A lot has happened since my last post about having PPD. It’s only been a week, but a world of change is going on. Mostly for the good. So here is a very long post with some knitting in it to boot. Grab a cup of coffee (hot if you are lucky) and sit down with me.
So I called Crystal (my midwife/bestfriend) last weekend and basically sobbed the whole time. She listened and said it sounds like the underlying problem is that I am getting little to no sleep. She said she thinks my ppd would get better if I could get some good sleep and told me that it was imperative to do so, even if it meant getting a hotel room for a night by myself.
After talking to her I came back into the house and broke the news to the hubby and Monkey. Both were and are extremely supportive. We sat down and had a long talk and came up with a game plan, Operation Save Mom. A hotel was out of the question because even without the baby I would still need to get up every couple of hours to pump milk. I decided it would be best for Seannan and I to move out to the futon in the living room for a week to catch up on sleep and that he would sleep in bed with me rather than his bassinet. That way when he woke to nurse I could just pop a boob in his mouth and fall back asleep myself. We also planned that on Friday’s hubby would take Seannan after he nursed at night and do all the burping and getting him back to sleep, and then I would let hubby sleep in on Saturday. What’s more is that he is going to take over the first night feeding whenever I wish that way if I feel I really need the extra sleep or had a particularly bad day I can get several good solid hours of sleep under my belt. All that breast milk in the freezer is going to pay off. The Monkey is great about watching Finny for me during the day when Seannan sleeps so I can take a nap as well when I need it. So, the sleep issue has been addressed and I am feeling better already.
Perfectionism, I have a problem with it and it’s hindering me from getting the rest I need and deserve. I look around my house and the clutter really stresses me out, I want to clean it up. My housework routine calls to me and I have really had to turn a blind eye and just accept that I have a high needs baby and ppd and right now housework isn’t the top priority. Taking care of myself and my baby is. My hubby is very eager to help, but I’m always swooping down on him when he fumbles at something and saying, “Never mind, I’ll do it.” He isn’t going to get any better at the newborn care stuff if I keep doing that so I had to make a clear decision to stop doing that to him. Seannan will survive if he isn’t swaddled perfectly or if it takes Daddy ten minutes to change a diaper. I really struggle with that and it was harder for me to let go than I expected. Especially when Seannan was crying, I wanted to go to him and comfort him, instead I have been mentally telling myself that Daddy is on it and Seannan is ok. This has been very freeing.
Some other things we discussed, I need to shower and get dressed every day. Wearing your pj’s for two days with no shower does not help depression. Also, I need a little time for myself every day to do something I enjoy, so I am making sure I get it and not worrying about the stupid house work when I do. Getting out side or out of the house has become a priority as well. I bought myself a bottle of Bach’s Rescue Remedy and I keep it handy through out the day. It helps and I wish I had tried this stuff ages ago. Finally I encapsulated my placenta, something I was planning on having done anyway. Unfortunately Crystal had to go out of town on some very important family business and she was going to do it for me. A very sweet online friend sent me an encapsulating kit and I did it tonight. It was disgusting and bizarre and slightly cool and I will never do it again, but I hope it’s worth it. I have read so many great things about taking placenta capsules during your postpartum period.
So where does all this leave us? Well, getting there. I think just realizing that I had reached the bottom and needed help and coming up with a plan of treatment was half the battle. Seannan’s reflux is getting better day by day, his sleep is regulating and he is becoming a more pleasant baby with each passing day. He even hangs out without crying a few times each day so I can stare into his sweet brown eyes and nibble his toes. Toe nibbling is very good for ppd. Big Sissy has taken Finny under her wing and really helps me out with him. Finny of course is very pleased because he missed his Big Sissy terribly while she was away in NY. I still don’t get a whole lot of time with Finny right now and that hurts, but I know that Seannan will grow fast and soon I will be able to enjoy both of them playing on the floor and outside, etc. I have been getting some sleep, not consecutively, but at least I am getting sleep. It’s amazing how terrible you feel and how quickly you spiral down without sleep. Night time is not so desperate or long. Seannan is getting better at nursing and going right back to sleep…except for that time after 3 a.m. I don’t know what it is, but I will be up sometimes for nearly 2 hours trying to get him settled and back to sleep. He is a lazy nurser and sleeps much better with a full belly, but that’s hard to do when he’s so sleepy that he keeps falling asleep on the boob, especially in the middle of the night. Often Travis will get up with him if he gets up after 6 in the morning so I can get some sleep, then he will wake me up at 7 so he can get ready for work and so Seannan can nurse.
For my birthday Travis and the kids got me the KnitPicks Options needle set. I am ridiculously happy about this as I have wanted a set ever since they came out, but it’s one of those things I never buy for myself. Yay! I love them and I think I might save up and get the Harmony set as well. I tried a pair of the Harmony straights at SnB and loved them! Ah, speaking of SnB I am going babyless from now on, except when I want to tote Seannan along. I am so happy about it as it gives me a night out without any kids. Travis said he really enjoyed his time with the boys too (Elizabeth came with me last week) and is looking forward to that time.
I am nearly finished with my first UFO from the list, the beret. And of course as soon as I cross it off I will be adding a UFO I forgot about, the Monkey’s mittens and hat she requested. So I’m back to square one, but who cares, it’s knitting and very therapeutic. Besides, the beret is just smashing.
I know it’s only been a week, and I know I won’t get better over night, but I am recovering and I am seeing a difference. I know people have been praying for me. Thanks to my family for the sweet cards, knowing you are thinking of me helps a lot. I still have bad days, but I think we have finally turned the corner and I’m having more good days than bad.