...and then I crashed

We had decided we were ready to have a baby in Aug '98, so we began trying to conceive. By late November it still hadn't "happened" and I decided it was just as well because I had gotten laid off from my job and was thinking about going back to school. Also my canine baby (lab mix) was getting older and was not feeling well and getting cranky. So I was worried about having a baby around him. Of course I got pregnant the next month!

After the initial shock we were happy although I do remember being anxious over everything in the first couple months. Before we began trying for this baby I'd had a miscarriage and now I was spotting in early pregnancy. However everything in my pregnancy went well. The only problem was we had to put my precious pet down when I was 4mths pregnant because he had gotten aggressive and bit me in the face and my husband on the arm for no reason. This was devastating for me as he was my baby for 7years. I got through the next 51/2 mths by obsessing over my baby that was coming.

My labour was not traumatic, although it was a forcep delivery. He was 2weeks late and almost 9lbs. For the first 7 weeks I was in heaven, I finally had my precious baby and although I was tired I was happy. The day after my 7week checkup (it was a week late) I started feeling weird. It started with just an overwhelming feeling of anxiety, I remember being in the basement throwing in some laundry and thinking I didn't want to go back upstairs I wanted to just runaway, it seemed to come from nowhere, like the flick of a switch. This was followed by waves of moderate depression. I made an appt with my family doc who told me to take time for myself and to wait and see if it passed. A couple days later I called him desperate for help and he started me on 10mgs of Paxil. I was left this way for a month and it got worse.

I held on through New Years and then I crashed. I honestly thought I was going crazy, the depression was overwhelming and the anxious thoughts were constant. I was so afraid that if I was left alone I would hurt my baby, of course I didn't want to, but I was having such terrible intrusive thoughts I thought what if I lose control and go crazy? My poor husband was doing all he could while working full time and I was on a waiting list for a counseling service. At this time I went to my Mother-in-law's and had a melt down. The baby and I stayed for a month.

During that month my doc increased my Paxil to 20mgs and I finally got into the counseling service. Things improved and I moved back home. I continued to improve for another month and then it was as if I was at a standstill, my doc changed my meds to Zoloft and after a few weeks I began to improve again. By 6mths I was feeling much better but still had a mild depression that lingered until about a year after this illness had begun.

Here I am 18mths later and feeling great. I am currently weaning off of Zoloft and hoping to get pregnant again soon! Although I still have some moments when I feel anxious or down, it is nothing close to what I experienced and I am able to work through it. If I experience this again after my next pregnancy, I feel I will be able to get myself help faster and I will have the skills and knowledge to get through it again. Having PPD has changed my life forever, I feel that I know myself much better and I am much, much stronger than I have ever been!

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