Dealing with Post-Partum Depression: “These are NOT the Baby Blues”

Melissa Mensavage
 

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At the end of this month I will have what I hope to be my final appointment with my doctor for my post-partum depression diagnosis I had received after I gave birth to my youngest son, Theo.  Eighteen months of periodic check-ups with my primary care physician, bi-weekly therapy appointments and countless mornings where I forced myself out of bed. I had no clue I would ever suffer from such severe depression.  I had mentioned previously that I had situational depression episodes throughout my life but nothing a night out with friends drinking my sorrows away didn’t cure.  Or a few weeks time of eating and watching sappy romantic comedies.  Though neither of those solutions would have worked in this case. My world was black.  My thoughts were fuzzy.  I couldn’t comprehend too much.  I was in care-taker mode of an infant and a two year old.  I didn’t sleep.  I cried.  A lot.  And then I cried some more.  I hated myself.  I hated my kids (oh do I have guilt for that).  I hated the world.  I hated that I wasn’t married. My mother and I fought constantly.  She was trying to help me, and I was being a perfect bitch.  She comes from an era where you either just deal or you brush it under the rug.  She didn’t get it why I was so crazy.  So when I showed up at her house, sobbing, to drop off Max so I could go to the doctors, I think she might have gotten it then.  I know she was concerned. And during this whole time – this first 4 weeks of Theo’s life, all I said to myself was, ‘What have I done?’.  What had I done to my family dynamic?  What had I done to bring this kid into the world – who is not perfect in my eyes (yes, of course he was he just wasn’t what I knew – Max.). About a year prior to this I sat in my fertility doctor’s office saying to him with confidence I wanted to try for another baby.  He smiled and said, ‘fantastic!’.  I smiled knowing in my heart this is what was right for me and my life.  I got pregnant after the first try.  I was shocked, I had expected it to take a bit longer.  I was then excited and felt SO blessed beyond means.  Little did I know about the change that would occur when I brought Theo home from the hospital.  When people ask how it went, or how it was going, I was honest.  It was hard.  It was a huge change for all of us. Yet, we made it.  We made it through the tough parts.  I started taking an anti-depressant after my initial appointment.  I started feeling better about three days after that.  Therapy helped.  Getting some sleep made it even better.   I started to research this diagnosis on the internet.  (A big fat no-no.)  Women die from this.  For some reason they couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I pray for them.  I pray for their children.  I am thankful everyday that those types of thoughts NEVER crossed my mind. Its been a rough October for us.  We were plagued with illness after illness.  The boys are finally healthy.  Though I had a pretty bad case of bronchitis, and now an ear infection, I feel great.  I feel happy.  I am SO thankful for my two beautiful boys.  Life is good. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I never could comprehend why people would take their own lives.  I never understood why they didn’t think they were worthy of  living.  After the black period I experienced, I now get it.  It breaks my heart to know that people don’t feel worthy.  I wish a hug would help.  And maybe it does in some situations.  So to anyone who might be feeling this type of pain or know of any one, you are worthy.  You belong here.

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