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The Truth, My Truth, My Story by Katie Vigen

posted Jan 27, 2011, 1:27 AM by Tascheleia Marangoni
The Truth: Postpartum Depression can happen to anyone
My Truth: Postpartum Depression will never happen to me.
My Story: It did……

I'll start at the beginning.

November 18th, 2007: Found out I was pregnant, best day of my life. I was so happy and had always wanted to be pregnant and have a family. I couldn't believe it had happened and that I was finally going to be a MOM!!

January 10th, 2008: Heard heartbeat for the first time
. 11w1d along. Amazing. I don't think you could have wiped the smile off my face if you tried.

March 3, 2008: Big ultrasound 18w5d. I was so happy to find out what we were having. Boy or girl, I did not care, I just wanted to go shopping and start decorating our nursery. Ultrasound tech says something to me that changed my life even more significantly than I knew at the time. "Umm....I see two in there". We were having twins!! Shane was thrilled, he had always wanted twins. I was so happy as well, I mean really, I'm a pediatric RN, how hard could twins be?? We found out Baby A was a girl but we could not find out Baby B yet.

April 17, 2008: 3D ultrasound. Amazing again. Found out for sure two girls. I was getting two daughters and they were each going to have a sister. I don't think my life could have been anymore perfect.

June 2, 2008: 31w5d ultrasound. Babies were growing fantastic! Baby A was 4lbs 10oz and Baby B was 4lbs 15oz. Baby A was still breech so a c-section was scheduled. I was very scared and upset about having to have a c-section but quickly warmed up to the idea.

June 30, 2008 (Our One Year Anniversary!): 35w5d ultrasound. Babies are now measuring 7lbs and 7lbs 2oz! Wow! They are so big and both scored 8/8 on their BPP. Healthy girls are on their way……

July 14, 2008: My beautiful daughters were born at 37w5d. Happy, healthy and screaming away!!

I had a scheduled c-section and felt like crap for the next 12 hours. I do not remember a lot about this time period, I was so out of it. I do not remember their first bath or who came to visit. I have no idea if I even tried breastfeeding in that time period at all.

Later that evening, I wake up more and start to stare at my children, my daughters, why then do I look at them like I don't know them? Why do I not feel this overwhelming love for them, why when I stare at them do I not instantly start crying with emotion? I thought that is what all new mother’s do??

Hmm......maybe that will happen tomorrow.

July 15, 2008: We start trying to latch them on to breastfeed and it goes okay, or so I think. Four hours later my nipples are already blistered and bleeding and I am crying for someone to please feed my babies since I obviously can not do it. We supplement them as I had NO milk and we sleep for a while.
The lactation consultant comes bursting into my room and throws the pump at me and says here, let them feed for no more than 20 minutes then pump for 15 minutes afterwards and do this every 3 hours. Okay, I can do that. I latch, then I pump and I get nothing again, I am heartbroken. Not even a drop of milk. How was I going to feed my two 7lbs babies?

This continues on for the next 2 days in the hospital. Bleeding nipples, blisters, and still nothing when I pump. I am feeling like the most useless human being on the face of this planet. I can't even feed my own children.

I know!! Once we get home things will feel better, I will be in my own house and I can relax and enjoy my babies and I WILL fall in love with them. I am sure of it.

July 17, 2008- We go home. Double pump in my hands and my babies in my husband’s arms. This is what I always wanted. Why am I so sad? I get home and continue to try and latch babies on and continue to pump, I get excited when finally I get about 5mls.

Next two weeks- Complete blur of visitors, pumping, latching and crying (babies and me!). I cry everyday and not just a little cry, a big one. I am hating the pump and it makes me feel like a cow. I am starting to wonder if this breastfeeding is all it is cut out to be. Maybe if I quit doing that, I will not feel so stressed and sad about it and we will just do formula. I will keep pumping for a couple weeks but that's it. My husband agrees and I hope this will help me take back my body and now I WILL love my babies as I will have more time to bond with them instead of pumping all the time.

