Life, Lately

This last month has been rough for me, and for my entire family. I broke down. I cracked. I have a clue as to what triggered it, but I think it was a long time coming. The lack of sleep for the last three months, coupled with my anxious tendencies, mixed with postpartum blues. I wonder often why I couldn’t handle it. Where did I go wrong and what could I have done differently? I knew early into postpartum that something was wrong. I knew it was more than the postpartum blues but I figured that if I was able to function, I was alright. I was alright, until I wasn’t.

An ER trip, an anti-depressant prescription and a leave from work later, here I am. I got to a bad place. I felt unreal and empty and so damn sad. I’m trying to move forward and do what I need to do to heal. I started going to see my therapist twice a week. I entered an intensive therapy treatment program that involves 3 hours of group therapy per day. I’m reading and writing more. I got a membership to the arboretum to spend more time outside. I deleted social media from my phone and I’ve been taking my medicine. I’m trying to eat more. I’m trying.

I want to be the mother, wife and friend that is there for the people she loves. I am so grateful that the people who love me were there for me. While it’s been a crap month, at least I can say I have a bomb support group. I could not imagine doing it alone.

I’m seeing improvements. I’m feeling more joy when I am with my daughter. When I take walks, I’m noticing the colors of the flowers. I’m able to calm myself down sometimes. I don’t know if it’s because of the medicine, or because of my own efforts but I am so thankful to be seeing some changes. I know I have a long way to go still, but I am just glad to not be at the very bottom anymore.

No one talks about how lonely motherhood can be. I anticipated that I would be tired, but I never imagined it meant not sleeping more than three hours at a time for months. I wish we talked about it more. I wish it wasn’t painted to be rainbows and butterflies and smiles. Sometimes it is – when your kid does something for the first time and they smile. A lot of times (at least for me) it wasn’t and I’m trying to acknowledge that that is perfectly okay too.

Pregnancy Six Things Saturday

Six Things Saturday #1

I used to do Five Things Friday, but I’m lazy so Fridays are pretty damn unproductive. So… here is Six Things Saturday!

#1. Chocti!

This stuff is GOLDEN! It’s made of ghee, dates and cacao and freaking delicious. I spread some on top of a paleo English muffin and it hit the damn spot.

#2. Cilka’s Journey!

This is the follow up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz and I am digging it. I’ve been reading it in the morning and have really enjoyed it so far. Holocaust books have been my thing lately, as morbid as it sounds.

#3. VapoShowers!

Being pregnant and sick is the absolute worst. I had a cold for about 11 days and was miserable. Vick’s came in and saved me (at least momentarily). You drop these into the shower and the hot water makes the air smell like Vick’s. 10 out of 10, would suggest.

#4. Ugly pictures, delicious tacos

I finally jumped on the trend train and tried Siete brand paleo tortillas and they have been a game changer. I’ve been loving them as breakfast tacos, with eggs, bacon and avocado! Crisp them on the stove for a few seconds and enjoy!

#5. Ugly picture, cute swaddles!

I’m starting to buy things for Baby M and one of the first things I bought was this set of swaddles (and burp clothes). I love nice things, but I love a great deal even more. I bought this set of Aden + Anais swaddles off of Facebook Marketplace for $10! What a steal – each of these blankets retail for $16. Excited to wrap Baby M in them!

#6. Nursery theme!

We also chose a nursery theme and I’m SO excited to get to work on it. So far, I have this pillow, a quilt and some sheets. Anyone know what the theme is based on this quote?!

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is meant to be one of the happiest periods of your life. There’s nothing like that feeling of growing a whole new human in your womb. It overpowers the nausea, sleepless nights and body pains that come with the magic.

I am happy about this pregnancy. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and I wouldn’t wish it away. But… I feel sad. There’s no reason to feel sad, but I just am. It’s that deep sadness, the kind that’s stuck in your throat and makes it hard to swallow. It’s the sadness that comes to haunt me from November until March of every year. My seasonal sadness.

I’m used to this sadness. My usual bandaid is to book a trip to a far away place with sunshine and delicious food. Unfortunately, I can’t utilize this bandaid now. My pregnancy hasn’t been easy and I would never forgive myself if something happened if I were to travel.

So I’m forced to deal with it.

