Wednesday, February 24, 2010

i've got the blues

no, i'm not here to talk about kraft macaroni & cheese, but something a little more serious: the baby blues and ppd (postpartum depression).

i've always said in my blog that i would be completely honest about pregnancy and beyond. my intention was never to sugar-coat it b\c you hear a lot of "oh, it's so easy and wonderful, and etc." yes. it's wonderful- the most wonderful thing ever to happen to me, but no part of it has been a cake walk- it's an every day learning experience both pregnancy and motherhood. and i don't expect on my next go-round that it will be any easier as every pregnancy and child is different. i was a nanny before i was a mother. a nanny to an infant- from birth to 7 months of age this child was my responsibility while his parents were at work. yes, i had a lot of practice, and yes, some things i knew how to do ahead of time, but it definitely didn't make it any easier.

the baby blues and ppd was something i had long heard about. we all remember tom cruise telling matt lauer not to "be so glib." this was all over cruise's criticism of brooke shields for taking paxil for ppd. i was always afraid i was going to end up with some debilitating case of ppd because i'm so emotional. you hear those stories about women who kill their children and it terrifies you. you think, "why on earth didn't they talk to their Dr. about this?" i mean, i received enough literature about ppd during my pregnancy- you know the signs, but at the same time i wondered, "if something was wrong with me, would i be able to get help?"

i feel lucky. i'm almost 6 weeks out, and i think i can say i'm out of the ppd zone although you can show symptoms for any time up to a year. i will say if i've made it this far, i think, and i hope i can do it!

i think going to my group weekly really helps. moving here has been hard, i don't really have any friends, ok, i don't have any friends. my husband says i have his friends, but i'm not sure that a bunch of almost 30 year old single males really identify with me... only one of them has a girlfriend, and we don't see them as often as we used to, so the one girl friend i do have i don't see often (though i will say she often checks on me via facebook and it makes my day). being as though i was a nanny before, continuing that career path wouldn't have helped because you have no co-workers. target has been a complete bust. it's probably the cliquiest (is that a word, doubtful) place i've ever worked for. getting "in" with anyone my age has been impossible. hell, getting anyone my age there to even speak to me was impossible the 1st several months i worked there. i felt like Hester Prynne and i'm married. although i've discovered through working there that everyone is either older than me or way younger than me (read: college age). i'm just the old pregnant girl i guess.

so i started going to the breastfeeding support group that my hospital sponsors. it's run by a nurse, and usually a couple lactation consultants show up. there's no structure to it. we sit in a circle on the floor w\ our babies (newborns to over a year) and there's just general conversation. you can talk about anything and join in on any conversation. and although i haven't found myself exchanging numbers with anyone yet, the fact that there are other women close to my age that know what i'm going through and are actually going through it is just fabulous. i think that ability to leave the house once a week to socialize is really helpful!

so the baby blues. started the day Ian was born. i cried, at night, for no reason. this continued for the next several nights. sometimes i was sad- would i be a good mother, would my husband love me the same. sometimes i was happy- "i just love him so much" i would boo hoo while staring at him. my husband would be like, "why are you crying?" and i would just boo hoo, "i don't knoooowwww." it always seemed silly to me, and never serious, but it happened. i had a few other baby-related meltdowns in the following weeks- (of course i say "weeks" and this is the beginning of week 6, although it feels like he should be about a year old) baby would eat and still cry, baby would cry while eating, baby would want to eat what seemed like all the time. i would cry for about 2 minutes, and then i'd be ok. or i'd lay in the dark after we went to bed and cry for a while. there was no rhyme or reason, but one day, it just stopped. hormones are a fickle thing, and now they are on to ravaging other parts of my body and psyche.

i say all this (did i even say anything) to say that whether you are dealing with the blues, or something a little more serious that it helps to have a wonderful support system in your spouse, friends and family. and if that doesn't help- don't hesitate to call your doctor. he or she got you through 40 weeks (give or take) gestation, and they'll help get you through this too! regardless of all the havoc your hormones may wreak on your body- the price you pay- your baby makes it all totally worth it! Pin It!

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