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Postpartum Support Circle

post #1 of 142
Thread Starter 
This thread is for all postpartum mamas (even if it's a long time since your birth) who could use some support, whether it's because of clinical PPD or not. First, please introduce yourself and tell a little about why you're here. Please check back in to help show support for others and to let us know how you're doing!

I'll go first.

I'm Anna, mom to Sebastian, who was born May 29th. I had a homebirth that was fine at the time, but which I am still to some degree processing. My husband is a PhD student, so while he's home a ton, he's hardly ever really present because his brain is so focused on reading Foucault or whatever it is he's doing. But I do have a lot of help from him. I'm a SAHM, btw. I have an older son who is 3 and our intention is to unschool, so we are always together.

My DH has allowed me plenty of time to get away with just the baby lately though, so that's good. I go to Border's to read and eat chocolate several times a week, I have occassional mommy meetings that I attend, and I go out with my one girlfriend every Wednesday. I do take the baby with me to all of these outings, however, since I am nursing. He's 4 1/2 months old, but the 2 times I left him with DH for a short time didn't really work out terribly well, so now I'm just committed to not doing it.

I have been having spurts of depression here and there since Sebastian was born. I dealt with depression a fair amount before I had children, so I'm pretty good at recognizing it and even have the bizarre sensation of watching myself slip into it. I have had some really bad days here and there. Last Tuesday, I was slipping rapidly, yelling ferociously at my poor 3yo, crying, and finally my husband came home and things got much better. Since then, I've started back on my vitamins, my flax seed oil and evening primrose oil, and it seems to be helping. Also, I'm getting more sleep than I had done the night before that. It seems to be helping a great deal and this morning I feel great. I was looking at my sons thinking how much I love them. So that gave me the idea that it might be good to have a little circle to help in the effort to keep myself in check and that others might benefit from it as well.

So to join here, you can be in any state, needing any amount of support. Welcome all.
post #2 of 142
I'd love to join! My son is almost 9 months old, and I just realised that I have PPD. It's been pretty hellish around here lately, so I'm glad I went to the dr. and dp and I are doing better.
Ds didn't get enough oxygen during birth, and went into seizures the next day. He ended up being transferred to the NICU here in town(awesome! hospital), drugged into a coma for 3 days to stop the seizures, EEGs, the whole shebang. 8 days in the NICU, and then transferred to an intermediate care hospital until he learned how to suck-6 days there. 2 weeks later, he stopped breathing in my arms. Therse's no wait in emerg when you tell them that your baby isn't breathing. Turns out he had a nasty case of RSV, and spent a week in the hospital. It took another 3 weeks until he was better. He was put on phenobarbital until he was 4 months old, and we got a normal EEG. Breastfeeding was limited due to his brain insult and the oral aversion he picked up from being intubated and suctioned so much. He would only bf at night, while asleep and stopped doing that at about 5.5 months.
Dp works in the oil business, so isn't around much to help, and my friends evaporated after I had the baby. No wonder I'm depressed! Glad to see this thread, it's very timely.
post #3 of 142
I have PPD as well, my baby is 17 months. I've had PPD with every pregnancy, so 3 times now. REally, I think that the depression is pretty permanent at this time although I did go off meds shortly before and during my last pregnancy. I went back on them 2 weeks before my due date and had THE BEST postpartum period ever. I highly recommend treating the upcoming PPD like that, there was none of the trauma that I'd had the first two times.
post #4 of 142
Ya all probably read my ppd thread as time goes by so you probably know just how severe my depression was and still is. I'm a 26 year old sahm with 2 dd 3 yrs old and 11 mths. I've been married for three years. We just bought our first house this year Yay. But really stressful. We struggle to get by money wise but we manage. I seem to be doing pretty good lately but I've come to terms I can't say that too loud. I never know what tomorrow will bring. So I take ever single day in stride. Never taking nothing for granted. The smell of there breath or their hair, the curiosity, the innocents, the sound of their foot steps or their voice. the way they look at me when they are scared or hurt, or just out of utter joy when I walk through the door. These things I take for granted if I hear, smell, watch, and observe. I realize how much I have to be thankful for. Wonderful healthy loving happy girls. Instead of dwelling on my ppd I have to over come it. For my children I will over come it...I'm here for you momma's I now how it feels. I'll have your back when your down if you'll have mine. Love this thread hopefully it gets going..
Lots of Love
post #5 of 142
Thread Starter 
Is anyone on meds? I'm finding the omega-3 supplements and evening primrose oil to be quite effective, along with just keeping on top of how I'm feeling and discussing it with DH. I take 2 flax seed oils, one evening primrose, one prenatal vitamin, and one B vitamin, alternating what I have every other day which is a B6 and a B complex (I don't know, but being a veggie Bs are important. I have 'em figure it won't hurt). Just doing that has helped my mood tremendously, as well as staying active and as I said, talking about how I'm doing with friends and DH.

