The Worst Day of My Life Was my First Day Towards Recovery

The worst day of my life was when my husband left me. We were both twenty-eight years old. I am now about to turn thirty-eight in less than a month. We were high school sweethearts. Our daughter was two years old. The day he left also happened to be the same day he had asked me out twelve years before. We were both sixteen years old. I remember the day Jay left in bits and pieces, like most things then. He probably remembers things differently than I do. I remember being up with Aubrie because, as usual, she would not sleep. I think I had to be up for work in about four hours. I could not wait for Jay to get home to offer me some relief.  He was closing that night. I would often get excited at the sound of the garage door opening. That night, Jay texted me that he was going to Waffle House with some coworkers before he came home. This upset me and that upset him. I am pretty sure at this point he said he could not take it anymore and that he was leaving.

When Jay left, he did not take Aubrie with him, even though I was a mess. That was the moment I realized he still expected me to be her main caregiver. I just wanted him around more, and now he was leaving for good. I was angry that I was going to have to raise Aubrie as a single mother. I wanted to run away to the beach the day he left, and I thought about it. I knew Jay believed I would not do it. I wanted to prove him wrong.  I wanted to make him, and everyone else worry. I could not go through with it. Even in this state, I thought too much about the consequences. I was so tired of thinking about the consequences. I think I even drove down the street at one point, and came back before I left the neighborhood.

The worst day of my life was also my first day towards recovery.  It was the first time I acted in a way that finally made me, and everyone else around me, realize that something was wrong with me. I would later realize that I had always had #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety, and that both got severe after losing my father, having a baby, losing my grandfather and then losing my job. I also got so depressed I did not want to live anymore. I decided to stay with my parents and get some help. I went to the doctor and to therapy. I only missed one day of work. At the time, I worked in a retirement community, and we had a therapy dog. She must have sensed the pain I was in. She came into my office and put her head in my lap a lot that week.

After a year and a half of being on and off again, my husband and I eventually worked things out. Over the years it has made my marriage stronger, and I finally got help for my #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety. I no longer try to just power through both without help. I have also shared my story to help others, because the one thing I wish I had known was that I was not the only one thinking these thoughts and going through this. My experience changed me so much. I have always had an open mind and will continue to, but I eventually realized what my own beliefs were as opposed to what I was raised to believe. I truly found myself, and became more comfortable being myself and sharing my true feelings without shame. I kept trying to get back to the same person I was before, but that was not possible. I was different, but I finally realized that was not a bad thing. If I ever went through the same thing again, I would be more prepared. I was stronger. Even if I never went through the same again, I know I will go through hard times. That is just a part of life. Now I feel better prepared for this though.

People say time heals, and it does, but you are forever scarred. Most of the time, it is hard for me to remember feeling as badly as I did. Occasionally, something, often a song will remind me, and I will remember that pain just for a moment. If Jay had never left, I think I would have gotten better without getting as bad as I did and without needing as much help as I did.  However, I might have not gotten the help I needed for my general #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety like I did. Also, like a lot of other women, I am not sure I would have ever completely realized I had #postpartum #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder/#Anxiety/#Depression. After sharing my story, I have had many women tell me they think they had it long ago without even realizing it. I think I was starting to get better right before Jay left. I was starting to realize something was wrong. I recently saw a quote that said, “Even though your wounds are not your fault, your healing is still your responsibility.” This took me a long time to realize. Most of the time you don’t get rescued. Even if someone tries to, they often fail, despite their best efforts. You must want to get better yourself. You must fight and save yourself most of the time.

