Friday, February 23, 2007

Britney, Can it be, P.P.D?

It wasn't too long ago that I was wondering whether or not I was suffering from P.P.D, Postpartum Depression. I am still, to this day, unsure if in fact it really was ppd, but I have a pretty good idea I was dealing with something very overwhelming. What got me thinking about this again was the latest "happenings" with Britney Spears. Dooce posted about it today and it brought up a good point, why isn't anyone talking about ppd? Everything that is going on in her life right now screams something is really "off". Actually, it's her responses and actions to everything going on that are truly "off". I have started to really feel sorry for her, wondering how hard it would be to be in the spotlight, enduring what she is enduring, while suffering from something so massive.

Then, I thought about my journey again. I first questioned how "I" felt when Rt was 5 weeks old. I had gone down to San Diego with hubs to attend a work baby shower for Rt. We lived in LA at the time and hubs worked remotely. To celebrate the new arrival, we were asked to come down for a couple of days so his team could meet Rt. Hubs would be working most of the time, but it was to be a nice getaway for us. About that time, Brooke Shields came out with her book, "Down Came the Rain". I, of course, was so intrigued by her story on Oprah, I bought her book that day on Amazon. I had begun to read a little bit of it, but didn't really take a huge bite out of the book until I had some time to burn in my hotel room while Rt napped. I think back to that time and wonder, what the hell were we doing traveling with a 5 WEEK old in the first place? Talk about thinking I could do it all. What, you mean having a baby changes things? You mean, I actually should take some time to get accustomed to the biggest change in my life, before signing up for every opportunity presented to me? Much easier to see that now, but back then, no way, no how.

I recall moving Rt up to Size 2 nipples on his bottles and freaking out wondering why he was choking so much while feeding. I even called LVGurl in a panic asking the "been there done that already mommy" what the hell was wrong with my exorcist baby. Seems so silly now. 0 + 2 = 2, but in those days of no sleep and no recollection of who I was, I wasn't trusting anything coming from my brain. Which also included diving into the PPD depression book when I had a 5 week old. Let me just paint the picture. I was in a La Jolla hotel room, 10 stories up. This hotel is very narrow. Our room had a wide view of the ocean, but go out the door and there is a wide view of the parking lot way down below. I have never been too afraid of heights, but I was feeling some major anxiety and the height factor wasn't helping. I don't think I was ever in a depressive state of such magnitude as Brooke Shields, but I did ask myself, hypothetically, "Do I want to throw my baby off the balcony?" Once that fear set in on me, I turned on Felicity as quickly as I could and promised myself to really focus on how hot Ben was until the show was over and I could get back in the car and go pick up the hubs. If it hadn't kept my mind clear, I would have loaded Rt into the car, and sat in hub's office parking lot all afternoon until 5:30p.m.

Of course when something like this happens, you don't get on the phone and call all of your friends and tell them how f'ed up you are feeling. This secret, shameful disease doesn't scream acceptance. I think it's a good start that it's becoming more talked about and studied, but the hardest part about it is the internal failure that a new mother feels while battling something she has no chance of winning alone.

So, after many nights of getting more and more minutes of sleep, the days were more joyful and the nights were less feared. So, I really don't know if it was just a combination of lack of sleep, natural anxiety and starting a new job that I had no experience in or I did battle my own case of P.P.D. I think the true test will be when we have another baby. Will I now have enough mommy wisdom to recognize when it's time to take care of myself and when it's time to be Supermom? I am not sure, but I do know it's not going to stop me from doing it again.



180/360 said...

I've had several friends who went through PPD and they were quite open about it. I'm sorry you went through it to whatever extent. I think becoming a mom is a bit daunting for the best of spirits!

I'm not sure if Britney has PPD. Maybe it's just the fact that she's young, had children back to back, has a failed marriage, a public life, and is obviously partying hard. I agreed with Dooce when she said she was self-medicating- but whether it is due to PPD or just life, only she can say.

LVGurl said...

I remember your first weeks with RT, you guys had so many visitors. Didn't leave you much time to settle in to the new life. But you got through it! :) Second time around, not as earth-shattering. You're changing your family, not your life.

As for Britney, I second 180/360. I think the girl needs serious therapy during her "rehab" and I hope her family goes too. They all need to take a long look at what they did to contribute to Britney being so lost. That girl has no idea who she really is. So very sad. How do you even begin to rebuild your life that was so rooted in "make-believe," let alone get that lost time back with your children?

Debbie said...

This is very interesting to read, and I'm sorry I didn't know you were going through anything like this because perhaps we could have helped each other!
After having baby #2 and finding myself telling people how much healthier I felt mentally the second time around, I have wondered quite frequently if what I felt after #1 was more than just the baby blues. I think it probably was, but I didn't address it properly. Not to mention the fact I am married to Mr. Mind Over Matter!
Anyhow, I think you'll find that if you have a second it is so much easier. Crazy at times, but doesn't leave you feeling so overwhelmed at times that you feel helpless.

little miss mel said...

Debbie- Ya, that time was bittersweet. It was such a joy to have him in our lives, but when I wasn't "feeling" it, I got so down be cause I thought I didn't have what it took. But, looking back, being overwhelmed was the major cause of my anxiety. I think the second time around, like you said, will be different. Glad it was for you! When are you going to update your site?? I'd like to see pics of the little one!