I originally published this story months back on Medium, though thought it needed to be on my blog also. There is so much stigma associated around PPD that we really need to be vocal about this. Mother’s are taking their own lives, sometimes their babies along with them. This needs to end, we need more support ❤️
Even after having three children, I had no idea how debilitating Postpartum Anxiety and Depression actually was and how much it can wreck havoc just like a tornado touching ground throughout your life. I thought that I was educated on what it was like having PPD from a prospective, though I have never experienced full blown PPD. So with that being said, I was in for a huge surprise to say the least. The period after my third child was born was the happiest years of my life.
February of 2014 I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child. My pregnancy was different in subtle ways, but pretty much the same as my other 3 pregnancies. I was always plagued with the ever so daunting morning sickness during my first trimester, not discriminating with my fourth pregnancy. The similarities were on track up until 6–7 months pregnant. I wouldn’t realize this until many months after my son was born.
I was always late, induced and had my water broken with my other 3 deliveries. I know every pregnancy is different and I shouldn’t just assume that it won’t be, in my head I kept thinking , I was 4 cm dilated at 20 weeks with my last pregnancy among given two shots of steroids and told to stay on bed rest. He came two weeks late! PS.. how are you supposed to actually rest after being given steroids, I was speeding around my house scrubbing bathrooms and toilets.
Patrick came into the world on October 19, 2014, weighing a whopping 8 pounds 1 ounce at 3 1/2 weeks early. He was all bruised from the delivery and looked as if he just stepped out of a boxing ring.
I was actually scheduled for my very first C-Section the second week of November being Patrick was measuring in the 98th percentile. The doctors were afraid I wouldn’t be able to deliver him with my smaller frame, and all my babies were 8 pounders and honestly don’t know how I pushed them out. I was looking at 9–10 pounds and there was no way it was happening naturally. I never had a C-Section with my other deliveries and looking back now, just maybe it was a blessing in disguise, all though I always had horrible, painful deliveries. I had three pregnancies prior and when it comes to pain I am a complete baby. I can’t handle pain, I never could.
When my husband and I arrived at the hospital to be checked, I honestly had no idea I was in active labor. I was having irregular contractions for about 24 hours but they were not your typical labor contractions. So when the nurses at the hospital checked me and said prep the delivery room she is 8 cm dilated and ready to deliver, I was in complete and utter shock. I still remember that dead night in labor and delivery, it was eerie, it was quite compared to chaos with my other deliveries and the pain intense. I was one of two woman in the entire L&D, the pain was more intense then my other 3. Between the time I arrived and the time I delivered, it was a total of 4 hours until my baby came into the world.
My 3 year old was obsessed with the baby in my belly and have so many sweet pictures of him laying on my stomach, listening to the heartbeat and kissing my stomach. It was 2 AM when I went to the hospital and they were obviously sleeping and I didn’t wake them because I honestly thought I was just going to be sent home, just like all the other times I rushed with prior pregnancies to just be sent home.
We were going to paint my stomach the following day and they both were sooo excited to do it. I pictured their little faces, so confused waking up to mommy and daddy no there and the baby being already born. My mother in law was the one who encouraged me to go to the hospital to get checked and she stayed with my boys that night. I arrived at the hospital around 2:30 am and Patrick was delivered at 6:18 am. My labor, though quick, was the most painful one I could remember. It was late at night and only one other couple in labor and delivery, it was quiet and calm where my others were not. It was just different if you know what I mean.
Patrick ended up with a slight temperature right before we were scheduled to be discharged and being he was almost a month early, he was sent to the nicu for further observation. Being it was October, my children couldn’t visit being the cold and flu season and I was discharged. When your baby is in the nicu you can not stay with them over night.
A couple days later I was discharged but he was to be observed in the nicu. I had to go home without my baby, this is a feeling I can not explain and something I never went through prior, it was the most heart wrenching, empty feeling in the world. We had our neighbors stopping by to see our newest addition only to be told that he had to stay for observation. He ended up staying for a total of 10 days , and that made me have a deep appreciation for mother’s of babies in the nicu for weeks, months or even longer. And keep in mind that a lot of these mothers have small children at home, and other mother’s may be single moms with small children at home. It is one of the most painful experience in the world, to deliver a baby but return home without him. And that is when I started spiraling deeply into Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.
He finally came home on the 30th of October, one day before Halloween. Mind you I was back in my pre pregnancy clothes at that point. I should of known then that something was wrong, I always gained at least 50–60 lbs during all my pregnancies, though I did gain that with Patrick, it was mostly belly and horrible swelling in my legs and feet. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. Even clothes hurt.
After my third child, my husband and I were planning on getting married , January 2011 he proposed and I still had 50 pounds from my 3rd pregnancy a year later. I started doing Zumba and boot camp and thankfully lost the weight. So for me to do nothing, just 10 days after giving birth and back to my normal pre-pregnancy size, it just wasn’t normal for me.
In the first couple months the signs were subtle but I thought were expected. Not sleeping or eating much, agitated and fleeting. I just thought I was overwhelmed! Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I will be publishing Part 2 very soon. I wanted to break this up into 2 posts being my Postpartum Anxiety and Depression started during pregnancy. If anyone is struggling please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. I would gladly be happy to talk to anyone who needs someone, or anyone you can trust in for that matter. Nothing you did before, during or after pregnancy has anything to do with this. You did absolutely nothing wrong.
You are not alone. ❤️
You are a great mother. ❤️
You deserve to be happy. ❤️
Please comment below if you would like to share your story.
Don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need someone to talk to without any kind of judgement if you want to stay anonymous. xoxo