Speaker: What did you know about PPD prior to Thaydra's experience?
Diane: Other than the horror stories that are in the news, I read an article in the gynecologistís office, that was her doctor, when she went in one of her monthly visits before she had Stephen, other than that no.
Speaker: Did the thought cross your mind when she was pregnant that PPD could be a possible issue?
Diane: Well no, not at first. I had read that article when she was probably about three months pregnant. And in her fifth month she went into severe anxiety and thatís when it crossed my mind that it could happen.
Speaker: So you noticed changes in her even while she was pregnant with Stephen?
Diane: In her fifth month she was experiencing anxiety, yes.
Speaker: Was that connected to when you had been told that Stephen could have issues?
Diane: Well ...
Thaydra: Yeah, but she didnít know that. I never told her because I knew she would worry. So she didnít know until after. I know itís horrible but I didnít want her to, because then she would worry about the baby and me and so I didnít really want her to worry.
Speaker: So when you did notice the anxiety, you didnít ask her about it? Did you ask her about it?
Diane: Well, when she was going through the anxiety, Thaydra couldnít even do her food shopping. She had to leave work early. I used to drive her to work thatís how bad the anxiety was, at one point. And then even her food shopping I would go in with her and then sheíd have to leave so I said to her, why donít you let me do your food shopping? But she didnít want that. She kept saying, Iím going to be a mom, I need to do this myself. So we made a deal. I said, weíll go in, weíll do the food shopping, have your list with you and whatever you canít finish up, Iílll do and you go wait in the car. So thatís when PPD came to my mind that it could happen, and thatís in her fifth month. Thatís when it started.
Speaker: Thaydra, I know that you said you kept the anxiety from your mom but after Stephen was born I know that you wanted to hide it, you didnít want to show what you were going through whereas Mom, did you start to pick up on changes in her behavior immediately?
Diane: When she went to the hospital, we had talked to them before she went into the hospital to have our first grandson, her first child. We said, look we donít want to be meddling grandparents because we live right around the corner. What weíll do is, weíll drop meals off at your house. Iíll do the food shopping. Iíll do your wash. And then we were dropping things off, my son-in-law would come out to pick them up, come to the door. We werenít seeing the baby and we were fine with that because we figured they were new parents, they wanted to be with their baby alone. They were hiding it well. My son-in-law stayed home for the first three weeks and I got the next week. And when I got there, I knew it. It was the blank stare, the confusion, not crying yet, not crying yet.
Thaydra: Well, I was crying, but not in front of you.
Diane: But not in front of me at that point. At that point, no crying yet. And I talked to her and asked her how she felt and I said, we need to get help. And at that point, I think Thaydra was happy that I mentioned we need to get help because at that point she was ready to give it up. She wanted the help.
Speaker: So what types of things was she doing that was out of the norm?
Diane: I can see, she was confused about anything she did. She was confused about, if she had to do something she would stand there and stare at it for a while. I picked it up probably in the middle of the week, only because I probably would have picked it up at the beginning of the week, but she was saying Iím going to take a nap and I want to hold Stephen. So I would clean while they were doing that and then my son-in-law would come home a little earlier. They were hiding it well until like Wednesday of that week. Tuesday night I said to my husband, I have to have a talk with her tomorrow. And she was laying across the bed and thatís when she started to cry. And I immediately called Ö
Thaydra: Because when you wanted to have a talk with me was the same day that I told you too.
Diane: Yes, that was it. I said we need to, you canít do this alone. We need to get help. So I knew of a very good therapist and it just so happened that he Ö had an office in Ridgewood. And when I tried to contact him he had moved to Red Bank. So I drove her down there and than he said to me, why donít you call her insurance company and see if theyíll do telephone therapy, if theyíll cover it? And they did.
Thaydra: Yeah, but for Stephen thatís when I started working with Dr. Campbell. I think more for the babies Ö
Diane: Oh for the babies, Iím so sorry. But she did take the same therapist I got the therapist for her and along with medication the therapist had said, you know Diane we canít work with her because sheís crying so much sheís going to need to go on medication which she didnít want to do.
Thaydra: They couldnít really talk to me even, because I just would cry.
Diane: No, she would just cry.
Thaydra: I couldnít even really communicate.
Diane: We tried the babysitting thing. Weíd babysit and next thing you know they were going to the movies, they came back 10 minutes later, I canít go. Yeah, I noticed it my first week.
Thaydra: I had a lot more anxiety with Stephen than I did with the twins. The twinsí pregnancy I have to say, like I told you, was excellent. It was Stephenís, was horrible. Stephenís was more anxiety in the beginning and postpartum at the end. And like you said that was actually after I was told about what he had because before that I was, the first two months I guess, I was OK. It was just after they told me, thatís when I started getting the panic attacks and the anxiety.
