Friday, August 4, 2017

the deep tunnel of postpartum depression

the tunnel of postpartum depression is deep and it's dark. i honestly didn't realize i was lost in the tunnel until i was too far in to help myself out. 

i worried about postpartum depression with gwen. i actually was sure i would have to deal with it. but surprisingly to me  (and my mr.) just the opposite happened after i gave birth to gwen. i felt like a new person. so complete as a mom. i felt like i knew my purpose, i had confidence and energy and desire to go and do and show my sweet girl the world around me. 

then i had wells. the postpartum didn't hit right at first though. though i think that is typical. but then we moved, and spencer started residency, and we were remodeling our place, and living out of suitcases. and there i was, a mom of two. in a new city, new ward, new friends, new me....

last summer was rough. i cried almost every day. but i chalked it up to all the changes and the fact that i had a colicky baby. then wells grew out of the colic, and we moved into our place. but i still wasn't me. i was sad, angry, and depressed. it took everything in me to not turn the tv on all day for my kids and go hid in my room. but some days i didn't have the strength that i did just that...hid in my room while my two babies kept themselves entertained. and then when that would happen i'd cry and feel worse because i was being a horrible mom.

it was a long dark tunnel and i was spiraling further down. 

but i still couldn't admit i needed help. 

finally at the start of the year i knew i needed to make some changes. i thought i was depressed with my weight (which did actually make things worse). so i made some big changes, worked my butt off and lost all the baby weight i had been hanging on to since gwen was born...plus some!

for the first time in over a year i was proud of myself. and for the first time in a few years i felt confident being in pictures. but i was still depressed.

and it started to get worse. 

my social anxiety picked up big time. i felt insecure about everything, about what i wore, about what i said or didn't say. i felt like i didn't have any friends and i couldn't do anything about it. 

after a few weeks of waking up every morning just wanting to go back to sleep. a few weeks of crying every day. of not wanting to do anything except lay in my bed and watch tv. of not making dinner or cleaning or anything else i had once been good at doing....i knew i needed help.

so i went and got help. a good year after i should have gone in for help in the first place. 

honestly it breaks my heart realizing i could have prevented the last year from turning out how it did. but i guess i can't dwell on the past.

postpartum is real. i thought since i didn't struggle after gwen it wouldn't be an issue for me. but it was. and it is. 

i'm still working each day. i wake up each morning and remind myself that i love being a mother, that i am of worth, that i have purpose, and friends and love in my life. 

and each day that i do something different from last year i am proud of myself. like when i go to the park by myself with my kids and talk to a new person. or when i go out and take my kids swimming and i jump in with them i rejoice that i had fun being there with them! or when i make dinner for my family i try to enjoy every minute of it. 

i know i am still in the postpartum depression tunnel. but for the first time i can see a light at the end of it. i'm not sure how long it will take me to make it to the end of the tunnel but i am not giving up. for me, i am not giving in.   








Wednesday, November 2, 2016

it's finally all worth it!

FINALLY....having my husband be a pediatrician is worth it. yes folks all the years of school, studying, working, etc are now finally worth it.

is it the big paycheck?....haha yeah right not there yet
is it the awesome hours?....again yeah right. maybe one day

nope it was all thanks to the elephant kiss.

our darling sweet gwennie girl shoved a bead up her nose. honestly i have no idea how long it had been there. i noticed it finally late yesterday. i kept asking her what it was and all she would say was "heart" and "candy". we rushed home and i tried to pull it out with tweezers.

no such luck! gwen wouldn't stand for that.

the dang thing was pretty far up there. so i started texting friends to find out the closest urgent care. all ready to go pay $50 to have an urgent care doc pull whatever gwen had put up her nose i called spencer to see when he was getting home so he could watch wells.

he told me to wait and that there were a couple of tricks we could try first. one of them being the elephant kiss.

an elephant kiss basically means plugging the opposite nostril of the one that has the "heart" in it and then blowing super hard through the mouth to basically push air down through the nose and hopefully push whatever is stuck...out!

i figured i had nothing to lose so i'd try it.

oh my gosh it was hilarious! gwen loved it and i couldn't stop laughing. finally after the second try it worked. out popped a little orange bead from her "heart".

spencers reaction..."i'm so glad i already had my er rotation ha"

me too babe....me too!

so finally after all of these years my sweet mr's md degree is worth!


