Over the last few months, essentially since Naomi was born, I've gotten away from the writing side of blogging. I miss it. But it's one more thing to add into a day that is already overflowing with "ToDo's". I know you know the feeling! I've made my busy life clear on this blog. But I thought it was time I talked to you a bit... it's only fair. Since I think there's a few of you still life, I thing I owe the blogging world a bit of honesty.
I love honest blogs. In fact, if you're all into fluff and "Blah blah blah" I probably won't read much. Of course then there's the one blogger who's always writing so honestly that you wonder if they really just need their head examined, but that's beside the point. (j/k) :)
The what's been....
Honestly? I've been overwhelmed. Being a momma gain does that to you, but this was different. I had studied up on Postpartum Depression (Postnatal Depression for my Kiwi friends) while I was pregnant with Naomi. I figured that I was predisposed to PPD because of losing Joshua last year. So I studied up. And in my studying I discovered that I most likely had some PPD after Oceana was born as well.
Oddly enough, I don't think I was suffering from in after Joshua. Fair enough though, we had our own issues to deal with there, PPD was probably the farthest thing from my mind.
Armed with the knowledge I'd acquired, and with a brochure I had printed off the internet, I thought that surely if I showed signs of PPD, someone would recognise it and I'd be able to get myself sorted out.
I spent 4 1/2 months trying to hold my head above water, but always feeling like I was just a few moments from drowning, metaphorically speaking. I was so overwhelmed by everything happening in our lives, that I couldn't see what was really happening to me.
It was a few days after I first started having "thoughts" that I realized I'd even had the "thoughts". A few more days of sitting on that, and I opened up one night to my parents and Matt - saying that I suspected I was suffering from some amount of PPD. My mum, in particular, suggested I call and talk to my midwife.
My midwife Shirley (who by the way probaby deserves her very own blog post...) said that I should try some non-chemical remedies before starting an antidepressant. It was sort of a "Let's see if this works, and if it doesn't we'll cross that bridge later" type thing. The list was long...
*Cut the caffeine intake.
*Cut the sugar intake.
*Take a multivitamin
*Take an iron supplement
*Take a calcium supplement
*Start Naomi on solids
*Get Naomi up to 2 solid feedings a day
*Get more sleep
Basically, Shirley said I was sleep deprived. Who'd have thought, right? A mother of two who has a job.... sleep deprived?
I was literally sleeping 4-5 hours of interrupted sleep a night. By interrupted, I mean Naomi was feeding at least 2x a night.
So I did all this. The caffeine suppression is killing me. It feels like my best friend's been stolen from me. I've cut to one... sometimes two... cups of coffee a day and I'm really trying to cut down on the sugar.
I lost 10lbs in just a few weeks, but it was because I was living off of sugary foods and coffee. My body was probably in shock. It's a wonder Naomi didn't lose it on me!
The sugar suppression... well, it doesn't go nearly as well as it should. But I cut back. So, that's something. The reasons for caffeine and sugar suppression: They're masking my tiredness. And something about sugar messing up my iron absorption? I think that's what it was.
The solids for Naomi - an attempt at getting her sleeping through the night. I know this is a debated fact. But I'd started her on solids a few days before talking to my midwife, so that's fine. She was showing a lot of signs of being ready and I was really ready for her to sleep longer than 2 hours at night. She's now up to 2 feedings a day.
*[She's had broccoli, pumpkin, carrot, potato, oatmeal (ground in a blender), rice (ground in a blender), and banana. We'll try apples/pears tomorrow.]*
And then Matt and I were talking to a veteran Momma who suggested we revamp both girl's sleep schedules. Oceana, 3 years and 5 months, was sleeping 10:30 to 5 last week. We'd put her to bed at 8pm, which has been her bedtime since she was 18 months old, and she'd still be wide awake at 10:30pm. But she was taking a 3-4 hour afternoon nap. I had begun to suspect the afternoon nap was to blame, but I was so enjoying that free time ... that I was sort of denying the obvious.
The new schedule:
Oceana to bed at 7:45pm, this will move back to 7:30 and maybe even to 7:00 as we phase the naps out completely. Naomi to bed sooner after, with a bit of crying it out (I don't like her crying to much, but I'm not against it completely), and more solids to see if we can get her full enough to sleep through the night.
And put a clock in Oceana's room that showed her the time, and tell her not to come out until 7:00 (Draw a picture of 7:00 next to the clock, or set an alarm).
Night 1: Oceana slept 7:45 to 7:15. Naomi slept 8:45 to 6:00 and 6:00 to 8:15 (fed at 6).
Night 2: Oceana 7:45 to 7:05. Naomi 8:30 to 4:30 and 4:30 to 7:15 (fed a few times in our bed in that space).
Night 3: Oceana 7:45.... Naomi 9:00 (Naomi had her 5 month shots today, so all bets are off...).
I'm really excited about this.
My mum commented that I seem much more settled. I feel more settled. I feel like I can think logically and I'm not angry 24/7.
Oh, and the "thoughts"? That if I just hurt Naomi she wouldn't cry so much (she was acting really colicky and I was starting to lose my mind). It's really scary to think those things. I wouldn't have acted on them, I was still level-headed, but the thought entered my mind. That scared me so badly.
So there's the real deal. That's what been happening.