Postpartum Depression: The On-Set
For most families, having a baby is a joyous occasion, something that everyone celebrates.
You just built a human being in your uterus, that’s amazing!
You didn’t have to take a course on baby design, you don’t have to flip through a baby model catalog, and there isn’t a store at the mall where you can drool over the fancy baby patterns. Your body just buckles down to business and Mother Nature says, “I’m a pro at this, give me approximately 40 weeks and I’ll have a little squirmy infant for you to enjoy. The end.”
That crazy woman (Mother Torture) had other plans for me.
My husband Sean and I met in 2006, were married in 2009, and we knew we wanted a family sooner rather than later. He was 31 and I was approaching 30. It was always in discussion, even on our honeymoon. Babies, babies, babies. Everyone was “doing it!” You paint a room, buy a car seat, your friends and family buy you all this awesome crap. I was stoked, we signed up right away. Come on uterus, build me a baby!
Whoa Angie, back up the Bugaboo… Lets cover a few things first.
Early in our relationship I told Sean about my struggles with anxiety and depression. It was no secret to my close friends and family either.
Some days I dealt with it better than other days, but I was determined to “handle it” like a champ during my pregnancy. There were women dealing with much harder and difficult situations than pregnancy for goodness sake!
Some women struggle to even GET pregnant. I thought I could blissfully float around life with my bump, literally bumping the “blues” away.
Also, my OB/GYN insisted I stay on my medication when I conceived. For me, the medication worked. As much as I liked to think I could manage without it, I couldn’t.
Fast forward a few months… Positive pee stick, yahoo! My body works! My brain might make me a miserable witch occasionally, but my lady parts were working. A few weeks go by, and I’m feeling great!
I must be good at this, I don’t have morning sickness, I haven’t gained weight, I RULE at building a baby.
And then the bleeding starts. Miscarriage. Great. I’m thrown off that very high horse into a very large pile of horse poo. I tell myself, “Self, this happens, it’s okay. Get it together, heal up, try again.” I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking before and after my D&C, all I knew was I had Sean. He was mourning a loss with me.
A few months slowly drifted by and we were in the clear to “start over.”
I won’t bore you with the details (a.k.a. sex, baby dancing, etc) as my family might read this. Positive pee test #2. Success!
Okay, now let’s discuss keeping a secret. Angie is fairly decent at this. Sean is not. Weeks went by, those turned into months, and before I knew it I was 40 weeks. And then I was 41 weeks. And then I was 50 weeks. No, I was 41w+3d (in pregger-talk), which medically feels like 50 weeks to the one who is pregnant.
I’ll spare you the gory details, but there were two days of an induced labor, “failure” to progress, and then a c-section. I won’t explain why it happened this way, but I truly felt like a failure.
And just then, in my post-surgery bliss (Morphine), Mother Nature stepped into my hospital room with a gift for me: postpartum depression. And it wasn’t even wrapped. It was in a crappy gift bag that said, “Happy Graduation,” or something stupid like that.
Meet Angie and read more about what makes her tick in her Real Mama interview.
To hear the rest of my personal experience with postpartum depression and Kathryn’s birth story, stay tuned!
**If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, please talk to someone and contact your doctor. Depression happens, and can be helped. Talking with family and friends and seeking help is the first step. The sooner you feel better, the sooner you will start enjoying life again. **