Overcoming Postpartum Depression & Living and Loving God's Blessings

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mom vs. Dad

I love the show The Middle. It is usually on Wednesday nights. It is a comedy about a middle class family that has funny things happen to them. The show makes me laugh hysterically because it shows what marriage and children really do to a couple.

One of the episodes that mom's can relate to is Mother's day. They show the dad taking the kids to a store to pick out gifts for Mother's day. As you can imagine it is a disaster. The youngest boy yells, "Hey dad, does mom like condoms?"  The dad replies, "NO-get out of that isle!"  So they buy her some goofy gifts like a foot massage. They go to show how different Mother's day is compared to Father's day.

This has been something I have struggled with since becoming a mommy.
Dad- sleep in until he is rested
Mom- is on call 24/7

Dad- watch a football game uninterrupted
Mom- fold laundry, sweep floors, entertain kids, cook dinner, take the dog out, answer phone, pay the bills, while trying to watch the football game

Dad-has a cold and gets to take a four hour nap
Mom-has a cold and she takes some cough drops and sucks it up.

Dad- goes out occasionally with guy friends
Mom-goes out for an hour with girl friends and talks about how much she misses her kids

Dad-"Didn't the kids just have a bath?"
Mom-knows the last time the kids: ate, napped, pooped, bathed, and brushed their teeth.

Dad-full time employment with benefits
Mom- full time job with no benefits other than snotty kisses and lots of love

It is easy to see how much work we as mom's do and sometimes I get resentful when I shouldn't. My husband is a great husband and an amazing father. His kids adore him. He works very hard and comes home to take care of his kids and more work around the house. I sometimes have to bite my tongue, when I start to think of how unfair it can be with the workload a mother has to carry. I do get many breaks throughout the day to take time for myself and I know it is just a season. One day I won't be woken up because of a scary thunderstorm, I won't read "If you give a pig a party" before bedtime, and I won't have the tiny hand to hold while crossing the street. I need to cherish every moment good or bad, easy or hard, and be the best mommy I can be. That is who God designed me to be and his plan is flawless. Even on my worst days- I look up to the sky, say a quiet prayer and know that God will give me the strength to get through anything.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eat my what?

I recently went to a Women's Expo filled with over 50 different vendors selling and promoting health and wellness. It was pretty uplifting actually. I didn't spend any money other than I bought a soda, so my husband should be proud of me!

First I stopped at True Laser and looked into some skin care products and I won a $25 gift card for whatever I wanted at the spa. I figured I would check it out sometime when I had free time-like never! Their staff is ahead of the game on that one because they called me to set up an appointment so I will be redeeming my $25 gift card sooner than never :)

The next booth was a lady doing bra fittings. I looked at her and then looked down at my A cup chest and smiled. I think she knew what I was getting at.

The next booth I stopped at caught my eye because it had a picture of a pregnant woman with a heart over her belly. It looked like the heart was made out of some organ or something so my curiosity lead me to ask questions. I looked at the pamphlet and it said, "Avoid the Baby Blues" Hook line sinker-I was in!
It was Placenta Benefits.info  Mother nature for mothers.  I still didn't get what it was.
Basically what I understand is that when a woman has her baby, you take the placenta and put it in a cooler on ice and take it home with you. A certified placenta encapsulation specialist will come to your home and prepare the placenta and put them in capsules. Then you know what comes next... The woman who just had her baby will start taking these capsules to help replenish the nutrients back into her body.  So yep- you eat your placenta. Gross huh!  That was what I thought, but then I started thinking about it. Other cultures eat placentas for the nutrients and animals do the same thing. "Women who take these the placenta capsules reported having fewer emotional issues, have more energy, and tend to have a more enjoyable and faster postpartum recovery."
I asked how much this whole thing cost-thinking it would be out of my price range, but it was pretty reasonable. Appoximately $200-$250 for the whole process. She even had a sliding scale for families who may not be able to afford that price.
I am pretty open minded about this whole idea now. It is just another option out there to help with postpartum recovery. It doesn't sound so crazy to me anymore. What does sound crazy to me, is for women to have to go through what so many of us went through after giving birth.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Last week I scheduled too much and my kids paid the price hardcore!  They were crabby and did not appreciate being carted around to every single thing we had to do. My husband didn't appreciate it either. I was gone three nights in a row for work stuff. I scheduled wrong and it wore my whole family out.
After Phill gently reminded me that I was the quarterback of the house, it made a lot of sense. I couldn't be doing so much outside stuff because the people in my family depend on me being home most of the time. It is what we are all used to. It is what my family needs at this time in our life. It is a temporary season of my life. I understand that.
I heard on the radio once, that we need to be careful when saying "yes" to everything that comes up because we are saying "no" to the most important people and things in our life.

This week, I didn't do much and it was great! I took a nap with my baby and when I woke up I just watched him sleep. I ran everyday this week on the treadmill, I was home for bath night, dinner was cooked, the house was clean, we had a date night, I watched Beauty and the Beast with my kids, and most importantly my family was happy and so was I.
Balance will always be a struggle I am sure for most of us in this fast paced world. Sometimes God gives us no choice but to slow down. He also calls us to spend time with him each day. We have to be quiet and still to hear his call or we may miss it. Sometimes I only have five minutes to spend in prayer or reading his word, but I know it is the most important thing I can do each day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Phillip's poem

Phillip Henry III  

I kiss your fuzzy head
I breathe you in,
You nuzzle closer to me
skin to skin.

Your gummy grin
you show to me.
You give a belly laugh
so wholeheartedly .

