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