I never thought I would relate to people who did not want to live anymore. I used to get angry at people who died by suicide. Like a lot of people, I thought it was selfish. I now know that the people who get to that point do not mean to be selfish at all. I have more sympathy and less judgment. They don’t realize they are just passing the pain onto others who love them. They truly believe you will be better off without them. They are suffering so badly, and just want to make it stop. There are better ways to make it stop.  I never tried to kill myself or planned it out, but I did want to die at times. I am not sure if there had not been a pill in front of me that I could have easily taken at certain points, that I would not have. I am glad I did not. Life is better than ever for me now, and I hope to make others realize it can be for them too.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Racism, Sexism and Postpartum Mood Disorders

I have been wanting to write a blog about current events without it feeling like I am writing an obligatory George Floyd post. Of course if you write about current topics it is more likely to be shared by other sites and read etc., but even if I wanted to how could I relate it to what I write about which is normally mental health, parenting, and mood disorders, especially postpartum ones? Also, I am not black, but my black friends have been encouraging us to speak out more for them lately more than ever. Over the last few weeks, I have seen two different ways these current events do relate to what I write about, even though there are probably many more.

I have always posted a lot about women not receiving enough care before and after birth and this being worse in the United States than most other major countries. This is the case for black women even more than white woman though. Too many women die giving birth, too many have premature babies, too many women get postpartum mood disorders and do not get proper treatment for them, but black women are 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes than other races, 50 percent more likely to give birth prematurely compared to white women, according to the March of Dimes, and at least twice as likely to get postpartum depression and less likely to be treated properly for it. Some will say this is due to other issues such as poverty, drug addition, etc. but if poverty and drug addiction are affecting one race so much worse than others, how can that not still be related to race?

Also, it is not just poverty and drug addiction. I have ready many stories recently about middle class or rich black women who have felt they were treated differently during pregnancy or birth due to race, including Serena Williams. I have also read stories of some even losing their life like this one: https://thegrio.com/2020/02/19/distraught-father-sues-cedars-sinai-hospital-after-his-wife-dies-during-childbirth/. I do not think the majority of these cases are doctors or nurses being outright racist, although we all know that exist on some level. It seems like with many other things it may truly be stemmed in systematic racism. Anyone can experience police brutality, but black men seem to experience it the most.

The people affected most are trying to fight against these things, but we should all be fighting together because they affect us all. I have friends and family that are cops. Just because I believe in reform within the police department (and also prison reform and so many other things while we are at it), does not mean I am siding against them or I do not think their life matters too. I truly do. If anything, I think some reforms would benefit police as much as citizens, although I am not for getting rid of the police dog on Paw Patrol and I stand with Chase. If citizens are less scared of police, than they are less hated and are safer. If things are put into place to reduce the number of women dying giving birth or giving birth to babies prematurely, why would anyone be against this?

If you are still wondering the second way I think this relates to what I write about, when I was younger, I often heard people imply that racism and sexism no longer exist, or are no longer major issues. Then I experienced sexism repeatedly. I experienced it the most when I became a mother, but I experienced it some before that. I experienced boys being able to grab your body and get away with it, I experienced fear of getting too comfortable or drinking at a party, or wearing certain things or acting a certain way, or going certain places alone at night, because if something happened to you it would be your own fault. I experienced sexism in so many ways in my career.

I experienced sexism with an accountant a couple times before I finally realized and used someone else. My husband and I have taken turns being the breadwinner in our marriage. When we first married, he was still in school and I was earning more. When we went to get our taxes done for the first time, the man doing our taxes had swapped our incomes. I tried to pretend this might be an honest mistake, it was fixed and we filed. Next year, the same thing happened again, so of course I started doing our taxes on my own using Turbo-tax. I also caught another mistake he made that year I knew about because of my job that would have cost us hundreds off of our refund.

When I went through severe postpartum depression years ago, my husband and I got so close to divorcing that I tried to remove him from my bank account. I had this bank account since I was in high school and eventually had him added to it when we got married. He did not even use it, I just wanted him to have access to it if he needed it or something happened to me which is exactly what I told the bank when adding him. When I tried to remove him, it turns out the bank had made him the main one on the account when I added him, so I was not able to remove him, even with his permission. I had to open a new account. Seriously? This explains why when they sent me new checks back then, I wondered why his name was the main name on them and mine was on the second line. I did not even want his name on them at all unless it had to be, and never requested he be the main person on the account or on my checks. I probably should have switched banks over this, but I realized the person who did this had done it years ago and may not even work for them anymore, but I did voice my concerns to them.

