Thursday, April 23, 2015

Postpartum Anxiety. The stuff that Hell is made of.

Like most stories I've read about Postpartum diagnoses, I was hesitant about telling mine for fear I would jinx myself and tomorrow would be a bad day. But, I have to have faith that I am on the road to recovery and not focus on the "what if's" anymore. 
My story actually begins during pregnancy. And if I were really being honest it began many many years ago. I've struggled with anxiety and OCD my entire life to an extent. 
I have 4 wonderful boys that range in age from 5-16 years old. And finally I was pregnant with my sweet baby girl. As soon as her gender was determined the thoughts started to enter my mind that things were too good and something terrible was going to happen to me. Women die during deliver. It could happen to me. I had a lump appear under my arm that I was certain was breast cancer. It disappeared after delivery and was a milk duct just as my Dr had said it was. I cried a lot. For no reason. More so then I did during the boys pregnancies. I made myself miserable and couldn't look forward to her birth because I knew I was going to die. 
Her deliver was not perfect by no means. I separated my pelvis and was unable to walk without a walker for 6 weeks. The first two weeks are a blur but week by week I got through it. 
Walking with a walker and nursing a rather large baby girl (ten pounds at birth)put a terrible strain on my upper back and I developed breast bone pain as well from the strain. Since delivery tried to kill me and didn't succeed I convinced myself I had a heart condition and that's what the pain in my chest was. I went to the ER were EKG and blood work was normal. Almost. The level that determines the clotting ability of your blood came back elevated. I had thick blood and was put on an Aspirin regimen. Yay, that I didn't have a heart condition but now I had a new set of worries. Thick blood......meant I was going to have a stroke. Not really. But that's what my anxiety was telling me. Anxiety breeds anxiety and I was on a roller coaster I couldn't get off of. 
I worried constantly. I couldn't enjoy my baby girl I'd waited for for so long. I smiled and laughed at her but it was forced. I loved her and held her and rocked her and nursed her but something was missing. My sanity. Peace of mind. Dieing in my sleep was a fear and the kids waking up and finding me dead.  I kept thinking about how awful it would be if I died in my sleep and My baby girl layed there next to my dead body all night. I have lived on my own for almost 20 years married to truck driver who's rarely home and It never bothered me. But I found myself begging him to quit his job and asking my mommy to come stay with me at night because I was scared to be alone. Feelings of fear would wash over me and I would be clammy and light headed. Misery is an understatement. 
I finally gave in and started Zoloft. Crazy thoughts entered my mind. What if I snapped and hurt myself or worse.......starting medication was an easy decision once I started having crazy invasive thoughts. 

The first few days were terrible but they improved and are still improving. I find that I don't focus on "what if's" much anymore. I don't scream at my kids anymore. I love My baby girl. She feels so real now. Not just temporary. 

I'm by no means healed but I fell so much better. I hope someone reading this is has been told they need medication try's it. Not just for a few day but for at least a week. I wish I had done this years ago. I'd always thought I wasn't the type that needed medication but as it turns out, I am that type. And I am so much better off. I feel like a better mom. Patient. Kinder. My older son said "Mom, you seem so much happier with me lately". And that was all the proof I needed.