The Shape of a Mother The Shape of a Mother The Shape of a Mother The Shape of a Mother The Shape of a Mother

« | Home | »

PPD vs “Baby Blues” (Crystal)

July 1, 2009

age:22
1st pregnancy
1 child
my daughter’s name is Lily and she is 3 months
i am exactly 3 mo and 3 days post partum

I found this website through just googling other women’s postpartum stories. I really love this website because it makes me feel a little “normal”. Sometimes I feel the issues I’ve been going through are only happening to me. Here is my story…I’m really reaching out for anyone’s advice or if anyone has been through this same thing.

My beautiful daughter Lily was born March 12, 2009. The first 2 weeks after she was born I felt amazing. I would just melt like butter holding her in my arms just looking at her. I was proud to be a mom and I still am to this day. It felt like I had also found a new love for my husband. I’ve always considered him the love of my life and after Lily was born it felt deeper. Like our connection was more intimate. My sex drive was high and I couldn’t keep my hands off of him. I loved my new body without the big pregnant belly. I also enjoyed my workouts at the gym every other day. I was so dedicated to the gym that I would just take my daughter along with me and leave her in the carseat right in front of my treadmill. I didn’t want to miss a workout.

I’m not too sure when it began to happen it seemed like my feelings started to turn for the worse little by little. It sort of came out of nowhere. All of the sudden I started to become a little lazier and making excuses not to go to the gym anymore. I stay at home with Lily and when my husband was at work I would find myself picking fights with him over text messages. The fights would get so extreme I would threaten to leave. When he would get home I honestly wouldn’t really remember just what exactly I was so mad about. I would get so mad to the point where I really just wanted to hit something. This is when I noticed that things were a little off with me. I’ve never been in a physical fight ever. This sort of anger is out of my character. Then my sex drive seemed to almost disappear over night. At first I just thought it would go away all of these strange feelings that I was having. I tried to just say that I wasn’t in the mood to my husband hoping he wouldn’t notice that it had been several days since the last time we made love. Of course that didn’t work and he began to think he was the problem why I wasn’t in the mood. I finally sat down with him and explained all the things I was feeling. I told him how lazy I was feeling, how angry I had been for no reason, how I was not interested in sex at all, and also how much I now hated my body.

I’ve been reading a lot online and talking to friends about this. Some signs pointed toward the “baby blues” diagnosis and some was the postpartum depression. I’m worried because my mother, father, and both sisters are all on anti-depressants. I’m wondering if maybe that made me more likely to have stronger emotions with this postpartum time of my life. I made an appointment for my Dr. to discuss this because my husband and I agree we can’t just let this go on and continue to argue over these things. Has anyone else went through any of this? Is there any kind of advice that helped anyone with the same issues? I just want to know I’m not the only one.

the pictures are of my belly today at 3 mo and 3 days post partum and our daughter Lily at 3 months old

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

12 Responses to “PPD vs “Baby Blues” (Crystal)”

  1. michael Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Hi,

    I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. What you are describing is postpartum depression as opposed to “the baby blues.” The two have very different onsets. Baby blues usually occurs around day 2 whereas PPD appears most frequently around week 6. Please don’t let that worry you – PPD is VERY treatable often without the need for medication.

    You did the right thing by contacting your provide and telling them how you feel and asking for help. The truth is, having a child is stressful. This does not mean you’re a failure or a bad mother.

    Based on our research, 85% of all women experience a down regulation in mood after having a child. 20% experience a clinically significant depression. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We don’t know yet what causes it, but it is real.

    Genesis: “In sorrow thou shalt bear forth children.”

    The above quote refers to Eve’s specific (additional) punishment for taking from the forbidden tree.

    If you’re scared or believe you may be in danger of hurting yourself or your child do not hesitate to call 911. If you need someone to speak to call 1-800-PPD-MOMS.

    Good luck and keep us updated.

  2. Mary Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    That is very brave of you to talk with your husband, many women just feel like its their problem and dont come out about how they are feeling. You are having a very normal reaction to having a baby, your hormones are still rushing through your body, your sleep deprived, and you have a new responsibility.
    I had my son March 9th, and I go back and forth with hating my body, loving my body. And I can remember fighting with my husband all the time the first few months as well. I started taking birth control(low hormone oral contraceptive) and I feel very balanced, and I am back at the gym daily for at least 30 minutes. I needed to get myself on a schedule. So I wrote down what was important for me (family, body, school, ect) then I mapped out a schedule. I started school full time, work out every day after class, spend the rest of the day with my kids, and try to have alone time with my hubby every night(we dont always have sex, sometimes just laying in bed holding hands until we fall asleep is what we can muster!) And I am in a better place, I shared all of this with my Dr. and if I didnt feel the way I do now I would def get some additional help via couseling or anti-depressant.
    I guess what I am trying to say is dont hold back on how you are feeling and find what works for you.
    Also, you look AMAZING! And your little girl is so cute, such kissable cheeks!

