Category Archives: recovery time

Sharing the Journey with Jamie

Meet Jamie. She’s due in June with her second child. Her first brush with Postpartum Depression started during her pregnancy. Jamie felt depressed, upset and confused. Not feeling ready to be a parent, she even felt resentful when the baby moved. She even cried at her first ultrasound – proof that she was indeed pregnant.

Things went from difficult to worse after her first daughter was born. Jamie “cried constantly, was moody, and felt worthless and suicidal at times.” She finally sought help at six months postpartum. It took some time but Jamie was able to deal with the ups and downs of motherhood without wanting to pack her bags and run.

And now, I’m excited to let Jamie speak about her experience in her words. By the way, Jamie blogs too. She found me via 5 Minutes for Mom’s Ultimate Blog Party. You can keep up with her at Melody of a Mom.

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do when you’re not being a mother or a wife? What fascinates you?

I was a scrapbooker long before I started having kids. My bookshelves hold probably 15 12×12 completed scrapbooks, four of which are full of pictures from my daughter’s first two years of life. Aside from scrapbooking, I enjoy almost anything that has to do with crafting.

After my daughter goes to bed you can find me reading or writing. I am working on a novel (which I hopefully will complete by the time I’m 30!) and I write songs which I hope to have published someday.

What was your first pregnancy like? Was it what you expected? If not, what happened?

My small amount of knowledge about what pregnancy would be like came from TLC’s A Baby Story and the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” So I guess you could say I had no expectations when my pregnancy started, and I was able to take things as they came.

Postpartum Depression can sneak up on the best of us and knock us flat on our backs. Tell us about your experience.

I would say that my postpartum depression started before I even had my daughter (I call it pre-partum depression). There were intermittent periods of time when the prospect of birthing the baby I was carrying seemed depressing and confining, like some kind of cage I was trapped in. One day I’d be excited about all the pink clothes my baby would wear, and the next day I would wish I wasn’t having a baby at all.

After I had my daughter, the depression was severe and constant. I felt like I wasn’t bonding with her…I knew she had needs and I met those needs, but as far as “falling in love,” that just wasn’t happening.

Much of the time I wanted to pack my bags and leave everything behind. I cried a lot, lashed out at my husband and family, and felt very down.

When did you finally seek treatment for your PPD? What made you realize you needed help?

I knew what I was feeling wasn’t healthy, but it took my dad calling me out before I finally went to a doctor to talk about my PPD. One day, after some incident which I can’t remember, my dad said something to the effect of, “Why are you so negative all the time?” I’m not sure why, but that was the moment I decided to try to get some help.

Name three things that made you laugh today.

My daughter and her friend played “Ring Around the Rosie” over and over and over. When they were done, they were so dizzy they fell down all over again!

My best friend just called me on the phone and called me “Stinky Pete.” She’s random, but she always makes me laugh.

Whenever my daughter catches me looking at my belly in the mirror, she says, “Mommy, you’re pregmint.” That never ceases to make me laugh.

What role did family play in your recovery from PPD?

My husband is incredibly supportive. He picked up my slack when I felt like I couldn’t do what needed to be done for our daughter.

How did your husband handle your journey down PPD lane?

He was great. He never made me feel crazy…he supported me as best as he could even though he didn’t understand what I was going through.

You’re currently pregnant with your second child. Do you think things will be different this time? Why? What are you doing to be pro-active this time around?

As soon as I give birth, I am planning on getting back on the same anti-depressants I was on before I was pregnant. Unfortunately this means I won’t be breast feeding, but it does mean I will be able to function normally during my baby’s first weeks, whereas with my daughter I felt like I was just in a depressed daze.

What do you find the most challenging about motherhood? The least?

The most challenging thing about motherhood is making those daily choices in how/when to discipline and wondering how those choices are going to affect my daughter long term.

The easiest thing about motherhood is loving my child unconditionally. Though it took me longer than most mothers to bond with my baby, she is so special to me now. Nothing she could ever do would change the way I feel about her. It’s the same kind of love that God feels for his children, I believe.

