Monthly Archives: March 2012

I am Excited–Secret Mommyhood Confessions

>Something Something Button

What am I excited about…well the problem Kim, is I am really excited about some stuff that normally, well, isn’t exciting.

Hubby says we can rip up the carpet in the girls’ rooms.  I am hoping for this weekend but he’s all “excited” about taxes.

I’m excited about all this extra energy I have so I can get a lot done.  My house is going to be CLEAN.  Watch out stuff and dirt.  You are GOING DOWN!!!!  As soon as my marvelous wit shows through this post and I wow you with my written word skills…

I am feeling great.  This is day four of feeling awesome, on top of the world.  I feel like dancing through my dirty house, so I shall turn on music nice and loud and clean away, because my clean house will be that much more fun to dance in.

I think after it is clean I shall throw the girls a party.  Wouldn’t it be fun to celebrate a clean house with a special treat and streamers?  Yes, that is what I shall do!!!!!!!!!

What are you excited about?? (I am also excited to link up with Kimberly)

And because there has been a lack of pictures in my posts…

 

#ppdchat Theme Song

Help me welcome Jaime from www.jamesandjax.com as she guest posts for me today.  She has written a powerful post about uplifting each other.  (Sorry Jaime, I couldn’t get the song to link correctly from youtube).

I am proud to know Jaime and call her friend.  She is a great blogger and has great resources for anxiety.  She has talked me through a rough patch more than once.

Enjoy!

I met Charity through the #ppdchat on Twitter, a support group-like chat founded by another friend of mine, Lauren for those experiencing or in a relationship with someone experiencing a perinatal mood disorder. Over time, many of us regular participants have nurtured the seedlings of beautiful friendships with each other. After a year or so of getting to know each other through various social networks, during both calm and challenging times, I am happy to call Charity my friend and I am a better person for knowing her.
The other day, I was driving to work in the morning and a song came on that reminded me not only of Charity but also many of the women I’ve come to call my friends as we’ve swum through troubled waters during our healing from postpartum depression (and other postpartum disorders).
Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
That song doesn’t fit in AT ALL with my usual repetoire of favorite songs (by Elliott Smith, Florence and the Machine, TV on the Radio, to give you an idea of the genre of music I prefer). Every time I hear it, it makes me cry with its poetic lyrics of friendship during troubled times. I find it comforting, and it lifts me up. It is my reminder that “when times get rough,” I’m not alone (even when I feel lonely). It also reminds me of my role as a friend.
I like to refer to this song as the unofficial #ppdchat theme song.
Without further ado, here are the lyrics:
When you’re weary
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you
I’ll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

See how they shine
If you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

 

What songs do you find uplifting and/or comforting?

Weight Loss Wednesday–Trying Something New

I’ve done well on weight watchers.  I have lost 15 lbs since starting just before Thanksgiving, but honestly, I think most of it has been the exercise and loosely following the eating.

As I have mentioned, many times, I am doing a fitness challenge with a friend at work.  I have to say that has really been the biggest part of my weight loss.

But I have wondered…

As I’ve also mentioned, I am struggling with depression.  I am on new medications and have a great doctor I am working with…but is there more I can do?

I know sugar affects me.  I can feel my anxiety go through the roof when I decide to have a brownie, piece of cake or dessert.  And I keep torturing myself by eating these evil things.

And I wonder…

Are there other foods that mess with me mentally?  Is there more I can do to help myself by getting serious about my eating like I have my exercise?

I bought a book, Engine 2 Diet, and read it last week while in the hospital.  It is a vegan diet 28-day challenge by Rip Esselstyn, an athlete and a firefighter that wanted to help his fellow firefighters improve their health with a plant-based diet.

And I am going to try it.

NOT because I think diet can fix my depression.  Trust me, I will continue with my medications and doctor appointments.  But I do think I can make better eating choices that MIGHT help me feel better mentally while I improve myself physically.

I have gotten lots of encouragement and ideas from friends on twitter.  Here we go…

How would you prepare for such a radical eating change?  How would you convince your hubby this is a good idea?  And won’t cost too much.  Would you have your kids eat vegan as well?

Linking with Alicia.

What Courage Looks Like

Please welcome Susan today as she guest posts here at Giggles and Grimaces.  Susan is a wonderful mother to two little girls, she is a piano teacher (even via twitter) and blogs at www.learnedhappiness.wordpress.com.  She is a calming, comforting and encouraging voice to me amidst the chaos that is depression.

 

Every time I post something about my PPD, my antenatal depression, or my anxiety, I get at least one comment from someone thanking me for being so brave. It’s appreciated, really. But honestly? It also makes me cringe. It’s a damn shame that a person has to be brave to tell the truth. That I have anything to fear by opening up and sharing my experiences with others, experiences for which I carry no blame. Experiences that might help others. When I first started blogging, I took a chance. Though I was afraid of how others would see me, I needed to stop Shame in its tracks. Now that I air my dirty laundry on a weekly basis, I don’t need courage. In exchange for being vulnerable and real, I’ve been rewarded with love and understanding. These days, I don’t fear the hard posts.

