My Personal Experience With Postpartum Depression
At first, things seemed normal.
I went about my daily routine of watching my boys. But after I had Michael, I decided to spend some time working from home to focus on both my boys.
My husband was beginning to work right after attending college for heating and air conditioning. His hours began to get longer and I was at home trying to tend to a 15-month toddler and a newborn baby.
Slowly, I began getting overwhelmed. It was like I was on the outside looking in. It wasn’t that I did not love my babies; I did. I was just finding it hard to manage basic house chores and tend to my babies. I felt so tired and by the time my husband got home, all I wanted to do was go to sleep.
I felt like I was lost in a crowd of people and often I would dream that I was trying to catch a train, but I kept missing it. After about a month, my husband asked me to talk to my doctor. He was concerned and said he thought I was dealing with some type of depression.
I agreed to go and talk to my doctor. I was so nervous since I had never felt this way. My doctor took one look at me and asked if I had gotten any sleep. I cried immediately and told her I had not been able to rest and I was finding it harder and harder to get things done.
She looked at me and said, “It sounds to me like you have Postpartum Depression.”
After hearing those words, I again began to cry. She assured me it was going to be alright and recommended I get on a low dose anti-depressant. She also asked me to try and manage my tasks more slowly as to not get overwhelmed, to get on a balanced diet, and most importantly, to find a way to get more rest.
I have to say, within a few months, I began noticing a change in me which was positive. I started to feel like myself. I also was happy that I did not need to be on the antidepressant for a long term basis. It also helped to have my family be my support system. My husband was a blessing. He made sure I got my rest and asked his work for time off on the weekends to help me.
I love my kids and I am glad that chapter of my life did not last long so that my sons got their mom back. Although I was always there to take care of them for awhile, I felt like part of me was not fully there with them. I know it did not last long but those couple of months felt awful and I was glad I had the support that I needed, but more importantly the courage to realize that I needed to get help.
Postpartum exists and there needs to be more awareness. If you begin noticing things that you would normally not do, be sure to get help. I was glad I did! And years later, I had a baby girl, and I was fortunate not to have dealt with any issues of postpartum then, but I made sure to try to keep an eye on myself. As I said, I love my family and they all mean the world to me. I would not be who I am today without them.
If you or someone you know is suffering or may be suffering from any of these symptoms, there is always help.