My Struggle with Postpartum Depression

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My Struggle with Postpartum Depression

May 29, 2017

I recently did a post on Facebook opening up about my struggles with Postpartum Depression that was very well viewed which is why I thought I would expand it into a blog. I think it is important we keep opening up about PPD and sharing our stories to let all women know that they are not alone. At the time I felt like I could be the only person who felt like this which made me isolate myself more. May is PPD awareness month so I feel like it is a perfect time to share!

My story starts like most, with the birth of my first child, Colt. My labour was very long and very hard and I have honestly never felt closer to death than I did giving birth. After 56 long and strenuous hours in labour Colt tried to make his appearance but had what is known as a nuchal hand and had shoulder dystocia. That brought in the NICU team which was a saviour because once he was born we saw that he actually had a collapsed chest. I remember laying on the table while the team worked hard to help him breath. All I could see of his little body was a completely deflated chest and the worry began. My fiance rushed with the team out of the room and to the Intensive Care Unit where they were able to re-inflate his chest.

I had not imagined this was how my labour would go! I had imagined having the baby and getting to have that instant skin to skin but instead I wasn’t able to hold him for a long 12 hours after he arrived. Thankfully he recuperated very well and was just kept to be monitored in NICU for 4 days. Those were a tough first 4 days as a new mom! I was already exhausted from the labour where I was up for more than 2 days and then we needed to feed Colt every 3 hours. I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby, so the job was all mine. We struggled with breastfeeding right away as he was a bit stubborn and wanted to be full instantly. He started losing weight so we made the decision to introduce a bottle, which in the end was detrimental to my breastfeeding journey. After we got home we continued to struggle with breastfeeding and eventually stopped for everyone’s sanity.

I have dealt with depression since my teen years so I was on a antidepressant throughout pregnancy. I thought that PPD would happen instantly, but for me it took a few weeks. I started to not care. I didn’t care how I looked, what I did, and most importantly I didn’t want to take care of my baby. I began to feel like other people did the job much better than me. I didn’t really notice that I was starting to feel depressed, I just lost interest. It wasn’t until one day my fiance was suppose to be leaving for work for a few weeks and he came in and said, “I called my boss and I’m not going back today. You need me here right now” that I actually noticed that maybe I was struggling with PPD.

After realizing that I had PPD I started to look for ways to get help. I was completely traumatized by Colt’s birth that I had to deal with it. I started meeting with a PPD group through Alberta Mental Health. I also started attending my first Mommy Connections group. Both groups were amazing to help me hear of other moms going through the same stage of life as me and realize that I wasn’t alone with all these big emotions I had going on. Mommy Connections worked hard to connect the moms together and I found it much easier to actually develop some friendships. I also started seeing a wonderful physiatrist in Red Deer, and she helped me figure out a medication plan. Thankfully my journey through PPD was short lived.

When I became pregnant with my second child I was very concerned that my postpartum would return. I made sure I continued with my medical advice from my doctors but I also looked into other options. I took precautions to help my labour be easier by hiring a doula, getting chiropractic care, studying hypnobabies, and getting my placenta encapsulated. Thankfully my labour was much better with my second with only 4 hours of active labour and everyone was healthy and happy afterwards. Against all odds I didn’t get PPD with my second which was absolutely amazing!

I highly suggest that if you are struggling with PPD to find a support network. I found a group of women that were going through the same stages with their own babies to be the most helpful. When I was first looking into becoming the director of Mommy Connections Red Deer my main goal was to offer a safe place for moms to come and talk about PPD.

I hope my story gives some hope in their own struggle with PPD. Thanks for reading!

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