Valerie Plame on Postpartum Depression

November 9, 2007

You would think that motherhood would be a piece of cake compared to working as a spy for the CIA. But, as outed operative Valerie Plame reveals in her new book, giving birth to twins was what brought on the real panic attacks.

 

Plame was a covert CIA operative until her identity was revealed in a Washington Post op-ed in 2003 and became the Plame Affair. She had boy-girl twins in 2000. She talks about her experience with post-partum depression in Fair Game; My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House in a blog she wrote for The Huffington Post during a five-day book tour last month.

 

In one entry, Plame addresses questions she says nobody asked about the book. Her favorite seems to be the chapter on her depression. “With the birth of my twins in 2000, I experienced serious postpartum depression and initially had absolutely no idea what was happening. I think it’s fair to say that up to that point in my life, I had demonstrated a high degree of coping abilities under significant stress and had always come through just fine,” she writes.

 

I just loved reading this, because that is exactly how I felt. I have moved to foreign countries without speaking a word of the language and walked dark alleys in scary places to cover stories. But I never had the feeling that I was truly in over my head — until my twins were born.

 

As one Mom commenting on her own bout with PPD writes: “Before I had kids, I thought childbirth and nursing could be compared to basic training — you know, like ‘war lite’. After I went through childbirth and the first three months, I came to the conclusion that child birth *is* the female equivalent of real war.”

 

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