Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Good Day With PPD

Originally Posted January 10, 2009

If you've ever had a kid then you know people always ask about the baby.  "How is the new baby?"  they'll say.  "How are you liking that new baby?"  and "Aren't you just loving that new baby?" 
My response "Oh, he's so cute!"  And he is. The truth is, the baby is fine.  I like the baby. I love the baby. 
Some very thoughtful people who know I've struggled with postpartum depression in the past even ask about me.  "How are you doing?"  they'll say.  "How are you holding up?"  And I say "I'm doing okay!  Ryan's been awesome and we're lucky he's been able to be home with the kids to help so much."
And, that's the truth.  Ryan is awesome, he has been SO very extremely helpful. And I am okay.  After all, I'm not drowning the kids like you sadly hear about sometimes in the news.  I'm not even stabbing myself like 'this woman' did.  And, the very fact that I am talking to them in person or on the phone means that I really am doing okay - that day.  There are, after all, times when I can psyche myself up to function and talk myself into doing something fairly normal like having a conversation with someone.  But for those who really dig deeper, and I mean dig because I'm not the one to usually spill my guts unless you do dig... here is the bigger truth.
The bigger truth is that indeed, I have PPD again.  I thought I was doing pretty well.  I think I was really.  And then I had trouble nursing the baby because I got some flesh eating bacteria and nursing was out of the question, so I started pumping when absolutely necessary and bottle feeding formula the rest of the time.  The result?  My hormones shifted WAY to fast and furious I guess... because I got slammed and knocked on my rear and PPD this time took on a whole new form of torture. 
I have good days.  These are the days where I spend most of my time in my bedroom but I'm not crying the whole day, just part of it.  The children will run in and out of my room and talk to me and I can handle it for the most part or at least for short periods of time before I redirect them to "go get a drink" or "go check on your brother" or "go... whatever."  I do enjoy them around me, just for very short periods of time and not all at once and not if they are talking much above a loud whisper.  
I know that it is crazy to have this many children and yet not be able to tolerate them around me and I have to remind myself that again it is the rollercoaster of hormonal and chemical imbalance raging within me that causes me to be so sensitive to overstimulation because that's not how I feel.  I feel completely wound up and like a horrible mother because I am and because it takes so much work for me to have them around me for more than 30 seconds before I want to freak out on them.  Everything is magnified. Smells, feelings, and sounds especially.  But I am grateful too.  Grateful that I have learned methods of coping with this from past experiences so that even though I am feeling like a crazed psychotic woman -- at least I am not acting like a scary mother from hell. Odd yes, and they do notice that I'm different... but still I'm grateful that I have learned that I can close my eyes and breathe instead of scream and yell.  I can ask them to leave when I first feel the keyed up feelings instead of waiting til I'm past my blowing point. I'm grateful that I have children who still run back in a few minutes later because they love me. 
Today is a good day, and I'm glad for it.  Now if I could only get my good days to be my bad days I'd feel much better.  
(As always, I love to hear your comments.  Drop me an email at

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