Posted by: emjb | November 22, 2005

The first thing Brooke Shields and I have ever had in common

From this site:

Could I Have Postpartum Depression?

Do you . . .

–Have trouble sleeping?

–Find you’re exhausted most of the time?

–Notice a decrease in your appetite?

–Worry about little things that never used to bother you?

–Wonder if you’ll ever have time to yourself again?

–Think your children would be better off without you?

–Worry that your husband will get tired of you feeling this way?

–Snap at your husband and children over everything?

–Think everyone else is a better mother than you are?

–Cry over the slightest thing?

–No longer enjoy the things you used to enjoy?

–Isolate yourself from your friends and neighbors?

–Fear leaving the house or being alone?

–Have anxiety attacks?

–Have unexplained anger?

–Have difficulty concentrating?

–Think something else is wrong with you or your marriage?

–Feel like you will always feel this way and never get better?

Mostly, yep to all of the above. Though I don’t think my anger is exactly unexplained, and I haven’t yet worried about my marriage. I don’t think the baby would be better off without me, or think other mothers are better. I do have a hard time seeing happy pregnant women on TV or hearing about other, better births.

I guess it helps to label these feelings. For treatment, well, first of all I’m going home with the baby to TX for a week, maybe longer, and letting my mom mommy me. Matt won’t be able to come because of work, and that’s the only thing that made me hesitate; he hates to be away from his little guy for so long. But last night, after having to deal with a panic attack (they seem to be much worse at night, I’m usually ok during the daylight hours), I just knew I had to do something or I would lose my shit entirely.

My mom had PPD with me, she tells me, though they just called it baby blues then. I need to be around her and lots of other people who can help me and make me feel safe. I guess I want to be sure if I do lose my shit, then the baby will be ok because other people will be around? Something like that. I have lost most of my self-sufficiency, hopefully not for long, but right now I’m just a mess. Slightly weepy all the time, panicky and afraid as soon as the sun goes down. My apartment turns into a prison; the nights are just endless and tense. I can’t usually sleep until the sun is nearly up, no matter what the baby is doing.

When I get back, I’ll look into a support group; I thought about therapy and it could still be needed, but I’m hoping the hormones dropping off will help in its own way. I don’t want to be one on one with a therapist right now. I’d rather feel surrounded by others who can help me.

There are a surprising (or not) number of groups out there dedicated to helping women who’ve had traumatic births, especially c-sections. This makes me feel better, for me, although sad that so many of them are needed.

Wow, I really preferred this blog when I was still writing about feminist rage and funny things about being pregnant. These posts aren’t nearly as much fun.



  1. For the first couple of weeks, I dreaded the onset of night. Everything is just worse at night. I took a lot of Benadryl.
    I’m glad you have a mom you can go to. My mom was (somewhat unexpectedly) awesome.
    It will get fun again.

  2. I just ran accross your blog. I am suffering from severe ppd too, and if you ever need anyone to talk to please, send me an email. It has been 3 months for me now, and I would highly recommend you get help, so that you don’t have to suffer alone 🙂 I hope you feel better soon!

  3. I finally got the knitted items ready to mail, but maybe I should send them to your mom’s house? If so, please mail me the address.

    If you will be anywhere near Dallas, I can drop the stuff off in person.

  4. I often find going home to Texas to be the cure for what ails me…

    I hope you are able to get your feet under you relatively soon. If anyone has a reason for PPD (not that it’s something that needs a reason!), you certainly do. Take care of yourself and come back to MWT when you can; we’re all waiting for you.

  5. Just found your blog. I had some PPD, and it seemed worse because I was chained to the house for so long. Making the extra effort to get dressed and go outside every day made a difference. Nights were still hard for a while, so I watched Nick at Nite until the wee hours of the morning.

    Having your mom around is a great idea. Best of luck.

  6. Thanks, guys…Sagesgirl is right, Texas (and Mexican food) cures a lot of things…

    It does help to get out. Today I went for a “suture check” at the midwives’, and told them what I thought about what happened. As I expected they were noncommital; maybe most of their patients don’t complain as much about such things, because surely I’m not the only one who has had this experience. This clinic serves largely Hasidic clients; perhaps they’re less aggressive about what they want? Or there’s some other reason.

    Anyway, their response didn’t surprise me. No doubt there’s a lot of money involved, and pressure from the hospital itself to go along. But I did make it clear that they were not serving their own patients well by being affiliated there.

    Of course, the midwife brought up PPD, which I admitted to, but I wasn’t going to let her suggest that that was the reason for my complaints. I am feeling better, but I’m still angry.

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