I don't even know where to begin. My last post, I announced Archie's birth. I was so happy to finally meet this boy we waited so long for. The day I came home I was so happy. The hospital stay seemed long and not as restful. I was finally home with my new baby. All seemed well. Until Archie was 11 days old and we went to the doctor's where we learned he wasn't gaining weight fast enough. I was shocked to say the least. After breastfeeding the girls, for three years each, I was confident in my ability to nurse a baby.
But as it turned out I wasn't the problem. For some reason Archie was not a good nurser. And this, his not gaining weight and not nursing well, is what tipped me over the edge into postpartum depression. My main symptoms were terrible anxiety, a sense of dread, and insomnia. It was awful.
Thankfully I got help pretty quickly. At 4 weeks postpartum I went on an anti depressant. After a couple of weeks I was feeling a lot better. And with the help of Trazodone I started sleeping better and better. But August was a rough month and so was a lot of September. Brent, my Mom, my Dad, and my sisters were hugely supportive. Without their support and help I wouldn't have gotten better as quickly as I did.
I am pleased to say I feel like myself again and all is well. Thankfully. I am one of the lucky ones. Some women suffer terribly with PPD. There is so much more I want to say on this entire topic. But I think I need some more distance from it before I can write about it.
One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein: "Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity."
There is so much that I have learned from this experience.
I learned how much I love Brent. He was there for me totally and completely. Our marriage vows were truly tested. In sickness and health. Mental illness is very scary. But Brent never failed me.
I learned to ask for help. I am an independent person who likes to do things herself. But in this situation I needed a lot of help. At one point all I could really manage to do was to feed Archie. My parents came up several weeks to help me.
I learned that I am so much more than a pair of boobs to Archie. Breastfeeding defined my parenting of a baby and toddler. I nursed my babies for nutrition but also I nursed them to sleep. I nursed them to comfort them and to soothe them. With Archie, after struggling to breastfeed for weeks, I finally decided to formula feed. At the time, it broke my heart. I had to learn how to parent a baby in a different way. I couldn't just use my boobs to meet every need- to feed, comfort, soothe, and put to sleep. I had to learn how to parent all over again. I felt like a first time Mom at times. In the end it all worked out well. He is a happy healthy boy.
For now, I am sewing again. And knitting. And working on needlepoint stocking for Archie. It won't be done for Christmas but that is okay.
I look forward to sharing some of the things I am working on now. I can't wait to show you the outfit I am making Archie right now. So cute!
I'd like to revisit some of these topics as well.