The Perfectly Imperfect Me

The Cottage Mama: Post Partum Depression.

I want to share something with you……something very personal. I want you to know that I am not perfect. My life is not perfect, my relationships are not perfect and my struggles are not perfect. But all of these things are what make me who I am and I’m pretty darn proud of who I have become. I know I have mentioned before, but if you are new here, then you might have missed it. I suffered from post-partum depression with the birth of my first daughter, Savannah Rose. So I thought I would share a little bit about my story with you……..I feel like you deserve to know.

In March 2008, I had a very difficult end of my pregnancy having something called PUPPS (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy). PUPPS is completely miserable. It happens when the fathers DNA in the baby starts reacting with the mothers and it causes a terrible rash that starts out on the stomach and spreads to the extremities of the body (luckily in only happens in your first pregnancy assuming your subsequent pregnancies are with the same father). I have had Shingles before and this was certainly worse than that……I would not wish it upon anyone.  It made me itch so badly that I couldn’t even sleep or get through the day and I would cry…..a lot. Gosh, I could go into all the things we did to naturally try to treat it, but that would be an entire blog post in itself. The thing about PUPPS is that, although it is excruciatingly uncomfortable, it poses no risk to the baby so my Dr. was not interested in inducing several weeks before my due date.

I ended up having to be on several rounds of strong steroids before I was finally induced four days past my due date. Once in labor they realized that I had elevated liver enzymes and had to be on magnesium sulfate during the entire delivery process (that’s the drug that they generally put you on to stop labor). I had ice packs all over my body trying to control some of the itching. Savannah was also in posterior position (so her face was up instead of down) and I had an epidural that didn’t work. I was in labor for 18 hours and she finally came out with the use of the vacuum, but needless to say it was certainly not the delivery of my dreams……it was about the farthest thing from what I had envisioned. I was extremely disappointed. My expectations of this beautiful delivery of my first child had been lost forever. And on top of the traumatic delivery I still itched worse than ever as PUPPS takes at least two weeks or more to disappear after the birth of the baby. And I wasn’t given traditional pain medication because they feared that would increase my itching.

After her arrival, I just didn’t feel right. I was already miserable from my delivery and the disappointment of what I had envisioned it to be, my body looked like a hot mess and I just felt like I had been hit by a truck. And on top of that I was coming off several large rounds of Steroids used to control the PUPPS. My mom came into town from Texas the day we came home from the hospital. I just felt like crying all the time. Nursing was hard and frustrating, though I kept trying because I knew it was best for Miss Savannah. And sadly, I really had no desire to hold my precious new baby. I felt so guilty for feeling the way that I did and that made me cry even more. I was so incredibly blessed to have this beautiful, healthy new baby and yet I still felt sad. I would stand in the shower bawling trying to get myself to snap out of it. Telling myself things like ‘stop feeling this way’, ‘what is wrong with you?’ For some reason, I would be ok first thing in the morning, but by the time 2:00 or so rolled around, I just felt so much heaviness in my heart and couldn’t help but cry.

I didn’t even feel like eating. For the very first time in my life, I didn’t enjoy food and really couldn’t even stomach anything. Thank goodness for my mom who was there to make me food and put it in front of me because otherwise I would not have eaten. I didn’t want to watch tv, I didn’t want to read, I didn’t want to do anything and when I would try to sleep, my mind would race as I continued to tell myself to snap out of it. I knew something was wrong. I was 100% not myself.

Unfortunately my mom had to head home to Texas to go back to work. I was scared to death to be left alone. Not because I thought I would harm my child, but it just felt so overwhelming……all of it. Luckily my mother-in-law was able to come down from Minnesota on the day my mom left. When she arrived, I think she was trying to make me feel better by saying ‘all new moms feel this way… will pass.’ But I knew that if all mom’s felt this way, then there was something seriously wrong with them and I was not going to sit by and let myself suffer. I had to stop feeling this way.

So I made an appointment with the OB and ended up getting a prescription for an anti-depressant, Zoloft, to be exact (so I could still nurse Savannah). I remember feeling so scared to take the very first one. Like it was going to alter my entire state of being or I was going to turn into a crazy person (a total stigma, I know). But I took it and it was the best decision I ever made.

I actually stayed on that prescription through January 2013 since I continued to get pregnant and have my other children, Matilda Jane and Caspian Finn, so close together. I know that’s a little controversial, but that was mine and my Dr.’s decision, so we don’t really need to discuss that……it was the right choice for me. And if we do choose to have more children, then we will discuss with my Dr. the best course of action for myself and baby. But I know how heavy depression feels and it’s not a place I want to go back to ever again.

