06 August, 2014

Taking Care of Me

I thought I had escaped it.

But a few weeks ago I started having migraines.  And then my heart would start racing.  And sometimes I'd burst into tears for no reason.  Then the deep breathing came.  And in less than a week I was having full blown panic attacks...like pull over on the side of the road and puke panic attacks.  I had even caught myself in a moment of nearly committing self harm.

It was back. And it hit like a freight train.

Postpartum depression and anxiety is no joke.  I had more of the depression side after I had Evie. I couldn't get out of bed. I cried all the time. I didn't want to leave the house.  I had a few panicky moments, but nothing too scary.  A friend stepped in and told me I was having more than just the Baby Blues, but probably postpartum depression.  I saw my midwife and she put me on medication.

I did everything I knew to do after having Maggie to avoid having the depression return.  I made sure to get good rest, eat well, go on long walks, take my vitamins, have a routine, and shower & get fully dressed daily.  I had been feeling awesome for three months, so I was really sideswiped when the panic attacks seemed to come out of nowhere.

I thought I could ride it out.  Maybe this was just a phase, but when the panic attacks escalated so quickly I knew I needed to get help immediately.  I called my midwife and she put me on some medication to help.  I knew it was going to take some time to kick in.  And unfortunately, it was just days before Eric was leaving the country for a week.

I packed up the girls and we went to my parents' house for the week.  It was the best thing for me.

My dad has suffered from anxiety for about 20 years.  My mom is incredible at handling the situation.  Both of my parents were very patient with me and helping me get adjusted to the medication.

It's been almost two weeks now I am getting closer to feeling "normal" again.  I am working on several coping techniques and really utilizing prayer and scripture to get me through.

Two great women in my life have been praying for me.  Having women who have suffered the same things, even if it was a two decades ago, has been encouraging. Their empathy is a great comfort to me.

I'm not sure when I will get back to regular blogging.  Right now I am catching up on life from being "absent" for the last 2-3 weeks.  I am also trying to figure out the future of our day-to-day life now that the reality of not working is starting to sink in.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and sympathy!

**If you think you are experiencing any symptoms of depression or anxiety, please get help immediately.  There is no shame.  Know you are not alone!  You'd be surprised how many women suffer from these diseases.**

4 comments:

  1. Ugh, I'm sorry. I hope you feel back to "normal" soon. This sounds so frustrating!

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  2. Oh gosh Elizabeth, I hope you continue to feel better and more strength...having supportive, loving people around helps too:) Hope it only gets better from here:)

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  3. I had a similar experience, Elizabeth. Severe depression after my first 2 deliveries and then extreme anxiety after Cate. I am actually still struggling with it and she just turned 3! It's been a long road, and I know very well what you are going through. Never hesitate to reach out to me if you need someone to talk to/empathize with.

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  4. I'm so sorry you're going through this! With my anxiety issues I'm truly surprised I didn't have PPD; sometimes I think it's the luck of the draw with brain chemistry. I hope you're feeling up to par soon.

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