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#1 of 8 Old 10-06-2003, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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SO I am just starting to own up to the thought that I have experienced PPD with both of my children. After Colin was born I bagen to have nightmares every time I could sleep, so vivid I can still see them, I also counted in my head (anyone else do this) would just randomly pick a number and begin to count like 45,46,47,48.... I did that continously for at least 2 months. When he was 5 months old we made a bad choice and moved away from our family, far away.

I found out right away I was pregnant with Cass. Spent most of the time crying on the floor or lying on the couch doing nothing. No friends, no support. After she was born it was until she was a year and a half before i began to feel really great again. At about 6 months old we moved home and I made myslef get involved in the local birth community and start training as a doula. Things improved, but still was cyclic in bouts of depression along with my periods. It was apparent then because I had the other good weeks to compare to.

By the time she was 18 months, I started an apprenticeship to become a midwife and life was GREAT again, how it used to feel to be alive before I had kids. 6 month into the apprenticeship, ealry this year I found myself pregnant again and after dealing with my usually all day morning sickness, I find I have just been shuffling through life again. It has been progressively getting worse, anxiety that paralyzes me with fear, over trivial things too, my logically brain tells me that, but I can't get that when the anxiety comes on. Not wanting to do anything, hopelessness. Nightmares have been increasing in frequency for the last month. I should be having this baby in a couple of weeks and I am not quite sure what to do. I know I need to find support, wait and see I guess. Hoping now if I am aware of what has been happening I will be able to intervene this time.
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#2 of 8 Old 10-06-2003, 01:58 AM
 
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Oh, honey, I am SO SORRY to hear you are struggling! Depression SUCKS! I would strongly encourage you to consider getting treatment- there are herbs, homeopathics, and allopathic treatments that might help, plus therapy. Some of the things I've tried... (btw, I have bipolar disorder, anxiety issues, had PPD w/ my first, and suffered from depression as a teen)

-routine. routine is very important to keeping things going. Maybe you can only handle one thing every day- say, getting showered and dressed. If you can handle that, do it. I don't care if it takes all day. Just do it.
-alone time. Have somebody else watch the kids for 10, 15, 20 minutes. If you can't think of something to do, sit there and just breath. Be sure to think of something non-depressing. Say, grass. Or visualize a relaxing scene.
-journaling. It feels good to spew. Just be sure you aren't saying the same thing over and over. ie, i hate myself, I hate my life, i hate my carpet, etc, etc.
-Supplements: B6, flax or borage oil (to get your EFA), a daily vitamin, skullcap or valerian to help w/ sleep, flower essences (I use four specifically picked for my syptoms, and they work wonders!)
-exercise, sun, and fresh air. I know it's very hard to do, but it makes a big difference. Go outside every day for at least ten minutes. I don't care if it takes at least that long to get bundled up, just do it!
-therapy. I recommend cognitive behavioral therapy. A good book is Feeling Good, the New Mood Therapy. It's great for mild depression or in conjuntion with an experienced, caring therapist for more severe depressions. It's not a bad idea to take the depression inventory weekly to see where you are at psychologically.
-find a counselor, psychologist, social worker, therapist, psychiatrist, whatever. find someone to moniter you. It's important. When you get depressed, it's easy to get sucked into a black pit and not realize how bad it is till it's too late to help yourself. FIND SOMEONE NOW. You're ahead of the game by recognizing you have a problem. Now start compiling a list of resources. Share it with your partner and give him permission to call and ask for help for you if you are unable to do so.
-make an emergency action plan. If it gets worse and you become unable to make decisions for yourself, it's good to have an action plan ready. What treatments, doctors, hospitals, etc you prefer, why, and which ones you absolutely DO NOT want.
-help around the house. Know any postpartum doulas you can get help from? A teenager who might work as a mothers helper? Even a nanny who could work for you part time, keeping you company, playing with the kids, making lunch, etc?

