Friday, July 08, 2005

postpartum depression: muddling through the worst of it

So my doctor diagnosed a mild case of postpartum depression. (If this was “mild”, I don’t even want to imagine “severe”!) After having a massive freak-out when Brandon suggested buying a water hose, I realized things had to change. I reluctantly took my first antidepressant on Saturday afternoon. Side effects ensued. Anxiety followed. And I then began a major readjustment to life for the next few weeks. My journal entries, written at the lowest point in the valley:

July 24
Lord, I woke up anxious this morning. It is NOT FUN to wake up feeling that way. I’ve been waking up anxious almost every morning for the last week and a half. It’s a huge drag. I think all these feelings of sadness, nervousness, etc. were gradually building and then the trip to TX just pushed me over the edge. And now I don’t want to do ANYTHING! And I mean anything. I want my calendar completely clear. Indefinitely. No church. No baby showers. No appointments. No errands. No nothing! I just want to be able to relax with Brandon and Rowan. That’s all.

July 29
My parents have been here since Monday and they have been awesome. I wasn’t sure how they would handle the state I’m in, but they have been really incredible. I wish I could hire them as Rowan’s nannies. My mom has cooked a meal every day. My dad runs errands and washes dishes. And of course they play with Rowan. They are just goofy over that kid. I wish I was. Maybe someday I will be.

July 30
My parents are so good with Rowan. They’re naturals. So is Brandon. I wish I felt like a natural mom.

Aug 1
Lord, I pray for Rowan and Brandon. I want them to know that I love them. It’s hard to do much right now (playing with Rowan, household chores, etc) because of my low energy level. I pray that you will return my energy to me so I can express love for them in more than just words. Lord, this is an unsettling place to be. Have mercy on this feeble soul.

They had this little piece on PPD on CBS news tonight. Weird! Very timely. One mom said she wanted to injure herself so she could be hospitalized so someone could take care of her. I identify!

Aug 3
Lord, please make me strong. I can’t do this without you. I feel so weak right now. Weak, afraid, sad. And it is so frustrating to feel this way while I want to be enjoying Rowan in all his babyhood!

Aug 11
I won’t curse you Lord. Even though you allowed Satan to rob Job of his very family, he didn’t curse you. I can’t say with confidence that I would be as strong as Job in that situation. Of course, Job did question you. So I guess there is a difference between questioning and cursing. I’ve thought about cursing you every once in awhile, but then I think You’re all I have to hang onto. If I didn’t have You to hope in, would there even be a reason for going on?

Aug 12
No offense to Rowan, but I kind of wish it was still just Brandon and me. I feel guilty saying that because I know there are people out there who desperately want a baby.

Aug 13
God, when will this depression/anxiety end? Will I ever be free from all this worrying? Maybe it would be okay for me to die young. At least then I wouldn’t have to think about all this crap like I do now. I don’t even know what to pray for. How do I “pray continually” if I don’t even know what to talk to you about? It’s the same thing all the time: health, peace, joy. God, why did you make me? Why did you put me here? I don’t know. I just don’t KNOW! And it’s hard to talk to people like how I write in my journal because I’m afraid of running people off. I’m afraid people are going to grow weary of all this. And then they might abandon our friendship. I mean, who wants to be friends with – and constantly listen to – someone who worries like I do? I don’t know if I would.

6 Comments:

Blogger erinlo said...

I can SO relate, Jana. With my second son, I wasn't feeling right for close to sixth months afterwards. My husband is the one who finally said, "Somethin' ain't right." I went to the doctor and he prescreibed anti-depressents, which I was ashamed to take because I didn't want to be one of those "depressed people" who was on medication all the time. I wasn't enjoying my boys at a very importan time and I never enjoyed Silas's newborn days, although I so wanted to. After a couple of weeks on the medication, I was wondering why I had worked so hard before to try and be happy. It just didn't take as much to have a little peace and I was grateful! So, for the next kid, we're adopting! I'm so excited to get to actually enjoy the fun baby time without all the clinical and hormonal issues! Thanks for your honesty regarding this subject. I think it's something a lot of women are ashamed of and think they are the only ones. I know I did. _Erin

11:46 AM  
Blogger Tony Arnold said...

Thanks Jana for sharing something so personal and giving insight into an issue that I could offer sympathy for, but cannot possibly empathise with.

It takes courage and healing to post your inner most feelings.

God Bless you,

Tony

12:47 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Thanks, Jana.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Clarissa said...

Ah -- you really HAVE been there. I'm glad to read this. Not glad you've been there, but glad to KNOW you've been there, you know? Love you. And I won't go anywhere. I'm a great foul-weather friend.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Malia said...

I was struck by your "why" questions. A couple of years ago, well, I'll back up some. I don't journal as much as I'd like to, usually only under extreme stress and distress. So, a couple of years ago I was really struggling with some sin in my life and I was journaling my thoughts. I kept asking God "Why?" Why did you make me this way, why am I behaving this way, why do I have these feelings? And I didn't get any answers until one day, my daughter asked me a "why" question. My response to her, "because I said so" and that's when I got my answer. Because I said so. It has been and continues to be the hardest answer I get from God, but I feel better knowing where I stand with him.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Jacinda said...

Jana, I'm glad you felt able to open up about your feelings and sincerely hope that you will feel better soon. Others have been in your same place so don't be worried about letting people know. Lean on your friends when you need to and always lean on God.

5:36 PM  

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