Back in 2009 I wrote about the journey of 'my fog' This time in my life was tough, and now with the help of a great doctor, can probably point to post partum depression. Well, now that Liliana is 9 months old, I thought I would share My Fog part 2. Thankfully, this story went a little better, but not without its struggles. I hope that for other women out there can see two stories of birth, life, hormones, and the unexpected and see that there were two different approaches, with similar but yet different outcomes.
Liliana was a 'planned' addition, she was prayerfully considered and prayerfully anticipated. We started praying for my emotions very specifically from the moment we began thinking about 'adding on' to the family. I discussed with my new (and wonderful!) doctor about my past experiences and from her understanding it was most definitely PPD. I was given surveys periodically to test my emotions and anytime an emotion moved from the 'never had' or 'seldom have' category to something more frequent, it would raise a red flag. In October, so about the 6 month mark in pregnancy my emotions went bonkers. I was having anxious thoughts, couldn't put together sentences at times, I was easily overwhelmed, all of the symptoms from Izzy's post birth came flooding back. Little did I know that once you have experienced PPD you are more likely to experience it prenatally as well! While we were fervently praying for this to not be the case, Paul and I realized this was yet another way for Satan to attack and we needed to face it on a spiritual and physical level, therefore we made the choice to go on an anti-depressant, in my case it was a low dose Zoloft.
While this drug took a few weeks to take effect, it did help tremendously. It was only in extreme circumstances that I would have the spikes in emotions. Towards the end of the pregnancy things got worse and we changed the dosage and spread it out throughout the day. Due to the circumstances of Izzy's birth, we opted for a planned c-section with Liliana which went very smoothly. Thankfully, we made the right decision for her birth due to some other findings. Everything was peaceful, calm, and went great! I was able to enjoy having a baby.
With the help of modern medicine and the power of prayer we were able to keep the PPD at bay for the most part. Unless I was in extreme situations such as large parties or extra tired, I felt in control of the PPD emotional roller coaster. It was freeing. At about the 6 month mark we began to (slowly) wean off of the zoloft. This was a tedious process as I was not prepared for the withdrawal effects I would face. While this was not pleasant, I still wouldn't have changed the decision to go on the drugs in the first place. What I wish now is that I had stayed on the medicine longer. I still have terrible days, but they are outnumbered by the good days. For some, PPD is short and sweet, some it is intense, some it is long and drawn out...and for some it changes with each baby and pregnancy. I apparently hang onto this hormonal nightmare longer than average. I hope that as we near the 1 year birthday of our Lili-Monkey I will again get out of the fog of PPD.
I am so thankful for great family, a wonderful husband, a faith that keeps me going, a great doctor to help guide through the medical side of things, and a Savior who loves me even on my bad days. That's my story- well God's story. If you had told me 5 years ago that I would go on this journey I would have told you you were nuts. Oh how God changes us and brings us through deserts to draw us closer to him. I am thankful for my journey- but ever so glad it is turning towards the next one!