Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Every mother should watch this video at least once!

I found this video on Facebook when one of my friends shared it. I watched it and immediately loved it! This is something that I feel like I should watch every morning before Pierce gets up for the day. There are some great things to keep in mind in this video. My personal favourite is "Nobody really knows what they're doing." That's a good thought to keep in mind for any situation, really.

So...if you could go back to tell yourself something before you had your first child what would it be? Mine would be, "Having postpartum depression doesn't make you a bad mom, or a bad person." and "As much as he is a gift to you, YOU are a gift to HIM!"

Friday, August 27, 2010

My turning point

The thing about having PPD and PPA is that they work together against you. Remember when you were in school and two bullies would team up, one would hold you down while the other one stole your lunch money? It's the same kind of thing.

My PPD is characterized by intrusive thoughts. My PPA is characterized by obsessively worrying about things. So, for instance I'll have an intrusive thought about something bad happening to my son (PPD), and then I'll obsess over it and replay it over and over again in my mind with the situation becoming worse and worse each time. (PPA)

I can remember when Pierce was little(er) I'd often think to myself, "I have PPD," but then I'd push that thought out of my mind. I didn't want to be sick. I wanted to be happy and enjoy my son and being a mother and I thought that if I didn't think about it, it would go away.

I remember my turning, point, though. I went to a baby-themed trade show in the city, about an hour drive away from home. I went with friends and we shared a ride. My anxiety was crazy that day, I think from being in such a crowded place. I get claustrophobic in situations like that.

We stayed the entire day and I was so glad to be leaving when we finally decided to. At this point, Pierce was still young so I had him in his travel system with the car seat on top of the stroller. I picked up the stroller and put him into the back of the van, tightened the seat belt around the car seat and we were ready to go. When we had been on the road for about 20 minutes, I noticed Pierce sitting up and that's when I realized that I hadn't strapped him into the car seat. I felt horrible and immediately buckled him in. And then I started thinking back to when I had lifted the car seat off of the stroller and how he wasn't buckled in then and easily could've just fallen out of the car seat onto the pavement. Then I thought about how horrible that would've been, if he had landed on the hard pavement like that. Then I replayed it in my mind except this time I saw him land hard on the ground. Then again, except this time he landed on his face. And again, he landed on his face and this time there was blood everywhere. And again, he landed on his face and there was blood everywhere and this time a car ran him over.

I was disgusted with myself and had to shout at myself in my head to stop it. I had to grip the seat I was sitting in to keep myself from thinking about it over and over again. This was not something I could just brush off and stop thinking about. I had to work to stop thinking about it. And that's when I finally realized and accepted the fact that this was not normal and that I needed help.

Around the same time Blair of Heir to Blair was posting about her trials with the same disease. I sent her an email and we chatted back and forth a bit. I expressed to her that I needed help but that I also worried that Children's Aid would come and take my child away. I'd rather suffer in silence than be without my baby. I started participating in #ppdchat and that's when I found unxpctdblessing and postpartumprogr and learned to ask my doctor about her disclosure policy before I told her what I'd been feeling.

So I did. I went to my doctor and told her that I had these awful thoughts, and she was so nice about it. She told me that it's more common than I thought and she sees a lot of women with the same issues. It was nice to hear that it was common, but I still felt awful, ashamed and embarrassed. I mean, what kind of mother thinks those things about their child? I worried that people would think I didn't love my son enough, or that I was lazy or stupid or wished that I had never had him. (It actually pained me to even type that just now.) NONE of those things are true of me and postpartum mood disorders are not characterized by these things, either. I love my son more than anything in the world and we have an amazing bond despite my disease. I'm not lazy or stupid and I could never wish him away. Yes I do need breaks from time to time, but that's normal. It makes me human. And in a time where I sometimes feel like an alien has taken over my body, it's nice to feel human again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thankful on Thursday

I had a really bad day on Tuesday and needed to get out of the house yesterday, so a friend suggested we meet at the park by the lake in the morning. It was wonderful, just what I needed. We sat on a blanket and talked while the kids ate breakfast and played. We pushed them on the swings and we took them to the splash pad. Neither of them liked the splash pad very much, the water was very cold. The weather was beautiful. The sun was shining and the breeze was cool and nice because we were by the water. It wasn't humid at all.

We also ran into another friend who had just had a baby and got to meet her little girl. She was a week old and so cute! I almost died.

This week I am thankful for friends, beautiful days at the park, and cute little bundles that make me want to go home and have another child right away!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Alright, I'm coming out with it...

I have PPD. Postpartum Depression. And PPA. Postpartum Anxiety.

There. I said it. It's out in the open now. I need it to be out in the open because I need somewhere to write about it, an outlet. And that outlet is here.

I've been on medication for anxiety and depression since before I got pregnant. I stayed on it throughout my pregnancy and 4 months after Pierce was born I expressed to my doctor that I didn't feel normal. She asked me what, specifically, I was feeling and I told her. She tripled my medication and lately I've actually started to feel a lot better. Just last night I was thinking to myself that I haven't had a bad day in a long time and maybe I'm ready to start weaning myself down to a more regular dose of my meds.

But today I had a bad day. It started out well, but went downhill when Pierce only napped for an hour instead of two this afternoon. This boy needs a lot of sleep and when he doesn't get it, it makes him cranky. He wouldn't go back down, and I thought he would, so after I got him calmed down, I went to bed myself, only to be woken up not much after I went to bed. He was whiney and I was exhausted, which is a bad mixture for me.

Thank God I had already planned meals for this week or else I don't think I would've had the energy to make dinner. But luckily the chicken was already defrosted in the kitchen sink and all I had to do was cut up a few carrots, cut off a few pieces of cauliflower and stick the chicken in the oven. I had planned to make rice as well, but that didn't happen. And I'm okay with that. After dinner my husband bathed Pierce so that I could chill on the couch for a minute and then I put him to bed. I am so glad that he's in bed now, and that doesn't make me a bad mom, it makes me normal. I will be going to bed way early tonight.

This is not such a big surprise for those of you who follow me on Twitter since I have been participating in #ppdchat every Monday afternoon and evening for a while now. It has actually been VERY helpful and I would encourage anyone who even has the slightest inkling that they may have a postpartum mood disorder to join in Mondays at 1:00pm & 8:30pm EST. It was started by @unxpctdblessing who is freaking awesome.

So, there you go. I have PPD & PPA and I am no longer ashamed of it. I can talk about it. That's some pretty damn sweet progress if you don't mind me saying so!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thankful on Thursday

I'm not going to make some excuse about where I've been. I just stopped posting. I'm sorry. I'm back now, but I can't promise that I will be posting with the same frequency as before.

What am I thankful for this week?

1. Finding a perfect day home for Pierce to go to when I go back to work. I have no qualms about the place we have chosen for Pierce, other than the fact that I wish he didn't have to go to daycare at all.

2. Loyal, caring, loving friends who have always been there for me when I need them and continue to be. I'm going through some confusing stuff lately and I'm so glad I've had friends to lean on and talk to when needed.

3. My awesome doctor who takes me seriously no matter how trivial my concerns are. Pierce was super fussy on Monday and on Tuesday morning his diaper was almost dry and the pee was brown, so I was worried he had a urinary tract infection and took him to the doctor. She checked him out and said that she thought that it was just his tooth bothering him and gave me 4 samples of baby Advil to take home. Did I mention how awesome she is?

What do you have to be thankful for this week?