My Story: My postpartum story was nothing short of a roller coaster. I was in shock and so upset I was pregnant. My third baby. My marriage was failing and life as I knew it was over....again. I had just had my second baby 8 months prior. During my pregnancy, I dealt with circumvallate placenta and non stop appointments. I was terrified I was going to lose my baby now. I carried to full term and had a 23 hour labor. My son was born healthy and perfect. I was ecstatic...until I realized I forgot all about the PPD I had with my other kids.
I suffer from OCD on a good day and as I was leaving the hospital after my son was born, I had my first intrusive thought. I'll spare y'all the details but it was bad. Very bad. Scary bad. Then I figured I was just sleep deprived and needed to sleep and I'd be fine. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. I lost all my pregnancy weight and then some within a month postpartum. I couldn't function. My OCD was horrible by this point. I thought I was possessed, I thought I was going to hurt my baby. The only way not to was to disable myself, I thought. I did this "naturally" for 5 months until I began having hallucinations and delusions. People on the news were vampires. I remember trying to fold laundry to avoid it but then they began talking specifically to me. I was suddenly living my worst fear. I never thought this would be me. I'd always suffered anxiety along with OCD but never to this extent.
Once again I decided I just needed sleep. I remember my husband waking up at 6am to go to work and asking me why I was up. I hadn't slept yet. I cried all night with delusions running around in my head of multiple things. I decided a few days later I needed to be hospitalized. I went to two different hospitals. Was given Benadryl, Ativan and another sleep med. I was too scared to take them though because of my OCD. I finally went to a third hospital after three days straight of being awake. Not even an hour of sleep in three days. I was a wreck. I was going to die I thought. The third and final hospital admitted me after I told them I would harm myself if they sent me home. I needed help. I had no family support other then my mom telling me to "just go get a job and this will all go away." I wasn't fit to work. I was too mentally disturbed to even be in public. I was terrified of people, of trees, of outer space, of the earth. I was terrified to breathe at times. I crawled on my kitchen floor to get to the fridge in fear the world would tip over and send me to outer space.
I described all this to the psych at the hospital and was admitted for four days. Barely slept but I got stabilized on meds to get me through my worst time of life. I began cbt therapy and have been on Prozac for my OCD and depression for two years nearly now. It's bittersweet to look back now and realize I've come so far along. At one point, I knew in my heart I was going to die from malnourishment, weight loss or killing myself. It took about eight weeks to be back to normal but I began a calendar of happy and sad faces according to the majority of my day. I began having more happy faces in a week, then in a month and now I look back and I've had way more happy faces then ever in my life.
I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life right now, I began my own business as well. I plan on going to the hospital to thank all that were involved in saving my life one day soon. My faith is restored and I'm ok again. I'm ok, I'm not ok. Some days I still feel down, like normal people, but I can look at my kids with joy and tears of happiness rather then fear and intrusive thoughts. Now I can laugh at certain fears I had then but it was my reality then so I will continue to heal myself as I love on my babies. I urge anyone going through and ppmd to get help as early as possible. Don't wait. Find support. Seek it out. Don't wait for it to come to you.
Tiffany Guzman | DuPont, WA | Mama to Bryce 14, Luke 3, Caleb 2 | Connect with Tiffany HERE.