So why am I even telling you this story? Well, I’m telling you for several reasons. First of all, I want you to know that I am human and I have struggles just like everyone else…….I am not perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly thankful and blessed in my life, but as perfect as everything may seem from the outside, it’s never as perfect as it is on the inside (a good thing to remember whenever you are reading blogs). Secondly, I want you to know that people that take anti-depressants aren’t weird crazy people or weak in any way. They are people like me. I am the face of post-partum depression. Thirdly, I want you to know that post-partum depression or any kind of depression, for that matter, is nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever. I consider myself a strong woman and let me tell you, this was completely out of my control. If you are a new mom that is experiencing any of these feelings it does not mean you are are are a bad mom or is any reflection on you as a parent. It is an imbalance that is occurring and you just may need some additional assistance to help pull you out. You do not need to suffer and the sooner you take action, the better. You might need to seek help from a psychiatrist or you might need some medication or perhaps both.

So there you have it. That’s part of my story. It is what it is. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, it’s just part of who I am……..the perfectly imperfect me.

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  1. I had PUPPs also and it is miserable, MISERABLE. I also think very strongly that mag sulfate greatly interfere’s with the mother’s ability to recover and bond with baby. I don’t have any medical evidence of this, but I’ve heard similar stories of women who had to be on it and the results of recovery.
    I truly appreciate your honesty and knowing someone else who dealt with the horrid, HORRID PUPPS – oh, I shudder to even think of ever going through that again.

    • Wow, I haven’t met anyone else who has had it before……’s the worst, isn’t it? I don’t think people truly understand and I certainly don’t think my Dr. understood my misery. My very good girlfriend was on mag sulfate during labor and also had post-partum afterward…….you might be onto something. I don’t know if it would have been different since I stayed on the zoloft with my other two. Something to think about for sure! Thank you so much for sharing with me, Kathy :). Have a great day, Lindsay

      • I also have never met anyone who had PUPP, but it truly is miserable and the worst is that since most in the medical profession have not suffered from it they cannot adequately understand the torture. I hope you have a great day too, and thanks again for sharing!

      • I’ve never had PUPPs, but I was given mag sulfate with my first. I had preeclampsia, and they thought it would keep my blood pressure down. I had PPD after I had her. 14 months later, I had my son, and it was horrible! My ex husband kept telling me it was all in my head. A few months on Paxil, and I felt normal again. I cried so much, but I was also extremely angry. It is the worst! I am now on baby #7 and monitor my moods closely and keep my OB informed of any changes. We have managed better cotrol of it since figuring out its NOT my imagination. My husband now is extremely understanding, supportive, and loving. Thank goodness! Its nice to hear I’m not alone on this.

  2. Thank you for sharing.
    I had anger management 😛 issues when my son was born. He used to throw up A LOT, and the doctors would say it was ok. He would cry and scream all the time. Once I got so frustrated I punched a wall. His father was no help either. I was so mad! Finally a doctor told me to try with hypoallergenic milk (I breastfed him but also bottle fed him) and all got better!
    When you look back, you realize what happened and know that having a baby is not all fun. But it’s totally worth it.
    We are not perfect, we’re MOMS and do it all with LOVE.

    • Thank you for sharing, Jesica………motherhood isn’t easy, is it? I think we all have our struggles, but it’s how we deal with them that is the most important part. I appreciate you taking the time to share and you’re right, everything we do, we do with love.

  3. Lindsay,
    Thank you for sharing your story! That isn’t always easy but I know others will be hugely blessed along the way by you letting others into your life and if they are suffering in the same way they will know there is help!! I got on here today to tell you that I bought your book this past week and it has been so wonderfully helpful in writing a new pattern and figuring the sizes and measurements! God has truly given you a wonderful gift! My local quilt shop owner recommended it to me and said she felt it is one of the best books out there for sewing children’s clothes! She was right! I too had a very similar post partum experience as you, and my prayer is that this post will be very instrumental in helping gals in your sphere of influence to get on the road to recovery. Isn’t wonderful to be reminded of how far God has brought us since we went through those times?!! Blessings and Happy Sewing!

    • Awwwww, thank you Charmaine!! I’m so glad you got the book and thanks for letting me know about that shop owner’s kind words (that definitely warms my heart). I’m so sorry that you had to suffer through depression as well, but as long as we all get the help we need, we can all make it through. Thank you for being here today……hugs!! Lindsay

  4. Lindsay,
    Thank you so much for sharing! So many times people struggle with these issues all alone. I too had severe post partum depression. It was NOT pretty. I recently found out that the reason I had such sever post partum depression is that I have life-long depression and any major life changing event, will trigger the depression to be worse. I fortunately, have a very supportive husband and after many long years, I am happy to say I am a completely different woman. I am on medication for my depression and will probably be on it for the rest of my life. It was a hard decision to make, but through seeking counseling from a psychiatrist and much prayer, this is the right thing for me and my family. It has been life changing for the better!

