Thursday, December 31, 2009
how one day you don't know what you want.
then something makes you realize what you do want.
but then you find you can't have it
and realize God's plan doesn't always coincide with yours.
That's life I guess:
Sometimes we need to taste the bitter to appreciate the sweet.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas to all my bloggy friends who celebrate this blessed holiday. I thought I'd go with a Christmas edition of Thankful Thursday (despite the fact that it's Friday)...
- My family: my husband, son, parents above, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws... Everyone one of them enriches my life.
- My son's smile when, despite all the (many, many) toys he received last night and this morning, his favorite gift was a cannister of Gerber Cheese Puffs.
- My faith which helps me through difficult times
- My friends who smile with me in good times and lend a shoulder in bad.
- My friend Angie who's surprise Christmas gift actually made me cry (in a good way)
- Have I mentioned my son? The light of my life.
- The blessings we have every day: food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our selves. it's so easy to overlook what is sadly a luxury for some.
- And, of course, I am thankful for the blessed gift for which we celebrate Christmas today: Our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Christmas is less than a week away and I've had the hardest time getting into a holiday groove this year. I've tried, don't get me wrong, but somehow it just hasn't felt right. That got me thinking about Christmas traditions and I realized something: I don't think I (we) have established any yet. I think we're trying to start some but maybe our family is still new. As we creep closer and closer to the big day, I am excited to see Christmas throught my son's eyes. I'm also determined to start some new - and maybe recreate some old - traditions.
Up until the time my mom became ill with cancer our family attended a Christmas party on Christmas eve at a friend's house. I played pool with a little boy my age. I always thought I was good. Now I wonder.
I remember La Jolla Figure Skating Club Christmas parties on ice... where else can you party at 6am ON ICE?
I remember the La Jolla Christmas Parade, the Parade of Lights on San Diego Bay, and Candy Cane Lane
That my son will look forward to his yearly pajama present on Christmas Eve
Friday, December 18, 2009
- Postpartum depression (PPD) doesn't necessarily begin immediatly after a birth. For some women it may begin during pregnancy. For others it could be a year or more (some believe it can happen anytime within the first five years) postpartum.
- Some women may suffer from a type of PPD following an adoption
- Some men suffer a type of postpartum depression
- PPD (or any perinatal mood or anxiety disorder) can affect others in your household.
- Most women who suffer from PPD do not have any desire to harm their child.
- Postpartum Psychosis and PPD are not the same thing but both are treatable.
- There are many resources out there for those that suffer from a perinatal mood disorder as well as for concerned (and/or affected) friends and family.
*Please contact your doctor or other medical professional for a diagnosis. This post is not intended to provide or replace medical advice. If you feel like harming yourself or your baby, call 911.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I am thankful for my family. I am blessed to have a wonderful loving husband, healthy son, extended family that loves us dearly, and two parents who watch over us from above.
I am thankful for my friends. We may not see each other as regularly as we used to but I'm so lucky to have friends that are always there when you need them. Looking back on all our fun times over the years often brings a smile to my face.
I'm thankful that despite difficult economic times we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and reliable transportation. I'm fortunate enough to be home with my son - sure we pinch pennies but it's oh so worth it.
I am thankful that I've begun to enjoy motherhood. I still have my difficult moments but I've found a way to fight PPD and win. I can't begin to describe how thankful I am for this.
I'm thankful that I live in a country that makes me feel safe. That so many men and women serve our country to keep us safe - whether it be in the military, a police force, fire department, or government. Without them, we wouldn't have so many of the blessings we do. I can't forget to be thankful for their families as well - all the spouses, children, parents who support them to no end.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, blessed Thanksgiving.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Admittedly, I have yet to read the report but this cause is still an important one to me. My cousin's son, William, was born premature (I believe at around 24 weeks) just over a month before I was lucky enough to welcome home my healthy baby boy. William went through many surgeries and has become the bravest little man I know. It brought a tear to my eye when I saw recent pictures of a happy, healthy William. I know he still has much ahead of him but I know we are all so thankful that because of research, and a survivor spirit, little William is here today.