Thursday, June 23, 2016

i'm getting my life back

today i woke up exhausted. more so then normal. i could hear my baby girl crying out for me. but i struggled to pry my eyes open. when i finally got her up my arms hurt carrying her. i turned on a show for her to watch while she ate breakfast because its the only sure way i know how to get her to eat a good meal. if she is distracted she'll eat. so she watched some daniel tiger and i stuffed her face with eggs that my dad had made earlier. 

my sweet boy woke up and again i was exhausted. i let him play in his crib for a bit and finally got him up. his big smiles helped me get a little more excited about the fact that both of my kids were awake at the same time (something that usually makes me nervous...am i allowed to admit that?). after baths for both kids i got wells down for his first nap. 

i quickly jumped in the shower myself only to have gwen pop in every few seconds to say hi or want to touch the running water. after i heard her yelling "help you" (her way of saying she needs me) i got out. took a few minutes to check instagram on my phone and then i quickly got ready. mostly just got dressed and did my hair. gwen decided i shouldn't do make up today. most days lately i've skipped the make-up. 

i got gwen settled playing in the play room and i sat down to my computer. i started reading a random blog about moms and their unique experiences. one had cancer. one has suffered through a horrible experience. all the while gwen kept calling me to "sit" or "help you". at one point she crawled up on my lap and walked to draw. i got her a pen and paper but that wasn't enough. she wanted me to draw with her. i quickly drew a sun and a rainbow...about the extent of my drawing abilities and then let her finish on her own. she grew tired of that fast and wanted down. 

while i was sitting there reading about these other moms the distinct thought  came to my mind "get off your computer and go play with your daughter". i justified it a bit and thought i'd go play with her in a minute. so i kept looking...she kept calling for me. finally i got that thought again "just shut down the computer and go play with your daughter". so i did.

i turned my computer off and went to play with her. but she didn't really want me to play with her. she just wanted me to sit. i kept thinking "i wish i had my phone", "what time is it", "when is it nap time". i was just sitting there. not playing, just watching gwen play. but for some reason that is what she wanted. she just wanted me there. to watch her, to help her every once in awhile, to just be there with her. 

somewhere in the past few years, between babies and busy schedules i've lost a little bit of myself. i've lost myself to things that don't matter. like instagram, facebook and just technology in general. i find myself checking social media all the time. checking the time every few minutes and checking for updates even more often. i spend countless minutes looking at and reading about other peoples lives. sometimes people i don't even know. the minute i think i want something i jump online and add it to my amazon cart. if i have a question i'll jump online and look it up. there is no waiting anymore. i've stopped exercising, stopped reading, stopped sewing and crafting. 

a few weeks ago i came across a friends blog and inspired me to be better. she and her husband had decided to let go of things that were holding them back. i haven't been able to let that go. i want to do the same thing. but i find myself saying "i'll start on monday, or in july, or when we move into our place". 

but today i realized i can't wait. i can't wake up this exhausted again. i can't waste more time with my babies. 

so starting right now i'm getting my life back. my self back. 

i'm setting strict rules for myself. no phone in my pocket when i'm at home. no checking social media while the kids are awake or when i'm with spence. no sweets/dessert on weekdays. exercising every day...even if it's just 5 minutes. going to bed at a decent hour. reading my scriptures first thing in the morning. only two amazon orders a month (if that). read one book a month. these are just a few. 

i've also decided to go off all social media for july. to be honest i'm terrified to do this. i'm terrified because i've been using social media to make friends in our new neighborhood and through the peds program. terrified that i won't be able to do it. but i want to prove to myself that i can do it. i want to show the lord and my family that social media isn't my world. that there are more important things than staying "connected" to the virtual world. i want to connect to the real world. to my world! 