    I appreciate all you do and your willingness to be human and share it with us!

    • Thank you for sharing with me, Mindy and I’m so glad you were able to get the help you needed. There is no reason anyone should suffer. Thank goodness for supportive husbands, right? I don’t think mine completely understood what I was feeling, but he supported me nevertheless. Hugs to you! Lindsay

  5. PUPPS is Horrible!!!! I can totally relate to that, although for some reason mine didn’t show up until a few hours after our delivery (I ended up with a c-section.) So initally they thought it was just a reaction to the betadine used on my stomach. It was also my second pregnancy, but with twins. (It’s typically your first pregnancy or multiples). I was miserable!! Whe our girls were about a week old, I remember crying in the middle of the night and telling my husband “We have three sleeping babies (we had a 17 month old and the twins) and I CAN’T sleep because I’m itching so much!!!” It took 5 trips to the different doctors in the next two weeks, until finally the dermatologist diagnosed it. Unfortunately, the steriods didn’t do much to help and it lasted 8 weeks, but at least knowing it would end helped me deal with it.

    Thank you for sharing your story about post-partum depression! You are a strong woman to be able to recognize it in yourself so soon and be willing to reach for help! I fortunately haven’t had this, but I have seen it in friends and relatives. What a miserble time. I hope more women are able to recognize the symptoms and receive the help and support they need.

    Enjoy your babies!!!!

    • Kathy commented saying she had PUPPS as well!! I can’t believe there are already two of you out there that have experienced the misery of PUPPS. Yes, the steroids didn’t help me either…….we tried several different kinds and they really did nothing. Gosh, to have it for 8 weeks after delivery and be caring for twins…….that is definitely a doozy! I’m so thankful I didn’t get it with Matilda or Caspian. I remember waiting for around 34 weeks and praying it didn’t come back. So sorry you had to go through that and suffer. I can feel your pain. Thanks for taking the time to comment…’s great to hear from you!

  6. I applaud your honesty and willingness to write about PND.
    I too suffered with PND but did not seek help for 18 months. Starting to take anti depressants was the best thing I ever did for me and my daughter, who is now 15. I couldn’t shake the blackness myself and would urge anybody feeling the same to seek help. There is no stigma attached to depression and anxiety and the taking of medication for it.
    It is our strength that leads us to seek help for what we can not fix ourselves.
    Take care of yourself – you’re fab! X

    • Hi Michelle, Thank you for sharing your story with me. I kept feeling like it was something I could just shake off as well, but that’s the thing about depression, it’s latches on so tight that there is no getting rid of it without help. I think that’s what a lot of people don’t understand and therefore, they stuffer. I’m so glad you were able to get the help you needed…….I bet you felt like a huge weight was lifted (I know, I did). Thank you again for sharing! Lindsay

  7. What an amazing testimony Lindsay. You are going to help so many people by sharing this about yourself, you are an incredible woman!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing, Lindsay! I LOVE hearing people speak out about mental health. It’s not a spiritual or failing it’s just something chemical and it’s perfectly OK and normal to treat it. I’m so glad you’re feeling healthier!

  9. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sure that I suffered from postpartum depression after my son was born. Shortly after he was born we moved to a different state and so I had no one around to help me. It wasn’t until I started my blog and began to interact with other women that I began to pull out of it. I’m still not completely comfortable sharing my story in it’s entirety but thank you for the courage to share yours.

    • Hi Naomi, Thank you for sharing your story with me! Yes, I think a lot of life changes can definitely bring on some depression. I know that I felt really alone as well. We didn’t have family close to us and I didn’t have any friends with children…….it was certainly an isolating feeling. I’m so glad you are feeling better and it took me almost 6 years to share my story, so take your time……share when you are ready. Hugs! Lindsay

  10. You are amazing Lindsay and don’t let anyone make you feel different. These blips that we call imperfections are the strongest threads that ties us together. They help us grow, mold & define us. They ultimately make us better. I believe that we should celebrate them and not tuck them away in a drawer. Thank you for sharing your story!

  11. Thank you for sharing your painful story, Lindsay. I know that you are at this minute helping other young women who needed to see that.
    I wanted to add that coming off high doses of steroids has many of those same symptoms. I went through that this summer after I was hospitalized with pneumonia. I didn’t sleep for 4 weeks or so and kept thinking I was going crazy. No one tells you that about steroids. So I can empathize.

    • Thanks so much, Adaire! Yes, my mom thought the steroids combined with the other things, might have been just the right cocktail for depression…….we’ll never know, but I’m so glad I was able to recognize it early and get relief. Great to hear from you! Lindsay

  12. You are so very brave for sharing, Lindsay, and you will touch lives by opening up like this. You are an inspiration!

