I can’t believe I’m doing this. I told you a while ago I’d be honest. So here goes.
I have postpartum depression. (you thought this was going to be funny, huh? Sucker)
Up to 80% of women of women experience minor-sadness after giving birth and some of them fall into severe postnatal or postpartum depression (I got that off of Dr. Phil, so it has to be true). I can’t be the only one. We just don’t talk about it. So I’m going to.
In fact, I found this picture when I googled “postpartum depression”. The name of this picture is “sad woman”. You know what else frequented the list of pictures under said search? Lots of Britney Spears. Brooke Shields. Stupid Tom Cruise. Lots of sad looking moms. Not uplifting AT ALL!
Postpartum depression (PD? Okay) is a slap in the face for new moms. Here you’ve just gotten your body back from being a host to this little bundle of joy and now WHAM, you hate everyone. You hate yourself. It’s such a superfantastic time to be a little down, too. You’ve gone from loving your belly bump, showing it off, caressing it, wanting the husband to have his hand glued to it to absolutely LOATHING the sucker. Hiding it at all cost. It’s amazing how in a matter of a DAY I can go from loving my body and the life it’s producing to HATING ITS GUTS. Literally. I hate my uterus right now. Hate it. I kind of hate my intestines, too. And if Lance gets anywhere near the big crappy saggy fat skin that hangs over what would be a belt ( if I wore belts, but I don’t because I only wear pants with an elastic waist) I grab his fingers bend them back until he’s screaming for mercy on the floor. In my mind. Still. Don’t touch me.
The worst part about PD is that it breeds on itself. It’s like throwing water on Gremlins or letting them eat after midnight. It k
ind of looks like that, too. Anything that could make you feel better, you absolutely do not want to do. You should probably exercise, but the PD makes it so you’d just rather sleep all of the time. The night feedings do that as well. You should get out with some friends, but the last thing you want to do is shower and get all dolled up (like you can- none of your pants fit and there’s no way in hell you’re putting back on those maternity ones and risk some skinny seeing the elastic belly in it supporting your gut and you swear SWEAR you’re still puffy from all of the fluids they pumped you with when you delivered, only it’s been TWO MONTHS since then and you may or may not have peed that out the day after you had the baby). The less you do, the more you feel bad about doing so little. Then you do even less because you wander around feeling bad all day.
Probably the worst part is the six week checkup. You walk in and a nurse you’ve never met before asks you a bunch of questions. No STD. For reals. One partner who’s only had one partner EVER. The buck stopped here (according to the nurse, it seems, there are only two types of people… those who could have an STD, and liars). She doesn’t believe me. Why would she? I’m two hundred pounds of HOTNESS. I should be getting around. Asks me about my bowel movements. My uterus. My hateful hateful uterus. (I should not be so bitter to an organ that supported life to four out of the five best things I have in this life, but it’s like she knows I’m going to set her on fire here in a couple of weeks and is doing whatever she can to …wow… go down in flames?). Then the question, without even looking up, “so..you feeling…a little blllooooo sometimes?” yes. I HAD marked that box. Yes, you’ve given me the blue pills. Yes, I take them. Yes, I take the white ones that smell badly as well. Yes. I am a gremlin.
I don’t tell the nurse that I don’t feel like I’m bonding with my fourth baby like I did my third (but I had to have a strong bond with Peyton from the beginning, it might be the only reason why he’s still alive) because no matter what I say, she’s going to think it’s because Abby has Down syndrome. It’s not. It would not be any differe
nt if she didn’t have Down syndrome. It wouldn’t be different if she slept through the night and pooped money. I am depressed! It’s hard to love when you’re depressed. Even as I write this it’s all I can do to not go back and delete it, because I know YOU’RE thinking it’s because she has Down syndrome. It’s not.