so wish me luck. i'm excited to see change. i need to see change. 

this picture was taken in front of the chicago temple a few weeks before we moved. spencer was trying to teach gwen to jump, all while holding wells! i love it because this is my world, the gospel and these 3. i want to give my world my all. this picture serves as my reminder of what i want and what i'm working towards! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

goodbye chicago

i never wanted to move to chicago. just ask spencer...he'll tell you the truth. the truth that i waited until two weeks before we moved to finally decide on a place to live. mostly because i was holding out for something else. but chicago happened...and i am so beyond glad it did.

the other night the mr and i were driving downtown to see our last show while living in the city. we crossed over the river and looked out onto my favorite view of the city. it was a beautiful foggy evening. i started to cry. how am i supposed to leave this city. chicago isn't just a big city. it isn't just fun. it isn't all the good food, shows, cupcakes, parks, sites, museums and shopping (though those are nice perks).  no chicago is more than than.

chicago is our home.

chicago became more of a home to me than any other place i've lived. i think it's because so much of my life has happened here in this big city. i've learned more about myself here than i ever have before. i've lost myself and found myself again and again and again. spencer and i have grown closer together here. we've had to rely on each other more than we ever have before. we've had to push forward in faith even when things seem dark and scary. we've held on to each other as we've figured out ourselves, our lives, and our future. 

we moved to a new place. made new friends. became part of a new ward. had new challenging callings. we served in the chicago temple. every friday for a couple of years. we left our car. took countless bus rides and train rides. changed our minds. drove our car out to chicago. i worked from home. then i worked from a new office. and worked from home again. we moved apartments. we got pregnant. four times. had one baby. our little miracle baby. survived two of the coldest winters chicago has seen. got pregnant again. had another babe. our little miracle baby 2.0. decided a future for spencer. and then reexamined that future. again and again and again. friends moved away. and more friends moved away. but others moved in. we ate out way too much. have our regulars at multiple places. explored neighborhoods. enjoyed the culture. seen shows. walked out of shows. and wanted to see more. we've visited wisconsin in the fall. detroit in the winter. and various parts of illinois throughout the years. 

i didn't expect to love chicago as much as i have. from the first few months here i decided that we should stay. and we considered that. we very much considered staying. we both wanted to stay. we both had high hopes that staying would be the right thing for us. but quietly we were directed by the spirit that staying in chicago wasn't the right thing for us. it took some adjustment to the idea. a lot of adjustment! a few tears, many prayers and lots and lots of faith later we decided it was time for us to leave. to leave chicago. to leave our home.

neither of us is convinced that this is the last we'll see of chicago. deep down i still feel very much connected to this city and i believe it may still play a big part in our lives. we hope that maybe one day, a few years down the road, we'll be able to move back. at least for a time! 

of course i will miss chicago. the city lights, the food, the shows, the donuts, the parks, the museums, the shopping, the streets, the sounds, the river, the rain and maybe even the smells. but mostly i will miss home. 

the people. they have become our home. 

i didn't expect to make so many incredible friends. friends that have become family. i've made girlfriends who have laughed with me, cried with me, held me and lifted me up. i have had my eyes opened to new ideas, opinions and thoughts. i've made friends with people i didn't think would be a friend. these friends that are now my family. 

how can i leave these people? my people. my family?

i can leave chicago. but only because i know that leaving is what the lord needs of us right now. i can leave chicago but only because i know that i will be able to take my beautiful experiences and memories with me. i can leave chicago. but it won't be easy.

thank you chicago for giving me the hardest and most beautiful four years of my life. thank you for being my home. for taking care of me and my little family. for bringing me my little family. 

goodbye chicago. you will always have a big place in my heart.

i never wanted to move back to utah. just ask spencer....let's hope it turns out as great as chicago...