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More talking about postpartum probs

2 Jul

If you have ever struggled with postpartum depression, anxiety or psychosis, go read this lady’s blog. Right meow. Amanda over at Blessy Messy gave birth to her fourth little one, eight weeks prematurely, about three months ago and since then she has been dealing with some mental health issues. She has been brave enough to blog about them.

This is so important because many times women either think that what they are feeling is normal OR they know it’s weird and they don’t want anyone else to know because they are afraid of what will happen.

I hadn’t really ever heard of postpartum psychosis until I read Amanda’s blog. It’s a whole other level and much more rare than PPD. As I was reading her story, while I realized that what she experienced was infinitely more severe than what I dealt with, it also kind of freaked me out. Because I recognized some of her symptoms as being mine, too. I’ve blogged about my PPD before but now I kind of want to again. I want to share a little deeper. I mean, I really was crazy.

I don’t know how it is for everyone, but since I only have one kid, I didn’t know which feelings were normal and which ones weren’t. I was told by my doctor to expect some baby blues and I was told by friends on FB one day in the middle of a meltdown to remember that my hormones were all kinds of crazy right then. If you’re a person who has ever dealt with depression, maybe you’re like me. Once I come out of it, I can look back and say, “Whoa, I was clearly depressed then.” But during it, I don’t see it. Looking back now, I can see a lot of red flags that I just couldn’t put together when I was in the midst of it.

Here are some of the things I didn’t share on my last post about my PPD (I’m not going to explain the whole thing again so if this is confusing, go read the other post first). I think I feel like a list. (Note: I know not all of you care about this. My advice to you would be don’t read it. I’m tired of justifying what I write on my blog because someone else might not like it. Every single post I make is because I think others will find it amusing, because I need to express myself or because I think it will help someone.)

1. My brain was making me picture horrific images. Every single bad thing that could happen to my baby crossed my mind and when it did, what it would look like was immediately in my head. For instance, you’re driving down the road and someone doesn’t use their blinker. I instantly have a picture of the possible accident we could’ve had with full gory details. Now, imagine all of the extremely unlikely but possible things that could go wrong in any given day. I pictured my baby in each one. I was scared to tell anyone that because I  knew that had to be real crazy. I didn’t even tell Spencer. I was afraid I would get hauled off. Luckily, the rational side of my brain was still working well enough to tell the paranoid side to calm down and I repeated to myself how unlikely these tragic circumstances were. I knew that I was being illogical so I just told that stuff to get outta my head! And I prayed every time that God would not let those ugly things cripple me. And even though they freaked me out, I guess they didn’t cripple me because I kept walking.

2. Hallucinations. Yep. I was hearing noises and seeing things. BUT, the things I was seeing weren’t like visions. They were little blips in my periphery, like a flutter or a little sparkle of lights. That happened to me once when I was pregnant so I figured it had to do with my blood pressure (which was notoriously low) or my hormones or something. The noises were confusing. They weren’t voices but just like a boom or a crashing noise when I was falling asleep or small little sounds during the day. Sometimes I would think I heard Jack crying when he wasn’t. That, I would say, could definitely be attributed to a lack of sleep.

3. I felt hopeless. I felt like my life was changed forever and even though I loved my baby I thought it was going to be this hard for the rest of my life. And I didn’t know if I could make it. I missed Spencer and I. It felt like we didn’t have “us” anymore. Crap, I felt like I didn’t have “me” anymore. I felt like a robot. A milking machine who was here solely to feed and change a baby. I was not expected to need sleep or to feel anything other than blessed. It’s important to note here that now things are pretty normal with me and Spencer except we have this awesome little friend with us. Babies are just a lot of really intense hard work in the beginning but things are MUCH easier now (mainly because he sleeps like a normal human). My problem was that I didn’t know if or when things would get easier so I was afraid. I was the first one up in the morning, often before 5am, the last to go to bed at night (I’d usually try to do the last scheduled feeding around 11pm) and the one getting up in between. Some people don’t mind that. I see women posting that they love their alone time with their baby at 3am. I didn’t. I hated it. I wished I could be like them.

4. Manic. I don’t know if this can actually be considered manic behavior but I was going to the grocery store in full makeup. That’s soooo not me. I was doing my bootcamp workout video like I had prom coming up. My house was clean all the time because instead of sleeping when the baby slept, I was trying to do something to make sure I could still function successfully. I wanted to prove it.