Speaker: Yeah, especially thinking about all of the things that might go wrong. So Diane what were your feelings when you realized that something was seriously going on with Thaydra and she needed, you needed to step in and get her help? What were you thinking?
Diane: My feelings were fear and actually fear and sorrow for Thaydra and my son-in-law and my grandson. Sorry, thatís what my husband and I felt .
Speaker: Were you afraid that she wouldnít go back to the way she was before and that she wouldnít be able to take care of herself and the baby?
Diane: When you see this happening to your child and I know what a good mother she is, we knew Thaydra would be a good mom, and sheís just, itís, she canít do anything. All she did was walk back and forth to the mirror, look in the mirror and cry.
Thaydra: The bathroom was my room.
Diane: The bathroom was Thaydraís place. We would say go out and get your nails done. Once she started getting a little better, sheíd get in the car and all you would see was (patting her eyes), in the car for five minutes, wiping her eyes, wiping her eyes. And you know, itís sad. You know thatís the time you should enjoy, they were so looking forward to having the baby and my husband and I would worry about it. It was fear and we were sad for them.
Speaker: So the day that she came to you and you at the same time were going to her to address about what was going on, were you relieved because you were finally getting to figure out what was going on with her?
Speaker: Were you surprised? I mean, I donít know exactly what Thaydra said to you when you guys talked about it.
Diane: I just asked her how she was feeling and she told me. And I said to her, Thaydra you should have talked to me before this. We could have started the process sooner. So I, yeah, I was relieved and so was my husband and honestly we didnít waste any time. I was on the phone probably five minutes later.
Speaker: And when did you start to see a change in her as far as getting her recovery?
Diane: I know this very well. I saw the change in August. Stephen was born June 22nd and we started seeing the change in August. I was keeping a journal and then after the journal, after she started getting better I said to her, you need to keep a journal. At first when I went to the doctor with her he said to me, she needs to keep a journal. This was the psychiatrist that had to give her the medication, not the therapist. And I said to him, Doctor she canít even think straight. How can she keep a journal? Well I want her to keep it. So I just thought, well, OK. I kept a journal and didnít let her know about it. And how you saw she was getting better was, she wasnít asking the same things over again. She would ask, Mom, when am I going to get better? She wasnít saying that anymore. And she was back to taking control because thatís Thaydra. She has to be in control of everything. When I saw she could do it, I wasnít getting a lot of phone calls, which I didnít mind. She would call me up, and how I really did notice is when I called her and she would say, I canít talk right now, Iím busy. And we went, whew. Thatís when we really started to notice.
Speaker: Did you take her to the support group after Stephen or the twins?
Thaydra: The twins.
Diane: The twins.
Thaydra: The twins.
Speaker: Can you talk a little about that second experience after she brought the twins home? How was that different and did you pick up on it right away?
Diane: Thaydra had called my husband from the hospital and said that the gynecologist wanted her to go, because of her history the first time, she mentioned to Thaydra that she thought she should go back on the antidepressant. My husband said to her, call the doctor. See what he says. So then I called him and he said, yes. Tell her gynecologist, when youíre on an antidepressant you really shouldnít be getting, and we learned this through her experiences, you really shouldnít be getting an antidepressant from a gynecologist or a medical doctor. It should be from a psychiatrist and that does not work if you donít have the therapy. You need the antidepressant and the therapy is the most important. So she went on the medication and they told us, we had had my grandson with us while she was in the hospital. And she said I want Stephen to come home because they missed him. So I quick ran for formula and they came home, they shut their door. I went for formula and diapers and when I got there, something was strange. And then I look, I saw that both of them, their eyes, they looked like they were crying, not just her, but him. But I was worried about this because I did research on it and I asked the doctor the first time, if Thaydra gets pregnant again Ö Most likely if you have it the first time you will have it the second time. But I didnít want to worry her because I was worried her carrying the twins and I lost twins so that was more extra added worriment when we were worried about that.
And I noticed it right away. What we were doing was the same thing we did when Stephen was born. We were bringing the meals but it was a couple days.
Thaydra: It was right after the hospital.
Diane: I couldnít talk to her. She was crying. Thaydra's second bout with the PPD was much, much worse than her first time, much worse. We would try everything. As for the first time, I did the wash for the family. We ran to the store. The second time was honestly very sad. Thaydra would cry. She couldnít do anything, nothing. And I work in a school system. I am off for the month of August. July is a bad time for me to take off. I asked and they denied me. And I would be on the phone with Thaydra. I made a lot of mistakes at my job, which my job was wonderful to me with that. She would call me at my job and Thaydra would constantly repeat, Mom, please donít let them put me away.
So we would try with Stephen. One time we were feeding the babies in the middle of the living room and Stephen just kept walking around the babies, saying, Nan, this is crazy, this is crazy. And then when I would take Stephen out with me, she would call us and say, I donít know why you are taking Stephen out. I want to be with him. We were trying to get Stephen out.
Thaydra: They felt bad for Stephen.
Diane: And then we told them, go away for a weekend with Stephen. So it was 4th of July weekend and she would call me every half hour, you shouldnít be watching the twins, theyíre my babies, they should be with me. And I would say, Thaydra, we just want you to be with Stephen. Youíre missing your vacation this year. And she would say, this is terrible that Iím doing this to you and itís not fair to you guys. Itís hard and we just kept lying and saying, oh no, itís not hard. And we just couldnít do the right thing. What I did do was Ö
Thaydra: I was kind of more nastier this time around too. I felt like they were taking the kids away from me because they kind of thought I was crazy, that was my thinking. I was very paranoid, I was kind of thinking, I even said to Steve once, I donít know why they want to be around the kids so much. And Steve said, theyíre their grandparents, theyíre trying to help you out. And I said, yeah but theyíre thinking I canít do anything. And theyíre thinking that, you know, and then my kids are going to love them more than they love me because I canít take care of them right now. So Steve said, Thaydra thatís not how it is. Once he started feeling better, because he was sick too for the first two weeks, he was sick too. So I would get mad at her when she was just trying to help me I would get nasty with her because I felt like she was doing everything in her power just to take the kids when really you probably didnít even want to take them.
Diane: Exactly, sometimes I have to say as much as I love them. There were some funny times though. Iím off in August, this had to be, you have to laugh a little here. I said, letís get them outside. So we take the pack and play and weíre outside and we put them where itís, she has a pool, and we put them where itís shade. And we get, she goes in the pool with Stephen and Iím just sitting there watching them and they just fall asleep and all of a sudden the pack and play collapses. Iím ready to laugh and sheís mad. Iím like, I canít laugh. I canít laugh. I just have to get the babies together.
Then another time, OK letís go to the park. So we stop at McDonaldís and we get Stephen lunch and we pack the babies up and she was just dragging along, but I wanted to get her out of the house. So we get to the Saddle Brook Park and weíre there and itís nice and shady. All right, now weíre gonna put, Stephenís gonna go on the swings and everything and weíre all excited. Iím pushing the babies so she could spend time with Stephen. She says, all right the babies have to be fed now. OK, Iím trying to keep it calm, feed the babies. All of a sudden, donít you think a bee comes on Matthew, one of the twins.
Thaydra: And stings my son.
Diane: No, he didnít sting him, on his head, and Iím like oooh (frantically waves away bee). Then I thought, oh my god, I donít want to get her nervous so Iím like, oh (gently waves away bee) a second time. This thing is not moving. I pick it up and throw it down. I didnít even realize I was, I didnít even realize that I got bit. I got a bee bite. It was like, Iíd come home and my husband would say, Hon, Iím worried about you because Thaydraís gonna get better and Iím worried youíre gonna get sick then.
But, as for the groups, Iím sorry to get off the track with that. I started with, I said to my husband, there has to be some type of a group for these girls, once she was on medication. Oh, and medication, they werenít getting the right dose. They just werenít getting it. We tried to get her a doctor because that doctor is $200 a visit. And we tried to get a doctor on her plan and it was just a nightmare, took her to a university here in Hackensack and this doctor actually, he said to me, yeah, all right what dose do you think we should give her?
Thaydra: He put me on a medication, to make a long story short, a medication that just made me be a zombie. I couldnít, and then I had to get off of it because we were trying anything but it wound up that it went back to the one I was on with Stephen. That was what worked for me with both pregnancies.
Diane: But then he had my son-in-law there and my son-in-law come back and he said, I donít think we should go to this guy anymore. He said, heís typing and then he would turn around to my son-in-law and say, yeah, itís crazy, isnít it? I said, oh no, youíre not going there anymore.
Diane: But then he had my son-in-law there and my son-in-law come back and he said, I donít think we should go to this guy anymore. He said, heís typing and then he would turn around to my son-in-law and say, yeah, itís crazy, isnít it? I said, oh no, youíre not going there anymore.
