Posted in Mental Health, Postpartum Recovery, Self Care

Postpartum.

Anonymous

Have any of you mamas experienced PPD? Or any form of it? I was recently diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and depression and my doctors are planning on doing more tests for postpartum OCD as well. I’m not sure what to do or how to feel. I know it doesn’t make me a bad mother but i can’t help but feel lost and ashamed. Every little thing gets to me, a small mess on the counter, shoes not in the right place, fussy baby that I can’t seem to calm down. I’m just not sure how to handle it. I’ve been seeing a therapist and I’m on medication but all i want is to feel like my old self again. My husband and I really want another baby, but want to wait until I feel as close to my old self as possible, but even then if I get pregnant I know I’ll have to go through all of this again so I’m just not sure what to do. My first pregnancy was very stressful and traumatic to say the least, but I feel like this next one won’t be as bad.

  • Suzy
    May 18

    You are not alone! I have a 20 month old daughter and month old son. I often feel frustrated over the little messes and disarray of our house. I make myself reflect on my new life and that it and I are no longer who/what we used to be. (Not easy, severely OCD.) We have kids now, my house will never be as tidy as I used to keep it. I have a little best friend who lives in my shadow, I go to the restroom with her sitting on my feet. Goodbye personal space and alone time. Again reflect on what a short span of time ( in the grand scheme) they will be little and need us this much. Stressful and chaotic because it’s all new territory, but so worth it in my opinion. Have another baby and roll with the punches! Life is short and precious and they are the most precious little things!

  • Anonymous
    May 18

    It is great that you were able to recognize PPD within yourself and seek help. That is the first step in getting better. In my opinion though, I don’t think you will ever truly get back to your old self because that is before you had children. Everything is different now. The most important thing in my eyes is how you react to these certain stimuli that can agitate you and provoke your anxiety and ocd tendencies. It’s about finding balance and solutions and a way to calm yourself when you find that you’re being pushed to the edge. While medication can certainly help, try to also seek out ways to do calm yourself through deep breathing, or relaxation methods too. Continue to see a therapist as they can be great outlets for you when you need to talk or vent. I am not a doctor so this is just my personal insight.

  • Kate
    May 18

    Yes, yes. I’m now about 3.5 months postpartum with my second and having been dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety (had it with my first, too). I can definitely relate to you. I’ve felt stressed over small things, have frequently lost my shit, baby’s crying would be unbearable, woke up with shame most mornings, and just did NOT feel like myself. I practically wanted to walk around with a sign that said “I have postpartum depression and anxiety” on me just so I could give some explanation to everyone why I’m acting so off. These are a few things that have helped me. I hope by sharing this, something may help you. - Timing my medication appropriately. I didn’t realize that my medicine should be taken ~12 hours apart twice a day (just said twice a day), so I was accidentally giving myself higher doses at times. This increased my anxiety greatly. I noticed a big difference once I started being diligent about the timing. Point is: Not sure if this is your first time on medication, but it can often take some trial and error before getting the right drug and dose. - Stopping breastfeeding. Yep, I had my last pump on Mother’s Day. I made it 8.5 months with my first, so I definitely had to wrap my head around the idea of stopping this “soon”. But the heaviness is finally starting to ease away. I’m particularly sensitive to any changes in my chemistry (medication, hormonal, etc), and the hormones from breastfeeding were affecting me pretty severely. I knew when both my OB-Gyn and pediatrician suggested stopping that it was probably time to shut down the milk-makers. I’m grateful to say that, although it’s still a little early, I’m FINALLY feeling like my old self again, and I remember having this feeling when I stopped with my first. The feeling of being on edge all the time is gone most days, I’m enjoying time (and sex) with my husband way more, and I feel that I’m more nurturing when my baby cries - I can handle it better now. - Self care. Now, this is where I fell apart. My husband and I drafted a rough postpartum plan for our second, because like you, we wanted another child but were hoping to do better with the mental health aspect the second time around. Then, a lot of life happened and we pretty much failed to do any of the things we’d outlined, so there I was, stuck back at square one. My advice on this would be to do whatever you can to learn from this experience, line up your resources, and make some sort of plan for your self care for #2. Medication and therapy are a great start, so I commend you for that. They are not, as I’ve learned, a silver bullet. With my first, I remember thinking, “ok, I’m on medication now, shouldn’t I be feeling better than this?” It got me part of the way, but I agree with the above poster that a more overall approach is better. Maybe meditation will help you stay more calm and centered. Or maybe a morning workout will help reduce the anxious energy. I, by no means, have this all figured out, but it is the journey I’m now on. Whatever you do, just keep going and take it one day at a time. It really does get better.

  • Diana
    May 24

    Hi! Yes I am on the same boat with you! Everything literally bothered me. I got on medication and instead of one on one therapy I did group therapy with other moms. It worked better for myself. Honestly for me I just go out. I plan little trips everyday so that I can honestly distract myself. If I stayed home I cried and just felt really angry and my baby bothered me but now that I am doing the little outings everyday it helped. I am ten months postpartum and was diagnosed at 7 months in.

  • Sara
    May 28

    I’m with you in the PPD boat. I was diagnosed around six months, and am now at eight months and things are starting to look up a bit. It’s totally brutal, right? I’m sending you so much love. Try to be patient and hang tight with your treatment - as I’m sure you know, it takes a really frustratingly long time for medication to start working enough for you to feel a difference. What really helped me was being told that this isn’t permanent. It’s transition. It will be better one day, and you will be yourself again (a new version of yourself, but you). So much of getting through it is just waiting. Hang tight and trust it will get better. It is a storm that you will weather, not the new norm. Getting out of the house was also hugely helpful. It took a ton of energy that I didn’t have a lot of days, but I’m glad I made myself get out at least once per day. I know you’ve been told that one, but it really is true. Another specific strategy - my therapist gave me little dot stickers to post around the house - changing table, bathroom mirror, kitchen island (places you pass frequently). When you see a dot throughout the day, you take a second to take a deep breath and tell yourself a reassuring mantra. Some of mine were “this is temporary”, “you are strong”, “you are a good mom”, and “all is well”. It could be anything that you need to hear. It sounds silly but it was actually really helpful for disrupting those mental cycles that can build as the day goes on. You are strong and you can get through this, mama!