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.
- 2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained (un-marinated)
- 1 pkg cream cheese, softened (You can substitute 1/3 fat but don't use non fat. Trust me on this one.)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 round loaf Shepherd's bread (may be called country french depending on where you live)
- Preheat oven to 375
- In a large bowl, mix the artichoke, cream cheese, mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese.
- Cut the top of the bread and scoop out the insides to make a bowl (set aside bread for dipping later).
- Pour the mixture into the bread bowl and place on cookie sheet
- Bake for 30 minutes stirring once half way through.
Serve warm with saved bread pieces and/or tortilla chips for dipping. Yum!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
- That my 1 year old son, who hasn't been feeling well for a week, can still find ways to smile, be happy, have fun and make his parents laugh.
- That, even though money may be tight, we have a roof over our heads and feel safe and secure.
- That my marriage is filled with love, respect and trust.
- That I have recently been able to re-connect with so many old friends.
- That I survived postpartum depression and have finally learned to enjoy motherhood.
What are you thankful for?
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
My Tupperware Journey: It's Not Just Your Mother's Tupperware
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Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Every month, beginning now, I'm going to choose a book of the month and feature it on my side bar. This month I've chosen Brooke Shields' Down Came the Rain which chronicles her battle with postpartum depression. I thought this was a wonderfully written book and found it immensely comforting having read it during my own battle with postpartum depression. I even asked my husband to read it and he told me later that he was glad he did. To learn more, or purchase a copy, click the side bar link.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Love Bug Kids: NEW BLOG GIVEAWAY!
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
"Initiated in 2002, this ongoing roadside intervention is located along Route
322 at the gateway to Meadville. Read Between the Signs (RBTS) involves the
design and fabrication of a 1200' x 9' sculptural relief made of discarded road
signs and featuring solar- and wind-powered kinetic components. RBTS is attached
to an existing chain link fence surrounding PennDOT's storage lot and depicts
images and forms that reference the Allegheny Mountains, the French Creek
watershed, roads, PennDOT workers, farms and forests. This sculptural “fence”
beautifies the gateway to Meadville, while creating a unique sense of place and
identity for our community. Since 2002 RBTS has evolved into a participatory
community-based public art project led by Arts & Environment Initiative
Director and artist Amara Geffen. It also has become a landmark for the
Visit Read Between the Signs for more info and great photos.