…Correction I HAD the blues. My days are a little brighter now that I got some great advice, priceless support, had a trip to the doctor and a prescription. After some time I am coming clean… I am on meds. It became so clear to me that I had more than just the typical baby blues most women experience after birth. I have been diagnosed with postpartum depression.
Let me make it very clear that at NO time did I ever regret getting pregnant and having Lily.
And at NO time did I ever want to harm my child or myself.
It is so hard to explain how I feel unless you are a mother who experienced baby blues or you are a doctor…but I will try. At first I was so overwhelmed when Lily would cry. Not because I didn’t know what I was doing. The every day care for Lily was not a problem. It came so naturally to know when to feed her, change her. She was (and still is) a pretty easy-going baby. However, she would have moments where she would get so upset and it would pain me to hear her cry. I had to learn to be calm as baby’s can sense people’s feelings. I know most of you are saying, “depression over being sad if your kid is crying….every parent feels that way!” It goes deeper than that and that is why it is so hard to explain. It would literally pain me inside to see her cry.
At any time of the day I would spiral into these horrible what if scenarios that left me in mini panic episodes. I would daydream about people coming into the house and kidnapping her. People hurting her, killing her! It was horrifying. I would try and stop myself and say- “Amy get a grip….everything is fine…” I found myself getting tense when Mike or anyone else was holding Lily. I only felt a sense of calm when I had her. I also noticed that I started to get upset easily over trivial issues. There were parts of everyday where I would just get unbearably sad and sob.
A HUGE part of my depression was what pregnancy did to my body. I know I had the worst eating habits and couldn’t exercise while I was pregnant. Even 15 minute walks brought on these horrible cramps that I was advised by my doctor to stop. So with no exercise and a hamburger diet I hit a weight that I thought I would never see. Now most of my girlfriends who had babies have bounced right back to being their cute adorable selves => envious! I have struggled with the weight loss.
The old saying that when you breast feed you loose weight due to more calories being burned is a CROCK! Because my body is working so hard to produce milk I am always hungry! I have recently decided that this milk factory is closing shop ( that will be explained in another post)! I just started to get back in the gym and it feels great. Thanks to my mom for watching Lily- I escape to the gym and meet with a trainer to help get the ball rolling to getting my body back.
Prior to taking medication I only told a few people that I was experiencing some major depression like symptoms. I remember when it became so clear to me that I was depressed and needed some help that I broke down at the dinner table with Mike. Coming to that conclusion made me feel like I was a loser and that I was a horrible mother because I couldn’t handle my emotions. I went to the doctor a few days later and received confirmation that I had postpartum depression.
During one of my Friday play dates with some fabulous friends I came clean with them about what was going on. I was given such uplifting praise and advice. The ladies gave me that extra push I needed to take the prescription that I had been sitting on for a week. It only took me three days to feel a difference. I didn’t wake up and feel like Mrs. Brady; however, I was happy. Calm. I now get urges to get out of the house and run errands rather than stay at home in my comfort zone. I probably wouldn’t have taken the leap to leave the house and Lily behind for workouts if I wasn’t on meds. It helps with the feelings of guilt over leaving Lily. I have come to the realization that I need “me” time to be a better mom. Now I still have times of anxiety and worry about her but word on the street is that I will have these feelings forever as a parent. I am just in a better position now to deal with these crazy emotions. So there it is. I have happy pills. Hopefully I won’t need them in the near future…but for now this is my reality.
**By the way it has taken me about two hours to type this- I was and still am nervous about exposing this. But this is my life as a parent and being honest with myself was the first step to getting help. And I just hope that other mommies out there who are having a tough time just seek help before it gets worse for them**