the winding road to postpartum depression

You never really pay attention to the signs, even when they’re staring you in the face. Carlos kept asking me what was wrong. I could feel my mom tiptoeing around me, always around the corner making sure I was never left alone with the girls for too long. My dad made sure to make himself scarce to avoid my wrath. And my poor baby girls got a shadow of my normal self.

Postpartum depression hit me hard. I didn’t notice it right after Catalina was born, it could be because my sister came from Holland and I was distracted, or maybe it was something that developed later on. All I know is that in the beginning of May I started secluding myself. I hid in the bedroom under the guise that I was breastfeeding the baby but really I just wanted to be alone. I couldn’t handle leaving the house unless it was absolutely necessary, and even then every outing was full of anxiety and self doubt.

I couldn’t bring myself to take a shower because the water on my skin felt like knives. I wanted to eat any and every thing I could get my hands on. No amount of sleep was enough and so I just wanted to be in bed all day hiding, trying to sleep while Catalina slept. I couldn’t be bothered to cook or clean, let alone keep up with my own personal hygiene.

I kept apologizing to Carlos. I kept telling him I would get better eventually. I kept telling him how much I loved him and our girls but I just wasn’t myself…and I didn’t know how to get back there. And my husband lovingly replied that there was no need to apologize and reminded me that adjusting to a new person in our family was going to take it’s time.

Finally, my mom sat me down and told me I needed help. Not just help around the house but professional medical help. I broke down crying because I knew it was true. I knew that this wasn’t going to go away on it’s own. A few days later I was seeing a psychiatrist who sat down with me and after listening to me cry, rant, and rave for what felt like forever prescribed me an SSRI and told me to come back to her in ten days.

Here I am, about six weeks later and I finally feel back to normal. Taking  a shower isn’t torture, I’m working out and eating right, and most importantly, I’m able to be present when interacting with my family. I feel free.

To all my fellow mothers out there, please do not be afraid to ask for help. Do not be ashamed or bound by the stigma society has placed on depression/mental health. Finding help makes you strong and honestly will give your children just another reason to look up to you.

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mvega1107

USAmerican immigrant living in Uruguay raising my daughters the best I know how. I plan on using this site to share our experiences and how I raise my daughters in a culture so very different from what I'm used to.

3 thoughts on “the winding road to postpartum depression”

    1. Hi Kate, it really depends on what she type of help she has sought out already, however, my first suggestion to her would be to go through her “mutualista” or whatever hospital she attends. The first point of contact would be her pediatrician who would have to refer her to see either a child psychiatrist OR child neurologist. From there they would refer her to different specialists for treatment. From my understanding and experience it is very difficult to find someone to help unless you are willing to pay directly out of pocket but I hope she can find whatever she is looking for. Let me know if you need any other help or direction. Sorry I couldn’t offer more information.

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      1. Thank you so much for your quick reply and the information!

        Kate Palmer, MA, CCP, CAS GRASP President/CEO Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership, Inc. 369 Lexington Avenue, 2nd Fl. New York, NY 10017 1-888-474-7277 http://www.grasp.org

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