Is this PPD? How do I get through this without medication?
I want to start off by saying I love my daughter. She is a miracle.
My due date was October 1, 2018. I went into labor on July 15, and my daughter was born 11 weeks early. We were 28 weeks, 6 days. The first 70 days of her life, she was in the NICU.
I was scared. Every one kept congratulating me, asking how I was, how was the baaabbyyy? I answered the same questions multiple times a day, for weeks. About 2 weeks after she was born, I kept getting asked when she was going to be released. She was on a CPAP. How the f*ck should I know when she'd be able to breathe on her own, keep her o2sat up, regulate her body tempurature? She wasn't even in a crib yet! She was still in an incubator! But anytime I left the house, I was interrogated, again and again. I wanted to be left alone.
At first, I felt like a failure as a mom. I was supposed to protect her for another 11 weeks, but my body failed her. I'd sit next to her isolette for hours, and I'd try to mask my tears.
But she seemed okay, and eventually I realized that this was just her story. She was doing okay, she quickly moved to less critical pods in the NICU. I figured that this fear/dread/anger/self hate would alleviate once she was home.
She came home on September 22. I was so excited!! After a few days, we has worked into a routine- she needed to be fed every 2.5-3 hours. When my partner was home, he took care of her while I slept. At night and while he was at work, I stayed up with small naps to take care if her.
We're still not breastfeeding regularly. It's a skill that I think we missed the boat on, because after an hour of nursing, she still hasn't had enough for a meal, and after just minutes on the breast, she falls asleep, so I have to continually wake her up. So I pump, and we bottle feed. About 25 minutes to bottle feed, and then I pump for another 30. I produce just barely enough for each feeding. If I miss a pump, I'm behind. I do this 8 to 10 times a day. That's almost 8 to 10 hours a day.
Slowly, my stress has become heavier. Now, I sleep all day, getting up only to feed and change her. When she starts screaming, I start crying, and sometimes (I hate myself for this) scream back. I've gone out to the (broken)car every day and had a 40 minute cry. When I come back in, I'm more excited to see my cat, than I am to see her. I don't have a working car, I've been stranded. I can't take her to my mom's when I need a couple hours to myself. I can't go to the grocery store alone in the evening after my partner is home. I don't feel overwhelming maternal instincts. I feel frustrated. I want to walk away. I want to get in a car and drive away.
When I do feel good about my child, when I feel joy, it's while watching her interact with my partner. Watching them play, or him cuddling her, singing or cooing. When she looks so happy. I don't think she recognizes me as her mother. And I don't know how to fix that.
I think this is postpartum depression. I've dealt with depression since I was a kid. 2 years ago, I reached out because I knew my mental health was going downhill again, and I knew i needed to go back on meds. I was not a danger to myself of others. I saw a new doctor. After talking to him for 15 minutes, he 10-13ed me(had me placed on a psychiatric hold, involuntary). He transferred me to a hosptial half an hour away, to a city that i was unfamiliar with. I lost a week of income, almost lost my job. If I hadn't been so insistent during intake, my mother and my partner would have had no idea where I was. I was medically kidnapped. They put me on Prozac. I was on it for 6 months, but it has seriously affected my memory to this day. This medication that was shoved at me caused an emotional disconnect. I have felt numb ever since.
I don't feel comfortable going back on psychiatric medications. Ever again. But I know that what I'm feeling isn't right or normal. I don't know what to do. I should be a better mom, but I just don't know how. Going to see my OB GYN- she will just try to place me on more medication.