When I was a kid I had severe anxiety and some insomnia off and on until the end of high school. I never knew that it was a type of depression until I was in college and I was reading about the different types. Nobody knew about any of it except my parents who I once disclosed my horrifying fears to, but they had no idea what was going on. My dad replied that if it kept happening that they would take me to a priest, so that shows how much knowledge they had about anxiety and depression in children. Sometimes my fears and anxiety would be paralyzing at night and I would lie awake practically until morning. My mom took me to talk to the school counselor in grade school and he talked about how I could imagine that noises I heard at night were just the cat outside or the wind or whatever, but I only saw him that one time and he didn’t help me. My mom doesn’t even remember any of this when I talk about it now, except for the fact that I could never spend the night at any of my friend’s houses as a kid, and if I did I would never sleep.
So when I became pregnant for the first time I knew I was at risk for PPD. My anxiety started up again toward the end of my pregnancy and I recognized the same fears and emotions I had as a child. The worst of it was after I delivered my daughter, it was very scary at night, so scary that I can’t disclose my thoughts or feelings that were happening to anyone except the therapists and support group that I was seeing. To this day my husband doesn’t believe that I even had PPD, and I think it is because I act so normal on the outside while I deal with everything on the inside alone, just like I had done as a kid. I never took medication for it because the worst of it ended after about the first month or so, but I wasn’t completely normal again until about nine months after I had delivered my daughter. I don’t trust those meds and all of the scary side-effects they can have. In the end PPD became my number one fear, really my only fear, about having children.
Right now I am researching ways to prevent PPD. Getting a lot of sleep, encapsulating my placenta, and keeping my diet healthy are what I plan on doing. I also need to get in touch with a good therapist and support group which helped me so greatly before. Even joining a mother’s group or breastfeeding group will help so much. I was a part of a breastfeeding group led by a wonderful RN when I was living in the bay area. She had also experienced PPD and we were able to talk and share thoughts and fears, which helped me so much. You just want to know that you are not going crazy and that you are not alone and what you are going through is normal for many mothers, at least that is what I needed.
I have had some down days and some mild anxiety up to this point, but I am worried that it will get worse. However I do not expect it to be as bad as it was the first time. I have a lot more good things going for me now: I no longer live with my intrusive mother in law, and I live just minutes away from my family instead of hours. I wish my husband could understand this about me, but it’s difficult for him for some reason. I am praying that the placenta capsules will do wonders for me, and I plan on writing a post about the benefits the capsules have for mothers and their babies. Meanwhile I am doing well, I have emotional days, but overall I am very happy and loving my life and I feel extremely blessed by what the universe and what God has given me.