Managing Postpartum Depression & Anxiety
At 31 weeks I was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia. It escalated fast and by 32 weeks I became a mom. When induction failed after almost 36 hours I had an emergency c-section and our daughter was born a little over 3lbs with a month long NICU stay ahead of her.
I couldnt help but feel guilt athat it was all my fault she was in the NICU and sadness not leaving the hospital with her after birth. It pulls at your heart.
Between the multiple drives to and from the hospital, the frustration that came with pumping around the clock and no baby to cuddle began to stress me out. I took it out on everyone around me and just isolated myself alone in the NICU starring at her isolate sometimes for an hour or two straight.
It crossed my mind I might have postpartum depression at this point but the OBGYN told me I’d be fine. It was only NICU baby blues. I wish that was all it was because I felt horrible and it’d go on for months. My husband did what he could to lift my spirits while we went to the NICU every night. When our NICU visit finally turned into taking her home with us for good I was relieved to finally shake off these sad, horrible feelings.
I felt horrible that I was falling apart emotionally inside when I should be feeling lucky to have her healthy and hope with us. I no longer felt my horrible feelings were justified and so I just hid and told myself I would get help soon.
I started to feel absolutely scrambled and all over the place all day long. I couldn’t think straight or focus on anything and lost interest quickly in anything that I once loved. The quickest bark from the dog, scream from the baby would fill me with anxiety and I wanted to stay in bed all day because daily life felt too hard and overwhelming. I was so on edge. True Story: I would tell my husband I had to poop so I could have 10 min to be alone upstairs in the bathroom. This was usually to get a quick good cry in and go on about the night.
Leaving the grocery store a few weeks later I began to feel an anxiety attack happening and instead of driving home I drove to see our family doctor. He sat me down and explained to me how common postpartum depression is and even postpartum anxiety. He said this was extremely common for NICU moms and he was going to help me get back to feeling like me again.
My doctor prescribed me Wellbutrin to help my mood and get back to feeling like me. I broke down and told my husband everything and then started writing again. Writing that started with this post. Being vulnerable on social media is hard.
Admitting you dont have it all together in a world filled with perfect mom posts makes it easy to feel alone when dealing with postpartum mental health. Treating postpartum depression should not be put off for months and I wish I had gotten help postpartum after the first month she was home.
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