everyday life

A little bit of postpartum but a whole lot of hope

Let me start off by saying that I am not afraid of saying the word postpartum and hate the fact that most people look at it and excuse it in an awful way like P.M.S.

According to the wikipedia the exact definition of postpartum is: Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a form of clinical depression which can affect women, and less frequently men, after childbirth. Studies report prevalence rates among women from 5% to 25%, but methodological differences among the studies make the actual prevalence rate unclear. Among men, in particular new fathers, the incidence of postpartum depression has been estimated to be between 1.2% and 25.5%.[1] Postpartum depression occurs in women after they have carried a child, usually in the first few months. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, insomnia, appetite changes, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability. Current data suggests that 5 to 9 percent of women will develop postpartum depression[citation needed], but less than one in five of these women will seek professional help. It is sometimes assumed that postpartum depression is caused by a lack of vitamins [2], but studies tend to show that more likely causes are the significant changes in a woman’s hormones during pregnancy[citation needed]. On the other hand, hormonal treatment has not helped postpartum depression victims. Many women recover because of a support group or counseling.[3][4]

That said, it’s perfectly normal to go through what I’m going through. Right? Let’s go through the check off list.

Sadness. It’s light but I’ve had my moments. So, CHECK.

Fatigue. I’m not getting enough sleep because Lily wakes up 3-5 times during the night. CHECK.

Insomnia. Sometimes (like last night) at night after a feeding, I can’t fall back asleep and I just lie there crying because of how tired I am. CHECK.

Appetite changes. I think I eat more now than I did when I was pregnant. I tend to go towards food when I’m depressed. CHECK.

Reduced libido. Yup. No interest in sex whatsoever. CHECK.

Crying episodes. I don’t get enough sleep, I’m tired, I hardly get any time for myself. They’ve happened. CHECK.

Anxiety. Not so much.

Irritability. Again, doesn’t lack of sleep and rest cause irritability? CHECK.

It shouldn’t be so alarming for a mom to say she is going through postpartum. After all, in a way, it seems like the normal thing to go through after giving birth. I mean, how could we not?

Just like everything, there are however different levels of postpartum and different ways people deal with it.

This is the way I’m dealing with mine. To write about it here, recognize it and to just deal with it. It’s not like I hate my life or Lily. I am a very fortunate person and have a wonderful life, husband and baby. And, for the most part, I am a happy person. However, things did change very fast as well as did the hormones.

Sometimes I think that maybe I wasn’t yet ready for motherhood because I feel selfish wanting “me” time. But is it selfish to want to be healthy, well rested and to look good and well taken care of as I did before?

How does that saying go? “A happy mother is a happy baby”?

Then I look at Lily and I can’t imagine my life without her. (tears) I love her. And I love Will. I just don’t love myself the way I used to and that makes me feel like I am not loving them as much as I could. It’s hard to love someone if you don’t love yourself.

Everything has been so rewarding lately so how can I feel so…so…old and tired? I feel so old and tired.

At the end of it all, there are worst days and there are better days and just like everything, this too will pass.

RIGHT!???

In honor of feeling better and normal or better yet, better than normal, I went to get my hair cut today. So here’s to the positive side of things! 😉

Me with my new haircut and Lily wearing a t-shirt, pants and shoes by babyGap and bodysuit by Old Navy.

One will do for now

This past saturday we took off to Pine Island, FL to go visit dear friends of ours. Pine Island is about a 2-3 hour ride away from Miami.

Before leaving the house, while I gathered all of our things, Will made a comment about how it now took twice as long and as much stuff to go anywhere. “HA! and you want another one” I told him.

It’s true, it does take twice as long and twice as much stuff to go anywhere. But, it will take even longer and much more stuff when/if there will be another.

And I say when/if because right now, as much as I would love to have another, I can’t even think about it and (excuse me) my vagina hurts just hearing about the thought of it.

We packed ourselves and our things in the car and were smoothly cruising when Lily awoke from her nap because she had to do the BIGGEST bowel movement.

She has made it her tradition to do so as soon as we start on any long car trip. The same thing happened in December when we started driving to West Virginia.

As I sat next to her in the back seat, I looked at Will with fear in my face and commented on how it did not sound or smell good. And sure enough, as I peaked underneath her leg, it was EVERYWHERE! All over her clothes and the car seat.

It’s a good thing that by now, I know her and I packed plastic bags (for dirty clothes) and 3 other changes although we were only going for an overnight trip.

