All the joys of bringing a new life into the world cannot be truly captured in words. You never imagine that you will be the one who suffers from postpartum depression.
When my husband and I decided to have children we were so excited and took all the typical routes for conception. You know the whole deal…vitamins, strict diet, no caffeine, exercise and the list goes on. My pregnancy was amazing.
The 9 months flew by in a happy daze. When my due date arrived we were overjoyed and welcomed our baby boy into the world. We were so thankful to be able to breast feed for the whole first year and our son was a happy healthy little guy.
At a year old I decided to transition my son to cows milk as most parents do.
Everything was going great for a while but then the changes started. I was very sleepy and felt like I was dragging my self around. The weirdest things made me anxious. Plus, I was getting sick all the time and losing weight at an alarming rate. This all happened very quickly and I was not sure what was going on.
At this time, I was seeing my doctors and they were not sure what was going on with me. It was getting worse. I was starting to get very depressed and had a hard time being around my son. I went trough all the tests and still was not getting answers. When I read this now all the signs make sense. As you can imagine at the time I never considered the possibility that I was suffering from postpartum since my son was older, not a baby. Most people assume and mainstream media tells us that postpartum depression most likely occurs soon after birth while your child is still a baby. This was not the case for me.
I was at the end of my rope and decided one day to see a different doctor.
There I was exhausted, 109 pounds and suffering from body aches sitting in this stranger’s office looking for answers. After the exam…I still remember it like it was yesterday. He said “I think I know whats wrong with you and if you are willing to work with me and try some medications I think we can get you straightened out” I held my breath and he finished, ” I believe you are suffering from depression”. I was shocked. Needless to say I told him he was crazy and left the office.
Since I was not able to get his words out of my head I decided to do my own research. I was floored by what I found online. After much research and work with my regular doctor we deduced that I was suffering from postpartum depression. This was not your typical depression but it was triggered by my immediate cessation of breastfeeding and stopping my prenatal vitamins, its called Post-weaning depression.
Sharing my story is important to me because I feel that all the months I suffered could have been better had I known what was happening. Its not something that you hear about all the time and I wish someone or my doctor would have told me. I want to get awareness out there that postpartum depression can come in many forms.
There is a happy ending to my story.
Once we knew what we were dealing with I was actually able to work with my doctor. I was treated with natural /holistic methods. My son is 6 years old now and although I still have some lingering effects I am happy to say that life is good. I am thankful that God has given me a platform to share my story. My hope is to help another new family to be more prepared for this crazy thing we call parenthood.
Here are some helpful links
National Institute of Mental Health: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml