I recently had a friend call me crying hysterically. When I asked her what was wrong, her response was “Everything is wrong.” I asked her to try to delve into what was really bothering her, and it all seemed to relate to how unhappy she was after she had her second baby. Now, let me preface by saying that she has a 4-year-old boy and never felt a tinge of sadness after having her first baby. This was all new territory for her and she came to me, because as most of you know, I am all too familiar with PPD, or Postpartum depression.
Do you happen to remember when I told you my PPD story? Well, if you don’t let me recap it for you by telling you the year after Hayley was born was the worst time of my life. Sure, I had a cute newborn who loved to snuggle with her mommy, but this really meant nothing to me. I was sad…I was anxious… I was losing it every second of every day. I remember when my husband would come home, and I would just give him Hayley, and retreat to my bedroom in hysterics. I remember my husband asking me what was wrong and I just kept telling him, to leave me alone! Anytime anyone tried to make me happy, it ended up doing the reverse. I had all the signs of postpartum depression but at the time, I had no real clue that postpartum depression existed. I never made the call to the doctor to seek help. I thought it was just a typical case of the baby blues, but it was so much more than that. I know this now.
I ended up losing 20 pounds of weight that I did not need to lose, since I was simply not eating. It was not a choice I made to stop eating, but I had zero appetite. I also developed a serious bout of insomnia. I didn’t sleep for more than 2 hours at a time for weeks on end. When people asked how I did it, my answer was usually, “You get used to not sleeping.” However, over time, with lack of sleep, you begin to really break down. Your body needs 7-8 hours of sleep for a reason. I also had zero energy or motivation. A good part had to do with me not sleeping, but the not having any energy to do anything in my life was devasting to me. I am a very avid tennis player and had no interest to even go hit the balls with my friends. I just wanted to creep into bed and sleep for days at an end. It was really no way to live.
Along with all these symptoms, I had mood swings to the nth degree. I remember being angry one moment, sad the next, anxious, and then repeat, like a washing machine cycle. I never knew when I was going to have a good day. It was so hard to be around me because I was like a ticking bomb waiting to go off. I would not seek treatment. I am a stubborn person, probably one of my greatest weaknesses is attributed to my stubbornness. I did manage to finally start living as a person again and the PPD went away but it took a long time. I vowed to myself if I ever had any kids, I would seek treatment right away. Luckily, I had not had any problems with Zane but if I had, I would go for help at the first sign of problems.
So, when my friend called and cried for me all night, I listened. I told her that although she didn’t have PPD with the first, there was no saying that she wouldn’t experience it with second child. She admitted to me that she was afraid to seek treatment but after speaking to me, she would call the doctor. I am happy to report she made the right decision and is on the course to being happy again.
*This is a partnered post. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.