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Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Story of Pre-Partum & Post-Partum Depression. You are NOT Alone!!

Depression is NO Joke, and You Are NOT Alone!!

Almost everyone has heard of or know someone who has suffered Postpartum depression. For those of you who don't know what it means : 
Postpartum Depression is when a woman feels moderate to extreme depression after she has given birth. It can occur right after the baby has been born or up to a year later. I personally believe it can happen after that 1 year mark as well, it depends on your personal situation.
Not many people know about Pre-Partum Depression, that's when you get some sort of depression while you are pregnant. Some cases can be mild and others can be full blown extreme depression. Alittle bit of worry while your pregnant is normal but if you start to slip into deep depression, the thoughts you have can be dangerous and the stress can be too much on the baby and cause problems. If you realize you or someone you know is going through depression while pregnant, talk to your doctor or your friend and get help. 

Here are the symptoms of Pre-Partum Depression

  • Feelings of guilt, anxiety or worthlessness
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Impaired concentration
  • Changes to eating habits
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Lack of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

I had no idea there was a name for what I was going through. I also had no idea how common it was for a woman to "not want her baby" for a while when she was pregnant. Let me explain.

My boyfriend and I got together in October of 2004, I had just turned 17 and was still in my "Party Girl" teenage years. We were together for almost a year when I realized that I hadn't had my period in a few months! On my 18th birthday, I looked at my mama and told her I was proud of myself because I made it to my 18th birthday without having a baby or being pregnant! Everyone around me was having babies early and I always wanted a baby but never really thought about when I would have one. Come to find out, by the time I made it to the doctor, I was 4 months pregnant. That means that I was pregnant on my 18th birthday but didn't know it. My first pregnancy was wonderful! I didn't have morning sickness, I didn't blow up in size like people were telling me I would, I only got the basketball-belly. I did have to start going to the doctor twice a week due to my belly deciding to stop growing during my last couple months. I had to be hooked up to a NST machine and press a button everytime I felt my baby kick. Other than that, all was fine and dandy. The only problems I had were the fact that me and my aunt didn't get along for a few months while I was pregnant. Both of my aunts were also pregnant and sometimes it was hard to be around another pregnant woman. After I had my daughter in June, I realized it was tough being a mom. My boyfriend was working alot so it was normally just me and the baby. I'm not for certain, but I think I was starting to get some of the postpartum depression symptoms. My daughter wasn't even 4 months old yet and I realized that I was once again, pregnant! Already stressed about my first baby, I was horrified! I cried and cried! I went to the doctor and they confirmed it. I was 3 months pregnant. Finding out that I was about to have another baby was not what I wanted to hear. My daughter was very young and so was I. It didn't make me feel any better to know that we were barley able to afford living as it was. A few weeks after I got the confirmation from the doctors that I was, indeed, pregnant again, I quietly broke down. I didn't want another baby. My boyfriend already had 2 sons, other than our daughter and we was getting his youngest boy every other weekend. It was very hard for me to handle both my daughter, Loran, and his son, MJ, both at the same time, by myself! Like I said, my boyfriend was working all the time and it was 2nd shift from 4pm until 2am or 3am so when he was home, he was sleeping. I got to the point where I would would do nothing but get out of bed - take care of my baby's needs, and stay on the couch. I didn't want to move, I didn't want to eat, I couldn't sleep. I would stay up at night until Alan would get home and then hang out with him and our best-friend until they would wind down from a night at work and then I would try and get some sleep. Most of the time I would lay in bed wide awake until I got frustrated and would get up and find something to do. (I'll admit that normally it was video games... Fable on XBox is wonderful) I sat there, in my house, day after day wondering how I was going to take care of this new baby? Could I love it like I loved my daughter? Would I be able to care for 2 kids at my age? Would we have the money to care for 2 kids, not just kids... 2 babies? My due-date for my 2nd child was set for the month before, Loran's birthday! I wasn't even sure if my babies were going to be a year apart or not. My neighbor's son and his wife had been trying to have a baby for years. They had one son but it was her son from another marriage so they wanted a child together. They had tried everything but they couldn't get pregnant. I was so terribly close to giving them my baby. I wouldn't of actually just handed my child over, but I was thinking about letting them adopt.

