Dealing with the Mommy Blues


During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I was informed, warned, and prepared for the possibility of postpartum depression. I was aware of what to look for and what to do in the event of any symptoms manifesting.

After an emergency c-section, not being able to have visitors in the hospital, my husband not being able to stay the night with us after my son was born, and a plethora of other reasons I was nervous to leave the hospital.

Finally, after a week we were released and came home to an 85-degree house. I was panicking. Every article I had read on increased temperatures potentially causing SIDS started flooding my mind. I forgot I had a c-section and got on my bed too fast and screamed louder than my husband had ever heard. I didn’t want to take pain medicine, because what would happen to my son? What if my husband couldn’t take care of him? Then, my in-laws came to Wesley and I didn’t want to seem lazy and be asleep.

I was hot, tired, in pain, and really missed my bed. My Mother-in-law had two c-sections herself and told me multiple times to go lay down and I refused. They went to go get us dinner, my husband made me lay down, he gave me medicine, and I went to sleep. Waking up from that first nap was beyond unsettling. I woke up and was immediately in a panic since my son was not in the bassinet. He, of course, was fine with my husband and in-laws.

As the night went on the temperature in the house did not go down. The AC had been running since we arrived home and you wouldn’t have been able to tell that it was on. My husband moved the bassinet into the living room, put me on the couch, and tried to get me to calm down. There came a point where it was so hot and uncomfortable that Wesley and I were nothing short of a mess. He was crying, I was in so much pain, and there was no end in sight. Again, thankfully, my in-laws had offered their guest room to us if needed. I packed bags for Wesley and me and we headed over to my in-law’s house.

My husband and I have a dog and we don’t leave her alone overnight. So, he stayed for a while to get Wesley and me settled. Then he left. This began, what I didn’t realize at the time, my spiral into deep PPD.

The next week as our AC was fixed was a blur of doctor’s appointments, my husband visiting, forcing myself to stay awake, a visit from my SIL and Wesley’s Godmother, and no sleep. I can’t really tell you what went on during the day, but I remember the nights. I would stay awake after Wesley went to sleep to make sure he was breathing. Every little noise I was worried over. I kept him on a decent schedule of feeding and diaper change every two-three hours. This resulted in him almost never crying and being incredibly quiet most of the time. My MIL would come to check on us and would offer me food. I wasn’t eating unless I was in front of someone. When my in-laws, husband, and SIL brought food I ate. Other than that I stayed in the guest room and watched Wesley. My in-laws would offer to watch Wesley so I could sleep, pump, shower, eat, whatever I needed. But, I felt lazy and like a failure for asking for help. I didn’t ask for help overnight. I didn’t actively ask for help during the day.

When we were able to go home it got worse. I would sleep in the living room so Wesley and I wouldn’t bother my husband. Even on his days off when he didn’t need to be awake in the morning. I felt like it was my responsibility to take care of him and I couldn’t ask for help without seeming weak or like an unfit mother. Sleeping in the living room went on for about another week to week and a half. Finally, my husband pushed me to sleep in the bed. He would come home from work or finish with class and take Wesley and tell me to go sleep. It took a few times for me to be able to sleep without Wesley in the same room as me. I would lay there until enough time had passed and I could go back to the living room and get Wesley back.

Then, one day my boss messaged me to check-in. I just remember her asking how I was doing and I broke down. Talking to someone on the outside made me realize what was going on. Up until this point, I was mostly ignoring all calls and texts which was disheartening since all three of my siblings live out of state. I started messaging and calling back when I was actually awake. I started actually sleeping when Wesley was sleeping. Then, I realized I needed help. I realized what had gone on the past three weeks. I made an online psychiatrist appointment and was so scared my husband was going to judge me for it. Of course, he was just glad I was finally getting help.

My psychiatrist didn’t judge me. She was very stoic, listened to what was going on, and offered help. She prescribed me an antidepressant and we went from there. Since our initial meeting, the medication has increased and she’s added one for anxiety. At first, I was ashamed to be taking medication, but being able to feel like myself and actually live my life is worth so much more. A few months ago I was speaking with an aunt who was talking about her daughter who had recently had a baby. She went on to say how her daughter had severe anxiety and her OB suggested medication for PPD. I got excited to share my experience, but then the aunt says that she told her daughter not to take it. That it would get better on its own. It was then that I realized that people will ask when you and your husband are having kids, they’ll want to know the play-by-play during labor, want to see delivery room pictures. But, as soon as there’s a negative or seemingly a sign of weakness they don’t want to see or hear about it. At first, it bothered me. I didn’t really tell anyone I was on medication. Then, I realized that if there was ever going to be a change in the narrative it needed to start with me. I needed to talk about what most people deemed uncomfortable.

If you, or someone you know, is withdrawing or it seems as if they may have Post Partum Depression or even just be depressed, reach out. Ask if they need anything. I can honestly say without my inlaws, friends, family, husband, and an amazing nurse at Spohn South Tara I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am now.

(If you need help finding an OB or someone to talk to please take a look at our guide to Obstetrics & Gynecology in the Coastal Bend)