I have two kids. When my husband and I got married, we knew we wanted a big family. Our plan was to have four children.
With my son, the circumstances surrounding his birth were so stressful, emotional, and painful that I couldn't tell if I had PPD or was just depressed by all of the drama that was going on. With my daughter, I knew something was wrong immediately. When the midwife handed her to me, my first thought was she's so ugly. I had a difficult time bonding with her at the hospital. Life after she came home was so overwhelmingly hard. In retrospect, I understand that I had a hard time because I could not, would not, ask for help. I had built up this idea in my head of what it meant to be a mother and when I fell short of that, I was convinced I was the most worthless parent to ever exist. I was constantly beating myself up and comparing myself to other women. My brain was out of control--thoughts of hurting my kids and all the other crap that comes along with PPD. I couldn't sleep, I hurt myself by trying to get back in shape too early...I was a giant mess.
The breaking point was when I shaved my head as a way to "take back" the person I had been before pregnancy. After that, I joined a support group, went on medication, and started therapy. I'm in such a better place now and I feel stronger for having come out of that disaster. My daughter is beautiful and vibrant and I grieve for the time lost while I was going out of my mind.
At first, I wanted another baby so I could "fix" everything that went wrong. I decided that was a terrible reason to have a child and so I waited. Then I wanted another baby so I could be just like the moms I admired--also a terrible reason to have a baby. So I waited. Now, I feel like I can actually say that I want another baby without wanting it for the wrong reasons--I actually want to have another kid. The problem is that I am absolutely terrified. Each of my pregnancies were so stressful and so painful (physically) and I dread going through that again. I can't figure out why I am not one of those happy pregnant women who sail through nine months overcome with joy at the thought of giving birth (granted, most of those women I've known were first time moms). And now, I'm quaking at the knees at the thought of going through everything that having a baby entails. No wonder people have "oops" babies! What woman after two kids and a nasty bout with PPD would consciously decide to have another child?
How do I overcome the fear? Or do you never really get over it? Is it one of those "leaps of faith" kind of things? I'm off Zoloft now and it would be nice to not have to go back on. Has anyone done a post PPD pregnancy without medication?
This response is from the other end of the universe.
I am 65, male, the second child of Mom, who had a Psychotic PPD in 190 when sshe gave birth to my sister who is now 72. Mom was hospitalized for 6 months, and released after she received a series of electric shocks tothe CNS. (1940 was a different universe!)
At 17 I learned from Mom and Dad about Mom's P-PPD. So I am the second child. Mom did NOT have a second P-PPD with my birth.
Medicine has come a long way sice 1940, although there are wide variations in the effectiveness. At one time the AMA recommended that a woman who had already had one P-PPD and who was pregnant should be sterilized and her pregnancy aborted. The AMA no longer says this. However, many still assign shame to women experiencing a P-PPD, just as some used to label left-handedness as "evil". Interestingly, many law officers still see P-PPD as irrelevant when a tragedy occurs.
I read a compendium of research about P-PPD that was compiled around 1987, a quarter century ago. Britain had a specialized clinic for treating P=PPD moms (and their families).
I am interested in orgainizing, conducting, and analyzing a survey of the adult children (over 25) of P-PPD mothers.To whom should I speak? Th Director of CDC? of NIMH? Any suggestions?
I believe in the uncertainy principle, meaning that a thing observed is changed by the act of observation.
