Friday, March 26, 2010


I meant to post this yesterday, but life is SO busy right now. In fact dear readers, please accept my apologies for not keeping up on this blog. Blogging is in my self care plan and right now life is triple booked and a hot (but fun) mess.

Yesterday was a big day in our house. I celebrated as Malone turned 39 weeks and 1 day old. He has now been an outside person for as long as carried him. I thought it would be emotional, that the day would be full of tears and reflection but it wasn't.

Instead it was a day full of chasing Malone around as he crawled, pulled up on things, and general got into mischief. We took a lovely 2 hour nap together in the morning and then went to Costco where he sat in the cart, happily shopping along. He smiled at the old ladies and had to investigate every item I put into the cart- he even sampled a little spinach dip. At dinner time he ate fist fulls of rotisserie chicken and a few strawberries in the mesh feeder. At bedtime he happily sang along in his own baby language to Twinkle Twinkle. He went down around 6:30 woke to nurse at 11:00 and then slept again until almost 4:00 am. The second stretch is by far the longest one we've had to date. At 4:00 he came into bed with us and babbled himself back to sleep.

It seems like these days he's hitting milestone after milestone. It's amazing to think that he has grown from a little tiny spec smaller than a pin drop to this little boy that we have today. During pregnancy I remember counting the weeks go by, reading the emails about his development in utero and wondering who he was going to look like. Right now, in this very moment, he looks just like my Uncle Jeff but often, I see my mom in him.

After he was born, I found myself still reading the weekly developmental emails, worrying if he was on target or not. I don't know when I stopped reading those emails, but I know I haven't for awhile. I simply do not have the time anymore! I compare Malone to all of his little other baby friends and for the most part he seems on target with his peers. The funny thing about babies is that they all are so different.

I'm not sure what the next 39 weeks and 1 day will have in store. But I look forward to it. Having Malone has changed my life in ways I didn't even know were possible.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Not Me Monday.

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

On Saturday night after Malone woke up, nursed, and fell back asleep on my shoulder, I did not smell something foul in his diaper. I did not lay him on my bed, open up his jammie bottoms, and stick my hand into the world of the unknown that was diaper to investigate. I did not do this in the pitch black of night. I did not pray there was no stinky poo poo inside. I did not use my best Care Bear stare concentration, I did not hope he would stay sleeping. I was not giddy and relieved to find there was no stinky poo poo in the diaper. Don't worry, I washed my hands after!

On Sunday, I did not neglect to offer Malone fruit and veggies and instead feed him pancakes, cheese, and chicken. Does a few sips of orange juice count as a fruit? Probably not.

After I proof read this post, I am not going to sit down with a nice hot cup of tea and a bowl of Cheeze-Its. Because Cheeze-Its are not the breakfast of champions.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A big one.

From the moment Malone was born, I knew this day was going to come.

When we first brought him home from the hospital, we wanted Malone to sleep in our room. But, as new parents every little sound he made caused us to freak out, jump out of bed, and make sure he was still breathing. So, Malone slept in our office in the same bassinet I slept in as a baby, handcrafted by my woodworking father. The bassinet isn't esthetically perfect, in fact part of it's charm is the fact that the spindles are not 100% the same, but it was a perfect place to put our newborn in to sleep.

I wandered out to the office every few hours, nursing this same being who was just weeks before rolling and doing flips in my stomach. We watched many a sunrise together and learned which neighbors like to jog or walk their dogs early in the morning.

After our little Houdini became too proficient at sticking his limbs out of an area that would not meet today's safety standards, we moved Malone out of the bassinet and he slept in his swing.

When I got sick of walking the 75 paces every 2 hours to nurse him, we moved my nursing chair into our bedroom and set up the pack n play's bassinet feature where he slept until he outgrew the height recommendations.

Right around this time, the dreaded 4 month wakeful/sleep regression hit along with an unexpected growth spurt. I was a zombie.

We started bedsharing. It was wonderful. Malone would snuggle in close between my husband and I and the three of us slept through the night, with Malone nursing as he needed to. It was great until it wasn't great anymore.

So we booted him out for the beginning part of the night.

The first nights were hard, I missed having him close by all night long and he looked so TINY in the giant (aka normal sized) crib we set up in our room. Soon, he got the hang of putting himself to sleep in the crib which meant that Mike and I had several hours to ourselves at night.

Since moving Malone into our room, not a single night has gone by where I haven't woken up in the middle of the night to listen for his heavy dream filled baby sign- a breath that puts my mind at ease.

Until tonight.

Recently we've decided that sharing a room with Malone no longer works for our family. We loved sharing it, don't get me wrong but we are tired of not being able to utilize our living space (and the second tv!).

So we kicked him out.

