A Follow Up on Me

I can't really remember the last time I came around here. But I will fill in a few gaps.

I am doing pretty well. I went back to work, was promoted, and left due to terrible work conditions due to new management. I am going back to school as well, so excited!!

My babies are doing so well. My oldest will be three in February, and my baby, who I had the PPP with, will be one November 8th. I have suffered bouts of mania and depression since recovering, nothing I could not handle with medication and family support thankfully. I am actually going through some severe depression right now due to PMDD, which should be ending in a couple days here soon.

I got Paragard put in as birth control, and it is supposed to last 12 years, so that gives me and my husband lots of time to consider planning another child or not.

I have one question for you ladies. How did you deal with the first anniversary of your PPP? Mine will be November 13th of this year. I have a feeling it will be a very vulnerable time for me, since I have almost no memory of my son's first few months of life due to the PPP, including his first Christmas. I want to come through strong, but want to be able to deal with my emotions and let them out instead of keeping them inside. Any suggestions? How did you deal with it?

4 Replies

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  • Hi TwoUnderTwo

    So pleased to hear your babies are doing so well and that you've not put up with the situation at work and are excited with your new direction in going back to school. I suffered depression after PP too, I think it's fairly common. Good to hear you've got support from family & the rights meds. In answer to your question I celebrated my expected due date anniversary and had my son's first birthday party with family on the EDD date, as it had happy associations for me. On his actual 1st birthday the only thing I did was to give him a cup cake with a candle on to blow out for dessert. My PP was rapid onset after birth and I was sectioned on the 8th day after he was born. On the anniversary of being sectioned and released I just managed to block it out, escaping by immersing myself in fantasy fiction that was free to download on my kindle. When I felt ready to deal with it I had Health Kinesiology sessions with Amanda Brooks. I think it's positive you recognise it could be a time you feel vulnerable. Perhaps arrange to do something you'll look forward to with one of the family members that you've found supportive.

  • Hi TwoUnderTwo,

    Lovely to hear from you & it's great to hear you're doing pretty well. Going back to school sounds exciting (& brave!), something just for you & full of new opportunities, new people etc. I'm glad too that you sorted your work situation out, that took self-confidence thinking 'actually this isn't good enough for me' then doing something about it - well done!

    I'm sorry you're suffering with severe depression at the moment. Is it ongoing or only at certain times of the month due to PMDD? Are you having any talking therapies like CBT? I found it helped me with practical suggestions when I was in the midst of my depression. For info there's a link here, just scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to free online courses if you're interested: rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/...

    The anniversaries, Birthdays & milestones are all really poignant times - they are for any mum but I think it's really escalated for us. The first Birthday & first anniversary of my PP a few days later was a biggy for me, I was still very ill with depression though so was so out of it & 'there but not there'. It did bring back lots of memories (as it would!) & things I hadn't allowed myself to think about. I think it's a real balance to allow yourself a bit of time & space to process things, but not to dwell on it too much but stay focused on the good things. I thought about it all much more on the 2nd anniversary but I was prepared that I'd feel sadness/pain/guilt/anger etc. so made a really big point of doing lots of fun family things - I wanted to make new happy family memories instead. I also used a lot of distractions & keeping busy like Talk2LMH did. The poignancy of all those milestones does ease over the years though, now it just makes those times even happier as it's a big reminder how far we've come & how good things are now. Good luck getting whatever balance is right for you! x

  • Hi TwounderTwo

    Really great to hear your update and to hear how well you're doing, slowly recovering by the sound of it. It sounds amazing what you have coped with, with work and finding college etc, I wasn't coping at all with work at first, and I have a very supportive employer. I am not surprised to hear that you still have low and anxious moments, I was struggling with the depression for a good year afterwards, and it was a year and a half before I felt like myself again, though I know each person is different.

    Re your question - to be honest I'm just sitting here with my partner trying to remember what we did for my son's first birthday etc! I think this says a lot though, and chimes with what others have said. Like Andrea I was still struggling a lot with the depression at the time, I just wanted to get on, get well, and tried everything not to focus on the illness. As others have said, kept busy, distractions, invited family etc (though we didn't do anything big).

    I guess behind your question is the deeper question of how to come to terms with the PP...for me this is a really on going thing, and something I will probably always be doing. Now I am 'recovered' (e.g. not psychotic or depressed any longer and off all meds etc) I am thinking of the illness quite a bit, making sense of it, and turning positive things out of it - volunteering for APP and meeting amazing women on this forum being one of the main ones... something I would never have experienced obviously if I hadn't been ill. We have just celebrated my son's 3rd birthday, I have thought about the experience but am generally filled with gratitude now for my life, my son, my partner, my happiness, I think because I now know what it was like to lose everything, my whole sense of self, my relationships (because I felt so detached from everyone) etc.

    Anyway...I hope my ramblings may be helpful...

    Good luck with everything - especially going back to school! Take good care X

  • Hi TwounderTwo,

    Good to hear your update - getting yourself out of a horrible work situation sounds to have been a good move. And good luck with studying again! I had PP nearly 5 years ago now and it was really hard going back to work as I was still quite medicated and not really "there" if you see what I mean. I also had new duties to learn and new people to work with so it was a real struggle. But I got there in the end. I also had to do a course as part of my job, so having something else to focus on did help, so I hope it all works out really well for you.

    The first year was a real milestone for me - but as others have said, to celebrate or not was a decision we also faced. I don't remember the first month or so of my eldest son's life at all so whilst we wanted to celebrate his birthday, we went for something quite low key and didn't give ourselves lots of stress or strain with a big party or anything. As I don't remember the exact date I went into hospital, the whole of the month or so is often a slightly strange time of year for me. But I have to say it's got easier with each passing year and I am becoming more reflective about the whole experience.

    I think SunnyandWild's explanation of coming to terms with PP being an ongoing thing in our lives is pretty accurate for me too. And as time passes, things get easier. There will always be challenges in our lives but if we can get through PP, I figure we can get through anything and become stronger women/ mums/ families because of it. My experience of PP will always be with me but it doesn't necessarily define me - it's just part of who I am and I have come to accept it. Meeting others on this forum has been really great too, it's a nice feeling to know that others have "been there and done that" and that I can also give something back by volunteering with APP.

    Hope this helps too, and all the best with everything. Take care, x

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