Thaydra: He prescribed me something and then he told me, and I would ask questions and he would get kind of, like, aggravated because I was asking questions. And so he kind of gave me this medication that he told me in other words that it was like the magic pill and in two hours, Iíd be OK. And in two hours, I was falling asleep. I said I canít be on this, Iím falling asleep. How am I going to take care of twins? So Ö
Diane: My husband said, weíre going to pay for her to go back. So anyway we did and, as for the groups, we were, it was a Saturday afternoon and we were driving to one of the colleges here to bring our recyclables and I asked, I said to my husband, you know what I need your cellphone. And he said, why, you forgot yours? I said, no because Iím going to be on two phones here. So I was on Hackensack Hospital on this ear and Valley on this ear. And Hackensack couldnít help me so I was on the phone with Valley and they told me they had a new moms group although it wasnít for postpartum but if there was anyone in that group with postpartum, she should come and try it.
First she didnít want to go, and it took a lot of coaxing and she said she would go. And I said, you know what Thaydra, if you want and if the, because I spoke with the social worker and I really, this is the person who really helped my daughter. The social worker from Valley Hospital, I say Thaydra should pay it forward to, she was a wonderful woman. She told me about this group, we went to the group and I said, look if the social worker says I can sit in with you Iíll do that. I prefer not to, I said, but Iíll do it. And thatís how we worked it. I thought she was gonna say no to me for that but she said yes. So I sat in there. Was she into it the first time? No. I said, OK, look Iím looking forward to next week. And then she did go and then it went from I graduated. I wasnít in the room anymore, I was in the hallway. And then I graduated to outside in the parking lot and then that was it. She said, you know what, Iím gonna go by myself. Thatís when I knew she was getting better
Speaker: Wow, thatís support. Thatís a strong support system there, from working with the insurance company and her issue with the doctors because I know thatís a proces, thatís a difficult process and system to navigate and it would have probably been close to impossible for you to navigate.
Diane: By herself? The second time? No.
Thaydra: No, the second time I was Ö
Diane: The second time, the second time, Thaydra was much worse than the first time, much worse.
Speaker: Thaydra mentioned in her testimonial that she felt like that you and your husband and her husband were concerned that she would do something to the babies or herself. Did you have that fear? Did you feel that?
Diane: The second time, yeah. Not the first, but the second time, of course. You know, you read about it. Then, of course, now youíre on the computer with it. OK, let me see what could happen here. So every time, I can honestly tell you. I work from 9 to 5. I would be on the phone with Thaydra, right Thayd?, probably a good 20 times a day. And when I couldnít get her on the phone, thatís when the anxiety for me came. And I had said in August of 2007, she started getting better in August, but just before she started getting better, I sat at the kitchen table and I said to my husband, I cannot go back to work unless this kid is better. I cannot leave this family and he agreed. And I said, you know what? weíre taking a chance. Iím taking a chance. I love my job but this is my kid and my grandchildren. And right after that, in August, it was the same thing. I was getting less calls, the crying was subsiding and I was keeping a journal and how many times a day would she cry and then it was, maybe it was 20, and in August, maybe it was six.
Thaydra: I think more with the twins I had a fear that I was just gonna be put away.
Diane: That was it.
Thaydra: That was my main fear because I was so bad that, Iíve heard stories, you know like a friend of mine who had to go in the hospital and I was so scared of being in that position. Even though, it would probably, God forbid I didnít have to, but it would probably just help me to get better but I just had a fear of being put in the hospital. So I think it was more a fear of being away from everybody. So I remember calling up her and my husband and my husband would say, I will not let you be put away. You are not that type of person. Youíre just going through the same thing you went through before with Stephen, but itís a lot worse. But you will get better but you have to give it time. But who wants to hear that really because time is like dragging and my days are dragging and when youíe sick a day is Ö a week and a week is a month so as much as I kept saying, OK, OK, OK, I just wanted it to be right now. And especially when youíre on antidepressant medication, it takes two weeks to even start feeling something and something means one little bit of something it doesnít mean youíll feel 100 percent better because youíre not going to. So and then with this pregnancy, this time with postpartum every time that I would finally get to that certain point where I thought I was, then Iíd go right back down. So it took months and months before I got to a milligrams that I felt, I kept feeling better. So each time that month would come I kind of would psych myself up, all right Iím going to start feeling better and then I didnít which made me even think that, OK Iím definitely going to be put away now.
That was my biggest thing, like now I can say to me that was kind of weird to think that way, but I thought that way. I was sick you know. So I always thought that I was going to be put away. And I remember constantly calling my mom, my stepfather, my husband and just saying, my husband always tried to work from home as much as he could but he has a job you know. And it got to the point where he got really scared where he actually told his boss about it to an extent, you know, that if you can let me work from home I really would like to work from home because my wife is, my wife is sick, you know. And he did, my husband has an excellent boss, excellent. So he let him kind of, I think my husband saw me, they saw me at my worst too, but my husband saw a lot of things with both pregnancies that they didnít see so I think with the second pregnancy he was more scared of what I would do with the kids and to myself. Because he actually said to me, whereís the kids? Or could I hear them? Not that he would ever think that I would do that but he knew I was very sick. So I think he felt more safe for him to be home, for me and for the kids not just the kids, he felt for my safety too.