In the back seat I changed a very messy Lily and cleaned the car seat and thought to myself….imagine 2? Very brave are the ones who do it.

So, with a clean and happy Lily, we carried on with our driving and made it to Pine Island safely and without any other messes.

We had a wonderful time and I think I will enjoy Lily for now and not worry about the second one until much later. My clock is ticking though…..

Here are some highlights of our trip. In order Lily wears cardigan and leggings by babyGap, dress by Old Navy and hat gift from Natasha. Romper, polka dot shirt and shoes by babyGap, polka dot tights by Zutano.

Another diaper update

We went through the Huggies Little Snugglers quite fast. There was one major leak accident while we were out. Something that had not happened with the Pampers Swaddlers.

What diapers to use next? We opted for the Seventh Generation in size 3.

They are definitely very “green” and earthy. They’re not nearly as soft or cute as the others but they do the job. Unlike the reviews we read, Lily did not get any diaper rash although they seem to not absorb the number 2’s as well.

However, because they are so “green”, I feel like I’m packing Lily up in cardboard and shipping her somewhere every time I change her diaper.

As environmentally friendly as I like to be, I think I will stick with either Huggies or Pampers. And because we are so “green” in so many other aspects of our daily lives, I don’t feel like I will go to “green” hell for it. 😉

Here is Lily in her Seventh Generation diapers. The only thing cute about these diapers is….Lily!

All together again

Yesterday was the most beautiful day out. It was perfect! Clear blue sky, sunny, in the 60’s, no humidity, PERFECT!

Lily and I had our regular morning routine and went for a long walk.

Will arrived shortly after. YAY!! Both Lily and I missed him like crazy.

Lily is so funny when she is with Will. She gives me this look like “Look mom, I’m with dad.” and she has this serious almost snobby look to her like she’s saying “I’m cool.”. LOL

I was able to take a much needed nap in the afternoon while Will played with Lily. It makes such a difference having Will home. 🙂

It was such a beautiful late afternoon, it inspired us to walk to the beach and sit there for a while.

Both Lily and I are so happy that Will is back.

Here we at the beach. Lily wears pants, jacket and socks by babyGap, hat by Zutano.

Day 4 (and last) of Will’s trip away from home

Yesterday Lily and I woke up at 8am. That’s a bit later than usual. Lily sleeps longer when she is next to either me or Will.

Morning was mellow as usual. Coffee for me, play mat, toys, Elmo, India Arie and the ABC’s for Lily.

After she took her little morning nap which gave me just enough time to take a shower and get dressed, we headed off to visit my ex co-workers.

Every body was so surprised at how big Lily got in the 2 weeks that they hadn’t seen her.

On the way back home, I thought about work, I thought about my co-workers, I thought about the daily routine I had for 6 years.

Do I miss it? NO!

Despite it being all new and challenging, I am SO fortunate to be able to be with Lily all day, every day.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It is tiring. I am pooped but, it’s moments like when she wakes from her naps, and I go to rescue her from her crib and she gives me the biggest smile of relief that make it all worth while.

What I do miss, is my ex co-workers and adult conversation. But that’s what visits are for. 😉

Will arrives today. We are anxiously waiting for him.

Here are Lily and I having a morning moment. Lily wears pajamas by Old Navy.

Day 3 of Will’s trip away from home

Another smooth day with Lily yesterday.

It wasn’t has gloomy or rainy like on monday so we got to be outside a lot more and even hang out at the beach at the end of the day.

Her tummy is acting up a little though. It started last week. She had 3 days (not repeated) when she didn’t have any bowel movements. She usually has anywhere from 5-7 a day. Yesterday she only had 1 and the day before 2.

It could be that she is in a different stage, or it could be that she is starting to teeth…

She is still not taking the bottle and still wakes up 3-4 times during the night. I wish she would have longer sleeping patterns.

She is however having interest in food. She pays very close attention to everything I put in my mouth. So far I have let her lick the inside of apples (she loved it) and yesterday I gave her some sweet potato.

She liked the taste of the sweet potato, she just is not sure of what to do with her tongue so a lot of it comes back out. Looks like she is not quite ready for food yet which is upsetting to Will who is dying to cook for her.

Speaking of Will, we miss him. (sigh)

Here we are at the beach yesterday. Lily wears a hoodie and pants by Tea and a dress by Old Navy.