I'm fairly isolated where I live because my family is far away and I haven't lived here long, so I don't have super close relationships with friends who I see often, but I do talk to my online friends frequently and keep in close contact with my family. It helps a lot. The only thing that would be better is if we actually had roots where we lived and were able to build real community. Such is the life of Dh being a student. *sigh*

Please check in!!!
post #6 of 142
I've started taking vitamins, and am going to start taking omega-3's asap. Mostly just being aware of the depression is a great help, as I'm not so caught up in the up-down cycle. Dp has been much more helpful, taking baby swimming once a week. Yeah, that's a HUGE difference in his involvement. It's too bad I had to pack my bags to get him to pitch in, but it did the trick. He's also much more kind to me, so things are starting to look up! Hope everyone is doing well.
post #7 of 142
So did you mamas hear about that mother who threw her children into the San Fran bay. What a nightmare!!! From what I hear she suffered from ppd and schizophrenia. I have to say that was my nightmare during my ppd. I use to wake up in cold sweat and crying. That was a very difficult time for me. I'm so thankful I spoke to my children's pediatrician. I asked for help. Those poor baby's I wish someone could have helped them before it got to that point. My hart goes out to them and they are in my prayer. When I hear something like that I hug my girls a little longer and tighter.
So how are you mommas doing I hope everyone is hanging in there.
FancyD so how's it going you have to let me know how the vitamins and omega goes I'm also glad to hear how great your husband is being. My best friend is my husband I don't think I truly realized it tell he supported and helped me through my ppd. One of my fears with my ppd was having him look at me like a psychico mom. I am so thankful to have him. I'm so happy to hear your doing good.
lots of love
post #8 of 142
I'm not sure I have ppd, but I think I do. THings have deteriorated rapidly within the last two weeks. I have an appointment on Monday night with a therapist.

I am losing my ability to concentrate for any length of time. My temper is short. I'm always tired, but I do get a lot of sleep. I have two beautiful, relatively well-behaved little girls but cannot seem to enjoy them lately. I am always annoyed with my oldest, just for being a little girl. This afternoon I lost my temper and screamed in her face. I immediately called my husband at work and told him about it, he came home and they are at a playground right now. Baby is asleep on my lap. Dd1 seems okay, she knows what I did was wrong and I've apologized. But still...this is NOT how I want to behave!! I am trying so hard to use GD. I spent much of today crying for no apparent reason. I just want everyone to go away so I can curl up on the bed for a while.

Anyway, I have an appointment on Monday night. I am not opposed to drugs, I will do whatever I need to do, I do not like being like this, this is not healthy for anyone. I love my children very much, and we were having a great time up until a couple of weeks ago. I don't know who I am right now.
post #9 of 142

Still coping with ppd 2.5 years later

I have been severely depressed since the birth of my 2.5yo son. We had a planned homebirth turn into a traumatic transfer with c-section, I felt the surgery and severely hemorraged and my son born with apgars of 1 and 1 needing full recussitation. I had a bitch of a doctor who cut me without telling me and without caring how I was. Needless to say, as a survivor of sexual assault, my birth felt like a violation and triggered all of my rape history. For the past 2.5 years I have been a mess. I have tried fasting, herbs, dietary changes, therapy, exercise, mothers groups, even anti-depressants but I haven't gotten very far into healing. I am rather desperate.

