There is hope! — The Bump
Postpartum Depression

There is hope!

First if all, let me say this, there is light at the end of the dark tunnel, I promise.
My pregnancy was planned and I was so excited to finally be expecting. From the moment the pregnancy test showed a positive result, I started feeling sick. It was a rough pregnancy but I was happy throughout it.
I was put on zoloft for a few years after the death of my mother. My OB said it was fine to stay on it during the pregnancy. I was a little worried about it but figured I probably needed to continue taking it.
Then around week 33, things changed. I was already feeling like it was difficult to breath at times, so I dismissed it as baby getting bigger and moving up. One morning I woke up and went about my regular day, and BAM, I had a major panic attack. I had never had one before and thought I was having a heart attack. I couldn't breathe and so much more. I called 911 and the paramedics came and told me it was panic and anxiety. They wanted to take me to the ER because of my heart rate being high. I called my husband to come home and told the paramedics I was ok.
The nightmare of panic and anxiety continued.
I made 5 trips to the ER over the next several weeks. I would beg my OB to help me but there was nothing he could do due to the pregnancy. He would not give me anything to relieve my anxiety except up my dosage of zoloft. I lost weight, couldn't sleep, couldn't watch tv, couldn't leave my house, couldn't be alone, couldn't cook dinner, I was almost suicidal. I was a wreck! Anxiety ruled my life day and night. I can honestly say that it was the lowest point of my life. I wanted to get better so bad. After my OB realized how bad things had become, he recommended a psychiatrist. She was somewhat encouraging, telling me that my pregnancy was almost over and as soon as the cord was clamped she could begin treating me. There was really nothing she could do right then, as she was ultra conservative and didn't believe in meds during pregnancy. I still had several weeks to go and would count down everyday, clinging to the fact that I would definitely be better after my son was born.
The days passed so slowly and I started to feel differently about the pregnancy. Indifferent, numb and distant. I could not wait for my son to be born so I could reclaim my life.
At my 38 week appointment, my OB said he would induce me the following week due to low amniotic fluid. I was so relieved that everything was about to end. I knew low amniotic fluid was a cause for concern, and I started worrying even more.
Finally the day arrived for the induction and I was strangely calm. I knew I had a job to do and I was ready to do it. I didn't care about the pain, although there was pain, I was focused on having my son and getting better. Now I did have anxiety, but I think it gave me the added energy to push as hard as I could when that time came. Thankfully, the induction was a success and I had a healthy baby boy after 11 hours of labor.
He was so beautiful. Just looking at him I was amazed at how healthy he was considering how unhealthy I became. I wanted to be happy but couldn't find my joy.
Within several hours after the delivery, severe depression set in quickly. I was overwhelmed with sadness and darkness. I would ask God WHY? This is suppose to be a happy time. Haven't I been through enough with the panic and anxiety? What have I done to deserve such torment? Here I have a perfect baby boy and I can't even look at him. Then crying started or should I say whaling that would feel as though it was coming from such a deep dark place within.
When my OB made his rounds that morning, I told him what was going on. He reassured me that what I was feeling, although terrible, was completely normal. There was nothing normal about what I was going through. All that day I would cry and try to feel somewhat normal as visitors came and went. It was horrible to have to fake being happy. I didn't want visitors but they kept coming. I'm too nice to say NO.
As the day ended, I asked the nurse for something to help me sleep. My husband said he would take baby duty. I finally was able to get some much needed rest. The next morning I got up, showered and got ready. While getting ready I started to feel overwhelmed at the my role of motherhood and it terrified me. Why? All I ever wanted was to be a mom. Why why why??? Emptiness, fear, sadness and anxiety set in. I thought, that's it, I'm going crazy.
When my OB came around on the second day, I told him I wanted to be admitted somewhere. I could not continue on like this any longer. We talked for a while. He seemed shocked by my request, but agreed to help me. I told him I have to get better quickly. I have a baby that needs me and right now, I'm unable to care for him.
He told me he didn't think I needed to be admitted anywhere, but agreed I needed constant help until I was better.
It took a while to find the right psychiatrist. I went to three and settled with the third. My new psychiatrist was good listener and he also prescribed a different antidepressant since the zoloft was no longer working. With the help of my psychiatrist and meds, I was able to climb out of that awful hole of darkness that is PPD and anxiety. I'm getting better everyday. I do have a bad day here and there, but nothing like before.
Please hang in there and seek help! Keep fighting!!

Re: There is hope!

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. How to terrible to be screaming for help and having nobody listening to you. I can't even imagine. I'm glad your OB finally got the point! What was the new medication you were put on? I had to try several before finding one that really worked. For me it was prozac that helped with both depression and anxiety. I'm thinking of going back on something because i'm struggling again.

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  • I had been on Zoloft for years, but it stopped working. I say it stopped working because of my situation during pregnancy. I'm now on Effexor and a beta blocker. Effexor has been a great medication for me. It's definitely helped with the depression and anxiety. I occasionally have a little anxiety, but nothing like before. If I start to feel anxiety, I'll take the beta blocker. Usually the anxious feeling comes from too much caffeine I've had during the day. I've had to really cut back on my caffeine consumption. Oh how I miss my morning coffee. I'll occasionally have some, but decaf :
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