My Battle with Postpartum OCD
This week is OCD Awareness week.
I wanted to be vulnerable and share my battle with Maternal – Postpartum OCD.
I don’t want to share too much because intrusive thoughts can trigger behavior in others so before I start I want to say if you are experiencing ANY intrusive thoughts during postpartum please text 800-944-4773.
So many people think OCD is all about cleaning and counting but it’s much more than that. OCD is a shorter term for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Maternal or Perinatal OCD symptoms include compulsions, obsessive and intrusive thoughts, and protective behaviors that occur during pregnancy and a time period after birth.
One of my obsessive thoughts that I will share and hear from other moms is the fear of a car hitting me on my left side. For 2 years, I could not ride in a car without thinking someone would hit us or hit me. Even when I wasn’t in the car the obsessive thought haunted me every day. Another one was limiting who could have access to Astin. I was protective over information, my postpartum OCD, and hormonal imbalance, and clouded my braid with thoughts that the nurse or my family would take him away. I will share more details in my blog. I struggled severely for two years with compulsions and horrible dark thoughts. I struggled with the fear of my son being taken from me, someone breaking into my home, and so many haunting thoughts that left me frozen for hours sometimes. I share this to say if you experienced anything similar, please feel free to reach out to your doctor, or therapist or text 800-944-4773.
I suffered from Perinatal OCD and did not recognize it until I learned the symptoms from Maternal Mental Health Organization and a licensed psychiatrist.
According to the International OCD Foundation, Maternal or Perinatal OCD impacts up to 5% of pregnant and postpartum women.
6 Ways to Support the Infertility Warriors in Your Life
Words from an infertility warrior .
1.Relaxing doesn’t work 🤣. Stop telling women that relaxing makes babies when we also know babies can be born through rape, incest, trauma and more. We also know if mind worked over matter, everyone would have perfect vision and cancer would be eradicated. Be a good supportive friend and know that infertile friends are receiving a lot of stupid advice that are wives tales and hurtful. Ask how you can help and what type of I’m advice they’d like that day.
2. Saying “I can’t imagine what you’re going through” hurts. No, most people can’t imagine and never will. Empathy, not sympathy is needed. If you’re not willing to move with empathy, just don’t contact the friend.
3. Help men around you understand that not all babies are made from sex. Most micro aggressions come from men. Teach your partners, husbands, boyfriends, brothers, and sons, that there are many other ways to make babies – and it’s never their place to ask why or when a baby is coming into someone else’s lives.
4.Stop saying, “it’s just not your time.” Incredibly hurtful when it’s all your heart wants. Again, we don’t tell a 15-year-old rape victim that it’s their time. Conception science is jus that, science. No one is the authority on timing and it shouldn’t be considered when discussing someone’s desires.
5.Get your egg count checked, TODAY. Go to the doctor and ask for bloodwork to check your levels and help you plan for the near or distant future. For many infertile women, their prime time for kids was probably adolescence. Just because your having regular periods doesn’t mean you’ll always have eggs until typical menopause years.
Last one , but certainly not least
– 6. Stack hands with infertile women and advocate for more insurance to cover these needs. Every woman should have the fight to pursue healthcare for reproductive organs just as others do for digestive, respiratory, skeletal, and other systems. It’s already a burden for women to carry the trauma and emotional burden or infertility. Adding a financial burden only makes a difficult time more stressful and less attainable.