21 August 2014

PPD and a little talk therapy

Oh, my friends, it has been a week. One of those kinds of weeks where you try to forget all the bad things and just focus on the good things because preschool is starting in exactly 12 days and you don't want to spend the very last 12 days mulling over all the times you lost your temper or got pizza because you yet again failed to make dinner in the midst of chaos that is toddler + newborn drama.

So even though I'm not going to delve into the depths of the bad parts of my week, I do feel like talking about the culprit: PPD. I like writing about post-partum depression because I always feel better after I do, although I'm not sure how much you enjoy reading about it. I apologize. I'll throw in some pictures as a consolation.

I have it. Just as bad as I did with Abigail. I have a less stressful, more stable life free of serious medical interventions and I still managed to squeeze in some good ol' depression. I didn't like the side effects of the antidepressants I tried after Abigail, and I'm kind of paranoid about the long-term effects of taking a medication every single day, so I wasn't even willing to try them out this time around.

It creeps up almost every day. Either around 10am or around 3:30pm. I get the "I'm worthless, life is pointless, I suck at everything, there is no reason to do anything" blues. But because I'm determined to get through this (again), I do a bunch of other healthy things. Different things work best on different days. Sometimes just taking a shower and putting on a little makeup helps. Sometimes I benefit most from exercise. Sometimes getting out of the house does me good. I almost always make getting to bed on time a priority.

Last month showering was the most beneficial, but lately it's been exercise. I go for 5-5.5 mile walks a few days a week and do Jillian Michaels DVDs on the other days. When I sink onto the couch for another nursing sesh, my body is so physically drained, I don't have enough energy to be depressed! And when I go for runs (in the evenings after Matt gets home), I get a burst of endorphins that feels like I just took a happy pill. Abigail has been loving our daily walks too, she gets so excited when I ask her if she wants to go for a walk. She'll bring me my shoes if I take too long getting Eleanor ready and she even sits still and doesn't lick the sun screen off her arms. (Yeah. Pretty sure she does it because I told her not to. We buy organic sunscreen now.)

Today I managed to get out of the house and do some fun shopping. The girls needed a few things and I had some coupons for a nearby outlet mall (Tanger in Howell for those of you I know in real life), so off we went. I absolutely insist on getting two articles of clothing in every size: OshKosh overalls and Gap hoodies. They are so rugged and adorable and actually really affordable when you score them for 50% off, so each wardrobe Abigail grows into has a pair of overalls and a pink hoodie in it.

And I got to shop for Eleanor. I haven't bought any clothes for Eleanor yet (for obvious reasons), but this girl is in the 100th percentile for her length and I almost only have Carter's brand clothing. If you know baby clothes, you know that Carter's sizes tend to run very small - they're absolutely perfect for Abigail - but Eleanor is cruising through them and, at 3 months, is already too long for my 6-month sleepers. (Baby clothes run in 3-month increments: newborn, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months for those of you for whom it's been awhile). But a friend got us a Children's Place brand sleeper as a gift when Eleanor was born (Thanks, Cammie!) in a 3-month size and it fit wwwaaayyy longer than my Carter's brand 3-month-ers. So I decided to hit up the Children's Place store in the outlet mall and see how much extra leg room I could score my tall girl. And we definitely made out! Four $6 sleepers in 6-month size with a few inches to spare!

It's been a lllooonnnggg time since I've been out shopping and when you shop at 10am on a weekday, you get the store to yourself. I really enjoyed browsing all the cute styles, colors, and prints. Plus fall is my favorite season and I enjoyed all the denim jackets, striped sweaters, and vintage-print dresses that are "in" this year. The shopping boost kept me going all day long, even through the pre-witching hour blues.

Thank you for listening to me blah-blah-blah about long walks and shopping. I feel like I got the rest of the kinks out of this week : )

Now for your consolation prize:



Cammie Wollner said...

I am going to have to convince Paul to take us to those outlets! And I'll have to keep my eyes open for the seasonal Children's Place sales (in the Meridian Mall) and if I catch them I'll let you know because they mark the sleepers and clothes down to $1-$2 and it's such a perfect time to stock up. I need to watch my emails from them more carefully because I could use some baby boy sleepers too!

I'm glad you're finding something that helps at some level for the PPD... I've never had it post partum, but I did have it in college and I think the big thing that helped (and finally got me off of antidepressants) was exercise too. It is amazing what those endorphins can do. But I will definitely be praying for you guys as you go through these hormonal post-partum months!

And now we definitely do need to have some sort of a get together because Paul has finally reentered the world of the living and has time to actually do stuff again! It's amazing to see him on weekends! And it means we have a car and can go places again, which means get together possibilities!

Amelia Bentrup said...

So sorry about the depression. I don't really get deression post-partum but I do get a mild anxiety. I've never taken medicaton for it, but I have defintiely found that taking a fish oil or cod liver oil supplement definitely helps. I don't know if it's that breastfeeding deplete your body of omega 3's so quickly but a lot of studies have found that high doses of fish oil or cod liver oil help with depression postpartun and that has been true for me.

Tay for good sales!!

I love those pictures. And, it's so cute how Elenor has such dark hair while Abigail has such light hair.