Postpartum Depression is one of the worst things that can happen to a Mom. You seriously miss a portion of your life, a REALLY important portion. Imagine the worst you have ever felt. Imagine the guiltiest you have ever felt. Imagine the saddest you ever felt. Imagine the most pain you have ever felt. Those descriptions would encompass PPD.
A few things that I clearly remember from that time have been flooding my recent memory.
- I hated all the people who visited me and hated all the gifts they brought. The sight of the gift bags sent me into an organizational panic. I was NEVER like this before.
- I was more interested in vacuuming and obsessively cleaning the house than I was with Camryn. I swear the aftermath of PPD is that I am still a little neurotic.
- I missed her first doctors appointment because I was laying on the bathroom floor crying and couldn’t pull it together. Dave had to leave me on that cold floor and I knew by the look on his face that he too was living a nightmare. Anytime I see a new family enter the pediatrician’s office I often wonder how great the Mom isreally feeling.
- Faking it. I hated that I was being watched for daily progress. Looking back everyone was on my side, wanting me to get better, but through the illness I felt such pressure to get better so everyone would just leave me alone.
- My Mother-In-Law recently shared a story with me and I remember this event literally throwing me over the edge.Here is the story from her perspective…………………….You had an appointment with the Pediatrician for Cammy. It was a usual, regular baby check up after she was a couple of weeks old. When the doctor was examining her she asked, “what happened to the baby’s head?” You answered nothing, that there was no injury that you knew of. I remember her questioning if her head may have been banged in a doorway and who had been with her. You were trying to remember who all had been at the house in Drexel Hill and who had handled Cammy recently. She ordered an X-ray of Camryn’s head and wanted a particular technician to take the x-rays because she trusted him and his proficiency and called the order into the hospital and told us to go right away. It was snowing like crazy and we had to drive Cammy there. When we got into the car you burst into tears, irrationally fearing that Social Services would be called. I tried to calm you down by saying, “let’s take this one step at a time and see what happens.” At the hospital the tech took the x-rays. I was in for one of them and you went in for another one. I remember pacing the halls and praying for a good outcome. I also was crying at this point but I didn’t want you to see me since you were already upset. They read the X-ray right away and the radiologist talked to us and said that Cammy had normal calcification of her soft spot and that she was fine. Then we had to drive back in the snow and I was fuming at the doctor because of her accusatory tone. I wanted to stop by her office and tell her right then that Cammy was fine and that she had caused great alarm and stress but the weather and roads were terrible. You were relieved but I think the whole event added to the stress you were already feeling as a new Mom.
- A few months went by and I over came PPD. My spirit, meds, spunk and faith and more meds brought me back fighting. After years of saying no more kids, Hertzog baby number two was set to arrive in 2009 and I was ready with my armor and some high doses of Zoloft.