Last but not least, what advice would you give an expectant mother (new or experienced) about PMD’s?

It’s better to ask a doctor if what you’re experiencing is normal than to spend any amount of time detached from your newborn. PPD is hard to deal with, but it is fairly easy to get under control once a mother realizes she needs help.

Michael Phelps and Marijuana

The story broke over the weekend – Michael Phelps used marijuana. A photo of him using a bong led to his admission of pot use. It will damage his career, his endorsements, his reputation. It has probably hurt those around him and affected their ability to trust anything he says or does. How do I know that other than the fact that every single news article states these facts?

I know this because I am married to a recovering marijuana addict. My husband has worked very hard at his sobriety over the past 10 months. Along the way we have had pitfalls and are just now realizing how much damage his addiction has done to our marriage and to his habits. He’s got nearly 23 years of addiction related habit developments to undo. I am proud of how far he has come and how much he has done to prove his dedication to our family and our marriage.

My heart goes out to Michael’s family, to Michael, to his friends. I can only hope that this will serve as his wake-up call and allow him to leave the pot use behind. I know this is a hard thing to do and I will be praying that God is using this as an opportunity to work with him. I wish Michael all the best as he deals with his addiction.

Postpartum depression: Studies show peer support, trained nurses can help

This is AWESOME news! (Although I could have told you this long ago – tis nice to have an official study to refer to now!)

TORONTO – Postpartum depression affects about 13 per cent of women in the first year after childbirth, but two new studies – one in Canada, one in the United Kingdom – have found that early identification and intervention can help new mothers who are at risk.

The result was fewer depressive symptoms in the months that followed childbirth, according to results published Friday in BMJ Online.

The Canadian study was led by Cindy-Lee Dennis, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, who had previously found that mothers receiving peer support over the telephone were significantly more likely to continue to breastfeed.

“Women just loved this telephone-based support, and I thought, well, what other conditions might this type of support be beneficial for? And so I then related this model to postpartum depression.”

The study involved 701 women in the first two weeks after giving birth who were identified as being at high risk for postnatal depression, scoring greater than nine using a measure known as the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale.

Volunteers to provide them with peer support over the telephone were recruited by putting up flyers in places like community centres and daycare centres and by putting ads in local newspapers in seven Ontario health regions.

To be a peer volunteer, women had to have experienced postpartum depression and recovered. They also took a four-hour training session, for which Dennis developed a training manual.

“What I had the peer volunteers do was let the mother lead the discussion and the conversation and I had the peer volunteers provide useful suggestions,” said Dennis, who holds a Canada research chair in perinatal community health.

The volunteers provided emotional support, validated the new mother’s experience, told the mother about strategies to make her feel better, or where she could seek help if needed.

“We found that mothers who received this telephone-based peer support were at half the risk of developing postpartum depression,” Dennis said.

Postnatal depression was defined as a score of greater than 12 on the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale. At 12 weeks, 14 per cent of women in the intervention group had postnatal depression, compared to 25 per cent in the control group that didn’t have a volunteer telephone partner.

In the other study, Jane Morrell, a health services researcher at the University of Huddersfield, trained “health visitors” – community nurses – to assess a mother’s mood and identify depressive symptoms at six to eight weeks postnatally using the Edinburgh scale. They were also taught specialized skills so they could offer “talking therapy.”

More than 4,000 new mothers took part in the trial, and those who had visits from the specially trained health visitors saw them for an hour a week for eight weeks.

“Irrespective of the kind of therapies or interventions that were offered to the women, the health visitors’ skills in the intervention group were associated with greater improvement in the intervention group than in the control group at six months postnatally,” Morrell said in an interview.

“This improvement was maintained at 12 months postnatally.”

Morrell said that in general, people don’t know enough about postnatal depression.

“Women and their partners need to be better educated about this, ideally during pregnancy,” she said.

“The moms need to be not afraid to ask for help when they’re suffering with symptoms postnatally. And there needs to be much more thorough training for health-care professionals.”

Dennis, meanwhile, said that several health regions that took part in the study plan to maintain their volunteers to continue the postnatal peer support work.

