Monday, June 27, 2011

and it's in the form of postpartum depression

Aside from the fact that I HAVE been meaning to update this blog, the impetus to write tonight is my diagnosis of postpartum depression.

A switch flipped last week. Why last week? Anders is 19 weeks old in two days. We made it past the difficult first two weeks of breastfeeding and no sleep, six weeks with a touch of colic, returning to work at 10 weeks, pumping around the clock for the last four months. Why now?

I didn't want to go home. I was at work with a pit in my stomach because I didn't want to go home. I knew that wasn't normal, though I take normal with a grain of salt. I looked at my beautiful baby and felt nothing.  Except guilt that I didn't feel anything. I knew. Paul knew. And I called my psychiatrist the next morning.

Two months ago, I dropped Lexapro from my med list. I wasn't anxious anymore. I didn't need it. One month ago I decreased my Wellbutrin dose. It took two weeks before I felt like I lost my edge at work, but that was it. I was going to give it a month before calling to schedule an appointment. I didn't make it that far. Last week I wanted little to do with my baby. I didn't want to pump anymore. I suggested we just take out the disposable diapers instead of doing the cloth laundry. This wasn't like me. I knew it and I hated it.

So here I am. Back in the hole not knowing how to get out. Standing still while everything spins around me. I'm sad and angry and frustrated and embarrassed. And trying to figure out how to push these aside to love and care for my baby who needs me.

We caught it early. My Wellbutrin is back up and I'm seeing my pysch weekly until this levels out. Then biweekly. Then monthly. With my history, I'll be on meds for a year and with any future pregnancies/babies. I've had good days in the last week, but today was particularly bad. I don't think I managed to complete anything at work today.

But I did tell my coworker, who is both a very close friend, second mother and mental health ally. She'd been waiting for this. Not in a pessimistic way, but in a watch my back way. She's the same friend who sat with us at the ER with my first miscarriage, when we had no idea what to do or think.

This isn't me. It's my body, brain, chemicals, hormones. An illness. I didn't do anything wrong. It just is. So we're dealing with it. This much I know, though it's hard to feel. I don't want to tell people what is going on with me because I'm afraid they'll ask why. Why when I finally have the baby I've been wanting? [That's so loaded, I don't even want to go there. I don't know why. I wanted the other babies, too. Yes, Anders is a good baby. I don't know what's wrong.] And I spin...

I always knew this was a possibility given my history. My doctors have been vigilant and so has Paul. So have I, for that matter. But I wanted to be okay. To not have to deal with something on my very long list of concerns/complications. I wanted SOMEthing to go right.

Anders is right, so very right. That's what I have to remember. I need to take care of myself so I can take care of him. I don't want Anders to EVER wonder where his mom is or why she isn't hugging him. That thought breaks my heart.

So here it is. Back on this journey. I don't know how to navigate PPD. It's different than the depression I struggled with earlier. It's scarier.

But this is temporary. I'm doing what I need to do. Paul is the best dad and can pick up what I can't give at the moment. Anders is well-cared for. And I'm doing the best I can at this moment, with what I have to give.

But it's hard accepting that. Maybe writing it will help.

6 kind words:

  1. I can relate to a lot of things you are saying. Nora is a pretty tough cookie, barely sleeps, cries a ton, I did pump round the clock, too. There were days (and still are- and she's 13 months) where I wished I worked. And, I wanted to be a stay at home mom all my life. I think I had/have PPD, but I always say brush it off because I assume it is situational and due to the fact that I lost my dad, then my baby, then mom... Then had 5 months on bed rest, then a difficult baby. But, you are right. You/we need to be the best we can for our babies. You being open and sharing is helping me and i'm sure it will help others, too. Hope you feel better soon!

  2. Hugs Karin! You are a wonderful mommy and a sweet sweet soul. It is an illness and you are taking all the necessary steps. Keeping you in my prayers and sending you love xoxo

  3. Not to be a total stalker, but I found your blog (this is Anne Baier Sedore by the way). There is no shame in realizing you aren't feeling yourself and getting help. You did exactly the right thing, a couple weeks of medication (have I ever mentioned I love antidepressant/anti-anxiety meds?), some long talks with a psychiatrist (have I ever mentioned I love the field of psychiatry?), and you'll be back. Good for you for noticing the warning signs and getting help. THAT is being a good mom. You are a brave lady, Karin, and a fabulous mom.

  4. Karin much love to you through all of this! You are a great mom!!! The doctor's will work it all out. My mom suffered from PPD after having my sister and she is the best mom in the whole world! (((hugs)))

  5. Been meaning to write you and just haven't been able to sit down for long enough to do so (or had the internet connection!) but can't go another second without letting you know you are amazing.

    Amazing. Amazing for being honest and sharing. Amazing for realizing that you need to do something to get yourself out of the hole. Amazing for realizing it's a hole in the first place. Amazing for being vigilant.

    Again, amazing. You will get through this!! You will get through it and Anders will be better for the strong, loving and honest mother he has in you. Know you have lots of people loving you and lifting you up and willing to be ears or shoulders whenever you need them--no judgement, ever. Just love, support and encouragement as you go through this very real thing.

    Love, love and more love, friend!

  6. I know the struggle with PPD can't be easy but I'm glad that you recognized it and got help for it. You are a great mommy to Anders and PPD won't stand in the way of that. Love you!!