Join the Fight for Preemies and find out how you can help. Donate now.
Monday, November 16, 2009
The Symptoms of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety (In Plain Mama English) - Postpartum Progress
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The blog award rules:
To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link. Pass the award to approximately 15 other blogs that you have recently discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chose for this award.
Ok.. now this is where I am breaking the rules... I've been so busy that I haven't had time in recent months to discover 15 new blogs. I do promise to continue nominating blogs and posting them on my web as I can. I WILL nominate 15 deserving blogs; just not all at once. I hope that's OK.
Another rule breaker... I didn't recently discover these two but that's not their fault and they certainly deserve recognition I nominate:
- Inside the Shell for sharing her survivor strength
- New Beginnings for her honesty
- Singing in the Rain for being an inspiration
- Grab a Cup for sharing her PPD journey to give others strength
- Musings, Musings, Musings - The Muser shares her experiences with perinatal and postpartum depression, motherhood and more. She is also starting a weekly round up of other blogs that discuss perinatal mood disorders (and I thank her for including me on the list).
- Housewife Bliss - What a fun blog! Her recent posts have included Sexy New Girlfriend - the experiment and Looking at my home with fresh eyes.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Today, I'm on the fence. On my good days I think that, with the right planning and help, maybe just maybe I could do this again. On my bad days I can still vividly recall my misery and fear ever going through that again. Just when I think we've decided that "yes, we can handle this," I vacillate yet again.
Don't get me wrong - I LOVE my son more than anything and I most certainly can't imagine my life without him. That deep feeling of love, though, did not come easily. After he was born, I knew in my head that I loved him but, try as I might, I couldn't feel that emotion the way I thought I should. There's a picture of me in the hospital holding my new little bundle that my husband recently told me was his favorite picture because of the look on my face as I looked down at our son. It broke my heart that his favorite picture was not at all what it seemed. You see, I remember that moment. I remember trying so hard to put what I thought should be the appropriate look on my face because maybe then I'd feel what I should. At the time I attributed this to a grueling labor/delivery and pure exhaustion. I would later learn otherwise.
So only time will will tell what is in store for our little family. Having grown up an only child and then losing my mother at 16 and my father at 24, I vowed I would never have only one child. Now I look at my little guy, currently playing with every car he owns, and wonder: would he miss out on even more of me if we give him a sibling? I just don't know.
Speaking of missing out... I think I'm going to go play with some cars.
- I'm thankful for a healthy little boy.
- I'm thankful for a loving marriage.
- I'm thankful for a full night's sleep.
- I'm thankful for the fact that the leftover Halloween candy is almost gone so I won't be tempted any more.
- I'm thankful that "Turtle" will be here next week!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
His Care Page (register for a free account to view): https://www.carepages.com/carepages/NoahScottBiorkman
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
It's that time again!
- I'm thankful that my son will finally be getting some speech therapy to get him talking! (I'm also thankful that all his other skills are at or above par.)
- I'm thankful that despite the fact it always looks like a bomb went off in my kitchen when hubby gets home from work, he still loves me and wants to keep me. :)
- I'm thankful that my son slept ALL night, two nights in a row, with NO binkie!! Woo hoo!
- I'm thankful that the FedEx guy that just delivered a package didn't ring the doorbell (which would have likely woken up a napping little dude).
- I'm thankful that this crazy, hectic week is finally nearing the end.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
- If travelling with your entire family, ALWAYS get the travel insurance.
- Only take your toddler to playgrounds that are parent friendly; following your child up and down climbing structures while hunched over because they're designed for someone who is only two feet tall is just not fun.
- A mother's gut is always right (no matter what daddy thinks).
- The whole "nap when baby naps" suggestion doesn't work.
- Always plan to leave the house at least 15 minutes earlier than you think you need to leave the house.
- Don't plan on ever being on time again. Ever.
- Your child is not like everybody else's. (No matter what they think.)
- There can't possibly be any feeling better in this world than an unsolicited hug from your child.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
This week's five things I'm thankful for:
- I remembered Thankful Thursday this week.
