Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Still here

I think about this blog sometimes and feel guilty that I just rather abandoned it. The past few weeks have been so busy that I haven't really taken time to catch my breath. Things are still going pretty good for me. Katherine is growing and seems to get more of a personality with each passing day. Gracie has been going to summer day camps and vacation bible school which gets her out of my hair and does wonders for my disposition :-) Her last camp ends this Friday though so I'm not sure how we'll make it to mid-September when preschool starts. I am wishing more and more that I had easy access to an every-day preschool. But I'll make the best of it. A few weeks ago I thought there was a possibility of my going to work but that petered out. Monday my hubby went and interviewed for a position within his company that would be less flying and more like a 9-5 desk job which means he would be home every night. The drawback is that we would have to move to Detroit and start all over again with no family nearby. We are still trying to decide what would be the best thing to do.

I think this will be my last post to this blog. I started it almost 2 years ago, trying to deal with the frustration of infertility. I've moved on (to other frustrations!) so it seems like a good time to let this blog go.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Time marches on

Where does the time go? Seems like just yesterday I was bemoaning a huge belly and all the aches and pains that went along with being 9 months pregnant. Now my baby is closing in on 3 months old. She smiles a lot and just yesterday she laughed several times at Gracie's entertainment. She's started drooling a lot which makes me think that teeth are in our future. She's not interested yet in trying to grab anything but she's very alert and seems to take in life with wide open eyes. This past week we went on vacation in Florida. I was worried about how both the girls would do but we all managed to have a great time. I put Katherine back in bed with me and she slept beautifully. She's making the transition back to the crib as though she hadn't slept with me at all. Crossing my fingers, she seems to be a pretty adaptable baby. We still don't have much of a routine but she's sleeping pretty well. We're back to 2-3 hour stretches at night but somehow I am managing it without being a zombie.

I am still coping pretty well with my depression. One thing my therapist grilled me on several times was keeping up the changes that I've made recently and carrying them forward. Namely that the onus is on me to make sure that I get adequate me-time. At the time I assured her that I am very aware of the need and that I didn't intend to let that slip. As time goes on, however, I find it very easy to slip back into those old habits that got me into such bad shape in the first place. I've had a few days where I honestly wanted to check myself back into the hospital. A lot of days I get through by just trying to survive one moment to the next. I wonder sometimes if I'll ever not be depressed on some level.

I got a call last week about a job at the company I worked for before I had Gracie. I am considering going back to work there. My friends' and family's opinions of that are mixed and I'm still trying to decide if it would be a good thing. Part of me wants to wait until this fall when Gracie is in preschool and see how that goes. We'll see.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Title Goes Here!

I am absolutely fresh out of ideas for interesting titles on blog posts!

Great news this week: I have been released by both my psychiatrist and my therapist. My family doc will do whatever is necessary with the Zoloft from here on out. Last night I stopped taking the Trazodone with no ill effects and decent sleep so I hope I'm off that for good. It helped immensely at first but I think it is time to move on.

Katherine is now 2 months old! Night before last she slept 5.5 hours straight. Yesterday she got her two month shots so she was a little cranky but she still slept well last night. About 7:30 tonight she got very, very fussy. Which was bad for me because I am parenting solo right now and I was desperately trying to get a very tired three year old into bed. I finally had both of them screaming and crying at the same time so I just shut the door on Gracie and went outside to walk Katherine. Gracie finally calmed down. I suspect it was one of those things where she was crying one second and out cold the next! Katherine... well, that's another story. She cried off and one for two hours. I was finally able to lay her down on the boppy pillow and give her the binky and she just now fell asleep. Sweet release! Who cares that she's downstairs in my office and not in the crib! I plan to zonk out right next to her in a few minutes!

My depression is a lot better than it was. I still have periods of sadness and crying spells but they don't last very long and they're very predictable now. Invariably J will leave for work and that night, after everyone is asleep, the sadness overwhelms me. During the day I do pretty well but some days I have to force myself to get out, around other people. Times like tonight, where everyone was crying at once, previously would have stressed me to the breaking point. Tonight I was able to stay in control of my reaction to the situation. I credit the Zoloft with helping me do that.