  13. Hooray for your honesty. I struggled mentally with my first daughter as well. Unbeknownst to me, she had severe food allergies and I was intent on breastfeeding and being the BEST mother possible. You know, the ones in the magazines that are doing it all with ease. Turns out I was breastfeeding her things she was VERY allergic to – milk, egg, shellfish… which is why she probably cried all the time. At 5 years, she accidentally had a sip of her sister’s milk at a restaurant and vomited all over the table. So imagine what the poor newborn was going through as a baby…. skin rashes, inconsolable. Where other kids passed out in the carseat, she’d cry. I was so stressed I would call my husband to make sure he wasn’t stopping anywhere and was coming straight home. Oh, how I wish I could relive those days with “what I know now.”

    Although my 2nd child was and is easy-peasy…from childbirth on…. it was overwhelming to work in a career I love and have 2 little children and my parents aren’t alive to help, pressure from others – am I doing the right thing working, lack of any personal time, keeping up wiht their journals, keeping the house clean, wanting to sew the way my mom sewed for us, should I be scrapbooking, too? on and on… I can completely relate to your feelings of being overwhelmed.

    Life is better, MUCH better – these days. Yesterday we all ice skated for the first time and had the “best day ever” to steal my daughter’s favorite quote. But I am so pleased this morning to hear from the lady whose piping is always perfect…. that you aren’t actually perfect . 🙂 Just like me. Again, thanks for sharing something so personal. I’m sure that wasn’t easy and most of us can relate to having gone through depression in our lives.

    • Hi Anita,

      Thank you so much for sharing your journey with me. We all struggle, don’t we? But we make it through…….we have to for our precious little kiddos. What a miserable time that must have been with your baby be so allergic……for both of you. I bet it broke your heart. You’re trying to do your absolute best for her, yet nothing seems to help. Feeling helpless as a mother is one of the worse feelings in the world. I SO appreciate you taking the time to comment today. Hugs to you, Lindsay

  14. You summed it up in the words “perfectly imperfect”. Depression is awful. First time motherhood is HARD. And you are amazing.

  15. Lindsay, I too had PUPPS with my first pregnancy. I completely relate to the feeling miserable all the time. I also was on mag sulfate during and after delivery. While I didn’t develop ppd, I’m glad you were able to get the help you needed.

    • Gosh, there sure are a lot more ladies who have had PUPPS than I ever thought…….it’s always nice to know you are not alone. So sorry you had to experience that……’s miserable. Great to hear from you! Hugs, Lindsay

  16. I had pupps with both my pregnancies. It was terrible! I totally feel your pain! I was working with my first pregnancy and had to go on my maternity leave several weeks early because I couldn’t concentrate on anything! Depression is hard and very real. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Oh no!! You had it twice? I really feel for you……that is just not fair. I think once is definitely enough to last a lifetime. Thanks for sharing with me……great to hear from you! Lindsay

  17. Had PUPPS too and it was the absolute worst. I was induced as well at 40w1d because it was so bad. The birth didn’t go like I wanted (so many interventions) and I felt miserable afterward. I definitely had those same feelings of being overwhelmed. My husband was with us for 3 weeks before returning to work and I still felt like I couldn’t do it. I was in a fog for months.
    I haven’t been through PPD, but as someone who shares her story in an effort to help people see how normal things like this are, I appreciate how brave you are to do it and I know you are helping so many who think they are alone.

    • Hi Brandi! Thank you for sharing with me…….it’s amazing how many women have experienced the misery of PUPPS. I’m sorry you had to experience that and that you too, didn’t have the delivery that we all envision in our heads. It’s definitely a disappointment, but luckily, despite our deliveries we have ended up with our babies. And for that, we are very lucky. Hugs to you, Lindsay

  18. Lindsay I am 68 years old and I still have such guilty feelings about my postpartum depression with the birth of my first born. Oh how I wish I knew then what I know now about depression and all those feelings of being a new mother. Your blog brought me to tears today – thank you so very much for sharing your story. We are all connected as women who try hard everyday to do the very best we can, we stumble, we soar and we are all “perfectly imperfect”.

    Bless you and yours.

  19. Bravo for sharing. This issue connects people in a very meaningful way.

  20. Linds–Love you so much! You forever will be that perfect little person I held in my arms! :)–Mom

  21. Thanks for sharing! I had PUPPS and PPD after my first baby. It was awful. Our third is now 7 months old and it has been the best baby experience so far. I didn’t know it was possible to actually enjoy the new baby phase until this time around.

