Hi! My name is Kari and I am a Stay-at-Home wife and mother. I have 1 daughter for now and am constantly struggling to make my new lifestyle work for me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Struggle with PPD

It has been 3 months since I last posted. How sad. I have to say that I really went through a tough time there for awhile. I started numerous posts, but they were all too depressing. One of them started, "Assuming I had any friends left". How sad... I felt like I had post-partum depression - I felt listless, sad, tired - soooo tired all the time. I was cranky and irritable with my friends. I didn't feel like doing anything - I couldn't get out of the house - the prospect of putting on regular clothing and getting the baby out of the house was too much to think about. It took everything I had every morning to get out of bed and feed my daughter. Then I would sit around all day and escape into fiction books, emerging only to change a diaper or feed the baby or keep Button from falling down the stairs. I did only the bare minimum.

I tried calling my obstetrician, but that was absolutely NO HELP! She was on vacation the week that I called and the nurse who finally responded to my call didn't think that there was any way that I had Post-Partum depression because my baby was 11 months old. And "You can't have PPD because your baby is too old. You are probably just going through a funk. Do you have a general doctor?" Me: "No". Her: "Well, you probably don't have it, but why don't you call our other office and make an appointment to see the doctor next week" Me: “Okay, whatever”. The whole time I am thinking that if I did have severe depression, her lack of interest in my feelings could have sent me over the edge. Seriously, it takes a lot for a woman to call for help, and then when you finally do, some uncaring nurse tells you (without even asking you anything or even knowing your name) that you don’t have it because your baby is too old. How did she know that I hadn’t been suffering for 10 months and just now realized that I needed help? After 2 phone calls, I was done. I wasn’t going to get any help, and honestly, she made me feel like crap every time I talked to her. Luckily, I also talked to my mother-in-law who told me that she had severe post-partum depression even to the point of contemplating suicide, and the thing that finally pulled her out was finding a bible study and getting out of the house.

I made the decision to try to keep myself busy during the week and see how I felt in a couple of months. I signed us up for Gymboree on Mondays, Bible Study on Tuesdays, Wednesdays my mother-in-law watches Button while I take tennis lessons and Fridays are playdate days. Thursdays we are trying to have a field trip of some kind – either a zoo or a park or a walk or something. I have also started working out most days of the week which has GREATLY improved my self-image. I have re-instituted my cleaning routine, so I have a sparkly house to go along with my sparkly personality. Okay, well not really, but my hubby says I am doing better than I ever have since the baby was born. He says that "Old Kari" is back. I am not sure if "Old Kari" is before baby or before marriage, but whoever she is, she is back. Or at least partially back because you can never go back to being who you were before you had children - too much changes. Anyway, it is amazing what a little bit of social interaction and a “living clean”* house did for me. I am only in week 2 of the whole thing, but I feel great!

* “Living clean” means that the house is as clean as it can be while there are actually people living in it. I do not believe that it is realistic for me to have a spotless house while I have an infant, soon to be toddler, at home. It is also allows me to “live” a little at home and not spend every free minute cleaning, or spend minutes cleaning while I should be interacting with my child.


Blogger Lisa said...

Kari, good for you! Being a new mother is so hard, so exhausting, so isolating, it's no wonder we feel down and need to give ourselves some structure to get back into the game. Your ob's office seems greatly out of touch, but I'm impressed thoroughly impressed with all you've done without help.

9/28/2006 4:52 PM  

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