Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Post Partum

I debated whether or not I wanted to write this blog post but I figured I would since it is party of my story.

After Ellie was born I had a bout of post partum depression.  I know. I know.  How could that be with this cute little face?!

I'm pretty sure I was in denial about it for quite some time.  I know I had several friends assure me that it was normal and it was okay if I was, but I didn't think that it could happen to me.  If you talked to me during that time, it probably included my crying at some point during the conversation.  And if you texted or emailed me, I probably responded to you tearfully at one point or another.

I think the tell tale realization for me was when I had my 6 week follow up appointment after Ellie was born.  I dropped Ellie of at my parents and tearfully left. I sat in the examination room waiting on the doctor trying to compose myself.  The PA walked in and in her most cheerful voice asked "How are you?! How's the baby?!". I immediately burst into tears.  Yep, one of my finer moments.  I have no idea what the poor PA thought initially but I'm certain I wasn't the first girl that sat crying in the exam room.  I let her know that the crying was my problem and I felt like I couldn't pull myself out of this funk I was in.

The sweet PA talked to me about it and we decided that it was best that I start some medication for the post partum depression.  She assured me that it was a temporary thing and we'd revisit it in a few months and see how I was doing.

Now, I'm fairly certain that post partum looks different to everyone.  I felt like I had a pretty mild case but how would I know? Looking back I realize what all the signs were and I totally ignored them.  Here's what it looked like in me.

Anxiety-I was pretty anxious about everything involving this new little being in my care. I couldn't imagine how I could take care of her and Avery. At night every little sound she made woke me up and put me in a state of dread.  I would wake up every morning and feel sick that I had 2 kids to take care of!

Crying- the crying wasn't too bad but now I realize that it went on longer than it should have.  So many times Ronnie would come home and I would cry to him about how I didn't feel like myself.  Hmmm, red flag?  Probably so. Ronnie was such a trooper though.  Bless his heart.  If you need a pep talk, he's your man!

Breast Feeding- I realize now that I hated breast feeding and the process was driving me crazy.  Don't get me wrong, breast feeding is great. I'm all for it.  I wish it could have worked out for me but I couldn't make it work.  I was losing my sanity.  So many times I sat with Ellie feeding and I was crying.  I couldn't take it any more.  I had to stop.

Sleep Deprivation- Of course new parents are sleep deprived.  That's the "joy" of having a baby right?  But the sleep deprivation combined with the depression was not a healthy combination.  I was sleep deprived but I found that a lot of times I couldn't nap when I had the opportunity.  I had too much going on in my brain and couldn't relax.  I was too worried about stuff which added to the anxiousness.

Bonding- If I could tell any new mom one thing I would tell them this.  It's okay if you don't bond with your baby right off the bat.  In all likelihood you won't.  Oh, you will love this child always but bonding is a tough thing.  Ellie was a fussy baby.  If she was awake she was fussy.  Not necessarily crying, just fussy and not content.  It's hard to bond with a fussy baby.  I was certain that I'd never love her as much as I loved Avery.  How could I?  She was so fussy!    I loved the girl but she was quite the challenge.

Newborn Naps - Ellie wasn't a great napper.  She did okay at night but naps were horrible. She'd only nap for about 15-45 minutes and I was about to lose my mind.  This is pretty normal but when you have a fussy baby anytime you can get them to sleep is a blessing.  Ellie wouldn't nap in her crib for the longest time.  I'd have to carry her around in the sling.  Of course then she slept like a champ! But again, I was losing my sanity carrying her around all the time!

Eventually things started to calm down.  I got some medication, Ellie started to be more content and everything finally started to fall into place.  Ellie was a good 3 months old before I finally thought "Okay, I can do this." 

I'm not sure if it was the medication or just Ellie getting a little older but I finally started to feel like myself.  I lowered my expectations of naps, I wasn't so anxious all the time, I stopped worrying about how much sleep she was getting during the day, we bonded, I got some naps, and I dropped the guilt of not breast feeding. 

Now, I'm feeling like myself again and weaning myself off the meds.  I actually get stuff done around the house and can't imagine not having these two girls!  We are all starting to find our groove and figure this whole thing out.  There were so many people that helped me during that time- constantly sending me texts, emails, phone calls, prayers.  I'm forever grateful.

So there you have it.  That's my story of my post partum depression.  It looks different in everyone and lots of people deal with in various ways.  At the end of the day, I love these girls and my life with them! God is good!

1 comment:

Megan said...

Thank you for sharing your story! I know many women struggle with this. We are trying for baby number 2 and I'm scared, handling one child is hard 2 is crazy :)