    • Annie, I had a similar experience as well with my third. Matilda’s birth was a little rocky because I had to have an emergency c-section because of her ‘face presentation’ and then she ended up in the NICU. But you know what they say…….the third time’s a charm. I was able to have a Vbac with Caspian with a great epidural. I told my husband afterwards……..’now this is what everyone is talking about!!’. I didn’t feel too much pain, I only pushed a few times, I got to snuggle him right away. It was as I had always envisioned :). I’m glad you are experiencing that as well with your little peanut. Congratulations to you…….it was really great to hear from you! Lindsay

  22. Thanks for sharing this! I struggled with PPD after the birth of my son. We had no help, had lost my father in law to pancreatic cancer two weeks before our son was born, and had other things going on. My son was not a sleeper at night. I felt like crying all the time and kept sinking deeper. My son was a month old before I realized I was struggling with PPD and I got into my OB right away. I had to start taking medication again (I had been on anti-depressant in my 20’s). It took a month for the medicine to start working and it was the most miserable month of my life. Even now it’s hard to write about. Although I was able to go off the medication when my son was almost a year old, I went back on it after the birth of my daughter as a preventive measure. I tried going off the medication when she was about a year old and ended up back on it. My daughter is almost 3 and I’m still on the medication. I don’t know when I’ll try to come off of it (or if I will be able to) but it helps to know that there are others who have been where I was. Most of my friends can’t relate. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Love you….xoxoxo.

  24. Thanks for the post! While I’ve never had PUPPS I have suffered from post partum depression with most of my children. We have six (!) children and the last two I just started taking Zoloft before they were born. It really helped me enjoy the newborn stage.

  25. Hugs to you! Thank you for being brave and sharing. I probably shouldn’t have read this at seven months pregnant though. 😉

  26. You’re brave and strong and amazing. I was on Mag Sulfate and had HELLP syndrome with Olivia. I think that having a birth experience that is so different from our expectations has a significant impact on our post-partum experience, and then our bodies being so sick and needing to recover, too. I didn’t recognize PPD and eventually came out of it, but I wonder how much different that first year would have been if I had anti-depressants. There is no shame in treating a medical condition of any kind. Thanks for sharing your story.

  27. OH sheesh, I was on magnesium sulfate for 3 days when I was in an accident that caused premature labor – and I have always said I would give birth three times over before I would do that again. I can’t even imagine having to endure that pain, on top of the itching, and the labor…seriously – I don’t know if I could have done it.

    AND, I love when people shed light on depression. My mom suffered from depression all while raising her kids and didn’t take medication until we were older. Those early years were robbed from her, and the medicine can make such a difference. It’s okay to get help.

    Love this Lindsay!

    • Thanks, Destri!! It’s not a pretty drug, that’s for sure!! I wish I would have had some prep. so I could have done my research on how that drug makes you feel, but as a new mama who has never given birth before, I was completely naive. I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I also felt that I wanted to be able to bond with my baby and be able to love on her the way I knew I should………I’m very happy that I was able to recognize that I didn’t feel right and admit it. And I’m also VERY thankful that my mom (who is a nurse) was also able to tell me that she thought I needed help rather than brushing it under the rug and saying ‘this too shall pass’. I appreciate you commenting :). Lindsay

  28. Lindsay,
    You’ve helped so many people by sharing this. There might not be a response from someone struggling mightily with PPD but just knowing you survived it is a huge help to others. I’m a grandma now but remember those crazy early days with a baby and wondering how on earth I was qualified to be a mom in any way!

    • Thank you, Dorothy! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. The days are long, but the years are short, right? Even for me, it seems like having Savannah was SO long ago, but you’re right those early baby days sure are crazy!! Have a wonderful day, Lindsay

  29. Thank you, Lindsay, for sharing your story. I had PUPPS as well (interestingly in my second pregnancy, not my first), but I don’t think my case was as severe as yours. As a participant in my increasingly not-so-perfect life, while I don’t feel good about anyone else NOT having a perfect life, it’s important to remember that we’re all real people. With real problems. Whether or not they can be seen from the outside. Congratulations on your beautiful children and your courage in sharing your story.

  30. Thank you for sharing your story Lindsay. I am with you that it is so important to share our NORMAL stories of depression. I also took Zoloft for PPD and continue to take antidepressants because it works for me. It is so important to normalize these feelings. What is not normal is dealing with it alone and/or not dealing with it at all! Those feelings are the not normal, or they should be! The normal should be for all of us to understand and care for each other and value each other’s unique and individual struggles and successes. Bravo

  31. Thank you soo much for sharing your story. I did not have a delivery like yours but my last baby was born with half of a Heart .HLHS. Hebis 6 now and he is currently waiting 4 transplant since 5/12. Well I am exhausted frustrated angry tired, etc. Today I m going to find help. You are right I do not need to suffer alone anymore.
    Thank you for sharing and helping me…

  32. Lindsay!! My best friend had PUPPS during her first pregnancy. She’s a dermatologist and probably knew too much about the condition, the misery, and the lack of treatment for it….. I can still remember eating at a restaurant with her, while she scratched and scratched and scratched. Definitely miserable! Thanks for sharing your story….I know it has been a blessing to others today!!

