Postpartum Depression~ My Story
Desperate to Interact!
Erica was about 2 weeks old and I was struggling withTHE BABY BLUES I didn’t know I was, but like more than half of women having babies each day, I was. I had insomnia, they said, “don’t worry about the dishes and the laundry, sleep when she sleeps!” if only it were that easy… I was irritable, the tears came randomly without cause and the mood swings were immeasurable. As a doula trainer when I am teaching about the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and we talk about The Baby Blues, the remedy is fairly simple. Encourage rest, place a strong focus on nutrition and hydration, stress the importance of support and give mom a judgment free zone where she can talk through it all. However, so many moms find themselves exhausted, barely eating, forgetting to drink water, feeling alone and judging themselves!
That was ME! 20 years ago we didn’t have cell phones, email, texting, facebook etc… ( I know…. How did we survive, right?) When my husband left for work, that was it, I was on my own. Well, there was Cathy, my friend who had a baby a week earlier who was on maternity leave that I could call or visit with, if I wanted to hear about her baby’s amazing accomplishments, which I DIDN”T! It seemed her goal in life was to convince me that he’d write his first novel by his 6 month birthday… I still roll my eyes when I say this!
I lived in California at the time and this particular day I was feeling desperately alone. That’s when it happened… the T.V. was on and out of the corner of my ear, I heard a woman say these magical words… “if you live in the San Diego area and you’d like to be a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, give us a call at…)
Give us a call? Like talk to a grown up? Another human being? I was desperate to interact with someone, anyone and so I called! I kept that woman on the phone for as long as possible. She had no idea I was using her as my postpartum doula! She was interviewing me to be a contestant on a game show and asking me all the right questions! Tell me about yourself… What are your interests… What kinds of things do you enjoy… How long have you been married… She was engaging in me. Not the baby, me! Like I was a regular person again. It was amazing and I needed it desperately. She got me through that day and shortly after, I was feeling pretty “normal” again. I found myself getting back into normal routines and was feeling more confident about packing a bag, putting that baby in a car seat and getting out of the house each day to have a much needed interaction with someone!
Oh, and the money I won on Supermarket Sweep, it sure came in handy!