I've been reading a lot of articles lately on post partum depression. Many new studies coming out are taking a look at things that can cause post partum depression to increase in a woman. I'm very well aware of my mental stability and have a plan already set in case I feel I am going further down hill. But a lot of these articles really seem to fit my life and I can't help but wonder if it's starting for me (yes I plan on seeing someone don't worry)
The number one contribution to post partum is lack of sleep. Your probably wondering how is that even possible because all new moms suffer a lack of sleep. Why yes, yes we do. Most of the research says if a mom does not get 6 hours straight of uninterrupted sleep it can increase the risk of post patrum depression. If I get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep its a miracle. Bee is a good sleeper, I am lucky but I have only had two nights of more than 6 hours sleep straight. Most of the time I do get more then 6 hours but it's interrupted. I know they say lack of sleep can cause depression because it is very hard to function during the day when you are exhausted. Even with the good amount of sleep I get I'm still very agitated at everyone and everything but Bee. I just do not have the energy to care or do much. Perhaps it's just exhaustion making me feel this way and I can see how it would.
Another contributing factor, being isolated. Being isolated is my life. I've never been a social butterfly to begin with and especially after Ty and Jacob died I became further isolated. Living in a cold winter climate makes it hard for Bee and I to get out everyday. We do get out even if its only for a quick walk on days it is sunny and not freezing. But most days we are stuck inside at home all alone. Stephen went golfing with C the other day so A came over and hung out. We went out for lunch and then just chatted back here but to be in the presence of someone else, another human being felt so liberating. I find being at home alone does make me feel a lot worse. I feel so alone in this journey. I understand Stephen has to work and can't be here all the time but I think the thing that is hardest for me is joining a mom group, or play group because I don't want to be the mom who had her children die. I don't want to be the one to ruin the party and joy of wonderful little babies. I don't want people to pity me and I don't want the uncomfortableness about the boys death being the elephant in the room. Not only that, I'm not one to just go out and socially make new friends. I avoid eye contact whenever I'm out to avoid having to talk to someone, anyone. I do not like it, it makes me uncomfortable. Sure this is probably not helping my situation but I've never been the one to strike up a conversation and have always found it hard to make new friends (mostly because throughout my life the friends I make always move away and I just give up)
I had always dreamed of joining a mommy group but I just can't. Not unless its with mommy's who have also had a loss because then they would get it.
Another contributing factor, bad diet. This one doesnt apply as much to me I eat fairly well though it could be improved. I make sure to eat as healthy as I possibly can but I'll admit, its a bit hard with an infant. Bee likes to fight most of her day naps so I don't have much time to prepare food. If I do have to go out and pick something up or buy a frozen meal I do try to make sure it is the healthiest possible option and thankfully Stephen is home in the evenings and usually makes dinner. I think once Bee is more independent it will be easier to have a few minutes to prepare lunch. But in the meantime I have to make do and make sure I'm actually eating.
I' m heading to the social workers tomorrow (the same one we had through Jacobs pregnancy and Bee's) and thought bringing the checklist below would be beneficial as I sometimes find it hard to express how I feel. I encourage any new moms to read over the checklist and if you answer yes to some, I encourage you to also seek help. There is absolutely no shame in it at all.
The warning signs are different for everyone but may include: