Being a Controversial Mom..PPD & PPA


This is a topic that's not really near and dear to my heart but one that's very personal and very serious for me.  During my 1st pregnancy with Hannah I had several complications including but not limited to High Blood Pressure, Placenta Previa and Pre-Eclampsia.  Some if not all of these complications led to weekly doctor visits with many ultra-sounds (this was the only perk, getting to see my baby constantly) and countless hours to and from labor and delivery for monitoring.  There was one point during my pregnancy that I thought Hannah was going to be born WAY to early and of course like any new mother it terrified me. 

When I went in for my induction based on Pre-Eclampsia and HBP I honestly believed that I would probably end up delivering her via Cesarean but it still shocked me in the moment after 18 hours of labor when the doctor suggested it.  I was so scared and tried so hard not to let it show but as soon as we hit that operating room to deliver my baby girl I was a wreck and poor David did the best that he could to soothe me.  After my delivery I noticed almost instantly that something was wrong but I refrained from saying anything...I wasn't pregnant anymore, it wasn't about me anymore, it was about this beautiful baby girl whom by the way I loved more than my own life but something in me was wrong.

Probably two months into being at home with Hannah my issues got worse, I was in what I thought was a state of depression, I picked fights with just about everyone I could, if I didn't get sleep I got very agitated and down right mean.  Again, I tried to just push through it and do the best that I could and things did get a little better when I went back to work but when I was let go and got a new job it definitely got bad, my anxiety attacks were worse and this time I knew I needed to see a doctor.

I made an appointment with my OB/GYN they said "oh, this is normal, have you tried talking to a psychiatrist?" I couldn't even ponder making that kind of appointment, wasn't there just some magic pill to make it go away and how was I ever going to find the time to talk to yet another person or make yet another doctor's appointment?  I asked about Xanax or Valium but my doctors said it was too habit forming so they would only do an anti-depressant, reluctantly I agreed.  Well that lasted about 5 days before my attacks were worse than ever and I was constantly flying off the handle, so I called my doctor and I said I wasn't taking it anymore.  About this time they had me come in and just run some blood work and make sure it wasn't a Thyroid issue.  Turns out I was pregnant with Savannah!  I had some of the same complications with Savannah that I did with Hannah so again I was constantly monitored and carted in and out of L&D.

For me this meant that from the moment of Hannah's birth until I found out I was pregnant with Savannah my postpartum issues were never addressed, never corrected, medicated or helped.  I refused to take anything to help during my pregnancy because of all the possible side effects to the baby.  During my pregnancy I continued to have attacks but they were slightly more far and few between because I was now a full-time SAHM and didn't have a commute or work to stress me out additionally.  But after Savannah's birth (my 2nd Cesarean) everything came flooding back to me, I think it was probably 3 or 4 weeks postpartum with both girls at home that I had an emotional breakdown.  I mean I lost it.  David came home to find me curled up in a ball just crying on the couch, he had been getting frantic calls from me all day, I just couldn't deal.  He did his best to soothe me but he pushed for me to talk to my doctor again, and just like before they said they wouldn't give me anything for the anxiety only the depression.

About 2 months after that I went to a new doctor closer to where we lived and it was honestly the best thing I ever did.  I calmly talked with her about my attacks, what was happening, what I was feeling in those moments and what I thought that I needed...she agreed with me 100% "I don't believe you need to address the depression because I don't believe you are depressed, I believe you are dealing with Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) not Postpartum Depression (PPD)".  This was the first time I felt like someone understood what I was dealing with, she talked with me about her prescription of Xanax and how she would only do an allotted amount to see how I would react.  Should I be in need of something stronger we could address it then but for now this was the correct option to help me in the moment when I felt an attack.

Since working with my doctor and taking my new medication I would say probably 6 times in the last 2 months I've needed my prescription, it's amazing how much it helps me calm and center in that moment of chaos in my head.  I'm so thankful that finally someone was able to give me the help that I needed.

Medication is not for everyone, this is purely my story and what I needed to help me, some people might do better talking to a psychiatrist but for this moment in my life this does the trick for me and it works well enough that I don't think anything needs to change.  PPD & PPA are not made up, they are real, the feelings and reactions from them are very real and most people do not understand what they are dealing with until they talk to a doctor so I encourage every mom new or veteran to talk to their doctor if these things are affecting them, holding it inside and trying to figure it out on your own is not the best method, trust me I've been there.  I hope this helps at least one person understand what's going on with someone in their lives and if it's your wife definitely give all the support you can...I know that was the 2nd best medicine I got from my husband.

You Might Also Like


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I think many Mommies suffer from this.... I did. It's hard to not understand why your heart is pounding and chest is tight, you're happy life is great--why do I feel this way.

    I pushed it away, and away, and away...
    I was checked for thyroid too.

    My first Dr. didn't even think to diagnose me for anxiety, and then my 2ND doctor diagnosed me.
    I have a degree in psychology, I had already non-professionally diagnosed myself.
    I think it is huge of you to come out and speak about this. This post may help someone who has no clue!
    Thank you!

    1. I agree...they say that PPD affects only 15-20% of pregnant women postpartum but PPA is much more common affecting more like 50-60%! That was a crazy jump for me to believe!

      I admire you for coming forward to announcing your struggle with this as well because more and more women need to know it's okay to say something isn't right, that we need help. It doesn't make us less of a mother because our brains and bodies are reacting postpartum.

      I dealt with anxiety attacks before my kids so I should have known what it was but everyone was pushing PPD I just wanted to believe that's what it was or "baby blues" but I'm happy that I know how to handle this part of my life now properly!

  2. I think it's great that you shared this. I actually had a similar experience too and didn't understand what was happening to me. I finally saw a great doctor when my daughter was around 10 months old. I wish I had gone sooner! I hope other women can read this and see that's it's okay to get help. As moms, we tend to put ourselves on the back burner.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.