It’s hard guys. I don’t know how to deal with this. I feel immense guilt for being sad while I’m pregnant. I feel guilty that I feel jealous when I see friends traveling and going to hot yoga (my two favorite things that I cannot partake in at the moment). I feel terrible when the thoughts “I hate pregnancy” cross my mind.

I’ve spent a good deal of time over the last few weeks crying. Yesterday, I cried in the middle of brushing my teeth. Today, I cried at least 8 times. It’s fracking hard.

I know I’m not the first woman to deal with sadness while pregnant. I know I’m not the first to feel guilt. I’m hoping I can turn this around and figure out a new way to deal.

Today, I went out and bought a ball of yarn and some knitting needles. Clearly, I am desperate. I just needed to get that off my chest. Because maybe someone else out there is sad too, and they needed to hear that it’s okay. Because it is okay. You can be thrilled and sad at the same time. The human body is a crazy thing.

My First Post… On Pregnancy

Tah-dah! I’m pregnant. Knocked up. Bun is in THE oven (I don’t even like bread though – we’ll pretend it’s a cassava flour challah or something).

At the moment, I’m 11 weeks pregnant. I am so close to being out of the first trimester and into the safety of the second. Over the last few months, I’ve learned a lot. I feel like at the end of this, the hospital should award me another Master’s degree or something. So here are my musings so far on the whole process…

  • I am exhausted.

Like exhausted beyond belief. I thought I knew what tired was. I was wrong. At the beginning, there were days where I would take 4 (FOUR!) naps! The exhaustion has gotten better, but I’m still drained. I feel like I do the bare minimum to get through the day and only look forward to sleep. As Drake said… “I only love my bed (and my mama), I’m sorry”! I’ve also found it difficult to get back to sleep after peeing in the middle of the night for the umpteenth time. I used to look at my phone to see the time, but that was a guaranteed way to get even less sleep. I still haven’t hacked this one yet, but I’ll keep you informed!

  • Food has become a foe.

I love food. Like LOVE food. Food and I have an interesting relationship that is decades old but we’ve been at peace with one another for the last year or so. Until now. I’ll make a meal, and get excited to eat it. First bite? Bleh. I can’t. My diet has been a lot of pickles, “healthy” chicken nuggets (don’t judge me), kombucha, half a cup of decaf coffee a day and whatever odds and ends I can manage.

I did find one hack though! I’ve been trying to up my collagen intake in part to help the baby grow strong, and in part to reduce stretch marks. I was trying to force collagen down via green juice (my only form of vegetables sometimes) but I was having a hard time with it. I read the book Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols and she had a recipe for collagen gummies. I TOTALLY FORGOT THAT GELATIN IS WHAT MAKES THOSE DELICIOUS GUMMY BEARS! So… I made a batch. 1.5 cups of 100% cherry juice mixed with 4 tablespoons of collagen over low heat, then placed into a container and in the fridge for an hour. BAM. Collagen gummies… that I can tolerate! The cherry juice is great before bed because of the natural melatonin and the sour taste helps with stomach upset so it’s a win-win-win in my book!

  • I cry. A lot.

I’ve always been pretty sensitive. I cry when I read sad books and watch a heartbreaking scene in a movie. My sensitivity has peaked though. I think I cried 8 times yesterday. None of the reasons I cried were cry worthy. Once, I cried because a restaurant was out of some food I wanted. I also cried in the fitting room when I could no longer fit into my pre-pregnancy size. It’s ridiculous and I have no clue how my husband will survive this terrible symptom.

  • My anxiety has never been this high.

Going along with being a naturally sensitive person, I am also a naturally anxious person. Anxiety for me is a double edged sword. I get what I need to get done, but I often feel shitty while doing it. I worry about the baby often. After a doctor’s appointment, I feel relief after hearing the heartbeat, but soon after, I start to worry again. Is the womb cozy enough? Does he need more blankets? Hows the temp?

Mantras have really helped. “Today, I am pregnant.” “My body is capable.” Lame stuff like that, while breathing in for a count of four, and out for a count of four have done wonders for me. Keeping my mind busy has helped too. I’ve been reading more than usual (there’s SO much information about babies out there!) I hope this anxiety settles at the next ultrasound and when we are safely out of the first trimester.

  • I am flipping excited.

Yo, I am a baby making machine. My body is changing every day and I’m noticing (so are the students in my class, however they just think I’m getting phat). I cannot wait until baby M is here! I know there will be a lot of adjustment and learning, but I am ready! Bring it on, mama nature!