Pregnant after PPD: How I am working hard to stay healthy
Posted Dec 13 2010 9:19am
Most of you know from my most recent posts that I am expecting. This pregnancy was not unexpected in any way, but when conception happens I think that there is still some normal shock and tentativeness accompanying that positive pregnancy test for every Survivor Mama.
Everything about this pregnancy, from the timing to the support system in place has be intentional. It's funny, because I thought I had intentionally and thoughtfully planned my last pregnancy and birth and yet nothing (well, almost nothing) went as expected. This time, I am actually focusing on the important things for my health (and letting the little things and specific expectations go). The post "Then and Now" that was selected for Postpartum Progress' Top Ten PPD Blog Posts of 2010 gave me the idea for a new Then and Now post...this one. The "then" will refer to my pregnancy with L during 2007. The "Now" refers to my pregnancy now, with baby #2, affectionately referred to as "Champ".
Then... I spent my time decorating the Nursery and worrying about paint colors. Now... I spend my time praying for a healthy pregnancy and postpartum period- physically and mentally.
Then... I studied "What to Expect" types of books and read and re-read each weekly update to the point of memorization. Now... If I have time, I glance over the weekly "summary" email Babycenter sends.
Then... I tracked each pound, inch, symptom and milestone during my pregnancy in a 200+ page journal. Now... I haven't gotten past writing in a few September dates in this pregnancy journal...and I don't really feel badly that I'm not spending my time that way.
Then... I spent hours each day preparing for a method of childbirth that helped me cope with labor, but in the end also contributed to my devastation around having a Cesarean birth because it gave me the impression that would "never" happen to me. Now... I have sucked it up and accepted that not everything about my previous birth experience has to be different in order for me to be healthy this time. As much as I wish that a VBAC was the right decision for me I have come to the conclusion that it's not...and that's okay.
Then... I never thought about what help I might need postpartum or how challenging it might be. Now... I spend a lot of time pondering the weeks and months after I have this baby next Summer. I plan to have a lot of help, both family and friends and in the form of professionals like a postpartum doula or night nurse. I realize that this investment of time and money will benefit my whole family if I am able to get more rest as a result.
Then... I held onto the name of a physician I'd call "in the very unlikely case that I would need to". Now... I have an established relationship with both a physician and therapist who I see regularly. While both are impressed at how well I have weathered the storm so far, they also realize that being prepared and having a plan that we can put in place at a moment's notice, if needed, will be key to my health and recovery.
Then... I thought of motherhood as an add-on and said things like, "this baby will just have to fit into our current lifestyle", actually believing that was somehow possible and wouldn't require much effort. Now... I realize that motherhoods blessings are equally matched by its challenges. I am ever grateful for this experience, but also incredibly aware of the sacrifices and commitment that go along with it. I know that the next year of my life will be overwhelming and demanding and enter the time period with my eyes wide open.
Sometimes hindsight is 20/20...or at least slightly better than legally blind.