Postpartum Depression. As much as I didn’t want to admit that the ‘D’ word was a part of my life after I had kids the day I did was the best thing I could have done. I have since spoken to other mom friends who describe similar feelings to those I have and I urge them to tell their doctors. There is no shame in having Postpartum Depression and there is even less shame in getting treated for it. My treatment comes in the form of a little white pill called Cipralex and it has made all the difference in this crazy moms life.
My postpartum depression snuck up on me after having my first and shortly after I became pregnant with the twins. I was scared of the feelings I was having and I felt extreme guilt and confusion over them. Why do I feel so angry, so much anxiety, so much frustration and why do I have such absolutely irrational thoughts? I should be running around in a state of complete blissfulness, this is what I wanted, babies! It had taken us almost 10 years and lots of visits to the fertility clinic to get these precious little ones. Furthermore, here I was going to the clinic with a 7-month-old in my arms announcing to the staff that the latest visit and the IUI treatment had worked, I was pregnant with twins. It was around that time when I realized something was off with me. As I stood there telling them and listening to all the adulation coming from the room, even from a women who sat there waiting for her turn who tearfully said “I want that” as she looked at my baby girl and heard my news all I could muster was a weak smile and some fake responses of joy.
However, it wouldn’t be until after the twins were born and many visits to my doctors with baby related issues, that she (My Doctor) could see how much of a wreck I was. She started urging me to come in and talk to her alone, without the kids in tow. She was suggesting that medication would help me through the mess, the craziness and through what I now realize is a very common thing after you have babies, whether they were wanted for years or just simply a happy surprise. Finally, the day came when I had nothing left and I dragged my tired butt into her office and accepted her offer of what I call, Mommies Happy Pills. It took about a month for the effects to kick in and when they did life slowly started to change. I was still tired because unfortunately the pills I was taking didn’t help the kids sleep longer or more often, but I no longer felt the anxiety of every moment. I was starting to appreciate being with the kids and having fun with them instead of fretting about everything that was going on in the room and the world for that matter. I had found a sort of peace in the chaotic storm that was newborn twins and a 16-month-old.
I won’t lie to you, there have been moments in the past almost 8 years of taking my Mommy Pills that I have cursed the fact that I needed a pill to cope. I even made one stupid attempt to go off them cold turkey….that was a bad week! I seemed to accept that I had Postpartum Depression very easily once I discussed everything with my doctor but I struggle with the idea that I needed to take a pill every day to deal with it. I’ll be honest, I hated the fucking idea of it! But then I had a major attitude shift about the pills. I decided not to look at them as the enemy, as the thing that made me a bad Mommy because I needed them to ‘deal’ with my kids. I began to see them as an ally, a little tiny friend that gives me the ability to go on and see things with a mind less muddled with fear and confusion. I feel very lucky to have found such a friend, she is always there for me, she never tells me I am doing anything wrong, and she definitely doesn’t give me the hangover that some of this Mommies other silent but tasty friends can provide!