Battling Postpartum Depression & Anxiety
***Written on September 6, 2018 while I was still dealing with the harsh realities of PPD/PPA.***
So I’m currently sitting outside listening to the rain while I write this blog post tonight. Sitting outside getting fresh air and writing this seems to be calming for me right now.
Tonight I want to talk about more of my post partum depression and post partum anxiety that I struggle with. I think it’s easy to write it off sometimes after one post and think that everything has been said-but I’ve barely touched the surface of this subject.
For me my PPD and PPA has taken on so many different forms. At first it was subtle, it was a few crying spurts here or checking on my sleeping baby to make sure she was still breathing. But as time went on this beast turned into something I never wanted happened.
I had a dream when I was 7 weeks pregnant with my youngest daughter that I got shot in the very top of my head. I have no idea where this dream came from or what prompted it. I remember sitting in an ambulance having a full blown conversation with the paramedics, doing absolutely fine, and walking into the hospital by myself. In my dream even though I got shot in the head I was alive and well. After I woke up from that dream I started having terrible headaches in the same spot that I got shot at in my dream.
These headaches continued on throughout my pregnancy and I was basically convinced that I had a brain tumor and was dying. I even made my OB do a brain MRI at 11 weeks pregnant because I was convinced something wasn’t right-thanks anxiety. Well it turned out my brain is completely normal, just obviously has a lot of past trauma that is turning itself into PPD and PPA.
I feel like I should have treated this post partum beast in the beginning after Hadlee was born. If I would’ve combated it from the beginning, I wouldn’t be a complete mess like I am today, right? But I thought I could handle this on my own. I thought I could get better on my own, and believe me when I tell you I’ve tried my hardest to just get this out of my head and to not think about it and know I’m ok.
My post partum after having my youngest daughter Ember literally took a turn for the worst. I don’t know if I didn’t get better by myself because of what happened to Hadlee and Ember shortly after Ember was born. I don’t know what sparked it to get completely out of control, but it did for months and months. I tried to take Zoloft last November (2017) and had terrible side effects from it, so I stopped taking it, against my husband’s wishes. The thing about medicine is the doctors expect you to follow up, but when you’re in a crappy state of mind like I was following up and saying “hey this isn’t working” was out of the question because I didn’t think they cared about me or my mental state.
I felt like I was reaching out for help in my own way, but no one saw it and recognized it, so no one helped me. I literally would cry and have anxiety attacks and panic attacks every day, multiple times a day for months. I would feel like I was legitimately dying because my post partum not only effected my mental and emotional state, it effected my physical body as well. I would literally get pains for no reason, feel like I was having a heart attack, my body would just hurt and my brain would always tell me “Oh well you’re going to die because of this” even though I’m a freaking human being and having pains is a NORMAL THING. But to me it wasn’t.
It took me having the worst panic attack/anxiety attack I’ve ever had and ending up in the ER for people to take me seriously and realize “hey, this mom is going through post partum and really needs help”. It took an emergency room visit for doctors to actually help me.
I want to change that.
I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to change that yet, but by talking about my experiences and what I’ve gone through, my hopes is to reach so many people that post partum is taken seriously right from the beginning. A mom shouldn’t kill herself because her post partum is so bad and she’s so good at faking being happy that no one realizes she’s secretly struggling. The social stigma on post partum is ridiculous, and my goal is to change it. This is a NORMAL thing to go through. Some women have it worse then others, but it’s normal.
The women who have gone through post partum or are going through it now understand everything I’m talking about. And if you haven’t gone through it, I seriously pray you never will. It’s a beast of a thing. It’s a storm I didn’t want to endure or live through, but here I am opening up and trying to help other women so we can get through this together and with support.
I seriously urge anyone who is going through post partum to ask for help. Keep calling your doctor and bugging them and telling them you need help. Call your best friend and tell her/him to come over ASAP because you’re at your breaking point and need a friend. Call your mom and tell her to get her butt over to your house now. Find a support group if you can or better yet, start a post partum support group in your community to help others going through the same thing.
We’re going to be stronger together and take this battle head on when it comes to recognizing post partum and getting through it. Y’all, I still have more bad days then good days and that is why I started this blog. I needed to get these feelings off my chest and somehow be able to reach people in the process who can offer up support and know what I’m going through. If I can help you get through this battle, then my blog is a success and I’m doing what I intended to do.
Please please please if you’re going through post partum, get help ASAP. You’re NEVER too busy to take care of yourself because at the end of the day your child/children need you to be the best possible you and the healthiest you you can be so you can be there for them. As a Mom, I know it’s easy to put yourself on the back burner, but when it comes to post partum, you have to tackle this beast head on, and I can promise you that you’ll eventually win the war.