful am I? What happened to love at first sight? It’s obvious I don’t love my baby. That’s what it is. I. Don’t. Love. My. Baby. The panic starting to dizzy me with this revelation. Shame and fear muddled together. Another terrifying thought; How would I hide this from my family? Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a mother-maybe that’s why I suffered all those losses- but what will I do now… I can never go back, I. am. stuck. As I fight back the tears, I enter the sunny room where I see a tiny, fragile, almost primordial creature in my mom’s arms whom I felt no real connection to…. I paste a smile on my face, “Hiiii, yes she does look just like her dad, can you believe it…..”

Sound familiar? I will remember that day vividly for the rest of my life. I even remember what I was wearing that day (a maternity dress although I was no longer pregnant- yeah, that nice round pregnancy belly turns into a saggy, empty womb of weirdness for a while). This was the second day home from the hospital, my baby was 4 days old. Those gleeful voices were the voices of friends and family who had come to see my new baby and rejoice in the celebration of new life. However, I was so far from celebration. I was just trying not to burst into hysterics in front of my mother in law and ruin the facade that I could totally handle this motherhood thing. I mean, I was sitting in a room full of mothers. They all had multiple children and had gone through this experience more times than I had, and seemed unphased by the fact that I just gave birth. I felt like I was the first one to ever go through this. I remember thinking to myself that I just must not be normal. That this is not what motherhood was supposed to feel like.

(more…)

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