Tag Archives: mom blogger

Not My Problem


Ok I take it back.  I realized I still totally have days where the depression/anxiety come back, but it’s only for a little and way, WAY better than it was before.  I was tempted to keep this to myself because I don’t want to take hope away from those of you still in the thick of it.  Seriously, life is gooOOOooOOOood.  But the malfunction going on in my brain is still there in some small capacity.  It really is manageable, and I’m a woman so I’m used to dealing with major swings in my emotions, but I wanted to mention it so anyone still dealing with it wondering what’s wrong that theirs isn’t completely gone can see that they’re not alone. Nope!  Still nuts over here. 

But I did find another thing that helps emensly and I know this won’t fit into everyone’s life but I’m going to share it anyway in case it can help someone.  I got a gym membership!  I know, first week of the year, how cleesh.  I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to do this, it helps on like 9 different levels.  First, exercise is KEY to a healthy mood, at least for me.  Taking River out for our walks just wasn’t enough.  I’m a runner and I need to sweat and get my heart pumping, it’s the most therapeutic thing to me.  

I went and looked at about 5 different local gyms that I knew had child care.  Truthfully I barely even looked at the gym portion of any of them, I just looked at the day care areas because that was the most important to me.  I wanted to make sure that not only was it safe and clean, but that it looked fun for River!  I couldn’t just dump him off somewhere and feel ok about that, I needed to make sure he would look forward to this time every day as much as I do.  I was actually shocked at a couple upscale gyms that had really depressing day care areas.  Some were tucked back in an area with no windows.  I wasn’t cool with that.  Some had zero kids in them even though the gym was busy.  So I wanted to find one that had a lot of moms with kids who frequented the gym and day care.  River loves other kids and that was going to be part of the fun of this, so busy day cares we’re a must.  

I’m not a big class taker or weight lifter.  I run on the treadmill and use the elliptical from time to time if I’m feeling exotic, and that’s pretty much it.  But I ended up joining a gym with a shit ton of amenities just because of the kid’s club.  

For SAHMs I think this kind of thing is imperative.  At least if you’re like me and your husband is gone most of the time and you have no family near by.  We have the BEST part time nanny, but I’m not going to have her come all the way over just for 2 hours every day.  But to get out of the house and away from River for an hour or 2 on most days makes such a huge difference. 

Obviously being a working mom is hard in it’s own way, but there are studies that prove working mothers actually heal faster from PPD and PPA because they actually do get away.  Of course whenever we’re away we miss them terribly and they are always on our minds so it doesn’t really feel like we’re “away,” but there is something chemical that happens when we are not in the same vicinity as our children.  I’ve even told a few girls I chat with to leave the baby with their dad and go sit in the car for an hour.  You may sit there and bawl and hate each second of it, but you are actually healing yourself.  

River was really excited the first couple times I dropped him off, but the 3rd time he was not having me leave him.  He instantly started crying and it gutted me to leave him in this tiny Disneyland.  The girl working there promised me that they do much better if you just go rather than hang out and wait for them to feel better.  So of course I stood just outside the door for the first 15 minutes peaking in to make sure he was alright, even though he had quit crying within the first minute.  

He was happy as a clam the next time I dropped him off so I was glad to see he had not been traumatized by the last experience.  But the time after that he had a full on tantrum meltdown.  Again I just walked out and peeked in on him and he was fine again as soon as he couldn’t see me and walked straight over to jump up and down to cheer on a bigger kid playing ski ball.  I instantly went from having a broken heart for him to thinking “faker!”  Well fine, if it’s going to be like that I’ll go sit in the steam room, he’s someone else’s problem now. 

