Baby Blues: I Tried To Make Good Changes For My PPD & All I Got Was This Lousy Emotional Breakdown

emotional breakdownBaby Blues is a column about raising my daughter in the windstorm of postpartum depression. Though discussing the dark spots of postpartum depression, I also share my successes.

Remember that part-time job I got, that thing that was supposed to make PPD easier to deal with? Yeah. Not so much.

The first week of my job was fabulous. I caught on quickly to the old-fashioned cash register and handwritten ticket system. The manager was totally cool with my need to pump milk every few hours, too. Baby had a few rough first days at daycare, but I expected that, so I wasn’t too worried.

That first weekend, we both got sick. And sicker. I called in to work Monday, said I needed to take baby to urgent care. My manager totally understood. We got some amoxicillin for baby and I figured I’d just power through whatever was afflicting me. I managed to work the rest of the week, but things got worse.

My daughter’s favorite daycare lady had just gone on vacation. Baby’s world was completely rocked for the second time in two short weeks, and she started exhibiting “boundary issues.” I felt like the daycare director was talking about someone else’s kid when she explained how my daughter wouldn’t interact with other toddlers, wouldn’t be happy in anyone’s arms and wouldn’t eat or drink.

“The only way she wants to play is alone in a crib. If we put her there with a few toys, she’s okay for awhile.”

For serious? She was talking about my child like she was some kind of pint-sized psychopath. I didn’t understand. Just weeks ago I’d seen my daughter gently touch another baby and give hugs to big kids at the mall play area. She normally loved following kids around on playgrounds, giggling and staring open-mouthed in their wake.

Then, work started scheduling me 30 hours a week—way more than I’d ever agreed to. My serving job was supposed to be secondary to my writing, and at this point, my manager wasn’t being clear with me about when, if ever, I’d get a regular part-time schedule like I was promised upon getting hired.

Meanwhile, baby and I just got sicker. I combated the disappointment that my breastmilk wasn’t all-powerful liquid gold after all. And I combated the irony that I had finally quit smoking cigarettes again and was rewarded with a vicious cold.

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  • amanda b

    Ive so been there. It always hits me hard to read stories like this, as it brings back the memories of those desperate feelings. Ive so been there.

  • KatieLady

    NORMAL ! all of it.. well, ive never wanted to call a suicide hotline, but everyone handles stress differently :*( i do want to say though, have you not read the toddler timeline ( and hasnt the daycare worker?!?!? FGS!!) that toddlers DO prefer solo play MORE OFTEN than play interactively with others?!?!? where did this lady get off making it seem okay to lock her in a crib alone as well!?!?!? TODDLERS PREFER SIDE-BY-SIDE play, and should NOT be forced to INTERACTIVELY play if they dont want to.. man, and i did my ECD’s back in the day…that is the one thing i recall about toddlers ((especially after having my own and two of them being same age)) that sucks that you had a week of feeling so bad about it.. and for your daughter to have been placed in a crib alone for the workers there to feel better for themselves…

  • Cassy C.

    I’ve been there, when it seems like thing after thing just keeps happening and nothing is getting better. It’s so tough, and I feel for you.

    While I can’t offer you any advice about what specifically happened at daycare, I’d be willing to bet that the long-term effects on your daughter are zilch. I know you checked out the daycare and (aside from that incident) feel good about it. If you need to switch providers, then you’ll switch, but I wouldn’t generalize and feel bad about putting her in daycare as a whole. I’d also be willing to bet her need for comfort when you dropped her off the other day had a lot to do with her cold.

    I don’t have any advice aside from to say that when it rains it pours, but it always dries up sooner or later.

  • msenesac

    I’m so sorry to hear you are having a rough time. It always feels like little things start piling up and then, seemingly out of nowhere, you feel like you don’t have control over anything. I didn’t have PPD with my son, but I definitely get overwhelmed.

  • Justme

    This is going to sound harsh and is a very strange comparison….but maybe it’s kind of like an addict – you have to hit “rock bottom” before you can start pulling yourself out of that black hole. Does that make sense? Mine was a Saturday night when my husband was thirty minutes away at a basketball tournament and I was huddled in my closet rocking back and forth while sobbing on the phone with my mother. My daughter was in her crib crying in her room. I just couldn’t handle it anymore. But that night made me realize that I JUST COULDN’T HANDLE IT ANYMORE and therefore I sought out the treatment I knew I needed to receive in order to get better. So here is to hoping that it really was the bottom for you and now you can start the long climb out.

  • Diana

    Seriously, In my experience there is no such thing as part time. Or rather there is a week of part tim. Then it rapidly becomes full time. Then a little thing I like to call ” Super full time” or “Hyper employment.” ;-)

    It’s good that you got your hours cut. Don’t let them creep up again. . You don’t need to make more stress for yourself.

  • wmdkitty

    You should always be your top priority — if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your child(ren).

  • Helen Hyde

    Ok this might sound harsh too. But depression is a mental illness… But you’re not willing to be treated for it, as you’ve said in other articles… Please seek treatment. You wouldn’t walk around with a broken leg.

    • Simone

      It is a mental illness, but drugs are not the only, or often the most effective, form of treatment. They’re just the easiest. Most doctors would love to prescribe yoga, meditation, and busyness to people with depression, but most patients aren’t willing to put in that effort, so pills are quicker and easier. I think the writer is probably taking the more difficult, but in the long term more effective, option. She already is seeking treatment, just not in the form of prescriptions.

    • Helen Hyde

      No, I didn’t say medication, I said treatment. I was referring to her past article “Baby Blues: I’m Never Going To Seek Treatment For My PPD”, where she says neither drugs nor therapy worked before so she won’t try again. I’m just saying, if she’s suffering then she should try a medically proven treatment. Just because you can’t see mental illness, doesn’t mean it’s the kind of thing you can just “shake off”…

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