Pregnancy, Delivery & Postpartum Depression

Pregnancy & Delivery 
  
I was 36 (geriatric pregnancy) and pregnant for the first time.  Getting pregnant wasn’t nearly as easy I had expected it to be either.  It took 8 months before we got a + on the stick.  We were very excited, nervous, and happy.  I had a few little issues along the way, I was diagnosed with having placenta previa.  I was a nervous wreck.  My husband drove me crazy of every second of every day, telling me what I could and couldn’t do.  He’s lucky to still be alive.  I was fortunate enough to have had the placenta move at the very last minute, but I had already planned for a scheduled C-Section (and was very happy about that).  However being a first time mom, nothing ever goes as planned.  
 
On a Sunday morning in July (3 weeks before my due date) I knew something just wasn’t right!  So I told my husband if I’m having this baby anytime soon I need to go grocery shopping and get a pedicure.  So that’s what I did.  Apparently I was clueless to the fact that my water had already broken, and the weird stomach cramps were contractions.  So after much debate whether to go to the hospital or not (I thought I would be sent home and didn’t want to be embarrased) my husband won that fight.  So at 3pm we arrived at the hospital, waited for the anesthesioligist to have his dinner, and baby G was born at 7:06pm.  We called him Baby G for 2 days.  I needed to meet him, see him, feel him, and get to know him, before I could give him a name.  Then Baby G finally became Travis John.
 
My husband and I were both in love with him.  It was a very difficult transition for me.  I remembered feeling all alone and trapped with this tiny baby who needed everything from me.  Who was also a very colicy baby.  I knew the anxiety I was feeling was not “normal”. 
 Postpartum Depression 
Unless you have ever expeirenced postpartum, it is extremely difficult to find the right words to truly express the emotions that you feel.  It isn’t just a mom problem, it affects the entire family.
I knew very early on that something just wasn’t right.  It was more than the “mommy blues”, but how could I be feeling this way?  We wanted this baby so much, and over the moon after he finally arrived.
 Looking back it was about 2-3 weeks after birth that I felt this extreme overwhelming feeling of saddness, guilt, and anxiety.  I was overwhelmed having this baby that would not stop crying for hours at a time.  I remember 2 of my husbands family members coming over to visit shortly after we came home from the hospital.  When they arrived I was sobing, the tears were just flowing and I couldn’t even explain why.  I remember feeling very alone (except with this screaming baby).  I had so much resentment, anger, and jealously towards my husband for being able to just go about his every day life, while I stay imprisoned in my home, stuck with this colicy baby, forced to do everything myself (because during this time, you can’t feel people trying to help).  I wanted my life back, my old life…
I called my OBGYN to tell her I was having some major issues.  I was told this is very normal.  I explained how all I do is cry and I’m miserable and can’t do anything, nor did I want to.  “All normal”, she said.  She actually told me I could go to her office every day and just cry with her.  Well that wasn’t going to help me, what a stupid thing to say (in her defense I don’t think she realized just how bad this was getting). I asked for drugs, you know, happy pills, I was told no, just give it a little more time she said.  I felt helpless, alone, I hated myself, who I had become.  I was a horrible mother, wife, step mother…  
I will remember this moment until I die… It had been a “normal” day, meaning, I was miserable, mean, out of patience, and at my wits end.  My husband came home from work.  Travis and I both crying.  His patience were starting to wear thin at this point too.  He already knew what he was in for.  For some reason or another he needed to go grab something from his truck.  I thought I was going to lose it
Just the thought of him leaving me again (if even for 2 minutes) with this screaming baby, made me break!
 That’s when I held Travis in my hands as far away from my body as possible and told my husband “I did not want to be his mother anymore”.  I was broken, defeated, and totally lost.
 I needed help, I wanted help!  I reached out again (3rd time) to my OBGYN.  She finally pointed me in the direction of the day program they offered at RI hospital.  I called and got an appointment for the very next day.  The woman answering the phone could hear my hysterics I think.  Finally… I felt like there was hope, finally after months of suffering, I was going to get back to myself!
 It took many months of therapy, and I was also prescribed Zoloft (Hallelujah).  Slowly little by little I started crying less, doing more, and could stand being in my own skin.  My husband and I were not fighting nearly as much.  I was starting to enjoy being around people again.  If you are having trouble, please reach out.  Reach out to your OBGYN, or call a local hospital and ask if they provide support for women suffering with postpartum.  This is an issue that can be talked about without shame! 1 in every 5 women experience postpartum after childbirth.  There are many programs out there that can help you, you just need to take the first step.  You can and will be happy again!

The program also helped me with Travis and his colic.  He had an intolerance to cows milk protein, and acid reflux.  He was given a liquid ant-acid and put on Nutramigen formula.  In a few short days I had an entirely new baby!