Here are some things to look into if you’re thinking about joining a gym with day care (DO IT)

  • What is the check in/out process? You want one that is lengthy and involved to the point of being meticulous and annoying.  It just  means they’re safer.  Mine requires a finger print, etc. 
  • Are there windows?  This might not matter as much to you, but I just think daylight is so important that it was one of my requirements. 
  • Are all the doors locked?  Seriously this seems like a no-brainer but some had unlocked doors!  One of the kids club gyms backed up to a courtyard where a bunch of men on their breaks stood and smoked and it was nothing but window back there with a door that “must remain unlocked during business hours.”  I’m sure it was locked from the outside, but I still didn’t like how all the kids were basically on display there.
  • Check their policies on food and diaper changes.  Most places don’t change diapers, which I actually prefer.  So they just text you when your kid poops if they’re still in diapers so you can come change them quickly. 
  • Make sure everyone who works there has had a background check and is at least CPR certified.
  • Ask about their cleaning system, find out how often the toys are washed.  The place we go to disinfects the toys twice a shift if that helps you gage what you should expect. 
  • Most places don’t allow for snacks which makes total sense, so just be sure to drop your child off with a full tummy.  
  • Check their hours, most gym child care closes for a major chunk of the day, from about noon-5 or something and has very short hours on the weekends.  Make sure they are open enough in the times you can go to make it worth your while. 
  • Ask them when they are at their busiest and how many employees they will have per child per their policy.  
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finally the force is with us!


Yesterday was my 2 week post op check up and it was full of good news!  It was another great lesson from the universe that I need to stop assuming I know the outcome of things that haven’t happened yet.  I was so sure that on top of being a wretched thing to go through and the loss of the baby, this whole ordeal pretty much sealed my fate for ever getting pregnant again on my own.  I’ve been stewing in that for 2 weeks feeling sorry for myself and yesterday I got the positive smack upside the head I needed.

First off, the “bunches of cysts” on both ovaries that the ultrasound technician saw weren’t cysts at all!  They were blood clots from the initial slow bleed of the ectopic.  So my ovaries are great!  I guess my blood was clotting like crazy as they were trying to suction it out of my body, which is usually good, you want blood to clot, but it kept getting stuck in the suction machine.  So she ended up leaving a fair amount of blood in me, which actually was good I guess because it gets reabsorbed, so my numbers and iron looked great.  And it should, there was a fuck of a lot of it pumped in there.  In total I had 6 units of blood plus platelets and other plasma products.  Thank God for people who donate!  From now on I will be donating blood regularly. 

The doctor also said my other tube is “beautiful,” clear, and in perfect shape!  And my endometriosis is currently nonexistent!  

My incisions are healing really well and I got the green light to pick up River!!  I’m so freaking excited about this.  I still have to take it easy but just to hold his fat body for a few minutes makes me happy. 

I also learned something super duper interesting about female anatomy. I always thought that your ovaries were both affixed at the end of either Fallopian tube, so the loss of a tube would really be equal to the loss of an ovary.  But that is WRONG!  Apparently Fallopian tubes are all loosey goosey in there, and sweep around searching for the egg that’s being released.  They can even sweep to the opposite ovary!  I had a hard time picturing this so last night in bed I searched Dr. World Wide Web for a video so I could wrap my little pea brain around it, and I found this.  

So even though I only have one tube, the left side can take over the work of my missing tube and deliver my released eggs from BOTH ovaries.  This is wonderful news because I was obviously concerned this surgery had cut my chances of getting pregnant again naturally in half. 

I’m so, so happy that I get to share all this positive stuff!  And now that I’m on this side of it I think I can actually admit how scary and awful this whole thing was.  Obviously I wanted to let people know what was going on, and I preferred to post about it rather than have Jordan and I both need to message the people in our lives that would want to know and tell this story/relive it over and over.  That was just too much.  I wanted to be careful not to dramatize the situation when I posted it and make people worry about me because that’s shitty.  But now that I’m ok I can say this was hands down the scariest and most painful thing I’ve ever lived through.  I honestly thought I was going to die.  My doctor said she did, too.  The first thing she did when she came in was hug me and tell me how happy she is that I’m here, because I almost wasn’t.  She said the other 2 surgeons were panicking and telling her to cut me open immediately and perform a hysterectomy to just get me to stop bleeding.  But my doctor was calm and collected and made the decision to do it laparoscopically and just take the tube and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for her!  I love my doctor.  The nurses were all coming out one by one to hug me and tell me how scared I had them.  The last time they saw me I was strapped to a gurney being wheeled out by the Chippendale EMTs. 

I don’t know what the future holds but I am alive and happy and HOPEFUL in the very least.  I just again want to thank each person who sent flowers, care packages, messages, daimoku, etc.  I really felt the love and it helped me through this in a big way.  And I am doing great now so you can scratch me off your list of people to be concerned about.  

