Friday, December 18, 2009

12.18.09 Postpartum Depression

Yes, I know that the title is a real kill joy, but it needs to be discussed.  Or I at least need to blog about it.  I said that this blog was about our family and it would be rude of me to not look into this topic. 

I now have proud ownership of the label, I mean diagnosis, of postpartum depression.  No, I am not a danger to myself, Ellie, or others.  Well, crazy Christmas shoppers possibly, but seeing as I am done with the Holiday shopping even those people are safe.

As many of you females and possibly males know, hormones play a big roll in mood and well reproduction/fertility.  There are surges of certain hormones during pregnancy and surges of others afterwards, aka postpartum period.  Some hormones are suppressed such as the thyroid hormone.  Do not worry!  I will not detail the hormones/NTs like estrogen, oxytocin, progesterone, serotonin, or norepinephrine.  Just recognize that the brain chemicals play a role.  

Anyway, sometimes I feel like my brain chemicals and hormones are confused.  I find myself at times crying for no apparent reason and yet an hour later I feel energized and all is right with the world.  Other times I feel like an incompetent parent.  How can I take care of this little baby?  Especially when I forget things like leaving the milk on the counter and putting my keys in the fridge.  Then the animals.  I forgot that I left Sophie outside and Tama is in the closet.  Augh!  Sometimes all I want is a nap.  Yet at the chance to get a nap all I do is have thoughts of what needs to be done. . .  or I relive receiving Ellie’s diagnosis.  Actually that is a big one.  Is it possible to have post-traumatic stress due to birth?  I relive that diagnosis part over and over again.  I also relive Rodeo’s death as well.  I miss him so much. . . 

Fortunately I recognized that I am having issues and sought help in several forms.
1. Lexapro which is great for depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.  It works on the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.
2. Playgroup:  I love my playgroup.  They are wonderful mothers who provide reliable support.  They listen and provide great advice.  They also have adorable babies and who doesn't feel better when they see a smiling happy baby?
3. Andrew & Family & Friends: they understand that I am not myself and are trying to help me cope.
4. Ellie Bear's smiles.

The numbers:
Approximately 10-15% of new moms will experience postpartum depression
Moms are at a higher risk if they have experience previous episodes of depression or mental illness
Other risk factors include but are not limited to unplanned pregnancy, major life changes such as a death in the family or move, depression during pregnancy, postpartum depression with previous pregnancy, and low social support.

If celebrities are important to you--not confirmed but found during a Google search:
Brook Shields
Marie Osmond
Catherine Zeta Jones
Courtney Cox
Amanda Peet

Support & Info:


  1. You are not alone. I had PPD after Gavin was born. No fun, no fun at all.

  2. {{{{{big hug}}}}}}

    If it makes you feel any better, I left an entire carton of eggs on the counter for 24 hours last week. And I don't even have baby brain.



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