Friday, October 10, 2014

Postpartum Depression

I wish I would've read more about Postpartum depression. Most expecting first time moms are completely ecstatic to have their babies here. They can't even imagine suffering from PPD. And then when they do, they feel even more horrible about themselves.

I was suffering. And I was suffering big time. But I didn't tell anybody, not my parents, not Zack, not anybody. And I felt if I asked for help that I was somehow an inadequate mom. So I am going to tell my story of suffering today. To maybe help others who don't want to speak up about how much they are suffering.

I was having major anxiety about child birth. I was struggling with the thought of having people I didn't know staring at my yoo whoo region for hours and hours on end. I had 9 months to prepare myself for this I talked to numerous people about my concerns and I know I had to go through with it. So I decided the people I wanted there was my mom and Zack. Those were the people I felt comfortable with and then I didn't want anybody else at the hospital until I was ready. 

Well unfortunately things didn't pan out that way. My mom was working (she works graveyards) so she came to visit on her breaks and then came to visit and check on me before she went home. So it was me and Zack, well some other family members showed up before I was ready and I was mad. Madder than mad. I was livid. And they stayed the whole time. Held my baby before I was ready and I was so angry. I don't think I could verbally express how upset I was.

Anyways, time went on and I was happy that I had a new baby. So happy. But I started to feel anger towards certain family members and have anxiety and worries from being around them. I felt that they didn't think I would do a good job being a mom and that they thought they could step in and do a better job. I started to have nightmares they were going to sue me for custody of my baby and I would lose her. 

I would work myself up that I would start crying and begging Zack to not be around them. As crazy as it was I couldn't stand the thought of really anybody holding her. I would tense up, get angry if people would even touch her, talk about her, kiss her or anything. I was jealous. I was her mom and I was worried they wanted to be her mom and then one day my baby would love them more and not want to be with me anymore.

I felt what I was feeling was normal. I honestly thought it was. That all moms felt threatened by other people trying to step in. 

And then the postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder stepped in. Did you know that was a thing? Because I didn't. 

Basically its if your having violent thoughts or images of somehow harming your baby like stabbing your baby with knives or putting the baby in the oven so on and so forth. Unlike moms with postpartum psychosis (PPP) women with postpartum OCD are repulsed by these thoughts of harming their baby and know not to act on them. (Thanks baby center!) So then they go out of their way to avoid doing things like that (like hiding the knives or blocking off the oven)

We live on the third floor and I would get these images of my daughter falling over the edge, or her slipping out my arms or me throwing her over or something of the sort. I would pray to Heavenly Father to make these images to go away. I was frightened by them! I would never ever harm my baby I didn't understand why I kept getting these thoughts and images in my head. Therefore, I would always have the door locked, or I would always be at my parents house and I would hurry and run up the stairs and get the door shut as fast as I could. Anything to stay away from the ledge. 

And then I started to feel really guilty about having postpartum OCD. And then I felt if anybody would find out about this that those people would think I was crazy and take my daughter away.

I was drowning. I didn't trust anybody with my baby. I felt if I left her in the care of certain people they would leave and never come back with her. And I was freaking out thinking I was a bad mom for the violent thoughts I was having.

The problem was I didn't tell people any of this. I decided to suffer in silence. Alone. What a big mistake that was.

When Madeline got to be about 3 months old I was finally able to dispel those violent thoughts. Thankfully they only lasted a few weeks. However the OCD is still there. I get a hold on her and walk down the stairs fast. I still get anxiety about where we live because of those images. But at least I didn't get those thoughts anymore. So I felt a little more normal.

But unfortunately I was still depressed. I didn't know how to shake it. In fact to this day I still am. I feel a little more normal, the more I surround myself with people I trust and love the better I feel. It also helps that my daughter can now choose who she wants to be with and 99% of the time, she wants me ;) so that helps.

I needed validation that I was a good mom. I needed people to tell me that no one was going to take my baby away. I still suffer from depression. it's not as bad as it was. I still get anxiety and migraines. I make myself sick worrying so much about situations. Maybe I need to go on medication. I don't know...

The whole point of me sharing this wasn't to get attention. In fact I would've been happy to keep this to myself. Especially the OCD bit. But I wanted other people to know it's okay to open up and talk about it. Don't suffer in silence! Don't make my mistake! If anything I wanted to people to know your not alone out there! I'm still struggling with this. But I hope now people understand me just a bit more now. And understand my actions to certain things.

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