I do have therapy once a week. I also get massage once a month and accupuncture bi-weekly. Recently I stopped the family bed so I could get better rest, though I continue to nurse my toddler. I've stopped the anti-depressants (after only 2 months) not because they didn't take away the anxiety but because I couldn't live with the thoughts of what it might be doing to my son through my breastmilk.

My husband and I had wanted another child much sooner than now and I am feeling pressure to move forward...my age is slowly creeping up on me! But I am terrified that my body and mind are still so totally out of whack and I don't know what I would do if the depression took over again, especially with two young ones.

I think I do a pretty good job of mothering through my depression - saving my meltdowns for times when my son is well occupied and loved elsewhere. But I don't feel like a whole woman. I feel like the shell of who I once was and this surprises me because the love I feel for my son is the most amazing thing I have ever known...shouldn't I be better and stronger and more focused because of this amazing gift I've been given? Why did motherhood make me so broken and insecure?

I would do nearly anything to feel better at this point but I just don't know what the solution is. I feel as though I am searching for the Holy Grail or seeking at least a magical elixir or some rare snake oil to cure me. All to no avail. Anyone else feel this way? Anyone else successful in moving beyond this place? What was your answer? Please share!
post #10 of 142
UEM, Have you seen any of Dr. Thomas Hale's books or articles about medications and breastfeeding? He discusses weighing the benefit to the mother of antidepressants to treat PPD vs. the very small amount of drug that is transferred to baby w/many SSRIs. A healthy mom is really paramount---you deserve to feel better. If one medication didn't work for you, there are a variety of others that might work better...I can find some links for you if you'd be interested. I'm not a huge proponent of pharmaceuticals, but they certainly have their place when used judiciously (and for a great cause). I'm certainly not trying to push drugs here...just wanted to throw that out there.

I've suffered from PPD after each of my births. With my last baby (and I do mean last ), it's been really hard b/c I have two other little ones, and no one seems to all sleep at the same time. And two small people needing my care, attention, laundry and cleaning services All I want is a nap. I stay up waaaay too late, dreading the next day. And the cycle continues. I'm starting therapy up again this Tuesday . At least by now, I know when I need help. I wish I'd gotten help w/my first. Anyway, here I am.
post #11 of 142
Red whine I do feel the same way you do. I have to believe in my hart there will be an end to my madness. Things have gotten much better with the anti depressants but I too wish there was something that will just make it stop. I could be the person I was before the loving, caring, full of energy, and eager for my day to start vs. end. I believe things will get better and somehow this will make me a better person. Maybe this is happening for a reason. Maybe there is some higher being up there. Maybe through my exp. I could help or relate to someone that is on the edge like I was. I do look at my children differently I appreciate every surge of love every good day and not take it for granted. At night I lay down and think of things that went good instead of dwelling on the bad. It's hard it's a lot easier to say but I'm trying. I will not give up there's just gotta be a end to the madness.
Urbanearthmoma Take things slow if your not ready to have a baby don't. Only you knows what you can handle. I would worry about being pressured into having himorher. If you do you might resent the baby and the fact that you had himorher. I agree with Georgia look deeper into the anti depressants before ruling them out. I've been taking them for about a year 1/2 and I have to believe that I'm a better mother for it. Not taking them was more damaging to them then taking them. I pray everyday that there will not be a side effect to my dd2#. So far there is none. It does sound like your a loving mom because I know how hard it is to save those melt downs when the kids aren't around. You have also seeked help that's awesome that proves right there that you are all about your kids you go momma.
lots of love
post #12 of 142


It occurred to me that I should probably clarify my thoughts on taking antidepressants. I don't want to appear judgemental or critical in this case. It is such a difficult and important choice.

