Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Coming Out of a Fog

I can't promise I am back to blogging with any regularity (in fact, I can probably promise that I'm not), but I am climbing out of a year and a half funk of post partum depression and thyroid madness, and it feels good to feel like myself again. My pregnancy with Clare was pretty rough, as well, so the "me" I am finding was buried quite a ways down there! I suspected, after the fact, that I had some degree of post partum depression with Felicity, so I figured I knew what to look for after Clare was born. Except I guess I still didn't! After about 9 months of feeling like I was a terrible mother, couldn't parent these children of mine, kinda wishing for a different life, and sleeping a lot more than is normal for me (well.... a lot less than is normal due to a baby, but taking advantage of any opportunity to nap during the day with the house semi falling down around me), I finally went to the doctor. It took a bit to get my thyroid back in business, which was one piece of the puzzle. My doctor was impressed I was functioning as "well" as I was with a TSH of 12! But things still weren't quite right, so she recommended I try an over the counter supplement called 5HTP, which is a serotonin booster. I have to be careful how I take it due to interactions with my thyroid medicine, but I noticed an almost immediate improvement. After a couple months, I started feeling that feeling again, and upped the dose. I'm now at the highest dose, and feeling really great. (Side note: do not take without asking your doctor, especially if you are already on other medications.) The next step (because I can't take any higher of a dose) would be antidepressants of some sort, but I will cross that bridge if and when I need to.

It's nice to enjoy life again and not feel overwhelmed by every single thing that comes my way. One of my friends will see my reaction to something and joke, "wow, those are good meds!!". But it's true! I feel like a different person, or like I used to before, and I am able to appreciate my kids despite the trials of having two littles. When I began to talk to friends about how I was feeling, it was surprising how many people had been through or are currently going through a similar thing. As much as my 'village' helps in other ways, it was incredibly helpful to share resources, vent, and know I wasn't the only one going through this. I'm not totally sure what about our day and age makes PPD/PPA so common (though I have my theories), but it's been amazing to have people to push me to feel better, and to support me. If you aren't feeling like yourself, please, please talk to someone. It can sound scary, daunting, or just downright exhausting to make and attend an appointment (hand raised), but it is so worth it. I wish I had gone sooner, because I think in the back of my head I knew it was an issue, but I was just waiting for it to get better. Instead, I lost a lot of opportunities to bond with my kids or just enjoy the time with them. I am hoping a potential next time around, I'll deal with it sooner!

It also helps that I'm doing things for myself. I haven't done that great of a job of that in the past 3.5 years of being a mom, but I'm making it a priority now and Steven of course supports me 100%. My main desire is for alone time (introvert here!) where children are not needing me or touching me. My secondary desires are for relationships and faith strengthening. So twice a month, 3 friends and I get together for a Bible study. We are using the Blessed Is She series which are deep enough to be moving, but easy enough to not have homework :). We meet at a Panera for about 2.5 hours of food, chatting, and studying. It is SO refreshing!!! I'm also going to a season of plays at a local theater. They happen every other month and have multiple show times, so I should have no problem working around Steven's schedule. I went to the first one last weekend, Doublewide, Texas, and it was hilarious and so much fun! I was gone for about 3.5 hours and felt completely refreshed the next morning, despite being out late and getting less sleep. It is nice to invest in myself, and I know my family will benefit from it, too!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Current Favorites

I have come to accept that I don't have the time or energy to blog anymore. But periodically I sitll want to jot down things that I don't want to forget. These babies are growing SO fast. Literally overnight Felicity quit saying "lellow" and "Selicity" and began saying "yellow" and "Felicity".

Thankfully she is still holding onto pupcakes for cupcakes, Old Mcdonald's for the restaurant, pupperoni instead of pepperoni, and she says paper toilet for, of course, toilet paper.

Felicity went to a parents' night out recently. Well, both girls went, but we only left Clare long enough to go to dinner. Felicity was so excited that we ended up deciding to leave her for the whole thing, from 6-9. She, who even just a few months ago would not leave my side at soccer, ran to the classroom in a place she'd never been before, to people she'd never met before, without a second glance back and Steven or me. She was SO excited and had not an ounce of hesitation. It was so cute to hear her talk about the night as she's rarely away from me for me to hear about something she did that was her own thing. She talked about how the 'blue shirts' helped her... the people running it all wore blue shirts. So cute!

Felicity is obsessed with our neighbor's boys!!! We babysit them for about 8-10 hours a week and walk with them most week day mornings followed by about a half hour of play time... and she still begs to see them! It is so sweet to watch their friendships.

