Friday, June 24, 2011

Guess who's back...back again....

Loony's back....tell a friend...guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back, ....okay I'll stop, so you guys won't have that stuck in your head ALL day. Hopefully.

This is going to be a long, bloated post.  Sorry in advance. This is one of those 'confessions' that actually has a meaning.

Well, here I is. I went away for a while and had a baby, but I'm back from my maternity leave. I bring with me an insanely gorgeous little girl and a post-partum depression that, unfortunately, I let get to a level that could best be described as "Holy Shit!" before I started agressively doing anything about it. I did that yesterday. And that's the topic I want to jump on today...because I'm in a self-analyzing mood.

Let's go back in time, shall we? When I met the hubster, I was a 155-lb single mom to an almost-3-year-old. To the majority of the female population, 155lbs sounds like a weight problem, but I was actually on the border of being *too* thin. I'm one of those rare people that ACTUALLY have big bones. Anyway, I was a solid size 8-10, and my bockasana was looking goooood. Beyond that, I felt amazing. I had had my mental health struggles, but I was at a wonderfully healthy place and was advocating for the mentally ill. I took up playing billiards, met lots of friends, and my three big problems were 1) I couldn't get along with my ex husband 2) I never had any money and 3) I could NOT stop smoking. I loved what I did, I loved how I felt, I loved life. I met Chris, and life got sweeter. We started dating, and, to both of our shock (and some horror on my part), I found out I was pregnant about 3-4 months after we started dating - at the beginning of the year. I had gained about 20 lbs since we started dating b/c we ate out all the the weight REALLY started packing on b/c I couldn't diet like I had planned. Other than that, life was really coming up roses. Hubster and I were married at the end of my first trimester, the issues with my ex husband were resolved and we started to get along (which had never happened - even when we were married), I moved to NC to live with my new husband, and 6 weeks after I moved down, I gave birth to a gorgeous, healthy baby boy.

Then, it started.

Andy lives with me during the school year and his father during the summer. Both of my boys have late August birthdays. Andy came home on a Sunday and Charlie was born on Wednesday. Andy started his new preschool in a new city 9 days later. I was at home, alone, with a new baby and a preschooler almost all of the time. And what I had not foreseen was that almost all of my friends had jobs and lives...they were all busy. Charlie was too little to do anything, and I didn't know anyone. Stranger in a strange town. The depression started setting in.

Then it got worse.

When Charlie was 3 weeks old, my best friend, Erin, who worked afternoons and came to see me in the mornings when she could, was admitted to the hospital for some mystery swelling. She expected to be there overnight, and - well - she never really left. She had a couple of periods of a week or two that she would go home, but she always ended up back in the hospital sooner rather than later. Thirteen months later, she passed away. I wanted to visit her - she was stuck in that room and I was stuck at home, it was a perfect combination, right? - but I was not allowed to. This was the winter that H1N1 was rampant, and children were not allowed on hospital grounds. Because I did not have a sitter, I couldn't get up there to visit with her much at all. We had to resort to texting and phone calls. My heart twists in agony, even as I write this, to think about how lonely I know she was up there.

The depression got worse and worse.

When the spring and summer came, I finally decided I had had enough and decided to make friends and get out of the house. Period. And I made a true and honest attempt. I also decided I wanted to lose weight (At the time, I was hovering around 220lbs) and although I didn't care about being svelte, exactly, I DID want to feel good about myself again. But I could never get myself going. Although I have a pool right down the street, I never went. There is a playground, but I never took Charlie (in my defense, he couldn't walk). There are sidewalks, but I didn't go for walks. I just sat and farted around on the internet and...well...wallowed.

That is not to say that I didn't attempt to reach out for help, or that I was in horrific shape. Not at all. I was taking an anti-depressant and, like I said, I've been really sick before. I guess that's why this very slow-onset depression snuck up on me, and I let it go under-treated for so long. The summer passed by, the boys had their birthdays (which is always a joyous but incredibly stressful time) and then at the end of September, we found out Katie was coming.

