Friday, May 14, 2010

On a Serious Note: Talking postpartum anxiety

I mentioned yesterday that I take what I refer to as Happy Pills. I'm going to take some time today to talk more about that, and in this same post, talk about an incredible book that I recently finished reading.

The book is called, Inconsolable: How I Threw My Mental Health Out with the Diapers, by Marrit Ingman.

This book was incredible. Marrit (and I feel like I can call her that after reading this) pours her heart and soul into telling us about her early and later days of parenting. She TRULY talks about Postpartum Depression [PPD] and how she felt dealing with a stressful child.

You see, not everyone is blessed with an easy-going baby. I speak from experience here, folks. The young and beautiful child I show to you in various pictures was not quite so adorable as an infant. She cried ALL.THE.TIME. She had reflux. She nursed A LOT. She barely wanted anything but me and my boobs. She wouldn't take a bottle. She had to be swaddled and fall asleep with a hair dryer running. If you moved her she woke up. And many more fun things.

Yes, I am sure many of you are saying, I know that child. I HAD that child. Heck, maybe you even WERE that child. Apparently I was. Great - right? Karma's a bitch and all that. Well, add a touch of PPD, or PPA [anxiety], as I like to call my own experience, and all that shit hits you like ten tons of bricks, instead of the usual single ton.

Now, for me, my anxiety started towards the end of my pregnancy. Or maybe even earlier. All I know is that I was NOT sleeping. My mind was racing and I could not turn it off. I spoke to my OB, and she suggested I safely start up my Sarafem. Sarafem is something I had been taking monthly to deal with what is normally called PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) before I got pregnant. I took it for two weeks out of the month, to coordinate with my cycle and {woah!}MAN did it help! It's like a teeny, tiny dose of Prozac, and seriously alleviated any mood swings, etc. that I experienced monthly. And my husband loved it.

It was considered safe for me to take this while pregnant, so I started it and took it until my next appointment. When the OB asked me if I would be breastfeeding. (Huh?) Or if I'd be trying to. Or planning to. Or whatever it is they ask you when you're a mommy-to-be and have so little clue what is in store for you. I said I'd be trying, and so she switched me to Zoloft. The switch was because Zoloft is considered a safe drug for nursing mamas. I was sleeping again. I mean really sleeping. That, in and of itself, was a huge bonus. Aside from getting up to pee every few minutes, I was doing well.

Enter - stage left - Baby girl. Stay tuned, folks. It gets even more interesting!

* Quick affiliate link in this post. If you buy this book through my link Amazon gives me a few pennies! * 


  1. Andrea,

    Thanks for talking about this. My little precious gift from God was colicky and like yours wanted to feed around the clock. The only way she would sleep was post feeding on my chest which explains a LOT of our sleeping issues now. I took Lexapro for a year after her birth. Basically, I went in and my OB said, "How are you feeling? Are you sleeping?" and I started to cry. That was her answer. Thankfully, she was a fabulous doctor and got me help. It's important that we talk about it so others don't feel alone.

    Love you and your redneck self!

  2. I remember the feeding around the clock. I was so overwhelmed with my first. I think I probably had some PPD. Never was diagnosed though.

  3. Thanks for talking about this! I, too, am a sufferer of PPD. It's always nice to know your not alone.

  4. oh, it is so wonderful to 'meet' you -- i nodded my head throughout this post , remembering my delightful firstborn baby girl. she was (and still is) an emotionally rich, feisty little thing... wow.

    and then, tack on a little PPD, and it was one wild ride for all of us :)

  5. I hear ya..I had one of each(baby)...
    easy and hard...and I was kidding about the happy pills comment..I used them a few years back(1998) after I was diagnosed with a serious illness...
    after 5 years I was in remission..but during the first year I needed some happy pills..I used paxil ..I think..
    It was wonderful...we all have our needs and times of needing..
    something...Im glad it helped you as well...those inconsolable little dears are very hard to calm and then to take care of yourself becomes so unimportant..


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