Since May is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month, I thought that I would share my own story and my experience with PPD.
As you all know, my labor with Elizabeth did not go as planned. My pregnancy was great, I was so in love with my child that I was carrying, and I couldn’t wait to meet her. I had my birth plan all done, and planned the way that I wanted it. Well, it didn’t work out that way. I had started contracting between 33-35 weeks, staying 2-3 minutes apart. But I was only dilating as far as a 2. So when I was 39 weeks and 1 day, they induced me. I was thinking that it was going to go quick, and I would be holding my precious baby in my arms the next day. Boy, was I wrong. I went in on Monday to be induced, and I didn’t have her until Wednesday evening. I was in labor for 46 hours, and I was in horrible pain. They gave me my epidural too early, and it stopped working 4-5 hours before I had Elizabeth. So I had no medicine when it was time to push, and when she was born and when the doctor was stitching me. But by the time she was stitching me, I was so in awe of my perfect little baby that I didn’t care about the pain that was going on down there.
I wanted to breastfeed, but Elizabeth was having a hard time latching, so we were having to supplement with formula because she wouldn’t quit screaming when we would try to latch her so she could eat. And I was just so exhausted that I didn’t even want to bother with it. By the time we left the hospital though, she would latch for a few minutes to breastfeed, and that to me, was better than nothing, so I had started pumping too.
The second day at home, she started feeling really warm, so I checked her temperature rectally, and it was 100.8. I didn’t freak out at that time, I stayed calm and took her clothes off and waiting 5 minutes. Took her temperature again, and it was the same. So I called the doctor, and she sent us to the emergency room. Well, the emergency room sent us by ambulance to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Imagine, my daughter is only 3 days old, being rushed to Vanderbilt in an ambulance, looking helpless in her carseat, and I couldn’t do anything. When we got to Vanderbilt, they rushed me and Dustin out of the room so that they could do tests, and we weren’t allowed to be in there. By that time I was freaking out and I couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know what was going on with my baby girl. Finally, they let us back there to be with her, and I decided that I would try to relax her by breastfeeding, well, she wouldn’t latch at all, and it was that time that my milk would decide to come in, so I was covered in breastmilk, and didn’t have any change of clothes or anything because we didn’t even think to pack anything to take to the hospital except for her diaper bag. We stayed at the hospital for 4 days and 3 nights and we had to fight them to let us go home. I was getting extremely sick from just having her, I was so swollen that I could barely move. I was pumping, and at that time I was doing great at pumping enough for her. We got home, and I continued pumping for a week or two, then she got to where she wanted more, and I just couldn’t keep up. I wound up just putting her completely on formula, and as upset as I was that she wasn’t on breastmilk anymore, formula was the best decision for our daughter.
A couple days after we had gotten home from Vanderbilt, Dustin had to go back to work. He worked thirds at a factory. I was doing alright, Elizabeth was pretty much on a schedule at night of waking up every 4 hours to eat and get a diaper change. I thought that I was doing great. Then one day, Dustin came up to me and asked me “why is she always in her swing during the day?” I realized that right after I would change her, or feed her, I would put her right back in her swing instead of enjoying the time cuddling with my baby. I didn’t want to hold her, and I didn’t want to clean the house. I just wanted to lay on the couch and sleep. I barely ate. I worried mainly about her and Dustin eating and I didn’t care about myself. I didn’t care to take a shower, or anything. I was getting such bad migraines that I just wanted to crawl in a hole and never leave. So my 6 weeks postpartum appointment, I talked to my doctor about what Dustin had mentioned to me, and she said that it seemed like I was going through PPD and she put me on some anti depressants. Well, that didn’t work. I went that whole month just getting worse. When I went back she changed my medicine, and changed my diet regimen, and I got better every day.
I still live with it, some days are better than others. I still take my anti depressant, and lucky for me, I am on one that is safe for pregnancy. I am continuously doing my research on PPD so that way with this baby, I can look for signs and hopefully I won’t fall as deep as I did with Elizabeth.
So that’s my story. I would love to hear some other momma’s stories if you don’t care to share! Remember, we’re all in this together, no one is perfect.