Poor you! I am just about to give birth to my 2nd after having delayed ppd with my first. And I have had the exact same thoughts as you. I have hated every minute of being pregnant this time and I was very worried about what was coming in terms of ppd - however I think the big difference this time is that I'm ready for it. I know what to look for, as does my partner and midwife & dr - so if I start losing it we can do something quicker. I think half the battle is acknowledging you have the problem - whether you need medication, counselling etc to get through is then something you can decide on. Perhaps you can look at getting your placenta encapsulated as a sort of insurance policy as it seems to help. It may be hard to hear as well but you may need to rethink the size of your family - just because you wanted 4 kids all those years ago doesn't mean you still have to have them. I think you need to do a bit of soul searching as to whether you can be the mother you want to be to 2 more children or if you can be truly satisfied with just the 2. Only you can know that answer, maybe you can cope with knowing that each pregnancy is only 2 years out of your life (including the time of ppd) and look beyond to a time when you won't feel this way. I know I couldn't and have shut up shop effectively. I'm terrified of something going wrong in birth because I know I will not be able to go through another pregnancy again. best of luck to you
Hugs to you. It is so scary to consider getting pregnant again after a bad bout of PPD. It was a hard decision for me but I'm 5 1/2 months into my second postpartum period and so far so good. By the time my 1st son was this age I was a mess. I was really worried that PPD would happen again especially since I was depressed a bit throughout my pregnancy and it was a hard one. I really prepped myself this time. I have support group numbers on hand. I made sure my support system and dr. knew what might happen so they could let me know if they saw signs that I was ignoring. I made sure to get out and about and make time for me. Eat right etc. I really optimistic that I will be able to get through this without falling into PPD this time.
oAlisha- eternal companion to mike:, mother to three energetic boys (02):, (05), and (07) and one sweet little girl 3/13. Two in heaven.7/21/2010, 11/05/2011 .
I don't have any answers, but I do have a lot of the same questions. My baby (my first) is 3 months old. We've talked about having 3-6 kids. Things are a bit better now than a month or two ago, but after all the trauma of pregnancy, birth, and early parenting, I'm just not sure how I can do it again. I'm pretty sure we will have at least one more, and I'm finding myself thinking about it from time to time now, but also thinking it's the most frickin' crazy thought I've ever had. It's hard enough coping with a newborn and PPD, I can't see how I'd managed a toddler, a newborn, and PPD.
FWIW, I did encapsulate and take my placenta - just took the last pill a few days ago, in fact. And I don't know that it made any difference. But maybe it would have been worse without it? Don't know.
Mother to one baby. Wife to one husband. Trying to fight the good fight.
Wow! this is exactly how I felt 10 years ago after having my second child, also a girl. Never had PPD with my firstborn though (a boy). I had PPD for the first 2 years of my second child's life. I actually had to put my oldest child in a school and stop homeschooling for a little over a year because it was so tough. It got easier with her around 22 months. She was a hard baby too so that didn't help matters any. However, I did have another child 7 years later and she is now 3 years old. No PPD with her I'm happy to say!! And I love all my children dearly. In fact, my now 10 yr old daughter and I are very close and have a bond that is never going to be broken!!
46-year-old single (divorced), self-employed working, home schooling, part-time college student mommy to:
19 yr old
12 yr old
5 yr old
I'm glad to hear you sought help and succeeded in conquering your PPD. For the next child, since you know what to expect now (and let's be realistic, it probably is going to happen again), you can prepare to do all the things that helped you last time, whether that be support groups, talking it over with other parents, therapy, medication, relaxation, and so on. Whatever worked before? Get ready to do it again from day 1 after you give birth - and maybe even before then!
I definitely had ppd with my first. I didn't get help because I was embarrassed and didn't want to take conventional meds. I learned to knit and sew him clothes and that helped me out of it.
I just had my second and I have no signs thus far. I found it much easier to bond with this baby. He is easier all around and breastfeeding went very smoothly. Both of my births have been all natural and went the way I had hoped yet I still had ppd with my first.
With my first, he had latch problems at the hospital which left one nipple EXTREMELY SORE for the first week or so in the beginning of our breastfeeding journey. It hurt so bad I wanted to throw hum across the room one time in the middle of the night - my partner was sleeping so I grabbed on to his head and shook it! That breast became so engorged because we barely used it and has stretch marks while my other breast doesn't. LOL Then came a few bouts of mastitis, and breastmilk oversupply issues which created a very fussy baby for the first 3 or so months until I learned how to decrease my supply. It was a rough time and I wasn't able to bond with my baby as well as I could have if we didn't have those complications. I think our bonding issues may have been a factor in the ppd?