We have yet to have a female vice president or president but sexism no longer exists? I do not know how many times in my life by the way, I heard that a woman could not be president because she would be too emotional and might get us blown up. I usually try not to get too political in my posts because people of all beliefs get postpartum mood disorders, and I hope to help them all, but even if you are a Trump fan, can we all agree that argument went out that window when he became president? That is one emotional man.

Black men got the right to vote 50 years before black women or white women, but many still face barriers legally voting even now and ever since it became legal. Black people and women both gained a lot of rights in the late 1960’s and the 1970’s. Women could not even open their own bank account before the 1970’s, or breastfeed in public (and they often still get shamed by many for that second one, and that bank account experience in this blog occurred around 2011). Women still often have to have permission from their husband or have had to have a certain number of children before some doctors will provide them a hysterectomy or tie their tubes, but men do not face the same when getting vasectomies. Clearly sexism and racism both still exist. At least we are making progress, but it seems we still have a ways to go.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

How Complete Strangers Helped Me Heal From Postpartum Depression

When my daughter was two years old, and I finally started to get help for my postpartum depression, I joined a Facebook online support group. It was so helpful talking to others daily from all over the world going through the same. Once I started to heal though, it became too depressing to read the same stuff over and over. I had to take a break for a while. Eventually I got far enough away from what happened that I joined one again, but this time more to offer advice and comfort than to get it.  As I read some of the same things over and over then and now, I could not help but think how many people have no idea their mother, sister, wife, daughter or friend are having these thoughts. It is not as rare as you think.

These support groups often have tens of thousands of people in one support group alone and there are so many. I decided to post some of the thoughts I have seen over the years that are pretty common to see, while removing anything that could identify anyone who shared them. I have shared some of my own similar ones in my book and I know they shock people, but so many people are thinking them and feel more comfortable sharing them with strangers than the people they love. Here are a few common ones:

“If you were me.. Accidentally driving your car over a bridge… doesn’t seem such a bad idea at this time. But then again, I thought of my… kids, overthinking, again, who’s gonna look after them if i did drove a car over a bridge. So no. Felt different suddenly. And thought just suck it up. Tomorrow is another day woman. Hopefully not like today. We can do this. I can do this. I hope.”

“I feel so broken. It’s 2:45am and I’m sitting on my bedroom floor crying as silently as I can so I don’t wake my  baby, who has been awake 5 times since 8pm. I haven’t slept yet, insomnia is hitting me hard tonight…I wanted to scream at her, I wanted to punch the wall. The tears started and the guilt washed over me. I feel like the absolute worst person in the whole world. She doesn’t deserve this. I hate that I feel this way. I hate that I’ve wanted a family my whole life and now that I have one all I feel is rage and sadness and like this was a huge mistake.”

“What do you do when you absolutely hate the person that you are? I used to be a good person and a good mom, but now I don’t feel like I’m either. I don’t even feel like a good wife or friend. I feel like I’m failing my kids and my husband. I’ve completely lost the person that I used to be and I don’t know who I am anymore.”

“My child is 2 ! Why am I still suffering ??? ”

The estimates vary but it is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women experience baby blues the first two weeks after having a baby. These go away on their own but another 10 to 20 percent develop postpartum mood disorders such as postpartum depression, postpartum OCD or postpartum anxiety. Sometimes they develop more than one and how long they last can often depend on how quickly they get help. Less than one percent of women develop postpartum psychosis which is what you normally see cases of on the news due to women harming themselves and/or their children. Even most women with this disorder do not harm themselves or their children. Usually the symptoms are more obvious, so it is caught earlier and they normally get help earlier.

