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So I had a great pregnancy and birth. But I had to work until my due date and then I had to start working (from home, but teaching university, so higher level brain functions and deadlines) when DD was 6 weeks old AND taking care of her full time. And boy is she ever High Needs. I've been on a massively restricted diet since she was 4 weeks old. She needed to be held 24/7 until she was 3 months old. And since then she needs to be held all but an hour or two a day. She had such bad stranger anxiety for 2 months that if anyone but DH or I would hold her or even look at her too closely she would cry hysterically and loudly. We had thrush. I had multiple plugged ducts multiple times. She won't sleep or stay asleep unless I am next to her. And she is extremely sound sensitive so if she is asleep, we have to whisper and tiptoe around our not large 2 bedroom apartment. She does not take a bottle or any other feeding device but my boob. I haven't slept more than 4 hours in a row since she was born and she only has a stretch that long once or twice a week.<br><br>
I made it to the end of the semester, barely. I kept telling myself that I just had to hang on and relief was on the way. My family lives on the other coast. I went for 2 weeks to see them right after the semester ended to relax. It was the worst trip of my life and I've come very close to completely crumbling. First of all the house was so noisy that DD hardly ever slept, my family was TOTALLY unhelpful and shocking unsympathetic to my state and critical of my parenting practices. And I think I got three 3 hour stretches the whole 2 weeks. I had to do all childcare myself, my family had no consideration about noise and they were constantly harrassing me to do things differently, implying that the high needs nature of DD was my fault (or that is was, for instance, cruel that I am not giving DD solids at 5 months). I finally called DH, crying and incoherent, and he had to come out and collect me and bring us home. I was feeling unsafe - DD is teething in earnest (preteething has gone on for months now) and she is biting and I had found myself feeling angry toward her and started to be afraid of what I would do.<br><br>
We're back home now and I have a nanny who is coming by 6 hours a day for the next 3 months. The idea was for me to finish my dissertation, though we'll see about that. So far it's some help, but not as much as you would think because of R's high needs nature. I am exhausted. Fried. To the point where I am having trouble thinking things through, making decisions, being able to perceive if I am making mistakes. I am totally emotional and overreacting and seeing everything in a distorted way. I don't feel like I have any social graces right now or that I can spend time with friends like a normal person. I am so deeply tired, and yet I have trouble relaxing enough to actually sleep. I don't have the patience or concentration to focus on anything, even a movie.<br><br>
Is this PPD? What can I do about it? We're trying to move so that we can have some sound privacy. The nanny will begin to be more effective. DH will be around a bit more (I think what happened with my family visit scared him and he was working long hours before). But should I do other things? What?<br><br>
I would appreciate guidance because it's really hard to think or muster up energy to do anything right now.
 

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Here is a hug for you.
 

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Yes, I think you do have PPD. I'm an academic too, and one of my major 'symptoms' is that my brain slows down. Depression sucks all the cognitive energy out of my mind.<br><br>
I would suggest talking to your health care provider, seeing if you can find an AP friendly counselor, and if the nanny + your husband's extra help don't do it, considering medication.<br><br>
If you can find a PPD support group, that might be good too. (I'm too much of an introvert for PPD support groups, but other people really like them.) Or can you find time to go to a LLL meeting?<br><br>
You've had major stress since the birth of your daughter, and stress is the #1 cause of depression. Are you highly sensitive like your dd? If so, that might add to your stress.<br><br>
A book recommendation:<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FWomens-Moods-Minds-Hormones-Emotional%2Fdp%2FB002IKLNJM%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1275521396%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">Women's Moods</a> -- it gives understanding how hormonal changes (which could also mean stress hormones) can affect moods, has suggestions for self-care, and a very balanced discussion of when it's time to consider meds.
 
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