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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