What this all tells us is that most women get depressed if even for a short time after having a child, but most of them do not end up harming themselves or their child. The fear of people thinking that is one big reason a lot of people do not get help sooner. They are scared to tell anyone and they feel ashamed for their thoughts even if they cannot help it and do not act on them. I just want anyone going through this to know, you are not alone and you can get better. A lot of people do not want to talk about it because it is depressing, which is why my book has some humor in it and so do some of my blogs and posts on my pages. Learning to laugh about everything again was another step in healing for me.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Those Closest To You Won’t Always Be Your Biggest Supporters

When I first started writing a book about my experience with Postpartum Depression, OCD and Anxiety, of course I was worried my daughter might one day think I did not want her, or that she was somehow to blame for how I felt or what I went through. I needed to tell her my story regardless, even if I never told the world, because I did not want her to go through the same thing.  Who knew she would end up being my biggest fan and supporter. She is only 12 now, some might think this will change one day. I do not think so though. I have been as honest with her as I could as she has grown older. I know she still does not completely understand and will more with age, but she is gifted and I think she understands a lot more than some adults. She thinks the thought of me having a book on Amazon is awesome and so do her friends. Yes, she has read my book. Yes, I discussed everything in it with her first. She understands that I love her like crazy, she was very planned, and that what I went through had nothing to do with her and was not her fault.

When I wrote my book, I thought my husband and family and friends would be my biggest fans. I thought they would all buy copies, share all my posts, give me nothing but encouraging words, etc. I thought they would help me sell enough copies to make some money to actually get the book professionally edited and to advertise etc. In reality, this was the case with some, but I ended up giving a lot of free copies away, so many I did not lose money, but broke even. I received some praise but I heard a lot more criticism. Of course, this is something you should be prepared for when writing a book, but I was not ready. I think I was still healing and that is why for the time being, I unpublished the book, and did not try to republish it again for years.  Now that I am republishing, I have almost 1k Facebook friends, but less than 300 likes on my Facebook page and I believe over half of those are strangers. I believe most of my Twitter followers and blog followers are strangers.

My daughter and a friend were the ones who got me wanting to give it another try.  When I told a friend I did not know when I first wrote my book about it, she asked why did I have it unpublished if it could be published and I could be making money on it?  Also my daughter asked why I did not have it published anymore and I did not want to tell her I just gave up because it was hard, so I gave it another go. I am so glad I did and she has been my biggest cheerleader and encourager by far! Of course the big dream is to become a best seller, but the more realistic one is to make some money doing something I love while helping others. The worst case scenario is I don’t make money but fulfill my childhood dream and still feel like I helped people and I will still feel accomplished. Writing is like acting. A lot of actors start as waitresses. You have to have another real job at first because you don’t make any money at first. Only those that make it huge make tons of money, but many do make enough to make it a living, others make enough to make some good extra money.

It is really important to me now that I tell my story in a way that my husband is okay with. He will be reading my final professional edit this weekend and hopefully approving it. When I first wrote the book, instead of just thinking of my target audience as being women going through the same, I also thought of my audience as those around me who missed the signs liked my husband. I eventually gave this up. I mean don’t get me wrong, I still hope and want everyone to read my book and blogs, even those who have not been through this or are not going through this, for one, in case they ever do, or because it is very likely that someone they know will, is or already has.

However, the way I got better was because I finally quit waiting for others to understand, or rescue me. Not saying I did not have any help or support, but even those closest to me did not understand what I was going through in the way others going through it did or I did. I had to do a lot of things that made me uncomfortable to get better including medication and therapy. Some family have never even acknowledged I had a postpartum mood disorder. If I ever discuss it they do not say anything, they either ignore it or change the subject. I feel like they hate me telling my story publicly, while at the same time not being embarrassed to post their extreme political beliefs on Twitter, and yes I do think this has a lot to do with why I suffered so long in the first place or suffered at all. “One stranger  who understands your experience exactly will do for you what hundreds of close friends and family who don’t understand cannot. It is the cool glass of water in hell.” This quote from Laura McKowen in We Are The Luckiest” is why I wrote my book and why I blog and share my story.

