Monthly Archives: October 2011

Not Much To Say Tonight…Maybe You’ll Enjoy This

Been thinking about my dad today.  He loved Hee Haw and this song.

And on a totally unrelated note, Sunday is my 7th anniversary.  Any gift ideas for the hubby?  I have no idea what to give him. 

Sometimes It’s Not So Hard–Weight Loss Wednesday

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was giving up diet coke, and had plans to give up caffeine and sugar sweets.  I have actually done it.  It has been over a month since my last diet coke.  Yes, it really has.  True Story, True Story.  I still miss it, but I love making better choices for myself.  And the other two haven’t been as hard to give up as I thought. 

Now if the weight would come off too…I have lost two pounds with all these changes.  Sigh.  But two pounds is better than gaining or being stuck.  And I have to admit, I haven’t watched my calories I replaced my vices with.  I chose to work on those specific items and then tackle the others when the time seems right.

I made these changes for a few reasons; first and foremost for my mental health.  I am 98% back to myself after a long 14 months with postpartum mood disorders.  I desperately want that other 2% as well.  IF making the dietary changes is what I need, then bring them on!  And of course, secondly, I would like to lose some weight.  I am down to pre-baby weight, and a little below for the first two pregnancies, but still have 14 lbs to go to get to pre-baby weight with Patrice.  Sigh.  Food choice by food choice, running step by running step it will come…I just have to stay the course..

Come see how others are staying the course at Weight Loss Wednesday.

One Year Later

Today I had my last scheduled “mental health check” appointment with my midwife.  It’s been a slugging match and may continue to be at times, but for the most part, I am doing much better than previously in my battle with postpartum depression and anxiety.  What a ride it has been.

Tonight is a great example of some of the changes.  A year ago, I was desperately doing things with my girls.  Not because I necessarily wanted to be so busy, but because the postpartum issues made it impossible for me to sit and relax without feeling like I was going to crawl out of my skin or start literally dissolving into tears.

A year ago, Caitlyn and I made a pie.

It was fun, but in between each step or anytime Caitlyn wasn’t looking, I was fighting the rising panic and tears.  Within days, I was hospitalized for the postpartum depression and anxiety.

But today, I made brownies with Sue and Caitlyn.  And I am happy to report, I had to force myself to do so.  I’m so tired I just want to sit.

Yes, sit.  And do a bunch of nothing.  I actually can do that…not well, but I’ve never been great at sitting; I am about as good at sitting as I was pre-postpartum issues.

I count it as great progress.  Being tired and lazy is a success!

A year ago, or even a few months ago, I dreamed of the day I could put postpartum depression and anxiety behind me.  I dreamed of pretending it never happened–but it did happen.  I have received amazing help and support through this journey.  I have found my voice here on the blog.  I can’t turn my back on all of this.

I will continue to blog and share my journey, and I am joining my friend Lauren, at My Postpartum Voice, in her dream to change world.  Please read her vision and, I am begging you to, join us, by contacting people, suggesting places for us to contact, sharing your postpartum stories with other moms, lending your expertise in any way possible!  Help us help other women find a way out of their very dark woods.

Please join me over at Thought Provoking Thursday.

Cider Mill Snapshots

We went to a cider mill a couple weeks ago.  And here are just a few of the pictures we took.

Linking up at What I Love. And Amy Blogs it All.

Please also stop and see how you can pray for my friend Ali.


I experienced a new emotion earlier this week.  I got angry.  Okay, my husband will tell you that emotion is not entirely unknown to me.  But it was new in the context of my postpartum depression and anxiety.

I got angry.  Angry that it has been a year+ of fighting the darkness that is so often at the fringes of my heart and mind.

Angry that so much of this year has been spent trying to survive, fighting to thrive.

Disgusted angry at the time lost.  The hours at work lost.  The wonderful memories clouded with how I was fighting the depression and anxiety.

Sickened at the money and time spent to fight the depression and anxiety.

I was shocked by this anger, not because I haven’t been frustrated through this journey, but because I have spent a lot of energy investing in my children so I wouldn’t feel robbed of Patrice’s first year; feeling blessed to have been able to bond so well with her in the midst of all else.  I have opened up my story to encourage other women, I have been thrilled to see the Lord redeeming this time in my life as He has used it to bolster up other mamas.  With all of this, I didn’t know there was room for anger.

So one night I was engulfed with it.  It lasted a few days.  Just this boiling anger at the depression, the anxiety, at the long, long year.  The anger was not directed at any person, there was no outlet for the anger.  It truly put me in a new place, I could not do anything with this emotion, except feel it, ride the wave and see where it left me.

I’m still not sure where it left me.  In truth it is not completely gone, but for the most part it is replaced by another emotion, and this one is even more foreign to me, because I can’t name it.  It’s not anger, it’s not sadness, not quite peace.  It’s just there.

And for right now, that is where I sit.  In a bit of limbo.  I am not completely out of the anxiety portion of the last year, but I am close.  I am not totally myself, but I am getting there.  I am not declaring victory over the depression and anxiety, but I am in a good place.  A restful place.

Linking up with:

And with Joy in this Journey

Running in Beauty

iPhone Photo Phun
I went running tonight.  To one of my very favorite places.  It is an amazing park.  Breathtaking.  It is a place my hubby introduced me to last fall.  And what a gift it has been.  We went there a lot last fall.  It was one place I felt refreshed, free, safe as the postpartum depression and anxiety ravaged my mind and heart.  Hubby joked if I ever disappeared that’s where he would look for me.  He would be right.
It was a true joy to be there tonight, running physically, but not running from myself.  As fall hit over the last few weeks, I have struggled with some of the crushing feelings of last year coming back.  But thankfully, it has lightened the last week.  Tonight I just got to soak in the feel of running in a beautiful place.  At one point I was just feet from a deer that I startled; I got to see it sprint away from me.
Thank you Lord for the gifts of the beautiful weather, lovely colored leaves, being able to run, soaking it all in.
What is your healing place, where can you go to enjoy some moments of peace and quiet, places of beauty?