And Dennis is completing work on an economic evaluation of the trial so that health regions will know more about the costs of developing such a program and screening mothers for postpartum depression.

(source: http://www.canadaeast.com/wellness/article/542159)

Sharing the Journey with Natalie Dombrowski

Not too long after launching The Postpartum Dads Project, I received a comment from a reporter based in Illinois requesting contact from someone with the project. I emailed and finally touched base with her last week. While doing research for an article about Natalie Dombrowski’s experience, she came across the Postpartum Dads Project site. I began to notice some traffic being directed to Unexpected Blessing from The SouthTown Star’s website and decided to check it out. This is how I discovered Natalie. Like me, she’s experienced Postpartum Depression but to a much higher level. She is also SPEAKing out about her experience and has written a book detailing her journey. I hope you enjoy reading her interview here and if you’re interested in reading her husband’s point of view, I’m happy to tell you his interview is available at The Postpartum Dads Project! You can also keep up with Natalie at her blog.

Thank you Natalie for being brave and courageous in sharing your story. It’s because so many more of us are SPEAKing up and out that the stigma is slowly being stripped away from this very real illness that rips at the very heart of so many American families.

Natalie and son Brian

Natalie and son Brian

Tell us a little bit about Natalie. What does she love to do when no one’s looking?

Well I am thirty-four years old. I am very happily married with one child presently. I love to read when I get a moment, most of the time it’s before I go to bed. I’m usually asleep after fifteen to twenty pages. Currently I am reading ‘The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” for my book club. My mother-in-law is teaching me to crochet. I thought it would be nice to learn. When I was little I used to do latch key kits. I love going to the movies. I love to shop when it is feasible; however I always pamper myself by getting either a pedicure or massage once a month. And, I enjoy having an occasional glass of wine.

As both of us know, motherhood isn’t always smiles and kisses. For some of us it gets very dark with no sign of light and the whispers we hear aren’t search parties setting out to rescue us. How dark did your experience get and what finally brought the light back into your life?

My illness was so advanced that I had to be hospitalized for twelve days. If I think back now I can still remember the immense internal pain. I was so hopeless, I felt like anything would be better than feeling the way I felt. I believe that was the darkest part of my experience. I had never felt like that in my entire life. I certainly didn’t understand why I would feel this way when I just had a baby. A baby that I planned for and wanted. Wanting to end my life was scary, but not as scary as the intrusive thoughts I had to harm my baby. At one point I imagined my son to dying from SIDS. I could not understand these immoral thoughts, but they would not stop coming. I have always fought my way through things. Between the choice of fight or flight; fight always won. This time I saw no way to fight. I didn’t know that I was sick and that I needed someone else to fight for me. That someone ended up being my husband. I remember the first time after my baby Brian was born when I truly felt hope. It was on the Fourth of July. We were going to host the Fourth but decided it wasn’t a good idea. Brian already bought fireworks, so that night I had my own personal fireworks show. Outside, monitor on the front porch, an ear’s length away from my baby, fireworks and my beautiful husband made the hope in me ignite! That is when I knew it was all going to be ok.
You also experienced a traumatic childbirth. Do you think this contributed to your experience? How have you reframed your experience?

I absolutely know that the traumatic birth contributed to my illness. I was not medically diagnosed with PPPTSD. But if more physicians were better equipped to understand and deal with mood disorders, I certainly believe it may have been my medical diagnosis. I can’t say that I have reframed my experience. What I have done is educate myself. I understand what happened to me. With this, I believe I have reframed my previous thought ‘I don’t want to have anymore children.’ I want to give myself and my husband another chance at a happy and healthy postnatal experience. And I want to have more children like I always did.

Back to You, your book about your struggle is now available at Amazon.com. What made you decide to write this book and share it with the world?

The book was originally a journal I set out to write as part of my own therapy. I had replayed everything over and over in my mind. I wanted to move on. I believed if I wrote it down I could. When I was finished I read it out loud to my husband; he encouraged me to share it with others.

What are three things that made you smile today?

