|Heart to hearts with friends help a lot, too.|
After F was born it went on for about a month before my husband and I realized something was wrong. I had been doing so well with things: happy and managing the kids and home, and then I was not. It crept up on me, and I was unhappy, overwhelmed, and unable to do more than the minimal effort. The hardest thing was admitting that I did indeed need help, and then admitting it to the receptionist at the doctor’s office on the telephone. I left the message that I thought I had postpartum depression (PPD), and I got an immediate call to come in. With tears in my eyes, resigning myself to the situation, I drove in with the three kids. When I got there, they said that they were going to treat my symptoms with progesterone and that I would notice a difference within hours. It was like night and day. But I noticed bad habits that I had let myself get into over the month of feeling awful that I had to work through. I made it past it that time, but not without seeking the help I needed. I do not know how long it would have lasted, had I not gotten help.
This time we noticed my problems were more than just average “mom tiredness” within days of the first symptoms. After losing the baby, it was natural for me to be tired and sad, but I was managing things and sleeping well. Then M and I had a conversation during which I ended up in tears. I was feeling overwhelmed by everyday scenarios with the children, such as making them lunch. I was having a lot of trouble falling asleep at night. It took me about a half an hour to admit that I needed help. I had had a creeping realization for a couple of days, mentioned it to M on the way to Mass one morning, and his agreement sent my emotions spiraling all through Mass until I made that decision to call the doctor. I went in and again received an injection of progesterone (which, by the way, I am pretty sure I am addicted to…). More progesterone, and again I had an immediate difference in how I felt. This time I had not had enough time to develop bad habits beyond sitting in tears, overwhelmed by my children’s needs.
So, my point here is not to tell you all about my woes of PPD, but to spread that thing called “awareness”, which does nothing in itself. If others and mothers are aware, then maybe someone reading this somewhere can realize that she needs some help. And get that help, which can be as simple as a quick injection and some progesterone pills. PPD does not always mean going on an antidepressant for as long as those normally last, but just getting the right hormonal balance.
Thank you again for your continued prayers.