*This post was 4 Yesterday*
05/04/2016 = #MaternalMentalHealthDay
#Maternal #MentalHealth #Day
My PPD Journey…
I had my Awesome kiddo in March of 2002. I thought I would have a normal pregnancy & delivery. That did NOT happen. Since I gained so much weight by my 2nd trimester my doctor made me start going to him every other week. By my 3rd Trimester my doctor visits were weekly. I gained 94 (ninety four) pounds during my pregnancy & I did Not have gestational diabetes. I became very lazy and depressed, anxious and even paranoid.
In my last month of pregnancy, I went in for one of my final doctor appointments and they kept me. I was in labor 27 hours and Only got to 9cm. Then they told us, I had to have an emergency c-section. I was not mentally prepared for this at all. I was naive, My entire pregnancy not once did I think I would have a c-section & then it happened. I remember them putting the board under my stomach & the instant smell of burning skin. Next thing I remember was my husband (now ex-husband) saying: ‘Look at his lips! He looks just like me!’ I was beyond exhausted after having my son but luckily I was in a room where he got to stay with me so we were able to bond. 3 days we went home, I was then faced with walking up 3 set of stairs. There wasn’t an elevator in the complex we lived in. Luckily my (ex) Husband was able to carry our baby & everything else. I had to take several breaks walking up the stairs because the pain from my c-section made it hard to walk. Once I finally got in the house I did not leave. The only time I left was for doctor’s appt. This is when my depression, anxiety and paranoia started to become worse.
About 5 weeks after having my son, I remember coming out the bathroom & my (ex) husband saying:”Why do you have blood on top of your stomach?” I screamed: ‘Because women bleed after giving birth!’ He then pointed out I was Really bleeding from my stomach. I walked to a mirror & then I just started crying uncontrollably. I had a HOLE the size of a 1/2 dollar where my c-section was suppose to be sewn closed. We immediately went to the emergency room. I thought they would just sew me back up… Boy was I wrong. A nurse came in and explained my c-section had reopened and I would have to clean it at least 2x a day by sticking a Large cotton ball in it and applying some ointment. I’ll never forget she said: “You have to heal from the inside out.” Looking back at that moment, I Really did need to heal from the inside out. Both physically & emotionally. Right after she said that, I began freaking out (having an extreme panic attack) & feeling as if my body would never be the same. It took a good 2 months + before my opened c-section finally closed. I still remember the disgusting smell of a open wound, 14 years later.
When my son became one, I became Obsessed with getting my pre-pregnancy body back. I did a water shot diet & lost all the weight plus some, in a matter of like 4 months. I then somehow convinced myself plastic surgery would fix Everything. I was manic and had no idea. I got my breast implants redone. After 3 months I didn’t like them so I went and got the silicone ones switched out with saline. I also then went and got a tummy tuck. Once that was done, I started having serious complications with my 3rd set of breast implants. So I went & got a Explantation = when they remove your breast implants. That left me with botched natural breast, which I STILL have to this day. My mom told me she was worried about me -at the time- because I was so obsessed with trying to look how I did pre-pregnancy. So she asked my (ex) husband to Please not allow me/pay for me to get any more plastic surgery. I had 4 surgeries all within a year & a half. I was always moody. I’d cry constantly over anything, as well as yell & scream at anyone for no reason at all. I became fearful of everything and paranoid that people were watching me. I was beyond miserable.
I eventually became a hermit. I got a divorce and I gained all of the weight back plus more. There were several years where I did not go anywhere. I would not open any blinds so my home was Always dark. I couldn’t sleep so I stayed up all night eating junk and drinking wine & beer and then I would sleep all day. I was blessed that my sons Grandma Laune (RIP) and his cousin/auntie’s would help with my son on a regular basis in the day time so luckily he wasn’t forced to sit in the dark with me, seeing me constantly cry and yell at myself. YEARS went by and I just accepted the notion that this depression, paranoia, anxiety & anger had just became a part of my daily life. Until 2013, eleven + years after I had my son, I finally got help because I knew something was wrong. Something had been wrong for a Very Long time & I knew if I didn’t get help I would die. I got a therapist & a psychiatrist and she prescribed me antidepressants. I was on many different antidepressants before we found one that finally worked for me and did not cause me rapid weight gain or other complications as the others had. I saw my therapist & psychiatrist for close to 2 years. During this time, My psychiatrist informed me I had initially had PPD which was left untreated & had turned into Major depression. I’m happy to say my life is much different Now since I got the help I needed. I still have a few bad days every now & then But best believe I no longer ‘wallow in my sorrow.’ Now, When I get sad/mad/frustrated I immediately #PoundThePavement (#BriskWalk) & that makes me instantly feel better. It’s my outlet to channel my frustration. I finally forgave myself for everything I Did & allowed to happen to myself. My son is a healthy and Happy teenager now. His dad & I co-parent better. I finally got back to being me after a decade of ‘hiding’ in depression. I now work, workout at least 5x a week and have lost over 70pounds by brisk walking, changing my eating habits and alleviating as much stress as possible.
I share my story hoping it helps someone. There is no shame in getting help. In black communities we sweep #MentalIllness (of any kind) under the rug. “Oh he/she is just going through something, Give it sometime they’ll be ok!’ Is often what I’ve heard. That isn’t the case for everyone. Therapy, medication and exercise Helped me.
I’m so glad there is now PPP = PostPartum Progress http://www.postpartumprogress.com/
A non-profit organization that raises awareness, fight stigma and provide peer support and programming to women with maternal mental illness. The Annual climb is this year June 18th. It is the world’s largest event raising awareness of maternal mental illnesses like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety & OCD, postpartum PTSD, postpartum psychosis, postpartum bipolar disorder, and pregnancy depression and anxiety. Find a climb in your area at:
A national nonprofit that mobilizes women to live their healthiest, most fulfilled lives through a habit of daily walking.
Hopefully no other woman will ever have to experience anything like I did. I was able to finally make myself ‘climb out of darkness’ & get back Healthy with help so I’m now dedicated to paying it forward and helping others. Please feel free to repost/forward M y journey to anyone you know that it may help.
as you see from my pictures You can change Your Health for the Better No matter what You are going through. If You need help get it! There is No Shame in Bettering Yourself. #FuckDepression