❤️😊❤️

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reach out

This week is River’s first birthday party!!  I can’t believe it.  We now have my mom and my in-laws here helping out with everything.  I still can’t pick up River and it’s a very frustrating feeling.  But I’m so thankful for how much my husband steps up happily and without a single complaint ever. I’m also so grateful to my mom and in laws for being here for us, we really do need their support right now.  Not just in caring for the baby, but also to help lift our spirits.  It’s nice having them around.

Jordan came with me to my blood test today.  They’re just checking my beta hcg to make sure it’s going down.  I guess with the “pseudo sack” in my uterus they need to be sure I’m not still pregnant.  Anyway the 2 of us ran a couple errands and went to lunch and I think it was the first time since all of this went down we’ve really had time to chat just us. 

Somehow we got on the subject of all the people that had reached out to us to let us know they are thinking about us in this time.  There were a few people of course that waited a little because they didn’t want to “bother” us while we were still dealing with stuff.

Jordan and I both talked about how often we have both had this same line of reasoning when other people we loved were going through something hard; the loss of a loved one, sickness, a bad breakup, whatever.  “Oh, they don’t want to hear from me right now, they’re probably dealing with so much as it is.”  It’s really kind of bonkers logic when you think about it.  And if you’ve ever been the one on the other side, it really becomes clear to you that the plan of “not bothering” someone when they’re going through something is pretty dumb.

There’s also the element of being uncomfortable and not knowing what to say that holds people back.  They don’t want to say the wrong thing and make you feel WORSE.  This is so true when it comes to matters of infertility or miscarriage. It’s such an uncomfortable conversation for most people as it is.  It’s hard when there are seemingly no silver linings.  It’s not like the loss of a dear friend or relative who got to live a life where you can reminisce about them or talk about the good parts.  So what do you say?

The answer is ANYTHING.  “How are you?” is perfect.  So is “I just want you to know I’m thinking of you.”  Really anything you say to show you care is excellent.  Remember when you are thinking “I better not bother them” about 90% of the people in their lives are probably thinking the same thing.  The person may not be ready to answer you but that’s ok, the message will be received in a huge way.  

That was kind of the main take away from our conversation today.  We were both so surprised at how much those small texts and messages meant, they really touched us.  And a lot of them from people we’d never expect to hear from, even getting care packages, letters, and meals sent from people we’ve never met face to face.   To know that even the people you don’t see or hear from regularly care about you when the chips are down is impactful.  All of this really did make a difference for us in this hard time.  No, no one can take fix what happened, but their love and support reminded us that there is still a lot we have to be grateful for, namely the wonderful people in our lives. 

So basically this was a very long way of saying reach out to the people you’re thinking of whether you feel they need to hear it or not.  They do. 

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friday favorites!


1.  If I have a motto about dressing babies it’s that comfort is king!  I love babies and kids that look comfortable, cute, and never fussy.  That’s what’s cool to me.  Childhoods Clothing gets it.  So far River only has 2 rompers and a pair of their shorty shorts, but I want everything they have in every size and color.  I love that they come in all types of layers, even short sleeved hoodies.  Which works great in California where even in the summer it always cools down at night juuuust enough for another layer.  

2. Aren’t these pillows just the neatest?  I want a whole mountain range for River’s bed.  I imagine the dreams he would have about being a great adventurer with these surrounding him.  They’re made by Three Bad Seeds and even their tree and animal pillows are just as stylish and cool as hell.  What’s better than awesome looking bedding that works double duty for play time, too?

