Postpartum Anxiety: Taking Steps to Getting Back to Me

I passed the initial Postpartum Depression screenings without any hesitation right after August was born, but over the course of the next couple months things began to shift. I wrote about those first few months here. It wasn’t until we switched pediatricians that a professional began the conversation with me about Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. Our pediatrician recommended medicine, but I was extremely hesitant. After several more appointments without any improvement on my PPD screening and the same recommendation from my OBGYN I was left with a choice: to medicate or not?

Now at six months postpartum I would no longer revive the PPD screening so our pediatrician (a Godsend of a woman) left me with one last piece of advice; she said, ” looking back at my own life, raising my kids, I was happy and I was able to manage- but I felt so overwhelmed and my memories are tainted with those feelings. Now, I am on a low-dosage of an antidepressant and I can’t help but wonder what those memories with my sons would have looked like if I would have gotten help sooner.”

Fast forward a few weeks and we’re getting ready to board a Disney Cruise Ship, something I have been looking forward to for over a year, and my heart is racing, I am nauseated, dizzy, and filled with a sense of dred. Thankfully those feelings passed and I was able to have a great week away with my family- however, it made me think about what the pediatrician had said. I didn’t want all my memories to laced with a these overwhelmed and panicky feelings. So after we got home I made the call and got a prescription for 50mg of Zoloft.

They told me it takes around three weeks to feel any of the effects. To be honest, I fully expected to not feel any different after those weeks have passed, but as of today I have been medicated for four full weeks.

I can honestly say I am overwhelmed with gratitude to all the women who advised me to take care of myself- I still have stress and I still feel overwhelmed sometimes, but I do not feel trapped by my stress anymore. I don’t have the obsessive thoughts about everything that I need to do, I no longer play through every worse case scenario, I don’t lay awake at night worrying, I don’t feel panicked when August cries, I don’t dred going out with people. I still have to get myself in the right frame of mind to balance all I have in my plate, but I finally feel as if I can.

Mommas and really everyone else- if you are feeling overwhelmed and trapped by insane amounts of fear and stress please talk to your doctor. It is not anything that you are doing wrong. It is not that you are weak. It’s all about our bodies chemistry- sometimes that chemistry gets off and we can’t fix it with out medicinal intervention. Don’t waste one more day spent worrying and miss out on your life- do this for yourself.

Medication is not the answer for everyone, but if you are feeling “off” don’t be ashamed- it is natural and the right person can help get you back to feeling like yourself.

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