I was never one of those people who always wanted kids. In fact, it was not something I gave a lot of thought to. On that particular issue, I was a fence-sitter at most. However, once my partner and I decided we wanted to try for a baby, I was firmly in the two-or-more camp. Having had siblings growing up, I just could not imagine my own child not having the fun and fights that comes with having a brother or sister. And so I embarked on my child-bearing journey, with happy thoughts of lively dinner table discussions, and a backseat full of little ones.
I remember my pregnancy being a really blissful period. Ok, so I threw up pretty much every day for at least six months. Still, I was one of those glowing, happy pregnant ladies that you read about. In fact, my mood was so level that, for the first time in over six years, I was able to stop my anti-depressants without feeling it in the least.
Oh yes, did I mention that I suffered from depression before I got pregnant? Well, I did. It was not too severe, but just enough that I was on medication to keep me from dipping into that deadened, apathetic place. Being a research-oriented person, I had read quite a bit about depression and pregnancy, and I knew about the heightened risk of postpartum depression for those who had previously suffered from depression. I had talked with my partner about it extensively, and planned to resume my medication immediately after having my baby. I thought I was prepared. I was wrong.
The delivery of my baby was difficult, and breastfeeding afterwards was a bit of a nightmare. By the time I came home from the hospital I was exhausted and worried about my baby getting enough to eat. Is there any new mom who hasn’t gone through that? But that’s when my postpartum self threw me a curve ball: postpartum anxiety. Depression I was prepared for, but this? This was something entirely different.