Dear 100 Hour Board,
Is anyone willing to share their experience with postpartum depression?
I had a difficult pregnancy and delivered a baby last year. I experienced "baby blues" that are a part of most women's experience while the hormonal tides of childbirth recede. I had a beautiful baby who slept really well and didn't fuss... so why with this perfect baby did I feel so tired of taking care of her? It was so boring and endless. I mean, it's still boring but I don't feel as exasperated and hopeless about it. I remember asking if I could get a prescription for antidepressants in advance because when I was depressed I wouldn't feel like talking to a doctor, but my request wasn't granted. Going back to work helped, but I felt significant mom guilt when my baby was hospitalized with RSV she caught at daycare. I felt like since I was still functioning it wasn't "that bad." I knew it would come and tried to prepare myself. But other than already having a doctor you can go to what kind of plan is possible? I wish we had better support for new moms in our culture. They need lots of help.
I have had PPD with each pregnancy, but this last go around, the PPD has hit me HARD. I had a very rough, tumultuous pregnancy (emotionally and physically), so I think that definitely contributed. My husband also has mental health issues; while he is a HUGE support, he also struggled with my pregnancy this time (or, rather, everything that happened during my pregnancy- the actual aspects of being pregnant were Not Bad). So when Thumper was born, we both were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.
... Until I got home from the hospital. I started having major panic attacks every time baby was not in the same room as me. But not because I was worried about him, but rather I was worried about me being away from him. Even just thinking about being separated would bring me to tears. With two toddlers in the house, this was not a good mix. It became extremely stressful for the whole family to the point where even my husband sought mental health help. At that point I realized the Show Could Not Go On like this, so I started seeing the social worker at my Ob/GYN's office and I got a prescription from my doctor for Prozac. (This was about two weeks before I returned to work.)
Between therapy and meds, things have become... stable I guess. I know if I stop taking the meds, I'll be a real mess again, but that is largely due to extenuating circumstances that are a continuation of things that took place during my pregnancy.
Anyway. PPD is no fun. It is very real. There's actually a page on FB you may be interested in following that has helped me a bit, too.