Cobwebs: A Postpartum Depression Story


I have four kiddos.  And... the postpartum period has always been... well, rocky... to be honest.  But, things were so much different with my fourth. 

I wrote a blog post about how I was feeling and what really made me "get to the doctor", so here is an excerpt from that post:

"I have been struggling for a while now.  I'm pretty sure I had a bit of PPD with my third baby, but eventually I came out of it on my own.  But... this time... I'm not coming out of it and I can feel myself slipping. 

I have just been totally exhausted.  Clearly, I have a young baby and three other boys (who are total boys), I don't have any family here and not too many friends, and certainly no one I feel I can "call on" (that live close enough to come).  So, I blamed the tiredness on that. 

I have been ridiculously paranoid.  Ok... honesty? I'm paranoid by nature.  But, lately it has been so bad that I can't even go to the grocery store without having a bit of an anxiety attack wondering if someone is going to shoot up the place or hurt one of my kids or try to snatch them or..... see what I mean? 

Plus, I am a tad obsessed with death.  I've had two near death experiences in my life.  One when I was 9 years old and the other when I gave birth to Cedric.  I don't think you can experience that and not have death on your mind constantly.  But, usually I can compartmentalize it... lately, I cannot. 

I've also been totally annoyed by everyone and everything... my kids included.  Which I hate... hate, hate, hate... because I love them to pieces, but have been having such a hard time... feeling connected to them. 

And, I've been mad.... like mild road rage, annoyance with people in general... etc, etc. 

I've been having tons of headaches, and body aches, and stomach aches... just ache all over the place. 

My eyes have been hurting. 

And... I can't concentrate on anything. 

But, these things are not ME" 

I should also add: 

"I am *kind of* familiar with what the "early treatment" is and the tools they give you.

I have been doing those things... well, sort of.  Like writing my feelings, prayer, meditation... but so far, I just keep getting further and further from me...  

I've read about Postpartum Depression before... and like most, thought... ya... that is rough... but it is not going to EVER happen to ME..."

So, I made that call.  My doctors office got me in the same day.  Clearly, they took it pretty seriously. 

They had me fill out a "depression questionnaire".  With my answers, it came back that I was severely depressed, in fact, she was considering sending me to the ER right on the spot, until, I made sure she understood I wasn't that bad... at least yet. 

So, after quite a bit of talking, we decided that two types of treatment should be considered. Medication and counseling. 

Well, here is the issue with counseling... it takes time, and they don't have child care.  Like I mentioned above... I don't have anyone to HELP ME... so thus... for now... counseling is just not going to happen. 

Anyway, I started on the lowest dose of Zoloft (as it is safe during breastfeeding, which I am doing) for the depression and the lowest dose of Buspar for my anxiety. 

I definitely got the "Zoloft" headache for about 3-4 days.  I should add, if a medication has the possibility to give a headache as a side effect... I will absolutely get headaches.  But, once that went away... I have not noticed any other bad side affects, so far (I've been taking this for about a month so far when this was written). 

But, by far the breakout hit for me has been the Buspar for anxiety! I was so bad, that the thought of going to the grocery store felt like I was being asked to climb a mountain with a 500 lb pack on my back.  After only a few doses... that feeling of generalized fright, is much diluted! I can drive my van without feeling super up tight every single second (except when my baby is screaming... but, you know...). 

I've only been taking these medications about a month.  I also still write, attempt to meditate (as much as possible with 4 active kiddos), pray, try... to eat pretty healthy, and have finally made a plan to get back to exercise. 

I feel like these medications have made it possible for me to be able to knock down cobwebs enough to get myself back on track. I still have a long way to go, but, I am getting there.

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