My Experience with Postpartum Depression


7/10/20234 min read

I knew I would be prone to postpartum depression. I had always had a generalized anxiety disorder, and I've been seeing a psychiatrist since I was 27 years old. When I got pregnant, we decided to stay on the Prozac, even if it was a risk for the baby, because my mental health was the priority. I try to always make my mental health the priority. Extreme mental illness runs in my family and I have to be congnizant.

My pregnancy though, was amazing. I felt like a super human. I have never felt better in my entire life. My body was working so well. My metabolism was so fast. I just felt good. My hormones were a little over all over the place, but it felt manageable. It was after I have the baby that everything changed. And from the other blog post, you know that I had a very positive experience with my labor and delivery. It was when I got home that everything changed. The baby blues are totally normal and I had them. I had never cried so much in my entire life. I was totally overwhelmed and had no control over my feelings. You know that episode of Grey's Anatomy where Christina Yang yells, "Somebody sedate me!" Yeah, it got to that point one sleep-deprived night. But that's totally normal. After you have a baby, you have a complete hormonal drop off and your body is just trying to figure itself out again. My family and my boyfriend were incredibly supportive and helpful but I still felt alone because it was my experience. I had to figure out my place as a mother. I didn't feel like my medication was working. I didn't feel even-keeled. I didn't feel like the edge was taken off (Prozac vibes). I felt raw, so raw.

It's normal to be overwhelmed by a baby. It's the biggest life change you'll ever have in your entire life. And for me, it was a very clunky transition. I felt like I would be very natural at having a newborn, but I was not. And my boyfriend was incredibly natural at it. Now, he had done this before. He has a 11 year old daughter. So having a baby was normal to him. He wasn't overly worried. He wasn't afraid he was gonna break the baby. He was well aware that babies cry a lot that's totally normal. I struggled. But again, that's totally normal in the beginning. It is hard. it is overwhelming. Sleep when the baby sleeps? Ha ha ha ha ha ha. I felt like I constantly had one eye open. And the responsibility of taking care of a baby was crushing to me. Again, totally normal.

I started to know that it wasn't normal in month 2-3. I didn't feel like I was feeling any better or getting any better at taking care of the baby. And I started to have feelings, like it would be easier to be dead then have to deal with this. Taking care of a baby, it was just so hard and overwhelming for me and it wasn't getting any better. Luckily for me, I had a really good psychiatrist. I had been downplaying my symptoms because I thought that maybe they were normal. But once I started having suicidal ideation, I knew something was wrong. I also wasn't eating at all and have dropped about 30 pounds since giving birth. Most women would probably celebrate that but I knew something was very wrong because I normally had a very big appetite. I just couldn't find the motivation to eat. I finally came clean to Roland about all the things that I was feeling and thinking, and he agreed that it was time to get the psychiatrist more involved. She prescribed me an antipsychotic called Abilify and it worked miracles. I finally felt like I had energy and like I could handle the baby in my life and even enjoy some of it.

person holding white printer paper
person holding white printer paper

I'm not ashamed of my experience with postpartum depression. I think it's a totally normal thing that most women go through and I hope that they have the courage to get the help that they need and not to be afraid of medications to assist them and their journey. Therapy, medications, truth. It's all so important.

My friend Cait told me, the most important thing was to "unblock the throat chakra" and to talk about all the things that you were feeling. I believe she was completely right. It's the hiding and the not talking about it that makes it so much worse.



A totally normal experience.