Time For Baby #2????  I say Baby #2 because Domenic is already 12 years old
So that was the question my husband I were contemplating.  It had been a rough past 6 months.  However I was considered “old” in the pregnancy world.  Time was a tickin’!  Plus it took about 8-9 months to conceive the first time.   So we decided we will try, but not try… If you have ever thought about getting pregnant you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Well don’t you know, yup, very first time and we were pregnant again!  Did I just say we… There really is no “we”, seriously the woman does everything at this point!  So yes I was pregnant with a 6 month old at home!  I was shocked and well, really shocked!  Then after a few days I began to analyze all the positives about having two so close together.  This was going to be ok…
My pregnancy however was prove otherwise.  
Around 7 weeks pregnant I was admitted into the hospital for severe dehydration.  I had been very sick, flu like, for about three days.  This was not morning sickness, just something I had caught.  I only spent 1 day in the hospital, but because the pregnancy was so early on the doctors wanted to make sure they took all precautions.  
I had all of the normal tests early on.  I failed my first glucose test and needed to do the awesome 3 hour one next.  My results from the first were off by only 1 point.  I took the long three hour test (to this day I still can not drink orange soda) and passed.  Thankfully for everyone around me, because if you told me I wasn’t allowed to have sweets, it would have been ugly!
This pregnancy I was clear of placenta previa!  Woohooo!  However my healthy, non-complicated pregnancy status would only last so long.  
At about 25 weeks I was having some high blood pressure issues.  It was high, just high enough they wanted a check up in 1 week rather than 3.  At my next check, my blood pressure was extremely high.  My OBGYN actually sent me directly from her office right to the hospital.  They wanted to put the baby monitors on and make sure the baby wasn’t stressed.  Plus they needed to do a whole gamut of tests.  It was very nerve racking.  At this point I am only 26 weeks pregnant, way too early.  
After having the monitors on and blood and urine tests, the baby was doing good.  Me however, I was experiencing preeclampsia.  I was immediately taken out of work, and had orders to take it easy.  I thought: yeah, sure, take it easy with a toddler (12 month old) at home.  It was a very stressful time.  Two or three times a week I had to go to my hospital to be put on the monitors, give blood (lots of blood), and urine tests.  On average I spent 3-4 hours each time I was there getting everything done.  I was also on strict orders  that if I started experiencing any labor issues I needed to go directly to the specialized hospital in my state just for woman & infants.  My OBGYN was on edge, I could tell.  So with every week getting closer and closer to my due date, she was getting more and more relieved.  
It was a Wednesday morning, I had just spent 4 hours in the hospital yesterday doing all of my testing.  However after going home that day, I had an excruciating headache that would not go away.  So by around 5am (Wed 10/22/14) I decided I should go to the hospital.  When I arrived they let me know my OBGYN was due in, in about an hour.  My husband and I had overheard the doctor that was there say to a nurse, “get Giusti’s IV ready.”  I looked at my husband and asked him; what did he just say?… John looked at me and said I told you we are having a baby today.  I don’t really know why, but I was shocked!  Thankfully I had just hit the 37 week mark!  I felt great about making it to that point.  My lil guy would probably not have any complications. Phewww!  
So at about 8am I saw my doctor and she said, “ok let’s have that baby today!”  She didn’t want to risk my health anymore at that point.  I went into the OR for my C-section.  Once I was given my spinal my blood pressure skyrocketed to 218/128.  I could see the fear on my doctors face, even with her mask on.  The anesthesiologist yells to her, “I told you it would get extremely high, but it will come down fast.”  I think she was worried about me crashing on the table.  However the anesthesiologist was right it did come down (down for me, not a regular person) fast.  The delivery went smoothly, and we had a perfectly healthy baby.
I was considered to be still high risk.  I was kept in the labor & delivery area, rather than the post delivery area.  I was told I was in the ICU area of labor & delivery.  They had my bed padded with pillows in case of seizures.  I was put on an IV drip of Magnesium Sulfate to help regulate my blood pressure.  This medication is evil.  I was throwing up the entire first night after my C-section delivery.  The baby had to stay in the nursery because I could not get out of bed and was too sick to care for him.  My nurse turned away visitors, she said I needed to be well and get better.  It was a difficult pregnancy & delivery.  I spent the entire 4 nights 5 days there, and they wanted me to stay an extra night because my BP still wasn’t great.  I wanted, needed, to go home.  I begged and pleaded until they said yes.  Once I was home I was put on BP medication and that helped get me regulated.  I was finally able to come off of it about 5 months later.  
During one of my follow ups with my OBGYN I said you must be happy I am not having anymore.  She said to me, I am happy you decided you were done.  You have delivered 2 healthy boys, why risk your life, be thankful for what you have.
Well I am!!!