Advice needed

Hi Everyone,

I am hoping that if I tell you my story, you can give me some clarity that I don't have yet. I became pregnant in November 2014, my husband and I were very excited. I had a uneventful pregnancy other than not being able to tolerate prenatal vitamins and craving ice in the last trimester which unbeknownst to me meant I was iron deficient. Also, 2 months before the due date I became very moody and stressed out. I had some irrational fear and I was terrified of the birth because I anticipated a lot of pain.

My water broke a week before the due date and it had meconium in it so they said I have 24 hours to labor. Then after about 12 hours I got an infection and had a c-section 4 hours later. I remember during the last few hours I was very anxious and not making much sense. During the c section, I kept asking my husband for orange soda. I was shivering and wasn't even excited to see the baby because I was so out of it. Then the baby was taken to the NICU for a week and I was supposed to recover but I felt a lot of adrenaline and insisted that I breastfed the baby in the NICU around the clock. So for the 7 days that he was in there I didn't miss any feedings and was going there 24/7. They kept on telling me to rest but I refused. I was half manic and didn't think I needed any rest. Then I had a secondary infection in the c-section scar and had to get antibiotics for it. When we got home, I had all sorts of weird thoughts like my Mother in law was going to kidnap the baby. This went on for 8 months. I also did all the night feedings so my husband could function and go to work. The baby didn't sleep through the night and I hardly got rest because he had an undiagnosed tongue tie and had to eat all the time to get enough milk. I wasn't good at taking care of myself or him. For example, at 6 months I was supposed to work on introducing solids but I wanted to make breast milk his primary nutrician till he was a year. We had the tongue tie released and he went from nursing all the time to nursing much less and more efficiently. I started to get a lot of anxiety and after not being able to sleep for 3 days I was diagnosed with PPA/PPD and given klonipin and was tried on different antidepressants that weren't working. Finally 4 months after that another doctor diagnosed my with Post Partum Psychosis and gave me Olanzapine and it settled me and gave me a full nights sleep. I'm still on 2.5 now and am functional. I'm not back to my old and happy self and I keep questioning if whether I didn't go down to the NICU to breastfeed and have gotten some rest, maybe I would have avoided all this, but I was so messed up mentally. I though that if I didn't go down there, my baby wouldn't love me when he got older because I myself was a NICU baby and don't have much of a relationship with my mom. So I was making these weird associations. I really don't like being on olanzapine but without it, I can't function, I go into bad withdrawls of shaking and not being able to sleep and all over body pain. I keep thinking all this is my fault. I should have known that I needed rest after the c section but I was out of it and stubborn.

4 Replies

  • Hello waffles 223

    Welcome to the forum. Thank you for sharing your experience and that you were eventually diagnosed with PP. Hindsight is a very good thing but I don't think that at the time PP strikes we can think clearly about whether to rest, etc. It's not a case of being stubborn, it's just that as much as we would like .... we are not in control at the time.

    Please don't blame yourself ..... it's not your fault. We can all relate to being messed up mentally but with good medical care and support you will fully recover. Are you in the UK? I had PP twice many years ago and felt exactly as you do, lots of unfounded guilt and shame in those days. By chance I came across APP and with the support of the team and mums and families who 'meet' here I realised I wasn't alone and felt a great weight lifted after so many years in the shadows.

    I'm sorry I didn't take Olanzapine during my recovery but there are other mums here to share their experiences and good advice. I don't know whether the Choice and Medications website, might be helpful to have a look at?

    I wonder if you have seen the APP Insider Guides, "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" and "Postpartum Psychosis : A Guide for Partners"?

    Take very good care of yourself. We are all here if and when you need us.

  • Thank you so much for your feedback. I really appreciate your words.

  • Hi and welcome to the forum also.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. It sounds like you had such a traumatic birth and early days of your babies life. I would repeat what lilybeth says, it really isn't your fault. I know I was completely consumed about looking after my baby too and breastfeeding in particular and just couldn't sleep too, and he wasn't in ICU. It's such a natural motherly response and very hard to see the wood for the trees and to prioritise your own needs at the time. But I know what you mean , thinking of 'what ifs ' and whether it would have stopped you getting ill, I did that too. I think it's probably a natural response of trying to come to terms with what happened.

    But slowly in time I found I slowly came to terms with what happened. I struggled with the depression and trauma for quite a while afterwards, but you are going to get there and recover.

    I hope that you found the links helpful. Do keep writing, we are here for you


  • Hi waffles223,

    I hope you have found the links and shared experiences here helpful. There was quite a bit in your story that also resonated with me - those "what if's" and a traumatic birth, I too was very stubborn (and still am!) and didn't rest at all after had a c-section. When I became psychotic, I was literally throwing myself around and I too being physically unwell as well as mentally. When I had PP in 2009, my baby wasn't in ICU but there were some health problems that at the time were massively magnified to me and although nobody knows for sure what causes PP, I personally think that they can't have helped, as they became huge obsessions to me. I know now that none of this was my fault, and it was the illness. I'm so sorry to hear that you struggled to get the correct diagnosis for so long. All I can say is that nothing you did or didn't do was your fault, it was the illness. Please try not to blame yourself. I promise that these thoughts can fade over time, with the right support, as they have with me.

    I too took Olanzapine and it was the meds that really worked for me when others hadn't. It was important that any reductions were carefully managed and monitored by my care team, and this can help minimise any withdrawal or adverse reactions. I took a high dose twice a day initially and then it reduced to just night-time (as it did help me sleep) and I took it in a reducing dose for a year.

    It's good to hear that the dose you are now on is helping you. I am a firm believer that whatever anyone takes medication for, mental or physical, as long as it helps them to live their life, then that is what it is all about.

    I hope you have found the shared experiences on the forum helpful. You are not alone and things can and do get better, this is something that I never believed in the early days, but it is true. Recovery can be hard road to travel, but you can get to where you want to be. Take care, xx

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