Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Part 2: PPE, PPB and PPD
After having #2, we spent a few more weeks in Idaho and then spent 3 days traveling to our new home, Missouri. Why they didn't name it Misery, I don't know, but that is how I felt. Our apartment was a hole. It was dirty and wet and moldy and broken and full of spider and mice and cockroaches. It was bad. We had gotten it, sight unseen and that proved to be one of the worst mistakes we’ve EVER made.
I can remember getting up to nurse and the only light on was a nightlight. I could see shadows running across our floor. That was it. I put #1 on a toddler bed in my room (she was sleeping on the other side of the apartment)and the 4 of us tried to get some sleep.
We quickly moved out after 2 weeks and moved to the other side of Kansas City to the Kansas side. It. was. glorious! I remember going to my 6 week appointment (new dr.) and tried to explain that I wasn't feeling normal. She chalked it up to moving, baby, etc. She said to get out into the community and get some sleep. I knew i should have pushed it a bit, BUT things were looking up. I wasn't really sad anymore. Life was on the up and up and I really starting to do well.
Fast forward to almost a year later. I started the weaning process. Whoever didn't tell me that depression could occur AFTER weaning is a big fat jerk!
The cycle began again, but this time it was much more severe and much more hopeless. I would stay up after Luke went to bed, crying and anguishing over small silly things. I couldn't fall asleep and my anxiety was THROUGH THE ROOF! I was exhausted all the time and didn't feel like I was doing my part as a mother OR wife. I was having some really weird thoughts, not suicidal, but very dark. I knew they weren't coming from Heavenly Father and the only solution I had was to plead with Him night and day. It was a constant battle that never fully went away.
I went back for my yearly in 2007. And guess what? Same response. “It's normal. Get out and do something about it.”
I was angry. I KNEW myself and I KNEW that this wasn't normal. I didn't have much option for doctors because we would be moving fairly quickly to another state.
Fast forward. We moved to Ohio and things seemed to be going really well. Nothing to complain about here. The kids were growing like weeds and we were all happy.
I got pregnant with #3 in August 2008. From the very beginning I told my dr. and his nurse that I had had problems before with depression-like symptoms, but that the last dr. had done nothing about it.
My nurse was amazing. She took it very seriously and knew how terrible PPD could be. She had experienced the exact same thing and it was a REAL problem with many solutions. It's not something to shy away from and it is not something to be ashamed of.
After talking about my struggles, we did a mini timeline of events. We realized that most of my depression problems were AFTER I STARTED WEANING! She explained how after weaning, your body is almost in MORE trouble because of the loss of hormones. What a vicious cycle our body is dealing us!
She handed me an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. This isn't a fool-proof way to know if you have depression, but it is pretty thorough. AND it is a great conversation starter with your doctors.
I’m don’t remember my score perfectly, but I knew it was pretty bad.