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Baby blues, PPD, PPA support thread

  1. ladybee

    grapefruit / 4079 posts

    Hi ladies. I can't believe I am back in this place, actually, probably worse then ever. My DS is almost 4 months old and on Friday my PPD/PPA hit it's worse. I lost my mind in my bosses office and was granted leave for 10 days to take care of myself. I've been researching all the meds I was on and think I figured out the issue.

    I was on Topamax for migranes when my PPD/PPA came back full force. Anyone take topamax before? I was 90% ok before this med was given to me.

  2. MrsGeePerez

    grape / 95 posts

    I wanted to chime in and say that I am just starting to pull out of PPD at 7 months. I can't believe I've been struggling for so long. It's been a very tough journey. I just found out my Vitamin D level is dangerously low and have started a regimen to reverse it, so I do believe that had a lot to do with it.

    I fell into motherhood like a plane on fire, nosediving into the earth. I had a really negative delivery experience, an insanely colicky baby for 3+ months who wouldn't sleep longer than a few hours at best, and I stubbornly forced myself to breastfeed for way too long even when it was clearly doing far more damage than good (low supply, toe-curling pain that never went away, MSPI issues, vasospasms, etc). Two months in my younger brother was in critical condition and in and out of the hospital for a few months (not the best place for a colicky newborn but I had no choice!). I needed my mom so badly during this time but obviously she had enough stress to deal with.

    Once things calmed down, I started getting some sleep and I felt like I was out of "survival mode", but I was just... empty. On autopilot.

    It's hard feeling disconnected and flat, like a shell of your former self. I couldn't bond with my baby right away and felt like I was in a state of shock. And I saw so many friends have babies and take to motherhood like they were born to do it. I feel like I missed the mark completely on the most important months of my baby's existence.

    But the life is slowly flowing back in and I'm starting to feel joy and happiness again. There is still so much that is not quite fitting together but the good moments far outnumber the bad. I will always be sad that I didn't feel that overwhelming love at the first sight of my baby, but I was so overwhelmed by the pain of a long, difficult labor that I just couldn't connect to reality anymore.

    I hope things continue to improve. I felt the baby blues for sure, but that started to get better after about 4 weeks. The PPD crept up a little more slowly and lasted a lot longer. This thread is helpful because I feel like the only woman in my social network that is having a tough time!

  3. Cherrybee

    papaya / 10570 posts

    @ladybee: I'm so, so sorry this has happened. How are you feeling today?

  4. Silva

    cantaloupe / 6017 posts

    @ladybee: I'm so sorry things are difficult right now. I'm glad you were able to get a break from work. I've worked with clients who were prescribed topamax for mood disorders (bipolar disorder or depression, mainly). It would seem to me that, as with any medication prescribed for mood disorders, there is the threat or potential for worsening symptoms. So even though it was prescribed for migraine, it isn't totally surprising that it had this adverse reaction.
    Are you on other meds for the PPD right now? Anything that has worked in the past? Hopefully your doctor can quickly get you off the topamax and onto a more appropriate migraine med.

    Eta: these medications are so strange. What works for some people can be devastating to others. I just had a client have an increase in suicidality and depression after starting Zoloft, which is one of the most commonly prescribed meds for anxiety and depression. It can unfortunately make you feel a bit like a Guinea pig, but you kind of have to keep going until you find the right combo for you.

  5. pastemoo

    cantaloupe / 6146 posts

    Reviving this one.
    New experiences? Recoveries of pps?
    Anyone with postpartum OCD?

    Starting to become chronically late because of this and starting to worry that I can't keep doing what I'm doing. Doctor's appointment this week to hopefully try a new med (failed 2 so far).

  6. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    @pastemoo: hi fellow June momma! I'm here with you, struggling. I was doing really great for the first 8 weeks or so and then things just started going downhill fast with depression, anxiety and some OCD and disordered eating (I have had all 4 in the past, but nothing like this after DD1.) it took forever to get in to see the psychiatrist last week (I have been in therapy on and off for years, and had started up again while pregnant to deal with some issues with my mother - but it just wasn't cutting it right now). She prescribed Zoloft but left it up to me if I wanted to try or not. I'm starting to fee a little better since going back to work and I'm teetering on that potential benefit outweighing potential risks (since I'm EBF) line and don't know what to do. I did fill it today, so that's a start? I just am having anxiety over taking meds for anxiety lol - is that a sign I should take it?!

    Hang in there, you're not alone.

  7. Dahlia

    clementine / 935 posts

    @catomd00: It's obviously 100% up to you, but I say take the Zoloft. I started on a very low dose when DD was about 2 months. I have health anxiety so taking meds while breastfeeding scared the crap out of me, but it has improved my quality of life 1000000%. I went back and forth and kept saying, "oh I'm feeling a little better, so I'll wait" but in the end I really needed them.

  8. Dahlia

    clementine / 935 posts

    @pastemoo: I'm sorry to hear you're struggling. I had PPA bad starting when LO was about 2 months old. She's 14 months now, and with therapy, time, and a low dose of Zoloft I am doing much better. I still have bad days, but I'm back to my baseline (higher than normal) level of anxiety. I hope you find something that works for you soon.

  9. MrsKoala

    cantaloupe / 6869 posts

    @catomd00: I dealt mainly with PPA and took Zoloft while EBF. Just wanted to chime in and say that while I noticed a slight supply dip (which everyone told me wouldn't happen) that I'm glad I took it and I was able to continue to EBF for another 4-5 months afterwards with no detriment to my LO. Thought I'd throw that out there in case that was your concern.