- Ok - this one might be construed as a shameless plug but I swear I would have posted it no matter what: Avon Skin-So-Soft body wash and lotion. I came to the realization that by using the body wash and lotion this summer, before heading outdoors, I have had NO mosquito bites. Coming from a girl who is not only allergic, but also an apparent mosquito delicacy, this is a HUGE development. Here's the shameless plug: I sell Avon and you can get free shipping right now if you click here.
- Air Conditioning
- Renew lotion (this could be yet another shameless plug for another of my WAH ventures but we'll save that for another time; we'll just leave it at the pure fact that this stuff completely rescued my feet from a life hidden by socks and shoes and I can now wear flip-flops in public.)
- That in a few short weeks, I get to go "home" for a visit.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Free Sample Freak - offers leads for free samples and more. Put together by a stay-at-home-mom who loves saving money.
Schwan's Food Service - Free item valued at $10 or less for new customers. No additional purchase required. (Mine arrived today. ) While you're there, sign up for the Schwan's Eat for Free program and start earning free food for referring friends and family.
Yapta - track already booked flights and get a refund if the fares drop! Claims to save the average traveler approximately $300/year.
Amazon.com - Shopping for books on a budget? They have a huge selection of 4-for-3 Books (buy 3 get one free)!
Free FiberOne samples and $5 in free coupons. Click here.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Attorneys to try 11th-hour bid to save seals at La Jolla beach L.A. Now Los Angeles Times
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Thursday, July 16, 2009
- Aleve which seems to be the only thing helping my poor back after a mommy-picking-up-squirmy-toddler incident yesterday.
- The fact that I can almost stand up straight today. (Soooo close.)
- Despite the back injury, I got to go enjoy a Mom's Night Out last night and met some new people.
- Matchbox cars - which distracted my son enough this morning to allow me to enjoy some coffee unperturbed.
- My health - go read this blog and be inspired and thankful.
P.S. - If anyone can tell my why Blogger changes paragraph spacing, no matter what I do, I would greatly appreciate some help.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
We're just beginning our potty training journey, and are only in the "introductory" phase with our 19 month old son, but I can already tell this book is going to be yet another invaluable resource for us.
Here's a sneak peek excerpted from the book:
Potty Training - Get Ready, Get Set, GO!
If your child is near or has passed his first birthday, you can begin incorporating pre-potty training ideas into his life. They are simple things that will lay the groundwork for potty training and will make the process much easier when you're ready to begin.
During diaper changes, narrate the process to teach your toddler the words and meanings for bathroom-related functions, such as pee-pee and poo-poo. Include descriptive words that you'll use during the process, such as wet, dry, wipe, and wash. If you're comfortable with it, bring your child with you when you use the toilet. Explain what you're doing. Tell him that when he gets bigger, he'll put his pee-pee and poo-poo in the toilet instead of in his diaper. Let him flush the toilet if he wants to.
Help your toddler identify what's happening when she wets or fills her diaper. Tell her, "You're going poo-poo in your diaper." Have her watch you dump and flush.
Start giving your child simple directions and help him to follow them. For example,
ask him to get a toy from another room or to put the spoon in the dishwasher.
Encourage your child to do things on her own: put on her socks, pull up her pants, carry a cup to the sink, or fetch a book.
Have a daily sit-and-read time together.
Take the readiness quiz again every month or two to see if you're ready to move on to active potty learning.
Excerpted with permission.
I've always felt a little bit "different" from the local natives but this summer that feeling has hit me hard. You see, I seem to be the only one here enjoying our weather in the 70's. It's been sunny and below 80 and I think that's awesome. Not much humidity to trigger my asthma, no over-heating chasing my one year old around the back yard. I mean, could it get any better? Apparently. No one I know here likes this weather. Everyone seems to like the temps over 80. So here I am, alone in my love of the weather. Sniff sniff, boo hoo. Somebody tell me I'm not crazy.
On another note, I'll come up with some more interesting blog posts this week. Guess I've been too busy enjoying the weather to come up with any engaging blog material lately.
