Charity Cole of Giggles and Grimaces is sharing about her battle with postpartum depression and about a wonderful event coming to Clarkston, Michigan on June 21, 2014. Thanks for being here today, Charity!
Let me tell you about my journey, my climb.
I have three amazing daughters and a great hubby. Our first two girls are just 15 months apart. What a beautiful whirlwind that was. And then there is a little space…33 months. I knew right after baby girl number two, I wanted to add number three, but it took a while to get the whole family on the same page.
But we did indeed bring home baby 3.
Per usual, the baby blues, a time of mild depression or blues often experienced in the 2-3 weeks after birth, hit me like a locomotive. I struggled mightily for 2 weeks. Then, it was like I came up for air. I could enjoy our newest bundle, Patrice, without constant tears and nervous energy.
The reprieve lasted 1 week—7 measly days, and then the world crashed. I emerged wild with energy, not sleeping, constantly on the move.
I kept in touch with my amazing midwife. We rode it out for a while to see if my body would self-regulate, but it didn’t. The merry-go-round of emotions went faster and faster. My activity level continued to climb. I didn’t know what would happen if I stopped moving, but I just knew it wouldn’t be pretty.
In all honesty, there was a positive side to this…My 4 year old and almost 3 year old, loved all the activity. We went to the park, we went to the library, we did crafts, we had fun!!!
But it wasn’t exactly fun living in my brain. I couldn’t slow down, I couldn’t stop crying. I had my own Pavlov’s Dog experience. I didn’t want to cry in front of my girls, so I would hide in the basement or hide in the shower so they didn’t see mommy and get scared. Over time, I cried in there so often I began immediately bursting into tears anytime I was either of those places.
It became apparent this was not all going to just go away. So my midwife and I tried a medication considered safe for nursing mothers to take.
The first dose helped a little, so we upped it. That didn’t quite work out. I ended up coming completely unglued. I cleaned my ENTIRE house in 6 hours, including changing the baby out of her cloth diaper so I could wash EVERY stitch of laundry in the house.
And the drama didn’t end there.
The next day I didn’t know what to do. I just knew I didn’t know how to be a mama to my three girls.
I packed them up and drove to my midwife’s office, where I begged her to take my girls home and love them.
She didn’t take my girls, instead she loved on me. The office staff got my girls distracted so they didn’t see mama so upset, she hugged me and got ahold of my hubby so he could come to the office, and she made the difficult decision to have me admitted to the hospital.
That hospital stay was excruciating, but it started the process to get me help.
I started seeing a psychiatrist who specialized in postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety and I started hunting around on-line for information and help. I found Katherine at PostpartumProgress.com.
Her site featured information, resources, stories of the journey and stories of survival, exactly what I needed.
From there, I also found the #ppdchat on Twitter. It is an amazing army of women dealing with or thriving after postpartum mood disorders, including, but not limited to, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD and postpartum psychosis.
My healing process took a while. But I am on the other side, and I am ready to give back.
Postpartum Progress hosts an International event to raise awareness and funds for postpartum mood disorders. This year I am leading a local event for Oakland County on June 21, 2014 from 1-3 pm at Independence Oaks in Clarkston.
I am looking for others to join me in raising awareness and raising funds.
Have you lived with or through a postpartum mood disorder? Do you know someone who has?
Please join us, Climb with us to make a difference!
Here is the website to join and for more information:
Climb Out of the Darkness is the annual awareness raising and fundraising event for Postpartum Progress, a nonprofit focused on supporting pregnant and new moms with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, postpartum psychosis and pregnancy depression.
Thank you, Charity, for sharing your brave climb. Being a mother is not easy. If you suspect you or a loved one has PPD, please reach out to a health professional and check out the #ppdchat on Twitter. You are NOT alone!