I hope something in this helps you.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#3 of 8 Old 10-06-2003, 11:31 PM
 
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Anxiety and depression SUCK!!! It makes it that much worse when you are dealing with children and a newborn. While I am all for trying natural remedies to cure depression, just remember that it is considered safe to take ssri's while breastfeeding. I will likely be doing it in five months. If the natural remedies work, great, but what your family, baby and you need is for you to be healthy. Even if that means resorting to an antidepressant. It doesn't mean forever. It typically takes 6 months to a year on the antidepressant to get the brain chemistry back on track.

It's hard to feel comfortable taking any type of medication while pregnant or breastfeeding, but it's important to remember that all of our stress, depression, anxiety, fear, etc, is transmitted to the baby in utero or in arms. We have to weigh the risks of the meds against the risks of not getting better.

I'm no drug pusher, I am hopeful that in the future I will be able to manage my depression and anxiety naturally, but I am extremely thankful for the medication that was available to me last year when I wound up in the hospital. Don't let yourself get as bad as I did. It's not a good place to be. Take care of yourself now.

Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.
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#4 of 8 Old 10-07-2003, 07:12 PM
 
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Like everyone else on this post, I SO feel for you! I thought the counting thing was my own weird thing! How odd that I'm not alone in my oddness! I try to put on makeup & brush my hair when I'm especially down. It sometimes makes me feel a little bit more normal (for lack of a better word). I wish someone had a definate answer on how to feel better & stay feeling better. I always know when I feel better that the darkness will come again. Does anyone else feel that? Try to mask it as best as you can for your children. When they aren't around, let it rip. I'm not good at masking it for my children & I hate that about myself and about my depression. Best of luck to you.
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#5 of 8 Old 10-08-2003, 06:42 PM
 
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My therapist has made me promise to come see her BEFORE I have another baby, whenever I do!! I think that, like you, I had depression and anxiety while I was still pregnant too. If you can get someone or something into place now, before you have the baby, it will be easier to continue and then deal with after.

I think just plan on having PPD, I know tha will sound morbid to some people, but I 'd rather plan for the worst than expect the best (probably the reason for my ppd in the first place, hah) and act accordingly. You may need therapy, medication, meditation, yoga excercise, whatever. Just schedule it and then do it and hopefull it will help and help you to get better quicker this time.

I also had PPD for 18 months, and yeah, it sucks!! That's a long time!
Jenn

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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#6 of 8 Old 10-11-2003, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies. Still waiting for a baby. I have the flu, so I am grateful to wait a bit longer Part of my delimma is the my midwife is also my senior midwife, she is my teacher, and I can't help but think that any conversation I have with her could effect my apprenticeship. Inside I know she is very open minded, but she also told me that I am the most worried client she has ever had and I don't feel judged but think she can't understand how I have been to so many births, etc and still have so much worry and so much to work through. ALot of my worry during the pregnancy has been from "know too much syndrome", plus my cycle that started this pregnancy began the day a mom I was heping birth lost her baby. Talk about alot of worry and nightmares about babies dying, it is way too real for me. AND this has been by FAR my least worried pregnancy from my prespective, but I have had alot to work through with truly trusting my body and having faith in the birth process (Talking the talk and walking the walk were two different things for me) BTW this is my first HB. Lots to think about, can see at least speaking with my Dr and letting her know I might need a referral or additional help.
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#7 of 8 Old 10-12-2003, 12:32 AM
 
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If you are concerned about talking to the midwife, can you go to your gp or call and get in with a psychiatrist?
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#8 of 8 Old 10-12-2003, 07:09 PM
 
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Just wanted to second (or third) the advice to make a "what to do if I quickly need help for anxiety/depression" plan of action BEFORE the baby is born, if possible. You'll be so busy doing the daily baby care things once the baby is born, it may be hard to find the energy for example to find a therapist or make a list of phone numbers of people you can call on for help.

Also remember that the most banal forms of help can sometimes be the most useful -- friends to bring you meals, people to watch your older kids while you rest with the baby, etc. Try to set up some of that now, so you just have to call in a reminder to friends once the new baby is born. By the time you realize you need help with meals, etc., you're probably in way more need of help than you realize, so ask first and it won't sneak up on you!

Have a wonderful birth,

Carol
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