my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Friday, January 12, 2007

Post Partum Crazy Race

Thordora's been hosting a little "event." Originally, I had declined to participate. I wasn't prepared to go public with my experience, but after my mini-rant this morning, I've decided that disclosure is the order of the day. More real women need to be open about their PPD experiences for the media and non-affected to understand. In regards to the race, I hope the "winner" is randomly drawn, because on the drama scale, I won't win.

Things started out pretty quietly. B had to stay in the hospital after I was discharged, but only for a day. My parents, and in-laws, and Hubby stayed with me the first couple of weeks to help me take care of myself (couldn't do the stairs for a long time, episiotomy and tearing), making sure I ate and rested. Helping with B as I pumped. We had a latch issue with him having been in special care while we in the hospital. I used to bottle feed him, put him down to sleep, and them pump, and then sleep for an hour before he was up again. Fortunately, our pediatrician is a little old school and put me right on nipple shields. We got the nursing thing down and had no problems giving them up later. Once we settled in with nursing, things seemed okay. Then it was just me and B all day.

The first afternoon of hysterical crying was a few weeks after B was born, not sure how many days we'd been just the two of us for 11 hours, I chalked it up to being tired and the B wanting to nurse so much, kid grew like a weed as an infant. I got myself under control after a couple of hours of pacing around with him and rocking him (and leaving him in his crib while I was in the other room because neither of us could stop crying). But it happened again the next day, and the next. Eventually I started counting. After two weeks, I realized I needed help. I had a follow-up at the doc and she asked how the baby was and I said good (because he was doing well after a sort of rough start), then she asked how I was and I said not so good. I told her I wasn't coping.

Then I admitted the worst truth. I'd been having horrible thoughts. She asked if I'd been thinking of hurting myself. I said no, him. I didn't want to hurt my baby. But these images just kept popping into my mind. The obsenity of these thoughts was another reason I knew I needed help, the hysterical crying thing wasn't enough on its own.

So, they started me on the meds and things got better. I even managed the doc discovering an unrepaired tear that had been causing me much pain for weeks fairly well. We thought the lump was just one of those benign and common cysts, but is was a clot. Bloody mess!

After a few weeks of SSRIs, I was able to smile again and the crying stopped and B and I continued to bond.

It wasn't all roses after that. I've had relapses that required upping of meds and going back on after weaning. My psych thinks I'd had undiagnosed Depression in the past.


Amy Lane said...

Wow--I never had diagnosed ppd, but I've had four kids and I am VERY familiar with the hormonal roller coaster of emotional death that your body jumps on from the moment of conception. I'm glad things are better--and hope they keep getting better all the time.

CygKnit said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I think I've mentioned before that PPD is something I'm very nervous about, what with having been on meds in the past AND knowing I will be alone with the baby for 12+ hour stretches the first 6 or so weeks.

Reading books about PPD is one thing, but hearing the story of a real live person I *know* helps a great deal. Thank you (again) for sharing.

Anonymous said...

dude! I picked your name! Send me your address for the book! :)