Thursday, December 29, 2011

So This is What it's Like

Postpartum Progress

Today I'm metaphorically dusting off my long neglected blog.  I think about it often; I just don't seem to find the time to visit.  A lot has happened since my last post.  First and foremost, we welcomed our second son in early November.  I was prepared, perhaps even expecting, another round of PPD.  I'm happy to report that, thus far at least, the beast has failed to rear it's ugly head again.  I know I'm not out of the woods yet but I can't even begin to express what a different parenting experience this has been so far.  It does help that this little guy is a much calmer and contented baby than our four year old was as a newborn but I also know I feel different with that fact aside.

I have my moments to be sure.  We struggle with our four year old's sensory difficulties and multiple therapies and that adds stress for sure.  There are moments (yesterday for one) where I just want to "quit."  But the moments pass and I move on. THIS is different.  In the throes of PPD, the moments never passed. Ever.  I didn't sleep and I didn't enjoy any aspect of parenting a newborn.  The fact that I am sleeping in the sense that I can fall asleep if/when the opportunity presents itself is monumental to me.  With DS#1, there was no sleep even when baby slept.  I'm struggling with nursing issues again but I had one blissful first week were my baby actually nursed and didn't scream.  There was no formula to come home from the hospital with.  Later jaundice issues would interfere with our attempts to establish nursing patterns but, despite some sad tears here and there, I'm dealing with it and haven't given up yet.  Again, the moments pass.

I know this isn't the most eloquent of blog posts. I'm not editing it and re-writing it the way I want to but if I limited myself to blog post perfectionism, I'd never publish a post! So please forgive the stream of consciousness writing and all its typos.  I just wanted to share that PPD doesn't always have to happen. Sometimes, things go the way they should.  So hold out hope.  It will get get better and it doesn't always have to be.
Oh and P.S. - I'm happy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Will you take me back?

Hi. Remember me? I'm the one that actually used to post on this blog.  I know I've been MIA for way too long.  I miss my blog and my blog followers... I really do.  I've just had a really hard time getting myself to actually write.  I think part of it is that blogging was sort of my down time/therapy time while my son napped; once naps stopped, so did my blogging.  I also think I've been going through so much that I just haven't known where to start as far as getting back and writing a post.  I put pressure on myself for perfection sometimes. OK... most of the time. So I sometimes let that intimidate me.  You can see here, however, that this post is anything but perfect.   I'm sure my grammar and punctuation are off (and I'm an English major of all things) and this post is hardly going to sound "professional" or well thought out.  (As a matter of fact, it's not "thought out" at all; it's pure stream of consciousness.)

Baby number two is due in about three weeks and of course that is a BIG stress.  Though this has been a tough pregnancy it hasn't held any of the perinatal depression signs that my first pregnancy did.  I'm generally happy, enjoy feeling kicks (last time I actually had pangs of depression when I felt movement; BIG clue, dontcha think??) and think the nervousness I'm experiencing is normal (whatever normal is; I really try not to use that word).  Sometimes I worry about whether PPD will rear its ugly head again.   I try and thwart those thoughts knowing I have a plan and support group already in place.  I try not to over-think (though I'm not always successful).  Mainly my concerns gravitate from being the mom of two to how my three year old will handle things while I'm at the hospital (and a few other things in between).  Speaking of my three year old...

I've mentioned before that he has a sensory processing disorder (SPD).  He receives speech therapy, OT, and behavioral therapy (SEIT services) to help him along.  Last year we saw an immense improvement.  This year, I wonder if he's overwhelmed; and that overwhelms me.  Recently he's begun acting out and has become very aggressive towards me.  We're hoping it's the anxiety over the new baby (and his taking advantage of the fact that, being very pregnant, I can't handle him physically) but I have fears.... and anxieties...  and worries of my child's future.  And then I wonder: could this trigger another depression?  But I'm trying not to over-think that, right?

So, while I have a plethora of things I could write about, maybe should write about, I just can't seem to find the words (or the bravery to sit down at the computer and face my anxieties) or the time to get these posts out of my head and onto the web.  My therapist thinks I should write a book. I find this amusing given the fact that I can't even find time to write my blog. LOL.  Well... maybe someday.

So, if you're still around and following my feed, thanks for standing by.  I think I'm going to need this blog again so I hope I can find a way to make the words flow again.  In a few short weeks, I'll have an inkling of whether or not I could be battling PPD again.  I sure hope not.  I hope I can return with words of encouragement that it didn't happen a second time.  But you know what? I survived it once and, if I must, I will survive it again.  At least this time I'll be armed with a plethora resources at my fingertips.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making a Plan

Have I mentioned I'm pregnant? I think I have. If not, you've probably gathered that from a few of my previous posts. This pregnancy is different in many ways. Yes, it's the second, so some of that pregnancy "newness" is gone. And, yes, I've had more physical symptoms this time around (morning sickness? try just plain sick; and then some). But the real reason it's different is because I have much more fear going in to this pregnancy. Gone is the naive "I can handle anything parenthood throws at me" attitude I had during my first pregnancy. Replacing that is experience that reminds me A. I'm going into this with a greater risk of having PPD and B. I will learn to handle anything parenthood throws at me but it isn't always easy or instinctual; in other words, motherhood does not come naturally to me. Equipped with this knowledge I feel both more prepared for Parenthood Round II and simultaneously scared to death of it.

The decision to have another baby was not made lightly. In fact, it was a decision about two years in the making. During that time I've had a lot of discussions, both with my husband and my therapist, about what I'd do differently the next time around. One thing we all agree on is the need to have a plan in place before baby arrives that will address some of the issues I struggled with after my son was born and will also act as a contingency plan in the event we see those darn PPD symptoms rearing their ugly head once again. I'm a planner so this concept of having a plan in place does give me some comfort. It's the worrier in me, however, that wonders whether or not it will work. (I know, I know... why add one more worry to the list, right? Maybe I need a plan for that.)

