My Experience With Post-partum Depression
My experience with post-partum depression
During my pregnancy, my husband and I heard many stories in regards to post-partum depression and we actually were a little worried that it could happen to me. On August 11, 2005 I had our first son, a boy. I took my maternity leave from work 2 weeks early so I could get things ready at home. My husband and I knew that I would not be returning to work but I was going to use my maternity leave up before I put my notice in.
The first couple of weeks after my son was born were hard. I was trying to nurse him and having a difficult time doing so. I also was trying to adjust to the lack of sleep and the demands of being stay at home mother. I was having a difficult time. I live in Virginia and my mom lived in Georgia. We aren’t always close but I felt that I needed some help and she wasn’t coming up until Jacob was 7 weeks old. My husband’s family (well father) was wonderful but I still felt alone.
My husband works 4 ten hour days except once a month (he is the Air National Guard) and when he has drill he works 6 10 hour days. His first drill in September my mother was here to help me. In October I realized how difficult it was go 6 days with little help. And my November I was feeling overwhelmed. I felt extremely alone, like the world was passing me by. And although I loved my son, I felt there was more I was missing.
The Saturday in November wasn’t too bad but then Sunday morning the lack of sleep kicked in. Jacob woke up and cried and cried, I couldn’t get him to stop crying. I tried everything I could think of. I changed his diaper, tried to feed him, and rocked him, everything nothing got him quiet. I remember I was holding him in my arms in the recliner and I started crying, I thought “please SHUT UP!” I didn’t say it and I even remember wanting to shake him. This feeling scared me so much, I promptly got up put him in his crib went and laid down and cried and cried for even thinking what I thought. I questioned, I love my son, what is wrong with me! After I calmed down I got up and tried giving him is bottle one more time. He took it this time, and I cried and cried while I held him.
Luckily I belonged to a mother support group and emailed them telling them what had happened, I asked if it was a sign of post partum depression and what I needed to do. I was overwhelmed by the responses I got. I was NOT alone! That day over 20 women emailed me with stories of the same or even worse. I knew I had to talk to my OB/GYN.
I had an appointment with him and he gave me a depression test to take. The test said I had a mild case. My doctor knew I had stopped working and loved my career, he also knew that although Jacob was sleeping 8-10 hours a night I was not sleeping by 4 hours or less, I just could not sleep.
He gave me some Prozac and said that I would feel better in a week. I saw results quickly. I learned to cope with the fact that I was a stay at home mother, I learned to ask my husband for help, and I learned that I needed something to keep me going. I started my own freelance writing business and started working out. I take time for myself and I know I am a better mom because of it.
I wanted to stay home with Jacob but going from having a career where I was respected and admired, to staying home and doing the same thing every single day, seeing no results was getting to me. I learned that I had to stop expecting so much from my life. I have everything I need right here at home and I am doing much better.
I only took meds for 2 months and I never had to see a therapist. I learned to organize my Jacob, Husband, and me time and have learned most importantly that I am NOT alone in how I feel. And that some days, it is OK to need a break!