6/7/12

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. In addition to being the founder of First Time Mom and Dad, April is an award-winning published writer. 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 on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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