3.  I couldn’t decide which style of these awesome night lights from Goodnight Light I wanted to feature.  I fell in love with their kitschy baby doll night lights, stayed for the pink pineapple, but am now in a committed relationship with their new cactus lights!  Unique and fun and sophisticated enough to feature in any room of your house, not just a kid’s room.  Think about how chill this would look on literally any flat surface of your house.  (River is lucky his helmet treatment corrected that or he’d be wearing one of these on his head)

4.  I’ve spent WAY too much time indoors this week due to my surgery and I am about ready to kick down the door and flee, meanwhile I can’t even lift up my leg in the tub high enough for the razor to reach it.  But all I can think about is taking River to the beach.  I’m on the hunt for a really good beach umbrella (if you find one let me know), but also on the list was a towel big enough for the both of us.  I’ve had my eye on these round towels from The Beach People for quite awhile just because they’re so cool.  I’ve seen a lot of knock offs since, but the thing I like about these is that they are thick and soft.  A lot of other round “beach blankets” are made of thin cotton, like a flat bed sheet.   That’s uh no good at the beach.  Give me something soft and absorbent and thick enough to be warm if I need to use it as a blanket when the wind kicks up while my moon doggy is still hangin 10.  I can’t wait to park our behinds on this baby as soon as I find the right umbrella and my husband shaves my legs. 

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Hellooo, Nurse!

Nurse Booby


My grandma was smart as a whip and “with it” pretty much until the end of her life, which happened to be just a week shy of her 101st birthday.  In her late 90s she was still reading Russian spy novels, kind of who-done-it murder mysteries where it’s important to keep all of the characters straight, and they all had last names that started with “Zh” and contained 47 letters, random Qs and a hieroglyphic of a bird.  Grandma was a force. 

There were really only a few times you could “catch her slippin” and only in the last year or so of her life.  A couple times while holding my tiny Chihuahua Booger on her lap and stroking his neck she called him a “good kitty” which really could have been anyone’s mistake.  He was actually more rodent than canine.  The other time was when she would repeat the same conversation over and over, even if she had just finished it 5 minutes earlier.  But it was always the same conversation and it always started with her asking me the same question, “could you ever be a nurse?”

She would go on to talk about how she didn’t think it was something she could ever do, and that the people who could were so exceptionally marvelous.  In her 100 years in the planet, with all of her experiences and everything she saw, at the end of her life what struck her the most was that there were people out there selfless enough to be nurses.  

She was a very healthy person.  Other than having her 5 babies, she never spent any time in the hospital up until the end of her life.  She didn’t have many experiences where she needed some of the things that we know nurses provide.  She never needed their quick action in a life or death situation.  She never needed them to change the dressing on a festering sore, or clean her bedpan.  She never needed to lean on them while trying to walk for the first time in weeks or to pull up her underwear after going to the bathroom.  She never needed them console her when she was scared or required one of their magic tricks like getting you to pee for the first time without a catheter after abdominal surgery with the use of a peri bottle. 

Although she never required a lot of what nurses have to offer personally, all these things added to her appreciation of them.  But there was one thing that nurses provide I think she valued most, and that’s dignity.  

Dignity was huge to my grandmother and it’s something that nurses provided for her in a big way at the end of her life.  

It’s not easy as an adult living without some or all of your independence.  It can be very difficult needing to lean on other people or have them care for you.  No matter what your restriction nobody loves asking for help, especially from loved ones.  Nurses not only provide the care, but they do it in a way that preserves dignity.

I’ve had a lot of instances where nurses have saved me. Through surgeries in my life and having my baby and even while TRYING to get pregnant, nurses have been by my side.  My mother in law is a nurse, and when it’s midnight (3am where she lives) and I’m worried about River’s poop or he has hives, she’s the one on the phone with me talking me through it.  After I had my baby, one of my mom’s dear friends who has been a NICU nurse for 30+ years was the one answering my questions and sending me literature and words of encouragement every step of the way.  This past week when I collapsed at my ultrasound appointment it was the nurse Raelyn who was literally holding me up on the toilet and who revived me with smelling salts, called the paramedics and my husband and then helped me get my pants on before 9 soap opera hunk EMTs showed up to the bathroom.  In the ER as I was losing 4 liters of blood in a matter of minutes and I had swarms of medical people buzzing around me and shouting things to each other that I didn’t understand, it was the nurse with the green eyes who kept getting close to my face and smiling and squeezing my hand to tell me I was doing great.  It was this same nurse who I turned to in the operating room moments before they put me under that I looked at with tears in my eyes and told I was scared.  Even with a mask on, I could feel her smile as she reassured me.  She said “you have the best people around you right now, we’re going to take care of you.  I promise.”

I love nurses so much.  Happy National Nurses Week!

