Today’s Warrior Mom is Jennifer Seagraves, who blogs at Everyday Miracles. She wants you to know that postpartum depression and antenatal depression can still occur even after you’ve had great previous experiences with pregnancy and the postpartum period.
After having a wonderful first pregnancy with my son, I thought all pregnancies following would be the same.
When he was nine months old, I got pregnant again. Right from the beginning I could tell that something wasn’t right. I was feeling constant anxiety about the baby. I just knew something was wrong with her and it tore me apart. I also never felt the extreme connection that I had while I was pregnant with my son. I remember calling my husband on the phone at work and just crying because I didn’t feel a bond with the baby I was carrying and I didn’t know why. He assured me I was just overwhelmed and scared of becoming a mother to two kids under two.
I was put on bed rest at 31 weeks due to early dilatation and contractions. Looking back I firmly believe that my antenatal depression and anxiety were the reason.
My daughter was born at 38 weeks and I instantly fell in love with her and bonded with her. I was so glad those dark days of antenatal depression were gone and I felt like a “normal” person again. Yet when I was about three weeks postpartum the looming cloud of darkness returned. I could barely force myself to get out of bed in the morning, let alone clean or cook. Our house became a complete disaster. My husband would come home and get upset with me because he didn’t know what I did all day.
He didn’t know what I was going through because I was ashamed. We were constantly fighting and the smallest thing would set me off. I would go into a complete rage and I couldn’t control it. The worst part is I became completely numb to every emotion and every situation. I literally thought I had lost my mind. I started waking up at night convinced my daughter was dead in her room. If my husband would get up to check her, I would hold my breath because I knew he was going to come running in and tell me she wasn’t breathing. I started picturing myself dropping her, every time I picked her up.
Around six months postpartum, I started researching postpartum depression online. I found helpful information, but not a lot that I could really relate to 100%. I confronted my husband and told him I thought I may have depression. He begged me to see a doctor, but I told him I was feeling better and would be okay because I didn’t want to be judged or labeled as one of “those people.”
After suffering for a year, I finally reached my breaking point. I started searching the web again for anything I could find about postpartum depression, the signs and symptoms, and the treatments. My search led me to Postpartum Progress. As I read through the list of symptoms on the site I was in shock. I didn’t realize how many of the signs I was showing that I never knew were related. I spent the rest of the night on the site reading every post, every story, and every comment. The next day I called my doctor and made an appointment to be seen the following day. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety and was started on an antidepressant.
I am coming up on three months of starting treatment and I already feel so much better. I can get up in the morning and do my housework and cook. I can feel emotion again. The rage is completely gone. I no longer wake up convinced my daughter is dead. I actually enjoy my life again. I would not be where am today if it wasn’t for Postpartum Progress. The site didn’t make me feel like I was crazy, or strange. It made me realize I didn’t choose to have postpartum depression. And on the hard days it reminded me I was going to be okay and I wasn’t alone. If it wasn’t for the information and the strength I found from this site, I would have never made that phone call to my doctor. Because of this site and all the passion and support behind it I would still be suffering.
My son will be three in three months and my daughter is 14 months old. I am so thankful that I got help before they were old enough to remember how bad it was for me. I am eternally grateful for this site and pray that it will help others as much as it has helped me.
~ Jennifer Seagraves
Editor’s Note: Today’s and yesterday’s guest posts on Postpartum Progress were submitted by Postpartum Progress Facebook Fans. If you haven’t liked our page on Facebook yet, then you’re missing out on great discussion and an opportunity to see when we’re looking for guest posts. Join us!
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