I cannot begin to express my thanks to all of you who took the time to comment on my last post – all of you helped me see that I am not alone, crazy or ungrateful because of these thoughts that I’ve been having. Once again, the IF community has been a source of get comfort and support. Thank you, thank you.
Since Rex* was born, I have been seeing my therapist and taking Zoloft, since it is approved for nursing mothers. But, the sadness, the feelings, all of it was still there. So, I dug a little deeper after I made that post. I began to read accounts of other women who have suffered PPD and found myself nodding vigorously at the thoughts that other women were having. It felt so good to hear other women vocalizing what I had been thinking and to know that those thoughts are classic manifestations of PPD. I finally realized the extent to which I having problems and I began to look for ways to help myself feel better.
One of the first things I did was wean myself off of pumping. Rex has been having formula from day one, but I was also breastfeeding. Once it became clear that he was a grazer and I would likely spend up to 12 hours a day with him attached to my boob (2, 3, even 4 would be fine, but not 12 – that would really send me off the edge), I switched to pumping so that he could still get all of the benefits but I would be tethered to a machine for 20 minutes and not to a baby for hours on end. I realized that one of the big factors that was causing me problems was the feeling that my body still wasn’t mine – it belonged to Rex since I found out I was pregnant and it was still his even after he was born. Stopping pumping let me get control of my body again letting me eat, drink, etc. whatever I wanted and it felt so good. Rex got a good four weeks straight of breast milk which under the circumstances was the best I could do.
I also have talked with my OB and she has turned out to be a great resource for help and support. I had my 5-week post-partum visit with her last Wednesday and she prescribed me progesterone cream to help and ordered blood work to test my thyroid and Vitamin D levels. Both could be a potential aggravating factor. The results should be in next week.
Perhaps the greatest help she gave me, though, was to tell me that I needed to go back to work sooner than I had planned. And she is absolutely right. I need that intellectual pursuit right now to help me feel more normal – because that is what is most difficult for me about this whole process. I don’t feel like myself yet. But, getting back into things I did and enjoyed before I had Rex has really been helping me get back to that feeling of normal. I really think that going back to work will help move this along. Rex will head into daycare at a wonderful facility on site at Mr. X’s office. He will be well taken care of and I will be able to have the time and distraction that I need to be a better mother to him.
I don’t know when I will be free of my PPD, but I’m taking it one day at a time. Still.
* Rex is the name I have chosen for our little one on this blog. He truly is king in our household.