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Thursday, September 15, 2011

PPD Story + Mega Mom Support!

I'd like to introduce you to my friend Jodi. Jodi is sharing her PPD experience to help promote awareness and to help support a local organization, Moms Supporting Moms, a part of Postpartum Education and Support.

I had my breakdown a year ago next month. It was a Monday morning, still very clear in my mind, and I was 8 weeks postpartum with my second child. My son was sick, again, and I was crying so hard I could barely text my mom to have her come over immediately. I waited anxiously at the door with a screaming, ill child and greeted her by handing over my son, saying, “I can’t do this anymore.” She had me call my doctor that morning, and I can’t thank her enough for starting me on the road to accepting and recovering from PPD.


The anxiety and depression were both new to me, and I only experienced mild baby blues with my daughter. N was a huge Christmas morning surprise to my husband and me (two pink lines? What?) and nine months later my cute little boy was born, unaware of the challenges that awaited him. He had a very bumpy first three months and was sick often: N had everything from harlequin color change to dairy intolerance. All of this weighed me down, spending countless hours at doctor appointments, pharmacies, and “researching” on the internet. I was overwhelmed. I felt guilty, exhausted, constantly sick to my stomach, and I cried many, many times a day. I didn’t want to show any sign of weakness.


My anxiety came in the form of the clock; it was my worst enemy. I would time N’s feedings with a stopwatch, starting the timer before getting him latched on just to add a few extra seconds. I couldn’t help myself, and I knew it was silly, but it’s just what I HAD to do. I had alarms on when to feed him, when to wake him, when I should wake, when I should sleep, and I was basically driving myself over the edge. I didn’t sleep much, and the insomnia was becoming dangerous: I vividly remember driving alone one night and seriously considering crashing my car just so I could get some rest in a hospital.


My depression surfaced during those long, lonely hours at night. I dreaded the sun going down, because I felt so ALONE, and was I left with my fears and guilt. My husband was fantastic and caring, my parents were helpful, but I just couldn’t shake the darkness that enveloped my life. I felt like I was living in a deep black hole and struggling not to sink deeper. I was scared to be alone with both children, scared to leave the house, and scared to admit that I needed help and wasn’t as strong as I thought.


Through an online moms forum, TriangleMommies.com, I read about Moms Supporting Moms and was willing to give it a chance. After sobbing my way through my introduction and hearing others talk, I felt so comforted knowing that I wasn’t crazy and that there were moms there that *got* my feelings of guilt, anxiety, and depression. If it weren’t for the caring and understanding moms I met through MSM, along with my wonderful family, I wouldn’t have been able to heal like I have. It’s been a long road, but light and happiness now fill my life, and I say yes, I can beat PPD. So can you.


If you live in the Triangle area and you'd like to participate in a walk to support PES and postpartum depression/anxiety awareness, please look here for more details on their upcoming Strollerthon!

6 comments:

The Empress said...

Oh, god, how I wish there were something like this in our area.

SO NEEDED.

An Imperfect Momma said...

It feels good to hear of others getting through this. I was just diagnosed, started meds and therapy. Will be looking into PPD support group. Thank you for sharing

Sandy said...

This is like reading a page out of my own diary! I was a slave to schedule, reluctant to leave the house for fear it would knock her routine off. Nights are still my hardest. What an amazing resource the triangle sounds like! Thank you for sharing your story!

Kate said...

You rock Jodi for sharing your story - one I can so relate to! I am so glad you found a community of support with other mothers and that it helped you heal.

My PPD experience was a major reason why I now work for a nonprofit that provides support to new parents, including a weekly free PPD support group in greater Boston. We want a day when all moms having problems in their adjustment to parenthood can be connected to support, like you found Jodi.

Thank you to you and Andrea!!

Kate said...

Just wanted to add because maybe it will make you smile...I can laugh about it now but...I tracked my feedings in an Excel spreadsheet!! ACK!

katery said...

i wish there was something like this where i live. there is a support group but it usually meets while i'm working or my husband is traveling :(