Thursday, May 24, 2012

Things I'm Afraid to Tell You

This is a blog that I have written in my head many times, but have yet to share.  Not because I fear putting this information out there, but mostly because I wasn't sure how I wanted to approach it.  With humor? Medical facts?  Also it isn't something you just bring up in conversations, so I wasn't sure how to begin to talk about it.

Enter, stage left, Things I'm Afraid to Tell You.  It's all over the blogosphere and it is so freeing to read that people with perfectly styled homes and adorable children don't have it all together.   And I felt like it was the perfect time to discuss something I've been dying to talk about for some time.

So here goes..

About four months after Hunter was born, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression.  It's no secret that after you have a baby, your hormones are out. of. con. trol.  In the first two weeks I was home, I cried over everything:  breast feeding,  limited movement due to my episiotomy, no blueberry yogurt in the fridge.  I left the house for no more then 45 minutes for a doctor's appointment and when I got home I was bawling my eyes out because I missed Hunter so much.  It's just awful.

Eventually, I began to even out and  found a "new" normal.  I didn't feel like my old self, and I credited it  because I was a different person now:  I wasn't Lizzie anymore, I was Hunter's mom and this was a change I accepted.  However, I started to realize that no matter how much my life had changed, certain feelings I had were not normal.

First off, I want to be very clear:  I never had any desire to hurt either Hunter or myself.  NEVER.  I know that these can be signs of PPD, but I never experienced it.  What I did have was a lot of depression.  I couldn't get excited about upcoming events, and I felt very detached from the people around me, include JEGs and Hunter.  I had a hard time concentrating on any task and I couldn't remember anything.  Even though I never wanted to hurt Hunter, I lived in fear of doing something to hurt him.  I refused to carry him into our kitchen because I was afraid I would drop him on the tile floor.  I was afraid to leave the house because I thought someone would rear-end me in the car and hurt him.  I was afraid to leave him at daycare because what if something happened and I couldn't get to him?  I spend an entire afternoon upstairs because I was afraid I would drop him if I tried to carry him downstairs.  I literally stood at the top of the steps and hyperventilated as I imagined him tumbling down.

I was in complete denial that anything was wrong with me.  I thought I was just in a "funk" and fought to get out of it.  When I didn't feel better, I got frustrated with myself and the depression deepened.  Finally, as we got ready for bed one night, I tearfully confessed to JEGs that something was wrong and I needed help.   I made an appointment with my family doctor and was prescribed Zoloft.  After about two weeks I started to feel like me -- a feeling I didn't think I would ever feel again.  

Through this whole process I've realized that even though I am 'Hunter's Mom', I can still be 'JEGs' wife', 'PoppaBear's co-worker', and, most importantly, 'Lizzie'.   I'm not saying it isn't hard to juggle all these different roles, because lawdy is it hard, but I can be more then just a machine-driven-child-provider.

I am not looking for sympathy or pity parties, or even apologies for not knowing;  I am not ashamed of what I have gone through, and I don't think any mother should be.  I have found once you start talking about PPD, you begin to find other's have experienced it.  My hope is that this confession makes other mothers and mothers-to-be comfortable enough to know that if you don't feel quite right, it is OK to admit it and ask for help.   We as a society pit mothers against each other, forcing us to compare ourselves and feeling like we are coming up short (don't even get me started on TIME's article).  

I'm still on the Zoloft and probably will be for another couple of months.  I have my good days and there are days when the anxiety builds.  I try to take my medication every day, and I keeps JEGs in the loop with how I am doing.  

And now it's out there for the world to see.  And I feel so much lighter to have unloaded it.

Always & Forever,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hunter: 7 Months

Remember when I was all, dudes, I'm gonna be a better blogger and not post only about Hunter?
I lied.  I should probably just rename this "Hunter in Progress".

I give you, the monster, age 7 months

Breaking News:  We have teeth.  Thank God that thing finally poked through because it was  killing me watching you scream at the drop of a hat.

You spent your first American Easter in a miserable mood.  You were super cranky (I think because said tooth was about to poke through) and every single picture taken that day, you look like you want to kick a puppy.

You cheered up in time for Ukrainian Easter the following week and had a blast with your cousins Wyatt and Wesley. 

You've realized that banging two toys together makes noise, and that is hilarious to you.  

Your favorite toy continues to be your tool set.  Not only can you chew on the tools, but the tool box makes for a very fashionable hat.

One thing is for sure, you have become quite the chatterbug!  You are always babbling and blowing raspberries.  Right now your most often "words" are dar dar dar and bah bah bah.  

As far as developmental milestones, you are sitting up like a champ.  Tummy time is more like "roll over and give mom a 'nice try' look".  I can't keep you on your belly for more then forty-five seconds.  

Since you are sitting up, we flipped you around in the tub and now you LOVE bath time.  Even after you are washed, you sit in the water splashing and playing with your tub toys.  

I love this age.  You are already becoming such a fun little boy, and I love watching you discover the world around you.  Seriously dude, you are the coolest little guy I've ever met.

Always & Forever,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

50 Shades of Grey

This post is not about the New York Times best seller-- hate to dissapoint you all.  From what I've heard those books are basically porn and that is a little more then this conservatively-raised girl can handle.

One of the biggest questions I have gotten recently is about dying my HOVAS slipcovers.  If you remember correctly, JEGs and I became completely enamored with the HOVAS and a year later we finally snagged one for ourselves.  We got the white slipcover for it's ease of cleaning and I had dreams of dying it a deep smokey grey.  It was going to be uh-mah-zing (can I get a high five for the Penny Hartz reference?)

Uh-mah-zing it was not.   My first attempt I tried to dye it in our washing machine.  I thought I was smarter then the directions and didn't leave it in long enough because I was afraid it would turn out too dark.  When it was finished, the color was washed out and you could see a lot of areas where the fabric had creased and the dye settled.  I decided to try again, this time leaving it for the correct amount of time, hoping that the extended time would give the dye more time to reach all of the fabric.

On the right is my first attempt, and the left is my second attempt.   The color was darker, but  you could still see the marbled effect as a result of the dye settling into the creases of the fabric.  That's when I realized that my washer was not big enough to handle the size of these slip covers.

So I turned to my bathtub, thinking that would be a better fit (pun slightly intended).  After hours and hours of soaking fabric and running up and down the stairs with pots of boiling water, this is what I have to show for it

This couch is the decor equivalent of a drunk chick.  From far away she looks like she might have it together, but as you get closer, you realize that she is all over the place, and what the hell is that stain on her pants?

Even after soaking in the tub, the cushions still look marbled.

I was trying to convince myself that it has that 'denim, lived-in' feel, but it's not working.

The biggest problem is the skirt.  There are five parts to the slip covers:  each of the four cushions and the rest is one big slip cover.  And by big, I mean huge.  Way too big for our tub.  One packet of dye was not enough for all of this fabric and there are areas that clearly were not touched by the dye at all

At this point, JEGs and I have decided to "live with it" for a little bit (read:  I am tired of dealing with it).  We have a brand new white slip cover waiting in the wings, but my stubborn side won't admit defeat yet.  Oh no no, I will not raise the white slipcover flag.  Not yet.

Misery loves company: have you ever tried to dye something that didn't come out the way you thought?

Always & Forever,