Monday, February 8, 2010

Post Partum Depression

I'd been debating whether to post about this, as it is obviously very personal in nature. However, I think it's more important to talk about it as something that is relatively "normal" (1 in 10 moms, I think). So here is my story about it.

I was fine at the beginning - and for several months. However, as time went on, T.J. started traveling more, and I slept less and less, I started to get down. In August when friends asked me how it was to be a mom and I replied "Eh.... it's ok I guess" I started to wonder if my reaction was normal. I chalked it up to a baby who cried in the car and lack of sleep. By October, I was really concerned at my lack of motivation around the house, and my inability to muster the energy to play with Joseph. I felt that by the time his needs were met, I was too tired to really give him my all. This was when I was wearing him for 3 to 4 hours a day for naps in addition to when we were out. And of course he's never been a great sleeper and nurses a LOT at night. I was all touched out.

As December rolled around, I'd pretty much reached the end of my rope. Not in an "I'm going to hurt myself or my baby" way, but in an "I'm a crappy mom who doesn't even like to hang out with her kid" way. So I decided to go see a psychiatrist. I called them and they got me in about 2 days later - on Christmas eve.

I saw a nurse and we talked for about an hour. I cried lots, but it felt good to talk to someone about all the stress I've been under (real or in my head). I started taking Zoloft and started to feel better almost immediately (can we say placebo effect? It takes 3-6 weeks to kick in). Now that I'm 6 weeks into the meds, I can say that I'm feeling a REAL difference. I get down to play with Joseph lots, tell him I love him all the time, and just get moments where I'm overwhelmed by how GREAT he is. Funnily enough, I even think he's cuter now!

So, if you are feeling down, and even if you think it's "just" lack of sleep or temporary stress, get checked out. Both of those things can mess with the chemicals in your brain, causing PPD. Also, it's not unusual for it to take many months to onset. I really don't think I had PPD any earlier than about when Joseph was 7 or 8 months old.


shannon February 8, 2010 at 10:48 AM  

Thanks so much for sharing. Here is a podcast you might really enjoy. I loved it.

Lauren February 8, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

Thank you so much for sharing this, Jen! I think PPD (and even the milder "baby-blues") isn't talked about enough at ALL.

Molly February 8, 2010 at 11:20 AM  

Thank you for sharing. I didn't have PPD but am having my own struggles with depression . . . while pregnant. I went on a small dosage of Zoloft a little over a month ago and the difference has been AMAZING! I'm finally getting excited to welcome our second baby into this family.

I'm glad you got help. So many people wait too long and suffer too much. It's unnecessary! Good for you, mama!

Debbie February 8, 2010 at 12:14 PM  

Well done. I'm glad you decided to share - besides, after all the other sharing you've done, some mental TMI isn't really TMI at all :-D. Love ya.

Jocelyn February 9, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

Thanks for posting this Jen! I think it is such a breath of fresh air for women to discuss it, and I think your advocacy of seeking out help is exactly what struggling women need to hear!

Sara & Mike February 9, 2010 at 10:20 PM  


Jill February 10, 2010 at 8:29 AM  

Thanks for sharing, I still think this is one of those things so many women are afraid to talk about or afraid to admit to. Lack of sleep can do horrible things, I know! My son has only slept all night a handful of times and he is almost 11 months old, it is getting a little better now that we have figured some medical issues out but there are still many days when I'm a total disaster.

NJ February 27, 2010 at 10:11 PM  

Thank you! I'm so glad you got the help you needed!

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