Friday, April 8, 2011

Post-Partum Depression and other fun

What exactly is post-partum depression like? I’ve never been sad or lethargic or felt like I would harm my baby, but I have had other difficulties. I’m quick to anger, impatient, I yell, and my memory is pretty much unreliable for at least six months. For that entire first six months it seems like I can’t do much beyond the basics. (Forget about the first couple of months. Just managing to get some sleep in between wakings/feedings is all I can handle.)

Is this PPD? Is it just sleep-deprivation? Perhaps Seasonal Affective Disorder? (I am in Seattle, after all.) Some people are just blessed with good sleepers and seem to be right back into the swing of things after 6 or 8 weeks. After three kids, I’m not sure if the babies are to blame or my own biology.

I am starting to really come out of my funk, finally, but it’s also coinciding with the arrival of more sunshine here in the Evergreen State. I know that last year around this time I also seemed to “wake up” when there was a bright, sunny day. I keep planning to try full-spectrum lights, but I’ve only just now started looking into them.

Whether or not I get PPD or SAD or both, we might be done having babies. I kind of want one more, but this has been rough. Scott has a few dietary restrictions and is exclusively breastfed, the sleep has been rough because he has a sensitive gut, and my immune system has been abused since early/mid-December. I finally had a two-week break but I’m sick again. It’s not debilitating, but anything is too much when you’re already getting up multiple times during the night.

I’m convinced that having babies is better done when you’re in your 20’s. Perhaps I would have been just as crazy, but maybe it wouldn’t have lasted so long. At any rate, I’m 32 now and will probably be close to 34 when and if we’re ready to have another. 35 is my cut-off. Spending ten years pregnant, nursing, and recovering is enough for me.


Debra said...

Sorry to hear you've been having it rough. I have suffered from SAD, and taking a vitamin D supplement seems to have helped some. I am also starting to get serious about looking into those lights. I've heard they really help. Hope things continue to get better for you!

The Leithead Family said...

Thanks, Debra. I do take a lot of vitD. I need to have my levels tested soon to see where I am.

toni said...

It's so hard! I don't know if you do, but I look back and think, "that wasn't SO hard..." but when you're going through it survival mode is all that makes you thrive. I don't have "sleeping nightmare" babies, but they are sick A LOT, so the night thing is still upon us. I do think it's more SAD, because I tend to get that too, especially when Mother Nature plays tricks and can't make up her mind. Hang in there. I'm sure y Sept, it'll all be a bad memory-hopefully. We're thinking of you. Good thing he's so DANG cute!

The Leithead Family said...

Thanks, Toni. Travis has a better memory than I of what the "dark months" have been like. I'm just so tired of being sick all the time.