My Little Picasso's

My Little Picasso's

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hello, my name is Natasha, and I had ...

PPD ... otherwise known as Post-Partum Depression.  First of all, do not be alarmed and feel the need to call anyone.  If you notice the title of this post, it says "had."

I don't know what made me think of all those past "depressing" times, for lack of a better term.  When I had Max I developed and was diagnosed with post-partum depression, I felt like my world was caving in.  I could not handle the alone times.  Daily occurrences became so hard to handle.  When this happens to women after giving birth, and it shockingly does to more than anyone will ever know, each woman feels alone and ashamed.

There were approximately 4.3 million live births in the United States in 2007.  This statistic does not include fetal losses, including miscarriages and stillbirths.  The National Vital Statistics Report indicates that the total number of clinically recognized pregnancies is around 6.4 million.  This is important to know, because all postpartum women are susceptible to postpartum depression, regardless of the pregnancy's outcome.

So let's split the difference between the high (20%) and low estimates of PPD (11%) and say that an average of 15% of all postpartum women in the US suffer, as the CDC reported in its 2008 PRAMS research.  And let's use the number of clinically recognized pregnancies and not live births.  This would mean that each year approximately 950,000 women are suffering postpartum depression. 
BUT, did you know the CDC's research only reflected self-reported cases of postpartum depression?  How many women do you think did not mention they had PPD out of fear or shame? Should we increase the estimate of sufferers to 17% or 20%?
I felt both alone and ashamed, yet I should have felt neither.  I felt alone because I thought I was the only one that could ever feel so terribly after having such a precious little joy.  I felt ashamed because why ever would I feel so terribly after having such a precious little joy?  It was absolutely ridiculous.  All I wanted was to have my little boy and stay home and take care of him.
It was the alone time that I struggled with the most.  I was certainly sleep deprived and my body was literally exhausted.  Nursing took everything out of me and without the ability to pump, it was all me.   I failed to eat properly let alone at all sometimes, so the weight loss was extreme and quick.  I was an emotional basket case on top of it all.  I was not thinking straight.  For crying out loud, I considered giving away my dog.  My first little baby!  When Max was asleep I was awake obsessing over when I would get things done and when he next needed to be fed and why was I having such a hard time with it and why couldn't I just let things happen and was I doing everything right?  
I liked to have control over things and all of sudden, so much of that was taken away from me.  My husband could not understand why I was feeling the way I was.  He was used to me having everything under control.  He was used to me being confident.  
I am very confident now.  I let things happen.  Things will get done when they get done.  My two little men and puppy dog are thriving.  My husband loves me, even when I am sleep deprived and grumpy.  
Today as my little boys slept, I slept ... without thinking.

August 13th, 2011

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