Do not get me wrong, I have had many friends and family members, probably reading this right now, who have been so supportive, some that have been through what I have and some that have not, but honestly it has mainly been my daughter and complete strangers keeping me going-hundreds of strangers who have told me I have changed their life, or given them hope and made them realize they are not alone and that they will be OK. My husband and I were at a concert for his favorite band recently and he was talking about how amazing it must be to have a whole stadium singing and relating to the lyrics you wrote. I told him that is how I feel when someone loves my book or my blogs, or writes a comment, or sends a private message about how much they relate or it changed their life. I think he is finally starting to get that.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

What COVID-19 and Postpartum Mood Disorders Have In Common:”We Are Not All In the Same Boat”

I have often wondered why only some women get postpartum mood disorders if we all go through the same hormone changes, etc. I discuss this in my book some, but lately I have been wanting to blog about how this compares to how people are dealing differently with the current COVID-19 pandemic. I have heard it said more than once during this that we are not all in the same boat right now. Some have lost their jobs, some are still working but fear getting sick, some want to work and can’t, some have small businesses and may lose everything, some have gotten stimulus checks and/or unemployment, others have not. Some of us know people who have died or have been or are sick, some of us do not yet. We all know of someone though, including some famous people.

Some of us are enjoying time at home, some are sick of being home and it is affecting their mental health. Some wish they could be home and working through this is affecting theirs. Some already have a history of mental illness, others do not. Although I do suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder with anxiety and had postpartum depression years ago, I am actually probably doing better than most during the pandemic. I am making more money during the pandemic than before. I am still getting paid by my work while babysitting for essential employees and received a $2,900 stimulus. My husband is still working and my daughter is 12 and doing school from home. She is a very good student, is gifted and hardly ever needs help, so that is going well.

I can still walk the dogs, I get to swim with the kids I babysit with and play video games and board games with them. I have actually caught up on all my TV shows and started some new ones and watched several movies. I have even re-watched some of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some challenges. For one, like everyone else, I have been scared at times. I have never experienced anything like this in my lifetime. I am scared of high risk people I know getting sick, I am scared of me and my family getting sick. I also regularly get massages to help manage pain from an injury from falling down the stairs years ago. I have gone a while without one and I am feeling it ,and having to use every other way to try and manage it in the mean time.

Of course I miss going to the movies, and out to eat, and getting my hair cut and my dogs bathed and their nails trimmed, those last two are torture to do myself, let me tell you. I miss my work babies and my coworkers so much. Also, the kids I babysit do not willingly do their school work, so that has been a fun challenge, that may have given me a panic attack one day. They are also siblings who fight a lot and I am used to an only child.

When women have children, they do not all have the same support from their spouse and family and friends. Some have none, some have a lot, some work, some stay at home, some have more money than others, some have a history of mental illness, some have a great birth experience, some have a horrible one, some planned their pregnancies, some did not, some had an easy time getting pregnant, some had a very hard time, some experienced deaths or layoffs or other sad experiences around the time they had a child, while others did not, some already have several kids different ages, some have none, some are younger when they have kids, some are older, and all have different life experiences.  Some babies are great sleepers, others are not, some babies are happy all the time, some have colic and cry all the time.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my real father died. We had not spoken in three years. Less than a year after she was born my grandfather passed and I was laid off from my job. My daughter was not a good sleeper and I did not handle sleep deprivation well at all. When my daughter was 2, my husband left me and I finally lost it enough to not hide my depression anymore and got help. I knew many had been through worse, but it was the worst I had ever been through. I once had a dream where I had a rash, but other people around me had a worse rash. Mine kept getting ignored because it was not as bad, until it got worse and worse and I could not stop itching. We are not all in the same boat. Regardless of our religious, political or other beliefs, this is affecting everyone differently, so we should all try and have some compassion for everyone. No one knows the right or wrong way to react to this yet. Most of us are trying our best though.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Infertility After a Postpartum Mood Disorder

