Thursday, July 9, 2015

The ugly truth of PPD

I would like to warn you before reading this post that it is filled with raw honesty. It is vulnerable. It is honest in the sense that the ugly truth of PPD is about to become exposed. The following is a place of acceptance, not judgement, and a place where women who have suffered should be able to come and know they are safe. So here we go...

PPD is a cruel bitch. It doesn't care what makes you a good parent or a bad parent, what makes you caring or hateful, it only cares about itself. It cares about where it's going and where it's been, not where it needs to be. PPD could care less about you.

Like any parent, I was paranoid. I was worried. I was anxious, and I checked on my baby. A lot. And I read a little too much about what can go wrong. I read a lot about SIDS. I was paranoid of SIDS. In the hospital, I barely slept, lying there wondering if my baby was still breathing in the nursery, and when she slept in her bassinet next to me I laid there and watched her, making sure she kept taking breaths. Then we went home. She slept in a Rock N Play next to our bed for the first 8 weeks; until my medication was fully enforced, I should say. I watched her like a hawk. I was always making sure she was breathing. Sometimes I would blow in her face just to make sure she would react; I didn't care if that woke her up. But why did I care so much? PPD made me so numb to affection, to love, to giving a shit....that honestly, in that moment, I did not care if P succumbed to SIDS. Never once did I think of harming my baby, but the thought did creep up that if something out of my control happened to her that took her away from me, maybe that would be okay. It would be a relief, really. I could get back to my normal life. I would have Hubs to myself. I could be me again. I liked her, but I didn't really love her. I knew I could live without her.

What a horrible parent I was!!! What a horrible excuse for a human being! Well, no.....I wasn't. But I was letting the PPD win. I am a giving person. I genuinely care about others and always have, but I had never been so depressed before where I didn't care about myself or anyone else around me, except Hubs (yeah, believe it or not, his happiness and feelings were the only thing I cared about that kept me going). But my horrible parenting didn't end there.....there were times when maybe I burped P a little too hard, when I picked her up to soothe her just a little too roughly, when I set her down just a little too rigidly....there were times when I should have picked up the phone and called someone. There were times I should have put P in her car seat and just driven to the ER. I don't think I would have ever hurt P, or myself, but I was also able to get help after just 2 months post-partum. PPD escalates. It does not go away on it's own (trust me, I tried). I don't even want to imagine how much worse things could have saddens me to think I even let it get as bad as it did. But it happened. And it's okay. P is happy. She's healthy. I'm happy. I'm healthy. We love eachother. We play. We cuddle. We go out on the town. We go shopping. We travel. We're besties.

But I am lucky. PPD/A/P does not always stop there, at thoughts or mild actions. Sometimes it goes so far as to self harm, or much worse, death. And I want to tell you about the organization Jenny's Light. Jenny gave birth to a little boy in November 2007 and just 6 weeks later (the exact amount of time it took for me to confess to Hubs what I was really going through) her and her son lost their battle to PPD. Her story breaks my heart. But her story should inspire you. Their story should inspire you to stop the stigmas that follow PPD. Their story should bring you hope that you do not need to wait it out, or hope, that things get better. Their story should teach you that seeking help, going to counseling or being prescribed medication, is the best thing you can do as a parent. It makes you a strong person. It makes you a warrior mom.

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