My Experience with Postpartum Depression/Anxiety
I hope everyone had an amazing Memorial Day remembering those who keep our country safe. We did absolutely NOTHING this Memorial Day weekend, but it was a perfect kind of nothing. The most I got accomplished over three days was making nachos and doing three loads of laundry, it looks like I will be playing catch up this week.
Over the past seven weeks I have done a decent job of painting the picture of joy that Olive brings to our home. What I have failed to do is paint a realistic picture of what has been actually going on in our household. For the past six weeks, I have been suffering through postpartum depression/anxiety.
How it started
The first week after Olive was born everything was wonderful. I was living in the bliss of finally having this beautiful and perfect little girl, who was breastfeeding like a champ. My C-section recovery was going super smoothly, so I began to get overly confident.
I went to my postpartum doctor’s appointment to check my incision and as soon as they handing me the postpartum questionnaire, you know, the one that asks how you are feeling towards your newborn. I breezed through it circling every happy face there was.
Then week two came along and just punched me in the face.
The main trigger to my postpartum anxiety was taking Olive along time to gain back her birth weight. Before my eyes I saw her slip below 6 pounds (born at 6 lbs 9 oz). It made no sense to me. She was a great latcher and seemed to be rather satisfied. It took Olive almost two and a half weeks to start gaining her weight back.
The down spiral
My mom had just left, so my security blanket was completely removed. My mother in-law arrived four days after my mom. And the depression was almost surreal.
I started to lock myself in my bedroom with Olive. Every time I went downstairs where the boys and my mother in law were, I would get extremely anxious. This anxiousness lead me to A LOT of crying and near panic attacks. The depression would occur once I secluded myself in my bedroom. I was sleeping WAY too much, only waking up to feed Olive and other brief moments. I had also stopped eating complete meals. For two days, I only ate ice cream.
I felt so ALONE.
I started to have slight resentment towards my husband for many things, mainly for us deciding to get my tubes tied. A decision that in the right frame of mind I knew was right for our family.
I will add, that my mother in law didn’t have anything to do with my postpartum depression.
Going to the doctor was a hard decision to make. I knew that I needed to get this figured out before I was on my own with the boys and baby. I went to my OB, got evaluated and had a nice long chat with her. She had me fill out another questionnaire and this one was like a completely different person. Gone were the days of happy faces.
We decided to start me on Zoloft, an anti-depressant. I started on half a tablet (25mg), to reduce any side effects. My OB verified that Zoloft would be safe for breastfeeding, I also called my pediatrician to make sure she was good with it as well. Thankfully my good friend is also my pharmacist and she talked me through everything I needed to know.
Where I’m at now
Currently I am taking the whole 50mg Zoloft. Things are good. They aren’t great, but I have jumped some major hurdles. My eating is better, I’m sleeping normally, and for the most part I’m good with going downstairs. I do have to force myself to do many things and I am still very sensitive to what my husband says, but the crying has greatly decreased.
I am planning on continuing the medication for at least one more month.
Other things that help
Taking walks out side
Putting on makeup and getting dressed
Side effects of Zoloft
When I upped my dose from 25mg to 50mg I woke up with bad vertigo two days in a row. That has since gone away. My sex drive is low, but I think that has do to with EVERYTHING, not just specifically the medication. I haven’t noticed any change in my milk supply (some say it decreased their production).
Please keep in mind that I am no doctor, this is just my personal experience. But if you are feeling this way or feeling like you are in danger to yourself or your baby please do not be scared to go to your doctor, your husband, or your friends. The struggle catches you by surprise and women need to be more transparent about it to let others know they are not alone. Postpartum depression is real and something not to be ashamed of.
I have asked my husband to write a post for all the husbands who have wives dealing with postpartum anxiety/depression. He will share his experience later this week.