He got me. Someone got me. Not only did he have a good idea of what was most likely wrong with me hormonallybut his own wife had gone through PPD and he had helped her too. Dr. Loy was not only a great doctor, but he took my situation seriously and personally. Again, God had placed me with the right person at the right time. Just in time!
We sat and talked (and I cried) about what I had gone through, my specific symptoms, my fears. He kept nodding his head and taking notes. He knew what questions to ask and how to answer mine. He was pretty sure he knew what was wrong already, but we would have to
wait for the blood test results to come in. By the next appointment, it was confirmed. My Prolactin level was too high, which made my Dopamine (the "happy hormone") level too low. (This explained why I was still lactating, and my periods were thrown off, and of course my roller-coaster emotions and lack of mental well-being.) And just like that, it was explained. It made sense. I was beyond relieved to hear a clear diagnosis-to finally get to the root of the problem, and to know that something "physical" had shown up. I was validated. I was not hopeless. The cause was not "hidden" anymore and I wasn't crazy! I can't imagine the level of disappointment that could have hit me had they not found something wrong. (Then what? Where would I have gone next?)
He gave me a prescription for "Parlodel" and brought up other important ways to stay on track. (like being more careful with my caffeine intake)
I think of how the odds were against me even in seeing this doctor. There were two or three occasions when I missed my appointments and it was frustrating. (Like the first time we drove to see him and went to the wrong office by mistake, and had to re-schedule. We got home from Orlando that day and I just sat in the car and wept.) But it was worth the trouble. I only wish I had found him a lot sooner. I would give anything to get that first year back, and to have had a normal postpartum experience. I could have saved myself from so much trauma and struggle, emotionally and mentally. By the time I found Dr. Loy, so much damage had been done. So many ripple effects. Even though we had found the cause, it would take time to find myself again, to let God restore my soul and re-build my confidence. I joke and say that I spent a year losing my mind, and then another year getting it back! Even so, just finding out what was wrong physically brought some deeper healing as well. Once the hormones were under control, I could start to get control back in other areas.
I began taking Parlodel, which was hard to adjust to at first, and had a few minor side effects, but it worked. IT WORKED. My hormone levels stabilized, and eventually normalized. I stayed on it for almost a year, but within that year was
able to completely come off of Xanax (a miracle in itself) and had already weaned off of all anti-depressants. I kept getting better. I kept pressing on. I wrote new songs. I slept better. I became a better mom. I laughed more easily. I journaled. I ran. I trusted. I prayed. I read. I took vitamins. I moved forward. I fell in love with my new little son. And romance returned for my husband!
I wasn't the same person anymore, (that I had been before going through PPD) but at least I felt like a person again, and in some ways a better person.
And I can honestly say that I have never gone completely "back" since finding the right medical help. I have had some rough days, but nothing like before. My husband noticed the change within weeks, and it was here to stay.
Early this year, I met with my doctor and he saw remarkable improvement. He felt that it was okay for me to wean off of the hormone med and even encouraged me to have another baby! He was confident that I would be fine if I had another child, and said that if anything did go wrong, they would be available to help right away. It was comforting to hear those words coming from someone like him. I haven't seen him since then, but I did call his office a few months later with some good news and a few questions.
I have been medication-free for over 9 months now, and speaking of 9 months...I am having another baby boy!! "The Lord Restores." That has been a short but profound statement that I have spoken when talking about this pregnancy to friends of mine. Some days, I still can't believe that I am really pregnant again. But as I write this blog, I can feel little "Malachi" kicking away! Hope is real. Believe it! Restoration is alive. Joy comes in the morning.
I will write more when the time is right. There is a lot more to my story, but I wanted to give some closure to it before I have the baby. I also want to thank everyone for their prayers and support throughout this difficult but beautiful journey! Please keep us in your prayers again, as we welcome our new baby and trust God with the days and months that follow.
"Here on Earth you may have many troubles and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." -John 16:33