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Old 05-03-2014, 10:51 AM #1
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Trig Trying to pull myself out of this

This board isn't super active, but I still want to put my story down into words. Postpartum depression is a nightmare and we need to talk about it so that other new moms don't feel like they're crazy when this isn't the happiest time of their lives. I would apologize in advance for the length, but this is my catharsis and I don't really need anybody to read this.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was thrilled. I'd just graduated college and I was working in my first full time job which I was able to commute to with my drivers license I had just gotten and the car that I just bought. I finally felt like a competent adult after years and years of undiagnosed ADHD kept me from figuring out my goals and then reaching those goals. I started taking adderall in 2009 at the age of 20 and realized that I'm not actually an idiot! I graduated magna cum laude with a BS in political science, and I finally got my drivers license at the age of 24, excited that I would be able to be independent in a suburb where you have to drive to get anywhere. My partner and I were starting a family, held back by my delayed productivity as a result of ADHD.

The pregnancy was really easy with just a few minor hiccups. I didn't have any morning sickness or pregnancy symptoms; I didn't even find out I was pregnant until I was almost 3 months. I was easily distracted because I had to quit taking adderall but the momentum of a full time job helped me keep on a schedule. I had high blood pressure that wasn't high enough to warrant medication and gestational diabetes, which was managed very well with diet. The only worrying thing during my pregnancy was at the anatomy scan. The baby had a choroid plexus cyst on his brain, which by itself is nothing but can be associated with Trisomy 18. He didn't have any other indicators of the genetic disorder, and the cyst isn't an indicator by itself, but it led to the decision that if he did have any fatal fetal anomolies then I would terminate the pregnancy to not have to deliver a stillbirth naturally or deliver a baby that would have a very short, painful life. I never had to follow through with that decision fortunately, and I was set to be induced a week early to minimize complications from my high blood pressure.

I got to the hospital at 6 in the morning on August 29, ready and excited to have the baby. I saw the bassinet and the baby hats and pictured my baby using them that day. Well, at the end of the day none of the induction drugs they used forced any labor progress. This was normal, they said, I should have the baby by tomorrow evening. That was fine with me! However, no progress would be made at all until 11:30 PM on August 31. It was a horrible 3 days full of anxiety and pain from the horrible cervical checks. A baby died on the maternity ward, which was extremely traumatizing. I heard the screams of the grieving family, saw them praying and crying outside the room. One night I was awake and I walked around the floor, and saw a nurse carrying a bassinet with a white blanket covering the body. Horrific. After 3 days and 3 nights of no progress, I was finally like 10% effaced, when my doctor broke my water to try to speed up the little progress I'd made. I got an epidural which was really painful because the anesthesiologist kept hitting my vertebrae since I was so swollen from IV fluids. The water breaking did speed up labor really quickly, and I went from not being dilated and only 10% effaced to ready to push in about 9 hours. I pushed for an hour and a half and on 12:15 September 1, I had a baby boy. I was equally relieved to be done with having a baby and elated to see my new son.

I don't really remember the 2 days I spent in the hospital after that, other than the fact that the baby was jaundiced and had to spend the night under a bili blanket, which emits UV light to help break up the bilirubin and make the jaundice go away. I had second degree tearing, which involves actual tearing of the muscles, but I wasn't really in any pain and only kept taking the ibuprofen for inflammation. Everything was great until I got home.

My partner had only taken a week off work, thinking that I'd be home on Saturday. Since I got home on Tuesday, he only had a few days off and it was really hard when he went back to work. The baby started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks, which was great, but I could never shake this fatigue that kept setting in. It was different from the sleep depravation and didn't go away after the baby stopped waking up at night. My partner was working a lot of overtime, and I started to feel like a single mom. When he said that he could potentially keep working overtime until March, I cried the entire day. After that, I started crying a lot more. I didn't get the baby blues that people talk about right after having the baby. This was later. This was worse.

I kept having nightmares about the hospital. I didn't think that the cervical checks would be so traumatizing, that the pain from them would continue to haunt me. I didn't think I would remember the pain of the epidural needle hitting my spine. I was devastated about the baby who died in the hospital, and I felt horrible about it. Why am I mourning this baby I didn't know? Why do I feel so bad all the time? Why do I hate myself so much?

I thought that it was because I wasn't taking adderall, and when I started taking it again it made me feel like my brain was in my head again, but it didn't do anything about the sadness or the anxiety or the crying. I felt ashamed that I wasn't handling motherhood the way I thought I should be so I hid it from everybody. I would wear makeup during the day so that when my partner got home he couldn't tell that I'd been crying. I faked positive emotions thinking that I would actually start feeling them. I faked enjoyment of sex and brushed it off when it would take me an hour to have an orgasm. I cried silently at night desperately holding my sleeping partner's hand, trying to get any support from him that I could. I suffered through this for 5 months after my son was born before I could even tell my partner about it. I still hid all the emotions from him, but it just telling someone about it helped, even though I downplayed how bad it really was.

I continued to get worse for 2 months after I told my partner. I could barely get out of bed, I started biting and scratching myself. I felt extremely guilty for even ridiculous hypothetical situations, like if the baby had a fatal fetal anomaly I would have had an abortion. I would rush my partner out the door for work because I couldn't keep it in and needed to be alone to cry until exhaustion. I wanted to die. I had a small breakdown in front of my partner, crying that the depression was so bad and I needed his help. It wasn't as bad as what I'd been going through alone, it was just from being so overwhelmed by this depression. I still hide everything. I still hide in the bathroom if I think I'm going to cry. I faked having my period for 2 weeks to get out of having sex. I made an appointment to see my OB/GYN last week to try to get help after being disturbed by the plans I made for my suicide.

