My Postpartum Depression Story and The Happy Outcome

I was debating writing this post for some time now. Most people who know me in my everyday life (currently) will tell you I am a very bubbly, energetic, fun person. I currently run my town’s book and tennis clubs all while being a part-time dentist and my new title of a mom blogger. All sounds great, right? Well, below is my story of my struggle with postpartum depression and if I could help one person writing this, I know I did my job.

3 years ago on Oct 2, 2008, beautiful Hayley was born. I had a very traumatic delivery and after 28 hours, I got to meet my daughter. I felt nothing. I knew from reading parenting magazines, that this could happen as it is a new transition and the love was not instantaneous in certain mom/child relationships.

Three weeks passed and I still felt no love to this tiny thing I was supposed to take care of. Wasn’t I suppose to wake up with this huge smile after being blessed with such a precious human being? Simultaneously, around 3 weeks, Hayley developed one of the worst cases of colic that the doctors have ever seen. She started crying 22/24 hours a day incessantly. It never stopped.

When her colic began, I took a turn for the worse. I laid in bed all day with her crying and crying. Still did not feel much love (sorry, I am a great mom, but this is actually what happened). I was new to the state and had virtually no friends. I was told to join a mom’s group but I couldn’t get dressed, let alone interact with “friends” at this point. I had zero appetite and ended up losing all my baby weight withing 4 weeks and then some. I watched the clock all day and waited till the hour was 5 o’clock so my husband would come home. Then I would spend most of the night crying to him! Life was really tough for me.

Around 8 weeks, I did end up joining a mom’s group. I have to thank my lucky stars that I met such a great group of girls. I learned that my story was not unique and it was best to seek treatment. Again, if you know me, I can tell you I am stubborn. Even being in the medical community, I hate going to any sort of doctor. So, I tried to put it off.

Things were looking up till the anxiety started. Hayley started sleeping thru the night (at this point) and I was madly in love with her.  Then I ended up with one of the worst cases of insomnia known to man. It started out with me checking the monitor every two hours or so and got so bad that I ended up going every 30 minutes for 9 hours straight. Again, I should have been treated by a doctor but that stubbornness set in.

My insomnia lasted till Hayley was 15 months. I did not sleep more than 2-3 hours in total till that time. I remember talking to my mommy friends about this and while they commensurated with me, they could not help. Only a doctor could. Fortunately at 15 months after various cycles of natural sleep pills such as melotonin and valerian root, my body gave in. I slept! And I slept for many more months till I got pregnant again. My anxiety and depression also reared its ugly head and stopped.

I knew that I wanted my kids close. However, I dreaded finding out I was pregnant with Zane because I was so scared. Scared that this cycle would happen again. Scared of the anxiety. Scared of the depression. Scared of the insomnia. Scared of the initial bonding. I did make a resolve with myself that if I had any of these feelings again, I would DEFINITELY seek treatment and if necessary, go on medication.

When Zane was born in March, I had the complete opposite story. I loved him from the second he came out. I cried the first 10 minutes out of joy. It was such a great experience. I know that a lot has to do with me having such a great support team with my friends. They are wonderful and I keep busy every week with them. I also know that Zane is one of the easiest babies so that makes life much easier!

I guess my point to writing this is to warn moms that this is a very real disease. If I could take back time, I wish I would have gotten medical help. Also, know that if you are pregnant and PDD happened the first time, that it is not necessarily going to happen again.

Thanks for letting me share. This felt really good to write!

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Comments

  1. MOMMY TALK WITH STEPH says

    That's a great story, Melissa. Thank you for being so honest! I never had postpartum depression, however, I can relate with some of the things that you said. So thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Jessica says

    I know that this must be hard for you to admit. As mothers we want always to be perfect, but the reality is, that none of us are. Seriously, we should all be awarded a full time maid and part time chef along with a few massage therapists just to help us get through the first year… Instead we get a box of formula and some free diapers!

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. Andrea says

    Thanks for sharing this! You are a wonderful mama and should be proud of yourself for getting help and support!

