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Blogging for PPD/PPA Awareness, Day Five!

Hey y’all!  I’ve heard from so many people both in real life and online who have told me that they appreciate what we’re doing here by raising awareness of PPD, PPA, and other postpartum mood disorders.  We’ve still got three or four entries in the series.  I’m so, so thankful that this has been such a success.  If it has encouraged even one person to reach out and talk to her doctor, then it’s been worth it in my mind!
(Oh, and we’re still blog-hopping at D-Listed so make sure you stop by!)
today’s story comes to us from none other than Tiffany (@abloggymom on Twitter).  Tiffany runs the Bloggy Moms Community and has done an amazing job of creating a network where moms can talk about, well, whatever they want to talk about! And where moms can find new blogs to read and/or publicize their own blogs.  If you’re not a member yet, you should go sign up!  
Here’s Tiffany’s story:
Postpartum Depression by Tiffany Noth of
Sitting on the examining table, waiting for the doctor to knock on the door and make his entrance, I felt as though I could get up and run from there {even if I was wearing a paper dress!}.  This wasn’t how I was suppose to feel.  I was 36 weeks into my first pregnancy.  This was suppose to be one of the happiest times of my life. 

Anxiety began creeping into my chest and through my thoughts. How would I explain it to him? Surely he would think I was unfit to be a mother. Through my tears I could barely speak. With as few words as possible I explained how I felt.  Though I didn’t consider myself suicidal, I didn’t feel any reason for living.  The world was dark and sad.

My doctor was caring and as understanding as anyone who has never suffered from PPD could be. I was given a prescription and referred to a counselor.

Not a week into the medicine, I flushed them down the toilet. I didn’t think it was for me. In fact I hated the medicine and was ashamed.

I was terribly embarrassed to drive into the counselors parking lot.  Of course someone I knew would see me and know how awful I was for needing counseling.  Two visits into seeing the counselor…. I quit.

Through my first delivery and my daughter’s first year of life I told myself I could do this on my own. I didn’t see anyone else complaining so I should dry my tears and pull myself together.  I tried to eat healthier and take vitamins.  I just knew that exercising would help as well.  I avoided music as it brought me down.  It didn’t matter if the music was slow or upbeat, it all made me unhappy.  I found reason in everything to be let down with life and angry at those enjoying it.

Through pushing myself through those activities I had exhausted myself.  Not only was I exhausted I had also put a strain on my marriage.  I didn’t talk about any of this to my husband and he continually blamed himself for every mood I had.  I often times blamed him for these moods as well.
One dreary winter afternoon as I sat on my couch, depressed as I had grown accustom  {Do you grow accustom to that?}, I began to watch an episode of Friends.  Rachel, Jennifer Aniston’s character, had just found out she was pregnant.  Nervous yet excited slowly others on the show found out.  This made me physically ill.  Why would someone be excited over that I thought.  Immediately, my own thought hit me hard.  How terrible that sounded.  I glanced at my sweet daughter playing on the floor.  I remembered when I first thought I might be pregnant with her.  So excited yet unbelieving I took nine pregnancy tests before I told anyone.  Where had that excitement gone? 
I picked up the phone and dialed the number for our family doctor.  Through shame and in a whisper I asked to make an appointment.  The receptionist asked what type of appointment I need, why did I need to be seen.  I could barely speak.  I solemnly told her.  A softness came to her voice.  She scheduled the next available appointment for me.  
My mother accompanied me to my appointment.  It was rough for me to speak and she helped me explain what I had been going through and what I had tried to do to fix it.  Again, the doctor was very kind.  I was given yet another prescription and the names of several counselors.  I hate to say it, but this round of medicine and counselors ended the same as the first.  I eventually denied I needed the help and stopped all of it.
Ten months later I found myself pregnant with my second child.  I was able to enjoy the first moments of finding out I was pregnant.  Though not even out of my first trimester, depression had struck again.  I was nine weeks pregnant and could barely get myself out of bed in the morning.  That same week I told myself and my husband this would be the last baby I could carry. 
My doctor and family did all they could to help me through the depression and pregnancy.  Again, the depression was a pressure on my marriage.  The depression worsened and I was induced as soon as my son was big enough to be delivered.  The doctor’s thoughts were to get me onto medication as soon as I delivered and get me back into counseling.  There was a silent agreement among everyone that I should not become pregnant again.  I was told that most women with postpartum depression only experience it with one pregnancy.  I had experienced it with both of mine.  It was very likely I would experience it again.
My son will turn three this June.  I still fight moments of depression, anxiety and panic.  The world I live in is much different than the world before my first pregnancy.  I don’t believe I will ever forget how the darkness and the depths of depression felt.  However, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the birds singing or the warm sun on my face if I hadn’t sought help. 
In certain crowds there is a stigma that follows depression, counseling and medications.  In areas of my life I am associated with people in these crowds.  So much so that outside of family I denied and lied about postpartum, counseling and medication.  I have only recently begun admitting and talking about it openly.  I am so glad I have found other women who can understand fully and share with me their experience.

Visit for updates on Tiffany’s postpartum status.   

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Lauren Hale

Saturday 22nd of May 2010

Tiffany -

I am SO glad you shared this with us. And even happier you've found women with whom you can finally share your journey.

As a fellow two time survivor, I can certainly relate to how you felt the second time around. It's frustrating!

Enjoy the sun and the birds. You've certainly earned it!

Warmest, Lauren Hale

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