Now, courage has been redefined for me by the everyday women in my life, some whom I’ve never met in person. Let me share with you what courage truly looks like in this community of Warrior Moms:

Courage is raising two children on your own, leaving an unhealthy relationship (despite it being the only familiar thing in your life), and beginning your bachelors degree when all the students around you are too young and immature to understand the demands of motherhood. It’s balancing homework, laundry, and dinners. It’s playing with your boys even though you’re exhausted beyond words, and still finding time for self-care. Courage is dancing your butt off each week just to bring a little joy to others. My friend A’Driane? Never knows what kind of day BPD may bring her way. But she rises in the morning, bringing brilliant color to her world, her boys’ worlds, and everyone else along the way.

Courage is living life with an organ determined to complicate your every meal. It’s struggling with a life-threatening condition but living the life YOU want to live anyway. It’s managing your illness with intelligence…and reaching out to others to share everything you know. It’s dedication and self-discipline – the kind it takes to get healthy enough to bring two beautiful babies into the world. Melissa is one of my oldest and most trusted friends. And though her diabetes does its best to define her, she gracefully rises above it to accomplish everything from a double major in English and Music Performance to being a breastfeeding, baby-wearing mother of two. Her writing is deep and honest and filled with integrity. And she does it all with humor and humility.

But the most courageous act a person can do? I believe it’s being honest with yourself. Digging deep to see the truth lying within. Often frightening, ugly, and easier to ignore than to face, the truth hides behind the story we wish we could tell. It takes a brave person to uncover those lies and reveal what’s really going on. To be able to say to yourself (and your loved ones), “I’m NOT okay. I need help.” Charity, my friend, you inspire me with your courage. I know this last week was torturous, but you fought back against the depression that was threatening your life. Admitting yourself to the hospital was an act of courage and self-love and I am so proud to call you my friend.

Can I Do Saturday Confessions on Sunday?

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I have a million blog posts in my mind. I have a million other thoughts in my mind. It is hard to put any of them together. I couldn’t come anywhere near putting them together yesterday.

So, can you join me in pretending I am writing my Secret Mommyhood Confessions on Saturday? I’ll confess my need to follow all rules, even which day to post topics, on another Sunday Saturday…

In case you missed it, I recently weaned Patrice after 19 months of nursing. Of course, if you missed that, we have never crossed paths on twitter or my blog, so I should say, “HELLO, welcome to my part of the web!”

Back to the topic at hand.

Weaning her makes me sad, and scared.

Now before you think I’m getting on a high horse about how breast is best…let me pause and say, I believe that, but that is not any part of this blog post. I’ll let others worry about beating that drum.

I’m sad and scared for me, not her.

I’m sad because I was uber proud of being a nursing mama. It was something I set out to do and did it. Big confession here, I did it was some judgment of other mamas and from a high horse, but that is another topic, heck probably one for the doctor and I to deal with. Please let me say I’ve been learning a lot about that high horse and I’m climbing off of it.

I’m sad because now anybody can do any or all of Patrice’s care. She doesn’t really need me anymore. Daddy can do everything I can. A lot of it better than I. I can’t sit and cuddle her without her wanting to nurse. This morning she clawed me when I wouldn’t nurse her and tried to just hold her. She climbs into daddy and “Miss Susie’s” arms to be rocked. Not mine. Never mine.

I’m scared I will lose my place in the breastfeeding world. Who will listen to someone who weaned their baby for their own needs instead of letting the baby self-wean?

I’m scared the depression will deepen, as it already has, due to the hormone changes associated with weaning. Weaning itself can cause postpartum depression. What if I get even worse? I am hanging on by fingernails as it is.

And my biggest fear is the hormone changes will allow the Multiple Sclerosis to come out of remission and I will lose the physical progress I have made. And that terrifies me. A horrible run, where you fall flat on your face, is better than one single minute of steroid treatments for MS or half a moment in a wheelchair. What if the nursing and pregnancy, continuous for all these years, has kept me healthy. What will I do if I wake up one morning and I literally no longer know which was is up? I am pickin’ scared of that possibility. Just typing it is making me dizzy. Oh no.

(Um, yeah, I think it is a good thing I have a standing appointment with my doctor every week!!!!!)

What makes you sad or scared about a big change in your life?

Join me at Kimberly’s.

What Have You Learned this Week?

I am thrilled to have a guest blogger today. Part of my self-care this week was to ask for some help on my blog and I am so excited to share with you the first of those:

I am so honored to be a guest on Charity’s blog today. I have admired her writing. She is so honest as she chronicles the ups and downs of motherhood. Charity has inspired me to start a workout regimen to help me become more physically fit. She very generously shared me her training plan. She is a mom of three little girls, and she is an advocate for breast feeding. We met through #ppdchat on twitter. She has given me wonderful advice on nursing a toddler and transitioning from pumping at work to just nursing when I am with my littlest. Thank you again for having me in your space.

