Home > Family, Health, Parenting > Navigating post partum depression

Navigating post partum depression

Post partum depression blows.

My first week after delivering Littler J was great. I naively thought I was in the clear, but it turns out post partum depression can strike days, weeks or even months after pregnancy. I was in its thrall moments after declaring myself victorious over it.

Well, shoot.

Kangaroo care helps. I'd been doing a little, not realizing an hour per go is essential.

Kangaroo care helps. I’d been doing a little, not realizing an hour per go is essential.

“Help” is remarkably hard to say for being a single word of only four letters. When it’s a struggle just to get through a single day of alternating numbness and frustration–Why am I not elated? I should be elated!–the mere thought of the exhausting conversation that might follow the word “help” is enough to push a gal into shutdown.

Some days are better than others. Yesterday was especially rough. Thanks to small conversations scattered throughout the day courtesy my persistent husband, it was a little less awful.

Then, thanks to a six-hour stretch of sleep by Littler J, I woke up feeling . . . almost like myself. Obnoxious as others might occasionally find me, I like myself.

It feels nice to feel like me.

I’m not so naive as to think I’ve reached the other side. Thanks to this reprieve, I can at least see the other side. Knowing it’s there, I’ll just keep stepping, keeping faith those steps will eventually lead me all the way there.

  1. May 2, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Oh, my friend I am so sorry. I watched my DiL go through this with the first one and despaired for her. So far so good with this one, honestly though we watch her and simply hope.

    You are so fortunate, you have a persistent hubby there to catch on. I will keep you in my thoughts, big huge virtual arms around you in hugs and holding you up so the light can catch you.


    • May 6, 2014 at 10:24 am

      I read this right after you posted it, though I couldn’t respond. I even ended up hiding this post and those preceding it for a few days, but I’ve mulled these lovely, supportive words over since. I have been retreating since Littler J was born, apart from posting here, but then, the comments here reminded me it’s much harder weathering difficulties alone in silence than with support of friends. These words have worked much good in my heart. I love you and am especially thankful for you right now.

      • May 6, 2014 at 10:39 am

        Just know, all of us who love you are here. Whatever you need from us, freely offered.

        I love you also. I would run right to where you are and hug you in the tightest bear hug I knew how to give, or do your dishes and clean your house, or iron your clothes (I hate ironing), or walk with you, or draw you silly pictures, or read to you…or do whatever you needed even just sit silently.

        I love you.

  2. May 2, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Tough times! I’m so sorry. I remember feeling just a bit of that with my first one. An inability for her to latch on made that time much more complicated than my other 2. This too shall pass!!!

    • May 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

      People cautioned that having two would be much more difficult than having one, but I didn’t really understand just how much that was so! In rough moments, I’ve thought, “Wow, now I get to fail two kids at once.” Remembering that I am learning my balance and will find it soon enough helps. Support from friends does, too. Thank you!

      • May 6, 2014 at 10:54 am

        hehe, yeah, going from 1 to 2 is a tough transition (I seem to remember that now). But take heart, after 2, any number is WAY less daunting! lol

        Besides, you’re a great Mom! None of us are perfect, but that’s no reason to take the liberty of beating yourself up, so please none of that. 🙂

        Peace to you, Deborah, C

  3. cardamone5
    May 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Dear Deborah:

    I had undiagnosed post-partum that went on for fifteen months until I stopped sleeping, and ended up in a day program for severe depression (which they refused to call post-partum because it was beyond 12 months since I delivered even though I could tell them about a meeting with a counselor in the hospital after their birth when I denied I was depressed.)

    All I can say is, even though what you’re going through is very rough, be patient. It will pass, esp. if you got on meds and/or counseling to help. Heck, even knowing that there is a reason for your feelings and you are not unhappy as a mother is better than not knowing.

    Wishing you patience and renewed happiness soon.


    • May 6, 2014 at 10:30 am

      I think your comment lodged in my brain. I was cooking and thought that maybe the trick was to have patience not only woth my kids but with myself. That thought was such a relief. Looking at it in that light makes it easier to remember this is one small part of a complex, magnificent experience. Today is not every day. Just today, with good in it and even better ahead. Thank you so much for sharing, and for your kind words.

  4. May 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I had it with my last child, but didn’t know it until years later because no one diagnosed it back then. After going through menopause I could realize that postpartum depression is very much related to hormonal fluctuations as well as being nutritionally depleted. Knowing that it was biological relieved me of a lot of guilt, even though it was very long after the fact.
    Eat healthy, take vitamins, get a lot of sleep, ask for help and don’t be hard on yourself. You just did an amazing thing – created another life – and now you’re doing another amazing thing – nurturing that new life.

  5. May 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Deb, please feel free to email me anytime. I suffered from PPD after my son’s birth (complete with panic attacks) I didn’t even realize at the time I had it. It was so far beyond the typical baby blues. I won’t go into it all here, but just know I’m thinking of you and sending you a big hug.

  6. May 2, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I’ve been there and seeing the other side is big even when it is just a glimpse. Saying ‘help’ out loud is so important and totally daunting when you’re exhausted and would rather hide under the bed but you did it. Yay you!! Be gentle with yourself and keep speaking up.

  7. May 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Love you. I’m happy that you’re feeling even a little bit better. {{{{hugs}}}}

  8. May 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Help is an almost impossible word for me to get out. Especially when I need it most.
    Kudos and praise that you have managed. And hope that the glimmer of light becomes a guiding star.

  9. May 2, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I’m right there with you. Glad you are seeing the other side. One day at a time is my mantra, and so far it has helped. Praying for your progress!!!

  10. May 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Thinking of you, Deb! XOXO-Kasey

  11. May 2, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Keeping you in my thoughts!

  12. May 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I’m sorry you are struggling. Just remember, it will pass. Don’t beat yourself up for something that is not your fault. Feelings are never wrong, they just are. Do as much of what you enjoy as you can. Even if it is just laying on the couch and snuggling with your babies.

  13. May 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Since I adopted and didn’t go through it, I am of no use except to offer you virtual hugs. And wishes for restorative sleep. Everything looks worse when you’re yawning!

  14. May 2, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Oh geez. Good to see your post! Glad you got a six-hour stretch of sleep. Hope you get more blissful sleep and feeling like yourself soon.

  15. May 2, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Keeping you in my thoughts! Cate

  16. May 2, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    My PND didn’t hit until 8 weeks after my daughters birth. Now 9 months I feel I am just seeing the mist clear a little. Medication has definitely helped me. Sending strength your way. Sometimes being strong means asking for help and slowing down x

  17. May 3, 2014 at 5:52 am

    I used to sit in the living room with my son at the other end of the house screaming at the top of his little lungs. I was shaking with fear and anger and frustration. The telephone was my lifeline. My girlfriends were all worried for me and took my calls. They talked me down off the ledge more times than I wish to admit.
    He’s 15 now. We both survived. It wasn’t without a lot of help. Call on your friends to give you a break. Call on your doctor. Don’t suffer in silence.

  18. May 3, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Deb, I’m so sorry to hear this transition is such a struggle. I don’t know if I have any wisdom to share, except to hang in there, and try to keep up your strength, and health, and take a little “you” time, it sounds like your husband is so supportive and would agree: with 2 little needy ones, they take a ton of energy, and you need that “you” time, in order to gather the energy to give back to others…Sending hugs and thoughts your way… xxx

  19. May 3, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Good for you for sharing your experience (not easy, I know) and for being able to see that you WILL get through this. Hang in there, mama, and take care of you!

  1. May 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm
  2. February 21, 2015 at 9:35 am
  3. March 31, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Please weigh in--kindly!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: