Monday, September 23, 2013

Looking at post-partum depression

Well, hello blogging world.  It has been a while.  I honestly didn't think anyone read my blogs and now I see that last month I had 65 views, yesterday there was one and today there were two.  So, I guess I should get back to blogging.

Well, I had a son last year.  Sorry it has really been that long since I blogged.  He is now 14 months, and my daughter is four and a half.  My husband just got his PhD, and is now teaching at the university we both graduated from.  Which means we moved.  (I do not do well with change but we will blog about that later.)

Well since it has been so long, I guess I would like to start out writing about after my son was here goes nothing...

After my sweet son was born, we quickly realized that he had colic and acid reflux.  He cried...okay SCREAMED...constantly for three straight months.  So, when I went to the doctor and they handed me the post-partum questionnaire, I thought...well, I have a baby who screams all the time, of course I am unhappy!!!  The questionnaire asked me things like "Do you enjoy outings or family events like you used to?"  (I am thinking....what are events again?  No!  I stay at home with a screaming baby and am afraid to go out for fear he will scream his head off or I will need to nurse at a moment's notice...which also starts the screaming.)  The questionnaire had about ten questions regarding my emotional state.  Some of the questions were even dealing with suicidal thoughts or actions which I myself was not dealing with, thankfully.  My midwife came in the room, with my yellow questionnaire in her hand and I knew the conversation was coming.  I tried to tell her that I was only unhappy because the baby was unhappy, and she looked at me and said "And that may be a large part of your post-partum depression!"  I don't know why I thought it was something women got that had nothing to do with their current struggles, (or screaming baby).  And it is funny to learn of other women who have pleasant babies who wonder how they could possibly have PPD since their baby is so happy!  Guess what? It can happen either way!!! Your body has undergone an intense hormonal rollercoaster.  You have been carrying a precious child in your belly for nine months, and now that part of the journey is done.  You are completely exhausted, your body isn't the same anymore, you are still healing, you are needed 24/ is no wonder why so many women have PPD!  The sad part is, so many have it and never receive any help for it.  I wish every doctor's office had a questionnaire like mine did.  I didn't have that after my firstborn.

All that to say, I posted about my PPD on Facebook one day.  It was a completely random decision I had made and I couldn't believe I actually did it.  In fact, my hand hovered over the "delete" button a LOT before I decided to close the computer and walk away.  Just like this blog post. I wrote it days ago and have been contemplating whether or not to post it.  I don't want people to think this is all I talk about, nor do I want people to feel sorry for me.  It has been over a year, and I can say I am doing much better.  However,  I was amazed at the number of women who have contacted me about PPD since that Facebook post many months ago.  I feel like we all know about it a little bit, but not enough.  And since it is so different for every single woman, it is difficult to figure out if you have it or not!  You may wonder, is this "baby blues" or full on PPD?  Well, all I want to say about this is that if you are one of the many women diagnosed with PPD or if you feel like this might be what's going on, to ask another woman you know that has had it, discuss it with your doctor or midwife, and seek some guidance.  I was SO anxious after my son was born...and guess what?  Anxiety can be a huge part of it as well.  I never knew that until I asked.

If you have any questions about it, you are more than welcome to ask me.  But know that nothing is wrong with you, you are a wonderful mother, and you do love your baby more than anything.  But your body is having a rough time getting back on track, and that is okay.  It is OKAY to take a medicine for it if that is what your doctor recommends.  I didn't want to do that at first, and then realized that I needed some help.  And it was a good idea.

Much love to all you mommies and mommies-to-be.