Happy Blogging! :)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Here's how it works: You sign up for a free account and start shopping. It's that simple. I chose to sort my product searches by sale price and wow did I save some money. Shipping is ALWAYS FREE so you get your items delivered to your doorstep within 2-3 business days and it doesn't cost anymore than going to the store (maybe even less if you factor in gas). How great is that??? Click the picture below to visit Alice and introduce yourself.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
- I remembered that it's "Thankful Thursday" (just in the nick of time)
- The weekend is almost here.
- The house to the rear of our property that went from horrible tenants to horribly neglected in a year has officially been demolished!
- I had almost a full night's sleep the past two nights.
- Our DVD player which saved a rainy day
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
In his latest book, The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (even when you have every reason to be miserable), Olympic champion and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton outlines what he believes to be the eight general guidelines for finding happiness in your life. His well known wit and humor show through in his writing however he includes some information that seems somewhat unnecessary and distracting. If you have a competitive figure skating background, and already know much of the history and terms which he discusses, it can be somewhat distracting to the main theme of the book. Overall, it’s a good read with some practical advice but if you’re looking for a polished, traditional “self-help” book, this isn’t it.
Hamilton offers many reminders about the important things in life, taking time for faith and family, and just really remember what is important and what is not. Perhaps the most important lesson Hamilton offers is a reminder not to resist change but, rather, to accept change as an opportunity to grow: "If you take the challenge to change as an opportunity to grow and learn something new, you have mad ethe best decision - now you can evolve."
Hamilton offers some insight into his personal life - his struggles, his triumphs and even his mistakes. Those who often have a negative outlook or have trouble letting go of mistakes will likely find these reflections useful in applying Hamilton's lessons to their own life.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
- Caffeine - after a sleepless night (thanks to my wonderful, adorable one year old); I don't think I could have survived this morning without it.
- My husband who made the coffee this morning.
- Ceiling fans that are doing a great job of keeping our house cool in this heat.
- Finally feeling like "me" again. (It was a long road.)
- My new bloggy friends - I'm so excited to have some new followers and to have found some great new blogs to follow myself.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Five things I'm thankful for today:
- My friend Julie who supplied me with enough birthday chocolate to get me through my construction aggravations.
- A sleeping toddler.
- Family Time.
- That by 8pm this evening my dreaded traffic court appearance will be OVER.
Update 6/19/09: I just realized I thanked Julie for chocolate two Thursdays in a row. Wow. Guess I've been consuming much more chocolate than I realized. LOL.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Postpartum Progress: For Moms Who Feel Bad Before Breastfeeding, This May Be Why
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
When I moved to Western New York almost five years ago (having been born and raised in Southern California) I was somewhat surprised to notice how tanning - either at a salon or out in the sun - seemed much more prevalent than in my hometown of San Diego. I'm not saying I've never laid out in the sun but it seems the awareness (perhaps even fear) of skin cancer must be much more prevalent in sunny San Diego.
Please, please... use your sunscreen (and don't forget to re-apply), spend time in the shade, and be sun smart. Check your sun safety IQ by clicking here.
Some quick facts from the American Cancer Society:
- Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. This type of cancer can almost completely be avoided if people would protect their skin and follow simple guidelines when they are outside.
- There are more than 1 million skin cancers diagnosed each year in the United States. That’s more than cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterus, ovaries and pancreas combined. And the number of skin cancers has been on the rise for the past few decades.
- The vast majority of skin cancers are due to unprotected ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure. Most of this radiation comes from sunlight, but some may come from artificial sources, such as tanning booths. The amount of UV exposure depends on the strength of the light, the length of exposure and whether the skin is protected.
- Limit direct sun exposure mid-day (between 10am and 2pm have long been said to be the strongest rays - this has now been extended to 4pm)
- Cover Up
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher
- Wear a hat
- Wear UV blocking sunglasses
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
First, my apologies for neglecting my blog writing and reading over the past week. I just don't know where the time has gone. I really, really do intend to get back on track. Promise! Part of the problem is that I've had my nose in a book. (FYI - I've become one of those Twilight people.)