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Honestly, this bottle sucks. 


I’m not that into taking the time to give something a bad review, but as a mom I do find its more helpful to other moms if I’m honest.. er, forthright. 

Let me start off by saying I love the Honest Co.  I use many of their home and baby products.  But this bottle can basically kick rocks all the way back to Jessica Alba’s house. 

First off, this sonofabitch is heavy.  Fill it with milk and you may need someone to spot you if you plan to lift it above your heart.  I’m still trying to get River to hold his own bottles, that’s not happening with this thing.  He’d burn more calories than he was taking in. 

The whole bottle is made of soft silicone, which was actually a selling point to me.  I dunno, it seemed cool.  I grew up in LA, we have a love for silicone like Buffalonians do for blue cheese.  But if this thing gets pinched, squeezed, or smooshed it will dump out it’s contents all over your diaper bag, your baby, your shirt, your dog, your life.  I say DUMP, not leak.  Dump is correct.

The nipple and the big honkin’ blubbery bottle have to line up juuuuuuuust so when you screw them together.  Too loose and dumpity doo dah, too tight and the air vents get blocked meaning your kid will work up a sweat trying to get the milk out as the bottle squeaks and hisses and collapses, and when they try to let go half their face will get sucked back into the bottle.  

The to-go lid is ridiculously hard to get off.  Couple that with a squishy, blubbery body and it’s a disaster waiting to happen.  Imagine super gluing a lid to the end of a full water balloon, and then try pulling it off.  It’s something like that. 

As far as nipples go, this one is actually pretty great.  It’s the only reason this bottle hasn’t already been recycled into one of the Kardashians.  River has a really strong suck, has since birth (lucky me).  Getting him to drink from a bottle took a lot of trial and error because all manmade  nipples would choke him with their letdown.  He’ll be a year this month and he’s still using newborn slow flow nipples.  This bottle actually works for him in that regard. 

Bottom line, there are some crucial design flaws with this bottle. It bums me out because it’s cute and I ❤️ the Honest Co., but maybe they’ll figure it out and give this thing a makeover that for once means LESS silicone. 

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Friday Favorites!

I’m starting a new feature where on Fridays I’ll be posting a few of the items I’m currently crushing on!  There’s always some new thing for babies or my home or beauty/health and wellness that I’m obsessing over every week.  This week they all come from Etsy shops because I’ve been cruising my Etsy app at night after the child goes to sleep.  (TBH probably a lot of these posts in the future will come from there because this bitch loves her some Etsy)

1.  Neon Plant Hangers!  I ordered this yellow gem from The Vintage Loop because I LOVE pops of neon in a room and I’ve been looking for a cool plant hanger.  They come in lots of colors but the neon yellow, hot pink, and bright blue are the COOOO-LEST.

2.  I ordered these sweet little snake socks  from Hady’s Closet because, I mean, COME ON!  Are these the cutest ever or what?  I’ve been looking for knee socks for River that weren’t too girly. Now that he’s crawling and the weather is warmer, I wanted a way to keep his fat little baby legs protected on our hard wood without him having to wear pants all the time.  Knee socks make diaper changes so much easier than pants, and I just couldn’t pass  up these ssssweet sssssilly sssssnakes!

3.  I found these Fox Socks on May Cutie Boutique while on the hunt for River’s snake socks!  They were oh so cute, but far too girly for Bruiser, so I just had to get them for my niece.

4.  Ok, this Rainbow Highlighter from Bitter Lace Beauty might seem a little out there, and it actually is, but it’s also truly magical!  A girl in one of my Facebook groups posted about this and it was so gorgeous on her I wanted to cry.  It’s subtle enough to not look crazy, just like the light is hitting you perfectly and your unicorn ancestry is shining through.  Also, she said it smells like cotton candy! Sadly, do to high demand they are currently out of stock, but you better believe I have my email on their list to be notified when they get more in.

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Is IVF more boy-friendly?

We did genetic testing along with our IVF treatment, so we were able to see the sex of all of our embryos.  We didn’t WANT to know before transferring because we wanted it to be a surprise and we made that clear to our doctor.  He forgot.

