“New Patient” Forms

Today was the first gynecology appointment I have had since I had my 6 week postpartum check-up after Calvin was born – so it’s been about a year and a half since I’ve been for one of these kinds of check-ups.

I have a new doctor – my old OB-GYN moved her practice out of Abilene, so I got to fill out all the “new patient” forms today. As I was filling out the forms, I had to answer questions about any past pregnancies, medical conditions, etc., as is typical on these types of forms. I kept waiting for the place where I would have to check that I had experienced postpartum depression. It ended up not being in the context of “postpartum depression,” but there was a spot to check for “anxiety” and “depression,” which I checked because of some obvious history there.

After getting in the exam room, the nurse came in to ask me the typical questions they ask you, even though you just filled out 10 pages of forms in the waiting room.

Nurse – “Did you have any complications during labor?”

Me – “No, labor went great.”(Here it comes, I was thinking – she’s going to ask me if I had any postpartum depression…)

Nurse – “Did you breastfeed your baby?”

Me – “Only for three weeks, and then we started bottle feeding.” (Because I went to the hospital for postpartum depression…)

The question actually never came up, which I was grateful for. I didn’t expect to be triggered as much as I was by a normal gynecology appointment, but I certainly was today. I felt on edge the whole time – and the feelings of guilt and shame have surfaced more today than they have in a while.

It’s weird how suddenly old feelings can come right back with no warning – if you’ve had any sort of traumatic experiences I’m sure you understand the feeling. I know I’m still in a healing process, mentally and emotionally. Please say a quick prayer for me if you get an extra minute today.

All that being said, my new doctor is great – and his RN is a wonderful woman who I got to have a great talk with about wanting a natural pregnancy and labor for any future children I might have someday. I feel confident that I’m with the right doctors to have a safe and pleasant experience if childbirth is in my future again. I’m thankful to God to feel this way – thankful to him for leading me to the right place and people.

And I’m so thankful for my son, Calvin, and my wonderful and supportive husband, Dean. I’ve said it before, but if I could choose to go back and change how my whole pregnancy/birth/postpartum experience went, I wouldn’t. It has taught me a lot, and continues to remind me to have compassion and grace for people. It reminds me that I’m not perfect, and that it’s okay.

Thanks for reading ❤

 

4 thoughts on ““New Patient” Forms

  1. I’m praying for you Erica. I’m so thankful you are able to help others with their anxiety and that you are such a great mother to Calvin and great wife to my son. Love you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was wondering if there is anything that you can do during pregnancy to avoid postpartum depression. That’s not something I know much about, though I ache for friends who have gone through it. Are there any predictors for it? I think one of the worst things would be its catching you by surprise, when you expect to joyfully welcome your new baby and instead you get all the feelings that go along with PPD.

    And by the way, I’m sorry for the triggering events yesterday. Praying that your heart can be at peace today. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sherry. The only predictor I know of, though I’m sure there is more research, would be if you have had a previous history of depression. I do have a history with it, but I felt like it had been under control for a long time before I gave birth, so I wasn’t expecting it. If we ever have a second child, I will definitely be on guard to watch for signs and to make sure I have a lot of extra support available.

      Like

  3. Thank you for sharing and being so vulnerable. You are certainly not alone. I praying that God fill you with peace and that you are overwhelmed with the love and pride He feels for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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