And like I said, there were times where I thought I was gonna hurt the kids but I knew that I was deep down not going to. Just when youíre sick your thinking is irrational and your thinking is not what it is when youíre healthy. So did I want to think that way? Of course not, but I was sick. So thatís the thing. I think he was just scared and more nervous with this pregnancy as was everybody else I was extremely sick.
Diane: She even did that to her husband. I would tell her to go out and get her nails done, at some point in July I guess it was. It was, in July. And she would go out and right away she would call, whereís Steve? Upstairs, heís upstairs working. Oh, is he? Oh, OK. And he would come downstairs by me and heíd say, Di, I love her but he says Ö thatís not my daughter, I know my daughter. My daughterís like me. She started checking his wallet, sheís calling Ö
Thaydra: Yeah, I was very paranoid this time. I kind of thought that he, Iím a very independent person and I kind of had to rely on him and thatís not me. I donít like to rely on anybody. I like to just do my thing and I donít like anybody to kind of tell me what to do. And I feel like if I need the help, Iíll ask you for it. Itís nice if you offer it and Iíll accept it if I need it, but I like to do it. And sometimes thatís a bad thing, sometimes thatís a good thing, but I feel like if I can do it, Iíll do it myself. But I think that knowing I had to rely on him kind of made me feel less independent which kind of made me kind of paranoid in some sense. Because like it he would go down even to walk to the store I thought since he saw me at my worst he wasnít gonna, I guess, love me the same because I wasnít that independent person anymore that he loved that about me. So I thought that he was gonna leave me or I thought that he was seeing somebody. Itís crazy now, but thatís what I thought. I thought that he was kind of, even though he cared for me, I thought that maybe he was thinking I wasnít this strong person so therefore he didnít want to be with me, which was ridiculous.
Speaker: Did the doctors ever have any theories about why it might have been so bad the second time?
Thaydra: Because of the hormones, the hormones with the twins. Itís like double. And theyíre so high when youíre pregnant and then as soon as youíre done, they just drop.
Diane: They donít come down gradually.
Thaydra: And they donít come down gradually. Itís just a drop in hormone levels. So when you have twins, itís a lot because my hormone levels with the twins were crazy, the numbers as opposed to when I had Stephen.
Diane: When they came in to tell us she had, with the twins like I said, I was nervous about it when she told me, oh Mom, Iím pregnant again. And honestly donít think Iím terrible, but was I excited? I was more worried. And then when I found out that it was twins, that was double the worriment. And I used to drive my husband crazy and my husbandís very patient, very patient. Anyway, so when they came in from, I guess having, you had a test?
Thaydra: A sonogram.
Diane: A sonogram and she said she was having twins and she said donít say anything. They didnít want, she wasnít supposed to tell anybody yet but she told me. OK, so now they go away for their anniversary, which was in October, this was September that she told me, and we have Stephen. And they come back and my son-in-law sits in the chair and he says, Stephen so come here I have a secret to tell you. So, why Iím getting to this, this is a funny story it will make everyone laugh. Stephen says, what? And then he goes, he runs over to her, youíre having a baby? So I knew it and Iím trying to hide because I know it. And my husband says, oh youíre pregnant? And my son-in-law calls him back again and he says, Mom youíre having two babies? And my husband went, What? Two babies? What do you mean? And my son-in-law says, weíre having twins. So my husband goes downstairs and he gets them a shot for each of them. So what did he say?
Thaydra: Oh, I donít remember. He said something funny.
Diane: A toast! My grandson saw the little shot glasses and he loves anything small. So he said, how come I canít have one? And my husband says, weíre gonna have a toast. And he said, youíre having toast and Iím not getting any?
Thaydra: Everybody was excited.
Diane: We were excited but as soon as she left I said to my husband, Iím scared hon. He said, oh donít start worrying about it now. Sheíll be fine. And the pregnancy was fine but the whole time, the whole time Thaydra was pregnant the second time, I knew it. And there was no hiding it. They did great hiding it the first time. The second time they couldnít hide it.
Thaydra: Everybody knew more about it.
Speaker: You guys have been through Ö
Thaydra: Hell and back.
Speaker: I have to say the pictures, the picture of you in the hospital holding the twins where your eyes, you can tell that itís hit you already. And comparing that with the pictures you sent this morning of you holding, and I can tell itís the twins because itís a little pink hat, you look like such the happy grandma. And thinking of it side by side, itís just sad that you werenít able to have that joy.
