Another post about Post-Partum Depression (PPD) this evening, thanks for Nicole Warner. Such honesty about how PPD started for her right in the hospital after giving birth to her son. I appreciate her frank sharing here. I know this will help other moms feel like they aren't the only ones.
Thank you, Nicole. Your son is adorable and looks like he makes you laugh every day! I'm glad you found your way through the darkness toward such light in this little man's smile! :)
All photos from Nicole Warner
1. How old was your child when you experienced postpartum depression (PPD)?
I experienced PPD the day after my son was born.
2. What feeling words would you use to describe what postpartum depression was like for you?
PPD is hard to explain. I just felt empty and I didn't want anything to do with my son. I made my husband take over all the care in the hospital because I just felt empty and all I wanted to do was sleep. I just didn't feel right. I knew something was wrong but I didn't know how to speak up about it or form words.
3. Why do you think you experienced PPD?
I'm not sure why I experienced PPD but I do believe being a young mother is partly to do with it. Here I am 21 years old, just given birth and my body is going through all kinds of hormonal changes and I am trying to adjust to being a mom.
No one prepares you for PPD because some women don't experience it and some either don't speak about it or are even unclear themselves as to how they are feeling.
4. What helped when you were experiencing PPD?
My husband really helped. He could tell something was wrong but he never questioned me. He stepped up and focused on being there for Caleb and me.
5. How would you describe PPD to somebody who has not experienced it?
PPD is so hard to explain. I felt empty. Here I was surrounded by 15 members of close family and friends all googly eyed over Caleb and I am just sitting there as if my world was spinning around and I can't even put into words my emotions.
Nurses came in and took Caleb for blood draw and circumcision I made my husband go with him while I just sat there. I was in pain from the physical labor and I was confused.
I just didn't feel normal. I kept thinking to myself.. This isn't right I am supposed to be through the roof overjoyed about this little human being and right now at this very moment I don't really want to hold him or be near him. I was ashamed and embarrassed.
6. What did NOT help when you were going through PPD?
What didn't help is I remember my mom getting mad at me in the hospital because she noticed Jeff was doing everything with Caleb while I was kinda off in my own world. She was so upset with me. I just kept saying I'm fine mom. As if I could tell her how I felt. What kind of mother feels this way? I was beating myself up about it. Also, I was barely in the hospital a full 48 hours I delivered Caleb at 11:19 pm Friday night and was discharged noon time Sunday. Wow, for a new mom I feel like that was super fast. So finally Saturday night when everyone left my husband asked me what was wrong. So I finally shared my feelings with him and the nurse.
7. What resources - books, people, counselors, Web sites, etc. - did you find particularly helpful while dealing with PPD?
The nurse helped tremendously. I was hysterical telling her all my feelings and she kept reassuring me that it was completely normal. She listened and I felt she never passed judgement on me. My OBGYN came in (she was on call that weekend) and checked on me. She is awesome and again reassured me that everything was normal. She praised how perfect I did in labor and how perfect Caleb was.
8. What HELPED you get through or over PPD?
I had my 6 week followup with my doctor and I told her day by day it was getting better.
I had to give myself pep talks and tell myself I am the only mom Caleb knows therefore, through his eyes I am the best. That made me feel better.
I always napped when he napped so I was clear headed and well rested.
9. What is your advice to other moms going through PPD or thinking they may go through it?
My advice to other moms is don't be afraid to speak up. Any mom can relate and understand being a new mom has its ups and downs.
10. How long did it last for you?
My PPD lasted until Caleb was about 4 months old. Around then I felt comfortable enough to share with my family. Finally the day I told my mom we were sitting at her kitchen table and we both cried. She felt bad she was getting mad at me and confused as to why I wouldn't share it with her at the time but she understood. In that moment I felt closer to my mom than I ever had.
11. Anything else you want to share?
Caleb is 2 now and is the love of my life. I do believe I am the best mom for Caleb because I take care of myself as well as him and I can look back on PPD and realize I survived it and I can help others who are unclear on their feelings.