Monday, July 18, 2011

PPD

The book I'm writing is primarily focused on Postpartum PTSD as there is so little written about it. But Postpartum Depression has been a huge part of my journey and is still a daily struggle. It is included in the book because it has had such an impact on my day to day life. It is almost equal to my struggle with PTSD, but in a very different way. I wanted to share a couple of books that I read about first hand experiences with PPD in my desperate search for connection in the first couple of months after Gregory was born. 
Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression by Brooke Shields was the first book I read. While I connected with a few of her experiences there was a lot that was foreign to me. Overall, I liked the book but felt like I didn't get as much out of it as I'd hoped. 
The next was a book suggested on a website I'd come across during my search It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita by Heather Armstrong. I loved her writing and humor but again, I felt a little bit like a failure reading her book because although she was REALLY struggling, once she got the right treatment plan, she was able to care for her daughter. At the time, I couldn't care for Gregory for more than 30 minutes by myself and those 30 minutes were excruciating; watching the clock and waiting for whoever was coming to arrive. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone going through some sort of PPD, but as much as I liked it, it still didn't quite fit. 
I realize that the reason for that is because besides PPD, I was physically trying to heal from 2 major surgeries with anesthesia in both (which is really hard on a person), plus countless other procedures and laying in a hospital bed for 3 weeks. I also couldn't eat because I had no appetite which affected how I felt physically and emotionally.  And, on top of all of this, I was struggling with PTSD and anxiety. One night I had a panic attack so bad I made myself physically sick. The next day I called my old psychiatrist for medication. 
Anyway, I wanted to share which books I'd read that I feel if I'd had just PPD, and not the additional issues, could have helped me (more than they did). 
I'm contemplating writing more here about what happened at the ER, with the emergency surgery and the tests and procedures that followed, but I'm just not sure how much I want to put on the blog. I think I'd rather save the story for the book so you get the full view of what happened. I don't think that I can put into a blog all of the trauma and pain. My quick post on how it all went down is a quick summary of some of the things that happened but a very brief summary. 
What I haven't addressed at all is what happened when I came home. I might get into that here or I might not. I'll have to see how it goes as the book writing continues. 
I just wanted to make sure that although I focus a lot of my writing on PTSD that the PPD gets addressed. I feel the need to focus more on the PTSD since information about it is so few and far between. In the book I talk about both because both have been a constant struggle for me. They affect me in very different ways but are both still very present. Unfortunately. 

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