Well, today, my son repeated what I said, “what happened.” He had his hands out stretched and had a look of confusion on his face! It was adorable. I smiled when my little brother, not so little – he is 31, told me that he was going to Virginia to visit a girl he met on his New Year’s cruise. I know it’s early but I love weddings. I also smiled today because I know my husband was happy to have completed a long and difficult job.

What do you find the most challenging about motherhood nowadays? The least?

I find motherhood very exhausting. I am a stay at home mom, and by the time my husband gets home I am seriously exhausted. I am thankful that he takes our little guy off my hands for an hour or more before dinner. This is an underestimated profession and lifestyle. The least challenging thing about motherhood is in the pure fact that your child makes it all worth while.

I am a strong believer that Postpartum Mood Disorders affect more than just Mom. They disrupt the entire family balance. How did your husband handle your diagnosis and hospitalization?

My husband handled my diagnosis and hospitalization in a very mature and understanding manner. He was truly my rock. However, when I was better he began to get very angry. At first I didn’t understand, but as time went on, I realized what had happen. He had to stop living his life too; not only because we had a child, but because I was sick. He certainly was not prepared for that. He was only supposed to be off for two weeks. One of which was spent with us in the hospital for the first five days of little Brian’s life. He was supposed to go back to work, his life like normal. I think this whole idea of back to work, back to normal should be redefined. New baby = a new life & change.
I read in the news article at the South Town Star that you posted notes all over the house to yourself about how you were a good mother, not to blame, etc. What were some of the other little things you did to help yourself recapture a positive mindset and come back from the dark?

That was a big one. I truly needed to replace my negative thoughts, with positive ones. Even if I didn’t believe them right away. This technique in therapy is called CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This was the approach I was given to follow. Also, the home-health care nurse we hired was a very big part of my recovery. She was my coach, cheering me on and teaching me the challenges of motherhood. We really didn’t have the money for her but we decided to use money from our wedding.
Tell us about SPEAK. What does it stand for and what are your hopes for this project?

SPEAK… stands for (Spread Postpartum Education & Awareness Kinship…) It is a five point presentation intended to educate women. I have created this from my own personal experience and my active role in learning about postnatal mood disorders. I intend to SPEAK… I taught middle school math, algebra, and geometry for almost seven years. Now my goal is to teach moms-to-be, new moms, family members directly involved with the care of a mother, everyone about this under diagnosed and under recognized disorder. Women and babies have lost their lives to this illness. I almost did. This is pointless. I know, from the conferences and books I have read that a lot of people and organizations are taking the much needed steps to push the Mother’s Act through the Senate, hopefully with the new 09’ Congress. In the meantime I feel those that do know about postnatal disorders have an obligation to help all women right now. We need to educate all women about the possibility of postpartum depression after birth. And I am not talking about the brief 15 seconds that were allotted in my own birthing class. I am talking about dedicating 50 minutes or more about the myths of motherhood, the risk factors, the screening tools that are available on-line, signs & symptoms, the law and what they can do to advocate for their health & care right now and finally I offer suggestions of how to treat this devastating illness if it happens to them. Awareness is the key.

Last but not least, what advice would you give to an expectant mother (new or experienced) about Postpartum Mood Disorders?

My advice would be to attend a SPEAK… presentation; however, they may not be in the Chicagoland area, so therefore I would advise them to be aware of the different types of mood disorders. They should know there are screening tools that can be requested especially if they have some risk factors. Her family and friends should be knowledgeable of symptoms as well. (These people closest to her need to be aware!) And in the case that she has a mood disorder, she needs help. A treatment and/or support plan can and should be in place ahead of time. A care calendar should be set up in advance for the mom. The calendar should be for no less than six weeks of care after the birth of the baby. (The mother needs to be cared for too. If she had surgery, a caesarean birth, she is unable to move around even less. Meals and infant care should be a huge part of the care calendar.) Also, the name and number of a therapist in the area that has experience with women’s health needs to be available. This is not an illness that should be learned about after the fact. Measures need to be in place ahead of time. This is the best advice I could ever give. Just like some of us may have forgotten to plan our marriage when we were planning our wedding, we really need to plan for more than just the birth of our child.