  33. We all have a history, a background, or even things we want to keep buried. Thanks for being real and vulnerable!

  34. I know that many people are sold on anti-depressants, but I would warn you to be careful. I am not going to write a long list of why I think anti-depressants should be one of the last resorts or only used for a short period of time, but I will say that many times they mask what is really wrong. I’m curious if any of the ladies with PPD if your GYN checked your thyroid or tried thyroid medicine or supplements for a while? My main concern is that in many cases there are physical things going on in our bodies that can cause depression when our depression is not related to outward circumstances, but doctors resort to anti-depressants as their first resort. I’ve seen it and heard it over and over. The problem is that anti-depressants can cause many problems themselves or can mask a physical problem for years and years before it’s discovered. My father-in-law has severe adrenal and thyroid problems, but they were masked for so many years by anti-depressants and now the anti-depressants don’t work for him. Because of my concern for others, I would just warn people to research all possibilities before choosing anti-depressants. Most of you don’t seem that you’ve had bad side affects, but I have witnessed side affects from anti-depressants, and they are not pleasant. I pray that God will help each of you make the right choices for you and your families. There is a lot of good books out there that shed a light on anti-depressants and safer alternatives. I don’t want to see anyone suffering from depression without help. But, I also know that we have a big God, and He can give us wisdom when we ask for it. That is what God has done for our family.

  35. you are a very courageous and strong woman… thank you for sharing your story.

  36. Debbie Cooper says

    I am so sorry that you had to go through all that and I just want to say that we are so eager to help people out with organ problems like heart, kidneys etc… with medicine, but when our brain (organ) is messed up we tend to hide medicine treatment from others. We need to lighten up on people and help them get through depression with grace. Love your site and thank you for sharing to help others.

  37. As I sit here reading your blog and all the other post tears are flowing down my face. I probably had post-partum depression, but in 1988 you didn’t share your feelings of hopelessness with anyone because they might think your “crazy”. Mine finally came to a head in 1997 when I finally decided to discuss with my husband my feelings of not wanting to live. He made me go to the Dr. and I was put on anti-depressants which made a world of difference. I wanted to go on with life and live it to the fullest. Unfortunately I’m the type of person that when I feel better I quit taking my medication. Well I was o.k. for about 2 years, but then it all came back with a vengeance, the loss of appetite, the unhappiness, no will to live and with an added bonus of being paranoid. I would not let my two girls, who were teenagers at the time, go out with friends, spend the night with friends, etc. I wanted them to stay in the house with me. My husband is a pastor and I didn’t want our congregation to know about my flaws. I prayed and prayed and prayed and when I finally listened to God I went to a counselor and her words put it into perspective for me. She said – “Dawn, diabetics need their medicine and you have a chemical imbalance and you need your medicine.”

    I share my story as much as I can and you would not believe the people who are going through the same thing. I’m not a Dr. so I don’t tell them that they should be on medication, I just tell them to go to their Dr. or talk to someone.

    Thank you Lindsey for sharing your experience and what worked for you.

  38. Lynne Tilley says

    You can’t imagine how wonderful it is that you have shared this story. I have a dear person in my life who experienced so much of what you described (including the itching thing!), and people are so quick to judge, or “pooh-pooh” the whole thing because they do not understand it. I never experienced it myself, so it was hard for me to understand it myself. I think your story will touch a lot of people and let them know they aren’t alone. Thank you.

  39. Beautifully written. I understand and support you.

  40. I never had PPD but I have had shingles. I can’t imagine a pain worse than that. I feel for anyone that has to go thru this. You are a strong & caring woman & your story will help many others. Thank you for sharing! I have taken Zoloft for a few years now to help with my depression. It works & it is nothing to be ashamed of. We are all imperfect!

  41. I know exactly how you felt – it is so awful! I was ok during the day too but as it got toward evening it was terrible. For me it started when I was about 8 to 10 weeks pregnant with my second child. I’d had baby blues for a couple weeks after I had my oldest but this was so different. A friend ended up telling me she was on depression meds and her dr told her she could still take them if she were to get pregnant. I called my OB and he said yes I could take it (celexa) and they even had samples in the office to get me started. I still had baby blues for a couple weeks after my second and third babies but nothing out of the ordinary and it only lasted those 2 weeks. the constant crying and the weight on my shoulders before I was on the meds was so awful.
    I’m so glad you got help for yourself and that you continue to take the meds. I’ve been on my meds for 11 years now and I’m so very thankful for that friend who shared with me and prompted me to call my Doc. God bless you for sharing!