  3. Mina Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Crystal-you are so wise to reach out to other mamas like this. I can tell from your post that you really want to feel better, for yourself and for your family.
    Making the appt with your doctor was absolutely the right first step.
    I went through something similar after my first child (the initial euphoria, and extra crazy in love with my husband), and I also went through an angry period (and my poor husband bore the brunt of it). For me, everything eventually subsided and settled down as I became accustomed to and embraced the many big changes in my life (leaving work, not making my own money, giving up control of the flow of my day, etc). I never had a diagnosis (but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t an appropriate one…I just never went to the doctor about it).
    Good for you for knowing that you deserve to feel better than this.

  4. taiyo Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I’m so glad you shared your story. I went through ppd, and like you, was very confused by the whole idea of the “baby blues” vs. full-on post-partum depression. I kept thinking, as soon as I get enough sleep, I’ll feel like myself. This will go away. I was never suicidal, but I felt like my life was over, as though there was nothing to live for (which really is a terrible way to feel when you have a new baby who you feel like powerful love for.) I had a friend who was going through ppd, and she encouraged me to come to a support group. It took me about two months to get there– every time I’d have a bad day, I’d think that I would go, and then by the time it rolled around I thought I was feeling better. I wasn’t, however, and the group, along with individual counseling and eventually medication helped me get through it. I’m on the other side of it now, and things are so good. I feel like myself again. It’s interesting that you mentioned your family’s experience of depression. My family has always been very anti-medication, and I was so hesitant to go on anti-depressants because I felt that I was strong enough to get through it on my own. Looking back, I really don’t believe that I would have. They helped me to “reset” myself back to a more healthy worldview. I don’t think medication is enough– I’ve also really focused on exercise, diet and taking care of myself by continuing to do the things that I love– but they are definitely an option that really do help a lot of people who struggle with depression. I realized after I went through it that I think some close family members have been struggling with depression on and off for years (in denial, always) and I really think there is a genetic link (this has been researched, and it seems that many people who go through depression have a “mutant” gene that starves the brain of seratonin– this is why ssri anti-depressants can be effective.) There is a profound difference between the “baby blues” and ppd. Almost every woman I know has gone through the baby blues, but all of my friends got through it quickly and I did not. I kept thinking, can the baby blues last longer for some people? I don’t think so. I think it’s a good thing that you’re going to see your doctor about it. I also experienced the irrational anger at my partner– it’s a challenge for everyone involved. You’re taking the first step, and that is wonderful. You WILL get through this. Good luck.

  5. Crystal Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you all soo much for the words of encouragement. I have a little bit to fill you in on.

    I did go to the Dr. and they were very quick to want to offer prescription meds to me for my PPD (it is in fact PPD not baby blues). Now being that my family does have a history of depression the Dr. did say it might have made me more likely to go through this because it could have been passed on to me. It makes sense. I told the Dr. that I definetely would not rule out meds but I really wanted to try maybe counseling and therapy sessions before I went that route. I did speak with a social worker and she said the medicine sometimes just give you a “jump start” as she said getting back into your “normal” (whats really normal haha) state of mind. So I have an appointment this coming Monday on the 6th to speak with a physcologist.

    Thankyou for the comments about being brave…I hardly feel that at all. I just truly want to be better for my husband, our daughter and myself. I hate to sit here with all these emotions and thoughts going through me and realizing its not the way I used to feel about life in general. I did go through a couple months of denial. I didnt come to terms with whats really happening until recently when my husband and I would fight and I would lash out and just say the most horrible things. It wasn’t like me. I love my husband more than words and he means too much to me also our family that we have built thus far means the world to me…no one wants a sad mommy. Im very thankful that through all of this I am still able to bond with our daughter Lily. I have heard a lot of different stories about what PPD can really do to someone who isn’t treated. Some of the stories are a little frightening. But I just really wanted to say thank you so much to those of you who gave me some feedback. I opted not to do a support group but I truly feel this website is like my own support group. Thanks again!

  6. Lorena Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Girl, YOU ARE NOT SUFFERING FROM PPD!!!!!!!!!!! Listen, after you give birth, your hormones are alllll over the place. It happens to almost everyone. Not unless you are planning on hurting yourself or others, should you consider meds. Dr.’s are always giving you the easy way out. Just because your family suffers from depression doesn’t mean you do. My family does, and I’ve never had symptoms like them. It takes a year for your body to balance back out. Once you realize this, things become easier. Make sure you go to the gym. Your body will release feel-good hormones called endorphins. Eat better too. The better you eat the more energetic you will feel. The same exact thing you are saying happened to me! Trust me you will be ok!!!!!! Only you know what is really going on with your body. There is no test for ppd. If you don’t want meds, don’t take them.

  7. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    July 3rd, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Let’s not be the ones to decide if Crystal is suffering from PPD or not – we simply do not have enough information to make that diagnosis. I personally believe very strongly in what most people call “alternative” treatments to depression and I absolutely think everyone suffering from PPD should consider hormones and deficiencies as possible causes, but I am also not anti-meds – they can be helpful and sometimes life-saving.

    Crystal, I hope you find some peace within your heart and mind, soon. I’ve been there, sister, and it’s no fun!

