Post-Partum Depression: Part III
Take a minute to catch up on my Post-Partum Depression series blog posts. Part I here and Part II here!
I sent my midwife an email, asking her to meet with me. Unfortunately the communication between mothers and midwives is not quick. I was in a very serious situation and I needed help now! I reached out to an RN assistant of the birthing center and she text me back quickly.
“Stephanie, I need to see Corinne, can you help me with setting up an appointment?” her reply was prompt, “of course mija, when are you available.” I met with Corinne the following week.
I brought my son with me since I wanted my midwife, Corinne, to see him. She was delighted to see both of us. Then the difficult questions started. “So Marisol, how are you? How is motherhood treating you?” I looked at her and she knew right away. My eyes got watery and I started crying. “It is ok honey, tell me what is going on.” I vented to her and I was extremely honest. We were both crying by the end of our conversation. She had me fill out a screening tool for post partum depression (PPD).
This tool is called Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). I cannot explain the feelings going on in my head when I saw this tool. I filled it out, 6 weeks after having my son. When I went back in August, 13 weeks post-partum, I felt as if I was looking at a different questionnaire. All the questions suddenly applied to me. After looking at my responses she determined that I had Mild PPD.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Mild PPD was scary to me. My mother suffers from Depression and she struggled a lot with her diagnosis. I did not want the same for me. Corinne re-assured me that seeking help was the best decision I made. She stated, “some people only need to seek help to feel better.” She advised me to take an anti-depressant that would help me get over my slump. I did not want medication. She knew that, “I understand that you don’t want this, but this can help you feel better.” She also said that anti-depressants take 6-8 weeks to go into effect. I would have to be on this anti-depressant for a at least year.
She prescribed me Zoloft 50mg PO daily. She advised me to seek counseling and also to decrease my work hours. I was working 16-hr shifts and she was extremely upset about that.
Don’t tell my midwife this if you see her.
I picked up the medicine at Walgreens and took it for 2 days. I was not committed to take it and I don’t advice anyone to do this. After seeing Corinne, I felt weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt stronger and with more will power. Side note: anti-depressants can cause dependability. Meaning, more than likely I would be on Zoloft for the rest of my life. I did not want that at all.
My husband and I planned a family trip to Gurnee, IL and that was when my recovery started. Time away from work and home. I focused on my family, enjoying them and myself. When I went back to work I asked to switch my shifts to 8-hr days. My husband also decreased his work hours. I sought counseling and all of this combined made a huge difference in my life. I asked for help when I needed and I prioritized myself over everything
Updates On PPD
I never followed up with Corinne after this phase. I felt embarrassed to say I had PPD, althought I should not be. Embarrased because I let this illness get the best of me. I consider myself a strong woman and felt defeated the day I got diagnosed with PPD.
Today I am living my best life. I am thankful for my husband, without him I would have not seeked help. As mentioned in my previous blog, I use different methods to take care of my mental health. I recognize the warning signs and I give myself a time out.
“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t”—Rikki Rogers