  10. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    @Dahlia: thank you so much for the encouragement. I think I'm going to start tonight. I was really hoping to take it before bed so it peaked while DD was STTN but of course she decided to stop STTN. Sleep derivation makes everything worse for me, so I think I'm going to just go for it.

    @MrsKoala: thanks for this. I was actually going to call my doc and ask about supply since I didn't think to ask the other day. Did you notice any weight gain? Vain I know, but that's my other concern I didn't ask about! I appreciate your encouragement. I'm just nervous about it negatively impacting baby. I kind of already feel like I'm failing her in so many ways, I don't want to add another thing to the mix, which probably sounds silly.

  11. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    @Dahlia: what dose were you on? They put me at 50mg (working up from 25), but kind of wondering if I could just try and stay at 25.

  12. MrsKoala

    cantaloupe / 6869 posts

    @catomd00: no weight gain at all. My only side effect was a lightheaded feeling and some headaches in the beginning.

  13. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    @MrsKoala: awesome, thanks!

  14. Dahlia

    clementine / 935 posts

    @catomd00: I'm on 25 mg and it's worked for me. Also, I haven't noticed any dip in supply or weight gain. And LO is healthy, happy, growing, and hitting milestones appropriately. I figured any risk from the meds is outweighed by the possible harm to her from having an anxious mother (especially because when I'm really anxious I tend to withdraw and not want to be around her as much).

  15. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    @Dahlia: thanks! I'm going to ask my doc about just staying at 25 for a few weeks and seeing how it goes.

  16. pastemoo

    cantaloupe / 6146 posts

    @catomd00: Happy to talk about risk/benefit of meds with you! PM me or email me (@gmail.com) . I've been doing some research for school on it.

  17. pastemoo

    cantaloupe / 6146 posts

    @Dahlia: Thanks for sharing!

    Zoloft made me really ill, and so did Celexa. Glad Celexa did because it's not one of the safest for EBF. Hoping to get/try something else. And to get a workbook or something like that.

    Found a new study that babies of moms who treat their PPD do better with their own mood as they grow up than babies of moms who decline treatment of their PPD. I need to dig it up again.
    @MrsKoala: I also noticed supply dip when I tried it. But I had a ton of side effects and I think my body couldn't keep up with production because it was trying to keep up.

  18. catomd00

    grapefruit / 4418 posts

    @pastemoo: how you doing? I started Zoloft about 2 weeks ago and have noticed a really big difference the past few days. I'm actually enjoying my days instead of just tolerating them. I had some crazy plugged ducts and mastitis symptoms off and on for about a week a few days after starting, but I'm hopefully on the other side of that now with no lasting effects on my supply. Hope you're hanging in there!

  19. LKsmom

    pea / 19 posts

    I am a long-time reader, but I feel the need to post here to share my experience with baby blues/PPA (self-diagnosed).

    I never had a strong pull towards any particular career, but one thing I was certain of my entire life was that I wanted to be a mom. I had only ever heard of PPD - never the baby blues or any other type of PP issues like anxiety/OCD - and never thought in a million years I would have it.

    Cut to 2014... we got pregnant on the first cycle trying and were so excited. I had a fairly uneventful pregnancy (I do have type 1 diabetes, so that complicated the pregnancy, but I was closely monitored and maintained tight control with no issues). We welcomed our little girl in May 2015.

    We were 'team green' and as odd as it sounds, I think it contributed to some of my baby blues. I loved the idea of the surprise, but looking back, I don't feel like I was as connected to my pregnancy compared to if we would've known "it" was a "she". My birth experience was wonderful, but we spent two extra nights in the hospital due to her jaundice, and all I remember is darkness. I actually asked my husband recently if he remembered how dark it was in the room and how weird it was that we never turned the lights on, and he said, "Yes, we did! They were on all the time!"... so I must've just felt the darkness emotionally. Once we were home, I cried every day. I wanted our old life back so badly, just the two of us. I felt trapped and like I would never be able to leave my house and had to open every blind and window so I didn't feel like I was suffocating. I didn't necessarily have negative feelings towards our new baby, but looking back, I barely remember her as a newborn. I think I was just going through the motions and crying every moment in between.

    The baby blues did pass, but they were soon replaced by what I now believe is PPA. I strongly believe it was directly related to breastfeeding, as I felt that I was the only one who could do anything for her... I was a nervous wreck any time anyone held her or visited. I hated going to family events or in public in fear of someone else holding her and her crying. I thought every cry meant I was the only one who could solve it. Sometimes I imagined horrible things happening to her - either in someone else's care or my own. Once I stopped breastfeeding (a little over 1 year old), I started to feel some relief. I let go of some of my responsibility (that I put on myself) and realized that she was fine in someone else's care. I wouldn't trade our breastfeeding relationship for the world, it was an amazing experience, but it definitely brought on the anxiety... and I know this because of how it has slowly lifted since stopping.

    I know I still struggle with PPA. I still panic when I leave her with my husband and her grandparents (oddly enough, I do not have these feelings in association with daycare) and I worry about her constantly. I still imagine terrible things happening to her. I have a really hard time coping with horrible headlines involving babies and children and recently had to remove myself from Facebook because it was affecting me so much (really heartbreaking stories that I am sure bother anyone who reads them... but it rocks me to the core and I can't shake it). I do finally feel like I am comfortable in the "mom role" and I have chilled out a bit. It has just taken almost 17 months to get here.

    I just want new moms to know how common this is. No one talks about it, and then when it happens to you, you feel so isolated and wrong. Please feel free to reach out to me to talk... sometimes it is all you need and sometimes it is just the start of getting some real, needed help.


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