Earth-loving, birth-loving, body-working, simple-livin' mama to two sweet girls and fiance to a hard-working man
I had PPD after my son. He is 4 now, and I was 21 when he was born, still in college, and we didn't even have a home of our own until he was 3 months old. I moved far away from my family and was trying to get used to that. The PPD is probably one of the big reasons that we've waited until now to start talking about having more. I am hoping that my depression was related more to circumstances than to true PPD. On the other hand, I am very fearful about health problems and I have death anxiety that I don't think will ever truly go away-- and that really aggravated my anxiety and depression after my son's birth.
Like you, though, I don't want fear to rule my life. I have always wanted a lot of children. I feel more confident now than I did even 6 months ago. I feel like I've healed.
In a way I think that PPD is like all other wounds, it takes time to get over it. If you're still too fearful to have another child, then maybe you aren't fully through it. If you worry over what you may or may not regret years from now, then you won't really be able to deal with healing yourself in this moment. Give yourself some time.
I think that fear of getting depressed again dominated my life for a while after PPD. This was after my second child. I did get pregnant again and after my third child it wasn't as bad, largely because I could plan for it better. I did have prenatal depression as well as ppd, the symptoms weren't as severe or as often. Exercise, light and vitamin supplements were helpful for lessening the symptoms.
After my last child was born, I saw a naturopathic doctor about something else and we ended up discussing depression in pregnancy and postpartum. He said that if I wanted to conceive again, to see him abt 9 months ahead of ttc and we would work out a supplement regimen, to help prepare my body to deal with the huge hormonal changes. I haven't actually tried it.....but you may be able to find a doctor who could help you with something like that.
I probably would have a larger family if I wasn't likely to get depressed again. So yeah, definitely a valid concern.