If you know me, you know I love books. I wish I could have a room in my house dedicated as a library. Walking into a bookstore or library makes me giddy... I love the smell of library books and love the look and feel of a book. I like the crackle a new hardcover makes when you open it and the soft thud of closing a paperback. Ahhhhhhhh books. (BTW - did you know that they actually sell book scented candles? They do... check it out.)
At the beginning of the year, I joined a Fifty Book Challenge. I have so enjoyed getting back to reading for pleasure although I think I may have fallen slightly behind as we hit the spring weather, after a long and cold winter, here in Western New York. I'm currently a little more than half way through my fourteenth book and I think there's still hope.
Today, I was over at Pam's Perspective where she posted about a library book challenge. Of course I had to check it out. J. Kaye's Book Blog is hosting the 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge. You can go here for all the details and to sign up if you're interested. I think it's a great way to re-discover how wonderful libraries really are. (My challenge list is currently empty, because I'm just starting today, but I'll be updating this post with books that apply.)
Library Challenge Books I've Read:
- The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them by Amy Dickinson (ISBN: 978-1-4013-2285-4)
- The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig
- The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig
Thursday, May 14, 2009
What an adorable dress! Yes, I'm apparently lucking out on the contest finds this evening.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
"...We live in a culture that romanticized motherhood. Even today -- when we
find ourselves surrounded by enlightened and progressive thinkers -- the myth of
the perfect mother persists. That is, the good mother is, with absolute
commitment, self-sacrificing and nurturing. She provides unconditional
devotion to her family and is motivated by endless self-denial that will
ultimately fortify her children's emotional well-being.
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Thursday, May 7, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
For those of you not familiar with the In-N-Out fast food chain, they are touted by many to have the best burgers around, healthier options and, in my humble opinion, the best fast food chocolate shakes ever.
Out last month, from author Stacey Perman, is In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules. From Amazon:
"Author Stacy Perman's Guide to In-N-Out Burger's "Secret Menu"
Except for the addition of 7-Up and Dr. Pepper, In-N-Out Burger's menu has
remained much as it was when the chain opened its first drive-thru in Baldwin
Park, California in 1948. However, at some point in time, a "secret menu"
emerged. Something of an insider's code, it is an off-menu series of variations
on the chain's standard fare (Double-Double, hamburger, cheeseburger, and french
fries) that has been passed on entirely by word-of-mouth through the years.
Although the "secret menu's" origins remain a mystery, part of its existence can
be explained by the fact that In-N-Out Burger has always insisted on
cooking-to-order each individual burger any way a customer wanted it prepared.
Over time, several of these variations gained traction and somewhere along the
way a number of them were given their own names. While frequently steeped in
rumor and apocryphal tales the "secret menu" is almost always used by those
In-N-Out customers in the know."
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Pineapple Hill Designs: Hangin' Out
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
- Cookie Girl Creations - just say, "yum!"
- Tip Junkie - Have I posted this one before? If I have, that's ok; look again. This week includes a special series on how to effectively use Twitter.
- Sunshine & Bubblegum - the pure design of this blog is guaranteed to brighten your day.
- Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha - Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the company.
- Ritch in Love - Get to know the Ritchie Family; you'll smile, laugh and be inspired.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Here's the rules--mention the person that tagged you. Complete the lists of 8's. Tag 8 of your wonderful blogger friends. Go tell them you tagged them!
8 Things I am Looking Forward To:
1. Lazy summer days
2. My vacation (back home) to San Diego
3. Building my business
4. Summer activities with my little boy
6. The home made chocolate I just remembered I have in the kitchen.
7. Losing weight ( I WILL do it.)
8. My birthday
8 Things I Did Yesterday:
3. Took my son to the pediatrician
4. Chatted with a friend
5. Helped with a fundraiser that raised over $5K for SIDS research!!!
6. Went to the pharmacy (twice)
7. Filled up the gas tank.
8. Drank lots of coffee (actually this happened first)
8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. Stay on top of clutter
2. Keep my desk clean
3. Remember to make phone calls (I'm not good with the phone)
4. Win the lottery (but I never buy tickets)
5. Meet more people
6. Be less reserved/more outgoing
7. Say no.
8. Sleep more. Much, much more.
8 Shows I watch:
(My TV watchin is limited these days, but...)
