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Postpartum depression is a serious condition and can affect men as well as women. My story starts on October 9th. It was a Monday and everything was going as planned. I was 39 weeks pregnant and had an easy pregnancy up until then. I was having trouble breathing and I asked to be induced so I wouldn’t need to rely on my inhaler throughout the delivery. I spent the night at the hospital and then my doctor came in the next day and broke my water. I was in labor for about 6-8 hours. I couldn’t handle the contractions and they administered drugs so I could sleep through them. I remember being woken up to sign papers for a C-section because my unborn daughter was also having difficulty with the contractions.
Read more: Finding a Way Out of Depression
I WAS IN SO MUCH PAIN THAT I COULDN’T WALK OR MOVE MYSELF ON MY OWN.
After having a C-section, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t walk or move on my own. It was so hard and I felt ugly. As a single mother, I began to feel like no one would want to be with me in the future because of this permanent scar. Once home, I started thinking about all the bad things that could happen to my newborn. I was so stressed out that I wouldn’t leave my house and I wasn’t producing enough breastmilk. This only made my anxiety worse. I constantly thought that I had put my daughter in harm’s way through inducing labor and now couldn’t even provide enough sustenance for her. I couldn’t carry her in her car seat for 3 weeks and felt bad for relying on my family for help. I felt that since I had put myself in this position I should be able to do it all by myself.
Read more: I am Only 20 years old and I have Depression
My doctor prescribed me anti-depressants, then ended up having to increase my dose because of the anxiety over losing my daughter in a car wreck or other accident. I downloaded several apps on my phone so I could relax while my newborn daughter napped. It slowly calmed me down to the point where I felt much better about myself and the situation I was in. I joined several C-section support groups on Facebook which made a big difference. Seeing other people’s struggles made me feel like I wasn’t the only one struggling with anxiety and self-esteem. I later got off the anti-depressants and stopped having such anxiety-producing thoughts and dreams. On some days when I’m extremely stressed, my mom will watch my daughter so I can relax, get some fresh air, and spend time with people my own age. I am happy to have found the Facebook support groups which have helped me through hard times and remind me to focus on the brighter side of life.