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!