One of ultra-sound pictures from the day I found out I was having a another baby girl

Once I found out I was having another daughter, it made me feel a tiny bit better. I was worried that if I was to keep this baby, I wanted it to be a girl. I never had the want for a son. Don't get me wrong, I love boys! I have 3 little brothers and 2 step-sons and love them all dearly. I just don't know how I would handle the differences between the 2. I have wanted a baby girl for aslong as I can remember and I always told myself and everyone around me that I did not want a boy. Of course, if I would of had a boy, knowing that I can't choose what sex I want my child to be, I would of loved him just the same. But knowing that I was having a girl made me feel a bit better, but not completely. I still wasn't sure if I wanted the baby that was growing inside me. My boyfriend was pretty supportive, he wasn't happy that I didn't want the baby but he understood why. Noone really knew exactly how bad I was suffering. I was going through this pregnancy alone. With my first daughter, both of my 2 closest aunts were also pregnant with girls, we were only a few months apart. Everything I went through, it wasn't long that my aunts were going through the same thing, all with our first babies! Loran was born in June, Alexandra was born in July and Jane came in September. All right after one another. Noone was pregnant with me this time. Both my aunts were getting use to being new mommies while I was breaking down inside. I wouldn't tell anyone how I felt due to people thinking bad of me. How could I explain to my family that I was spiraling out of control and I felt like it was the baby's fault?! I felt horrible for feeling the way I was feeling. I wanted to love my baby. I didn't want to feel nasty thoughts about her. I couldn't even tell my mama, I was afraid to tell the doctor even though I'm pretty sure that I should of said something because I had a mix of Post-Partum from my first baby and the Pre-Partum with my 2nd. Once I started feeling my daughter move around in my belly, I slowly started loving her more and more. I knew she was coming and she was mine. The closer I got to her due date, the more I wanted her. By the 6th month of pregnancy, I had to do the NST visits twice a week again. It was the same ordeal, my belly wasn't growing like the doctors wanted it to, but my babies were always healthy. I don't remember how many times my doctor asked me of I was suffering from any type of depression but I was never alone with my visits and didn't wanna say anything and for my family to not understand. By the time Jade was born, at the end of May, I loved that little blonde baby girl more than ever! I was now 19 and extremely glad I didn't make the decision to give her up. If I would of put hope in that couple's mind's, that they were about to get a baby of their own, I would of had to of broken their hearts and kept her. Jade was mine and I wasn't giving her up. I loved her just as much as I did Loran. After we got home and I was a new mother of 2 babies, life was hard. I had 2 daughters that were under a year apart. Both in diapers, both with bottles, both in cribs. My oldest, Loran, would cry everytime her baby sister would cry! It was so pitiful and cute all at the same time. It was also very stressful! I wouldn't only have one screaming baby... I had 2. I would have to feed one while making the other happy. I was stressed and since we had a new baby, Alan got a new job and worked even more. I've always been the type of girl that if I had a problem, I dealt with it. I didn't like going to the doctor and complaining so they could give me something to make me feel better. (That's how asking the dr for help, felt like for me) So once again, I started getting symptoms of Post-Partum depression again. I kinda knew I was going through Post-Partum but I kept quite and worked myself through it as best as I could. I took care of my babies and rarely ever felt so bad that I couldn't or didn't want to go on with my day. On the bad days that did pop up, their father took over very well. He helped me out the most he could with him working all the time but even he didn't know it was depression that was making me feel that way. I believe he just thought I was not happy with him and my life and I'm very sorry that I didn't let him know what was going on at that point. My daughters are now 5 and 6 and I love them dearly. Yes I still deal with bad days where I am very moody and nothing seems right. I have lots of days where I think that this is not how my life is suppose to be. I never thought I would be almost 25 years old with 2 kids in school. My main thought is that the only dream that has came true for me is that I would have a child. I wanted to travel and now that seems impossible to me but I always remind myself that it's okay for now. Things will get easier as the kids grow and I remember how hard it was when my girls were smaller. My depression is getting alot better as days go by and someday I may decide that it's to hard for me to take and I'll goto the doctor and see what they say, but for now I'm doing great. My life is good and I'm happy. I love my daughter's with all my heart and I wouldn't trade them in for anything in the world! <3
Anyone who had dealt with this, has their own story about how they went through or is currently going through Post-Partum or Pre-Partum Depression. If you believe your going through any of this, know that YOUR NOT ALONE! Here is another story about a woman who is pregnant and is going through the Pre-Partum Blues. (The Blues is when it's a mild case and hasn't made it to the not eating, sleeping and full blown depression) She is having a real hard time coping. The video is from Ricki Lake's new show on the ABC channel called The Ricki Lake Show.
Watch Below

I hope my story helps someone. Even if it's just one woman who reading this and realizes she may be suffering through either Pre-Partum or Post-Partum Depression and decided to get help, I will be happy. Extreme depression can be harmful to you and your unborn child. It can also cause your relationships with people around you decline. If you need help, don't be afraid to ask for it. The help you need is just one question away. Please share this post so we can spread the work on Pre-Partum Depression, almost 70 percent of pregnant women today feel some sort of depression during pregnancy ~12 percent suffer from extreme depression! And even fewer realize it and get the help they need.

Post written by Autumn B

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