In January 2008 my second child was born. After the birth I felt fantastic. I was even into my pre-pregnancy clothes by my 6 week follow up appointment. The day before the 6 week appointment, tragedy struck and a girlfriend who I met in prenatal classes with for our first children (who are exactly one week apart) died during a routine C-section.
This experience sent me into a deep depression and it took some friends I saw daily to suggest there might be something up. They were nervous to mention this to me but I was so grateful that they brought it to my attention. It sounds strange that I didn’t know but I was so busy with a toddler and an infant newborn at home plus mourning my friend that I really didn’t have time to think about how I was feeling. I figured it was just being tired and life with kids.
Around the end of March 2008 I called my doctor’s office to book an appointment. I had arranged childcare so I could go during nap time (I also run a home daycare) and the receptionist told me there were no appointments that day. This broke me. I didn’t think I could last another day without talking to a professional. Thankfully I was eventually able to get in and speak to my doctor that day – I think they could tell there was something pressing going on so they moved things around. Again, I’m grateful for their compassion because I was really starting to fall apart.
I can’t even explain what falling apart meant but I remember feeling numb all over and something blinking in my mind that I needed help and soon.
When I saw the doctor she put me on medication and advised I go to a psychologist to discuss things. I followed her orders and I felt so good just talking. Unfortunately the medication made me gain weight and my depression never did alleviate so I finally went in and said that I would rather be thin and miserable than fat and miserable. It was just compounding the problem for me.
Fast forward 7 years later to present day (May 2015) and I’ve done a few weight loss programs over the years when I have bouts of motivation and I have slowly lost the 30+ pounds that I gained. I would like to lose 10-15 lbs more but I am mostly happy with my current weight. I feel *normal* again.
If you have or are going through post partem depression, or if you are not sure if you have it, don’t be shy and consult your medical professional. I think it was worse not knowing and feeling so alone.
I also read Brooke Sheild’s journey of depression in her book “Down Came The Rain” for which I wrote a review (read the review here). It was very detailed and helpful in recognizing similarities in my baby journey.