Yesterday I saw my OB/GYN who said that he was surprised that I was able to make it 8 months like this. When he said that it was okay for me to not be okay, I wept. I was humiliated. I was supposed to be successful and smart and independent, but I can't even take care of a baby without having a psychological crisis. How can this be okay?

I started taking Zoloft and a new birth control pill that has a higher dose of hormones that's supposed to help with the depression too. Since I've only taken it 2 times, I can't tell if it's helping yet. I still have the heavy fatigued feeling and the constant lump in my throat, but since it's still early I can't tell if it's doing anything for my emotional state. I see my OB/GYN in 2 weeks, and if I haven't gotten better or if I've gotten worse then I'll get a referral to a psychiatrist. I think I'm going to start therapy too.

We need to fight this. So many women with postpartum depression don't get treated. I almost didn't either, and still fight with pretending that everything's okay. I almost killed myself, and many other women actually do. I have no idea how much work it's going to be to get out of this depression or how long it's going to stick with me. Postpartum depression is only mentioned briefly in childbirth classes or doctor's visits or hospital stays, but it's completely taken over my life and the lives of many other women. We all need help. It's too awful to be ignored.
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:27 PM #2
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Default Re: Trying to pull myself out of this

I am sorry to hear you are struggling so. I am happy to hear that you finally had the courage to talk about yur struggle. you experienced a highly traumatic situation. don't judge yourself for being where you are. I am so glad that you are seeking therapy. I am sure it is going to be a big help. I am surprised you were not asked questions related to post partum depression. I know my daughter was screened for it at her child's well baby checks. I hope the meds and therapy improve your mental state. keep posting. take care.
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Old 05-16-2014, 05:43 PM #3
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Default Re: Trying to pull myself out of this

Hello there,

I suffered from antepartum depression (during pregnancy) with my first child and I'm going through it again. Your story really hit home. I have the same feelings, anxiety, crying spells, self harming, and thoughts of wanting to die. Just for a few days! I cannot believe you made it so long feeling the way you do. You're very brave. You really are. But I'm glad you've gotten help. And it will get better. I promise. Hang in there. And lean on your partner. This will bring your little family closer together in the end.

These are the things I tell myself as well. I'm only a few days into this episode and I know I have a few weeks to go until I feel better. But I will. I will. I will. I have to for my beautiful little boy and my loving husband.

Hang in there. You're fabulous. Thank you for posting.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:47 PM #4
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I'm grateful you posted too. I was depressed my whole pregnancy and am still depressed. I agree it needs to be talked about WAY more than it is.I'm glad you are getting help. I am trying to get help too. I think in time it can get better with help.
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:31 AM #5
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Hi Fancyladypants,

Thank you for this post. I have been 3 children myself + a miscarriage between my first and second children. A lot of what you have said here makes sense to me. I have been trying for a long time to find out why I have distanced my self from my husband both emotionally and physically (over many years) as well as cutting myself off from a proper relationship with my children. Reading what you wrote made me look at my self and my feelings in a completely new way. I think maybe I have been suffering from PPD (very mildly) since I had my miscarriage (over 9 years).
A lot of what is being written here makes sense and explains a good deal to me.

I have done a little reading around this and all documentation claim that it should go over within up to year, but I have been feeling like this for well on 9 as i wrote earlier.

Last edited by NZgirl; 07-02-2014 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:28 PM #6
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Default Re: Trying to pull myself out of this

i hope your doc is able to help. there are lots of great resources. i know it's tough. i get ppd really badly (and no idea when it's going to end - we're starting to suspect that when i had my first five years ago, that when i was hospitalized, i was dealing with ppd - and he was 18 months!). antidepressants don't work on me sadly i'm seeing my pdoc again, which i didn't have the first time around. my baby is almost a year old and i'm still horribly depressed

bravo talking about it tho. that's not easy. i know! :: hugs ::
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:02 AM #7
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I had terrible post partum depression (untreated, told it was the baby blues and to get over it), lifted gradually (took about a year). I have never gotten over my failure to deliver, had emergency section (unnecessary), and have always felt like a failure and ashamed. Every time someone talks about their normal delivery I go home and cry, never tell anyone. Couldn't even deliver my own child...
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:27 PM #8
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Default Re: Trying to pull myself out of this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caseymoff View Post
I had terrible post partum depression (untreated, told it was the baby blues and to get over it), lifted gradually (took about a year). I have never gotten over my failure to deliver, had emergency section (unnecessary), and have always felt like a failure and ashamed. Every time someone talks about their normal delivery I go home and cry, never tell anyone. Couldn't even deliver my own child...
:: hugs ::

i think it's normal to be disappointed when labor doesn't go as planned, but i want to tell you that you didn't fail. i know it *feels* like it, but i hope you're talking to someone to help you work through those feelings because you have nothing for which to be ashamed.

you did good. however it turned out, you did good. you did deliver your child. you carried them and you loved them and you nourished them for the whole time they were inside you. and then when it was time, you did the best you could in the moment to make sure that your baby came into this world.

good job mama. good job. i hope one day you can tell your story. it deserves to be told.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:28 PM #9
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its wonderful to hear you are seeking help stay happy.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:59 PM #10
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Default Re: Trying to pull myself out of this

I have struggled with ppd myself. One thing you need to keep in mind is: it is an illness, something wrong in your brain. It is not who you are, and you did not bring it on on purpose. Getting better is a slow process, but you WILL feel normal again. It's easy to add to the problem by thinking you are not a good mother because you are not enjoying your baby like you think you should. This is not true. If you are taking care of the baby (and your partner) to the best of your ability, then that is all you can do. You will be able to do more and better when you start feeling better. Also, if the meds your OB gave you don't seem to be working, be sure to tell the psychiatrist. They work slowly, but it is not unusual to have to try several before hitting on the right one. I will pray that things get better for you.
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