The person who coined the phrase, “Sleep like a baby,” clearly never had one. Granted, when babies DO sleep, they are peaceful. For all of what seems like two seconds. And then bam. Right when you hit the couch, they’re up again. Diaper. Feed. Burp. Walk. Rock. Glare at the pile of laundry skulking off to Vegas and wondering how you can hitch a ride without anyone calling CPS. Yeah, I think we’ve all been there a time or two.
I remember the early days. Blurring together, feeling like I had just closed my eyes only to have hubs waking me to inform me of Babe’s infinitely empty stomach. But I JUST nursed! No, it was about two hours ago. What the… really? So I’d jump roll slowly creep out of bed as I cursed the boob monster responsible for ripping me from my nest.
Sleep. My best friend in college. The reason I had no classes before noon my senior year. The reason my last quarter of college only had me in one class well after noon and only twice a week. I mean, really. Whole days of sleeping in – who is going to begrudge you that in college?
Once the kids are in school, I tell myself, I will take the first day off. I will put all three of the children on a bus at 635 a.m. because that’s what time it gets here, I will smile and wave. And then? Then I will Irish Jig ALL the way up the damned driveway, happily skip into my bedroom, reset my alarm for 2pm, and close my eyes. Think I’m kidding? August 5, 2012. I.WILL.SPEND.THE.ENTIRE.DAY.IN.BED. It’s on my calendar.
They say you can’t catch up on sleep. Once you miss it, it’s gone. No sleeping in on the weekend will recapture the sleep you missed out on because Junior decided 345am was an awesome time to wake up and play with trains. Or because Princess decided that 213am was the new 7am. Nope, you’re so screwed out of that time. I don’t know that I believe that. I always feel better after sleeping in on a Saturday.
So let’s get to just talking – how are you sleeping? Falling asleep easy? Feel rested when you wake up? Or are you struggling to fall asleep? Waking up feeling like you never quite got the rest you should have in the hours you were sleeping? Or are you not sleeping at all? Sleep deprivation does feed into Postpartum Depression. And Postpartum Depression? Yeh, it decreases your quality of sleep. Lovely. Oh, the havoc of sleep deprivation!
I will say this – prior to becoming a parent, coffee was not my best friend. It is now my holy grail. For without it, I would never survive.
How do you survive your sleeping issues? What works for you? Any tips for moms with PPD currently struggling with sleep issues? Toss ’em out there into Comment Land. I’m sure there are some Moms in need of suggestions!
This past week saw the best #PPDChat yet (I got tossed in Twitter jail – meaning I tweeted one too many times for Twitter within an allotted amount of time – WOOHOOO!), and now, I’m sitting here trying to decide between two absolutely amazing posts for Postpartum Voice of the Week.
You Mamas are rockin’ it this week. What’s in your Kool Aid???
I made up my mind – I’m not deciding.
Both of these wonderful posts offer up insight into what it’s like once the fog of Postpartum lifts. I think it’s important to discuss and share the depths of hell to which Postpartum Mood Disorders can drag you. But it is also very important to shine the light on the hope and happiness which awaits you on the other side of a Postpartum Mood Disorder.
I hate you for what you did to me. I hate that there was no rhyme or reason & at times, I still scream WHY ME?! when I think of how it could have been like this from the beginning had you not come knocking. But I also know that without those horrible, bleak, terrible days, I would not realize HOW DAMN GOOD I have it right now. I feel like I am seeing my son for the first time. Like I am seeing myself as a mother for the first time. & you know what? I am a good mother. & my son is amazing. I finally understand that love that parents gush about, that desire to wake up in the morning & see a toothless grin over the railings of the crib. To not only wish for that moment, but to desire it down to my core until it is the last thing I think about as I fall asleep – I can’t wait to wake up to him tomorrow. (via Blair @ Heir to Blair)
Then, Kimberly over at All Work & No Play make Mommy go Something Something broke out with a post entitled “The Bucket.” It’s so very poignant and offers such an amazing insight. Kimberly has been struggling lately through a severe relapse and through her 2-year-old, came face to face with a serious lesson about moving forward with life. Katherine Stone over at Postpartum Progress blogged about this post as well. Get the kleenex. It’s at least a Quadruple Tissue post, sniffles included.
On the last try, he made it all the way to the edge of the flower bed only making a few spills. As he excitedly dumped the water over my flowers and observed the pay off that his hard work had accomplished, he started to smile. He looked over at the pool and realized how far he had come with the bucket of water. Then he shouted “Yook Momma! Flowers wet!” When I smiled in approval and praised him for his determination, he threw the bucket and carried on with playing in the pool. That little man, a whole 23 months old, had taught me something very valuable in that moment. (via Kimberly @ Make Mommy Go Something Something)
Thanks ladies for such awesome posts. Keep the words flowing, keep the healing going, and keep on hanging on to the bright moments. They are amazing and get even better as you continue moving forward toward your flowers and full buckets.
Lately, I’ve had this question thrown my way by more than just a few of you.
It’s a tough question to answer.
There is no defined recovery time we can hand out. It’s not like going to a deli, pulling a number, having your number called and then walking out the door into the wild blue yonder with your neatly wrapped item. Ok, so maybe it’s kind of like that. If it’s a busy deli and the wait is long. And then they’re out of the meat you need. And then you have to start the process all over again somewhere else or settle for something like ham when you really wanted corned beef pastrami.
Bottom line though – recovery is not something your local deli guy will wrap up neatly in butcher paper and tie off with a pretty bow.
Recovery is messy. It can take a long time. It can go quickly. It can involve lots of starts, stops, and side trips.
And in the end, you may be recovered but there will always be the organic memory of the experience of your Postpartum Mood Disorder to jump out at you and mess with you.
So how the heck do I know if I can consider myself recovered from my PMD?
Here are my three humble signs of recovery (always check with your caregiver/therapist and don’t every stop treatment cold turkey!)
1) You have more good days than bad days.
2) You are able to laugh at things.
3) Your world has returned to vibrant colors instead of the dimmed down twilight you’ve been living in for the last several nights.
I remember the day I saw that brighter world. I was on my way home from my therapy appointment. It had rained that morning so everything had been rinsed clean. The sun shone down and the trees burst forth with new growth as they strained for freedom at the birth of spring. As I breathed in the clean scent of rain and honeysuckle, my heart soared. The trees were greener, the sky was bluer, everything sparkled. And not just because of the rain.
Just a few weeks later I discovered I was indeed pregnant with our third child. Scared to death, I worried all my progress would be all for naught. But it was not. I continued to move forward. Not because I had to but because it was what I wanted. Once I got past the shock of our unexpected pregnancy, I focused all my energy on preparing for postpartum support instead of getting ready for baby. It was time well-spent. I educated those around me, created a postpartum plan, and thankfully I thrived. Not all mothers are this fortunate though.
Every mother has a different story, different doctors, and different reasons for struggling.
What helped you recover and if you’re fully recovered, how long did it take you to recover? What advice would you give to a still struggling mother?
One of my favorite songs when I was struggling was “Breathe” by Anna Nalick.My favorite lines?
There’s a light at each end of this tunnel, you shout
But you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out.
To me, it means keep on going forward. Because it’s FORWARD motion that’s so very healing.
Let’s get to just talkin’!