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Friday was about the worst day I have ever had in my life. I think I had a minor mental breakdown, and I mean that in a very serious way. I’m actually surprised I am writing about it here for the world to see, but I’m not ashamed to admit at this point that I am not Superwoman, and sometimes I need help.
I’ve been getting very little sleep, of course; that’s life with a new baby. I didn’t realize, though, that it wasn’t normal to not want to eat at all after having a baby. So I have eaten almost nothing since he was born. It really was beginning to catch up with me. The less I ate, the sicker I felt, and thus the less I wanted to eat.
Also, I spent most of Friday crying. I couldn’t control it; the tears just flowed no matter what I did. I had begun to regret getting pregnant in the first place. I wanted to go back to my regular life where it was just Doc and me and we got regular sleep and we didn’t have to worry about what we were doing wrong with the baby and why he wouldn’t stop crying. I didn’t want to have a baby anymore.
I decided to call my doctor and let him know that I wasn’t able to eat. Later in the day the office called me back with a prescription for an anti-nausea medication and one for Zoloft, an antidepressant that they thought might help my appetite return.
Doc picked the medications up for me and I took one of each in the early evening. And then the downward spiral began.
I had a really bad reaction to the Zoloft. My depression symptoms rapidly went out of control. I was having scary thoughts that I don’t want to write down now. I felt like I was losing my grip on reality. I just went through the motions with the baby. Feed him, then hand him off to someone and not care what happens at that point. I didn’t care about the baby or myself or anyone except Doc, and the thought that I was making Doc sad is really what was holding me together by then. Mom said that my “affect” was flat… meaning that I had no emotion of any kind on my face.
Luckily Doc and my mom were around, and Doc’s mom, sister, and her husband had come in for the weekend. They decided that I needed to sleep as much as possible, so I went to bed. Doc and the two grandmas worked in shifts all night and brought Jamie to me when he needed to eat and sat with me until he was done.
When I was awake I kept telling myself to get on top of it, to get back in control, to figure out a way to deal with it. Easier said than done. Logically I knew this was what I needed to do, but I didn’t have the tools and energy to actually do it. So I spent all my energy breastfeeding and trying to keep my mind in one piece.
When I woke up Saturday morning (and really, “waking up” and “Saturday” and “morning” are all relative terms when you have a week-old baby) I felt a little better, but could still feel the Zoloft fucking with me. I had enough clarity, however, to force myself to eat. I had some grapes and tried to eat part of one of Mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls. Then we left for the pediatrician’s office (we had an appointment to find out why Jamie hadn’t pooped in over 48 hours).
Later Saturday, Doc went to the grocery and bought me a selection of Luna energy bars and some Ensure and Boost, the high-calorie nutrient drinks. I’ve been drinking the drinks fairly regularly between feedings now, but I am still having a really tough time eating much of anything. I’m not sure that the anti-nausea medication is actually doing anything.
I need to call my doctor and ask them what Plan B is for my lack of appetite. My body will take what it needs to make breastmilk for Jamie, but it’s not leaving me with enough resources to keep myself going very well.
I need some help.