I was twenty-six years old and I had given birth to my second child only two months ago. All suspicions of potential baby blues were distant. I had my idea of a perfect labour and was absolutely in love with my new baby.
My husband had just started a new job with some unusual hours. He worked from 2pm-1am, (that job did not last long). I was on the go constantly with my toddler and new born. In the morning I was awaken by my toddler at 6am. Then I would try to keep her busy so she wouldn’t wake up daddy who was exhausted from work. The new born went through her usual cycles of sleeping, waking and eating during the day. I basically spent no time with my husband because once awake he was off to work and returned once I was asleep… or trying to sleep.
I just couldn’t sleep at night without my husband at home. I was tense and nervous… honestly I was scared. I kept thinking of horrible scenarios that I couldn’t handle alone as a parent. What if someone broke into the house? What if the baby suddenly died in her sleep? What if the toddler got terribly hurt? What if I killed my children? Wait, WHAT?! Where did that come from?
What if I killed my children? That’s not me? I love my children… but what would my husband think if he came home and we were all dead. WHAT?! There it is again! A thought that doesn’t make any sense. Am I possessed by a demon?
These thoughts would pass through my mind like a sky scrapper leaving a trail of smoke that would disappear. And then suddenly it wouldn’t disappear. Suddenly I’m playing out these scenarios in my head. My mind is a horror film, no a marathon of horrifying episodes back to back.
My husband would find me staring blankly for long periods of time. I was frozen by fear as I questioned my sanity. Finally I had had enough. I contacted friends and urged them to pray for me. It was then that one friend offered the idea that I was suffering from Postpartum Depression. She insisted I see my doctor and discuss all the thoughts I’ve been having and what I’ve been feeling.
I was diagnosed with text book Postpartum Depression. Every thought I experienced was consistent with the thoughts other moms suffered from. I went on from there to take easy but time consuming steps toward recovery. The first step was my husband finding a new job. According to my doctor the onset of PPD came with me getting less than four hours of sleep a night. (And that was while waking up periodically to feed the baby).
If you experience anything similar to what I have, please talk to your doctor. I’m no expert but this has been my experience. I’ll post another blog explaining the difficult steps I’ve taken toward recovery and how I’m doing now.