I started taking them this past March when my son turned 2. I chose to explore this route after much research and feeling pretty badly. Plus, my son was nursing less and less so I felt better about the milk containing drugs. (Btw, I did research on Dr. Hale's site, with my ped, my therapist, etc...) And, like some of you, I came to the conclusion that my mental health was a priority and the drugs seemed safe enough - considering that most of us here don't like to take an aspirin and want the most natural things for ourselves and children. Given my (our) preference for the natural way - choosing pharmaceuticals was a heartfelt and well-researched decision. And I still believe it can be the best route. My problem was that my depression has an anxiety factor that was not helped with my drug (lexapro) and I spent all night wakeful obsessing on what it might do to my son. Obviously the drug wasn't really helping much because of this! Not to mention the drug made me feel spinny and made me gain 8 pounds in the 2+ months I took it. 8 pounds I worked hard to get rid of! Since a significant factor in my depression is a lack of connection with my body, feeling out of control through side effects and the unknown future factor for my son, I freaked out and quit taking them. I suppose if it doesn't get better, I could try another drug but the trial and error period really scares me. How long/how many drugs did it take for some of you to figure out the right drug and dosage?
post #13 of 142
Originally Posted by UrbanEarthMama
I I suppose if it doesn't get better, I could try another drug but the trial and error period really scares me. How long/how many drugs did it take for some of you to figure out the right drug and dosage?
For me, I knew already that Zoloft worked, I'd taken it in the past for some unrelated issues. Since there was great research done that Zoloft barely entered breastmilk and was undetectabl in the breastfed babies, I felt good about taking it and it worked. The only problem is that over time it kind of wears off and quits working, I mean it takes at least a couple of years. Prozac works somewhat for me and Wellbutrin works well, honestly, they all help with depression, it's more the side effects that make me go off ot them, Paxil is one example. There was another one I couldn't tolerate, can't recall the name, but I knew immediately as it made me very anxious, like I'd OD"d on caffeine.

So I wouldn't worry so much about the trial and error period, that's been pretty painless for me. As far as the effects on your child, all I can tell you is that I breastfed twins for 4.5 years all the time taking anti-depressants, mostly Zoloft, and they are perfect now.
post #14 of 142
I cried through reading this whole thread. I am almost 21, and Every is about 8 weeks old. Throughout pregnancy, I was terrified of ppd and spoke to DP about it and told him that I'd need a lot of his support, since I have NO family or friends even remotely nearby. Well go figure, he SWORE he'd be there for me for anything...but I don't think he ever GOT it. He is gone frequently for work (his last job was 3 weeks long!) and it really makes me lonely. I am torn sometimes, because I enjoy the fact that I can clean the house ONCE and it'll stay that way for a week, and I only have to feed myself (ds is bf). BUT I go into these emotional spirals and feel conflicted feelings of things always going wrong, nothing will ever be the same, when will I ever get to be ME again, when will DP stop being insensitive/unthoughtful/oblivious/a GUY, but I just am in LOVE with my son. DP has also been making me feel a little pressured to have sex again (I haven't felt ready yet...I think I am still healing down there and inside)...I think he feels jealous of the baby sometimes, because he is always put first. DP will be kissing me and iterrupted by someone who wants his diaper changed/to be fed...and he'll make some dumb comment like "okay, go to your REAL boyfriend now"... WTF??! I've told him that I want our intimacy to resume normal too, but its just NOT REALITY. *sigh* I'm just having a really hard day today, so stressed and have spent most of it crying and hugging ds. I live in SanFrancisco and that story of that mother just made me cry some more. I think the eldest was 6 or something Sometimes I wonder if I just let DP run things the way he wants to and am just complying with his way. I feel so anxious to have my body back, my life back, but I wouldn't give my son back for anything. I get these visions when I'm carrying ds around "OMG what if I somehow dropped him and his head hit something and he just died???" and those visions are driving me crazy! Like, I know I would never do anything like that, but I hear about those accidents you know, and just get worried that it might be us one day. I really can't afford therapy of any kind, and have had bad experiences with those "free counseling" groups, and never even considered that what I am feeling/experiencing is ppd... so here I am.
post #15 of 142
Originally Posted by UrbanEarthMama
I think I do a pretty good job of mothering through my depression - saving my meltdowns for times when my son is well occupied and loved elsewhere. But I don't feel like a whole woman. I feel like the shell of who I once was and this surprises me because the love I feel for my son is the most amazing thing I have ever known...shouldn't I be better and stronger and more focused because of this amazing gift I've been given? Why did motherhood make me so broken and insecure?
I feel very similar.
post #16 of 142
Shell024 My hart goes out to you. The fact that your man isn't there does make it very difficult. I too had isue to get intamant with my man the idea was just scary with bolth of my kids. You don't think about it but you just had major trama to your body mentaly as well as physically not to many people think of it that way. I had more sympathy and carring when I got my tonsles out. And my husband is vary compationet. I don't know your story holds alot of truth thankyou for sharring.
lots of love
post #17 of 142
shell, my dp was very much the same. I don't think men GET IT, yanno? I mean, how can they? Dp got a lot better as time went on, and he realised what a good mom I am and came to support my parenting decisions. Well, it helped that I told him when he was going to do any parenting, he could then criticise MY parenting. He passed.
Feeling better myself, I think the vitamins are helping a bit. A little Rescue Remedy doesn't hurt either!
post #18 of 142

