#stand4moms: Amanda

My name is Amanda, and I am a continuing survivor of postpartum OCD.

Where do I start? Well, my husband and I had a very hard journey when we started to try to have children.

When my husband and I were trying, it was harder than we ever imagined because everyone made it look so easy! So, this statement will take you into the journey we had that lead to my postpartum.

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant, I was working for a pediatrician’s office. I ended up having a miscarriage at work when I was 7 weeks along. I was devastated and wondered why and how this happened to me! The doctors, of course,  just told me it is common and couldn’t really give a explanation why. I was so depressed, and I actually ended up quitting my job because I couldn’t be around babies and pregnant moms. Plus, it was so hard to talk to anyone about it because I felt like no one could understand the pain I was going through.

As my husband and I started to somewhat heal from the miscarriage, we started to try again. We ended up getting pregnant for the second time almost two months later. We were so excited, but so scared at the same time.

When I came home I told my husband the awful news, and we both just held one another and prayed to God that he would lift us up to him and take away our pain and anger. I was so depressed that I shut down and didn’t leave the house or my bed for a while.
— Amanda

When I was five weeks along in that pregnancy, I miscarried again. The timing was awful because I was hosting a baby shower for one of my friends at home home when it happened. That was one of the worst experiences I have ever had in my life. I went back to my OB once again, watching the ultrasound and not hearing my baby’s heartbeat again.

When I came home I told my husband the awful news, and we both just held one another and prayed to God that he would lift us up to him and take away our pain and anger. I was so depressed that I shut down and didn’t leave the house or my bed for a while.

A couple of days after the miscarriage my doctor personally called me and told me she is going to get to the bottom of this and I would not have this happen to me again! I was so touched by her voicemail that I knew God had his hand on us.

The next week I had a appointment to see my OB, and she explained to me the steps she wanted to take in order to figure out why my miscarriages kept happening. Let me tell you: I was so grateful for her, but I felt like a lab rat! Some of the procedures where so painful, but in my heart I knew it was all in God’s timing.

After all the tests and blood work, all came back normal. Since she couldn’t find anything, she sent me to a infertility specialist. I was so frustrated at this point. When we met with the specialist, he told me that he as well would like to do blood work and tests. Ugh! I was so over being a lab rat, but I was willing to continue to get help!

 Amanda and her son, Cole, when he was a few months old.

Amanda and her son, Cole, when he was a few months old.

After he ran his tests, he also found nothing unusual! But he said there was one thing that he wanted me to try, and that was for me to take progesterone. Two months after I started using progesterone, God blessed us with our son! My husband and I were over-the-moon happy and filled with so much relief and joy! In the back of my mind, though, I was scared to miscarry again. Every time I went to the bathroom I was scared I was going to see blood. And I did! I bled bright-red blood throughout my whole pregnancy and had ultrasounds every week. I was considered a high-risk pregnancy.

Every time I had a ultrasound, though, my son was just fine. I knew God had his hands on him the whole time, but it was not a joyful pregnancy due to the constant bleeding. I was petrified to even lift a half-gallon of milk because I thought I would lose my baby!

My son was born via a caesarean section, and that was a very hard recovery for me. After I got home from the hospital I was super anxious and fearful. I was always so scared that he would not be there when I woke him up. I would just cry all the time to my husband because I was so fearful. I even constantly asked my husband, “Cole’s ok right?

For example, I washed my hands so much because I was so scared that Cole would get sick from people and germs. My hands started to dry up and crack, and they even bled. I had a guy say to me, “Who did you fight?” That’s how bad they looked.

I was scared that if I opened up to someone they would take my son away from me.
— Amanda

I never wanted to leave my house either because I was so anxious and fearful. My mom had to drag me out of the house. I would only go to doctors appointments for my son.

I remember crying hysterically while rocking my son to sleep because I felt like I was a awful mom. I thought I should be so happy, especially since we had such a hard journey. I didn’t know who to talk to. I was scared that if I opened up to someone they would take my son away from me. I also never slept because I always wanted to be next to Cole and make sure he was OK.

It got to the point to where I was having intrusive thoughts -- thoughts a person should not normally think about. I knew that these thoughts were not normal, whatsoever.

I cried to my mom and told her I needed help. I knew that what was going on with me emotionally was not normal. I started to feel like the hospital was the only place that was safe for me. I was so scared.

I swear God puts people in your life for a reason. My neighbor, whom I barely knew at the time, talked to me about her severe postpartum anxiety at a get-together in our neighborhood. While listening to her story I wanted to just confide in her and tell her, “I think I have it too,” but I was in such denial and scared to say anything.

A few weeks later I hit rock bottom. I knew it was time to tell someone and get it under control because I needed to be better for my family.

I called my neighbor and told her. She was helpful and comforting. She even cried to me over the phone because it brought back her memories, and she could relate to everything I was feeling. That day she guided me in the direction of how to get help, and that was to see a psychiatrist and to be put on medicine.

Once I saw my psychiatrist she made me feel like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders! She told me how common it was and reassured me that this WILL BE FIXED! Once I started my medicine, I felt better every day. I was able to actually enjoy my son, and my husband felt like he finally had his wife back.

 Amanda and her family.

Amanda and her family.

My son is now a year old. I still see my psychiatrist once in a while, and I am still taking my medicine. I know the postpartum OCD will not last forever, and I’m so glad I got help.

Ladies, I am sharing my story because I want y’all to know that you’re not alone. I am so passionate about this that I volunteer to help others who are going through the same thing. I am always here for anyone who needs to talk. My heart and prayers are with every single one of you.