Diane: Very sad. She had nothing for the first Ė May, June, July, August Ö
Thaydra: Probably about until almost Thanksgiving time, around there is when I Ö I mean I did start feeling a little better but until I felt completely myself was toward the end of the year.
Diane: But September started showing signs ...
Thaydra: Yeah, a little bit where I wanted to interact more with them around that time. Even now I feel like I owe them something. It kind of sometimes Steve, my husband, will say you have to be a little bit, not Ö Iím never mean to any of my kids but I do, I catch myself kind of favoring them, I do, not favoring them against Stephen but I feel like I owe them because with them, I didnít enjoy them, I didnít take pictures of them, I didnít do anything. Stephen had his portraits taken when he was like three weeks old, he had everything. I didnít do anything with them so I kind of feel like I owe them something.
Diane: In September, when I decided I would try to go back to work, I went to work the first, and try to keep this happy but sheíll Ö
Thaydra: Youíre taking up all her questions, she has to ask you questions.
Diane: Iím sorry. This is the end of it. This is the funny story. My boss asks me, he says oh you know what Diane we donít have any coffee. I say, oh Iíll run to the store. I go to the store. Iím still a little nervous so I would always call her and I would tell her, Thaydra if youíre taking care of the babies or Stephen donít answer the phone but Stephen was already in school then. And Iím crossing over Route 4 and, no earpiece, and Iím talking on the phone to Thaydra. And, everything all right Thayd? Yeah, and she sounded so good, Iím so excited sheís so good. And you donít want to say, oh how do you feel? You never said that. You would know. And she said, oh I have this and this to do today. Iím gonna be busy. Oh good, I said, oh Thayd, I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you and all of a sudden.
Thaydra: And then all of a sudden it sounded like she got killed. Somebody hit her Ö
Diane: Head on.
Thaydra: And I heard, oh no, screaming and the phone dead. Now I have two twins that Iím getting ready to take a bath and Iím trying to go in my car, get them in the car and find where she is, calling 911.
Diane: They spun me around on the highway, glass breaking all over, all the glass broke, my car was totaled. I just thought, Iíll have to give it up. And I am yelling the phone is on the floor and Iím yelling, Thaydra, Iím fine, Iím fine. I had my hands over my face this way and Iím saying, oh God, please just let me make it. Thaydra, Iím fine! Iím fine! And I hear her saying, Mom are you sure youíre OK? Iím fine!
Thaydra: So I called 911 and they told me exactly where she was.
Diane: And sent my son-in-law there.
Thaydra: And I sent my husband there but at the same time I got the kids in the car, but thank God Stephen wasnít in there.
Diane: Thatís when I knew that Thaydra was better because she was back in control. When I saw my son-in-law there and he came over, he said, what happened? Are you all right?
Thaydra: Oh no, Steve said, Iíll go. And I said, no Iím going because itís my mother, Iíll go. So I got the kids dressed and normally it would take me forever. I would just sit there like I didnít know what I wanted them to wear. I got them dressed in two seconds, put them in the car and did how I am today with them. You just get them in the car and I went to go see if she was all right.
Diane: So my parents show up there because everybody, my parents showed up at my job because I was supposed to sign a paper for them. So everybody was at the scene of this accident and Iím thinking, oh, this is great. Thaydraís better. So my boss shows up and says, Diane you have to go to the hospital you cannot return to work. And I said, Iím fine. I want to go back to work. Just leave my car here, my son-in-law will take care of the car. You canít go back to work unless you go to the hospital.
Thaydra: So then you knew I was better, to make a long story short, by me yelling at you when you called back.
Diane: So when I called back, Thaydra was yelling at me.
Thaydra: I said to her, you donít call me back, you call Steve and you ask Steve to come! You donít ask me? Iím your daughter! How come you donít ask me? And then you just let the phone die?
Diane: No, I didnít ask him. No, you asked him to come. You asked him to come, and then when I saw him there Ö
Thaydra: But I got mad at her because she didnít Ö
Diane: She got mad at me. I canít believe that youíre not paying attention. Iím on the phone trying to figure out, is everything all right here? Those are the good stories. Thatís the better story.
Thaydra: Thatís like I guess sheís trying to say, thatís kind of like when I started getting better because I wanted the control, I wanted to go there. I wanted to Ö And then I started getting back to my nasty self.
Diane: Yup, we knew Thaydra was better.
Speaker: So after going through both of the experiences, has it brought you guys together? Are you closer would you say? It seems like you guys are already close.
