Victoria’s Story

My pregnancy was not very unusual really.  I was nervous, don’t get me wrong, but I thought it would all come naturally to me.  I thought that’s the way it’s supposed to go right?  My labor itself was amazing.  I labored all day at work, went to the hospital at 6 pm Friday night, got discharged at about 9 pm because things weren’t moving fast enough, and went home only to return at midnight because I was bleeding.  Once I arrived I was already dilated to 8 centimeters! I was given my epidural, and then at 6 am my water broke on its own and I pushed like 3 or 4 times and my little bundle of joy, Olivia was here! I was so excited and thought I would instantly feel like a mom.  Realization hit quickly as I realized that was not the case.   

The problems began that night.  Apparently breastfeeding issues are very common, but according to the breastfeeding class my husband and I attended it would come naturally!! Ha! I had flat nipples! Who knew!? I had to use a shield for her to feed properly, and of course the lactation consultants didn’t work on the weekends.  Go figure!? I hooked up with Sarah from the Nursing Nook and she was an angel! If it hadn’t been for her I wouldn’t have made it breastfeeding for 6 months! The day I quit was the best day ever, but I was so glad I was able to feed her for as long as I did! The breastfeeding issues were only the beginning of my troubles.

About 2 weeks after Olivia was born, my mother-in-law and husband wanted me to make an appointment with my OBGYN because I was crying all the time and a zombie, and I resented my daughter then I resented myself for resenting her.  It was just a mess.  My OBGYN prescribed me Zoloft, which I did not want to take because I thought the medicine made me look weak and that I couldn’t handle being a mother.  I declined to get the prescription filled.  My grandmother who I was very close to passed away with Olivia was 5 weeks old, and that sent me over the edge!  When I went to my daughter’s 6-week check up to fill out the questionnaire about whether I was at risk for PPD the lady said, “Honey, based on your answers you need to get checked, you have PPD.”  I was in complete denial!  However, once I got Olivia on formula when she was 7 weeks old and she started sleeping though the night I got on the antidepressants and felt so much better.  Until I my primary physician took me off them when Olivia was 10 months old because “postpartum depression only lasts for about a year” according to her.  Around this time, I got a new job as well.  It was a high stress career.  I thought that would help me take my mind off my depression and anxiety.  It worked for about a year until again, it all came to a head.

Last March of 2018 I had finally decided I needed to be on medicine to help manage my anxiety and depression.  I visited my primary physician again, and she prescribed me Pristiq.  I took this medication for two or three days before I had suicidal thoughts.  My husband was on night shift and I thought about where his handgun was and that I would go out into the yard and kill myself, so it didn’t make a mess.  That’s how delusional I was.  My only concern was not making a mess.  I wasn’t concerned with how my family would make it after I was dead and gone.  I thought they would be better off without me.  That morning after not sleeping all night I went into work because I had nowhere else to go.  I had a good friend there who told me to make a doctor’s appointment.  My physician wanted to commit me! I was mortified and had no idea what to even say.  She prescribed me a new medication and hooked me up with a therapist.  Those two things combined were the best things I could’ve ever done.  It got me out of the dark place I was in.  However, I was still unhappy.   Unhappy with myself, my job, my baby girl, and mostly my husband.  I was mad at God for putting me though this.  I didn’t want to go to church or be around anyone who wanted me to pray.  That’s all I heard all the time, “I’ll pray for you.” I thought praying hadn’t helped so far and it wasn’t going to help now!  

The last year has been the hardest by far but I have made the most progress.  I was in such a dark place. I have since started focusing on my own self-care by working out and eating healthier, enjoying moments with my family and my sweet baby girl and adoring husband, and taking my medication regularly.  I also do not care about what anyone has to say about me being on antidepressants.  Some of my family isn’t as supportive but I know I need them to help me though this stage of life.  I was so ashamed for so long about my issues that I didn’t want to talk about them, however now I am an open book about it all.  I want moms to ask me questions about it and never feel ashamed like I did.  I have recently started a public Instagram account in hopes of helping other moms.  PPD and PPA are real and scary but with the proper support system and faith and hope in God I know anyone can succeed in managing it.  


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