I am reflecting on what motherhood is to me. Charity’s blog title is a great example of how I feel on any given day from moment to moment. My sister-in-law summed motherhood up as this overwhelming love that makes you feel as if your heart will burst in one moment and in the next moment the overwhelming urge to pull your hair out in frustration and rage and hop in your car to drive away. This resonated with me.

Motherhood is a dichotomy for me. It is the most rewarding and the most challenging thing I have ever done. I marvel daily at the unconditional love and forgiveness that my daughters show me. I wonder aloud on a daily basis why bedtime and getting out the door in the morning is an exercise in patience and creativity, causing me to lose my patience and become frustrated. My girls have seen me at my best and my worst, and they love me just as I am. I love them just as they are. Day by day I am figuring out who I am as a mother and what my girls need from me. I am learning something new every day from my girls.

Here is what this week taught me I have learned that dancing in the kitchen and making goofy faces can turn my girls’ moods around. My oldest really is interested in my day. Our bedtime ritual now includes telling each other about our days. This gives us some much needed time together. I have learned that my youngest still needs affection even as she runs away from me to explore everything. I have learned that a cardboard box is more fun to play with than any of our toys. What did your children teach you this week?

Check out her blog at www.tranquilamama.wordpress.com

Hard Week

I’m not going into details here, but just know this has been one of the hardest, if not the hardest, weeks of my life.

I weaned by beloved Patrice from nursing. This was my first experience weaning a baby. The other two weaned themselves when I was pregnant.

I still can’t sit and cuddle her without her wanting to nurse though it has been over a week. I am anxiously awaiting sitting and cuddling my baby; for now we stand and dance to songs.

I continue to live on a yo-yo of emotion. The darn yo-yo can bounce up and down every few hours. I want to cut the string, but instead, I am trying a new medication. I am hoping it helps. It is a medication I could not take while nursing Patrice. We have also upped one of the my other medications beyond what is safe for her to get via nursing.

I typed today, in a tweet, “as a mom with mental illness.” Then I cried. I never wanted this. I just wanted a third child. I don’t know if these depression issues would have come out without postpartum depression, but I am going to say yes, they would; it makes me feel better to think they would have shown up regardless.

Oh, and I have two pieces of advice for you:

Unless you know the person very well and are within your relationship to do so, don’t tell a depressed person to count their blessings. I know my blessings. I do. And there are a few people that can tell me that without getting an earful, the rest should really just stuff it.

2nd bit of advice, read www.spermiestyle.com and www.makemommygosomethingsomething.com. I will warn you, they are both more, well, blunt than I am, but these ladies can write and right now they can express things I can’t even touch on.

Mother’s Pride, the beginning

Here it is, the beginning of the Mother’s Pride blog carnival, and I the host am searching in my brain for what I want to celebrate.

First let me tell you the beginning of this, March 15, corresponds with my mother’s birthday, on purpose.

I am proud of my mother for doing a job that is hard.  She is a home health care provider.  She spends her whole day with people who need so much from her.  And she does it, day in and day out.  And she cares for her clients, more than they will ever know.  I am proud of her.

I am proud of myself for reinventing myself from a couch potato to a real runner.  I run several times a week, in all kinds of weather, all kinds of distances.  I have done races ranging from 3.1 miles to 6.2 miles.  I am currently training for 13.1 miles.  All this from a girl who was once in a wheelchair.

I am proud of one day forgetting I couldn’t run and trying it anyway…doing those first steps on with wii fit until one Sunday afternoon I stepped outside to do the first steps of my new love–running OUTSIDE.  Talk about freeing and empowering.

I am proud of every single step.

What are you proud of?

No apologizing, just celebrating with pride!

 

Write your post and link up!

 

Suwwwweeeetttt Weight Loss Wednesday

So, Tuesday is weigh in day round these parts.  And today I got a great number–1.2 lbs lost for a total of 15.4 lbs gone.  Wooohoooo!!!!

Next week’s weigh in is going to be different than any other time I’ve been trying to lose weight for the last 6 years…I will no longer be nursing a baby.  I know that decreases my weight watchers points, but other than that…

Some say it will speed up my loss, some say it will slow it down.  I don’t know.  I really don’t.  Come back next week to see what happens!

 

Hear my Heart at Butterfly Confessions

The lovely and talented A’Driane has invited me to guest post today at her blog.  A’Driane and I met via twitter and and #ppdchat where she is the always real and encouraging @addyeB. 

A’Driane does an amazing weekly post called Self Care Saturdays.  I was originally going to write for that, but as you’ll see, my post, well, moved a little out of that realm.

It was hard to write and I don’t anticipate it being easy to read.  It is where I am, broken, but trying to get whole.  Surviving til I’m thriving.