Pregnancy

I Finally Caught A Break In My Postpartum Depression

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So last night, we were very wary of the whole event. My parents were watching baby on the sidelines and things seemed to be going well. But toward the end of our last game, when the score was close and things mattered, I messed up. Even with a happy baby on the sidelines. I tried to snap out of my funk as the game went on, but we sort of fell apart and the other team scored point after point on us.

After we thanked my parents for watching baby and retreated to the parking lot for a post-game cigarette, my daughter seemed snug and content in her carseat. I, on the other hand, was reeling as I stood outside—at myself, for screwing up, and at my team, for not cooperating with each other and for the feeling that they all suddenly hated me. The PPD cloud in my brain had swollen to the size of a blimp and I honestly wondered how I was ever going to survive the night, let alone the next few days, weeks, months.

Not to mention how much it sucks to feel like the few adults I get to see each week don’t really like me anymore.

So when I heard baby’s muffled cries from inside the car, my husband and I said our farewells to the team and pitched our cigarettes. I reluctantly sat in the backseat next to her, something we thought we’d try tonight because we were out of ideas. I’d tried it before, I’d even tried nursing her by hanging over her seat in a moving car one night a few weeks ago out of intense frustration. I was 99 percent certain my presence at baby’s side was only going to piss her off.

As expected, she was wailing as I buckled in and my husband took off. I tried stroking her hand, she pulled it away. I tried rubbing her tummy, she slapped me. I cooed, “it’s okay,” only half-believing it, wondering if I was even going to sit through the ride home without screaming or bursting into tears.

Then, in the middle of this depressive Tour de France running its race in my head, I rested my head on the side of her car seat  looking up out the window from her perspective. “Look, it’s a church, honey. And there’s a gas station. See all the lights?”

She continued crying, my neck was aching, but something in me just said keep talking.

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13 Comments

  1. Justme

    January 31, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Don’t give up the volleyball. It saved my life too. 🙂

  2. msenesac

    January 31, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I’m sorry you are struggling so much. I have had depression before so when my first came along last year, I was looking out for PP. Thankfully, the reverse seemed to happen- I loved my son and couldn’t deal with anyone else. A couple of months later, I started going to a trainer 2x/week to weight lift. Getting out of the house and burning some steam evened me out tremendously. You probably already know this, but try to leave your apt and do something for yourself more than once/week. Even if it is just walking/jogging for 30 min. Having a life outside of being a mom was a huge help for me to balance myself out.

  3. BK

    February 1, 2013 at 12:33 am

    It makes me so sad and upset that you can’t do anything about your PPD because of your healthcare situation. That’s horrible, but I’m glad that you have something that can help.

  4. Jen

    February 1, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Thank you for sharing this! My daughter is 13 months old, and I have been struggling with PPD without health care as well. This post spoke to me, gave my thoughts and feelings a voice. Thank you for the reminder to take comfort in those moments of mental clarity no matter how few and far between they may be.

  5. AD

    February 1, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Stop smoking.

    • Justme

      February 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Although I appreciate your concern for her overall physical health, quitting smoking at this fragile stage in her life could actually do MORE psychological harm.

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  7. Sarah

    February 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this. I had ppd after my daughter was born for about fourteen months, and I wasn’t even aware of it until it lifted. The difference was striking. It is so encouraging to know I wasn’t alone. Good luck and happy thoughts with you as you struggle through this.

  8. Carm

    February 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Great story. We share the same grey afternoons. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Katia

    February 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    1. Stop smoking or stop nursing (for your child’s health. I’ve never used formula but wouldnt it be better than tainted milk?!
    And use some cash to go get a prescription for antidepressants. You may even be offered a sample. Should be money well spent. My friends cousin offed herself 2 months ago due to ppd. Hope you get better soon
    2. I can totally relate to your car story. Down tothe lean over nursing (what were we thinking? ) And your feelings.
    I find that talking helps the mood. Being alone with a baby and not talking can lead to a bad mood. Also it should hasten language development, right? This is discussed in the wonderful book “bringing up bebe”- your Car anecdote would fit right in.

  10. Peggy

    February 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s a bit comforting to know that the feelings I’ve been having the past year are part of my recently diagnosed depression rather than just my pessimism taking over. The fear that people aren’t really my friends, the paranoia whenever I walk out of a room, feeling like I’m a burden on everyone who loves me….I was fortunate to undergo evaluation and be prescribed a low dose anti depressant which is helping, and many of those feelings are fading away slowly. I wish you luck as you continue to battle this illness.

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