My Postpartum Depression Story
It’s strange. I thought I wrote about this, I thought I explained, and I thought you all knew what was happening this time a year ago but I guess I didn’t explain it properly or even at all really. I’m here now, and if just one person finds this post helpful, I will be satisfied. There’s going to be no pictures in this post, first time ever here on my site.
The big D – Depression. Well, postpartum depression. “But Jaxson was 11 months at the time?” Yes, I know, that’s normal – hundred percent normal. I didn’t even know until the doctor told me. How did I even end up at the doctor? Maybe I should start at the beginning.
One day I woke up, struggled to get myself out of bed and I took the kids to school. I got home, sat in front of my PC and I burst into tears for a good 10 minutes. Then I turned numb. Nothing happened that day, in fact, the kids were a dream. So why was I crying? I was not okay. Hundred percent NOT okay. I decided I needed to see a doctor and since my GP was full, I went to the ER to see a doctor there.
It was a female doctor and she honestly understood me. I explained to her how I was feeling and she took an interest, listened to me and referred me to a psychiatrist close by. She gave me anti-anxiety meds along with a mild anti-depressant that I could take but there was a condition – I had to stop breastfeeding Jaxson straight away.
I spoke to my husband and I made the decision to look after myself for now and rather stop breastfeeding. Jaxson was 11 months at the time so at least he had 11 months of mama milk. I went to the pharmacy, got my meds and I got formula. It was difficult for me, and I think it made my anxiety worse, but I knew things would get better. Or at least, I hoped things would get better.
I picked them up from school and I gave Jaxson his last feed. I still took a picture to remember the very last time I would feed Jaxson. He took to the bottle like a pro and didn’t mind the milk I put him on. Maybe he knew mama needed a break, maybe he just wasn’t a fussy child – who knows?
Eugene took over during the night and I got some good sleep. I took my meds and my mood lifted – I actually wanted to get up and get dressed. The day came for my psychiatrist appointment and I was SO nervous. Maybe I felt I would be judged or that my diagnosis might be worse than I was imagining. He asked a lot of questions and I gave a lot of answers. “Any family history of depression?” I sighed. “Yes, my dad, I think. He committed suicide so I think there was some sort of depression.” The doctor raised his eyebrows and wrote a bunch of notes. “It can be genetic you know. You have had a lot of triggers for depression and I am actually surprised you only started feeling this way now. You are stronger than you think.” That sentence stuck by me. Was I really strong? Or just hiding it? Should I have checked myself out sooner?
We went through many questions and many lists and he put me on what he thought would work. It really did, and I am glad I went. I also started seeing a psychologist. She is absolutely lovely and my heart really opened up to her. I have been through a lot of trauma in my life and didn’t realize how it affected me. Sometimes we need to realize that we need help, and just even acknowledging that fact brings you so much closer to being okay.
Having PPD affected my life in many ways – being a wife, being a mother and being a businesswoman. I saw my psychiatrist the other day and he gave me the a-okay. I haven’t been on my meds in so long because of the miscarriage and then being pregnant with Amelia. I have made lifestyle changes that really honestly helped, I decided to make my circle smaller, cut out things that were causing me more stress than I need and making small changes to make my life easier so I can cope better. I am happy to say it’s going really well right now and I am hoping it stays that way. If you think you need help, reach out to someone. See a doctor, even if it’s a GP. Get a second opinion. One thing I have learned is to NOT take your health for granted. Not for one moment. Mental health is so incredibly important for a good quality life and everyone deserves to be genuinely happy. EVERY single person.
Till next time,