5. Euphoric. This was mainly at first. Right after I had Jack, I just felt overjoyed. I was soooo happy and grateful and I couldn’t believe my good luck. And then when I started feeling depressed, I would have these crazy super-happy days randomly interspersed. And it would make me think I was all better and that I was feeling how other moms feel when they are posting on FB about how perfect everything is. Now, it’s pretty clear I was just on a chemical roller coaster.

6. I felt like everyone was mad at me all the time. I’m still not sure if this was a delusion or if they really were because I was so not a joy to be around. I really didn’t care about my attitude because I had no energy whatsoever to care about anything other than keeping Jack and I alive. But never in my life had I needed people not to be mad at me more than I did then. It was a very weird conundrum. I just wanted everyone to not get mad at me and for me to be able to be however cranky I was because I really didn’t feel like I could help it. It was a really lonely time. I felt like people were expecting me to do things that I didn’t feel capable of doing- like taking the baby to visit them.

7. Sleep. I can’t talk about this enough. I know you’re tired of reading about it but too bad. I’ve never experienced anything like not sleeping for months in a row. People were saying how “it’s just whatever you get used to” as far as amount of sleep you need. Um, no. Not me. I for sure need more than three broken hours of sleep per night. If you don’t, trust me, that is an immeasurable blessing and you should thank God everyday. Also if your baby is one who starts sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old, that’s amazing. I tried every sleep program out there.

8. I was sad about my appearance. I had floppy skin everywhere. It was sick. I thought it was always going to stay like that. I’m happy to report a year later that things are firming back up. I’ve never been skinny and didn’t expect to be but I wasn’t prepared for dangling saggy hunks of flesh.

9. I was so sad and worried about Jack having siblings. I never wanted to just have one until I just had one. I didn’t think I could go through that again but I didn’t want to be selfish and deprive Jack of siblings because mine are my best friends (no offense to any only children. I just knew that if I only had one it was for selfish reasons). Now that he’s so much fun and I’m not crazy, I do feel like I want more. But I’m also really scared about those newborn months. I do believe they will be better, though, because now I will get on meds lickety-split if I need them (instead of waiting four months) and I will know what to expect. I will know that I will feel better and it won’t always be a continual rotation of breast-feeding, pumping, changing poop and then starting right over again.

10. I was subtly trying to drop hints or say things in front of other moms in the hopes that someone would tell me if what I was feeling wasn’t normal. No one said anything but I did get some crazy looks.

Anyway, there are some more details for ya. I write these things publicly, not to scare any of my pregnant friends or discourage any of my friends who are considering getting pregnant, but to do the opposite, actually. I just want everyone to know that what I experienced (emotionally) appears to be worse than what my other close friends or family have felt (unless they just aren’t into airing their dirty laundry the way I am) so don’t worry that this will be you. But, if it IS you, then don’t freak out. It’s going to get better. I PROMISE!  But, you really need to tell someone. Don’t be a dummy like me and hold it all in. Don’t feel weird about taking anti-depressants if your doctor suggests it. It’s not forever. I took mine from about October until April and then weaned myself off. I felt a world of difference going on the medicine and none coming off. Also, I know there are those out there thinking that they did it all on their own with no meds and way less whining. To you, I say “Good job! I wish I was so talented!”

These experiences have taught me so much and really changed me as a person. I want all the new moms to know that I am here for you! Please, feel free to contact me for anything you need help with. I’m going to go now. Jack is Swiffering the sun room…

Mommy news

29 Nov

As an extra special treat, we have for today… a little mommy news! How excited you all must be. Riiiight.

First of all, I am still fat. To all the people who told me that breast feeding was going to take care of it: Stay away from me because I feel very slappy. BUT, I lost two pounds over Thanksgiving so I’ve realized that I obviously need to be eating more gravy, stuffing and pie if I want to lose weight. I haven’t exercised in about a month. Pathetic, I know, but I really don’t feel bad about it because I think it’s ludicrous to spend precious energy exercising when you are going on three hours of sleep. Luckily the last few nights Jack has slept much better so once my body adjusts and is able to sleep more than three hours, we will be back on the workout train.

Next of all, I finally faced the fact that I was suffering from post-partum depression and that I wasn’t able to fix it myself (Seriously, Tom Cruise, I tried). And for some reason, no amount of praying was getting rid of it, either. I do think that was for a reason. Everyone should know that PPD rarely means you have psychotic or violent thoughts. So, don’t worry. No one was in danger. I know that’s kind of the first thing you think of. But sometimes I did have fantasies of running through the house destroying everything in my path, breaking windows and ripping off cabinet doors. But Spencer said he did too one night after he stubbed his toe, so either he also has PPD or sleep deprivation makes us both feel destructive. So, now I’m on happy pills and things are better. They don’t make me crazy cheerful when I’m exhausted, but they do help me not spiral into a pit of hopelessness and despair. So, that’s good.