Day 2 of Will’s trip away from home

Yesterday went quite well.

It was a gloomy and rainy day here so Lily and I didn’t get as many walks as we usually do but she didn’t get too cranky about it. She loves being out and about.

Unlike all the other days, she actually took a long (almost 2 hours) nap in the morning. She was up throughout the rest of the day and finally went to sleep at 8pm.

When she first went to sleep, I put her in her crib like I always do. However, when she woke up for her feeding, I let her stay in bed with me for the whole rest of the night.

This is not something we usually do. If anything, we let her stay in bed with us after the last feeding of the night which usually happens at 5am.

She slept close to me and because there was more room in the bed I got to enjoy it. She was my little snuggle bunny!

I remember when I was little, whenever my father would be away, my mom would let me sleep with her. Those are always wonderful memories. Sleeping close to my mom while she would rub my head…a habit she created and I still have.

Sure Lily is too little to remember now but, maybe this will be a tradition we will start of our own whenever Will is away. 😉

And yes, we do miss Will like crazy!

Here is the little face that woke up next to me. (This picture was taken in Lily’s crib actually) Lily wears pajamas that were a gift and her bedding is Skip Hop.

Day 1 of Will’s trip away from home

Will left this morning to go to West Virginia until thursday. It will be just Lily and I until then. This will be a big test for all of us.

It will be the first time that Will is away from Lily since she was born and he was not happy about it but it is for the good and the future of our family so there he goes…

It is also the first time that Lily and I will be by ourselves.

Sure Lily and I spend our days together and there have been plenty of days that Will arrived late from work and Lily will be sleeping already but, he is there in the following morning.

So here Lily and I are having our regular morning routine. A bit of coffee for me, the play mat and toys for Lily. We already watched the ABC’s with Elmo and India Arie. Lily will probably be taking her morning nap in a short while.

It’s a gloomy monday morning here in Miami and we are missing Will already.

So here is to the LOVE in our little family! Lily wears a bodysuit and hat given to her by Natasha.

My first night out since giving birth to Lily

Last night was my first night out since I gave birth to Lily. She is now a little over 3 months old.

The plan was for all 3 of us to got out to dinner for our dear friend Michael’s birthday. However, dinner was set for 8pm and that is Lily’s bed time.

Will and I talked about having Lily take a little nap before 8pm so we could all go but as 7pm approached, Lily had not taken a nap and was pretty cranky.

So, Will suggested for me to go by myself. WHAT!? The suggestion sounded foreign to me. I have not been apart from Lily since I gave birth to her. I’m still only breast feeding so Lily goes where my breasts, I mean, I go. Will knew that I needed this, that I’ve been a little postpartum let’s say. (Identity Crisis)

Thoughts started running through my head. Do I know how to be by myself? What should I wear? Do I know how to dress?

All of the sudden I could wear something that I didn’t have to breast feed in. YAY! I’ve been wanting to wear tights, boots and one of my shift dresses for a while. It was cool enough last night so the decision on what to wear was not so difficult.

I got half dressed while Will put pajamas on Lily and then I breast fed her.

Lily usually falls asleep 15 minutes into the feeding. Of course NOT last night! It was like she knew something was going on. I breast fed her on one breast, I breast fed her on the other and she was still up.

She kept looking at me very attentively while I got dressed probably thinking that she was coming out as well. And why wouldn’t she? She usually does.

As I finished getting ready, Will had her in his arms as she was falling asleep. I kissed them goodnight and headed out the door. Mixed emotions were going through me. I felt guilty, I felt excited.

While in the elevator, I felt like I had left the house missing something. I had no baby, no stroller, no baby Bjorn, no diaper bag, something was missing.

A moment of anxiety came over me. Can I do this? Can I be by myself? Can I go out by myself?

I met Kristin downstairs (she lives in the building next to ours) and for a brief moment it felt like old times. The two of us, single girls heading out for a night out in town. Except these were new times. My husband (new) and my baby (new) were upstairs at home. 🙂

While walking with Kristin to meet the rest of the gang for dinner, I started feeling more and more at ease about being by myself. Then I felt guilty about feeling liberated. LOL

Dinner with friends was wonderful and a much needed “Claudia” time but to come home to my husband Will and baby Lily was priceless.

P.S.- I actually ended up forgetting something. My wallet. It was in the diaper bag.

Here we are at dinner last night. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL!! (from left, Eddie, Michael, me, Darren and Kristin)