Then came the cruelest blow of all...two days after we found out Katie was coming, Erin had to go onto the ventilator. After a week on and off the ventilator, she made the decision on her own to come off of life support and sign a Do Not Recusitate order. She passed away one week and one day after we found out about Katie. I fell into a depression then, but at least this time, I recognized it for what it was.

I also recognized (as did my doctor) that there wasn't a damned thing I could do about it, beyond what I was already doing.

As an added bonus, Andy went to kindergarten this year, and...well...let's just say he didn't have a stellar year. The rough days outnumbered the good days 2-1. We're holding him back, and it's the absolute best thing we could do for him. I'm not the least bit sorry about it. My pregnancy with Katie was not exactly a physically joyous time - first I was puking for the first 7 months, and then it got REALLY painful REALLY fast.

Now she's here, and I adore her. But it hasn't been idyllic. I haven't been able to breastfeed her like I wanted to, (she can't latch) and I've been trying to give myself permission to give up the pumping around the clock. Guilt has kept me going. I've found myself sitting around in my pajamas, not wanting to go anywhere, not wanting to get dressed in actual clothes, not even really wanting to take a bath. All I've wanted to do is sit on my ever-expanding ass, eat (Chris says I've been on the 'carb-and-sugar' diet), and watch crap TV. And when I say that all I've wanted to do is eat, I'm not kidding. I can't STOP eating...I've been like a human sugar and carbohydrate garbage disposal. It's been insane, and I have gained 9lbs in 5 weeks. But, like most people, I've had blinders, and I've only assessed myself as far as the past few weeks were concerned.

Well, I found an infection in my incision the day before yesterday, and made an appointment to go to the doctor yesterday. And I made up my mind yesterday morning that I was going to inform my doctor that my hormones were screwed up and something had to be done about it, she had to fix me. So I told her everything. All of the symptoms...from the last 6 weeks. (remember those blinders?) And she checked my thyroid, my blood sugar..and told me to get to the psychiatrist, that I had post-partum depression.

So I did. And I do. As I was killing time for the hour and a half before the appointment to see her, I did a lot of self-analysis, and when I finally got in to see her, I was further surprised at what came out when I actually started to talk about and acknowledge the fact that I'd been depressed. And my psychiatrist (who I love, by the way) put me on a med that's indicated for women with PPD or has a little hormonal component to it. She swore to me that I'd be feeling better within a week. And that I'd stop craving carbs so much, too. (Hallelujah!)

This is a battle that I'm determined to win. I am tired of feeling fat and tired. I am tired of feeling like not doing anything. I want to feel like I want to do SOMETHING. Even if it's just walking around the block, I miss feeling motivated.

Now, let me give y'all a little insight into my personality - don't offer me any excuses. Have you ever heard the expression "if you give her an inch, she'll take a mile?" - that's me when it comes to excuses for being lazy or not doing something I don't want to do. So if you say "Oh, honey, cut yourself some slack. You just had a baby." or anything along those lines...I have a tendency to grab a hold to it and milk it for all it's worth. Enabling me is the worst thing that you can do for me. I need drill sergeant/cheerleaders. I need friends with skin on them. I need someone to hold me accountable.

I would love to write, but in order to truly be productive and turn out the book that I would one day like to write, I would have to leave my house, leave my kids with other people, and go to an office setting to do it with someone else giving me deadlines to do it. I deliver on nagging....seriously. So, you guys tell me? What would you like from me? What would you like to ask from me and guilt me into delivering? Once a week? Once a month? Whenever the mood strikes?

By the way, I'm weaning from pumping every 4 hours...and I look like Pamela Anderson if she were fat and brunette. Ho-lee crap, these babies are a sight to behold.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, Haley! It takes a lot of guts to share your personal struggles with the world. I think you will find that many women will relate to some/all of the things you have shared. Keep on writing!