Goodbye Disposable Hello Cloth

My Identity, My Depression

I was recently chatting with someone and they mentioned sometimes they don’t feel like thinking about their postpartum depression.

I know that feeling.  Over the last year, there have been many times that I felt like it was all I could think about.  How to survive it, how to hide it, how to treat it, how to wait it out.  How it hurt, how it was changing me, how I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Depression, by it’s very nature, is draining.  It puts such a weight on the person.  It makes thinking, feeling and doing hard.  Add to that the constant thoughts of the above, and it can literally engulf you.

But as much as it seems like it is swallowing you whole and changing your personality, you are not your depression.  It is part of you, just like a cold is part of you…for a time.  But it is not all of you, even at the depths. It is not all of you.

You are still a person who loves reading, or drinking nice wine, or eating pizza.  You are still the person who loves to sew or bake or go running.  One of the cruelest things about depression is how it often comes in and makes those things so hard, the things that bring joy become burdens.  The darkness tries to take it all.

But even in a dark room, the things you can’t see are still there.  Your bed is in your room even when the room is dark and you can’t see it.  The couch is still in the living room even in the middle of the night when there is no light to illuminate it.

No matter how dark it seems in the rooms of your life, you are still there.  And the beauty of it is, if you can grab those things you can’t see, and bring them close to yourself, the outline begins to reappear.  And even if it is only for a moment, there is a glimpse of those things you loved.

And just maybe, for that moment, you can push away a bit of the darkness, and reclaim a bit of yourself.  Take that walk around the block.  Work on that art project.

Doing those things will not “cure” the depression, but they give you a reminder, a moment to be able to see something worth fighting for, to remember, the depression is not all there is to you.  The person you are is still there.  Even just a brief glimpse can give hope.  A moment of being able to breathe allows one to dig deep to find another ounce with which to fight.

Sometimes, all we need is that moment, that tiny breather to remember, the depression is not who we are, we do not have to believe all the lies the darkness tells.  We will reemerge, changed yes, but as ourselves, whole and well worth the fight.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about.

Multitude Mondays 180-190

It is fall.  And after much rain, the last week has been breathtakingly beautiful.  Amazing.  I’ve been able to enjoy running outside.  The girls were able to go on a hayride and pick pumpkins as well as playing outside.  I love having them play outside as I know soon enough it will be too cold for them to do so.  Even now, darkness is falling very shortly after 7 pm. 

But fall is spectacular.  The amazing colors as the leaves change, the crispness in the air.  The soups to cook and treats to bake.  Yum. 

Last fall was hard, oh so hard.  It was when the postpartum depression and anxiety cloaked me in such darkness.  October especially was hard.  As I started medication, waited for it to work, found little relief, finally ended up in the hospital for a horrible 24 hours.  It was hard.

I was afraid this fall would be stolen by memories.  And there are some.  There are moments that I feel life being sucked out of me again, but in general, I am thrilled to say I am doing well.  I am able to employ my coping mechanisms and sometimes even, just shake off the blackness.  And it is a glorious thing.

I am so thankful.

180.  babies inching their way closer to taking that first independent step.

181.  watching hubby glory in the cute things baby is learning.

182.  seeing each of our children’s personalities come through.

183.  antibiotics working quickly.

184.  a very approachable family doctor.

185.  praying with my hubby.

186.  little girls reminding me of prayer requests.

187.  cute little girl jeans.

188.  a resourceful hubby.

189.  sweet, tasty fruit.

190.  sales on yogurt.

What are you thankful for?  Please come share.

Jump, Jump Fun

We had a great time at a birthday party last week.  It was at Bounce U.
Caitlyn was extremely outgoing and played with the other kids though most of them were several years older than her.  Sue was a little more cautious and chose to bounce alone quite a bit.  I think the weight of having the others bouncing around her was unsettling.  She is only 26 lbs at almost 4 years old.  Caitlyn, by about 45 minutes into it, said she was tired…I say that’s not a bad thing!

Please head over to Ali’s and see how you can pray for her family.

Postpartum Progress

I have been in treatment for postpartum depression and anxiety for over a year now.  It has been a long year.  It has been good in so many ways.  I have loved every minute with our three girls and I have met some amazing people because of the postpartum depression.  One of the resources I found was Postpartum Progress.

It is an amazing website I have talked about many times.  It has explanations for postpartum depression in “Plain Mama English”, amazing articles addressing so many facets of this illness, stories of other women who have walked through this and survived!!!

It is an amazing site.  I wish there were a way to get her info into the packets of information they send home with mamas after they have the baby.

And there is more than just that site.  Katherine is a passionate advocate, writing and speaking about postpartum mood disorders.  She walked through it and is there to help others do the same.

She has done it without making a single penny.  She reinvests what she gets back into Postpartum Progress.  Recently, she applied for, and received 501c3 status.  I am excited to see what she can do with Postpartum Progress with ability to get funding for the work.

This week she kicked off the first fundraising effort for Postpartum Progress.  She calls it Strong Start Day.  Won’t you visit her site and donate?  Do it in honor of those mamas who have walked this road, do it so this resource is available for you when you have children, or your daughters have children.  Postpartum Mood Disorders hit far and wide.  Katherine hits back with help, information and support.

She helps mamas like me.

You can donate via paypal or by credit card.  You can remain anonymous if you like.  Help us get to the goal of $30,000.