Welcome. Are you pregnant? Or are you figuring out your way through new parenthood? This is the blog for you! As a mother to a 3 year old boy and 1 year old boy/girl twins, I've been there, done that. From breastfeeding to potty training. From natural labor to c-section. And from swaddling to car seats. I have advice and I'm not afraid to share it! If you have a question, just ask me!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Postpartum Depression - My Story

I didn't have the typical PPD.  It started when my twins were 10 months old and lasted for about 6 weeks.  I will have to say it's the worst I've ever felt emotionally in my life.  During this time I just didn't care.  I had no desire to get out of bed in the morning.  I suffered insomnia.  I was exhausted, yet would still be up at 3 in the morning.  A few nights I never fell asleep.  It was torture.  I wasn't necessarily depressed (I think society uses that term too loosely), but I was in complete and utter DESPAIR.

I cried much of the day.  My husband didn't know what to do with me.  I didn't know what to do with me.  I was a walking zombie, just doing what I had to do for my kids, and not much more.

When I was finally at the point of seeking medical help, things started getting better, thanks to my husband (more on this later.)

I was actually dumb-founded as to "why now?" I had been going 9 months strong, feeling pretty good at how I was handling a 3 year old and the twins.  For a while my husband was the only person who I confided in, but after a few weeks, I started posting to my mommy board about my troubles.  Turned out a few other friends on the site were also having some PPD/PP Blues issues.  Proof to the point that "you're not alone."  One friend I think hit the nail on the head in response to the "why now?" question.  Here is what I posted one day,
I thought things were better for me.  They were good Sunday and partly Monday.  But not so much the last 2 days.  I've been crying on/off all day.  I cannot sleep, yet I'm a walking zombie.  I just want a night's rest, but I can't sleep because I'm so upset!  I told my husband this morning that I resent the babies.  Then he had this awful look on his face, and I had to reassure him I loved them, and would never do anything to them...I just resent them.  Nice way to feel about your children.  I feel like they've taken away all the fun I used to have w/ DS1.  It's funny how I could be great for 9 months.  I was handling 3 beautifully...
My friends response was this
You know, I think sometimes moms are really good at "just getting through it"-gritting our teeth until "the worst" is over-the fragmented sleep, the disruption of a comfortable routine. I think when you realize that things aren't going to get THAT much easier for longer than you thought is when you start to break down a little. I can see where you could go nine months and just be finally worn out by everything and have nothing left in the tank. You are breastfeeding twins, not to mention that you have an active  three-year-old who doesn't go to preschool, so he is with you all the time too.
My friend really nailed it.  When our twins came, my husband and I must have said, "Things will get better." a hundred times a day.  And I think I did start to realize that day ain't comin' anytime soon.  I started missing my freedom, my time with my son, my time for me.  And then suddenly everything came crashing down around me. 

So, how did I get out of it.  The first way was talking about my feelings openly with people I was comfortable.  My semi-private online mom's group was perfect for me to share openly what was going on with me.  And since several other moms were going thru similar feelings, that alone made me feel a little better.  The second way was with the help of my husband.  A lot to do with my PPD was sleep deprivation.  The south had been having a lot of serious tornado warnings in the late evenings/early mornings, and when that happens I can't sleep.  Well, string a few nights of warnings, with caring for 3 small children, and you have disaster!  My insomnia snowballed.  Once I fell asleep, I was good, but darn, I'd fall asleep at 3 or 4am, if I fell asleep at all, and just have to wake up at 6:30 to take care of the kids.  I told my husband, "if I could only sleep in."  He begged me to pump.  (Feeding 2 babies is hard enough, let alone creating extra milk!)  I had gotten enough milk to cover 2 feedings for the 2 babies for that Sunday.  I got my ear plugs and sleep mask ready, and I sleep 8+ solid hours.  I felt great.  And thankfully that snowball started melting.  Things continued to get better and better.

Please share your thoughts!
It's late and I haven't proof-read this.  I'm gonna post anyways.  :)