Diane: My kids and I were always close. It was just, for 22 years it was just them and I so we were always close. Do Thaydra and I have our arguments? Absolutely, absolutely but any mother and their daughter. But this, did it bring us closer? I canít say it brought us closer, we were always close but it, itís something that you, like now that Thaydraís out there with it I am very proud of her. I just hope that every time she speaks or she sees someone on the street she can help another girl because we didnít have any of that help. There was nobody that she could speak to that went through it. So even if I had to take a phone call from a girl, I would try my hardest and get Thaydra. And we did, Thaydra did, it was a family member who went through it, had twins. She did talk to her on the phone. As for, we were always close.
Thaydra: We were always close. I think it just made me kind of more open about how I was feeling. Even though Iíve always been open, it just made me closer to where she, I could tell her you know. I didnít feel like ashamed.
Diane: Iím a worrier, so Ö
Thaydra: Yeah, thereís a lot of things we keep from her too, because, that arenít gonna, things that arenít gonna hurt her or hurt us but she worries about something, about everything. If she could, sheíd worry about you. She worries about everything, she worries about her neighbors, she worries about pets, she worries about everything, so thatís why we tend not to Ö
Diane: And I always find out.
Thaydra: Yeah, she does always find out.
Diane: I always find out.
Speaker: What would you say to other parents who have a daughter who is going through postpartum depression?
Diane: I would definitely tell them to get involved because I believe that I know of someone. And like I said, since Thaydra came out with this, I was on the phone with a mortgage person for my mom and he knew Thaydra was sick because at that time when Thaydra was going through that, I was also going through my mom with congestive heart failure, in and out of the hospital so we were running back and forth. Anyway, I spoke to this mortgage person just a couple months ago and he says, howís your daughter doing? And I said, oh wonderful. And I told him about what sheís doing now. And he said, oh Diane, thatís a great thing. And then he got real quiet and I said I didnít say anything, and he said we have a very good friend whose daughter was just institutionalized. Oh, and it just brought back the words, Mom please donít let them put me away, please.
And I said, Chris, if thereís anything, anything that we can do, my daughter, myself you know. Hereís a case. These are very good friends of his, their daughter but he doesnít want to say he spoke to me about it. See, me I would want to do that. I would want somebody, when Thaydra was going through this with the twins, when it was worse, I was out there asking questions. I wasnít out there saying oh my daughterís got postpartum. I was out there asking questions because you donít know how many people donít want to come out and say it, but you know how many come out and say it to me now and talk to me?
Thaydra: Me too. A lot of my girlfriends that I met through school, through that their kids are in school with Stephen, when they heard and especially when I was in the newspaper, that went through towns that all my friends live in, which they knew before anyhow. But I mean my acquaintances that I talk to and so many are like, I canít believe, I have the same thing and I wish that I knew you back at this point, at that point. And I wish I knew that thatís what it was. You know, so a lot of people come out once they see that youíre Ö I think they feel ashamed, thatís what it is. And I felt the same way, but now I think itís so much better. Like yesterday when I went to that support group and I could actually see the girls. I put myself in that, because we were in the same room we used to be in, and I put myself right in their place. Thatís how I was. I was them. And I put myself in their shoes and I know what theyíre going through. You know, one girl was crying and I know what she feels. When I was talking to her and she was asking me questions she kind of felt relieved, just hearing that someone else went though it.
Speaker: You werenít ashamed to ask questions?
Diane: No, thatís how you learn. Thatís how you get help.
Thaydra: And itís not something really to be ashamed of. Everybody goes through some sort of baby blues. This is just something that happens because of your hormones. It doesnít happen because you are crazy. It doesnít happen because thereís a problem with you personally. It happens because itís hormonal, itís a lot of other things too, but mostly because of that so you know itís not to be ashamed of. And Iím not ashamed of it. I went through it. It made me a stronger person really because I went through it not only once but twice. It made me a stronger person and it actually made me want to help other people because I donít want them to be in a position that I was in and not knowing what to do you know. And some people arenít fortunate enough to have a family like I have. Sometimes they have, like these girls yesterday at the support group, they had parents that lived in another state that donít even know half of the things thatís going on with them so theyíre going to a support group and thatís all they have, once a week. I had a support system at least and thatís what helped me to get better quicker because I felt better when I didnít go to therapy, then I had therapy at home too so it did help me.
Diane: I believe that all families should get involved. I once had my son-in-law say, you know we really donít want, anybody, too many people to know. And if thatís the way I was getting answers to get help because Iím not a doctor, thatís what I was doing. And you know what? Everybody will get over it later. Iím not meddling. I am looking for this family to get Ö
Thaydra: Well thatís because I did feel ashamed at the time. I did feel ashamed, thatís self, thatís what youíre gonna to feel. Now Iím not, but at the time I was because I felt like I can take care of this, I can do this on my own. And you feel like youíre not that mother figure that everybody else is you have something against you and itís your fault or something.
