Thursday, February 7, 2013

next time around

N. and I want more babies someday, if the good Lord decides that's the right thing for us. We may have biological babies, or we may adopt. We're not making plans just yet, but we talk about it.

There are things I'd do differently next time. Some little, some big.

Like, not only would I introduce the swaddleme sooner, I'd take the darn thing to the hospital.

I would try my best to breastfeed longer. I realize that I couldn't do much about it, since my supply packed up and left town, but I didn't try any herbs or anything, and I hear that helps. Formula is too darn expensive.

I'd let other people help me with the baby more. I had this weird thing where I felt like people would only like to hold the baby if he was happy. Performance anxiety? I'm letting that go next time. Babies are crying 70% of the time if they're not sleeping when they're that little. I'm over it.



But the biggest thing I'd do differently next time,

is admit that I'm not O.K.

I'm crying already, y'all. I knew this would be a hard post to write.

I wasn't OK.  I'm not OK. 

But I'm finally asking for help.

Like so many, many, many other wonderful moms I've read about, I was panicky, scared, sad, angry and depressed for the first nine weeks of my baby's life. But I was too deep in the trenches to realize it. I thought it came with the territory, maybe. That I needed to put on my big girl pants and deal with it.

After the first nine weeks, it mellowed, then came back with a vengeance as soon as I stopped breastfeeding, which brings me to now.

Since the beginning of December, I have an anxiety attack each night. It starts when the sun goes down. I get this feeling in my gut like you get when your boss says "Can I see you in my office?" or when your boyfriend says, "We need to talk." It's like dread churning in my gut. When I get in bed,  my heart pounds. N. has to talk to me and rub my back so I can fall asleep. I don't know why his talking to me helps. I get anxious, so anxious, and fearful about the silliest things.

I've gone to my doctor, he ran a bunch of blood tests and told me it's an anxiety disorder. I'm getting a second opinion from a hormone specialist next week. I'm asking for help. It's scary and humbling and good.

This was a long one. Congrats it you made it to the bottom. This was hard to me to write, because I usually like to write things after I've figured them out. This article along with my sister-in-law inspired me to share this story.

Hugs,

b




21 comments:

  1. Hi Brett,

    Not sure if you read a Cup of Jo, but I read this recently and I thin you can probably relate... http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/02/motherhood-depression-and-weaning.html

    Thanks for your honesty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was amazing. I completely forgot about this post, and I am a Jo fan! I think I probably skimmed it because I couldn't relate back then--you know, no babies and all. Anyway, thanks for this. It was comforting to read. I totally "get it"now.

      Delete
  2. Fellow please-talk-me-through-this-and-rub-my-back-every-night-er here. Anxiety sucks so much. I actually did see a hormone specialist last year and it turns out I have way low progesterone. Replacing that has made a huge difference. That, and Paleo. It's amazing how much control we really have even when we feel like it has up and left us.

    Hope you start feeling better soon! (And do you want to hang out in March? I'm coming to visit friends in Charlottesville soon!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, friend. I'm sorry that you "get me" on this. But I'm glad you figured it out! How did you replace progesterone? I can totally see how paleo would help this. I'm off gluten (since beginning of December) and it's helped for sure! Um, yes. I want to see you. Let me know when you're here!

      Delete
    2. It's just a cream that I put on the inside of my arm! Pretty miraculous stuff if you ask me. I'll find out exactly when I'll be around--I think my brother is playing a show at the Tea Bazaar.

      Delete
  3. xoxoxo. We are here for you to talk, cry, walk or babysit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kath. It helps tremendously to have people like you!

      Delete
  4. Wow.

    Kudos to you for having the courage to come out, and speak so candidly and honestly about how you are feeling. I know that is humbling, and sometimes so difficult to reach out and admit that hey, I don't have it all together and I need some help...thankfully He didn't create us to do life alone! Thank you for your beautiful vulnerability, praying peace over you and your family...and wisdom to doctors. Thank you again for being so open with us!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your honesty is amazing and refreshing. There are no plans for kidlets in my life, but I completely understand your anxiety. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder a few years ago. Talking about it is hard, but also very helpful.
    Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Wendy. Sorry you had to go through it, too. :/

      Delete
  6. love how honest you are ... I'll be praying it gets better. Someone told me before I had Haddon, there is nothing more sacrificial (besides Christ) than having a baby. you literally tear, (um we wont go into the physical aspects of that). We tear though in every sense... our emotions, our minds, our hearts - nothing is the same. glad you are reaching out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ain't that the truth, sister. And you can't really understand it until you're living it, yeah??

      Delete
  7. Good for you for opening up, getting help and sharing your story. The more women share these stories, the more other women will realize it's okay to recognize, talk about and deal with. xo

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good for you for recognizing you need help...
    it's not easy.
    My daughter is nearly 7 weeks and even though she is an easy, mellow baby, I am entrenched in PPD.
    With medication and support from my husband, every day (and night) gets a little bit easier.
    Hang in there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, 7 weeks. Those are hard weeks. You go, Mama. Good for you for speaking up and asking your help. I hope that you can see the light from those trenches soon. I absolutely know what you mean. :/

      Delete
  9. Oh, Brett, thanks for being brave and putting yourself out there. I've dealt with spurts of anxiety attacks too, and they are awful. Right now one of my best friends is battling for her life against severe post partum depression, and another dear one has an anxiety disorder that sounds similar to yours. These are incredibly tough things. You are SO not alone in your struggles. You have my prayers, and may God be our strength.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cara, and I'm so sorry about your friend. What a scary, REAL thing. At least she's blessed to have a Cara in her life to pray for and love her!

      Delete
  10. Don't we ALL have things we would do differently? I KNOW we do! Sometimes I feel sorry for my baby girl because she is the first. And at times it all feels like one gigantic experiment. ha. But, we are learning and growing. And so are our babies! I am proud of you for admitting what is SO hard to admit. I know after I had my baby girl I was most assuredly depressed. And I didn't realize it until recently looking back. I wish someone had come along side and showed me that it was normal and it was ok! Glad you are seeking help. And thank you for sharing your sister-in-laws blog too. Yet another honest soul. Thank goodness for you two! Don't know what I would do without your honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Brett,

    I found your blog by way of Megan (Manion) Peters (the nola ruth). She and I were SARCH students together at UVa and she recommended I head over here after I wrote my own post about my struggle with anxiety. It took nearly 5 years for me to figure out what was happening because my anxiety manifested itself physically - mostly in the form of dizziness and then panic attacks would stem out of the dizziness. I was also unwilling to admit I had an emotional problem. However, after a clean MRI last November, I realized that there had to be something going on emotionally and am now seeing a therapist who does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I am really interested in hearing how your progesterone therapy goes and to see if it helps as I notice that certain times of the month are much more difficult than others.

    ReplyDelete