We had 11 eggs that fertilized, but only 5 made it the 5 days after insemination to the testing day.  We found this out the morning of our embryo transfer, 6 days after egg retrieval/insemination, but it came with some bittersweet news.  First of all, our dumb dumb Dodo doctor came in that morning and exclaimed that he had some “great news.”  Out of 11 eggs, we were left with 2 healthy embryos.  Both male.  2.  We were super excited because we both wanted a boy, but there was also that twinge of sadness from finding out much earlier than (and not how) we wanted what the sex of our baby would be, and also knowing that we didn’t even have the option of having a girl from this round of IVF.

Even more concerning was that 3 of the 5 embryos were abnormal, and ALL FIVE were male.  We had no female embryos that made it to testing.  Which of course raises the complex question; What the fuck?

I actually don’t think we got much information at all about the genetic testing.  I’m not even sure if we got a physical report about their findings, we were just told that day that 3 of the 5 were “abnormal.”  I don’t know if they even know more than that or not.  I’d be interested in hearing from any of you fellow IVFers who also did testing if you ever got any more information than just normal/abnormal.  It seems sort of vague to me.  Could “abnormal” be anything ranging from minor to severe?  Who knows?  But it does make the prospect of trying on our own that much more daunting.

It would seem something is going on with our female embryos.  So while I was thrilled with the outcome of the IVF and ACTUALLY BEING PREGNANT!!  I was also quietly mourning the possibility that we had just been handed yet another obstacle and told yet another thing my body cannot do; make a female baby.

I’ve since read that IVF can be tough on female embryos, which are more fragile.  Especially with genetic testing, having to last outside the womb for 5 days is not an easy task (I can relate).  But this seems to only account for a very small margin, about 1-2% in favor of male embryos.

BUT, there’s another factor that I think is terribly overlooked when it comes to male favorability in IVF.  There are are many different protocols and techniques to IVF.  Over the several years of researching it and actually going through it myself I’ve spoken with many other women who have also gone through it.  None of us had the same exact experience.  One technique which can differ is the use of ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) vs the dish method.

In the dish method an egg is introduced to a petri dish of sperm, the same way it would be inside the womb, so nature can take it’s course.  In ICSI, under direct microscopic vision, an embryologist chooses a single sperm and injects it into the egg.  ICSI is typically used for male infertility, when there are few sperm or the quality of them is low.  Our IVF clinic uses ICSI across the board, we did not get a choice in whether or not to use it.  I believe this is because of the genetic testing.

Fertilization in a petri dish, just like in natural insemination, requires interaction between the sperm and cumulus cells that surround the egg.  There is a need to remove these cumulus cells in order to perform preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), and therefor it is left far less capable of being fertilized spontaneously.  Hence the need for further intervention (ICSI).

ICSI does have a higher pregnancy success rate, but you are also eliminating natural selection to some degree.  Eggs have ways of determining the best sperm and keeping those that have defects from passing through.  In ICSI, you have an embryologist basically eyeballing sperm and hand selecting one, and forcing it into the egg.  I believe they look for things like size and swimming strength, which could be why there is a higher occurrence of males?  Just a thought.

I’m totally fascinated by the science that brought us our baby, and I’m so grateful for it’s existence!  I could happily read about IVF all day, if I wasn’t busy chasing around the product of it in the form of my 10 month old who is faster on all 4s than I am on my 2s.  I would like to know the reason we had all male embryos, but it’s more due to my curiosity and thirst for knowledge when it comes to this stuff than anything else.  It would also be nice to know that the cause is not an indication of something unhealthy that I may be passing down to my son.  I would LOVE to have a daughter some day, but am perfectly happy being a #boymom forever.

 

 

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Sacks To Be You

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I found a new thing!  These nifty wifty paper sacks!  They’re made out of treated paper that is durable and WASHABLE.  I use them for baby blankets (we have about 6 thousand) and toys.  They would also be great used as hampers, or to store really anything that isn’t wet or living (ew).

I bought these little cuties on Etsy from a shop called Tellkiddo.  They’re pretty inexpensive for something so useful and adorable.  The downside is that the shop is in Stockholm, Sweden, so shipping sucks.  I didn’t mind too much because they just couldn’t be cooler.  I looked high and low for someone that sold these in the states, but had no luck.  UNTIL NOW!  Lucky for you, I found super similar ones on aliexpress.com for cheap and with free shipping!  YW.  I guess it does not sack to be you after all.

