How many of you have experienced or know someone who has experienced postpartum depression? According to the CDC, studies show about 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. That is a lot of women! Well, I was one of them.
Let’s start from the beginning.
On Sunday, February 3rd, 2019, I took a pregnancy test. I had not missed my monthly friend yet but something in my body told me to take one. After 3 long minutes, there was a light pink line. Although, my husband and I shared joy at the thought of our daughter having a sibling. We did not want to get too excited until we knew for sure. Since it was still so early, we figured we would make an appointment for later in the week.
If I recall correctly it was about 4:00 am the next morning. I started experiencing the worst cramps I had ever felt. I was on the floor, in tears, with so much pain. My husband called my mom to come over and watch the baby while we went to the emergency room. When we arrived, I was sent to a room rather quickly. I told the doctor everything I was feeling and about the “positive” pregnancy test. Naturally, the nurse drew blood. I then went for ultra-sound imaging. I remember suffering during the whole bumpy ride down. The tech didn’t say much during the ultra-sound. Despite the fact I was in so much pain, I was anxiously waiting for her to say, “there’s the yolk sack,” as our sonographer had expressed to us when my husband and I first found out about Marci (our first.) Instead, before she hung the probe she said, “you will be okay.” I will be okay? What the hell did that mean?!
Moments later, the doctor came to our room and sat down. She looked at me with a face full of sorrow as she explained to us I had an ectopic pregnancy BUT not in my fallopian tube. Rather, on my ovary. I had internal bleeding which was causing the pain. I was scheduled to have emergency surgery at 7:00 am. I was so confused, aching in pain both physically and emotionally.
After surgery, my OB-GYN explained to me what happened during surgery. He had to remove about 80% of my right ovary to clean up the internal bleeding and tissue mass. I was discharged a couple hours later. Filled with emotions and pain medication for that matter it was a quiet ride home. I probably cried about 10x that week thinking I lost my baby and I would have a harder time getting pregnant with one “working” ovary.
My doctor called that Friday, he instructed me to come in right away to discuss my biopsy results. Can you imagine the thoughts running through my head when he said that! I made it there within the hour anticipating what he was going to say. It turned out the mass we thought was my baby was a giant blast of cysts that had burst. He ordered more blood work to check my HCG levels. Sure enough, those levels were rising. We did an ultrasound at 6 weeks and finally the little dot that warmed my heart. Despite surgery, my little embryo was in there just minding her own business until she was ready to make her debut in my womb. I was considered an at-risk pregnancy due to how much blood I had lost during surgery. I had doctor appointments 2-4 times a month for probably my entire pregnancy.
Ahh.. the delivery. Much different than my first, the labor was more intense as my epidural didn’t take so I pretty much felt everything. However, the recovery was much quicker. I said to myself, “I’ve got this.” Well, after 3 months I most certainly did not have it.
At first, I denied the fact I may be experiencing postpartum depression. I just felt so angry at the slightest things. What I needed was a FREAKING break! I found myself sitting in wineries or local bars just enjoying a few moments to myself. I would count down the minutes until I would arrive back home to whatever mess awaited me.
A couple of months later businesses started closing due to Covid-19. Quarantine had begun, and so did the worst of my depression. How was it that I was home all day, yet I still couldn’t get my life together? I wasn’t lazy, I was tired. I wasn’t a bad mom. I just needed help.
I started having sharp chest pains and was more tired than ever before. Needless to say, I thought I had Coronavirus and went to the doctor. After breaking down in tears while trying to explain to the physician how I was feeling, he looked at me and said, “you do not have Covid, my dear, you have kids.” I couldn’t help but laugh.
One night after the kids had gone to sleep. I got my journal out and wrote down my To-do/Mish’n list. I realized everything on that list was tasks I needed to do for others. When was the last time I did something for myself? I had no friends, no hobbies, no job, and barely any self-care. I knew things needed to change or I would lose my absolute mind. So…
I re-worked my list.
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