  4. Mommies 2 Cents says

    You are a brave woman to share your story. It's wonderful when moms can share their stories so that other moms don't feel so alone.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Sarah @ It's a Vol says

    Thank you for taking the time to write this; I know how tough it is to put it out there! But like you said if one person reads it and gets help it'll be worth it! Also, you give me so much hope for baby #2 (whenever that time comes). I get so upset thinking that my family and I might have to cope with this again. You are brave and strong and a wonderful momma!

  6. Amanda says

    it took a lot of courage for you to share your story and am so happy you did! so many woman go through this and in no way does it make them bad moms!! you are very strong!!

    i am so happy i found your blog today and read this…looking forward to reading more!!!!!

  7. Sarah says

    I have had four children and I had different experiences with every one of them. I think it is so hard for moms. especially new ones, to admit we need help. thanks for writing about this!

  8. Not So Average Mama says

    I think it is awesome that you shared this! You never know who you may be helping! That is one reason why I blog about my health…maybe I can help someone. Or maybe someone can even help me.

  9. Amy says

    Thanks for sharing this… It is hard to have this happen. This happened to me during college.. When I was going to have my first baby I did not want it to happen again… I did get help I was happy because I did not have any issues… Same with my second child no problems… Thanks again for sharing this.. Thanks for taking my button.. I have to fix all of my buttons then I will get yours if you have one.. Enjoy your day…

  10. Donna says

    I never suffered from postpartum depression, but one of my best friends did. Thank you for sharing your story… I know it will help so many women.

  11. Camille says

    ok, this is weird. i was just seriously thinking of blogging about this. melissa! i felt like i was reading what i want to share with everyone on my blog. i think i am going to do a vlog about it. thank you for sharing this! you have given me more courage to share my experience as well.

    cheers.

  12. Jamie L. says

    Bless your heart for the courage to write this! I am happy you had a good outcome from something that can be so horrible. Your a great person, mom, and blogger!

    –Jamie

  13. mestills says

    I am sorry you went through this but I am glad you were able to work through it all and the second experience was much better!

  14. Heather says

    So strong to write this! I am sure you will be blessed by 'putting it out there'. So many people can totally relate. I had the blues with Claire (very hard delivery) and nothing buy joy with Natalie. I think it took lots of courage to share this!! Hugs!!

  15. Brandi says

    I didn't have PPD either, but I didn't fall madly in love with my daughter at first either. I kept thinking while we were in the hospital that someone was going to come get her, because I was just babysitting her. LOL

    I also had some of the other things you mentioned, but not to the extent of yours.

  16. Sean Marie says

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this. I have a post I'm working on about my fear of postpartum depression. I know that sounds weird since I'm not yet a mom but I have been depressed before and know it's an awful feeling. You are so strong for coming out about it.

  17. Anonymous says

    Wow, well written and inspirational. I will forward this link along, which will probably help so many mommies. You are a true success story! Awesome work.

    –bella

  18. Melinda says

    Your experience with hayley is very similar to mine with shepherd. I felt nothing. It was awful. I'm so glad we got help.

  19. Lifes Wonderful Moments says

    Thank you for sharing your story! I never expereinced PPD, but have a friend who did so I can understand how you felt. Stay strong! :)

    New follower via GFC and hope you will follow back! Have a GREAT monday.

    http://momoftwo2011.blogspot.com

  20. Amy says

    I have never had PPD, but I could relate to some of what you were saying. We have so much pressure on us to be prefect, but in reality, it's impossible. I agree, surrounding yourself with a supportive group of friends, can help moms get through the toughest of situations. I am sure many moms can relate to your story. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Jamie says

    Awww Melissa I'm so sorry you went through all of that! It sounds unimaginable!! I know all of us new moms go through the sleep deprivation thing, but what you had to go through is just horrific!

    I'm so glad it was different with Zane. From what I hear, the transition from 0-1 kid is MUCH harder than the transition from 1-2+. I have no personal experience here but it makes sense to me.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Jamie
    For Love of Cupcakes

  22. Nykki says

    I can totally relate. The first 6 weeks were really hard for me with being a first-time mom, and not having much support besides Kevin. I blocked everyone out, and it made me lonely.

    I'm so glad you shared your story.. very brave!

  23. LOVE MELISSA:) says

    Thank you so much!! It really means more to me than you know to be able to share my story and get such positive feedback. Xoxo

  24. The McFall's says

    You are so brave to talk about this. I didn't get to see my daughter until after 26 hours. On top of that she was in the NICU and we weren't allowed to hold her for too long for her first few days too. It made it harder to bond with her. I'm so glad you made it and things have gone wonderfully with your second child!!

