Our battle with PP - A Husband's perspective Part 1

My name is Christopher, I am married to an amazing woman, Priscylla and together we have three amazing boys, Matthew, Daniel and Giovanni. We live in sunny Florida, USA and this is our story. After Daniel was born in 2004, my wife got very ill with PP. I still remember like it was yesterday, I got home very late from work on a Friday only to see my wife hallucinating, singing in total panic holding baby Daniel in her arms! I was scared and did not know what to do, thoughts were racing thru my mind, had she gone mad, was this spiritual, had a lost my wife? I reached for my mobile and phoned a friend, a local pastor in our community. He came to my aide as quickly as he could, we talked, prayed and he left but I had no answers! That night was one of the most difficult nights of my life, I could not sleep at all because Priscylla could not sleep, her condition was quickly deteriorating. She wanted to leave the house, said she was dead and could smell the foul odors from her body, I had to block the door several times to keep her from leaving. The next morning I had to take her to get some medical help. On our way to our local Emergency Room, she tried to jump from the car several times but we finally made it. They ran some tests and gave her some shots, then some state employee wanted to interview her, alone, but why? She was in no condition to carry a normal conversation but they gave me no choice and I was escorted off the room. At the time it made no sense to me but now, years latter I realize that they wanted to talk to her alone to see if I was an abusive husband and the source of her troubles. After the interview they wanted to keep her for a few days but I refused, there was no way my wife was staying in that place, and I was prepared to fight if necessary. I told them we had plenty of help from both sides of the family and that Priscylla was going home. By that time my Mother had flown from out of town to watch the boys and that helped a lot, but I still had no answers, the experts kept saying, "this field of science is too new".

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  • Hi Christopher,

    Thank you for sharing the first part of your story (I don't like the word 'story' because they're not stories, they're so very real to us). The fear you felt when you found your wife so ill must have been just unimaginable! Not knowing where or who to turn to for help when you're so desperate, and not getting it when you ask, is something I know my husband felt too. And being responsible for a newborn at the same time, just adds to it all! I find the ignorance around an illness that's existed for centuries is incredible and to hear the 'experts' comment "this field of science is too new" must have been devastating. I hope in the end you did get the help you needed.

    I hope you find some comfort in writing it down and also giving us such an insight into the experience of partners. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of your experience, as and when you're ready to post it.

  • Thank you so much Andrea, I really appreciate you taking the time.

  • Hi Christopher

    Welcome to our community! I am so sorry your pastor and healthcare providers didn't know enough about PP to recognise it and help your wife get urgent treatment. We hear this experience also many times in the UK.

    Do you feel awareness is any better nowadays in the USA? I hope we can help you and your family to be part of international efforts to improve knowledge and treatment.

    US based blogger Katharine Stone writes 'postpartum progress' which is great.

    Look forward to more of your story, Naomi

  • Thank you so much Naomi, I really appreciate.

    I don't think it's any better here in the USA, all the articles/stories are coming from the UK. Somehow it looks like you guys are way ahead of the USA.

  • Thank you for sharing a piece of your story, Christopher. I am glad you found the APP Network. You will find it to be a great online support resource/network. I hope to help get a similar resource going here in the USA. We have Postpartum Support International, which is a wonderful resource, but I would like to see one devoted strictly to postpartum psychosis awareness and education.

    Your wife is blessed to have you in her life. I would not be here today, if it was not for the support of my husband.

    Stay connected to others, who have had similar experiences. Support is so important.

  • Thank you so much Jennifer, you are right maybe I can even start a support group...

  • Hi Jennifer & Christopher - it's great you have connected here! Keep us up to speed with what happens as you think more about a postpartum psychosis community in the USA

    N

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