  42. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I had postpartum after my second but it didn’t hit full force until she was almost 5 months. Not only that it did not manifest itself the way I thought it would. Instead of feeling sad I felt anger and rage that I had not ever felt before. The smallest most trivial thing could set me off and it terrified me which in turn gave me anxiety and then came the sadness and guilt because I couldn’t control it or snap out of it. It got so bad that I almost had a panic attack. Luckily my husband was already on his way from home. Once I finally recognized that this was not normal and not going to get better on its own I decided to fight it from every angle. I went to counseling for about a month or so and also started on Zoloft. It has been a little over a year and half. Most days are great but I have relapse days near that time of the month. It is discouraging and frustrating because I want to go off the medication so bad because it is making getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight really hard. But on the other hand it scares me to think of going back to that place. I am grateful for others who have been willing to share their struggles. Thank you again.

  43. Amanda Harvey says

    Bless you for sharing with us and I’m glad you did. I think you’re a beautiful, talented and extremely generous person. I’m so glad you went on to have more children, I bet you’re a wonderful mother. Remember there is only one perfect person in the world, that is Jesus so we’re all with you in being imperfect.
    God bless xxx

  44. Thank you, Lindsey for being real and vulnerable. I am sure it will help many young women out there who read your blog.

  45. Thank you for sharing that Lindsey – it helps to know that even someone as perfect as you are (seriously, with your taste in trims… perfect!) can be as real as I am. I’ve suffered with clinical depression since the age of 14 and am terrified of post-partum depression (as I know it’s a very real possibility for me) so thank you for sharing this and showing that it is possible to come out the other side!

  46. My mother used to always tell me, “I had all five of my kids, natural…lickety-split and threw on my regular size jeans when I went home from the hospital. I had no problems.”

    Whatever mother! It was not that way for me. So I totally understand what you went through. I would love to tell people how wonderful the birth of my sons were – but it wasn’t textbook and wasn’t wonderful.

    So kudos to you for declaring your imperfections! Because we all are imperfect, and we trudge on and we get through the best way we can. And remember, the baby years are a flash, they go by quickly. Just wait ’til they’re teens. Zoloft changes to wine. 😉

  47. awww, you are so brave to share your story. most people wouldn’t but I think this post will help others to realize that things can be ok. 🙂 As far as your choice, it is that, YOUR choice and no one should judge. Thanks so much for sharing.

  48. Lindsay, thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing your story. As a former Mom-Baby nurse in a big hospital, I did a study on PPD and found that it is very common in the US (about 25% of moms giving birth experience it). The effects can be very light to extremely difficult with moms wanting to harm their babies. It is a subject close to my heart because I am certain I experienced it but it was not recognized when I had my children, the stigma was so negative then, and safer medications were not available. You’ve opened the way for others here to feel understood and for others to get help! That help may very well be being on antidepressants. For many, I do believe they are at their last straw having tried other alternatives, seeking help and not getting it, crying out for relief, lab tests to see what else might be wrong, and crying out to God for His wisdom and help. That was where I was and years later, I have found God helping me to have a much more joyous life which does include being on antidepressants long term (other factors than just PPD contributed to this). Again Lindsay, thanks for opening your life to help others!

  49. You made me shed a tear! Thank you for letting us in to the perfectly imperfect you! So often we see the lives of people from the outside not knowing their struggles on the inside. I too have struggled with things in my life and my friends can’t relate because they never struggled with the same things. It’s always comforting to know that there are people who can relate and you can build each other up to get through the struggles together.

    You are an inspiration and so very talented! May God continue to bless you and your always!

    P.S. I love following you as I am a lover of sewing and material is so much better than diamonds! 🙂

  50. Cecilia White says

    The only reason this didn’t make me cry it’s because I’m on antidepressants.
    I can’t say that I have had PUPPS, but on my first pregnancy I “acquired” a very rare disease called “Aquagenic Pruritus”, an incredibly itchy experience at any contact with water. Any time I sweated, touched water, steam or even if it was a humid day.. horrible-pass-the-knife kind of itch.
    I also had pretty bad postpartum depression (on all 3 births, only on the last one I decided to start antidepressants, I should have done it before)
    Fast foward 10 years. I am still allergic to water. It’s incredibly difficult to bathe (it happens very seldomly), I’ve become much more isolated because of it.
    Life, is not fair, it deals nasty blows.
    But then I look at my kiddos, pet my pretty fabric and get to sew.