I’ve also been on the hunt for an all black one.  I think it would look great in my living room with a fig tree in it!  If you ever come across one, please let me know!  I will cyber-kiss your face.

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8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting PPD

 

Maybe Postpartum Depression can’t be avoided, if you’re gonna get it, you’re gonna get it.  I really don’t know.  But here are 8 things I swear contributed to my PPD that I wish I had been better prepared for.

 

1.  Your baby and your body don’t give a good shit about your “birth plan” and that’s OK.  You start thinking about the immanent birth of your baby from the day you find out you’re pregnant.  Maybe even long before that.  People are so opinionated these days about certain methods and practices and it will get in your head despite your better judgement.  You start feeling like however your child is born is paramount because it will somehow set the tone for the rest of his or her life, and other bull honkey like that.

My baby was late.  42 weeks is a looooong time to be adding details to my fantasy of gracefully plucking him out of me, ala Kortney Kardashian, and placing him on my own chest while the nurse blots the drop of sweat from my brow so we can take our first mother/son selfie.

Apparently the universe did not get the memo.  My contractions were so severe they were stopping River’s heart.  Not once, but twice, with machines going off all around me I got swarmed by entire staffs of nurses and doctors, frantically making me get on all fours to try to get his heart beating again.  It was so terrifying that when my doctor said she was calling it, it was time for an emergency c section, I was actually relieved.

The c section itself wasn’t too bad, recovering from it sucked.  Mostly because I was very out of it for next 2 days and, even though I was there nursing him and holding him, I felt so numb it was like missing it altogether.

I was seriously in mourning over our imperfect start.  I felt like my body let both of us down.  But honestly, one of the best things about babies it that they’re stupid little dummies!  He didn’t know his ass from his elbow, quite literally.  As long as he was getting everything he needed, he was happy as a clam.  He didn’t know what orifice he emerged from, he didn’t know mom was stoned AF or that she was a-cah-ray-zay.  He just knew he was fed and dry and loving being rocked and bounced as I sobbed my face off.

HOW they come into this world is not a huge deal.  Once they’re here, they’re here!  It’s one day (hopefully, maybe a little longer) out of both of your lives and there will be many, many more.

2.  Angels don’t sing the first time you look at this band new, wet alien.  Fireworks don’t go off, the clouds don’t part, and birds do not come to the window to sing a love song when you first lay eyes on your baby.  I had such anticipation for this moment!  I thought the instant I saw my him I would feel a shift in the universe and I would be a new person.  False.

Maybe it was the many, MANY drugs, or the 3 epidurals, or the fact that I was completely out of it and exhausted, but I’ve felt more for random puppies on the street than I did for this sweet babe at first sight.  Again, it was another thing that initially I felt I had to mourn because in my mind it was this crucial experience I had missed out on.  I blame it 100% on the expectations I had about what that moment would feel like.  Maybe that shit DOES happen for some moms, my guess is that these are the same women who love to announce “Oh my God, I forgot to eat today!  HAHA!” and they have my permission to go kick all the rocks.  They’re the reason the rest of us feel like there’s something wrong with US that a disco ball doesn’t drop from the ceiling and “Celebrate Good Times” doesn’t play as Ryan Seacrest introduces us to our new little one.

Love takes time, dammit, Mariah was right.  And “love at first sight” is subjective.  Yes I LOVED my baby and had an instant desire to care for him and put his needs before mine.  But I didn’t feel suddenly and instantly complete and happy and all the wonderful things he now makes me feel every day.  It took some time for me to get to know him, and him to know me, to really experience that intense feeling of love that only a parent can know.

Now since knowing this I always listen very closely to my new mom friends that go overboard on how “in love” they are, and I stay mindful that they may still need a supportive ear, even if their mouths are saying things are great.

If you feel less excited when you meet your offspring than you would if you met the worlds worst band The Offspring, don’t beat yourself up over it.  It will come.