What is a little concerning to me is the whole process of me getting these pills. My doctor told me in the hospital that if I felt depressed after the first couple weeks, to call him. Well, I didn’t call him because I had an appointment with him at four weeks. He asked if I felt sad. I said yes, sometimes. He said, “Well, I think you’re okay. You’re put together and the baby looks good. Call me if it gets worse.” So then I’m thinking that since my baby was clean and I had on lipstick, I must not be too sad. I actually realize now that it was the opposite. I was trying really hard any time I went anywhere or saw anyone to look put together. This is somewhat unlike me. I usually don’t mind going out with minimal makeup and my hair in a ponytail. I was either trying to convince myself or everyone else that I had a handle on things. Or maybe both. Okay, so fast forward about four more weeks and I called the doctor’s office and asked if the birth control they put me on could be making me depressed. They said no but that I could come in if I wanted to talk to the doctor about possible PPD. Nah, I’m not a depressed type of person. Okay, so after verbally abusing Spencer one morning for leaving some breast milk out on the counter to ruin (seriously, I value that stuff like it’s gold), I sucked it up and called the doctor’s office again and said I was pretty sure I had PPD. I told them I didn’t want to come in for an appointment because I live so far away and taking Jack up there with the possibility of him screaming the whole way  (there was about a week where he HATED the car seat) was just going to make it worse. Okay, so they just called me in a Rx to the pharmacy like no big deal. I found that strange. The first couple of days were BAD. I swear it made everything five times worse. But then it was okay and after a couple weeks, I think it is helping. I have a doctor’s appointment next month so he can check up on me. I don’t anticipate staying on this medicine forever but I don’t know how long PPD usually lasts? I know breast feeding makes your hormones crazy so maybe when I’m done breast feeding? I guess I will discuss that in a few weeks.

I realized that my problems are most always related to a lack of sleep. When he was sleeping through the night, I didn’t feel as bad. Sleep deprivation affects everyone differently, I guess. Also, basically everything in my life changed and I’ve never been one to handle change well. I need time to adjust. Anyway, I thought I should share that in case anyone else is facing it and feeling alone.

That’s all the mommy news for today! Happy Thursday, people!

Top 10 reasons not to work out after you have a baby

22 Oct

Here are my favorite excuses reasons not to work out. I thought maybe admitting it would help. That’s what they call the first step, right?

1. You will pee your pants
2. Your feet expanded and now your tennis shoes squish your toes.
3. You don’t want to see all that flab flopping around.
4. You’re tired.
5. Napping baby time could be used to drink coffee and write blog posts.
6. Do they even make a bra that can hold these things still?
7. You might give yourself a heart attack and then the baby would be all alone and helpless until your husband got home from work (seriously, these are the psycho thoughts I have).
8. Your whole body STILL aches.
9. You’re dehydrated from breast feeding no matter how much water and Gatorade you drink. Sweating will make it worse.
10. The peeing your pants thing again. That’s how uncool it is.

UGH. I’m going to go do my stupid workout now. And probably pee my pants. And get sore toes (yes, I need to go shoe shopping).

How Kelly Bundy inspired me

19 Oct

Awhile back, I wrote a blog about how Peggy Bundy inspired me. Now, it’s Kelly Bundy who’s lighting the fire beneath my ample booty. Who would think characters from a show I wasn’t even allowed to watch would have such an impact on me? Married with Children is ranking right up there with Sunday school teachers and my FFA adviser.

Why am I so enthused about Christina Applegate these days? Because on this season of Up All Night (a show that’s a lot funnier to me now that I am up all night with a baby rather than up all night party rockin’.) she’s skinny. And last season she wasn’t.

Okay, obviously not fat. But heavier than before she got pregnant.

True conversation:

Me: dang, she’s skinny now! She must’ve had a baby.
Spencer: huh?
Me: she was a lot plumper last season so obviously it was from having a baby since she’s this skinny now.
Spencer: oh.

He loves his celeb gossip. Since he was so uninteractive, I had this convo with my sister. She confirmed that she had seen CA on a talk show and yes, she did have a baby (BTW, I’m pretty sure the same thing is going on with Maya Rudolph but I’m too lazy busy to look it up.).

Here’s a clip of her talking about it.

