Wednesday, September 19, 2007

If I Get PPD Again... My Wish List

If I ever get PPD again, here’s my ultimate wish list:

1. Someone who could work with me to coordinate my recovery, so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming and all on ME. This person would:

- Offer help without forcing me to ask for help (because it’s hard to ask). Taking a test at the OB’s office is only a starting point – I would want someone to read between the lines and listen between my words, because I may not tell the full truth on the test. The 6-week check-up needs to go beyond the physical effects of birth.

- Help me get an official diagnosis

- Help me verbalize what’s going on, and figure out how to ask for help.

- Coordinate my care - contact my insurance, make appointments

- Help me find childcare

- Be consistent and continue to check in with me regularly, even weeks or months after my initial request for help (because I probably still need help, but I’ll feel silly or weak or like a nag if I ask for it).

- Talk to my spouse about what I’m going through, so it becomes “legitimate” and I don’t have to do all the explaining and feel weak.

2. Someone who comes to my house – like a visiting mom – every week (at least in the beginning!). Someone who checks in on me every single day by phone… to just listen and find out what I need to process that day. I need to talk about what’s going on, because it changes all the time. Ideally, this would be someone who would help me feel more confident in my skills as a mother.

3. Regular, reliable form of childcare so I can get to my appointments or get some alone time.

4. Having my spouse go to counseling with me so it’s not just “my” problem. My spouse needs to listen to me and understand what’s going on, without judgment. The support of my spouse is extra important.

5. Having local people/support groups that I can go to when I need to get out of the house… having people that are online or available by phone when I need to check in at odd hours, or don’t have the energy to go out. It’s important to have access to other moms who feel the same way as I do and are actively trying to get better. I need to hear from other moms who feel the same way I do, so I don’t feel like they have to pretend that I’m OK, or that I’m crazy for feeling the way I do.

6. Having someone who can help me address and manage all aspects of my health –ideally, this would be ONE person (even if they couldn’t handle it all themselves, they could direct me to the right people… who would all coordinate my care as a team, so I don’t have to tell my story over and over and over again… or waste time and money interviewing care providers who aren’t a good “fit” for me). If care providers could come to me, or be in one central place, that would be amazing. Getting to and from appointments is difficult. Having on the spot childcare for my baby would be amazing, too, and help out with the babysitting financial burden. The pieces of health that are most important are:

- Counseling or talk therapy

- Bodywork – massage, shiatsu, acupuncture, chiro

- Exercise

- Nutrition (especially omega-3s)

- Sleep – I need to get lots of sleep!

- Would want to cook and eat my placenta right after birth to prevent PPD

7. Real, honest, personal books and websites to read.

8. I need a cathartic release – through writing, dancing, movement therapy, artwork… whatever resonates with me.

9. I need people to say the right things. I need to hear that I’m doing a great job, and how hard motherhood is. It’s helpful to know that other moms feel the same way, but sometimes that can feel like it downplays how HUGE a deal this is for me. I want people to give it the respect it deserves. They need people to stop telling them how wonderful their baby is.

10. I need something to look forward to every single day.

11. I may need extra TLC around the anniversary of my child’s birth, because that may trigger tough feelings.

12. I need to help other moms who are behind me in the journey, because this makes me feel useful, and helps me see how far I’ve come.

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At September 20, 2007 at 2:31 PM, Blogger Tami of BrooksGroth said...

I just wanted to let you know that I can identify with so much of what you've written. Also I first found your blog when you wrote the response to _Pushed_ (I haven't read it yet) and a friend forwraded it to me (someone from ICAN I think). Thank you for taking the time to honestly share so much. More people need to hear this.


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