3. Sleep.  Eat.  Easier said than done, I know.  But both these things are vital to your mental health and ability to cope under stress.  And being a new mom is STRESSFUL.  Your body needs rest and nourishment.  I was so depressed I couldn’t eat.  My mom had to force Ensure down my sobby gullet.  (IMO the Butter Pecan flavor tasted the best mixed with snot and tears.)  If you have a partner, take shifts as much as possible so you can both get some rest.  If the baby is napping, nap.  Put off the stuff that isn’t important until later, it can wait.  If you have any money at all, a night nurse is worth her weight in gold.  Trust me, this is something that is WORTH dipping into your savings for, you won’t regret it.  It doesn’t have to be a regular thing, maybe just 1 or 2 nights of good solid sleep might be enough to get your strength back.

4.  Sometimes PPD comes disguised as guilt.  You feel guilty for everything.  You think you’re doing a terrible job taking care of your baby, but you feel guilty asking anyone for help.  Then you feel guilty about feeling guilty.  Just cut that shit out.  You’re doing a great job and people are happy to help.

5.  Give it a week.  If this week is hard, next week will be better.  Every week they are new life forms, I swear.  They change so much day to day that you might even see the transformation faster than that.  But honestly, if they won’t sleep, eat, are just fussy for no reason, and you feel like you’re at your wit’s end, just remember you just have to give it a week.  You can make it a week.  I promise.

6.  Believe it or not, formula is not made out of toxic waste!  Who knew??  Some women have trouble with their breast milk supply.  Some women can’t breast feed at all due to all kids of medical issues.  It can be a great source for stress and depression (and sometimes even self hatred) during this time.  Some people will tell those women with supply issues to get up every 2 hours to pump even while the baby is sleeping.  It’s really such a shame because that kind of pressure can be detrimental to the mother’s health, and although breast milk does have some benefits, they are certainly not so crucial that it’s worth sacrificing your own mental health. I was formula fed and I’m healthy as shit!  I’m a fuckin tank.  Whether you are a formula mom or a bm mom or a mixure of both, feel good about yourself that you’re feeding your baby.  Let it be something that brings you joy instead of stress.  Pay attention to the opinions of NO ONE during this time.  If you are scared about formula, just do a little research and find the best one out there for your LO!  Sometimes it takes a little trial and error, but you’ll get it right.  I researched a ton when I started to supplement and learned so much it was actually kind of fun!  I’ll probably make a post dedicated to formula on here soon.

7.  Don’t wait to get help.  If you start feeling completely overwhelmed, talk to people and get some support set up for yourself.  PPD is a vicious beast that needs to be attacked from every angle with every weapon you’ve got.  This is why we have friends and family.  Because Lord knows that most of the time they’re pains in our ass, this is their time to shine!  If someone offers to come over and help, LET THEM.  Ask them to make dinner or help with some of the house stuff, or just hold the baby while you SLEEP.

Some hospitals offer free postpartum support groups, I went to these several times at the hospital I gave birth at and I’m thankful I did.  It was good to hear other women explaining things that I felt myself to know I wasn’t alone.

There are hotlines you can call that will link you with a mom who has been through PPD and who can offer great support and advice.  Google “postpartum depression help” and you’ll find a bunch of these.  Here’s one that I used.  1.800.944.4773

Talk to your doctor, this is also what they’re there for.  They should be giving you a quiz and asking you about how you are coping postpartum, but if they don’t, bring it up.  They see this stuff all the time and it’s their job to help you through it.  They make the big bucks, help them earn it.  😉

8.  Say yes to drugs.  Seriously.  If your doctor recommends that you go on antidepressants, that’s ok!  Even if you’re nursing, Zoloft has a great deal of research backing it as safe for both pregnant and nursing mothers.  Your baby will be fine and honestly so much better off having a mom that is able to cope.  Postpartum Depression is not something you can just walk off or rub some dirt in or whatever.  It’s chemical and it’s an illness that is effecting your brain.  Part of why it’s so malicious is that it LIES to you and tells you that there is no solution to anything, even medication.  I know for me, I could not have gotten better without the medication.

 

This list will probably grow as more things come to me!  If you’ve gone through PPD and have something to add, please by all means leave it as a comment and I’ll add it!  It’s important that we are all in this together.

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