Today's post is from a lovely twitter newbie, Jenny. She is a PPD warrior mom, and she doesn't have her own blog yet, but she totally should. Give her some love today for me, okay?
I’m Jen. I met a wonderful guy eleven years ago. We got married eight years ago. Four years ago, we had our first little girl who we nicknamed Munch, short for Munchkin. We adored this little girl. It was a bit of a rough adjustment. We were nervous first-time parents. We read lots of books and asked our families for advice. We had so much fun with Munch, and she was the apple of our eye. Once Munch turned two, we decided that it was time to add to our family.
Then along came our second little girl, Skeeter. I really wanted a sibling for Munch, but I was so nervous about how Munch would adjust to the new arrival. I am a typical first born, Type A, perfectionist personality. I am also a planner, so I tried extremely hard to have everything prepared before Skeeter arrived.
Skeeter was born on October 10, 2010. Munch was a very easy baby, and Skeeter had a very different personality. It took a while for to adjust to being a family of four, but everything seemed to be going okay. I thought I was just overwhelmed with the jump from one child to two.
On Mother’s Day, I treated myself to a free yoga class taught by a dear friend of mine. As I laid in Savanasa, I was finally able to relax for the first time in months. I realized that I had been anxious and sad since Skeeter had been born. I realized that something was not right. I wasn’t myself. I realized that I had been using the mom’s room at work as a place to break down in. I couldn’t make it through a morning getting myself and the girls out the door to daycare and to work without crying or screaming. I was filled with racing thoughts, rage, sadness and anxiety.
The next day I placed two phone calls to therapists. When I didn’t hear back from anyone, I felt despondent. On my way home from work, I called my cousin, a social worker. I confessed to her that I thought I was suffering from postpartum anxiety. I started crying immediately after that statement. I was terrified that someone would take my girls away. I knew that I needed help as soon as possible. I wasn’t suicidal, but I felt like I was on the edge of a breakdown. My cousin walked me through what to say to the therapist. Two days later, Skeeter and I were in my therapist’s office. She had had a last minute cancellation and was able to fit me in.
Two weeks later, she gave me a diagnosis: postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression. I was put on medication right around the time that I received my diagnosis. I felt relieved and sad at the same time. I knew what I was battling, but I had a long ways to go towards recovery. I began to battle back, devouring books and blogs about PPD. I found a new primary care physician who is certified in both internal medicine and psychiatry who now manages my medication. I am finally at my therapeutic dose. I am in recovery, but I have not completely recovered. I am taking it one day at a time, putting one foot in front of the other. I have more good days than bad, but I still feel the haze of depression slip its veil around my psyche from time to time. I still feel the buzz of anxiety course through my body.
To other moms who are struggling, I want you to know this. You are not alone. There is a whole community of PPD warrior moms that you can find through blogs, websites, Twitter and Facebook. These women get what you are going through because they have been there. So use the Internet to your advantage. Reach out and make some online connections. You are NOT alone. You will get better. It gets better.