"She was choking and I just sat there and stared at her!".
Crystal Nieves is recalling a horrific experience that almost killed her three month old daughter, Hannah. Nieves was suffering from Postpartum Depression but; didn't know it. Post Partum Depression affects at least 25% of new mothers and often goes undiagnosed.
"That's when patients complain about being irritable having depressed thoughts, difficulty sleeping in the worse case hurt themselves or possibly their baby" said, Dr. Constantine Scordalakes of the Deaconess Women's Hospital.
Her bout with depression hit her like a ton bricks; she had just given birth to her eldest child 13 months before.
"When my son was born, It was the happiest moment of my life! every little thing he did I was just in love," she added.
Crystal had no idea she would feel so distant from her next child. She says the illness kept her from even wanting to hold the little girl, made her feel isolated, depressed and ashamed. Those feelings eventually led to that scary choking incident.
"I didn't get up I didn't do anything. My husband came up to the doorway and said okay something is wrong. You don't just do that!,"said Nieves.
Her husband, Shannon says, "It was hard for my wife to confess that to me; Hannah was choking and I did nothing.'"
Her husband recalls slowly losing his wife to the disease.
"I wasn't for sure of how to even help my wife; all I could do was do the best I could do with Hannah," He added.
Crystal says, "they don't understand what a woman goes through when they have Postpartum, I believe it's so hard to admit that you have Postpartum Depression because of the stigma that is attached to it".
While seeking help for depression, she couldn't be alone with baby Hannah and was ordered to temporarily give custody of her daughter to her mother. It was a difficult time but, she says she was one of the lucky ones. Nieves had the support of her family; which is crucial in overcoming the illness.
"Patients that have difficult psycho-social backgrounds, high stress and lack of support are at high risk for this kind of condition," added Dr. Scordalakes.
"I wish that people are more educated that it doesn't always mean that you want to kill yourself or you want to kill your kids it's just a dark time and they need to see a light," Crystal Nieves added.
The Nieves are now trying to create a support group in Washington, Indiana for family's battling Post Partum. Currently, there is a support group provided by the Deaconess Women's Hospital in Evansville. Please see the following link for more information.
Report by Fadia Patterson
Twitter & Facebook: @Fadia_Dame_Tele