I still can not seem to bond with my babies. Shane has to go back to work soon and the thought TERRIFIES me. I start to get this pit in my stomach when I think about being alone all day with the babies and having to look after them. This continues and just gets worse and worse. I start crying on the couch one day and I cry to my mom "Promise me you won't leave me alone, promise me" Of course she agrees and we work out a schedule with Shane, my mom and my mother-in-law so that I always having someone at home with me.

August 10, 2008: ~ My Birthday~ I wake up sleep deprived as usual after about 2 hours of sleep and I start to think ‘If one of my babies would just go away, then I could have breastfed’ ‘If one of them died of SIDS, it wouldn't be such a bad thing, then I could handle this’ I am honest with my husband and tell him my thoughts and he says "You need to call and get some help"

We have a 24-hour hotline for new moms so I call and talk to the lady for almost an hour, she recommends we go to the local ER and see someone immediately. My mom and mother-in-law come over to watch the girls and I sit on the couch crying holding my daugther telling her "I'm so sorry, Mommy is so sorry" I am crying now just remembering how I felt that day.

I go to the ER and wait six hours, I am seen by many doctors and they decide I am severe enough that I need to stay in the hospital. Are you kidding me? How did this happen?? What did I do to deserve this? Someone just rewind time to before I got pregnant and tell me not to do it. It is just not worth it.

I spend the next week in a haze of drugs, therapy and family meetings. I tell my doctor that I am going to be the only mother in history who doesn't love her children. He tells me that I WILL love them and I just don't believe him. No drug could ever make someone love something so how is that possible??

Next week I am on overnight stays at home but I am back at the hospital at 10am for therapy and meetings every week day.

August 31, 2008- I am discharged for good and am now on anti-depressants daily. I am coping and starting to see the light and the fog lifting.

September, 2008: I still need help at home to care for my girls but I am starting to be alone more and more and that awful gnawing pit in my stomach is gone. I can finally breath, I feel amazing. I start to stare at my babies and just feel so much love for them, I love to play with them and kiss their little feet, watch them sleep and cuddle them in bed with me as they nap. My doctor was right, I am falling more and more in love with them everyday.

October, 2008: I see a mental health therapist once/month. I joined a postnatal yoga class with my babies and I'm back playing ringette. I am home alone all day with the girls and have help once or twice/wk. We go out on playdates and are out of the house most days. I can't imagine my life without them, it actually hurts physically to think about them not being here. I feel overwhelming pride when someone tells me they are beautiful and I love taking them out and having people come up and talk to my about my babies. I love kissing their little cheeks so much that is probably why they are a little chapped right now.....oops.

The point of writing this is slightly selfish. It feels good to share my story and I find it helpful to go though it all so that I don't forget it. I don't want to forget what I went through, yes it was awful but I came out of it and for that I am forever proud.

PPD is such a taboo topic and I want to try and educate more people about PPD and hope that with better preparation, the signs can be noticed earlier and no one will have to suffer months of feelings that they don't have to feel. I got help fast, as I knew right away this wasn't normal postpartum blues, it didn't go away and it was getting worse. I read the book "Down Came the Rain" cover to cover and it described my feelings to a T.

I am not ashamed of PPD.

If you or anyone else is suffering please share with them my story and let them know there is hope. You WILL feel better. You WILL love your children. You WILL get through this.

To you all, thank you for listening, reading my story, it truly feels great to get it out. If anyone else wants to share, I'd love to hear it.

To my beautiful daughters, I love you more than life itself. Thank you for sticking with me and giving me unconditional love right from the start. You are a blessing to Mommy & Daddy and we love you more than you will ever know. Thank you for smiling at me daily and grabbing my face when I am feeding you.
Thank you for calling me Mamamamama and for laughing when I tickle under your chin. Thank you for loving me no matter what I do. Thank you for being you.