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Life Lately PostPartum

The Bookshelf

A few months ago, we put an order in on the Ikea website. A few months later, the pieces arrives. Two cowhide rugs, a few bookcases for our daughter’s room and a bookshelf for my office. For the last few weeks, the bookshelf had been in my office, in it’s box, leaned up against the window sill. Every time I walked in and saw it, I felt a sense of shame.

Hear me out.

I hadn’t attempted to build the bookshelf. It just sat there, waiting for the day my husband would assemble it. The thought had crossed my mind that maybe I should assemble it, but I ignored that thought. I had tried to put together a bookshelf a few years ago. My husband and I had purchased his and hers matching bookshelves from Target to put into our bedroom. We decided to have a competition to see who could assemble theirs faster. I thought I would actually win. Except I didn’t. In the time it took him to assemble the whole bookshelf, I had assembled nothing. Not a piece. It’s embarrassing to admit but my ego was bruised. I labeled myself as someone who couldn’t assemble furniture. I promised myself I would never feel that embarrassment again.

For years, I didn’t assemble a thing. If a screwdriver was required, I was out. I know it frustrated my husband – he singlehandedly assembled our entire home when we moved.

And so this bookshelf sat in my office. And one day, I decided that I was going to get over my fear and put the damn shelf together on my own. I realized that I avoided doing things that I might fail at and this was one of them.

The hardest part was just opening the box. Opening the box meant I was committing myself to either assemble the bookshelf or attempt to and admit failure.

Building the actual bookshelf was not difficult. I had the instructions, I had the screwdriver and I had the pieces. I had my own motivation to assemble it and I did it.

I was proud as hell of myself. It may be just a simple bookshelf to some, but in my office, it’s a reminder that I can fail and then succeed. Now the only issue is that it’s a mounted bookshelf. I’ll leave that part to my husband.

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PostPartum

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.

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.