Clare does not talk much at all but has the cutest little personality quirks and mannerisms. She has one version of "If You're Happy And You Know It" that makes her day when it comes on in the car. She turns to look at her sister, beaming, and begins clapping. I often turn it on to boost my own mood! Clare also loves Old McDonald and sings "EIEIO". Felicity often will get up dance during the opening song of her shows, and now Clare does too, even if Felicity isn't. She smiles at me and turns circles until she falls. In fact, the only dance move she has is turning circles haha! *In the interim of writing this and it sitting in my drafts, my sweet baby has had a language explosion! She calls herself "pitty" (pretty) when she puts anything on including but not limited to Steven's work shoes, and a fireman raincoat. She says woof, her version of meow, sissy, Jesus,  and bye bye. She is also super in love with our friend's baby who she has named "me-me" and she now refers to all babies and baby dolls as "me-me".

Clare is really into whatever Felicity is into, which I expected would happen when they were older, and I find precious to see already. Because Felicity is so into Paw Patrol, Clare also likes "deedee" (dogs). Any time Felicity wears her paw patrol shirts and bathing suits, Clare runs to her, points, and exclaims "deedee!". I found a baby sized Skye shirt at Old Navy on clearance and knew she had to have it! So funny that she's "into" things already at this age, just because of her sister! She is also obsessed, OBSESSED with shoes. She wants to wear everyone's shoes, no matter how big, and the crankiest mood can be lifted by putting on a pair of shoes, real or 'dress up', and walking around the house. I have never seen a kid so into shoes!

These girls may wear me on daily... no, more than that!... but I am really loving watching them grow and change!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

My Baby is 1!!!

Wow, what a year!!! Clare has changed so much, beyond the obvious ways. She started off as a super quiet, laid back baby who nursed about 23 hours a day, for months. She also slept 8-10 hours straight at night. Then the 4 month regression hit, a little early at 3.5 months, and my cool as a cucumber baby became kind of fussy and hard to manage, and woke to nurse a ton at night. Now at a year, she is still kind of .... tempermental :). Teething pain has surprised all of us, and she has 6 teeth that all came in over the course of about as many weeks. She is loud and proud, a little chatterbox, and likes to let you know what she's feeling. Clare is also such a funny little girl! She makes the best faces and cracks up at her sister, being tickled, and lots of other things.She is such an explorer and nothing slows her down. She climbs and goes down slides by herself (even big playground ones), and basically climbs anything she can scale! People keep telling me how tiny she is, which surprises me as she's always been around 65th percentile for height and weight, but I guess she has slimmed down a lot since her 9 month well check due to how insanely active she is! We go on the 16th, so I will find out stats. I've dealt with a bit of post partum depression, largely related to sleep, and that coupled with some crazy thyroid issues has made her first year harder for me than it would have otherwise been. It has also gone even faster than Felicity's first year did. But along the way we have had so many great snuggles because this girl is such a great eater! As brave as she is, she gets overwhelmed in crowds and new settings, and often we retreat to somewhere quiet and I nurse her and kiss her little hands. I have loved those little moments and they've kept me going through the chaos and struggles.



Medical issues: none since the last update!

Sleep: Her sleep has gotten worse, so we're going to begin very slowly night weaning a la Jay Gordon's method. I'm going to choose 4 hours where she won't nurse and Steven will take over during that time, so I'll get a minimum of a 4 hour block of sleep. Then she can nurse/sleep with me. Her adjustment to the toddler bed for naps and the first part of the night was pretty easy, so I'm hoping this goes just as well!

Clothes/diaper size: Same as last month... 12 months clothes (thought I have her in some 18 but they're a bit too big), and size 4 diapers.

Likes: Eating EVERYthing she comes across, especially rocks and mulch at the park. She doesn't actually swallow it, so I don't stop her, much to the dismay of children and parents alike at playgrounds. Clare likes to be tickled, play peek a boo, look through books, nurse and cuddle, kick while nursing and general other gymnurstics, loves to put toys in and out of containers, and loves playground equipment.

Dislikes: Clare does not like having her diaper changed or clothes changed/put on. She is not a fan of swings (so opposite from her sister!), preferring to crawl all over the playground. She does not like bed or nap time, though thankfully is usually down within about 10 minutes.

Nicknames: Clare Bear, Sissy, Clara

Milestones: Clare took her first steps on February 23rd, and a week later was up to 10 steps at a time. Currently she can cross entire rooms and does about 50/50 with walking vs crawling. March 7th was when her climbing really took off. She began climbing any steps she could find, and especially loves climbing up on the couch from a foot stool. Today she figured out how to get off the couch by herself by sliding down on her belly, so maybe I'll have a few less heart attacks ;).

I don't want to forget this: Clare and Felicity have begun to play with each other in the back seat of the car and it is SO CUTE to watch and hear. Felicity will hold Clare's hands and they giggle, or they'll make faces or noises at each other. Felicity will also hold Clare's hands and walk her around the room. It's great practice for Clare and Felicity feels like such a big shot for helping. Clare sometimes tackles Felicity, and it is so much fun to watch her initiate play with her sister! I can't wait to see how much more this fun and wild personality of hers develops!!