I want to thank you for the opportunity to SPEAK… :)

Sincerely, Natalie

Diagnosis: Strep Throat

No school until at least Wednesday for Alli.

Hopefully we’ll be able to get through the night without waking up at 3am as we’ve been doing the past two nights. It’s wearing me out!

Tomorrow is Day 2 of Chris’ on the job evaluation. Today went well as he really impresed the Management Development person.

Another big thing happens tomorrow – I will be attending a Meet & Greet for the Spring Interns at Common Ground here in Athens. Two of the interns will be working with me on the overhaul of the support group meetings for PACE. I’m hoping the new format will draw in new attendees, gain additional community support, and also form a strong base for a new nationwide support movement for families struggling with Postpartum Mood Disorders. I’ll be posting more details about the project as they arise. I’m really excited about this and feel that it is the beginning of something really awesome.

Meanwhile, the bulk of tomorrow will be spent at home, resting and hanging out with the kids as Alli recovers.

The Insanity of Sickness & Christmas

Oh how it royally bites to be sick on a holiday. Especially when you’re the one cooking THE MEAL and it’s your first time at the helm for such a big event. I somehow managed to hold it all together and pulled off an awesome Christmas Lunch of (get this) Roast Beef Tenderloin with Beef Mushroom Sauce, Carrot Souffle, Green Bean Bundles, Creamed Corn, and Yorkshire Pudding. I baked a Scripture Cake the night before in honor of the man of the day, Jesus.

Yet once I stopped moving frantically about in the kitchen and sat down, my body realized the rush was over and apparently gave itself permission to implode.

My left hip? Out of alignment for the better part of the afternoon and evening. Only heat and a whopping dose of Tylenol and Ibuprofen cleared that up. And thank goodness it did because I was unable to bear weight on my left side without almost collapsing and crying outloud.

My head and chest? Obscenely Congested. Tylenol Cold did nothing for me. Ended up making a Walgreens run at 10p last night for myself and for Cameron. I got Severe Cold Meds and Nasal Spray. He got a little Flowing Vapors desk thingy by Triaminic. (Have I mentioned Charlotte’s sick too?)

All of this started last Friday when Alli was coughing slightly. The cough got worse and by Sunday evening I was at the ER with her. First thing I did when we got ushered back to a room? Turned on the NY Giants game! (Thank GOD they won!) She had to get a strep swab, flu swab (which is a nasal swab and not an easy thing to watch), take some ibuprofen and tylenol, get some chest x-rays, get said x-rays done again, and finally ended up with a diagnosis of Possible Pneumonia. She was given antibiotics there and we were sent home with a prescription. Half an hour after she took the antibiotics she threw up. Repeated this again in the morning when we tried to give Motrin. Off to the ped’s office with a feverish uncooperative toddler in tow.

Much of this past week has been spent in a headlock with Alli to get her to take her meds and trying to conserve the tissue use because her nose has been running a freakishly long marathon. We’re all coughing (except for Chris) and today has found me in bed for the better part of it – I’ve been awake a couple of times but not very long. I’m due to take some more medicine here shortly (I think – how bad is that!) and am ready to crawl back into bed and rest. I just can’t take being awake anymore. My head is pouding, my voice has apparently bought the last ticket to Clarksville, and this cough and congestion is driving me insane.

And for the record, Chris has been absolutely awesome today. He’s really taken the reigns and let me pass out. I can’t even begin to express how much that has meant to me!

So forgive me if I haven’t posted much the past week or don’t post much for the next few days. I’m taking my own advice and doing some much needed self-care.

His Turn…

This one gets personal for me. Very personal.

I am recovered from Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive/Depression. It’s taken some time and been a very hard and long road. The darkest depths witnessed me collapsed on the floor sobbing in tears after yelling at my husband in front of our then two year old daughter, fleeting horrible images racing through my head every waking moment, curled in the fetal position rocking back and forth willing myself to stay there so that I wouldn’t hurt myself or my children, and admitted to a psych ward.