Then the doctor comes in. The same questions. The same use of the word “blue”. I ask for a referral to a psychiatrist. I don’t like just being handed the latest psych craze drug and being sent on my merry (ahahah) way. The wait to see a psychiatrist? Up to a YEAR. But I’m impatient NOW! So I take the referral card for the psychiatrist, the vasectomist (in a related subject, it didn’t even phase Lance that he’s going to have to get a vasectomy on top of me getting my uterus torched…nothing phases him. ever.), the dermatologist for that weird growth on my shoulder (again, gremlin), and the number to the outpatient surgery center where I will be burning my uterus at the stake.
I go home. Prozac. Sleep. Tears. Cute baby. Prozac. Fooood. Food! That’s another thing. Going back to hating my body. Instead of being fat/pregnant, I’m now just fat. And unlike my other post-pregnancies, the weight JUST WON’T MOVE. Mostly because I haven’t been doing a lot of moving. I tried that. I hemorrhaged. I did get to ride in an ambulance with an ambulance dude who also could not believe there was no chance of me having an std. Plus, food tastes and FEELS good when you’re sad. Not a lot else does. So skittles it is. A LOT of damn skittles.aa) way.
You’re going to tell me I have a lot on my plate. Yes. The baby I just had has Down syndrome. I also have a child with autism. A husband who has a jaw that pops when he chews and who is allergic to happiness (kittens). But those things aren’t going to go away. I’m hoping the postpartum does. I need a win. I really really do.
This was not meant to depress you. It probably has. Man. Now I feel worse. YOU made me feel worse. You should probably bring me some skittles.
13 thoughts on “I’m a gremlin. And not the cute kind.”
I'm super impressed with not only your ability to write and express yourself in a way that I dream of, but in your honesty. You have not made me depressed. You have made me love you even more. That's cheesey. Dang. Oh well. Take it as you will.
Leslie took the words right out of my mouth. I got severe post-partum depression after Shelby was born. It was the most miserable time of my whole life. I would cry and cry and not know why. I LOVED THAT GORGEOUS LITTLE SPIRIT THAT OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN BLESSED ME WITH! I DID! But I was in the "gall of bitterness" and deepest despair. It took more mental, spiritual, and physical strength to get me out of that hole, than in any other time of my life. I adore your honesty. I wish I would have had this forum in my struggle. Blog away, sis. I love you with all my heart.
I am also deeply impressed by and grateful for honesty like yours. I have too much to say, I'm gonna go e-mail you. But just so everyone's clear, is the general rule of thumb that ewoks are cute, gremlins are not?
Ah, Lexi, thank you for your honesty! Sometimes I can address my depressive episodes in the past tense but it is hard to reach out in the moment. I had PD after Elise was born. She was 10 months old before I sought help. I still have regrets about her babyhood as well as very little memory of her. May I also suggest counseling? I don't just struggle post partum, depression is a regular occurrence for me. I've learned that medication helps ease the symptoms but it is counseling that treats the illness. Although, maybe for situational depression medication is enough. I don't know. I've tried to do both and it does help to talk to someone who is trained to help with depression. You can usually get in to see them sooner than a psychiatrist too so maybe they can help while you wait for the appointment. Good luck! Please, please, please, may I watch your kids for you when you want a break? Even if it seems more inconvenient to call someone for the hour before bedtime or whatever it is, I would be happy to watch your kids. And are skittles really your comfort food? They seem so virtuous compared to chocolate or pastries, etc. I'm ashamed to admit it, but oreos and/or Hostess glazed cake doughnuts are what I want to stuff my face with and feel disgusted with myself for doing it. Anyway, that's my novel for the day. I hope it starts getting better soon. If you ever want to talk, I'd be happy to listen! I think I understand at least some of what you are going through!
