It's at this point that my memories of last year get a little fuzzy. This was the day of the proverbial last straw that sent me into weeks of not eating, not talking, shuffling around hunched up with fear. I do remember the feeling of terrified bewilderment those days in the hospital with Collin, knowing that something was very wrong, but not knowing what it was. And I just can't help but wonder if things would have been different if I had been a little more educated about postpartum depression. The only reference point I had, and I think this is the same for a lot of us, was the highly-publicized images of the sickest of the sick -- women who did the unthinkable. That certainly wasn't me. I was hurting and barely functioning and not myself, but I was not one of those women on TV. So what the heck WAS I?I was lucky enough to have a fiercely supportive husband, a midwife with the right connection, and an appointment with a specialized women's psychiatrist within three days of the onset of my condition. So, even though I needed my mom to come take care of Collin and I had weeks and months to go, I was at least headed in the right direction from the beginning.
But what about those who aren't so lucky? How are they supposed to figure out what's going on? You find the obligatory PPD posters in the pediatrician's office, but even when I knew what was going on with me and tried to be honest and explain my struggle to Collin's pediatricians in an effort to get their support, I just got an uncomfortable smile, avoidance of eye contact, and never another word or follow up.
There IS some good information out there now on postpartum depression, but as far as I know, there is very little if any information on mothers of babies who are sick or otherwise challenged. Ours is a strange morph between postpartum depression and acute or post traumatic stress disorder and it can't be fully described by either. There is a section in some videos and books that reference "Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Disorder", but they usually just state that there is not yet enough research in this area. So, pardon my saying so, Medical Community, but GET ON IT.