I had my first baby at age 21. I developed Gestational Diabetes in the last few months of my pregnancy, but that was the only problem I had the entire time. I remember I wanted to deliver via a Midwife so badly, but back then they would not accept me as a patient because I had had two previous miscarriages and their insurance wouldn’t allow them to treat me.

I ended up seeing an OB/GYN and delivering in a hospital. I was two weeks past my due date, so they sent me straight from my doctor’s appointment to the hospital to be induced. Ultrasound was showing a nine pound baby girl (My mother’s comment to me was, “That’s going to hurt!” lol). The cervix gel didn’t get my labor going, so I was wheeled down the hall to labor and delivery from my oh, so cosy hospital room and hooked up to an iv of synthetic hormones. After two days with no pain meds, my water being broke for over 24 hours, it was decided my five foot body was not going to be able to naturally deliver a nine pound baby (translation, over 36 hours of labor ended up in surgery for an emergency csection).

Now, you would think after all I had gone through to deliver my wonderful little eight pound, fifteen ounce little girl that if I were to have postpartum, that would be the que for the disappointment of a delivery I did not want to go the surgical route. But, I did not develop that horrible problem at all. I nursed for over a year, exclusively, no formula, only a little baby food. It was absolutely some of the best times of my life.

And I so totally expected the same wonderfulness with my second pregnancy. I went the OB/GYN route again. I had had another two miscarriages since my first daughter was born, thirteen years earlier – yes, you read correctly, thirteen years. Again, the only problem I had while pregnant was the Gestational Diabetes. My wonderful and amazing doctor, Dr Amy Fletcher of Charlotte, NC, was willing, and very excited I wanted to try, for a VBAC. I wanted so badly to be able to push my baby out this time, absolutely certain that it would be so. My second daughter stayed at a good weight – right up till the last month of pregnancy. Dr Fletcher had warned us that a baby over six to six and a half pounds would be a hardship. Ultrasound came up with eight pounds! We were told the possibility of a natural birth was only ten percent. So we opted for a scheduled csection – this was the best option for the health of our little girl.

I remember laying on the operating table after the spinal block started to work, and becoming panicked when I couldn’t take a deep breath. Then, as the baby was being pulled out, her foot caught a blood vessel. I lost about two pints of blood and almost ended up with a blood transfusion. The anesthesiologist pumped me full of morphine, which I had a bad reaction to and vomited for a good little while. Then they were concerned I was bleeding internally because I wasn’t any better twenty hours after I had signed into the hospital (MRI revealed all was well, though). It was over 24 hours after delivery that I actually remember my baby being in the room with me. We had latching problems, she developed jaundice and was only brought to me for a half hour ever four hours. She lost more than two pounds of her birth weight of eight pounds and five ounces. We had to put her on formula so she would gain weight.

Guess what? Yes, I developed postpartum. I didn’t want to admit it. It was just the blues, everyone is subject to them after birth. However, slumping down in the corner with the baby in your arms, crying uncontrollably at six weeks postnatal is not normal. I was placed on Zoloft for the first time. I took the prescription for a year, felt I was better, did not ask for a refill.

A year and three months later, we were pregnant again, with our third daughter. By now we had moved from Charlotte, so I was not able to deliver again with Dr Fletcher – strike one? I was also commuting an hour and a half one way for work, so was having to use vacation time for doctor’s appointments. And oh, the appointments my new doctor wanted me to have every month (I clocked five in one month once during my first trimester!). Diabetes again…but this time a twist…I developed a very very fast heartbeat in my second trimester. No medical causes were found by the cardiologist, so it was assumed it was a side effect of the pregnancy (I dunno, I haven’t gone back to be checked out because I am sooo done with doctors now). Every appointment I was there a minimum of two to three hours, waiting and waiting.

I had to fight with the doctor and her staff about DNA testing. I am totally against amnio testing because of the risk of miscarriage – I have had enough of those, than you. We don’t care if we have a child with disabilities. It would be our child and we would love it regardless, so the need to “know” so early and under such invasive conditions is a no-no for us. However, there was no arguing about a VBAC, she did not perform them at all and the hospital was not insured for them *sigh* (Did I mention I live in BFE? LOL)

I also had a few false alarms of early labor – once by myself, which just turned out to be flu related dehydration, and once during an ultrasound.

The last month of my pregnancy included once a week appointments not only with the OB, but with the ultrasound tech.

This delivery went very smoothly though. No excessive loss of blood. The epidural didn’t cause any panic. My girl was born at nine pounds even, the largest baby in the nursery lol

The doctor on call, on my last day, tried to force a vaccine on me before I was released. Luckily, I read the literature they give me, because the vaccine was not safe for those with a latex allergy – which was very clearly marked on my chart *sigh* I also developed a bladder infection from the cath. *sigh*

And I probably went home too early, but I really wanted out of that hospital.

Yup, I developed postpartum again. And, being the silly I am, I once again waited till my six wee checkup. Every once in a while I forget to take my meds and am reminded I still need them, almost eight months later. My paranoia over everything family related is absolutely overwhelming. The slightest noise makes me jump and I shake from the anxiety.

*sigh* one day, I will be able to give them up. I am just hoping the one year point will be ok this time around again.

So, all you mom’s out there dealing with depression. I implore you. Go see your doctor/midwife. This is a precious time, a fleeting time. Do not waste it trying to deal with this yourself. Do not be the big, brave mommy who thinks of everyone but yourself when it comes to this issue. Zoloft is safe for breastfeeding moms and babies. Get a script. Take your meds. Enjoy your family without the worry and fear. Trust me, I would love to have that time back to just enjoy my little babies. *snuggles and cuddles you all*

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