The lessons I learned? Absolutely invaluable. While I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone else in the world, I know that it was priceless and has truly carved me into the woman I am today. I know now that I cannot control what others think of me and I cannot give them permission to hurt me. I know now that God is with me and I feel his presence each and every day. I know now that I stand strong and breathe deeply because of His sacrifice for me. And I know that I will not let another family struggle the way mine has if there is something I can do to prevent that from happening.

All that said, my journey and growth is not yet over. Yes, I am recovered. But now it is my husband’s turn  to collapse and my turn to support him, to show him the same compassionate understanding, loyalty, and guidance he showed me when I too couldn’t tell which way was up.

My husband was a drug addict when I met him. At the time I thought it was merely recreational and did not realize how deep his problems went. The use became worse after our second daughter, again, unbeknownst to me. Nine months ago I was involved in a car accident and quite a bit came to surface. He had been spending nearly $100/month on his habit while we were struggling to barely pay our bills. He hadn’t paid our vehicle insurance and I went to jail for his mistake. Together we hammered out a plan and got him to a therapist, a psychiatrist, and a faith-based recovery program. He is still sober today.

But we are now in what we’re calling phase two of recovery. Dealing with the nasty habits the drug use hid and the habits that are residuals of an addict like lying. On November 18th he told myself and his family he had been laid off from work. The Sunday before our son’s first birthday, I phoned his boss to find out if this was true. It wasn’t. He had resigned without another job lined up and lied to us about the entire situation. I played my conversation with his ex-boss for him. He called the state’s Mental Health Crisis Line and had an intake appointment made for him at a local clinic the very next day.

Meanwhile I was left to ponder our marriage. Every single shred of trust that had been rebuilt now lay in shards – descimated by one single act. How could he do this to us? How does someone seemingly forget they have a family to provide for? Why does someone do this? Do I stay and continue to be satisfied with the baby steps forward or do I flee? These are the hard questions I’ve struggled with for most of the past year.

We’ve lost just about everything and yet we still have faith and know that we will come through this – as long as we work at it together – something we both excel at. Give us a crisis and we can power our way through it in now time. This time around is a little harder and I am certainly shaken to my core. We have a lot of hard questions and choices ahead of us but I have no doubt that no matter what the answer is, we will both be able to survive.

The reason I tell you all of this is to ultimately introduce my husband’s new blog to you. It’s entitled Diary of a Real Man. He’s posted his first entry tonight and I would really encourage you to go check it out. Share it with others including any men in your life that may be facing similar circumstances and just need to know that they are not alone.

I would also encourage you to visit Married to Depression for a wife’s insight into what it’s like to live with a man who’s depressed. Another blog I’ve also started reading is The Junky’s Wife. She offers quite a bit of insight into what it’s like to live with an addict.

So sleep deprivation makes it worse, huh?

sleeping-mother-and-baby

A study by Bobbie Posmontier of Drexel University published this past week concluded that sleep deprivation exacerbates symptoms of Postpartum Depression.

Really? Sure about that?

And money was spent on this research?

You’ve GOT to be kidding me.

So those endless sleepless nights, stolen moments of sleep here or there because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open or my mind awake anymore just made things worse? And wait a second – you’re also saying that women with PPD have a hard time falling asleep? So it WAS the PPD that caused all those racing thoughts and sleep problems! Wow. There’s an eye-opener.

What really gets me about this is that the end of the article published by Blackwell, there are recommendations for sleep habits of new moms.(You can read the article by clicking here)

Posmontier recommends clinicians treating women for PPD to address the importance of adequate sleep. “Mothers can develop a plan to have other family members help care for the baby at night,” she said. “They also should practice good sleep hygiene. That includes going to bed at the same time every night, avoiding naps and steering clear of caffeine, exercise, nicotine and alcohol within four hours of bedtime.”

Hey wait! Caffeine (and power naps) helped me get through those first few bleary weeks! Well, toothpicks too but that’s a whole ‘nother post in rebuttal to a whole new study – about how toothpicks are ineffective tools for keeping your eyes open due to the OW factor. (That study hasn’t already been done, has it?)