1. Curious George (with my son)
2. The Today Show
3. Big Bang Theory
4. How I Met Your Mother
5. Two and a Half Men
6. Ugly Betty
7. Days of Our Lives
8. Clean House
My 8 Tags:
1. Small Town Girl - Small Town Girl in WNY
2. AutumnMommy - New Beginnings
3. Turtle - Inside the Shell
4. Lady Di - Di's Daily Dish
5. Beth - Beth's Home Stuff
6. Neen - Ramblings from a Stay at Home Mom
7. RJ - Three Hour Tour
8. Jamie - Trips & Travels
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I am so very thankful for my son who is growing and thriving and can always bring a smile to my face. I feel so lucky and so blessed.
I am thankful that I am feeling more and more like myself every day after my recent (perhaps ongoing) battle with postpartum depression.
I am thankful for my wonderful, supportive, generous, loving friends.
I am thankful that I found a local mom's group that has helped me more than they will ever know. In some ways, I think finding that group saved me from some dark days.
I am thankful that I'm learning how to let go and not hang on to every possession I have ever owned. Memories remain even if an object does not.
Finally, I'm thankful that this weekend is predicted to be sunny and warm. (Finally!!!)
"Melanie Stokes had everything to live for. A loving husband, a supportive family, a successful career - and the beautiful baby girl she'd always dreamed of. But Melanie didn't live. Instead, she leapt from the 12th floor of a Chicago hotel to her death -- a victim of an insidious, under-diagnosed, poorly understood, and utterly devastating disease suffered by at least 15% of new mothers: postpartum depression.
Tragically, Melanie lost her battle with PPD, which had progressed by the time she ended her life to postpartum psychosis. But her mother, Carol, turned Melanie's battle into her own crusade -- a crusade to break the silence and end the ignorance that has kept women with postpartum mood disorders suffering needlessly, sometimes harming themselves, sometimes harming their babies.
And that's where we come in."
Read the full story: Let Melanie's Battle Become Our Mission > HeidiM's Blog
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I have post partum depression. There. I said it. I initially tried to hide the fact from everyone around me (except my husband) but it’s too exhausting, not to mention counter-productive, to keep doing so. After all, isn’t the first step to recovering from anything admitting its existence? I’m sorry if this makes you feel awkward. It makes me feel awkward, too. Yet I’ve come to realize that every time I tell someone about my PPD, I feel just the slightest bit better. (And here’s a little tip for you: you don’t have to know what to say or how to respond. Usually I’ll speed right along into another topic. I’m not asking you to fix things; I’m just giving you an honest update on how I’m (we’re) really doing.)
You know what the most difficult question is? It’s the “are you just loving motherhood” question. No, I’m not. But that’s ok because it doesn’t mean I don’t love my son; I love him immensely. Don’t feel guilty for asking. After all, society has trained us to do so. I’m sure I’ve asked the same question tens of times before.
My depression is mild compared to some and I have to be thankful, not only for that, but for the fact that I allowed myself to recognize I was suffering, and for a very supportive and encouraging husband and doctor. My symptoms actually started about two months before the birth of my son. In my gut, I knew what it was but tried to brush it off as normal anxiety about becoming a new mother. During this time I’d get what I could only describe as a “twinge of sadness” most every time I felt the baby move (essentially any time I had a physical reminder that I was pregnant). My son’s delivery was difficult. There was meconium present when my water broke so we knew that this technically classified us as a high risk delivery. Four and a half hours of pushing later (I’ll skip the other details), my baby was whisked away to be suctioned so that none of the meconium could make it into his lungs. My husband didn’t get to cut the cord and I didn’t get to hold my baby, or even really see my baby for probably twenty minutes. Yes, I know, that’s not an eternity but it affected me, immensely, and only contributed to my feelings of sadness. Something just didn’t feel right.
