My Journey to Postpartum Depression Recovery
I gave birth to my son on February 27th, 2018, and it was the best day of my life. At the hospital, they provided me with resources on diapers, breastfeeding, and how to suck boogers out of my baby's nose, and then two days later sent me out into this big crazy world with an infant and my thoughts of what a "good" Mom was supposed to look like.
When we finally arrived home,the darkness started to set in. I had chosen to breastfeed my son, and I tried very hard to make that happen. I was waking up at all times of the night, trying to rearrange him, and not rip my stitches at the same time, but every time was the same outcome. I would end up crying, rocking, and my husband would have to get out of bed and help me. I also became very detached from the world, I would isolate myself from my family, coworkers, and friends and would never feel like eating.
I'm sure this scenario sounds super familiar to a lot of Mom's out there, but what I feel makes me unique is that I am a Certified Health and Wellness Coach. I research and help women just like myself work through strategies to combat stress, overwhelm, and defeat negative feelings,and here I was drowning while pitching away my services to the world.
I was convinced that I could beat PPD alone until my own personal "D Day" occurred. I had woken up just like any other normal day. I put on my clothes, kissed my son goodbye, and headed to the studio to work, but this day I felt different, something was off. As I arrived to work, I abruptly stopped my car and began sobbing uncontrollably and hyperventilating. Out of all the madness I managed to call my Mom and told her I wouldn't be coming home, and I needed time to think. Luckily, she knew that this was not normal behavior for me and called my husband to come and pick me up. As I sat in the car with my husband a sobering moment came into my head... I needed serious professional help.
The next day I scheduled a visit with my OB and he prescribed me Zoloft. My OB recommended me to a psychiatrist. This particular psychiatrist was booked for two months in advance, so I was offered the option of seeing a certified counselor.
After weeks up increasing my medication and then decreasing my medication, and not even being sure I was on the correct medication, it was finally my turn to meet with the Psychiatrist. As, I waited in the lobby I was super anxious and annoyed that I had to tell a new person my story. 30 minutes past my appointment time had gone by and still no word from her. Finally, I got up the courage to tell the receptionist that I had to leave to get back to my baby, and the doctor then finally agreed to see me. She asked me vague questions about myself, and then proceeded to tell me I was Bipolar all within 15 minutes. The doctor then prescribed me with 3 new medications, and a sleep tranquilizer that would "put an elephant to sleep". I had so many questions, a billion concerns, but all I could get out was one tear. All these meds, a new disorder?! My mind was racing.
After I left her office I sat down and spoke to my husband. We decided that I have the option to get a second opinion. I also decided that have the option to understand myself, and I have the option get the respect and time that I deserve when it comes to my mental health.
I canceled my follow up appointment with this doctor. I didn't cancel because of the medication, because I am a firm believer that sometimes we need a mix of science and self care to get the job done. I canceled because I knew in my heart that I deserved better.
I hope my story helps other Mom's suffering with PPD to know that they have the option and right to find a health professional that fits their needs, that they can question diagnoses, and most of all put their mental health on a pedestal.