  25. Sheri says

    Your honesty is refreshing and makes me admire even more than I already did. I think you will help other moms if nothing else by letting them know they are not alone. I am also so glad that happiness found you again, your two beautiful children show it in every smile.

  26. blueviolet says

    I'm so glad that you and others are helping to spread the word that there IS help. We don't have to feel that way! People like you, who share their stories so honestly are reaching so many people who are scared of what they're feeling (or not feeling).

  27. Dani (Playing Mom) says

    I am still waiting to write my own story after 4.5 years, even though I've mentioned snippets of my feelings on my blog. I sought help immediately as I knew what was wrong with me, and I credit medication for giving me my life back. It is amazing how a happy person, excited about pregnancy, can fall into that deep hole. The more people talk about this, the better. I stayed on meds while pregnant with my daughter and had no symptoms after she was born. An ex-friend told me I would not be able to bond with my son and that I just need to get over it and stop being selfish. So many people just don't get that it's not somethign you can help. Thanks for your story.

  28. Jen + Jeff says

    Great to read about your happy outcome! Sharing this is helping so many moms. Thanks for saying what some us cannot…yet.

  29. Alyssa says

    Thanks for sharing! I had really bad PPD with both of my kids and seeking out medical treatment definitely helped. I'm glad you were able to come through it!

  30. Maria says

    melissa, this is such a beautiful, raw and honest post. thank you so much for sharing…it is so wonderful and i know it will help so many women. i am so very sorry for all you had to endure. gosh, you had so much on your plate and i can't imagine all you had to go through. and i know insomnia is so frustrating. i'm so glad you pushed through it all! you are an amazing mama!!
    loved this post…i'm sure it wasn't easy to write. it was beautiful!
    lots of love to you and a happy tuesday!!
    xoxoxo
    maria <3

  31. Samantha @ Adventures With Gwen says

    What a great post! It take s alot of courage just to put that all out there! I really enjoyed reading it :)

  32. Judy Haughton-James says

    Hello Melissa,
    I have heard that this experience is very difficult and I am glad that you did not have it again with your last pregnancy. I am sure writing this proved therapeutic. Take care and my best wishes to you and your lovely family.
    Judy

  33. Jessica @ TheCrazyChaoticHouse says

    Such a great post! I never had PDD so i cannot relate but I am sure this post has helped at least one new mommy to get out and hopefully get some help. You are so brave for sharing your story, that took a lot of courage.

  34. Melissa @ knit purl baby says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! This is a very real issue that many women deal with and it is great that you could share your experience.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm following you back!

    melissa @ knit purl baby

  35. Candice says

    I had no idea you suffered from PPD. There are so many women that deal with this everyday. Thank you for your bravery and for sharing your story. I know it will help people understand that they are not alone and it WILL get better!

  36. Jeremy, Censie and Jude says

    This post is amazing! PPD is so real and I think people dont want to think that so thank you for sharing your story. i am glad that you were able to get help and move through the depression. Your kiddos are so adorable and they have one great mommy!

  37. Our Little Fam says

    Thanks for sharing! That must have been so hard, I am glad you are happy now and I dont know you in person but can just tell from your blog that you are an amazing momma!!

  38. Naked Mommy says

    Thanks Melissa for your honesty. I am struggling with depression right now.. not sure if it counts as PPD if it sets in a few months after giving birth but I have the insomnia, moodiness and lack of enthusiasm for almost everything. Have been putting off seeing a doctor because I'm breastfeeding and really don't wanna go on meds. Hopefully I can talk to someone and make some lifestyle changes and be back on track. I used to be extremely social and volunteered about 50 hrs/month on top of a full time job so you'd think being home with 2 kids and not working or volunteering would be a piece of cake but every day's a struggle.. sign that something is wrong. Thanks again for your honesty. It helps!!

  39. KERRY says

    Mellissa this is so wonderful that you wrote this. It is brave and I am sure so many women will read it and be grateful to know they're not alone. I am so happy things got so much better for you!! You're a fantastic mum and you should be proud of yourself for acknowledging that you needed help xo