I return a smile
with a sigh.
How could 5 months
just pass by?

You are a miracle
from day one.
How God has blessed me
with an amazing son.

You helped me find
strength and reason
for life's little trials
are just for a season

You will never know
how much you mean to me
I love you always
Love  Mommy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The new me

We are working on putting in a new kitchen floor. Our old kitchen floor looked like something from "That 70's show" My dad has been doing all the work. He is very meticulous when it comes to projects. I am a lot like him in some areas, but not when it comes to laundry or baking. Probably because I am not a huge fan of either of those things.

My dad ripped out all of the old floor. He told me we had to make sure that the floor is absolutely spotless before we put down the new floor. If there are any little stones in there after we lay down the new vinyl, the will push their way up and start a hole.

When my daughter woke up from her nap, she came downstairs and said, "Grandpa this floor is ugly!" We both smiled and told her it wasn't finished yet. I told my dad that ugly is her new favorite word. On her first day of 3 year old pre-school I asked her how she wanted her hair done. Natalie replied, "Ugly!"

I wasn't even thinking of much when I started sweeping over what remained of the old floor. I started to realize that this old floor was a lot like what I had gone through. I was like the old floor. I was doing fine-just kind of going through the motions of life. Then I got hit with an illness shortly after I had baby Phillip. This was like what was underneath the old floor. You could see where the old floor was but it was distorted and "ugly." I stayed that way until I started receiving treatment in the hospital. 
Then the new floor was slowly added over the old floor and it was shiny, new and strong. It covered up all of the old cracks, glue spots, and covered any flaws. This is what I was going through right now.

I think we all go through these kind of transformations. But it is painful and we would rather not have to go through all the "ugliness" in our lives. When we look back on them in a healthy perspective, we can see how God helped us grow and become more like his perfect son, Jesus.
I never stop finding ways that God has blessed my family through this experience. I absolutely love my life and would not change anything about it. I love my family so much!
I don't think I said that very often in the past. I knew I loved my family, but I seemed to take them for granted that they would always be there. I also complained too much about the mundane things in my routine. Now I am so grateful for the routines and so is my family. 
My marriage got stronger through this also. It wasn't easy for Phill to go through this with me. He was extremely patient, understanding and helpful through this whole experience. We did have a few major arguments in the recent past. I think one of the biggest argument was over future traveling. I wanted Phill to give up all of his traveling because I ended up in the hospital the last time he went on a trip. I realized how unreasonable this would be and I love to travel so I would be ending a dream of mine. I let fear and doubt get the best of me.

I also found a new appreciation for myself. I think we can be our own worst critics. I know I was and I still am sometimes. I have given myself a break from this. I am so proud of my own inner strength I never knew I had. I am also so proud of myself for knowing I needed help. 

One of the best things I learned as a social worker, is that asking for help is a strength not a weakness. 

Friday, October 1, 2010


Recently our 10 year old dog, Mullen, died. She was a black lab, husky mix with deep blue eyes. She howled instead of barked which we all got a kick out of. This summer before all of my postpartum adventures began, we had a wedding to go to. My parents took Mullen for the weekend. They kept her after that weekend. They told us that a city is no place for her to run around and she didn't look like she was going to even make it until the winter.
Labor day weekend she died in her sleep. My dad found her and was very reluctant to tell us. He felt really bad and I am sure he was concerned about how he was going to tell me. My parents probably remember really well how I took the death of my first dog, Dodger. I cried for months, yes-months-over him. I got him when I was ten and he was my big baby. He died when I was 22 and was just fresh out of college.

My dad came to our house to help with some projects around the house and to help me with the kids early September. I work part-time from home and usually the kids are great, but it is a lot easier to work when someone else is tending to them. Many times I have the baby in the bouncer on the table and I talk to him, while my daughter is coloring me a picture or making a mess out of play dough. I am sending out an e-mail or working on a mailing for my job. Somehow my work always gets done and I am thankful that I can work from my home. I have the best jobs in the world :)

So my dad told me that Mullen passed away. I immediately hugged my dad and I felt sad. The tears didn't come. Weeks went by and the tears still wouldn't come. I e-mailed my friend and told her I could not cry about this. It really bothered me. I asked her what the medication was doing to me-making me a hard ass!! She told me the medication buffers you from feeling sad and depressed. I guess that makes sense it is in the name of the medication  anti-depressant.  I talked to my therapist about this. She told me it might be because I went through something so traumatic this summer that I grew so much from that experience. Things that normally would make me cry, now I just think they are sad.

This continued to bother me. I started to not like the medication anymore. Plus I was working out 5 days a week and wasn't noticing any weight loss. I started dieting to see if that would help too. I blamed my medication on this also. I started to feel trapped. I did a little on-line research about my medication, which my husband hates when I do this! I will talk to my doctor early next week when I see her. She is the only one I should listen to about my medication.

Our friend Todd came over to visit us last week. He knew how sad we all were about losing Mullen. Natalie was especially sad. She told everyone we saw that "Mullen dieded."  Todd bought her a stuffed dog that barked when you pressed the paw. Her name was Mullen. Natalie loves her. She takes her everywhere with her and sleeps with her at night. That first night we had the new stuffed animal, Mullen, I asked Natalie if I could take her in my room for a few minutes. She let me. I sat down on the big, overstuffed chair in my bedroom. I looked at "Mullen" and started crying. I cried for about five minutes and I said a quiet goodbye to my real dog Mullen. It was exactly what we needed.

And yes ladies... Todd is still single- isn't he sweet!!