Saturday, April 5, 2008

The burden we bear



A few weeks ago, life became a little more stressed. Wade was working 12 hour shifts (at night), 7 days a week. Capri was teething/sick and refusing to go to sleep at night. I was working, and trying to handle all the things at home that Wade usually handles, but now he didn't have time for. Capri and I never saw Wade, and I wasn't getting any help from him.

On top of all the stress, I found myself losing coping skills. My anxiety was really high, especially in those moments where Capri was upset, and I couldn't figure out how to calm her down by myself. I had two MAJOR emotional breakdowns in the same week, both with people I never fight with: my husband and my sister (also the two people I am closest to).

I knew that I wasn't myself. I didn't want to get out of bed, or do anything except be with my baby. When great things happened, I was "trying" to be happy. I've never really felt this way, and I've always seen myself as a positive person. The fact that I've always been a positive person, played into the difficulty of this time. It was really unfamiliar to me, and I didn't understand it, or know what to do. The only thing I really found joy in were the smiles of my baby, but her cries sent me over the edge.

Hopelessness, and despair... they can take a normal day, to a horrible day, even without anything happening. I started to feel like I was going a little crazy. Everything was exaggerated and intense. If Wade had even the slightest negative tone with me I would start crying. Crying became an every day thing. I was so painfully resistant to everything, that even the slightest thing like getting dressed, or going to get the mail, or changing a diaper, or making food for myself seemed overwhelming. I just kept saying "Life is SO hard right now." I WANTED to say "life sucks right now" but I knew that wasn't true when I looked at Capri's face and how blessed I was by her and my husband.

I was trying to figure out WHAT was going on, and why couldn't I handle anything anymore. Through the help of family I started to realize that this was probably a hormone related thing. My baby is three months old, and my body is still adjusting. It was such a relief to understand that there was something out of my control going on here. When I started to lose it at times I wanted to cry out "No one understands, I can't do this, I can't do this!"

I decided to step back a little, and I took a week off work. I don't know if I could be diagnosed with postpartum depression, I'm not a doctor, and I don't know if mine was as serious as a lot of women out there. I began doing some natural things that have really helped. I've already been eating healthy, but if I wasn't I would have done that first, but I also added some supplements:
  • I started taking MORE all natural progesterone cream to balance those hormones
  • Loaded up on fish oils and st. johns wort to give me a mental boost
  • I started taking some adrenal supplements and loaded up on those as well
ALL of this has been slowly making me feel better, along with taking a break and taking care of myself. Another HUGE help? Friends. I decided that while I was off of work I would sort of hide out, be alone and I thought that was what I needed. Well, my sister didn't agree and she gathered my "tribe" of ladies, and they all took care of me this week. They got organized and each of them picked a day, and they brought me dinner every night this week (and also hung out with me and cheered me up). It was SO good, and its amazing how much stress is eliminated just by not having to worry about dinner (especially since It's almost impossible to leave the house alone since Capri hates the car). I am so blessed to have people that would sacrifice, and I mean sacrifice time away from their schedules and families to be there for me. THANK you Ashlee, Jen (monkeybread), J-con, Jaymi, Steph and Robin for all the food, love and support. And of course my sister, Arianne who gathered up my tribe, put up with a whole lot, forgave me, and guided me through this with her mommy wisdom.

I'd love to tell you that I am all better, things are great and I am moving on with life, but that wouldn't be the truth. The truth is, I am still struggling, things are SO much better, and I am not on the edge of having a break down, but joy is still a struggle to find. I see it like this-
have you ever taken a walk at night, and stood in front of a light post? If you turn around and walk away from it, your shadow gets larger and larger until you are surrounded by darkness, and can't see anything, not any light. Well, this was where I was at, and I finally (with the help of others) turned around. I can see the light post, and all the light, and the more steps I take, the more light surrounds me. However, my shadow is still there, and the darkness isn't far behind me. I've gotta keep moving forward, and getting better.

My sister told me that hormones are the burden that every mother bears for some reason, and I'm just happy to have survived it, and be turning around.


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12 comments:

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

That was a great post. I'm glad you can see the light! We had so much fun visiting with you!

To Think is to Create said...

It's so true, it's not an immediate fix. No matter how much it seems like this snuck up on you, it was weeks in the making. The important thing now is to remember that these good things you're doing are cumulative, so not missing any doses of anything is a biggie. Keep your eye on that light, you know the Evil One will want to keep tempting you to turn around and long for the darkness. Be in the Word, close the door and talk to God. He's all you need.

hyperactivelu said...

Wow! Ya know? I think I went through the same thing with my first baby. I was working- my bank was going through a merger so we worked a lot. Hubbie worked 12 hr rotating shifts, at night so I was ALONE. I couldn't breastfeed, I had had a major shocker- a c-section and I was alone. I had a hard time handling it. I went to bed, after coming home from work.... It is tough to be at home alone with a newborn. I'm so glad you had a support system. Hope you continue to take care of yourself.

It's a Beautiful Ride said...

I have been feeling the same way lately, and I just can't explain why. Today was the worst day of my week, I was so stressed, irritable and cranky to the one who loves me the most, my hubby.

He puts up with my crankiness the best he can and while I try and explain it to him, he'll never truly understand. It's hard to really put into words because when I do express it, it just doesn't come out right and when it does, it doesn't make much sense.

It's when I need to take a quiet moment and ask God for patience and understanding that there are some things I just can't control. I almost broke down into tears today, but I held firm to my faith that even through all my hormonal issues (thank you hysterectomy) I can make and that God is truly my strength. He is the one I can throw all my cares too and profess my wants and needs to.

What an AWESOME GOD we serve!

Take some time for yourself when you can.

Lots of love and hugs to you!

John said...

Hang in there, Sis.

Praying for you...

Lisa said...

You'll make it! God has walked this path before you, and He's walking it with you right now, whether you "feel" it or not.

Jordan said...

Awe sweetheart, I'm so sorry you've been having such a tough time. It's so encouraging to me that God has blessed you with such wonderful friends in Indiana, although I am jealous that Chelsea & I couldn't be there for you. I love you so much and I will be fervently praying for you.

Mimi's Toes said...

I am praying for you and you are so blessed to have your tribe of caring friends. If you ever need a babysitter, just call Mimi's service...If I have an opening, I will gladly help you out...Love and Prayers...

Erin said...

You are such a great writer. Praying for you!

Not Just Any Jen said...

Carrington, as crummy as you feel, you really seem to be in touch with what you are experiencing. You and your little family have so much love and faith in God. You will be taken care. You are wise beyond your years. I am glad to know you are feeling a little bit better.

Andrea said...

I bookmarked your blog some while ago. I can't recall how I came upon it....

Anyhow, this was a good post. I'm so glad that you had a world of wonderful women to support you. That is important. I had these feelings last year and maybe one other time years ago, but I am just now figuring it out (duh, right!?!). I just knew that I was not myself.

Your sweet girl is darling!

Barbara said...

Thank you so much for having the courage to speak out about your experience with PPD. It's definitely a disorder that needs increased awareness everywhere. I'm also very glad that you started taking natural supplements to help out! According to the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau page on pregnancy & PPD support, women can be taking supplements rich in multiple vitamins and minerals & these nutrients promote a healthy state of mind during and after a pregnancy. I'm not stating that this is a cure for PPD, or guarateeing that it will be as affective as medications will be in actually treating PPD. However, such nutrients can aid in the recovery process and, if taken ahead of time, can lessen the affects of PPD.