Speaker: Diane, weíve talked to a couple of families where either the womanís mother has said, oh no, itís just the baby blues, sheís fine or the husband was sort of, I donít want to say was in denial because thatís not fair, but wasnít really seeing what was really happening. But youíre saying, your son-in-law was saying we donít want people to know. What would your advice be to a family that might be, a husband that might be going through that or his wifeís mother is saying sheís just got the baby blues and heís saying itís more than that. How would you suggest that Ė you kind of touched on it in saying, theyíll get over it later Ė but what would you tell someone in that situation?
Diane: Well, if they were at the stage where Thaydra was where it was being hid? Baby blues are one thing. They donít last as long as postpartum, you cry. But when youíre crying, confusion, staring, donít know what to do. If a family thinks that, thatís, I mean you have to know that thatís not normal, so hiding it Ö
Thaydra: Itís not gonna make it better, go away. Itís gonna make it worse.
Diane: Itís not gonna make it go away. Thatís what I explained to my daughter. Itís not gonna go away.
Thaydra: Itís gonna get worse.
Diane: So we need to get in gear here and a family, I understand, I understand where they were coming from, they Ö
Thaydra: I think I told Steve a lot too. I told him I donít really want a lot of people to know this so I think he was more on the defensive side for me.
Diane: Yeah, he wasnít mad but he just said because I had Ö
Thaydra: I was making friends at the time at the school and I didnít want people to kind of label me so to speak. But now I see all my friends like, oh my God, youíre wonderful. I donít know how you do this, if I had twins Ö So now I see it but at the time I was just looking into, you know what my sonís starting a new school. Iím going to be involved in the school and I kind of feel, which is ridiculous to say, but at the time I thought theyíre not going to want me to be involved, theyíre gonna think Iím a little crazy. So thatís why we told him, because my mom knows a lot of people in the area and we kind of figured so she might say something, who might know people that I know.
Diane: We have an active life, my husband and I. We have a lot of friends so weíre out, weíre out. And we had just happened to be at a diner and we werenít going out anymore, I didnít want to stay, even though we live around the corner and even though where we go is usually in the area, I was getting paranoid with it. I did not want to leave this house. So the diner was OK, itís down the street. And we just happened to be there and they were asking, Diane, whatís the matter? You donít come out. And sometimes it just builds up and you just need to vent a little bit. So I started crying and I said, my daughter is not feeling well. And she said, Diane, whatís the matter? Is it? She just had the babies, does it have anything to do with the babies? And I said, itís postpartum. She said, Diane I went through it. But I had already gotten help so we were already on that path. But it was good to talk to somebody who because now youíre looking and youíre saying, oh hereís somebody that went through it years ago - Doris is in her 50s. Then, years later, itís a relative of Thaydraís who became our friends and sheís in her 70s. And she said, you know Diane, she said for the first, after one of her children, she said for two years, she said, I just rocked back and forth. She said and her father-in-law used to say to her, youíre crazy. So I would say thereís a certain point where you have to say, I have to cross this fence and I have to get involved here. And then everyone will be happy again because, Thaydra's house was a very happy, little home. It became a house of sorrow, a lot of sadness, a lot and Ö
Thaydra: Now itís a lot of craziness.
Diane: Now itís a lot of craziness.
Thaydra: But itís good craziness
Diane: Ö which is good. Itís a good craziness, thatís right.
Thaydra: It is, itís a happy, crazy house but itís good. But itís my house and itís good. And I said, you know what thereís gonna come a day where Iím not gonna have any of this. So right now, even though itís crazy, you walk in, you have a dog barking, you have two, three kids running at you. Itís still home, itís very homely. And you know, all my kids get along. I mean, they fight but everybody loves each other and weíre not the perfect family, but weíre happy.
Diane: I think you are.
Thaydra: And itís crazy but I wouldnít want it really any other way right now because thereís gonna be a day when theyíre gonna go on their own and if I had it any other way I would be like, wow, now what do I do? Sometimes I like that aloneness but then sometimes I donít know what to do with myself without kids hanging or crying. I like to get away, donít get me wrong, I love to get away, but sometimes I need that too. Sometimes when theyíre gone, Iím like, this feels very different and I need that. So itís a good house right now.
Diane: And went from, why do you have to have my kids to have my kids.
Thaydra: Take the kids! The weekend? Fine.
Diane's Video (Thaydra's mom) | Diane's Story | Thaydra's Video (Stephen's Birth) | Video Transcript | Thaydra's Video (The Twins) | Thaydra's story