Post Partum Depression: Finally Healing

I (like many others) had a terrible first birth experience with my precious little son. It was scary, traumatic, and painful. I began suffering with PPD when my son was about 3 months old. It was awful. I would sit on the couch and cry and I didn’t feel like getting up or doing anything. I couldn’t even do laundry or dishes or just the usual household things that I was so used to doing. I even felt almost suicidal at times and there were lots of times that I wanted to run away. I believe that the PPD was mostly brought on due to the extreme disappointment (and anger) at having to have an UNNECESSARY c-section. I felt like a failure and a loser. I have been angry. Very angry. I was angry at the doctors, the hospital, and myself.  My baby and I were doing fine. There were no complications and no one was in “distress.” There was no dropped heart rate or loss of heartbeat or anything of that nature. The reason was that I was “simply taking too long to progress” and the doctor’s didn’t have time to wait around for me. The FIRST mistake was that I ALLOWED them to induce me at 4 days overdue. I should have let my SON decided when he was ready to be born instead of forcing him to come out when he wasn’t ready (my mom refers to him as a “green banana” that wasn’t ripe yet).

I was recently reading a book about the Bradley Birth Method and I couldn’t believe what I was reading when it said that babies that are born with medication or by c-section don’t deserve to celebrate birthdays. It said they should only celebrate “delivery days.” I was FURIOUS! That is awful, sinful, and disgusting to say that! Needless to say, I am no longer reading that book.

Anyways, once I began to realize that the sadness and depression really was PPD I called my doctor and they gave me a prescription for Zoloft. I was breastfeeding my son (and continued to do so until he was 10 months old) and Zoloft is safe while breastfeeding. Getting started on an antidepressant is no fun at all. The 7th day was the WORST! I was so tired that I couldn’t keep my eyes open to even do anything productive so my mom had to come over and watch my son while I stayed in bed all day. Eventually I got up to and used to the 50 mg a day. And over time, the medication DID help. I didn’t feel weird, tired, or drugged. I just felt like my usual self again and was able to take care of the house like before.

When my son was 8 months old we found out we were pregnant again (we found out on Feb. 8, 2010)! That wasn’t planned but at the same time it wasn’t a surprise since my husband and I weren’t using birth control for the past few weeks (due to the fact that the Micronor/”mini pill” I WAS on had HORRIBLE side effects for me).

I began doing a little research on taking Zoloft while PREGNANT and while it is considered “safe” I still found out that the baby can have withdrawal symptoms after they are born. When I found that out I immediately set a goal. I wanted to be completely OFF of Zoloft by the time I hit the 3rd trimester.

Well, I am 28 weeks along today. And TODAY marks 2 weeks since I have been COMPLETELY off of Zoloft! I am so proud of myself and I can tell that I am finally starting to heal. I had been suffering with PPD and taking the medication for almost a year (started taking it last Sept.). Getting off of the Zoloft was just as hard as getting on it! The 7th day off the meds was just as bad as the 7th day starting them! However, instead of being tired I was EXTREMELY depressed and cried on and off the ENTIRE day. But, now that’s over and with the help of my God and my sweet, supportive husband, I am finally off antidepressants! It feels good. Now, the ONLY medication I’m on is just a daily Protonix for heartburn. I also take my Prenatal Vitamin, Ginger Root, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C every day as well.

For anyone reading this who is suffering with PPD don’t let other’s tell you that it doesn’t exist or that it’s just in your mind. It is very real. The hormonal changes before, during, and after pregnancy are the biggest roller coaster you will ever go on and it’s OK to ask for help. Don’t be embarrassed or scared. I am grateful that I have a very kind and supportive husband who has helped me through all of this and who told me it was ok to get the meds. I am also glad that after almost a year I am finally off of the Zoloft and almost completely healed from the PPD. Obviously since I’m pregnant I still have hormonal imbalances and emotional mood swings. But for now, it’s bearable. 🙂

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