Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression- where to begin.

First, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that God would bring me here with this type of depression. 

I have never been depressed or had any mental health issues in my life.  I believe that I have always been pretty even keel with my emotions. 

From the moment my beautiful baby was born I was tired. So tired. Something that no one could prepare me for.  The day before I went into labor I did not sleep at all.   Then my water broke at 7 a.m. and we were off to the races. I labored throughout the day into the night.  Until the following morning at 2:00a.m. my beautiful baby girl was born.  After pushing on and off for 5 hours I was exhausted. I was spent. I almost was so tired I wasn’t excited. I felt almost in shock. I was excited, but couldn’t believe we just had a baby.  A baby girl named Kenna Rae. 

From there I did not sleep. I fed Kenna every two hours (she was a little thing, 6lbs 1oz) and they checked my blood pressure every hour throughout the night. The next day I tried to nap, but I couldn’t sleep. The next night, I kept Kenna in my room.  I did not sleep, every noise, every move, I checked on her. I was still also feeding her every two hours. Another night of no sleep. 

The next night, I had the nurses take Kenna into the nursery so I could try to sleep before I went home.  She awoke starving, so they brought her in. The sleepless nights continued.
The next day we got to go home.  Before we left the hospital the nurse went through many things that could happen with me or the baby and to call right away if I noticed anything.  Before they left they had mentioned postpartum depression.  Something I didn’t even read about in my baby books. I never thought I would get anything like that. I was so excited to have my baby. I was so healthy and in such great shape, there is no way I would get postpartum depression. 

The first weeks were hard. I cried all the time. I was tired, but I couldn’t sleep.  I had low blood pressure so I would feel faint and shake.  I would sit and cry in my closet. I would call my nurses and they said it was normal and it was called the baby blues. 

Then the paranoia and anxiety kicked in.  I was paranoid that I would freak out and snap. What if I was one of those crazy moms that snapped because she was soo tired. Then I would cry more for even thinking that because I loved by baby girl more than anything in the world. But these thoughts. These crazy thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone.  I had gone weeks with no significant amount of sleep.  What was wrong with me? None of my sisters had PPD, none of my friends had talked about ppd. Was I crazy?   No one ever talked about this. I felt all alone.

I couldn’t sleep because every time I closed my eyes I would have terrible thoughts about me snapping.  I would sit there and think what if I did this, what if I panicked, what if I freaked out, what if. what if. what if…….

I went through the motions everyday, some days I would be afraid to be home with Kenna by myself, just because I was scared I was going to snap.  I never ignored Kenna and never even set her down because I wanted to be with her all the time. So why would I have crazy thoughts? 

We would go out and people would ask, “How is it going?” “Isn’t it wonderful being a mom!”  I would smile and say yes of course, but inside I was thinking. This is terrible. I am crazy. I am not myself. What happened to me? How long will this last? 

Finally, I hit a breaking point and went to my doctor.  I sat in her room with Kenna in my arms and bawled. What was wrong with me. She looked at me and said, “This is normal. This happens to people”. WHAT?? Normal. No one ever talks about this.  She insisted I go on depression medicine. I didn’t want to, but I was so desperate. My baby blues had turned into full on postpartum depression.  

So I started taking anti-depressants- hoping for an instant cure. It wasn’t.  I still had hard times. I remember once taking a long hot shower and getting down on my knees and praying to God to please take it away. I just wanted to be a normal mom.  The doctor upped my medicine and my hormones started to even out.   I started to feel better. I went back to work and things got a lot better.   

I don’t remember the specific day when I felt better, but Kenna was over 7 months old before I started to feel like myself again.  I weaned off my anti- depressants and I am now completely off.   From time to time when I get really tired, I feel my mind starting to break on me again and the thoughts creep back, but overall I feel like myself.  Some days I have bad days and ask if I will ever be normal again, but I know in the future I will be. 

So why write about all of this??? Because no one talks about postpartum depression, so I will. IT HAPPENS. IT IS SCARY, BUT YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  Most people have no idea that I suffered from ppd, or would ever guess that I had postpartum depression.  When I was in my worst times I would look online for people who could give me hope things could and would get better, so here is hope for people out there searching. Kenna is 10 months old and I feel so much better.  My ppd is not completely gone, but I am almost back to who I was before.   Please if anyone ever has any questions. ANYONE- please ask or leave an email address and I would love to answer questions or help in anyway I can.  

Sometimes, I think God makes us go through horrible things so that we can help others in times of need.   

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16 thoughts on “Postpartum depression

  1. Ayla -this is amazing and I had no idea. I am so glad you shared this so that people can reach out to you in the future. You are an amazing person! Love ya!

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  2. You have no idea how much this means to so many Mothers who live with a black cloud. They assume shame comes chained along to such a fate, but you've turned around and said “no way! I'm bigger than this, and God is going to use me to help others!”

    Thank God for you, Ayla!

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  3. Ayla, this is Megan Duwell's sister Lindsay. I had PPD with my first daughter – it was so awful and scary, but frightfully common. When I became pregnant with my second daughter, I was immediately afraid that it would happen again… but it didn't! She's now 4 months old, and this birth has been a completely different experience than my first. I was lucky to have a doctor that was as in tune to my mental wellness as well as my physical wellness. Thank you so much for sharing. You are a good mama! 🙂

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  4. What a great post! Yes, it does happen! I myself found myself feeling that way after my Son was born. It is so scary being a first time Mom and all the emotions that come with it- No one can prepare you for that kind of responsibility. I was in a similar mental state after I had my Son. I remember crying and wondering when I wouldn't be afraid of motherhood and all it brings. I hope your post brings help to other Moms who feel the same feelings. It does end and it is ok to seek help.

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  5. Ayla, I appreciate your honesty. I too am a first-time Mom, and you're right, NO one talks about PPD! I didn't experience it, but I feel for you, and others who have. I think it takes a lot of courage to come forward, simply because of the judmental society in which we live. Thanks for your courage and wonderful story! Glad you're feeling better! 🙂

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  6. Hey Lindsay,
    I am happy to hear that it did not happen again with your second one. I wondered if it would happen again when we have another child. Being a mom is a wonderful thing and I couldn't be happier now:)

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  7. Thank you,
    and it was hard to write because I didn't want people to judge me, but it wasn't something that I chose to go through or anything I had control over. I also feel so much better. Thank you for your comment:)

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  8. Ayla, thank you for so bravely giving a voice to PPD. We don't acknowledge or talk about depression enough. It happens, even in perfectly healthy people, and there is hope, it can and does get better! Best Wishes 🙂

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  9. I know this took a lot to write and you're helping all of us by sharing. My question is in regards to those who may know someone who has PPD – what can we do to help at the time? and through the healing process?

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  10. Ayla, I am so proud of you for sharing this! I know you have already touched so many moms with your honesty and advice. I too had PPD after I had Ben and I my case was more in the way of constant fear and anxiety. I have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks even when I was not PP. It is crazy what our hormones can do to us! I'm so thankful that you are getting better! Many blessings and prays for you!!! Love, Julie

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