Saturday, December 29, 2007

My PPD/PTSD Symptoms

My PPD/PTSD Symptoms

· I experienced a lack of energy – felt like I was dragging all the time.

· I was often unable to sleep – I was up late at night with insomnia.

· I didn’t like motherhood and I didn’t want to talk about my birth to anyone.

· I avoided phone calls and people.

· I had dreams that I died during surgery before Evan was born.

· I cried for 3 weeks straight before he was born.

· I wasn’t even sure why I was even on this earth – I asked myself what the point of life was a lot.

· I wasn’t interested in eating well, and I drank wine during the day straight out of the bottle.

· It felt like I couldn’t remember to do even one little thing for my own health – drink water, taking vitamins… these seemed too difficult.

· I had flashbacks to my son’s birth ALL the time.

· I experienced feelings of gloom, grief, anger ALL the time – these feelings were like a cloud over my head that never went away.

· I didn’t want to have sex – I had no interest in being physically intimate with my husband.

· I didn’t want to hang out with Evan – I resented him and didn’t like when he cried. I didn’t even like my son for the first 12 months of his life. I loved him, but I didn’t like him. Because in my mind, he was the one who made me feel this way.

· I didn’t feel like a mother at all… I thought others knew how to take better care of him than I did. I didn’t go out with him for a long time (it took me three months to get up the nerve to take him to the grocery store) and I didn’t even think about signing us up for mom & baby events or classes.

· I didn’t want to go out and meet other mothers – I had no interest in trying to pretend like I was fine when I wasn’t. I hated being around myself, I couldn’t imagine that others would want to be.

· I got really jealous, sad, or mad when I heard of moms having good births, or liking motherhood. Those positive feelings felt so foreign to me – I thought they must be lying.

· I had intense fear and anxiety in the weeks leading up to Evan’s birthday – I didn’t plan a party for that day and didn’t want to celebrate the anniversary of my surgery.

· I had panic attacks and felt intense anger and sadness when I would see a pregnant woman, drive past my midwife’s house, watch a birth/parenting show on TV, or enter a doctor’s office.

· I had trouble recalling the details of my son’s first six months of life. I didn’t keep a baby journal or write any letters to him – I wasn’t interested in any of that.

· I disconnected from my family and many of my friends… except people with whom I could discuss the C-section and my true feelings.

· I didn’t think my marriage would last, or that I would ever like motherhood.

· When I look back on the videos I took, I look happy. But I don’t remember any happiness. To the normal outsider, I would look completely happy and content. But on the inside, I was screaming out for help.

· During the first few months, I wanted to escape into my business… but then, as the PPD got stronger, I had trouble motivating myself to do my work. Still, no one would have known this, because from the outside, I was still working a lot.

· I had insane mood swings – I felt bipolar, in a way. I had bursts of anger, long bouts of tears, I would scream and yell in my house, and I’d stay in my bed or in the shower for long periods of time.

· I went to the movies a week after Evan was born, and didn’t want to go back home. I dropped my father off at the airport two weeks after he was born, and I didn’t want to go back home.

· I actually thought about leaving my husband… and son.


Things that made me realize I wasn’t in the same ‘motherhood’ space’ as many of my friends:

o Amara sounded like she was coping just fine 3 months after birth – and she wasn’t mad or depressed like I was

o Kirsten emailed me and asked about Evan – but I never asked any moms about their kids – I never even thought to ask – when they asked me, I never even really cared about asking about their kids

o When a professional organizer emailed me about the fact that “it’s hard to keep up once you’re a new mom, because the clothes are constantly getting outgrown” I assumed she was talking about MY clothes, not my son’s baby clothes. The baby simply didn't enter my consciousness.

o Kirsten emailed me to ask me to go toy shopping b/c she was addicted to buying toys for her son, and had so much fun with it. I realized I hadn’t bought Evan anything (not clothes, not toys, NOTHING), and he was 10 months old.

o I joined The Mother Connection and only went to the playroom once… I never went to any other events - I couldn't bear to be around other moms - I felt like a fake.

o When my brother called after Evan was born, I didn’t want to talk to him – I wasn’t happy, and I didn’t want him to know about it

o I never wanted to call anyone back when they left messages after Evan was born

o I was pissed off every time a family member from CA called and immediately asked about Evan – what about me????

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At January 23, 2009 at 4:52 PM, Blogger Danica Igrutinovic said...

Thank you! That's EXACTLY how I felt for 18 months after my daughter was born! I still have those feelings sometimes.

I couldn't look at a mother with a small child without PITY and great sorrow for her... even if she seemed happy.

And just a few days ago (my daughter is 2) I started PUNCHING a newspaper that had a column by a blissfully happy new mom...

We should team up and forbid the presentation of that ideal image of happy motherhood on grounds of discrimination! :)


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