I know a lot of people don't talk about postpartum depression. And a hell of a lot less talk about needing medication to treat it. But, hey, I have already told you that at one point my vag looked like Mickey Rourke and that I poop with my feet on a stool, so why stop the self-humiliation there.
When I had The Quiet Contemplator, my postpartum experience was a shitstorm that I never want to go through again. Not only was I extremely depressed (baby blues my ass) but I also had a cancer scare, developed a thyroid problem, got two bacterial infections and found out my mom had Parkinson's Disease.
Needless to say, I went down and went down hard. I never really recovered. Que the after-effects of having a baby in an already depressed person, throw in the obstacles that were thrown in my path during it, take away all things that resemble sleep and add an infant that cried from about 3 pm to 8 pm, and you had me: one hot fucking mess of a mama. Let's just say, it was not pretty. I lost friends, alienated the ones I loved, lost all sense of self-worth, etc. The only thing I managed to do right was to be a good mom. But that is all that I was. Outside of being a mom, I was a shadow of my former self.
I even went to therapy right before I got pregnant again because I didn't want to start meds since we were planning another baby and the jury is still out on what the effects of being on anti-depressants while pregnant are. Therapy helped and things evened up a bit when I actually got pregnant, but I was never really there. I participated in my life but didn't really have an active role in it. I didn't realize it then, but I hadn't actually experienced true happiness in years.
This time, I decided to take control before The Crazy Train of postpartum depression even left the station. I started anti-depressants in the hospital right after I had The Cool Cucumber and had a prescription filled for when I got home. So far? Best. Decision. I. Have. Ever. Made.
Now that I am actually on medicine, I feel something I haven't felt in a long time: happiness. I didn't know how far out of control my depression had gotten until I actually did something to fix it. Now, not only does the medication (Lexapro) not sap me of all emotion, but it has actually helped me feel real emotion again. I actually feel like I am someone again. I feel joy, sadness, relief, anxiety, love. I feel everything. I am not just a passenger on the back of the bus that is my life anymore. I am actually driving again and it feels fantastic.
Now are meds an easier choice for me because I am a formula mama? Sure as hell are. Is there something you can do even if you are not? Yep. Talk to someone. A friend, your Dr, your priest, your mom. Hell, talk to me. Having a baby is hard. Having a baby while struggling with real depression is impossible. It is not your fault and you are no less of a mom for having it. Just get help. I did this time and I feel real again. I feel whole. I feel strong. I feel like me.