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My Postpartum Depression Story, Part IV - Coming out of the PPD Fog

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After completing the first 8-week session of the PRC of Kansas support group, I began noticing my condition was becoming more similar to Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

I noticed that my symptoms were relatively manageable most of the month, but would intensify the 2 weeks before and during my period. So I contacted my OB/GYN again and asked if I could start a low dosage of Prozac™ (10mg). The goal I had in mind was to get the medication into my system so that when symptoms came on, I could ramp up to 20mg as needed, and see if it made a difference in how I felt leading up to my period that month. The doctor agreed. I still was resistant to taking medication, but after learning more about myself and my condition, I was open to trying it and seeing if medication helped.

More Good News
I got pregnant that month. I decided to stay on the low dose of Prozac™. Throughout the first trimester to help get through some of the anxiety of being pregnant again. I weaned off the medication by my 16-week appointment with my doctor’s guidance. I had some anxiety during the pregnancy, but had the arsenal of The Plan to help carry me through any episodes. I also read the book, “What Am I Thinking? Having a Baby After Postpartum Depression,” and I went to the Postpartum Support Group as needed. I delivered our second son in early April of 2008. My husband and I were both elated to have 2 wonderful and healthy boys, even though the thought of caring for both of them was overwhelming. Following the delivery via c-section, I suffered a spinal headache. After receiving a blood patch (that is another story), I bounced back quickly from delivery.

Terrified but Determined
I was scared I would get PPD again. However, armed with the information from surviving PPD the year before, I was confident that I would either not get PPD as intensely or I would see the signs and take action earlier when I noticed the symptoms were becoming unmanageable. With our second baby, I had minimal PPD-like symptoms, but I also fought off PPD by sticking to The Plan devised with my OB/GYN, and avoided going on the progesterone pill following my 6-week postpartum appointment.

Add a Comment5 Comments

Thank you for this article! Please keep us updated through the months and let us know how things develop!

June 7, 2009 - 5:59am
EmpowHER Guest

I have issues with the weight i had put on for the pregnancy and had a hard time bonding with my baby

May 17, 2009 - 7:00pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi anon,

What types of issues are you having still, when you gained weight through your pregnancy? You said this weight gain (which is normal and healthy!) is causing you to have a difficult time bonding with your baby? Were you told that you gained "too much" pregnancy weight, or was it any amount of weight gain that would make you feel this way (even if the amount was within a healthy range, needed to sustain your pregnancy)?

Have you had a time previously where you were struggling with your weight, and negative feelings of your weight? Do you have a history of body image issues or weight issues, or is this new?

How old is your baby now? Have you talked with anyone about this--your friends, family, doctors?

I would love to talk with you more about this; both the weight gain issue during pregnancy, your feelings about your body, and your new role as a mom and bonding with your baby. Not all women bond immediately with their baby; it takes time to get to know this little person..so please know this is normal. If you still feel like you have not bonded at all with your newborn after some time has passed, please, please talk with a trusted family member or your doctor, and let them know your fears and concerns.

I hope to hear back from you soon.

May 17, 2009 - 7:46pm
EmpowHER Guest

Christine - Sounds like you have an AWESOME ob/gyn! I'm so glad you survive it all and can share so much light now!

May 8, 2009 - 12:14pm

Congrats on a successful postpartum the second time around!! That is so great, and so many women need to hear that PPD can actually be prevented. I went through this too in 2001 after the birth of my fourth baby -- I was absolutely terrified that I'd have a repeat of the PPD hell that I'd gone through with my third. But, I was armed with knowledge, which was the most important thing. Just like you, I watched for any ugly PPD symptoms and was able to nip them in the bud with Prozac and therapy. I was able to wean myself off the Prozac in just a couple of months.

Another thing that helped tremendously was having a postpartum doula to help out with the baby at night so that I could more easily juggle the older kids and recover from my C-section more easily with full nights' sleep every night for the first few weeks.

These were all steps that I'd planned in advance, and having a plan was what really saved me. Kudos to you for taking care of yourself and avoiding PPD again!!

May 8, 2009 - 11:24am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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