Life marches on. Life is pretty good. Right now I feel like a survivor. Hopefully I will continue to feel that way.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Still Here

I'm still here and doing a lot better than I was. I'm still struggling with the depression but it's not as bad as before and the really bad periods of it aren't lasting nearly as long.

I must admit that when the counselor first brought up the idea of a hospital stay, one of my thoughts was what will people think? I have been so encouraged and strengthened by everyone's comments. Without fail, everyone that I have shared my story with has been very supportive. The only thing I've been chastened about was for not telling people sooner what I was going through.

I am continuing to see a counselor although I think next week may be my last session. It has been very good for me to talk over some things and get some ideas on how to handle life at the moment. I have also started back to journaling regularly and this has helped give me some perspective on my life.

My husband has really stepped up to the plate. I'm very proud of him. I tried to talk to him one day about how he felt about the events of the last several weeks and his response was: I don't really want to think about it. It is what it is. I'd rather just deal with what is right now and move on with life. The more I think about it, the more I like that response and I'm trying to claim it as my own. I try not to spend too much time brooding over what happened or feeling guilty about things. Instead I'm trying to focus on concrete things I can do to make my life better. Last week J and I sat down and coordinated our calendars. We built in time for him to do his free-time activities and also for me to have some free time. We also made sure to build in plenty of time for us as a family. I suppose all that sounds rather obvious but it's not something we've ever done. I anticipate that becoming a weekly ritual in our house! I am also taking G to the sitter every week during the summer.

One of the things the counselor got me thinking about was whether or not being a stay at home mom is still a good fit for me. I am toying with the idea of looking around for a part time job to get me out of the house and interacting with people.

I had my 6 week checkup last week. I can't believe it's been so long! I still have some stitches that haven't dissolved which surprised the midwife and also has kept things tender down there. I have a prescription for a progesterone only pill which I suppose I will get started on one of these days. It scares me though because, even taken 100% correctly (same time every single day), they have somewhat lower rates of pregnancy prevention than combined pills. It's hard to believe that after all my trials with infertility, I am now deathly afraid of getting pregnant again! I had wanted to use an IUD but the OB who treated me thinks that would probably not be a wise choice given the unknown state of my innards. So when I feel more physically ready, I plan to get my tubes tied and while they're in there, they will do some exploration to asses just what damage was done after delivery by the retained placenta detaching. Worst case we might have to consider a hysterectomy although that's unlikely given that I've had no further problems except continued spotting. But I need to be physically and emotionally ready for that option. So in the meantime I'll do the minipill and hold my breath!

Friday, June 01, 2007


It's been 12 days since my last post: several days of pure hell and many days on the road to recovery. Here's the story:

In my last post I said that I wasn't getting along very well by myself with two kids and hubby gone back to work. I knew that I had post-partum depression; I just didn't realize how bad. My good friend T had started calling me daily to check up on me. She is the one who came to visit a few weeks ago and she experienced PPD with her last two kids. She called me Monday morning and I had just really hit rock bottom. She gave me the ultimatum that either I call my midwife or she would. I knew she was serious so I went ahead and called because I knew I couldn't go on like I was. The midwife talked to me a bit, asking me questions. The final trigger question was "Have you had any thoughts of hurting anyone?". For some reason I was compelled to answer truthfully. Yes, I told her, I had thought many times about hurting someone. Who? My babies. At that point, just saying that out loud to another person was more than I could bear and I broke down crying. I didn't stop for the next 12 hours. The midwife asked if I could come see her right then. I went. She explained to me that I needed help right then and I agreed. She had already made arrangements for me to see a counselor at the Behavioural Health Unit of the hospital. She even took me over there herself. I ended up talking to the counselor for almost 4 hours. At some point, she broached the idea of hospitalization so that I could get started right away on medications and also have a break from everything and get some rest. I was totally resistant to the idea because I didn't want anything to interfere with nursing Katherine. In the end, I left her office rather against her advice and went home. I sat in a chair with Katherine in my arms and continued to cry. A few hours later my friend JE came over and she talked with me and brought me to the acceptance of doing inpatient treatment. She promised to take care of my babies so I allowed her to take me.