  8. Shawn Johnson Says:
    July 5th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Crystal, you are NOT alone! I understand PPD, personally. It is great for somebody to tell you to eat better, sleep more, and get out once in a while, but that isn’t always possible and I feel that you came to that understanding. You have to fight the depression which makes you act in certain ways, even though you have the knowledge of knowing what is best whether that is eating the right foods, getting enough sleep or going to the gym. As a new mother, you know that sometimes not one of those are possible in a day. And you have to fight the societal pressure to just feel good because you had a baby. No one who hasn’t been there themselves can understand that PPD is a reality! Sure, there is no blood test that can determine it, but there are studied psychological tests that help professionals determine if this is an issue with you. Women have suffered forever with this, and it is just gaining more acceptance and recognition. When is the last time a mother at the playground told you the realities of their day with honesty?

    I have a little different path that I am following. My doctor is not willing to discuss the PPD issues that I am following. My marriage is suffering, my relationships with family and friends are suffering, my body is struggling, my ability to mother my children is struggling. I feel I loose more of myself everyday. However, she shrugs it off and tells me that I have a lot on my plate and it will get better when the children are older.

    From what I am reading, this isn’t a body issue thing about eating right or going to the gym. this is more of how you are feeling.

    There is no shame in experiencing PPD, and I am glad that you are able to reach out. There is nothing, you, I Bonnie, taiyo, I, and others could have done to prevent this. I believe that as with all psychological disorders, PPD has a spectrum of severity. You were very lucky to be able to recognize it. Some people don’t and there is tragedy. And luckily, too, I have been able to hold on! You ready of stories of mother who killed their children or committed suicide. This is a reality we cannot ignore. Some day, you, I and othesr will look at the birth and years following the birth of our children as the best years of our lives. Let’s hope and do what ever we can that is BEST for OURSELVES, each and every day.

  9. Crystal Says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Hello again just giving an update on things with myself and responding to some of the comments.

    I had my first visit with my therapist on monday and I’m not sure how long I will be seeing her but it does help. She really puts things into perspective and is a very real person. In response to “Shawn Johnson” you are right about the whole people can tell you to eat right and exerise everyday but the reality of it is…sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way. I told my Dr. (therapist) that I have gone on a diet since I haven’t been motivated to go to the gym. She looked at me and said with all sincerity that salads and fruits only will make me more hungry. She said to take things in small steps. Make small goals instead of saying I AM LOSING TEN POUNDS…instead say I wont eat chocolate this week…then before you know you have lost 5 pounds and you wonder how it happened. I agreed that small goals for me right now are best. She said sometimes when you make big long term goals and nothing in between you focus on the long term goal so much and you get so drained that you feel it will never happen. So my small goal this week is…spend more time with my husband and enroll in college. So far so good.

    Also to what “shawn johnson” said about some mothers have actually harmed their child. I think of that fact a lot and count myself blessed that my situation is not the case of that. You were very right that we are so so lucky to recognize symptoms of PPD before it progessed and sort of stayed with our moods for a long time.

    I want to say thank you all again for your comments and support it means the world to talk to others who are going through the same thing or who have gone through. I have another appointment with my therapist next week so I am guessing it will be a weekly thing…honestly it was a little awkward at first but I find myself looking forward to next weeks appointment. Every day is a battle…and sometimes I have to take the day one hour at a time.

  10. Bonnie (SOAM) Says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    But one hour at a time will get there there, however slow it may seem. :)

    Glad to hear from you, mama, keep checking in!

  11. Crystal Says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    I almost forgot to tell “shawn johnson” again that I am so sorry to hear that your Dr. isn’t supportive enough to refer you to someone. Maybe you don’t need a referral. Depending on what hospital you are at sometimes they have social workers on site to help maybe lead you in the right direction with finding someone who will be more willing to help you out. My therapist told me that there are so many women who go through the same issues and problems with PPD and never get help. And sometimes it can last for a very long time. She said it was all a matter of choice of what kind of quality of life will you have just living to fight another day trying to go through it alone. I really wish you the best and going to therapy isnt for everyone and Im just saying my own experiences. I really hope things get better and you find a more understanding and compassionate dr.

  12. Shawn Johnson Says:
    July 9th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Good to hear from you Crystal. I KNOW that there are so many women who fight PPD and never get help. I can’t believe why more women do not talk about it. It is nothing to be ashamed of. I am still fighting a daily battle on my own. I would love to seek outside therapy, but you know, with our health care system and economy today….

    Anyway, I am glad you are finding your therapy path helpful. Just like “Bonnie (SOAM) Says, But one hour at a time will get thee there, however slow it may seem.” Some can find help in their families, some find help in their healthcare practices, some find help in their churches or temples, and some tear themselves apart to try to find help in themselves, and some loose the battle. What you need to understand and other need to understand, that this is a REAL issue…YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    Keep posting your journey. I am hear to listen. I believe everyone here can help each other. With your encouraging words, I might just give my doctor another call.

    If you haven’t already, check out

    postpartumprogress.typepad.com

    They have a great link on 6 thinks every new mom and mom to be should know. Great info for all!

Comments


Support This Site