Life is a funny thing, events can bring you to the happiness of places, then to the deepest depths of sadness. Overall though if you take time, you can enjoy the dips and turns of this roller coaster we call life and even learn some lessons from those drops that scare you beyond belief. This is how I always liked live my life, until I hit a ride I could not recover from, a ride I am still trying to get off gracefully.
Last week I was "officially" diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. I say officially because I have known this has been coming for months but had been trying my best to power through it on my own. I did not do a very god job at that. Like I said before life is a funny thing, having Patrick I can say with no doubt has been the most amazing experience of my life. To have something like this make you feel so sad and lost is beyond words and confusing.
Let me rewind a little a bit. My pregnancy with Patrick was amazing, overall I felt great and enjoyed being pregnant (besides missing the occasional glass of wine!) By the time I hit my due date I was ready, nursery was ready, and baby was not...We sat in waiting for two weeks, until finally little man was measuring up not so little and I was scheduled for a cesarian. My surgery and recover went great, we enjoyed our time as a little family in the hospital, and Patrick was a rockstar breastfeeder. I was in heaven, I was a Mom, it was all I had ever dreamed of!
Then we got home, and the real world set in. My husband went back to work and I was alone. This really forced me to see how difficult motherless mothering was going to be. I missed my Mom so much it hurt to my core. I started to resent others who were so lucky to have their Moms to help them, it made me feel more isolated and lonely. My closest family was forty five minutes away, and as loving as others can be I missed the security of the familiar and felt that emotion deeply. On top of this what I thought was rock star breast feeding turned out to be not so much. Patrick started to drop weight dramatically and quickly. By the two week mark we were almost two pounds down instead of him being back at his birth weight. At this point I started to lose it a bit, I felt helpless and angry, why wasn't I enough? What was I doing wrong? We started seeing breast feeding counselors, I pumped like crazy hoping to sustain and fill my growing boy's belly to no avail. Finally my peditrician snapped me out of it, enough he said, Katie I give you permission to give him a bottle. So that's how we ended up with a happy, healthy and growing formula fed baby and a guilt redden, lonely and sad Mom.
So for months I sat on these emotions, I mean I supposed to be happy. I have a beautiful boy, who I am lucky to stay home with. And yes I heard this from a lot of people. I also grew up in a family full of infertility troubles, so that reaffirmed even more, why should I be sad? How lucky I am to have been able to get pregnant so quickly, to have an easy and safe pregnancy. But still these emotions of sadness stayed with me and they got worse. My always happy personality turned into one full of anxiety. I isolated myself from my friends and family, even from my husband. My moods were crazy, I felt helpless and out of control.
Finally my husband said it was time for me to seek some help, that he loved me but he saw a change in me and us and that it scared him. I can't thank him enough for this gift. It forced me to wake up out of my fog. I was scheduled an appointment with a clinical social worker through my OBGYN. I walked into the appointment with trepidation and fear. I left feeling a weight lifted off me. Yes, I had PPD. Yes, I needed medication. And most importantly, I am going to be ok. All these emotions and feelings have an explanation. I am just starting on my journey to getting better, but I thought my story was worth sharing. For all those out there pregnant, or lonely at home with a newborn, or still sad with a six month old, it is never too late to seek out the help you need.
So on this St. Patricks Day I feel lucky to be a mom on the road to recover!