After a month of waking up every 3 hours and then feeding Enzo for 40 minutes, I was beginning to feel pretty down. I have suffered from depression before and was worried about getting Postpartum Depression. I have spent a lot of time reading about the Baby Blues and what I might experience after giving birth. Most women start feeling bad after 3-5 days. That is why I found it strange that for the first 2 weeks I was in a great mood and felt fine on just 3 hours of sleep.
But something changed, I stopped breast feeding because it was only making my baby frustrated, and I started to work a little bit. I thought I was doing great until I got angry one night because I had to wash the bottles. It takes maybe 15 minutes to do this, but I did not want to do anything. I still loved Enzo and wanted him to eat, but I did not want to feed him. I realized this might become a problem.
The first thing I did was tell my husband how I was feeling. He really wanted me to see the doctor, but I wanted to do some research first. About 80% of all women experience Baby Blues, and I did not want to be put on medicine if I would naturally get better. Most websites said the Blues last for a couple of weeks and are normally gone by a month. Well, I did not start having problems until it was a month.
So, I wanted a few more days while I got Scott to help with more of the feedings. A couple of days past and I was getting more sleep, but now I felt guilty for making Scott do so much. This is when I decided to call my doctor. As soon as I called my OB and said “possible depression”, they squeezed me in the same day.
When I was talking to my doc, she made it clear that what I was experiencing was very common, but since it was 5 weeks postpartum, I might consider taking some medication to help. Knowing how bad depression can be if it gets out of hand, I began to discuss my options. Due to my previous experiences, I am extremely nervous about anti-depressants. We talked about all the old, trusted kinds and the new ones and what I might experience. We decided on Effexor is the fastest acting and acts on serotonin and norepinephrine making it an interesting choice since most just affect serotonin. I left the office with a months supply and a script and an appointment again in 2 weeks.
Because I want to give my baby the best I have to offer, I took the first pill on the way home. My doctor had warned about possible upset stomach, but I was not concerned. Then, I got home and started to feel the Effexor. Quickly, I realized this was not like anything I have had before. I could barely think and my stomach was a mess. I jumped on line and started doing some research.
While many things on the web can be exaggerated or one-side, I was shocked to read some of the results of Effexor. Wikipedia had info about the make-up of Effexor containing amphetamines and MDMA (Ecstasy). Due to the short half-life, Effexor works fast, but this results in bad withdrawal and problems if you skip just one dose. Although many people were helped by Effexor, I found myself scared of the side effects and how it would effect my family. After just one pill, I decided to give myself 2 more weeks to adjust to my new life and see if my symptoms might improve.
It has been about a week since then, and my baby is sleeping much longer during the night. I only have to get up once. Also, I am trying to take the pressure off myself by enjoying my husband’s help and appreciating how great of a father he is. Amazingly, I want to feed my baby again. I am gladly washing bottles, and I have even cleaned the house (well, at least a little bit). I am still aware that postpartum depression could still be a possibility, but I think the true culprit is sleep deprivation mixed with taking on too much. I was running around showing houses (I am a Realtor) and shopping with in a few weeks of delivery.
Since I have improved, I don’t think I will take any medications, but I do plan on taking steps to improve my state of mind. A healthy lifestyle of exercise and mediation might be all I need to keep myself sane and allow me to be the best mom possible. I know I will make mistakes, but I must feel like I am trying my best.