Shell - I'm nearby

Hi Shell. Since you said you felt pretty isolated and all alone, I wanted to mention that I live just an hour north of you and maybe we could get together? I happen to have a good support system nearby for me and my son and have been in this depression place a while so I feel like I might have something to offer you...In my own small ways! I come into SF every Tuesday and sometimes on Thursday. If you want to get together for lunch or coffee one day, it would be my treat! Email me personally if you'd like.
I'm at brooke70@comcast.net

post #19 of 142
oh mamas, thank you so much...i've never had like, an "understanding" response to the way I feel. I can never figure out when it's hormones/just me/or both... It's like I'm staring at this little boy crying tears of joy because he is the most beautiful being I've ever met and have never loved anoyone so genuinely and unconditionally before...but why is this general "gloom" hanging over my head????????????????????????????? It just doesn't make sense most days, which I guess is why it gets me so emotional. UrbanEarthMama, I'd love to get together, I'll email you.
FancyD, rescue remedy has worked sometimes for me too
CRISSY, MEN... : :
I really think my ppd is sporadic and unpredictable...some days I'm just so cheery and you'd never guess how miserable I'd be feeling in a couple hours...usually late at night, especially if DP isn't around. Like its so easy to play "schizo" or something. I find that when I somehow find motivation to get things together (my appearance, the house, my mood, my diet) things are WaAAAAAAAY better. Usually, that is someone else visiting, or something that I really have to look forward to. Then I get motivated to make things look good, yk? Do you ever feel like that? Almost like you want to impress someone, but it ends up feeling good and being of use?? Like hey, "maybe I should try this attitude more often".
post #20 of 142
I'm the same way when I have a specific plan to do something or have someone over. I have something to concentrate other then my ppd. Today my sister in law is coming over to do my hair. I'm going to get a perm Ahhh am I crazy. I just hate looken like crap it makes me even more depressed. So the past couple days I've been doing my makeup and getting dressed in nice cloths sometimes just doing that makes me feel more self worth and confident. Before I had kids my appearance was so important to me. It hasn't been in so long I forgot how nice it is to be feminine and attractive. I'll let you know how my perm goes. Keep your heads up mommas and keep laughing.
lots of love
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