I've always tried to be open with my Post Partum Depression experience. It was really one of the biggest trials our family has faced so far, and was very traumatic for my husband and I both. I can't watch any shows with suicide, because it sends me into a panic attack, and even the little you-tube comedies that joke about suicide really stress me out. It just wasn't funny, and its too real for me. I am so grateful to be here today, with my wonderful husband and beautiful children, expecting our fourth baby in a couple months.
There is a big gap - 6 years between our youngest and this new baby. Honestly, that's because of the PPD - it was so traumatic, and it gets worse with subsequent pregnancies, and we couldn't even imagine facing it head on every again. But, slowly we recovered, and last year, we knew that there was another little one who needed to come to our family. We prayed and prayed, knowing that God was the only one who could get us through all that pregnancy brings.
So, it's been going well. I'm almost 27 weeks, and its been a rough pregnancy, but overall, everything has been okay - and little baby SweetPea is perfect. I am still on my meds - we talked with the Dr about weaning off, but he (and we) decided that keeping me stable was most important in this pregnancy. There's just that anti-anxiety med that I can't have while pregnant. So far I haven't missed it - I've been just fine without it. Until last night. I really missed it last night. I ended up having a really crummy panic-attack. I ended up using every calming technique that I'd been taught over the years of therapy, and was able to fall asleep eventually. This morning, I had another panic-attack.
I *will* make it through this - I have a wonderful husband, a good Doctor, and my Heavenly Father all watching out for me, keeping a close eye on me. And I have an extra weapon in this whole PPD experience - I am willing to talk about it, and be honest. Admitting that you're dealing with PPD (or any depression or anxiety) is one of the hardest steps. And sometimes, you have to be your own advocate - forcing yourself to open up and make others understand what you are dealing with.
Its really hard when others don't understand the reality of what PPD does, or the reality of my personal struggle that landed me in the psych ward. When those you are close to don't understand how close they were to loosing you, and how scary that is STILL, even after almost 6 years have passed, it can feel really frustrating - like they don't care. Reality is, they just don't comprehend it, they can't understand, and its not their fault. But, I am blessed to have a husband who was there, and does remember very clearly how real and terrifying that experience was.
We'll be okay. I will have PPD this time (its already beginning), and it will stink, but it will NOT be a repeat of last time. It will be a hard time, but a time where we will do whatever we can to make sure that we all come out of the PPD fog eventually. I refuse to get lost in the suffocating clouds of depression ever again. And the way for me to do that, is to be open and honest - not try to pretend things are okay, or hide everything behind a convincing fake-smile. The fake-it-till-you-make-it technique doesn't work with PPD, but God did give us modern medicine, if we are willing to accept the help.
Anyways, sorry for the rambling ... just had to get all that out of my head and written down :)