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Haunted

by Miranda on September 7, 2011

I’ve been dodging a phone call for a week now. A phone call from my insurance company welcoming me to their Healthy Pregnancy program. I finally called back today on my way out of school thinking that the 10 minutes I had on the ride to get Joshua would be plenty of time to answer their questions, get myself enrolled, and not have to worry about talking to them again until 26 weeks or so.

The overly friendly, exuberant operator was giddy when I confirmed my pregnancy and gave her my due date. She said the word “wonderful” no less than 57 times while I was on the phone with her. She reminded me that this was free to me no less than 30 times. She let me know that if I called back with my insurance group number she could tell me if I qualified for any additional–and free–services.

And then we got to the Q&A portion of the phone call. Everything was pretty routine. Until it wasn’t.

“How many pregnancies, including this one, have you had?”

“Two.”

“Have you ever had a miscarriage or abortion?”

“No.”

“Have you ever had a stillbirth or a baby die shortly after birth?”

“No.”

And then the questions regarding my last pregnancy came. My pregnancy with Joshua. That pregnancy that is so very different in so many ways from this one.

“Were you ever diagnosed with gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or postpartum depression?”

“Yes. Postpartum depression.”

“Oh, okay, Miranda…do you have a pen and paper ready? I need to give you a phone number.”

My heart sank a little at having to answer “yes” to that question. I was driving so I couldn’t write the number down. She let me know that I qualified for extra services because of my previous diagnosis of having postpartum depression and she informed me that I was at increased risk of the depression returning with subsequent pregnancies.

Because I didn’t already know that, right?

Because I haven’t spent the past 5 weeks with “What if I get PPD again?” hovering around in the back of my mind?

Because I haven’t thought “What if it’s worse this time?” and fatalistically resigned myself to knowing that it’s more than a possibility?

When her portion of the call was over, she let me know that a nurse was on the line to take over. So I waited and the nurse answered, nearly as chipper as the first person had been.

The nurse informed me that she was my extra services based on my answering “yes” to having had postpartum depression. Once again I was reminded that I’m at increased risk because of my previous diagnosis. And then I was told that a support group would be a great idea, as well as letting my doctors know how I was doing so they could monitor my care.

“Do you have a support group in place?”

“Yes.”

And I do, thank God.

“Is your doctor aware of your previous condition?”

I should hope so.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Was your postpartum depression resolved, or did it become a diagnosis of chronic depression?”

“Resolved, I think. But I had a diagnosis of depression before becoming pregnant that put me at higher risk.”

Depression is like fog rolling into my life when I’m sleeping. I go to bed thinking all is fine and I wake up the next morning and there it is, obscuring my path. I feel like I’m somewhat free of its grasp, though perhaps in the grasp of another equally mean-spirited demon, and there it is again, ripping at my heart.

Haunting me.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy September 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Oh. Oh. That would be so hard. Especially while driving. (((Hugs)))

Have you considered maybe going back on an anti-depressant for the last month or so of pregnancy to cut PPD off at the pass (so to speak)? It was something that my OB and I talked about doing with me since I’m diagnosed with depression/anxiety disorder anyway. So I thought I would throw it out there as an idea for you in case you haven’t heard it already (even though you probably have and are thinking, “Shut up, Amy. I’m not an idiot.).

Anyway. Sending hugs and hopes that things get better.

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2 Miranda September 7, 2011 at 9:05 pm

It’s definitely something I’m thinking about. I just hate the thought of taking medication if I don’t need it on the chance that I do, you know?

And no, I wasn’t thinking that you’re an idiot. Not at all. A friend, actually.

And thanks.

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3 Ryan (The Woven Moments) September 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Thank you for sharing this post. When we are open about our PPD, it sheds light on the condition and chases away the shame and stigma.

I believe you’ve helped other women with this post!

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4 Miranda September 8, 2011 at 10:08 am

I agree we have to be open about it.

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5 Rach (DonutsMama) September 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Miranda, I really, truly hope things are different this time around. You have your online support group and we’re ready when you need us.

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6 Miranda September 8, 2011 at 10:09 am

I’m so thankful to have y’all.

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7 Kimberly September 8, 2011 at 12:39 am

You are always stronger than it. Always. Everyday you wake up and facet takes so much strength.
Yes there is a risk of it returning but what if it doesn’t?
You have a network now of support around you.
You can do this.
I know you can.

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8 Miranda September 8, 2011 at 10:09 am

Thank you for believing in me, Kim.

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9 Jackie September 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I hope that this time there is no depression. But like everyone else has said you have a great support group!

Congrats on the pregnancy too!!

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10 Miranda September 13, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Thank you. And I hope that, too.

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11 Hopes@Staying Afloat! September 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Oh I can only imagine how hard that call was for you, and while you were driving no less! Big ((HUGS)) I’m glad you have such a great support system. The women in the blogging community are amazing arent’t hey??

I’m keeping my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed that things are different with this pregnancy!

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12 Miranda September 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm

They ARE wonderful. I’m so happy to have found them.

And don’t cross your eyes while you drive. And probably your fingers. I think that would be bad.

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13 Jess September 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm

hugs.

That is all.

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14 Miranda September 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm

hugs are always welcome. Thank you.

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15 Law Momma September 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm

The thing about fog though is that if you know it’s coming, you can sort of avoid the places where it gets the worst… around lakes and rivers, on bridges. I think you’re going to maneuver your way through this spectacularly, honest I do. The fact that you are so aware can only be a good thing.

Besides, you have us. All of us. And we love you!

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16 Miranda September 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Ahh! Look at you being all philosophical and RIGHT! :)

I’m glad I have all of y’all. I love y’all, too.

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17 John September 13, 2011 at 3:05 pm

That whole premise is absolutely bullshit! Completely. Nobody is ever cured from depression, of any kind . . . and it’s ludicrous to think that anyone who has ever been depressed doesn’t know that depression could return. Gah!

I’m irate reading this, and I only barely know you.

But, you also know that you always, always, always have us to turn to, right?

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18 Miranda September 13, 2011 at 6:27 pm

No need to be irate. I know her questions were probably coming not from a place of flippancy about depression. And I do think that postpartum depression is different from clinical depression. Some women have PPD and then come out of it and never suffer again. I know that my case is different since I had clinical depression before having PPD.

And I do know that I have y’all and I’m forever grateful for that.

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