I could write a lot about my 3 days in the psychiatric ward of the hospital but the experience is too raw so I won't right now. Suffice it to say that I got myself together somewhat and got a little rest and spend time talking to counselors. It's been 8 days since I got out. I am on Zoloft and also Trazadone to help me sleep without affecting the baby. I am still nursing and Katherine continues to thrive. I am getting tons of help from my family and I think they are almost ready to relax their 24 hour/day guard of me. That has been one of the hardest things for me: not being able to be left alone with my kids and knowing full well that that was the best course of action. I saw a psychiatrist yesterday who upped my Zoloft dosage and I am also seeing a counselor every few days who has been really helpful in getting me thinking and talking. I still have a very long ways to go but I am also a very long ways from where I was 8 days ago. I have completely lost all my pregnancy weight although in the circumstances that is probably not a good thing since I basically lost my appetite and ate very little. But that is getting better now. The medicine helps me to get to sleep faster and sleep deeper and on top of that, Katherine is beginning to go 4-5 hour stretches at night. She is still sleeping with me which I have ceased to worry about. Each day has enough worries of its own!

This is the first time since my breakdown that I have gotten on the computer. I am hopelessly behind in all my emails and blogs. Again, not worrying too much about that. I hope this post might help someone else out there. Everyone I come into contact with rushes to assure me how completely normal I am. Hopefully it will continue that way.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Surviving Single-Parenthood

I'm on my third day of four days of single parenthood. I can't say that I've done very well. No shower. I think I brushed my teeth once or twice. If I can't do it with a baby in one arm, it just doesn't get done. Not to mention that I've experienced every symptom of post-partum depression in one form or another. No, things have not been going well. My newborn seems to get more high-maintenance every day. This morning, though, we had a sort of a breakthrough.

A little background first... Before G was born I read all the books and did all the research and decided that we would go the co-sleeping, baby-wearing route. About 3 days into the parenthood thing, the co-sleeping thing went out the door. I quickly figured out it just wasn't for us. We moved her into the crib in her own room and she has been a great sleeper ever since. More and more, though, I am realizing what a different baby Katherine is and this morning I brought her to bed with me. We both slept a solid 3 hours and I woke up feeling like a different person. I can't decide now what I want to do. I am tempted to bring her to bed tonight, if for no other reason than to get a good night's sleep and try and get out of this deep, dark, black funk that I'm in. On the other hand, my general motto with kids is to start as you intend to finish. In other words, I have this real fear that if I let Katherine in my bed at this point, she'll still be there when she's 20. I know it's an irrational fear but since when are depressed people rational?

I did a fair amount of carrying G around in the Baby Bjorn when she was small. I am definitely doing it more with Katherine. She just does not like to be put down.

On that note, someone just woke up and wants feeding.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

One of those days

Last night I had to take a Benadryl to ward off the start of a sinus thing. I hesitated to take it because Katherine was having one of "those" nights where she decided to be fussy and wake up every half hour. By 8am this morning I felt like a train had run over me. Probably should have stayed home and slept but we had promised Gracie we would go do something fun so we did. By lunch time I was still tired but felt like I might make it through the day. We got home and put Gracie in her room for her "rest" and I fed and changed Katherine and then laid down for mine. 10 minutes later Katherine was crying again so we repeated the feed. I laid down again. 10 minutes later J's phone rang (he had it set at full volume) which woke everyone up. I went back to sleep for about 10 minutes when Katherine woke up again. At that point I totally gave up on a nap. I fed Katherine and put her in her swing and proceeded to clean up G's play room, a project I have been wanting to tackle for some time now. Of course, an hour later Katherine was still sleeping peacefully and G was ready to get up but by golly I have a clean play room now. Here's hoping that both my sinuses and Katherine behave themselves tonight and let me get some sleep. J leaves this evening to go back to work for 4 days. Here comes the true test of single-parenting a toddler and infant!