Hallelujah! It took her awhile to get the baby weight off, people, but she DID IT (for the most part, anyway)! Now, here are the disclaimers for all you argumentative types. 1.) She is a skinny person. I mean, I weighed more in seventh grade than she did during her MWC days. So, she probably had nature on her side. My body is naturally stocky. I have accepted that. I’m not trying to look like Kelly Bundy. 2.) She is on TV so she probably has someone to watch the baby while she works out, access to all the healthiest menus and a housekeeper. Probably so. But maybe she’s busier than me because she’s on TV.

And I don’t know if you have picked up on this about me or not, but I’m pretty confident. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have been called cocky and/or arrogant behind my back (cause I would punch them if they said it to my face). That’s because I know I’m awesome enough to accomplish whatever I want. It just might take longer than I want. This is where my lack of patience becomes a problem. And maybe this is my opportunity to work on that.

Maybe every time I go somewhere, I need to stop being in a terrible mood just because it took me two hours and thirteen outfits to realize nothing looks good. Maybe I should just accept that nothing’s going to look good right now but that it’s not always going to be so bad.

Get back to work, Brown! Stop being such a baby! Whining never got anybody anywhere! Are you going to let Kelly Bundy beat you?!

(That is Coach Condict. He yells at me when I need an attitude adjustment. He’s really just me with a manlier voice, bigger muscles and a whistle. And he’s in my head.)

Bet you can’t wait to see my sexy self next swimsuit season, can ya?

(If I’m still fat next swimsuit season, I will come back and delete this post.)

I’m not doing this right

6 Sep

It was rough there for a minute. I kind of thought I might be headed straight off the deep end. And I was hoping there was a shark there waiting to eat me.

Okay, people tell you that having a newborn is tiring. But NO ONE tells you that you may honestly wonder if you can die of sleep deprivation or that you may want to call the hospital and ask about their return policy. This is what people say: “Isn’t it a million times more wonderful than you imagined?” “You must be having the time of your life!” “Can you even remember what life was like before he was born?” Um. Yeah, I can. I slept like a normal human and no, this is not the time of my life. The time of my life was not spent bleeding, leaking milk and crying. Definitely not. I really thought that either these people were all closet alcoholics and secretly drunk or, I was doing this wrong.That doesn’t mean I didn’t love my baby or that I didn’t instantly know I would throw myself in front of a stampede of elephants for him. I just wished he could go live with someone else for a few months. Someone I trusted, of course. Which made me feel like I was seriously missing a mom gene and I was all guilt-ridden for not finding my new life to be blissfully fun.

People also tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps. I would like to ask those people when exactly they pooped, showered, ate or did laundry. I mean, even though you’re busy, you do still need clean undies. Or tents, in my case. Speaking of tent underwear, that’s another thing that gets me down. The maternity clothes look worse on me now than they did when I was pregnant. I have a loose flap of belly flab that is like something off the biggest loser. And don’t even think I am getting back in the pre-prego clothes anytime soon. So, I usually look like a hot mess. With spit-up on my shoulder. It’s just glamour central up in here, I tell ya!

This is HARD, y’all. You have no spontaneity left in life. No independence. No time to clean your dadgum toilets. And even though your hubby is right there, you might really miss him for a few weeks. And, it’s confusing. Because, like I said, I wanted someone else to take him until he could sleep more than an hour at a time. But if we went somewhere for a couple hours, I felt such immense relief when I picked him up out of his car seat. I would literally miss him while he was in his car seat right next to me. So weird.

But, I say all this to let the new moms and future moms know that you will be okay. Here we are approaching the six-week mark and things are sooooo much better. There are still rough spots but we are outta the woods. Hallelujah. Because I don’t know if my friends and family could take anymore texts like these before they had an intervention.

“Is it too late to change my mind about wanting kids?”
“Can you take a baby into a liquor store?”
“Why in the name of heaven does anyone do this more than once?!”

Seriously, I was a nut bag. I know this post sounds so negative, so please don’t think I’m awful. We are cool now. Im starting to get it.He is waking up usually around 2 and again around 5am but he’s falling right back to sleep after he eats which has made a HUGE difference. And now he can smile consistently on purpose and it’s just about the cutest thing you could ever hope to see. So, guys and gals, if you have a new little one, just concentrate on surviving those first few weeks. If you feel like you’re drowning, just keep swimming. The shore seems far away but you can make it.

And if you are one of those new moms who has agreeable hormones, an angel for a baby and your toilets are clean, feel free to go brag somewhere else. We don’t need none of that over here.

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