Brave Mama: Morgan's Guest Post - Being Free from PPD


Post. Partum. Depression.

Three words I never thought would come out of my mouth. Three scary words. I never thought I had to worry about postpartum depression. I thought the least that could happen were the all so common “baby blues” so many women get with all of our raging hormones after having a baby. Let’s face it, they are raging. But sometimes those “baby blues” don’t go away after a few days. You don’t feel right, like yourself. Post-partum depression affects women in all different kinds of ways. It is not the same for every woman.

I went back to work 4 weeks after having my baby boy (my second child & c-section). Way too soon if you ask me. I did it because I had to, for my family. That’s when I really noticed I wasn’t right. I wasn’t happy, I didn’t want to get up in the morning, I felt like I had no purpose. But most of all, my anxiety was constantly overbearing all of my thoughts. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Death is all I thought about. I was scared my son would stop breathing in his sleep. Scared I might drop him and he may never take another breath. When my husband offered to take the kids off of my hands for an hour or so, I was too scared to let him go out of the house and in the car without me. Because I thought I am being selfish wanting time to myself, that something might happen to them, I would be punished for wanting time to myself, a car crash that would end their lives therefore ending mine too. So I never let him take them without me going with them. He never understood, but I never told him why. I never confessed that I was too scared that something might happen. I never let family take them for just a few hours so that Stephen (my husband) and I could have some alone time. I was scared no one would take care of them the way I do. That someone might crash into them and kill them instantly. I never wanted my children out of my sight. EVER.



I never told anyone. For months I never told anyone what was going on. The biggest mistake I made. I was too ashamed and embarrassed people would see me as weak, as a sissy. I was worried of the judgment I would receive. Of the thoughts and looks I might get or how people would treat me differently. It would be what was expected from a mother of one child already. “She knows what to expect, she can’t be going through post-partum depression.” And so many other things that went through my head.

I did, however, finally confess to my doctor. She acted completely normal. Which shocked me because who gets post-partum depression? Only "sissys" do. SO NOT TRUE. She told me how normal it was AND in my circumstances it didn’t surprise her (we had a lot going on at that time). She prescribed me to get out and exercise and sunshine. I tried for about a month with her prescription and no change. Fearfully and dreadfully, I went back. I told her I tried my best and no changes. She then prescribed me medication. I tried that and it didn’t work. So I went back, bound and determined I would get over this, one way or another. I was suffering deep down. I wanted to enjoy my life. I wanted to enjoy the sweet moments of my newborn and my beautiful daughter, who was ecstatic about her baby brother. Finally, a prescription that worked. It took about a month for me to see any change, but it worked. 

I still hadn’t told my husband what was going on. He’s a big tough guy who thinks a pat on the back will make everything better. And for some that method does work, but not for me. He found my prescription I had been hiding because I was SO embarrassed and ashamed and thought he would think so little of me. He was mad. Not mad that I had to take something to make me better, but mad because I couldn’t confide in him. Which I should have done. I should have told the one person I share everything with. He did ask, “This is not something you can just suck up?” At those last two words, I burst into tears. The one question I had been dreading all of this time. It’s something he couldn’t understand. And now I truly believe it’s something no one will ever understand until they have gone through it. I tried explaining to him how I felt every single day, how I was terrified of him running up to the grocery store (less than 5 miles away) with both children, out of fear something might happen to them. I still don’t think he understands, not fully.
The medication worked. I was back to myself. I was the old Morgan again. I remember the feeling of a weight being lifted off of me. The liberating feeling of “being free” again of all of the crazy thoughts and worries. So I stopped taking my medicine. I acted as a doctor. I started feeling the same way again. I don’t know what to do now, now that I’m pregnant with our third. I don’t want to take any medication regardless of the studies being done that say it’s ok to take it. I’m worried I’ll do harm to our unborn daughter all because I can’t be happy. This, I haven’t told my husband either. I don’t want him to worry about me when we have so many other things to worry about. I am making the best of things and when those old thoughts come to my mind, I do my best to push them out any way I can.
I am writing this to warn all women expecting, it can happen. You may think “it can’t happen to me!”. But boy oh boy can it happen and it happens in an instant. So watch for the signs (every woman’s may be different), TALK to your loved ones, TALK to your doctor, get out in the sunshine, go for a walk, take a deep breath and know that you’re not alone and this to shall pass. Having children is not all hunky dorie, rainbows and pots of gold. It takes a lot of hard work with or without PPD. You can get through it. Don’t give up and keep trying for that sweet baby of yours. They are so incredibly worth it.


I'm no doctor and am in now way telling you how to cure PPD. I wanted to share my experience. I thought I was the only one in the world going through it. I hope being able to read one's confession can put you at ease (somewhat).  
Morgan's Blog: Life as Mommy Harris
Morgan shares her beautiful life with her husband, Stephen, and two kiddos, Georgia Lynn & Brantley in the Midsouth.  {AND, they've got a sweet baby girl on the way, Miss Campbell Easton!}  Morgan is my first courageous, beautiful mama to share her Post-Partum Depression story in my Brave Mama mini-series.  I am so thankful to have known Morgan for many years growing up but am just now getting to know a totally new, mommy side of her and I just love it!  Thanks so much for sharing, Morgan, you are welcome here ANY time.  You guys go check out her new blog!



Brave Mama

Comments

  1. Thank you for being so brave, Morgan, and to share your story with us! I can so relate to the feeling of anxiety, and worrying about death. I had the most terrible anxiety (PPA), and it was really hard to deal with. I definitely felt alone because I was not the type to confess that I was struggling. I wanted to appear as if I was handling everything just fine. It did bite me in the butt.

    I do worry that if I get pregnant again, then I would have this once again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ashley, my only hope is that after Campbell (my third) I won't go through it again. BUT if it happens, I'll be more prepared and hopefully not as scared. I was like you, I tried hiding it for so long, putting a front up around everyone, a HUGE smile and pretending that everything was ok.

      I am so glad Ali is trying to raise awareness for this awful thing that happens to so many women.

      Delete
  2. Hey, I have a quick question I wanted to ask you about your blog, do you think you could send me an email when you get this? Thanks! Tiffany
    tpham(at)dropcam(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

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