I had my first child 12 years ago. She was very planned. I always thought I would have two kids about two years apart. This changed when I got severe postpartum depression, OCD and Anxiety with my first child that almost ended my marriage. We eventually worked things out and my husband wanted more kids, but I was not sure I wanted any ever again after what I went through. As I got older, and it started to feel like we might soon run out of time to have more kids, I started to want more, and not just one more, maybe even two or three. I was no longer scared of getting a postpartum mood disorder again, and even if I did I knew everyone around me would know what to do this time. I have my OCD and Anxiety under control for now, and even in the worst of moments now, I want more kids, there is no longer any doubt ever, whatsoever. Unfortunately, once I finally got to that point, I had trouble getting pregnant.

The first time I tried to get pregnant, I was 25 and it happened in less than 2 months.  Years later, I would be trying again in my early 30’s with no luck. I went to the doctor after a year of no luck just to check for the common reasons. The ultrasound came back okay, but the blood test revealed my progesterone was low. I found this interesting since low progesterone was linked to postpartum depression. Was the same thing that caused me to get it, now causing me to be unable to get pregnant? So here I am, not only dealing with infertility, I was also dealing with bad painful acne I did not have even have as a teenager, three week periods most months, and what I felt like was a lot of unexplained weight gain. You would think maybe the solution to this was progesterone,  but the only solution they offered was Chlomid, a fertility pill.

There seemed to be no concern about my other symptoms, just the infertility. This fertility pill has a lot of side effects, one main one being your chance of twins increased by 10 percent and your chance of more than twins by 1 percent I believe. Your chance of having twins or more already increases with age, even if they are not in your close family. I was already dealing with so many crazy things going on with my body, I was not quite ready to try it. My doctor said I could come back and try it if I ever wanted to, but since I had a child before with no trouble and was still pretty young, there was still a good chance I could pregnant without it. As I do with everything, I researched and to do this day still do not know what caused what. Did my weight gain cause my progesterone to lower or vice versa or maybe both, a viscous cycle? A friend of mine who is a midwife once told me the low progesterone was still a symptom of something else, still not the cause, so what was the cause? If postpartum depression was the cause, how come I was over it but my progesterone was still low?

Eventually, I got back on birth control for a short time to try and resolve the three week periods, painful acne and some other symptoms, and it helped. I had to get on a different kind than before though because I had always taken the pill, but it was starting to seem to make my back and neck pain worse. I came off of birth control again and have been trying again since 35, and I am now 38 and still not pregnant. Before you think maybe I am trying so much I am stressing about it and not getting pregnant, like people who get pregnant as soon as they adopt, when I say trying, I really mean more like not not trying. When my husband and I decided to have Aubrie, we basically just decided to come off the pill and let it happen when it happened, and it happened pretty quickly. These days I find myself caught between, maybe I am too old now to get pregnant the same way I did at 25, but if I try too hard won’t the stress possibly still stop me from getting pregnant?

I have also never had the desire to go through a lot of fertility stuff and neither does my husband. I mean no one obviously wants to, but I mean so much so that if we had trouble the first time I would have rather gone straight to considering adoption. I would have honestly rather adopted anyways, but my husband does not feel the same way and I have yet to change his mind. I think he would have the first time if we had no other choice, but now that we have a child, even though he wants more, he would rather not have anymore than adopt. I have known the man 24 years and still cannot explain why, because he cannot even explain why himself. I have seen him change his mind about other things that shocked me though, so I have not completely given up hope that he will one day come around to it.

