It's like going Postal... which isn't funny considering what happened in Kentucky today. Please forgive my irreverance. But it can be serious. A friend calls it, "Going Postpartum"... as if you go there on purpose.
But it happens to many of us... One in ten pregnancies end in PPD, to quote one statistic. Chances are, if you know ten ladies who've had a baby, at least one of them has dealt with it to some extent.
This is not to be confused with Post Partum Blues. Those first few weeks are a roller coaster. Sleep deprivation is a huge contributing factor. It's normal to be a little off your game after another human being emerges from your body. I read that 50% of women deal with that.
What I'm talking about though can last for months. "They" say to talk to your doctor after two weeks of persistent symptoms.
Personally, I took medication after #2 arrived. I was adjusting to life with a 13 month old non-walker and a newborn who didn't much like to sleep. We had just purchased and renovated our 100 year old house, but we still had a long way to go. We didn't have many friends living near our new home and no family nearby. It was really hard. We also had some marital issues. Among other things, I was having pretty nasty panic attacks. At about 4 months post partum, I got help. I went on some antidepressants so I could get a handle on some of that. It helped. I do not regret it. I came off the meds after #3 was conceived.I also read that the symptomps peak around 3 or 4 months postpartum. So a word to the wise: if it's bad at 1 month postpartum, if it's affecting relationships at 2 months postpartum, GET HELP... the storm hasn't even started yet.
This is only the second time in four children that I've made it to six months post partum without being pregnant. Let me tell you, I feel like a new woman. I feel normal again... aside from PMS. I can honestly say that 2 months ago, it was really really really hard. Difficult circumstances seemed insumountable, loneliness was deep, I was constantly tired, I was rarely happy... it was yucky.
But I just passed the six month mark. I'm not pregnant and I feel great. I feel so much better than I did two months ago that I'm willing to blog about it. I will say that looking back, I'm glad I didn't go on meds this time. They sort of mess with me more than I wish they did I'm glad I was able to hang on until I got out of the hormonal funk.
Remember the broken olive oil that I talked about. Yep, two months postpartum. At three monts post partum, you'll recall I talked very vaguely about difficult circumstances at our house... I was actually in tears. At four months postpartum, I started getting weepy about Seth going to school. In hindsight, I can attribute so much of that to a bout with PPD. Then again, if I was still feeling not-so-much-like-me, I would figure out a way to intervene... mostly for the sake of my husband and my children :).
However, to get medical help or not to get medical help is a very personal decision and one that should not be made lightly. If you're concerned, talk to your doctor or midwife. Check in with them often. Do not let the symptoms persist and wreak havoc in your life.
It should be a joyful time celebrating a new life, God's blessing to your family, a little miracle in your arms.
And, yes, I believe that God answers the prayers of a sad Mommy too. I prayed and I believe he heard me.