This afternoon Michael and I carved out a spot in the nursery (aka storage room) for Malone's crib and hung his shelves. We spent the day moving things around, hooking up the video monitor (best invention EVER!), and daydreaming about all of the things we can now do in our bedroom again (which for me is putting away laundry and for Mike, well..... he's a guy, draw your own conclusions).

So far, it has been a relatively smooth transition.

While we were hanging shelves, we let Malone play in the crib in his room. There, right before our eyes, that very same baby whom we used to think was too little to ever sleep in such a big crib pulled up to a stand for the very first time.

The first nap went really well.

Bedtime was also pretty smooth. He needed a few extra snuggles, but still happily sleeping as I write.

A big day for a little big boy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dinner- a shift.

I grew up in Northern Illinois where lunch is called dinner and dinner is called supper. Dinner was eaten as close to noon as humanely possible and supper was served at 5:00 pm on the dot.

Then I moved to out east where dinner became lunch or brunch and I found myself eating it as late as 2:00 pm. Supper became dinner and in my early married days we found ourselves starting to cook it somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00 pm. When we had plans to go out with friends, we'd often meet at their home for appetizers/snacks around 8:30 pm and then go to eat somewhere after 9:00 pm. This was lovely, it worked for us. My Nana who lives in the midwest could not wrap her head around this. "Don't you get hungry? How can you go to sleep on such a full tummy?" she'd say.

Then we had a baby.

And said baby aged into this little being who is interested in food.

Now we eat dinner as a family at 5:00 pm.

On the dot.

Game Plan.

On Tuesday I had my appointment with the midwife.

Ironically, it was in the "Melone" room. This is the room where we sat with the midwife and she confirmed our pregnancy. This is the room where we sat with the midwife and she confirmed that I was indeed in labor. This is the room where we talked about how hard motherhood can really be and PPD.

After speaking with me for about 45 minutes, she was hesitant to diagnose postpartum depression. She didn't rule it out however.

She gave me the names of two therapists who very well educated in PPD to call, recommended that I exercise as I am able to (but not to pressure myself), and prescribed that I take more time everyday just for ME.

She told me that if this therapy/exercise/ME time plan doesn't help to call her and then we could speak about medication.

I came away from the appointment already feeling better.

I'm already having a hard time fitting the ME time in. It's just so hard to sit down and relax/ take time for myself when there is laundry to be done, a baby to be played with, and a house that never seems like it's clean enough.

But last night I did. I sat with my husband and watched the Marriage Ref that we had recorded on DVR.

It's amazing what an hour of laughter can do.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Here is what I know.

Disclaimer again. This is a cross post with Motherwoman- my apologies.

Malone has spent most of the morning in front of PBS.

I've spent most of this morning working on getting started.

I reached out to two friends that I know have walked down this road before who pointed me in a great direction. I've gotten the names of a few good therapists.

"Let me know how I can help, I can even watch Malone for you while you go."

I spent 30 minutes on the phone with my insurance provider who had so much love and support in her voice it was unreal.

I said it. "I have postpartum depression."

We navigated the insurance company's website together. She made sure that I knew what was covered, what wasn't, was wasn't covered but was discounted, and what "rules" I needed to follow. She made sure I knew which of the seven different options was the one that matched up with my coverage.

She ended the call this way "I hope you get the help you're looking for. And congratulations on the baby."

Amazing customer service.

I spent a 20 minute cycle of gathering up the courage, chickening out, and hanging up on my OB/GYN practice. I pray they don't have caller ID. It was like I was in high school again, calling and hanging up on the cutest boy in class.

And then I didn't hang up.

I said it again.

"I'd like to make an appointment with the midwife. I think I have postpartum depression."

"Okay, great." Um.. what?!?

I'll chalk this one up to a reactionary response. I am sure that the receptionist didn't even know what she said. I've heard her say it when I made appointments with her before.

"How would tomorrow at 2:30 be?"

"Great. Thanks. See you then."

So, I've set the plan in motion. And already, I feel a little better about things. Writing has helped, getting the ball rolling has helped, and reaching out has helped.

This afternoon the baby mama's and I are going on a walk. It's so nice out, how could you not?

Thank God it isn't winter anymore. I can only imagine how much harder this would be in wintertime, when it's already so easy to stay in and disconnect.

In looking back on yesterday's post, I am so proud of myself.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saying it out loud.


This is going to be a cross post between this blog and a submission for Motherwoman.

Thank you.

Saying it out loud.

After Malone was born, I experienced the baby blues. I spent a few hours each day for about a week crying through my hormones privately on my bed while someone else tended to my baby. I wasn't sure what exactly I was crying about, I just knew that I needed to cry. So I did. And then I felt better about things and my "new" normal began.

