Thursday, April 19, 2012

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Only my closest of friends know this, but right after Lennon was born I had/possibly still have postpartum depression.  It is so tough to say that!  Why is that so hard?  It makes no sense.  I have no problems letting the world know when I am mad, but no one ever wants to admit when they are sad or overwhelmed...  I hope by writing this that I can help someone else not wait as long before getting help!

After Lennon was born, I knew I would be an emotional wreck.  It is just part of having a baby and all the hormones.  I was fine for the first week or so.  I joked with friends and Collin in the hospital, talked with family.  I was a bit excitable, but not really emotional until the last day in the hospital.  

As time went on and Lennon was in the hospital longer and longer, things started to unravel for me.  I was so overwhelmed with trying to stay strong for my son and husband.  I also have always been able to deal with most situations with inappropriate comments and humor.  It has always helped get me through just about anything.  But after about 2-3 weeks, I stopped laughing and joking.  Everything made me angry or cry.  I would flip out over nothing.  All I cared about was getting to the hospital every day to be with Lennon.  Everything else was just going through the motions.  Anything that happened out of the schedule I had established would set me off; even if it was something fun.  

Finally, after going through this for about 2 weeks, I knew I had to do something.  I called my doctor and left a voicemail on the nurse line.  Let me rephrase... I left a blubbering mess on the voicemail.  This was in the car on the way home from the hospital.  I was met in the driveway by the nurse from the health department.  I then proceeded to cry at her too.  Bless her heart... I don't think she was prepared for me that day!  A couple hours later, I got a call back from the nurse at my doctor's office.  She was amazingly patient and caring.  I told her I didn't know if this was normal for a mom of a preemie or if this was depression or what this was.  I never had this with Van, so I didn't see how this could be due to hormones.  She talked to my doctor and got a prescription for meds sent over to the drug store within the hour.  

Once I started on the medication (Zoloft), I realized how bad it really was.  The only way to explain it is how you feel on the first sunny day after a week of rainy days.  I just remember the days feeling so dark and heavy.  Collin said it was like night and day after I started the meds.  He was so relieved to have his wife back. I am sure Van was happier too.  It did not take away my worries or numb my feelings; it proved to be a tool to help me control my emotions and not let them control me.  

If you or someone you know is showing signs of postpartum depression, get help!  Being a new mom is tough enough.  Don't let it be any harder than it has to be!  I am continuing the medication for the time being.  I hope to taper off after my 3 month check up in June.  One of my previous doctors once told me that sometimes we just need the meds to "reset" our emotions and coping mechanisms.  Once you feel more in control, you can do it without the meds.  Hopefully that is the case for me this time too!  

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