For those of you wondering, yes it feels odd to not be able to have more children after one point wishing my only child away, thinking I regretted having her and thinking I did not want anymore. There was some guilt for a while, but I don’t feel it anymore and I definitely don’t think I deserve this. I thought working at the preschool might help with the baby fever, but it only made it worse, and now I am missing my work babies like crazy during this pandemic. They were at least filling that void in my life, and I mainly kept children the ages my postpartum depression was the worst, so I was getting to enjoy the ages I missed out on so much with my first child.  In the last 6 months, I have lost 24 pounds and am still losing.  However, I still weight 31 more pounds than I weighed when I got pregnant the first time.  I am hoping if I continue to lose weight, maybe I will be able to get pregnant again.  If I ever do, you know I will be blogging about it in the future, so keep your eyes out in future blogs…..

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Support Groups for Postpartum Mood Disorders

I just started a support group on my page, but I realize it may take a while to build some members. Please join and share with others and once enough join there should be a lot of support and posts. In the mean time here are some related groups on Facebook that already have many members you can join. I was a member of a Facebook support group when I was recovering and it was comforting to talk to others all over the world experiencing the same thing:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/PPAsupport/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2268015780176370/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/mamaswithanxiety.ocd.panic/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/25960478598/

Also, please join my private support group if you think you have had or currently have a postpartum mood disorder for private discussion and support, you are not alone!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/643640393133446/about/

The PSI online support groups meet everyday. Different hours every day. Excellent facilitators. Go to postpartum.net and covid resources and scroll down till you see online support groups. You have to register but it’s free.

“PSI is launching a new monthly online support group for dads! Our online groups are here to help you connect with other fathers and father surrogates. We hope that you will talk and listen to other dads as they process their experience (the great parts and the not so great parts); learn about helpful tools and resources and realize you are NOT alone.
Whether you are going through stress, adjustment to parenting, Daddy Blues, or trying to figure out how best to support your partner, our groups are here for you.
Our next meeting is September 4th and our meetings will take place on the first Friday of every month at 7am PST/10am EST!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Risk Factors for Getting a Postpartum Mood Disorder

Below are the most common risk factors for getting postpartum mood disorders:

    • You have a history of depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar or another mood disorder, either during pregnancy or at other times
    • You have a family history of mood disorders and/or postpartum mood disorders
    • You had a postpartum mood disorder after a previous pregnancy
    • You’ve experienced stressful events during the past year, including illness, job loss, death of loved ones, or pregnancy complications
    • You’re having problems in your relationship with your spouse or significant other
    • You have a weak support system
    • You have financial problems
    • traumatic birth experience
    • baby has health issues
    • You had trouble getting pregnant
    • The pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted (although in my case it was very planned and that resulted in high expectations, trying to be supermom, see last risk factor)
    • trying to hard to be supermom; high expectations

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

32 Symptoms of Postpartum Depression

Below are 32 symptoms of postpartum depression.  Some of these symptoms also apply to other postpartum mood disorders. I originally thought I had 30 of the 32, but actually had all 32, because even though I did not self-harm, I had suicidal thoughts, and even though I don’t remember being scared to leave the house, I remember being anxious to leave the house or do anything really:

Angry Outbursts

Anxiety/Worry/Panic

Appetite changes

Attachment or connection to my baby missing

Concentration/lack of focus/forgetful

Loss of confidence/unsure of myself

Crying/sad/depressed/teary

Feeling like a failure/inadequate parent

Guilt and shame

Hopelessness/things will never improve/despair/loss of

power/helpless

Indecisive/changing my mind/confused

Irritability/Agitation/Cranky

Isolation/loneliness

Lack of joy

Loss of control/out of control

Loss of motivation and energy/enthusiasm

Negative/irrational thoughts

Not caring/numbness

Obsessive behaviours/manic about cleaning

Overwhelmed

Resentful of spouse

Scared to leave the house

Self-loathing/hating self/critical of self

Self-harm

Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Lowered self-esteem

Sleeping problems/insomnia

Stressed/unable to relax

Tired/exhausted/fatigue

Unable to cope/complete tasks

Unable to socialise/withdrawn from family and friends

Want to run away/don’t want to be a parent

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.