Postpartum Depression- Update #2 The Solution


Last time I wrote about my fears of postpartum depression I was very low.  I finally broke down and sought professional help. Thank God!  I was always told to never try to handle it on my own, and for a good reason, my son deserves a happy healthy mommy.

Since I am still nursing Oliver, I only had one rule when I met with the psychologist, NO medicine.  I know there are anti depressants available that have been tested, and proven safe for nursing mothers, but I wanted to leave that as an absolute last resort. 

When I was laid off from work in the beginning of May, I not only lost my job but my health insurance too.  I had until May 31st to meet with the therapist as much as possible before loosing my great group insurance plan. I was given the name a wonderful miracle worker through my OB/GYN, who booked me 7 appointments in a two week period.  Needless to say we attacked my issues head on and fast!

I can honestly say I feel SO much better after meeting with her.  After about the third or fourth appointment she told me she didn’t think I was battling severe postpartum, but that I was definitely suffering from a mild form of PPD in addition to being a completely overwhelmed new mother. She felt confident that I could manage without medication, but it would take work on my part - most likely long term ongoing work until I stopped nursing and my hormones stopped raging.

Once she figured out what was going on in my head, she was able to help me recognize my issues, and give me tools to help work through them.

The following are the things I learned while being treated for postpartum depression and my new mother fears.

  1. First and foremost, she had a sign on her wall that said, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”  I never had suicidal thoughts, but I think that saying is brilliant.
  1. We talked a lot about my “triggers,” the things that made me feel sad or overwhelmed. Of course loosing my job was big, facing my bills is scary, my fears of horrible things happening to Oliver, and of course little to no sleep can send me into a vicious tailspin.
She helped me to recognize the things that send me into a hopeless spiral and taught me to picture a BIG RED STOP SIGN when I start obsessing.  It really works!  Every time I start to spiral, I picture the stop sign and amazingly I am able to refocus my thoughts.

  1. Fighting with my husband has been horrible.  Since Oliver’s birth we have had a constant struggle over our respective ideas for parenting. For one of the sessions my husband joined me so we could finally talk through our differences.  This was one of the best sessions I had.  Once we talked about the things that pissed us off about the other, she asked each one of us, “If you had a magic wand to wave, what would you change about your husband/wife.”  This was amazing because we were able to really hear what needed to be fixed.  Since that session my husband and I have been getting along almost like newlyweds! The magic wand trick is brilliant and I cannot recommend it enough.
  1. Finally she helped me to realize how much I have going for me, how wonderful my husband really is and most of all what an amazing beautiful, perfect, blessing my son is.  She had me really focus on all of my positives, so when I felt negative I could easily refocus my attention on what I have going for me.
In the end I was able to use, “talk therapy” to work through my issues and find tools to help myself through the dark days. I also realized that if I was not happy in my marriage, my husband was not either. Surprise! It’s not all about me. I also learned that some of my fears and anxieties are completely normal. I need to do my best to stay focused on the moment and not tailspin over things I cannot control or change. I feel so incredibly blessed that I was able to get help and by a postpartum depression specialist. I truly feel 100% better.  Don’t get me wrong I have rough days, but nowhere near before meeting with my miracle worker.

Postpartum depression is devastating and debilitating. Due to raging hormones, the depression can pop up out of nowhere and bite you in the ass and hold tight for up to two years.  If you have any fears please get help, even if it is just talking to your significant other, family or friends.  Please do not spend one more day than necessary in that hell alone. You and your baby deserve to have you at your very best.

As always please do not hesitate to email me, firsttimemomanddad@gmail.com if you need someone to talk to. Make up a Gmail email address if you want to be anonymous.  I am here for you if you need me. 

Love and hugs,

April




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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer, blogger and proud debut novelist - The Devlyn Disguise. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more about April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

7 comments:

Kiwi mum said...

Yay, glad to hear you are feeling better! You've definitely been in my thoughts :-)
Love the Stop sign idea - I'm thinking I may borrow that one!

First Time Mom (April) said...

Thank you! Jobless with a new baby was WAY too much!

The stop sign is brilliant! I use it all the time, even on cupcakes. ; )

Mrs. Loquacious said...

Thank you for being so candid and open about your struggles! The tools you've mentioned are universally-applicable and helpful even for those who don't have a clinical diagnosis, but just a bad day or week...or month ;)

Jessika said...

Quite literally thought of this/you all last night and can't say how grateful I am that you posted the updates! Thank you :)

Fancy Pants said...

Great post! I too am being treated for PPD. I am however taking a very low dose of anti depressant because me serotonin is so low just therapy wasn't helping. It definitely has helped the anxiety. We are also working on being more loving in this house. I try to get away daily for at least an hour without the baby, helps me clear my head and get rid of that overwhelmed feeling.

Christine said...

Ha! I think I ate 40 cupcakes in two days when I was pregnant! Will have to try the stop sign on my new craving for ice cream. Unfortunately I still dislike DH as much as I did during pregnancy. At 8 weeks pp could it still be hormones? Or perhaps all of the negativity is lingering. I feel like I need a vacation from him. It seems like I'm uptight and he's a complete goofball. I really feel horrible about it still, don't know if I would call it PPD. I like what you said though. If I'm not happy he's not either. I wake up everyday thinking about having a happy day but he just drives me nuts. Will try again tomorrow!!!

First Time Mom (April) said...

1. The stop sign is awesome. It works everytime for me. I just need to remember to use it. Cupcakes are the evil in my life I love to love.

2. I'm 6 months postpartum and still have issues with the hubs. But, we are working on it together. I see him trying si hard to make things better between us, and I still want to scream at him. That's how I know it's the hormones. I have to remind myself, it's the hormones I hate, not him. It does get better though. Much better.

3. A friend told me nothing tests a relationship like a child. Not even infidelity puts as much strain and pressure on the relationship as a baby. Not that we have dealt with infidelity, but I believe her. I would have left his ass by now if this pressure came from infidelity!

4. One day at a time my friend.


Hugs!!

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