My sarcasm aside, Ms. Postmontier does make a valid point of getting practitioners and clinicians to increase their awareness and their patient’s awareness of adequate sleep.

And here’s where I get serious.

With our second daughter, we begged our pediatrician for a night nurse. Tube-fed, someone had to be up with her 24/7 as we couldn’t just let a feeding slip by. It mattered too much to get her as much food as possible. I was also pumping exclusively for her and my life revolved around caring for her but with a lot of above and beyond thrown in for extra measure. Typically my husband stayed up with her at night and let me sleep at least the five hours I could sleep without sacrificing supply.

Just one month after she came home from the hospital was when I was admitted to psych ward for suicidal ideation/thoughts and thoughts of harming my children. I slept most of the time I was there. The nurses would wake me so I could pump, which I did every three hours during the day until midnight or so and then I would go to sleep until 6a and start the whole routine over.

That weekend was a tremendous turning point for me. Not only was my medication changed but I got sleep. The nurses hounded me to change my routine at home and make sure I took time for myself, something I made sure to do when I returned home. I started walking every morning and learned the true value of self-care. I felt guilty at first but now not only have I come to expect it, my husband is an active enforcer of my self-care time. (He knows what a grump I can be if I don’t get my sleep!)

So while the whole study struck me at first as a “DUH” moment, it really is a valuable enforcement of the importance of sleep in a new mom’s life. The better care you take of yourself, the better shape your family will be in come the long-run. Thank you, Ms. Postmontier for your invaluable contribution to this important aspect of Postpartum Care.

Mindfulness Therapy just as effective as Anti-Depressants

According to a new study out of the UK, Mindfulness Cognitive Behavorial Therapy is just as effective as Anti-Depressants in treating Depression.

The study involved groups of eight to fifteen people meeting with one therapist for eight weeks. The participants were taught exercises they would be able to practice on their own. Professor Willem Kuyken of the University of Exeter said: “Anti-depressants are widely used by people who suffer from depression and that’s because they tend to work. But, while they’re very effective in helping reduce the symptoms of depression, when people come off them they are particularly vulnerable to relapse. MBCT takes a different approach – it teaches people skills for life. What we have shown is that when people work at it, these skills for life help keep people well.”

You can read the article by clicking here.

One of THOSE days

The girls tried to make themselves breakfast again this morning. Apparently cheese toast and bacon were on the menu along with Good n Plenty, Belly Flops, and some sort of strawberry candy. I have no idea what they were planning on doing with the Fondue Pot. Frankly I am not sure I want to know.

I just realized today was so hectic I forgot to take my meds but I’m still here and very calm amazingly enough.

This afternoon was wonderful. They cleaned up their room without too much prodding and even earned a snack and a movie. Then as they moved back to their room to play as I cooked dinner, silence. For those of you who have never experienced toddlers, silence is a bad thing. A very bad thing. It means they are up to no good. This time they had the sample of Snuggle that had just come in the mail and were pouring it everywhere. I herded them to the tub, rinsed them off, and put them to bed. Yes, without dinner. I do not cook meals for those who choose to disobey. Bedtime went rather smoothly with Charlotte – Alli was another story altogether. I had to get the Magic Monster Catcher (a handheld vaccuum) and catch all the Monsters in their room, assure her the very dead bug on the window was OUTSIDE and would not be coming in to get her anytime soon, and let her crawl into bed with Charlotte so she wouldn’t be all alone. Oh the things Parents do to get their kids to go to sleep.

As I sit here typing, the comforting roar of traffic echoes in the background while the fans here in the house whine and sway as they keep me cool. No sounds from the back bedroom (ok, so silence is GOOD when they’re SUPPOSED to be quiet) and no sounds from Cameron’s room. Chris is at a step meeting and I am relaxing by venting here and contemplating lying down and catching a few ZZzzzZZZZ’s before Chris gets home so I’ll be able to enjoy his company when he gets here. I may just fix myself a cup of tea and sit here instead.

Thanks for listening and sharing my journey. Please don’t forget to take care of yourselves no matter how hectic the day gets. You ARE ALWAYS worth it.