I was not diagnosed with Endometriosis until four years after the birth of my daughter. The pain of endo plus postpartum depression was hell mentally and physically. And did I mention, I was a single mother as well.
When my daughter was born I felt no attachment to her whatsoever, no love, nothing. I felt like she wasn’t even mine. I was depressed; I was in pain from the delivery and emotionally was not available to my daughter. I was also having trouble breastfeeding and after 2 weeks, I gave up. The first week after delivery was especially difficult. I was dealing with the pain of childbirth as well as trying to treat a yeast infection that I had during delivery. Every time I stood up I had severe vaginal pain and this lasted a year after the birth of my child.
My daughter cried from the day I took her home. She was a very fussy baby, only would sleep if I held her. I tried the ‘cry it out method’ and that didn’t work. She wouldn’t drink her formula and up until she was 9 months she drank only 4 ounces 3 times a day.
By the time she was 9 months she started walking. She would get frustrated and wanted to be held, then let down, wouldn’t go in a stroller, would throw herself back if you were holding her, she would cry and cry and cry. Nothing at all I could do could console her. I tried everything. By the time she was one she started to slam her head on the ground out of frustration and that just stressed me out more. She was never on the charts for weight or height but she was very intelligent and met all other milestones and still does.
I would get so frustrated I would put her on the bed and let her scream because I just wanted to throw her. I couldn’t understand why I had these feelings. They were so strong. I thank God at that time I was living with a family and the husband would take her from 4-11pm when she would just scream bloody murder. I felt like such a bad mother and I really started to resent her being born. I felt angry at her father. I was so tired and my head just didn’t feel right mentally.
I remember having a dream that she was hanging outside the window and she was screaming for me to help, but I just looked at her and I let her fall. When I realized what I had done I ran downstairs to see if she was okay. She was, but she looked at me as if I had betrayed her. Even though it was a dream, in a way I had betrayed her. I wished that she wasn’t born. I felt she ruined my life and was bringing me down into a further depression I just couldn’t get out of.
I went to the doctors told him I must have postpartum depression (PPD) and he told me no that I didn’t. I talked to my mother and said the same thing and she said “I had three children and I didn’t have it and so you can’t have it.” You have to remember I was on my own at this time and everyone was telling me I was fine.
One day I was watching a TV program on PPD when my daughter was three years old. I knew I had PPD. So, I walked myself right into the Emergency room at the hospital and told them that I think I had it. I would never harm my child, I just had thoughts. The doctor gave me sleeping pills and sent me on my way.
I would become so frustrated at my daughter I would scream in her face and tell her to stop crying. Then I would cry because what type of mother does that? One night I felt like there were demons on my room and I was petrified.
Mentally, I was falling apart. I was nauseated, tired, irritated, angry, I had severe acne everywhere, my back, chest, face and neck and in pain in my pelvic area and bowels. To be honest I was just down right out of my mind when I finally went to the doctors again. I was sent to get an ultrasound done and that is when they found the cyst. I went to my gyno and she wanted to put me on Lupron. I refused, as I did my research about the side-effects. However, I did go on the birth control continuously to see if that would shrink the cyst.
Within one week something happened. It was like a light went on. I never felt so great in my life. The acne started to clear up, I wasn’t angry and my mind was so clear that I couldn’t believe it. That is when I feel like my life changed. I realized that my entire life I had had something wrong with me hormonally but that it was pushed aside by doctors. They just kept telling me I was depressed.
I am so glad that I am not like that anymore, but I feel like I damaged my daughter mentally during that period of my life. She suffers from anxiety now. I really feel it was because of what I was going through.
After having my end treated with multiple surgeries, I feel better, but not great (read my story here, here or here). I suffer from debilitating fatigue and I think that is the worst when it comes to wanting to do things with my child. When I wake up I feel like a truck hit me and I get a little crusty with my daughter because of it. I know she can’t understand what I am going through and even if I try to explain to her. I don’t think I will ever get back the first five years of my daughter’s life. I feel like it has been a blur. It is like I don’t remember even being there during that time.
My daughter is very compassionate and understands that I have Endometriosis but it still doesn’t help when I have symptoms that affect her. And that makes me really sad.
Is there anyone else out there that had endo and then postpartum depression?