You are not alone!! You are not to blame!! You can feel better!!
A Story With a Happy Ending
Sheila McComas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Depression After Delivery Support Group Leader
It began three days after the birth of my first child, Stacy. Suddenly I had obsessive, harmful and scary thoughts about my baby. I know those thoughts were wrong, but they would not go away.
My husband and I had been excited about the birth of our daughter. Although we had heard a 30 second excerpt about the baby blues during our childbirth class, we were not informed about postpartum depression or how to seek help for it. I didn’t tell anyone about my thoughts or feelings. I had intense anxiety over being a new mother, constant crying, sleeplessness, panic attacks and thoughts of suicide.
At six months postpartum, afraid to share the whole story, I told my doctor about my daily crying spells. The doctor’s response was that it was probably postpartum depression, and my husband and I just needed a weekend away.
Looking back, I know they were trying to be optimistic and positive. They didn’t know how serious my condition was until I finally told my husband. After that, we started a long, but worthwhile journey to recovery.
By chance, I found the address to “Depression After Delivery” (DAD). After receiving an information packet, I read every word. It was then I realized I wasn’t alone. While telephoning a “DAD” volunteer, she spoke about postpartum depression and encouraged me to get professional help.
Although it took over a month to muster up the courage, I did make an appointment with a wonderful specialist and started treatment.
When Stacy was two years old, I found out I was expecting! Wanting to plan from the start to avoid another depression, I researched what could be done to prevent a reoccurrence. My prevention plan included Bradley childbirth classes, writing a birth plan, family support and with my psychologist’s help, researching to use of natural progesterone after the birth.
The thoughts did occur again on the third day after Chelsey was born, but we increased the hormone level and within days I was myself again!
Two years later, Kelly was born. Using the correct dose of hormones soon after birth, I never had a scary thought or depression . What a wonderful feeling!
Why am I sharing such an unhappy story when motherhood should be such a happy time? Because I don’t want any new mother to suffer like I did. New parents need to be aware of postpartum depression, but not overwhelmed with the thought that it might happen. I often feel my depression would not have been so devastating or so long lasting if I would have sought help early.
For most new mothers, baby blues disappear. But if you have symptoms ranging from anxiety, guilt, confusion and more, seek help now!
Help may be in the form of calling a phone volunteer, exercise, rest, medication, counseling, attending support groups or support from family and friends. You can overcome it!
Call for information: 972-699-0420