Over the past few years, I've filed away a few different resources I've found to help me make this plan (like Karen Kleiman's book, What am I Thinking? Having a Baby After Postpartum Depression which I highly recommend). As I go through all my saved links and bookmarked blog posts, I'll be sure to share what works and what doesn't. In the meantime I came across this post, today, on Postpartum Progress. In it, Kate Kripke suggests a table outlining physical, emotional and social aspects of your life while noting what works and what's missing. While the post is aimed at those currently struggling with PPD, I couldn't help but think that this is a great tool to add to my plan. I want to look at it from the point of my current life (so if the road becomes rocky once again I have a lucid reference point) and I also want to think back to how I would have answered the same questions during the throes of my PPD. I think you could tweak the table in any way that suits your needs and, whether you're struggling with a perinatal (or any) mood disorder or making your own contingency plan, it's worth a few minutes of your time to read what Ms. Kripke has to say:
Finding Balance Between Body, Mind & Social Network During Postpartum Depression - Postpartum Progress - postpartum depression hope

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm Scared...

  • I'll have PPD again...
  • and that it will creep in during the third trimester. Again.
  • that, even though we have the knowledge and experience this time and (will have) a plan put in to place, that if PPD rears it's ugly head once again, we'll still be in denial.
  • I can't handle two; especially with a preschooler with a sensory processing disorder.
  • baby 2 will have the same issues as my little guy.
  • I won't have enough help.
  • of feeling alone. Again.
  • of changing my little guy's world forever.
  • I'll lose myself all over again.
  • I'll have to take medication (again).

PSI Declares May National Maternal Depression Awareness Month - Postpartum Progress - postpartum depression hope

I'm so very behind on my blog reading (in addition to writing) that I completely missed this (and that makes me sad):

PSI Declares May National Maternal Depression Awareness Month - Postpartum Progress - postpartum depression hope

I think this is a great thing and next May I'll be ready for it!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thank You!

I realized that my last post, regarding this blog's recent nomination, did not include a proper "Thank You" to whoever nominated me. I do apologize.  I was so surprised that I got caught up in the excitement.  So... "Thanks!" You made my day.

To all of you that have cast votes for me: "Thanks, to you, too!"  I don't expect my blog to win awards or become hugely popular; it's just a way for me to express myself and if it helps a few people on the way, even better.  There are many other blogs in the running that are truly worthy of your votes so just being included has been exciting for me.  I've also found some new (to me) blogs on the list that I'm looking forward to visiting.


Friday, May 27, 2011

I've Been Nominated!

It seems that someone has nominated me for Circle of Moms Top 25 Mental Wellness Blogs. I'm flattered for sure. Now I guess I need to get back to blogging right? (Trust me, I have A LOT of material to work into a blog post these days; if only I could find the time!)If you'd like to vote for me, I'd greatly appreciate it and say "Thank You!" in advance.

You can vote here: Circle of Moms Top 25 Mental Wellness Blogs by Moms


Friday, May 20, 2011

Questions from a SAHM for working parents

In case you hadn't seen this yet, I just had to share. It gave me quite the chuckle. (Even if you're a working parent, I think you'll find it funny.)
Questions from a SAHM for working parents

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just a Little Catch-Up

Is there such a thing as blogger's block?  I think I have it.  Even when I have time to write a post, I just can't seem to get my thoughts together enough to do so. {Sigh........}  I'm even behind on my blog reading so I apologize for my lack of comments there, too.

Life has been busy and, believe me, I have A LOT that I actually could blog about if only I could get it together.  There is hope there, though, right?  Shall we say I've just been on a family first hiatus?

My son is doing well with all his therapies but the crazy schedule is starting to take it's toll and we are counting down the days until summer vacation. (Perhaps then I will find time to blog again?)  He's a never-ending ball of energy and I... well, I am not. Lol. 

January brought with it a miscarriage at 7 weeks and it seemed our run of rough patches had not come to an end after all.  Fortunately, we had our little guy to remind us how lucky we are and make us smile when we least expected it. 

In March, my first kitty passed away.  Not completely unexpected but very sad none-the-less.

HOWEVER.... March also brought good news:  another chance at a sibling for J!  Things are going well so far (well, minus almost four months of 24/7sickness and a bought of acute bronchitis for me; but I digress) and we pray that all continues to go well.  This, of course, brings renewed fear of PPD again and how I'll cope with two.  More on that later, I'm sure.

As just a final note, I thought I'd point out that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  Spread the word.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The 10 Most Irritating, Least Helpful Parenting Tips Ever - Parenting on Shine

This popped up on my Yahoo! home page today and I just had to take a peek. I particuarly agree with #1 and #2. Especially #2. (Oh, and yes, I do plan to return to bloggy land; I just don't know when.) Enjoy:
The 10 Most Irritating, Least Helpful Parenting Tips Ever - Parenting on Shine

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sensory Processing Disorer

Most of you, I think, know that my son has a Sensory Processing Disorder.  When I/we settle into a better routine, and I can find the time to put together thoughtful blog posts again (I am determined this will happen), I plan to include Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) as one of my primary recurring topics.  In NO WAY do I feel that my son's SPD caused my PPD but I do realize that having a difficult baby likely didn't do anything to help.  So for those of you out there who wonder "is something not quite right?"  It never hurts to do a little research; you just might find the help you need. I'll be adding some resources to my blog in (I hope) the coming days.  On a side note, I have reason to believe I also have SPD and that  I believe could be related to my PPD (more on that later).  For now, here's a very short video from Sensory Smart Parent: