I Survived PPD, But…

I am fearful of it.  I am fearful of becoming a mom for a second time.  Sometimes I am fearful of being the mom I already am.

I have always pictured myself having two kids, at least.  A typical, happy family.  Now, I can’t imagine myself being pregnant again.  I do not even want to imagine it.  To me, pregnancy means a relapse, if PPD can even relapse.  It means that I could fall into the darkness, yet again, and it could even be worse.

Now, I realize not everyone suffers from PPD with every child.  My friend suffered from PPD with her first, but not with her next two, so it is possible to be just fine.  It’s the fear of dealing with it again that keeps me from wanting to try.  Fear is too powerful.

I am paranoid about my mental state now.  Anytime I feel sad, upset, angry or happy, I question it.  Am I supposed to feel this way?  I am on medications, so why do I feel upset and angry?  I know medication doesn’t cure-all, it just makes it more manageable.  I have learned this through other mommy’s experiences, and through my own research.  However, I feel damaged, like I will never know what “normal” feels like because I am constantly looking over my shoulder to see if PPD has found me, and chasing me down.

I survived PPD once, I know I could survive it again.  I still have days where it sneaks up on me, and tackles me, like earlier this week.  However, it doesn’t last as long now that I am on medications.  With that said, why doesn’t it feel worth it to me to have another?

I was a terribly angry, and sad woman.  I do not remember a lot of happiness for the first couple of years.  I see smiles, I hear laughter in some videos, but I do not remember most of it.  That kills me, knowing I do not remember much of kiddo’s early life.  I remember the dark thoughts, towards kiddo and myself.  I am so scared of that again.

Is it worth having another child if there is a large possibility that I will suffer from PPD again, and be that terribly angry, and sad woman again?  Is it worth suffering again, and possibly not remembering this child’s early life?  I am not sure it is.  The love of another child is always wonderful.  Who doesn’t want to feel that?  I am just not sure the chance of PPD is worth it.

I know the signs now, and so does my husband, and friends.  I can get on medications right away, because I know I wouldn’t be breastfeeding (I couldn’t with kiddo, and it contributed to my PPD).  I know I would not be alone, and I would not suffer alone, or suffer at all.  I had love and support before, but we just didn’t understand, or know what was going on.  We do now though, but I just cannot come to grips with it.

Kiddo will be five next year, and starting Kindergarten.  I keep using the excuse of not wanting to go back into baby mode when I will have another out the door, and in school.  That’s not really my problem.  I’ve accepted and owned that.  It’s my fear that I can’t escape.  It haunts me.  I have even had dreams about suffering again after another baby.  I even had a dream once that a monster was chasing me, and it called itself PPD.  It’s a real fear that I can’t seem to hide from, or beat down.  It makes me anxious just thinking and writing about it.

Will it always be there?  I don’t know, but for now it is.  I don’t know how to overcome it.

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4 thoughts on “I Survived PPD, But…

  1. That fear makes perfect sense. You have described, perfectly, exactly what I feel like daily. I would not yet say that I have survived it, not yet, but I am surviving it and down days make me fearful and paranoid.

    I cannot say that you will not find yourself in the clutches of PPD again if you have a second one . . . no one knows the future. What I can say is look into your heart to determine what it is that you WANT . . . not what you FEAR but what you want. We cannot be shackled by fear because that is not truly living. At least in my opinion.

    You are strong,you are brave and you have support no matter what you decide.

    • I know I do want another. I am just scared of getting off my meds, and staying on them while pregnant. I don’t want to lose my mind again, and I don’t want to possibly harm my child, you know?

  2. I felt exactly that way after kiddo 1, but always knew I wanted at least 2, thinking of the special bond I have with my brothers, I wanted to give her that. I did have PPD 2nd time, but with OB and everyone aware, it was easier to deal with. But I had decided I could not do it again. Well, kiddo 3 was a bit of a surprise. And every day I see him and think that I almost let fear win and he wouldn’t be here. He’s 3 now, and so stinkin cute, and I am stronger and healthier than ever. I have to credit a phenomenal therapist, and wanted to check if you have one. No more meds for me, just therapy. They can help you sort through the cognitive distortions and lies that PPD throws at you.

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