My new normal included nursing a baby every few hours, taking whatever sleep I could get, socializing with other mamas and their babies, and savoring growing into motherhood.

I started attending a Motherwoman group when Malone was about six weeks old because I needed a space where I could speak my truths about how challenging growing into motherhood was for me, not because I needed support in navigating postpartum anxiety or depression. I didn't expect to find my niche there, but I did. Bonus.

But this post isn't about that.

More on that another day, promise.

During almost everyday these past few weeks, I have experienced a mix of emotions that I never felt before. I have gone from extreme highs to extreme lows. Days that are spectacular and excellent and days where the smallest things upset me.

I am irrational at times- like this morning when I was crying my eyes out in the lap of my husband because Malone was going down for a nap.

Then it occurred to me.

This is postpartum depression.

I am experiencing postpartum depression.

Through the tears, I said it out loud to my husband.

More tears came.

I fought the tears back as I said it again to a group of mom friends this afternoon at a play date.

I have postpartum depression.

I need help.

I need a least a piece of my old me back. The piece that had days that were steady and strong. I don't want the extremes.

I am scared and nervous because I'm not sure the best way to seek help and treat this.

I'm currently riding a wave of anxiety as I try to figure out my next move.

Thoughts that are swirling...

Will a diet and exercise change help?
Is that enough?
Who do I talk to professionally about this?
Do I call my OB?
Do I call my doctor?
Do I need a therapist?
Will any of them understand?
Do I need medication?

I don't know the answers to any of these questions.

I get plenty of socialization and have tons of people I happily confide in so I'm pretty sure this isn't something I can just talk out.

I am going to reach out to some women I know who have experienced PPD and ask them to help me navigate through this.

So there.

I said it out loud again.

And I promise to report back to you when I figure something out.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pinch me.

I admit my standards days for decent days low. But, give me a break. I'm a new(ish) mom. HA! If I can survive a day without wearing any form of my son's bodily fluids I call it a good day.

Today was one of those story book days. I'm sure you all know the one's I'm talking about- where it seems as if the cosmos opened up the heavens just to give you an awesome day.

Maybe it's because I've found my tribe- my tribe of baby mamas that I affectionately call the "baby brigade". Today the brigade took descended upon a place in town for a "come as your nap allows" rolling brunch. It was great. 10-12 baby mamas (and a papa!), the babies, a big brother, and servers who went above and beyond normal customer service.

Maybe it's because every I see this big brother, I get a glimpse into what my baby is going to be like at three. He's so curious and interested in everything.

Maybe it's because every time I see big brother's mother she gives me hope. She manages two so well, it's inspiring. She makes me think that someday I could have another and not just make it work, but enjoy it.

Maybe it's because I participated in a little retail therapy and treated myself to a fancy tea from the new place in the mall. The spring clothing is out and makes me really happy. Malone scored some new duds including an awesome rainbow sweater.

Maybe it's because Malone is finally on a predictable schedule of 3 naps and an early bed time.

Maybe it's because a dear family friend had their second baby girl today. Unexpected. A little (two weeks) early. And every one is perfect.

Maybe it's because I got an email from a new friend that filled my love tank in an unexpected way.

Maybe it's because I deserve this.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Not Me Monday.

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

On Saturday, my family did not go to Costco. We did not hope that the food pedaling Costco Grandmas would be out pimping their delicious wares. When we got there and they were not quite ready yet, we did not make several loops around the store in efforts to give them time to get set up. We were not too starving to become irrationally upset that we mistimed the samples. We did not elect to instead enjoy a breakfast of a churro and diet lemonaid from the Costco snack shack instead.

When we got home, I did not take a nap to recharge my batteries. I did not enjoy the first two and half hours of the nap with my baby did not nurse almost the whole time we slept. My husband did not join us for this family nap. And I did not bribe my husband with promise of a white chocolate Easter bunny to take the baby when he woke up so I could not sleep longer. And when he not do so happily, I did not sleep for another two and a half hours!

Upon waking from this nap, I did not run to the grocery store in grubby sweats. And I did not come home with $25.00 worth of Easter candy all of which will not be consumed before the actual holiday.

I did not eat this candy instead of a meal for supper.

On Sunday, we did not attempt take another family nap. When the baby (who's crib is in our room) was restless in bed with us, we did not put him in his crib and then we did not hide under the covers so he wouldn't see us. My husband did not fashion his portion of the blankets in such a way that he could see the baby, but the baby couldn't see him.

When the baby woke up after 25 minutes, my husband did not pull him into bed with us. The baby did not enjoy a free buffet of milk while we all slept.

We did not all sleep for three hours waking up just in time to watch the USA vs CAN hockey game.

We did not have a lazy weekend where the only "chores" that got done were a trip to Costco and and vacuuming the living room rug.

And we did not enjoy it.