Anyone who has had a baby probably filled out the Edinburgh Scale survey. I have filled it out at my postpartum appointments and at Blueberry’s check-ups. It’s important to fill it out honestly because your doctor only wants to help you. I filled out mine honestly and it turned out that I needed a little help.
Here’s a copy of the survey that many moms have seen. I used to feel angry about the doctor’s “prying” into my life but that was just a sign that I needed some help. It’s not a bad thing, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you’ve decided to be strong.
Now, I scored at a 15 out of 30. The middle of the road. But still, I was referred to behavioral health to see what’s going on with me.
In August, a little more than halfway through my pregnancy, I started feeling a little off. I didn’t want to get out bed, but I did because I have a son who needs me. I didn’t want to talk to my husband, but I did because I love him. I didn’t want to do any crafts or sewing because it felt like it was just too much. I thought it was just hormones and so I pushed through it.
After Blueberry was born, my life returned to being all about the babies. That’s all I did. Eat, sleep, feed 2 tiny humans. My husband is a company commander and his job takes a lot of him so I felt it was just me, a 2 year old, and a newborn.
And I was not happy.
And I’m still not.
There’s a lot that I feel overwhelmed about. Living here in Kentucky is annoying to me since I went to high school here, left for college, and then ended up back here. I’ve felt like my life was in a standstill, living in the same place for the majority of my life, even though I had done something with my life, living here was just returning to a place I didn’t want to be.
Now, I love my children. I love my son and my daughter. I always wanted a son first and then a daughter and God decided I was strong enough to handle those babies but they still make me anxious.
Anxious because my son doesn’t talk as much as other kids his age. Anxious because he doesn’t listen as well as others his own age. Anxious about making enough milk for my daughter since I decided to exclusively pump. Anxious because I thought I would spend all my time helping my daughter and ignoring my son.
And all that anxiety wears on me.
Many days, I don’t even want to get out of bed.
I do because my children need me but if they weren’t around, I’d stay in bed all day.
That is a worrisome response to doctors.
So, I was referred to a therapist and a psychiatrist. I saw the psychiatrist first and she thought I needed to be on an anti-depressant. I was given a prescription. I filled it. I took it for 12 days before I met with my therapist. Then, I told her how much of a loser I felt like when I took it. I felt like I was failing. She was surprised that we didn’t try therapy prior to trying drugs so I stopped taking them and decided to try therapy before turning to a prescription.
So, now I see my therapist once a week and my psychiatrist once a month, just to see if a prescription is needed or not.
And I’m starting to feel better.
Sometimes, it’s important to go speak with someone who can help.
At first I was embarrassed. I didn’t tell my husband or my parents or anyone. Until it became apparent that there was more than just the baby blues going on in my brain, I thought it would all pass. But it didn’t and now I’m seeking help.
Why am I blogging about it?
Because you might be feeling the same.
You might think that questionnaire is intrusive and waste of time.
You might feel overwhelmed but decided to just “deal with it.”
But you’re not.
I thought going to therapy was admitting defeat, like I was losing at my life.
Now I realize that asking for help is overcoming my defeat and was helping me win.