Birth and NICU
13 years ago marks the birth of my daughter. She was two months early. I was fortunate that she was only in NICU for about 3 weeks.
I still wish to this day I had a “normal” pregnancy. You know; go into labor in the middle of the night, normal birth and the ability to hold my baby in my arms after delivery. I have no pictures of me and my baby for at
least a month after she was born (and home). I refused to take pictures of her while hooked up to tubes and wires.
All in all, I am blessed she was happy and healthy most of her childhood. I spent that first month in the NICU trying to hold and care for my baby as much as I could. When I was at home, I would sleep.
Weeks went by. Finally, when she was home, I felt like I suddenly I didn’t know what to do. I was scared. But, scared about what? I didn’t have confidence in myself to take care of a baby or even myself for that matter. I was physically and mentally exhausted and had no desire or ability to care for my new daughter.
Postpartum Depression rears its head
The Post-Partum Depression kicked in full force. My husband at that time worked night shift but I needed “24-hour care” so he would work second shift, so he could be with me at night and my family would stay with me during the day or take my daughter while I slept. A healthy 24-year-old new mom was unable to care for her new baby. My husband told me things I did or said during that time and I can’t remember a thing. In fact, I don’t remember much of my daughters first two months on this earth.
After weeks of this neurotic behavior I finally went to my OBs office and we discussed being admitted but I convinced her to let me stay home with the “around the clock” care. I left there on Zoloft, Xanax and Ambien. I felt better and started to ease into motherhood and caring for my daughter. I had never been on any prescription medications before let alone for my emotional wellbeing, but I knew I had to. I had to be a mother to this tiny baby.
Postpartum Depression turns into generalized depression
A year ago… I got hit with a divorce. I lost my mind again and my doctors kept putting me on more and more medications. At one point I was on nearly 9 medications, four of them for depression. For manymonths I was in a fog, I couldn’t get my thoughts out of my mouth and felt like I was losing my mind most of the time, but the doctors just kept upping the dosage amounts as this behavior was “probably” because I was depressed. Again, PPD creeping back into my life. [Note: PPD can turn into generalized depression. True PPD only lasts up until 1 year after birth.]
The medicine begins to have a negative effect
10 months ago, I drove my mom and daughter to Target. We parked, walked in the store and I dropped down. I had a five-minute grand mal seizure. In the middle of Target….I was behind the wheel of my car with my mother and daughter just five minutes prior. We all could have died along with others. I could have hit my head harder than I did and died. Died.
It was found that it was a “medication induced” seizure primarily caused by Wellbutrin. The normal dosage for a woman my size is 100mg. I was maxed out at 300mg. Come to find out 4 out of those 9 prescriptions I was taking had seizures as side effects. I was never once educated on this information and multiple doctors were involved in my care. All these medications had “black box warnings”. I never knew. This incident left me in the hospital for a few days.
Angie tries natural remedies to control her mental health
After six months they say you’re free to go about “normal” life (driving, baths, swimming, etc). I made it! After this incident I stopped taking all these medications. I started an exercise class, started using essential oils to their full potential and I started to feel like a new person. No more fog or forgetful words. Almost an instant change.
My body was being poisoned by all those toxic medications. Even after this incident I was told to “decrease” the dosages but still take ALL OF THEM! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I know it’s not recommended to stop cold turkey, but I did. I’m a single mom, I have a full time corporate leadership job, I run a small business and I was not going to risk this situation again. I had to take control. I couldn’t continue with my life like this.
Angie’s encouragement to all mama’s who are struggling with their mental health
The bottom line here. You may always have PPD buried inside you, but you can cope and heal. Do your own research! No one is looking out for you but yourself! I now take ONE medication for depression. Very low dose. I’m human, I know what I need to feel my best and this is it. There’s nothing wrong with modern medicine. I have done well with limited antidepressants, essentials oils, exercise class and a new outlook on life. Selfcare ladies. SELF CARE. Let your friends and family help you. GIVE them your baby so you can take a nap, give them your toddler or even your 10-year-old! Let people help you. They love you and want to see you well.
Be careful. Do research and ask questions. If things don’t feel right, ask questions. If you don’t feel right, ask questions.
I realized I never really “took control” of the situation at hand. I just went with the flow and kept taking the medicines my doctors were giving me. You’re in control. Be well. You can and absolutely will live a happy, healthy life. ❤️