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While we were out on a walk today, I saw a police car drive past and noticed a ridiculous thought had popped into my mind. I decided to tell my husband that thought just so he could hear how ridiculous it was too. I saw that police car and thought “Oh no… they’re going to see that I have a baby and take him away from me because I’m obviously not qualified to take care of him.” He agreed that it was ridiculous. And it was indicative of the kind of weirdo thinking that is going on in my brain and causing this anxiety, fear and depression.
I’m currently reading This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen R. Kleiman and Valerie Davis Raskin. It’s been really helpful- especially at helping me recognize and evaluate the wacko thought processes and put my emotions into perspective. I feel like I have more control over myself. Saying that thought out loud totally took away all of its power. And then my husband told me I looked cute in my “young mom” outfit which was nice.
I was also outside on a walk with my new baby for the first time ever. And it was before noon. I saw three police cars total and none of them seemed worried enough about me taking care of a baby to stop. So… this is winning today.
I got the coveted excursion to Target today that I read so much about. Google “wandering the aisles of Target” and you’ll be amazed at how many hits you get. This is something new moms like to do, apparently. It was nice to be out of the house- but I was pretty exhausted to do anything more than get what was on my list and leave. Oh, and talk about my personal problems…. I did that at Target today too.
My phone rang while I was looking at lightbulbs (needed since we have the lights on 24/7 now in order to accommodate the round-the-clock feedings). It was a counseling agency I’d left a message for four days ago asking if this was a good time to talk. I actually had a person from a counseling agency on the phone- so it was a good time to talk- even if I was at Target.
I have a quote on a price-per-session which is doable. I have a promise that a female therapist will contact me in the next 24-48 hours to schedule an appointment with me. I have the agency’s current location- different than the one I’d been given previously (they moved 2 years ago…). People at Target today might have my name, address and knowledge of the fact that I’m having some issues adjusting to motherhood. I consider this progress.
At every turn of my pregnancy, people were telling me that there is “help available” for postpartum anxiety/depression and to “ask for help” and to “tell your doctor” if I wasn’t feeling right.
I did the first thing- I talked to my doctor. She proceeded to tell me about how I shouldn’t feel the way I was feeling and asked if I wanted a prescription for “happy pills.” That was the name she gave for Zoloft. I asked her what Zoloft did and she said, “It’s like you eat chocolate- lots and lots of chocolate, only you don’t get fat.” I’m not a professional, but I could see that she didn’t understand PPD and wasn’t qualified to hand out prescriptions for anti-depressants.
I called the PPD helpline which is something the NICU suggested. It’s a “warm” line- you call and leave a message and they promise to get back to you in 24 hours. Nobody called me back the first time. I tried a second time and got somebody in British Columbia. I’m still waiting for a follow up email from her about resources in my area.
The NICU also gave me a list of counseling agencies, but the few numbers I tried were incorrect or disconnected. I got through to one who said that I had to have insurance and they didn’t take the insurance I had or something like that. I called another one and was transferred to someone who is on vacation until tomorrow.
Getting out of the house with or without a baby is a bit of an ordeal… and I’m running into a month of out-of-town guests. I’d rather not have to tell all my relatives about how I have to go see a counselor in the middle of their visit. That’s what I’ll do if I have to, I guess.
So anyway- I think health professionals have made themselves feel better by telling their patients that “help is available” for PPD but that’s about as far as it goes. They leave you on your own to actually get the help.