    Thank you for working on shedding the crazy stigma of antidepressants.


  51. Jackylyn Burkhonov says

    I started having PUPPP on my 26th weeks on my tummy only, with continuous application of Palmers oil it disappears fast in few days. But then on my 27th weeks of pregnancy where i had my monthly check up and i was given a anti tetanus shot it just suddenly spread so fast and unstoppable the palmer’s oil wont work anymore. I went to see a dermatologist, she had given me STERIOD CREAM (Betamethasone with Eucerine and zinc cream) and ask me to buy the DERMAVEEN Daily moisturizing Cream (used for dry skin,eczema, dermatitis, rashes, diaper rashes, minor burns and sunburn). The STEROID CREAM works just for 1 to two hours of relief from itch and kinda sticky and leaves a uncomfortable feeling. I used the STEROID CREAM for 3 continuous days while waiting for the availability of DERMAVEEN in the Pharmacy (kinda hard to find the brand here in Dubai, it has to be ordered and requested by the pharmacy store to its dealers). On the 4th day the DERMAVEEN CREAM came and i start using it right a way. Here’s my routine, Morning bath: after bath i apply the DERMAVEEN CREAM as a lotion to my whole body and not only on the affected area,then i wait at least 1 to 2 hours to let it sit in my skin then i apply the STERIOD cream on the affected areas only. Then trough out the day when ever i started to feel the itch i put on the DERMAVEEN CREAM. then same routine for the night time, NIght bath:after bath i apply the DERMAVEEN CREAM as a lotion to my whole body and not only on the affected area,then i wait at least 1 to 2 hours to let it sit in my skin then i apply the STEROID cream on the affected areas only. And then before sleeping ai take one tablet of GENCET Cetirizine Hydrochloride 10mg (Antihistamine).

    I continuously do the routine for 7 days and it started to dry up the rashes, so i stopped using the STERIOD CREAM. I started a new routine: MOrning Bath: I use GRANDPA”S PINE TAR SOAP (ordered from us) and apply DERMAVEEN CREAM after bath and in the noon time. Night bath: i use DERMAVEEN SOAP FREE WASH PH.5.5 (Liquid bath soap) and after bath apply DERMAVEEN CREAM and take GENCENT(Antihistamine) before sleeping. its just my 3rd day of the 2nd routine and im relief now from the unstoppable spreading rash and irritating itchiness. I feel so better, and the rashes starts to dry out, seems like pealing, the others just disappears with no marks and the rest which are most terrible once, on my buttocks, thighs, in some parts of my arms and legs drys as well but looks like will take some time for the marks to go. But all in all, its healing!

    So i suggest to try the products i used:

    1. STEROID CREAM (Betamethasone with Eucerine and Zinc Cream) twice a day 2hrs. after bath)

    2.DERMAVEEN Daily moisturizing Cream (used for dry skin,eczema, dermatitis, rashes, diaper rashes, minor burns and sunburn) : every after bath and as often required, continuously till the rashes are gone.

    3. GRANDPA’S PINE TAR SOAP: either on your morning or night bath, continuously till the rashes are gone.

    4. DERMAVEEN SOAP FREE WASH PH.5.5 (Liquid bath soap): either on your morning or night bath, continuously till the rashes are gone.

    5. GENCET Cetirizine Hydrochloride 10mg (Antihistamine): 1 tab before sleeping, continuously till the rashes are gone.

    I hope these products would help and be effective also to anyone who is suffering from PUPPP.

    I decided to use DERMAVEEN and GRANDPA”S PINE TAR SOAP even after these rashes, it seems healthy for the skin. When i started using DERMAVEEN products along the others it shows good effect right away so i highly recommend this product.


  52. Marie Danneels says

    Perhaps not perfect, but believe me, I see it in your eyes, you are a good person and a brave one. And as you know, the eyes are the mirror of your soul.
    I wish you all the best !

    Europe – Belgium

  53. I wanted to stop by and say THANK YOU for posting this. I was recently put on anti-depressants for severe anxiety and I had very similar feelings. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t do anything but kept telling myself to snap out of it, that this was not normal and I thought I could make myself better. I was also hesitant to go on medication because of the horror stories I had heard and I really felt like I was defeated, like I had given up on myself. But I started the medication and now, 6 weeks later, I feel so much better. I feel like myself again, like I can enjoy my life and my kids. Thank you for sharing your story!!

  54. Thank you for sharing your story. I worked as a labor/delivery nurse for years, have seen all of this that you wrote about. It is very important that people such as yourself share your stories… All of this is so true and happens frequently. PUPPS is very miserable and post partum depression is all to real. No you may not be perfect no one is, that what makes us all unique. Thank you for sharing you and your talent.