My name is Judi and I and a 28 year old mother of 3. I have been married for 5 years and together with Ted for 7 years. Ted is 32 and our children's names are Rykley, a boy, who will be 4 in June of 2001. Sydney, a girl who is 2 1/2. And our Angel Rylen who is 9 months as of May 2001. Rylen has Down Syndrome and it was not diagnosed until he was about two and a half months old. So his diagnosis was not part of my illness but yet in the end turned out to be what brought me out of my depression.
This was my first time with any kind of postpartum disorder. Whether it be ppd, pnd or ppp.
Well with hindsight always being 20/20, I should have seen this one coming. I went into premature labor at 33 weeks at the burial of my 34 year old sister in law ( a sudden accidental death) and my Mother in Law ( cancer 1 and a half years previous) ashes. We were 3 hours from the nearest hospital and knowing I was facing a possible C-section due to a breech baby, after having 2 normal vaginal deliveries, was sending a terror through me that I never knew existed.
I had been having complications with pregnancy induced hypertension and of course my blood pressure was sky high with the circumstances. The doctors gave me some demoral to help with the pain of the contractions and hoped it would relax me enough to bring my blood pressure down. As the medication took effect and I felt a warm rush of the narcotic in my system, my blood pressure sky rocketed to a very dangerous 186/128. Looking back it was the "stoned" feeling that gave me the sense that I had no control and therefore I should not COPE with what I was facing. A C-section and a premature baby.
The medication they gave me to stop the contractions worked and I recovered without incident from the labor. It was the panic that was caused by all of this, that they were having a hard tome bringing me out of. They literally had to drag me out of the room kicking and screaming, to get an ultrasound. Not that I did not want one , but that I could not deal with leaving the room. They pumped medications in me like crazy, demoral, morphine, valium, ativan, and sleeping pills over the next few days, all of which I have a vague memory of protesting to both the staff and my husband. All this was to hopefully bring me out of the panic I did not know I was in. Until now. Luckily after only 2 days we went home with no baby, Thank God!
Looking back it seems as a dream. When we got home after the premature labor, I was somehow convinced that our house was possessed with demons, and in order for me to stay there I needed to have it blessed. This was a process I repeated a number of times after the baby was born as well as this one time before. Once the house was blessed, I was fine and the rest of the pregnancy went off without a hitch. And as a foot note, I was never a big religious type of person, but for some reason at the time this all seemed perfectly reasonable to me. Ted on the other hand was a little concerned for me at this point.
Other than a few minor complications over the next 6 weeks from PIH things were going pretty well. I was induced at 39 weeks for PIH and toxemia and had a very fast and safe delivery. I had felt the best I had in 9 months and all was wonderful, until exactly 2 weeks later. I remember waking in the middle of the night , and not because of the baby, TERRIFIED. Of what? To this day I still don't know, and I don't expect there will ever be an answer. I woke Ted and told him I felt like I was going crazy! I did this many a night after this. I had no control over what was happening in my mind. I had no control over my shaking arms and burning skin. I had no control over ANYTHING! And I was hearing voices, echoing in my head. I told Ted that I was having bad thoughts, he would ask of what and I did not know. There was nothing specific I could tell him other than I was going crazy. After Ted was able to calm me, I fell asleep, only to wake minutes later to carry on a conversation with people on my dresser. I was hallucinating. Everything was cloudy and I could not stop the voices. I have no idea what our many conversations were about ,but Ted tells me I mumbled all through the nights.
I would speak with God ALL day long as I laid on the couch unable to move. Unable to take care of my 2 older children and wishing my baby had never been born. Thinking "if he was just gone", then my life would be normal, I would be normal. I would feed the baby only when I HAD to. I would get the other 2 only what they NEEDED. Ted had to take so many days off work to make sure that I would not hurt myself or the kids, and to make sure they were taken care of. I was also lucky enough to have my parents come up to help take care of the kids. Without the support of Ted or my parents there is no doubt in my mind that things would have been much worse.
One night as Ted tells me, since my memory is very fuzzy, I went into a rage. I was throwing things and yelling. So to calm me Ted drew a bath for me and while I was in the tub crying uncontrollably, I saw the razor blades. I began to cut and when Ted found out what I was trying to do, he brought in the 3 kids and told me to do it in front of them. I couldn't. After I got out of the tub I went into another rage and grabbed a knife from the kitchen and sliced a big line on the side of my forearm. When I discussed this with a friend we came to a conclusion that I may have been "cutting" to replace the mental pain with physical pain. Not necessarily trying to commit suicide. In my mind this is what I wanted, but deep down I didn't want to die. I should have gone to the hospital for stitches but I begged and convinced Ted that if we went , they would commit me to the "Mental Health Ward". We did not go. From this point on I have no idea or details of what happened. I have no idea how I made it through days and nights. It is all a blur.
Even as I am sitting here writing this with Ted's help, I am re-living every moment have described this far. Ted is telling me " that is good, but it is only a small part of it". When I ask him for more details he cant find the words. Emotionally this has been as hard and as draining on him as it has on I. The only words he can find are "completely helpless". I feel as though I have been writing forever.
Trying to find a beginning or a reason behind all of this has been the hardest part to deal with. I don't know what I miss more, the naivety or the innocence of not knowing what was behind the wall of the door I have just opened. I never knew this kind of fear or darkness existed.
My memory is very fuzzy. And to this day I am finding clothing and toys that I had purchased in the depths of my depression, that I have no recollection of. My story is not the most serious of cases and is not the most mild, but I believe that I was given this illness to help others and that we are all the best medicine for each other.
Together we can fight this!!!!