Postpartum Depression & Anxiety: Part 2

Thank you for coming back to read the second part of my postpartum depression and anxiety story. If you missed my first post, you can read about my panic attacks and struggle with postpartum anxiety and depression before continuing.

Finally admitting to myself that something was not right was the first step in the process to reclaim my thoughts. I knew that I didn’t need to feel ashamed of what was happening to me but at the same time making the phone call to the doctor to schedule an appointment was so hard. So hard.

I first tried getting an appointment with my OB but that was a complete failure. I called, talked to the receptionist about needing to see the doctor for postpartum depression, called back and left a message, and was finally told that I couldn’t get in for an appointment for at least several weeks. I honestly felt like I was being tested and wondered just how many times I would need to say what was going on in order to get an appointment. I hung up the phone in tears.

Wiping up my wet face and blowing my nose I made a promise to myself that I was going to call my PCP and get this taken care of. I love my primary care doctor and soon I was in his office with tears in my eyes explaining to him what I had been experiencing. I wasn’t sure what I had been expecting but he was so kind and understanding that I knew I hadn’t been able to get an appointment with my OB for this reason. I was exactly where I needed to be.

I left the doctors office feeling so much better about everything. I had a plan in place laid out by my doctor who would be monitoring me during my treatment with follow ups and a list of counselors in my hand to call to setup an initial visit. I also had a prescription for Zoloft.

Within two weeks I was sitting in the office of a christian counselor pouring out my heart. For the next several months I completed lots of homework.

Want to know what I was learning about?


That doesn’t sound horrible at all does it. Most people love talking about themselves. I do too!

But when it comes to dissecting my behaviors and why I am wired the way that I am it really isn’t super fun. It is very insightful but it takes an open mind and heart to look at your life, how you were raised, and basically all the experiences that made you, well, you.

I learned so much. I am huge proponent of counseling now and would recommend it to anyone. In counseling I actively worked on real life skills for sustained change. This was not an easy process but well worth the investment of my time and energy.

2 Corinthians Chapter 10 Verse 5

My major breakthroughs involved recognizing what triggers my negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how to catch, challenge, and change them when they appear. Reading my bible each day, listening to uplifting sermons and podcasts when I am exercising or after the kids have gone to sleep, being more aware of the pattern of my thoughts, and being comfortable spending time with friends again has helped tremendously.

I “graduated” from my counseling sessions right before Christmas and by the end of January I was back in the doctors office for another follow up and to discuss going off the medication. My doctor asked me an array of questions. He wanted to know what I had learned in counseling, how I was going to cope with my anxiety once I was no longer on the medication, and how Josh and I were doing. I have so much respect for this doctor that he took the time to ask me these questions.

Sitting and talking in the doctors office during this visit was much different from my initial appointment 6 months earlier. I was upbeat, my outlook on life had improved, and there were no tears, only smiles on my face. I left the office with permission to stop taking the medication but to call if I start to notice any changes in my mood or behavior.

It has been several weeks and I am doing well. Not to say that I still don’t catch thoughts in my mind that shouldn’t be there but I am able to challenge them logically and correct what behavior led them into my head. I know this will continue to be an ongoing process.

In my situation, medication alone wouldn’t have solved the underlying issues that were triggering my anxiety, but it did allow me to think clearly enough to get to the root of the problem. While medication would have altered my mood it wouldn’t have allowed me to really deal with the reasons behind my anxiety.

If you are suffering with depression or anxiety I highly encourage you to seek out a certified professional. Hormonal imbalances after pregnancy make some women more susceptible to postpartum depression. There is no shame in admitting you need help. God has not left us here alone to struggle through things by ourselves.

My husband and family have been so supportive and encouraging and I am not sure if they will ever know how much I appreciate them. I am thankful that I sought treatment and that I am not allowing my worries to rob me of joy.


Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

Hi readers. It has been awhile for numerous reasons but the main one being I didn’t really know what to share or even how to share it. The past several months have been challenging. I had to go back and reread my last postpartum update, which was 5 months ago, because I had forgotten exactly what I had shared.

My hope when I created this little space for myself was to be authentic and real. Can I just tell you for a moment how hard that can be sometimes. When I began blogging it was super easy to write and share because I didn’t think anyone I actually knew in real life was going to read it. I am not saying this to say I am a different person than I portray on the internet. Trust me. I am exactly the same. But thinking that people I actually know might visit my blog has at times left me feeling apprehensive to post.

It is so easy to get caught up in yourself and the day to day tasks in life. Sometimes it can all seem never-ending. The piles of clothes waiting to be cleaned or put away, dirty dishes from the meal you just made, cluttered countertops with bills awaiting to be paid, and the stuff that has accumulated in your house that needs to be maintained can almost feel suffocating at times.

After Maisie was born I was feeling so awesome. I was happy to have our little girl home, my body was recovering great from pregnancy, Caden was transitioning nicely into his role of big brother, and Josh was able to take a few shifts off from the fire station. Overall life was feeling really great.

I can’t even really pinpoint to you when I started to notice the anxiety creeping into my days.

Maybe that is the point.

I can’t pinpoint when it started because it had been there all along. Hovering in the background waiting to creep into every fiber of my being.

Not really a problem or even anything noticeable to anyone else but more of an internal battle I was struggling with everyday.

Depression & Anxiety

Thoughts of death, dying, sickness, and disease began to overtake my life. I worried about absolutely everything. Anything horrible that I read about or heard about that was happening to someone else would immediately send my mind racing with the possibility that those horrible things were going to happen to me and my family.

It was awful.

If you have never struggled with anxiety be so thankful. It is debilitating and robs you of so much joy.

I would be feeding my beautiful newborn baby, listening to my husband and son play together in the other room and be terrified that something awful was going to happen to one of us that would break apart our family.

When your thoughts are constantly focused on the negative the world starts to look a little less brighter. These untrue negative thoughts were slowly becoming my new truth. My mind was beginning to believe what I was thinking was actually going to happen.

Philippians Chapter 4 Verse 8

All of this came to an abrupt boil 8 weeks after Maisie was born. I started having panic attacks that were triggered from several medical issues that I was dealing with at the time. I was worried, frustrated, and frankly annoyed that I couldn’t get a better handle on my emotional state. My thoughts were spiraling out of control and I could not for the life of me reign them back in.

Josh was on shift (his shifts are 24 hours) and I called him crying. I felt like I was going to pass out because I couldn’t breathe. My heart was beating so fast and everything I could think of to calm myself down was not working. Thankfully he was able to come home and my parents came over to the house to watch the kids. We then proceeded to drive back to the fire station so he could hook me up to the monitors and see what was going on. Of course by the time we got to the fire station my heart rate had returned to normal and I felt like a crazy person for even calling my husband to come home.

The single best thing that happened from this event was talking on the phone later that night to the wife of Josh’s friend/firefighter co-worker. Thank you, Sara, so much for taking the time to talk to me! Sara is a Labor and Delivery nurse and it was this conversation that led me to my doctor to talk about getting treatment for postpartum depression and anxiety.

Until this moment I didn’t really think that I was dealing with anything postpartum related. Everything came on so gradually. Sometimes it takes a person from the outside looking in to be able to give you the encouragement you need at just the right moment.

If you are struggling with depression or anxiety please know you are not alone. Check back Thursday. I will be sharing the details on my treatment and how I am currently doing.

Thank you for taking the time to read and feel free to share this post.

xoxo, Tamara

UPDATE: Thank you so much for your support, comments, and shares! Be sure to read my follow up post on how I am doing now and details on my treatment.