I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety in August of 2019. My daughter was 10 months old at the time.
Admitting that I need help has always been a huge problem for me.
My husband took me to the hospital and I checked myself in. I felt the need to tell everyone who asked questions that my depression didn’t feel like the kind you hear from the news or family and friends. I never wanted to hurt my baby. I was just so extremely protective of her. I didn’t trust anyone to even be in the same room with her, without me. My husband even. I also felt like I could walk out into traffic at any moment just to stop the pain.
Being a first time mom, everything parenting was new. From pregnancy, labor, and giving birth, and all of the traumatizing things that come after, breastfeeding was the most new.
I thought I watched enough videos and read enough books on the subject to get by and make it work. There were things I didn’t know would happen when I started this journey with my sweet newborn. Like how nursing a baby (and pumping) releases hormones that make you sleepy. Or how you can experience flashbacks from past trauma from said hormones. I do not blame my nursing journey for my ppd/ppa. It’s just something that can happen to anyone after they have a baby.
Along with all of these new feelings I was experiencing, I also experience immense shame. So many women wish they could breastfeed and their bodies don’t agree. I should be thankful right? And I felt like I still wasn’t good enough. PPD will do that to you. I eventually got into counseling and onto max dose ssri to get back to some sort of normal.
I have been taking my lexapro everyday for almost 3 years and it’s still working. I hope that one day I am able to wean off of it. Ppd/Ppa is nothing to be ashamed of. Educate yourself before you decide about children because it can truly hit you from seemingly out of nowhere.
Disclaimer: This post isn’t shaming breastfeeding or formula feeding. Fed is best. What ever you choose, take care of yourself and listen to your body.