We brought baby home and, as in the hospital, nursing was difficult. He was tongue tied and more interested in sleeping or screaming than latching on. I cried every night. No, make that sobbed every night, for weeks. We had his tongue fixed and he eventually picked up the nursing thing but I kept crying. The lack of sleep was literally painful and exhausting yet I often had trouble falling asleep when baby would sleep and would frequently only begin to finally drift off just as he would awaken. I went to my six week post partum appointment and told my doctor that I had been having a difficult time but, at this point in time, really felt that I was better and that I just had a really bad case of the baby blues. Johnathan was nursing great and I was learning to get through the day even though he was immensely fussy (we’d recently found out he had reflux and would later find out he fits the definition of a “high needs” baby). I know she was skeptical but she didn’t push me to admit I had anything more. She just gave me some good advice, not only as a doctor but as a mother of three, and a reminder to call her anytime I felt I might be sliding backwards emotionally. Later this week, my son would decide, literally overnight, that he didn’t want to nurse anymore and would scream every time we tried.
By the time he was about two months old I was back at my doctor’s getting a prescription for anti-depressants. I spent about four months on the medication before I felt well enough to wean off of them. I don’t like taking any medication unless I absolutely have to so I was anxious to come off the meds. It has been about a month since I took my last pill. Am I well? No. Am I better than I was? Yes. Sure, I wanted to believe that as soon as I was done with the pills I’d be normal again; that I’d instantly enjoy motherhood and be this happy, well-adjusted stay-at-home-mom. I’m not there yet. The key word here is yet. I’m learning that recovering from PPD is a process. It’s a process I’m learning more about every day. I’m educating myself, talking about it, and (as of this moment) writing about it. I’m confident I will recover. I don’t think I need to go back on the medication but I do know that every day is still a challenge. Some days are good; some days are horrible; others are just in-between. Perhaps the strangest thing is that while having PPD probably means I could use a little extra help around the house or with baby or that I should be leaning on friends and family more, it also makes it more difficult to ask for help or to reach out. I think about my friends and family every day. Sometimes I pick up the phone but can’t dial. I hope they have the patience to accept that reaching out, and re-connecting, is difficult for me even though they don’t understand why. Of course, I don’t really understand why either; perhaps it’s too much of a reminder of how I used to be. I’m learning to remind myself every day that having PPD does not make me a bad mother or a bad wife. It may make mothering more difficult but, who knows, maybe in the long run I’ll be stronger for it. This isn’t easy on my husband either but he’s doing the best he can to understand and support me. (Even when he’s out of white socks because I haven’t figured out how to fit laundry into my day for a week and a half.) I’m continuing on the road to recovery and I know I’ll get there. I don’t know yet what tools I’ll need as I go through this process but I’ll figure it out along the way.
- PPD affects 30% of mothers (probably more since many go undiagnosed) and can even affect fathers and/or adoptive parents
- PPD is really an extremely generalized term encompassing many different mood disorders - most of what you see on the news is extreme, known as postpartum psychosis (e.g. the mother who drove her car into the lake). Just because someone has PPD doesn't mean they want to do harm to themselves or their baby (in case you're wondering, NO, I never felt the need/desire for either; thank God) and even for those that think it, most wouldn't act on it.
- PPD depression doesn't occur because of something the person does or did. It's likely hormonal and there is often depression in the person's family somewhere. It's curable when acknowledged and treated (treatment options will depend on the person)
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thank you to everyone who reads my blog! I wish I had a giveaway for today but, alas, I don't. Rest assured, though, that I'm working on one (I just don't know, yet, when it will be). I'd love to "meet" my readers so leave me a comment or become a follower and let me know who you are.
Thank you all!
*Photo credit to Camera Slayer on flickr.
Why do I care? I care because I, too, suffered from Postpartum Depression and I can't tell you how lucky I feel to not only have a supportive husband, family and friends, but also to have a doctor who recognized the signs and helped me make the right choices for me and my family.
Postpartum depression is often a misunderstood illness and I feel it is important to get the word out so that women understand that not only is it not something they "did" but it's something that they can recover from.
That being said, this legislation is finding a difficult path in the senate and we need your help to get it passed. View Susan Stone's blog over at Postpartum Progress for more information and links and sign up to support mothers everywhere.
Melanie Blocker Stokes Mother's Act full text here.