I know this will seem wildly inappropriate but I am actually really, really happy that more and more people are willing/able to admit to depression in all it's forms. It's so freeing for others to do the same and therefore get help. So, I love you for being honest and open.While I have never personally dealt with postpartum depression, it is one of my greatest fears. All I look forward to while being pregnant is Not Being Pregnant, and loving a new baby. And to feel like crap after the baby comes, and unable to bond with that baby cause you feel like crap seems like the worst possible blow to me. Probably my most situationally depressive period of my life was last fall/winter. I had just moved, I had no friends, I was sicker than crap with an earlier than expected pregnancy, we were dealing with being a one car family, and the rain, oh the rain. I really thought I was losing my mind for awhile there. So, while I've yet to deal with the dreaded postpartum depression, I can somewhat empathize. It's hard to constantly feel "blue." (Hate the cuteness of that term, BTW.) Also, I'm with Mary–Skittles do seem sort of virtous!:) I lean towards buckets of ice cream and seriously chocolatey treats in any sort of funk and they seem waaaaayyyy worse. To me at least. I hope things get better for you soon, though whatever means necessary. Here for you if you need anything. Really and truly.
I love you! You are awesome and you're doing a great job. Feeling crappy sucks, I know! My most favorite story is telling people how at my 6 week check up they asked me if I was feeling "blue" and I burst into tears while I said no! Umm…hmmm. Maybe I was?YOu can expect some treats shortly!
The problem is you are eating the wrong kind of skittles. You have to eat the Crazy Cores in the Orange wrapper.I love you Lex. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this on top of everything else. I had it bad 3 times. Really bad. I wanted to drive my car into a tree, was sure the cable guy stole my keys and was coming back to kill me and I wanted to kill Jeff on a daily basis. I don't get it. I think Heavenly Father should hand us a big basket of patience and love and calmness after bringing another one of his kids into this world. Why the opposite? When you are already so tired and so overwhelmed? Hang in there. Come see me in a week and I'll get up with her for four nights in a row and you'll catch up on sleep, eat a lot of skittles and really good Mexican food, get a suntan and we will laugh and laugh. You'll come home so refreshed and will feel so much better. I promise. I love you.
Skittles? Go back to Mild Duds; at least they have some poor quality chocolate involved. I know it will get better in time, but if the good wishes of your many, many friends could make it better, it would be better yesterday. Love you.
I don't think anyone could have described PD better. You are so great to put words to this common phenomenon. I love what Mary & Melanie said too….I think with each baby we have we should get hotter not fatter. I HATED my post baby body. It always made me wonder how I could have an almost 10 pound baby and then step on the scale a day later and be just as heavy as I was before delivering. Aaron always had to listen to me talk about how disgusting I looked and deal with my "closet explosions" every Sunday morning before church when I tried to find something to wear that DIDN'T look hideous. I always felt like I was crawling out of a "pit of despair." Hang in there Lexi, one day you'll look back on this as something you triumphed over. I love you and your amazing spirit as many others do.
YES! PLEASE!! everyone talk about it. you're not less because you admit it! i promise. you forgot the insane rage i am blessed with after i give birth. and the non-ending tears. i love you and i also know the only way to get through it is to get through it. feel it, and let it go.and yes, i'm six months late on this post. bite me.
I'm late to the party, I know. I just stumbled upon this post today and I was struck by how wonderful it was. You have an awesome take on things and I really appreciate your honesty. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. -Angela (aka Caffeinated Autism Mom)http://caffeinatedautismmom.blogspot.com
Honestly, I know how you feel. I don’t kmow how old this post is but I found it on Pinterest. Its a lil depressing but not becasue you made me more depressed than I already am. I find it troubling that I still feel this way and my son is now four years old. You’ve just had your baby or at least just did whenever this was written. I do have a lil advice and trust me, I know its hard but if you just get out of that bed and go n for a walk, blast some music in your ears and just walk. It doesn’t matter how I feel even if I domt want to listen to music cause I’ve been that depressed, I’ll play sad music if that’s what my heart wants then I’ll play music so that I can cry it out. Music is my savior and its honestly the only way I’ve gotten by. I never tried an anti depression pill cause I always fear someone saying I’m not stable enough to care for my son. He’s all I have.
You’re so right. I do that now a lot, and my baby is now three. There’s something about music that helps vent all of the terrible feelings.
i hope you’re doing okay. If it all doesn’t work, I’m still a huge fan of prozac. It’s been around the longest and is well researched. Take care of yourself. Your son needs you. thank you for the comment.