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low days vs. good days

As I reflect on the last few years, I'm overwhelmed with emotions.  We've been through a lot and it's been both good and bad.  We've had a lot of ups and downs and luckily, we've survived through it all.

I was reviewing our "journey" tab and literally our journey to building our family and couldn't help but think that I've been bottling up some of the more recent emotions because it was just better to be happy than a constant negative Nancy.  A little run down of the events that really stand out.

July 2004, off birth control.
February 2008, being diagnosed with unexplained infertility.
March 2009, failed IUI.
April 2009, failed IUI.
May 2009, failed IUI.
January 2010, started injectables.
January 2010, failed IUI.
April 2010, started my own regimen.
May 2010, positive pregnancy test.
June 2010, miscarriage and D&C.
September 2010, positive pregnancy test.
October 2010, heard heartbeat and ultrasound confirmed that everything was on point.
June 4, 2011, Coen's due date. - -  June 10, 2011, Coen's birthday.
January 2012, positive pregnancy test.
March 2012, It's a Girl!
August 24, 2012, Emerson's birthday. - -  September 1, 2012, Emerson's due date.

It wasn't until recently that I decided to really admit that we have been through a lot over the last 8 years.  Just in the last two months, it has really felt overwhelming and almost too much to even realize.  But, that was just the start of how I was beginning to feel.

I don't feel like myself and I don't like the way I feel.

I'm not happy with myself, the way I look, the things I accomplish, the way my hair is cut, the way stomach looks, the way my body looks in general.  I lack motivation to go to work, to get up in the morning, to make breakfast, to drive to work, to be at work, to drive home from work, to make dinner, to do laundry, to work out, to run, to go to the store, to buy anything.

If it doesn't have to do with my kids, I don't want to do it.

I feel overwhelmed when I don't make lists, when I don't have the laundry set up perfectly in the kids rooms with outfits for the week, if we have more than just our normal activities in a day and I have to pack for another event after work, if the house needs cleaned, if the laundry isn't done.

I get overwhelmed when there are things to do around the house and I don't do them because I want to just spend time with the kids. My husband gets frustrated when he expects me to do something or just help out around the house and I don't.

It goes deeper.

I have anxiety about Coen and Emie, every day.  More about Coen because he's so mobile and independent.  I just fear the worst.  I fear losing him, having him fall, having him get hurt, having him feel hurt or lost.  I find myself constantly worrying about him all the time.  If I get a phone call in the morning from my husband, while he's driving the kids, I immediately think that something is wrong.  I've been called a bit of a helicopter parent because I always have to be close... for good and (maybe) stupid reasons alike.  And lately, it's getting much worse.

When the weather is bad, I hate to drive.  If it's snowing, forget about it.  I've gotten a lot better over the years, but it's just something that really makes me nervous.  I hate driving around a curve in the road near my parent's house.  I've been hit by a motorcycle there and we had a car come left of center when it was really raining out.  I cannot drive with a lot of confidence in the snow, especially when the kids are in the car.  I've lived in Ohio my whole life and we have had an array of snow falls, yet I still get nervous. That nervous feeling just snowballs and makes me have so much anxiety. And lately, this also getting worse.

I don't want to be intimate, for reasons other than not liking my body.  I don't have the need or want.

I get frustrated at myself for the same things that I've always been unable to remember or do...

I got really upset at myself for leaving the house (the other day) without enough diapers or wipes and normally it would be a little bit of a problem, but that day it just messed me all up.

I constantly feel grumpy, lazy, and just like a slug.

I tell myself that I hate everything.  I hate my hair.  I hate the way I look.  I hate my clothes.  I hate shopping.  I hate eating, but do it all day long.  I hate being in my car.  I hate commuting.  I hate being away from my kids.  I hate doing laundry.  I hate trying to figure out what we're going to have for dinner.  I hate it. I hate my clothes so much that I've just been giving them away to Goodwill so that I don't have to look at them, try them on and not have them fit, etc... I just don't want to even look at them.

Because I wasn't feeling any better, I decided that during my annual appointment with my OB that I was going to say something.

I don't feel like myself.  I hate the way I feel.  I don't want to feel this way, but it's real.  And... it's not going away.

I told her about the things above and she said that I'm still very much in the window of it being postpartum depression. Something I never thought I would hear.  But, there it was.

She started me on some medication to help me.  She said it might take 4 to 8 weeks to actually start working, but to give it time and that with time, it would get better.

It's been about 3 weeks now and I don't feel any different.  I still feel the same as I did above and the only thing that I feel is different is that I have to eat all the time.  I'm constantly hungry.  I know that I'm a nursing mom and my need for food would still be there because of the calories that I'm burning, but it's out of control.

Between the time that I saw my OB and this post, I started seeing a new family doctor.  We talked about postpartum depression, how I was feeling, how I had felt after Coen and then the medication that I was taking.  He asked if I was on birth control and when I told him that I was on the depo shot, he said that he has seen some cases where the depo triggers or plays a pretty big role in postpartum depression.  So, I have a follow up appointment with my OB on Friday and from there, I'm supposed to talk to her about my meds and the depo.  If I don't feel like she's going to really be the best support person in all of these decisions, I'm able to go back to my general dr for more help.

Luckily, I don't have any dark thoughts about myself or anyone else.  I'm very thankful for this.  I say this because there are a lot of people associate postpartum depression with suicide.  This is the exact reason that I didn't say anything about it at first, because I knew that I wasn't feeling that way, but then I educated myself about ppd.  I know that it will get better.  I've admitted the issue and I have a fitting team of doctors and family that are ready to get my through this.

I just want to feel normal and I don't.

I'm waiting for my good days to outweigh my low days.  Right now, they aren't even close.


MSDeyle said…
Thanks for being so honest! You never know who may be feeling the same way and may be looking for some help.

I pray that you start feeling better, at least some of the time! It's a scary trap to only live for your kids (as you know I'm sure), and it's so easy to fall into!
Sassytimes said…
Aw, Jill. I'm so sorry you are feeling this way! I will pray you start to feel better. Just know, you are not alone in your feelings. I think most of your feelings are 'normal' after having a baby, let alone TWO babies in under two years. I've been there...3 times. This last year was the most difficult year of my life - emotionally. I am just starting (after a year!) to start to feel like myself again. I've felt all the same emotions as you in the last year. It takes time...and it takes your kids getting bigger, more independent, so you have more time for YOU. To remember who YOU are...before you became a mom. Hang in there! I'll be praying for you!
Kristal said…
I'm sorry you are struggling with this Jill. I don't have any advice or words of wisdom, just know I'm praying for you. <3
Molly said…
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope your doctors can find the right medications to pull you out of this so you can be yourself again. You're not alone. You're strong for admitting that there is a problem and for getting help! Prayers and hugs, Jill.
Anonymous said…
You are doing the right thing by getting help. I have struggled with depression and was put on meds. I personally did not like the way the meds made me feel and I ended up gaining weight on them because they do make you eat more. So, I ended up feeling worse about myself.

You have been through a lot with trying to get pregnant and then having two babies so close in age. Maybe there is a mother's group that you could join to discuss some of your issues? You can tell you're a really great Mom. Keep your chin up. Things will get better!!!
Jill, you're brave. You're so brave. Thank you for sharing this with us.

I have to say that you're not alone. I don't want you to feel like it's just you. I've been there, too. The anxiety, the fear, the frustration, the guilt, the nervousness...

I agree with Sassytimes when she says that when your kids get bigger, more independent, some of this will lift.

You need to take care of YOU so that you can take care of them. I really hope that your solution is close-at-hand. But, I would imagine this is a process... it was for me. Good days and not so good days.

Please keep your chin up and know that you're SO supported.
Megan Latham said…
Ugh I hate that you are feeling this way. I cant even imagine everything you are juggling right now. I contemplate having a second child every single day of my life and sometimes just dont think i am cut out to do it. I have a hard enough time with my one. Hope you get some answers and get to feeling better. For reals lets get together for a play date, or dinner just us??
pds2507 said…
I'm so sorry you are struggling with this and pray that things improve very soon! Thank you so much for sharing this here. I can relate with A LOT of the feelings you listed. My little boy is just about a month older than Coen. Life adjustments after a baby are hard in general, I can't even imagine with the added struggle of ppd. I hope that the doctors are able to help you quickly and your good days outnumber the low days very soon!
Oh Jill, I am so sorry to hear you are feeling this way. This all sounds way to familiar to me. I even wrote something similar and am trying to feel better and more like myself....some days are way easier than others. But admitting you are just not you is the first step to feeling better. I know we have never met in person, but just knowing you on this blog I have to say you are a beautiful person, inside and out and you can tell by your kids you are an amazing mom. I hope you start feeling better, we are here for you. And thanks for being so honest, it helps to share these feelings with others who understand.

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