PPD: Journal Entry #3

Written on January 10, 2011 while being hospitalized for Postpartum Depression:

A woman told me I look much better today. It feels good that people can notice. I’m definitely feeling better than I was yesterday. Yesterday was so scary. I met with my doctor today. Basically, she told me this is going to pass, but in the meantime I’m going to up the dosage on my medication. If the medicine seems to be working, then I’ll probably only be here two more days. If I’m not liking the medication then the doctor will change the meds, but it should prolong my stay.

I’m just trying to stay positive, which is pretty hard when you’re surrounded by depressed people. This morning was a little hard to get moving, but after getting dressed after breakfast, I was craving activity. Fortunately we were able to go to the gymnasium. And guess what? I played 3 on 3 basketball. B would be proud, and possibly a little jealous he missed it. Especially since he’s always trying to get me to play with him! I can’t wait to tell him.


The therapy here kind of sucks. Well, I’ve only been to one [group] session, but it wasn’t helpful. I’m here because of a hormonal issue–not abuse of any sorts. I just couldn’t really relate. Plus, I really would like to talk with someone about how to cope with the anxiety. And obviously, most importantly is to prevent the harmful thoughts. But I believe that will come with time… and meds.

Enchanted.

Here are a few teasers from  
Emmalyn’s Enchanted First Birthday Party
Let’s just say it was magical.

Photos taken by my cousin Steve, and friend Marissa.
More to Come!!

ONE YEAR.

On November 17, 2010 at 3:39pm, my world changed forever. God brought our daughter, Emmalyn Grace, safely into our lives. I knew nothing would ever be quite the same, but I don’t think anyone could prepare me for what lay ahead in my first year of being a mother. 

Having a child is the greatest life lesson you can receive. These tiny little beings, with ten bitty toes, and rosy cheeks, are the most important and influential teachers one can ever have. My once six pounds & 14 ounces little love, taught me so much about myself. Unbeknown to her, she has been my light, my angel. At 23 years-old, when I had Emmalyn, I thought I knew precisely what I was going to be like as a mother. I was strong and confident with my visions and opinions. 

Flash-forward one year… Ha! Silly Me

Things like cloth diapering, breastfeeding, forbidding Walmart, etcetera–all flew out the door like folks on Black Friday. What I’ve come to realize is that motherhood is SO unpredictable. No matter how many baby books you read, or people you talk to, there’s always going to be something to throw you off course. For me, it was the dreaded “P” word: Postpartum Depression. Although it ended up being a blessing in disguise, it was the worst time in my life. But it taught me so much. About myself, about being a mother. 


Having to be hospitalized for a week forced me to let go of my need for control. It taught me how to be more laid-back as a person, and that taking an infant to Walmart really isn’t as bad as you think. (There’s a lot worse.) I’ve heard mothers say numerous times. “I can’t even remember what life was like before baby.” I can. While I really miss some certain aspects of my non-maternal life, I am a much better person now. You would think that having a baby would make me even more controlling and up-tight, but through everything my PPD experience taught me, I am living a mentally healthier and more relaxed life. I made a new mom-friend last week, and she was kind enough to come over to help me make chocolate-covered pretzels for Emmy’s party this weekend. As we were talking and making a mess, she mentioned how nice it was that I wasn’t such a perfectionist about the appearance of the pretzels. I thought, Oh–if you only knew me before… Even one of my best friends has told me how proud she is of me for not sweating the small stuff. It makes me feel proud, too; to hear those compliments from someone who has known me for years, as well as someone who has come into my life only recently.


The first three months of Emmalyn’s life crept by so slowly for me. I kept thinking, When is this going to get better? This is so much harder than I ever thought it would be! And now, time is moving quickly. The proof is in the pictures, my friend. My baby girl is ONE–even though she gets mistaken for a six month-old. { It must run in the family, ‘cuz her momma got mistaken for a high school student last night ;p } My selfless husband, parents, in-laws, family, and dearest friends, have supported me through this tumultuous year. I don’t think I could have made it without them. Scratch that–I KNOW I couldn’t have made it without them. But I wouldn’t be who I am today, if it weren’t for one extraordinary being… my daughter, Emmalyn Grace. She has been my number one motivation. I have been touched by an angel….


There’s so much I want to say to so many people. & to most of you, I have. But I especially don’t want to leave out my blogger buddies. I can’t thank you all enough for your encouraging words. Not one single message goes unappreciated. There are many of you who have made such an impact on my life, which I will never forget. 

Thank you.

 


PPD: A letter to Emmalyn

A letter I wrote to my daughter, Emmalyn, while being hospitalized for postpartum depression, January 2011:
To My Sweet Angel Baby, Emmalyn Grace,
I hope you know how much I love you. You are my world. I also hope you know this is not your fault. I’ve never blamed you for this, nor will I ever. You are the most precious gift I’ve ever received. I thank God every day for you. You are the most incredible baby in the entire world. When I hold you and stare into your eyes, I’m at peace. 
I want you to know you’re my motivation for getting better. I’ve waited and prayed for you my entire life. It’s tearing me up inside to be away from you. You’re the first thing I think about in the morning, and the last before I fall asleep. I pray to God to give me the strength to conquer this so you can be in my arms again. I’m going to be strong for you because I’d do anything for you. Always! I promise. 
I’m so thankful you’ll never remember all this. & one day, if you read this when you’re older, remember how much I love you.
You are my world,
& my life,
Forever your mommy 

***
To read from the beginning, click here 

1st Birthday Sneak Peak

i cannot begin to tell you how excited {& nervous!} i am about emmalyn’s first birthday.
i am having so much fun planning & crafting her big shindig on november 19.
i use to make whispered remarks about moms going “all-out” for their child’s first birthday–something he or she won’t ever remember. but now that i’m a mom…? i get it.
obviously, i realize it is more of a celebration for the parents; a way to announce–hey look! we made it! go us!
& i have been told by a number of mommies not to listen to what anyone else has to say about it… if i want to go all out, then that’s exactly what i’m going to do! she only turns one once!
 ***
as promised, here’s a little look into what i have in store for my one year-old to-be:
^indy was in the shot so i asked him to sit, and this is what i caught 😉
~
it’s going to be held in our backyard:

did i mention how excited i am?!?!!!
 eek!! i can’t contain myself 🙂 🙂


{p.s. sorry for the iphone pics}

Emma-Lamb

Quick post because I’m busy doing All Things First Birthday (16 days–eek!!!), but just wanted to share Emmalyn’s 1st Halloween costume!
She was a little lamb… “Emma-Lamb.”
Get it?
bwahaha I crack myself up 😉

P.S.
I made her costume
I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!
{Next up…. First Birthday Party Previews}

The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow

Florida was on a huge thunderstorm and tornado alert yesterday, which had us cooped up inside all day. If you’re a seasoned Mama, you know how stir crazy it can make you–especially with a sickly little one. If you read Emmy’s 11th Month post, you’d know that she’s been feeling particularly under the weather. Since last Wednesday to be exact. {hence the reason there was no ‘formal’ sticky-belly pic}& she’s been running a fever on and off all weekend. As a mother, it’s so hard to see my little love in such discomfort. 


We’ve just been bumming it around these parts lately; & if there’s anything to like about my baby being sick, it’s the extra snuggles and “ma-ma”‘s. But honestly, none of that even matters when your baby is running a 105 degree fever. 


Yes. 

You read that right. One. Oh. Five. 

Yesterday, I knew my baby bird didn’t feel well at all when she wasn’t standing (or even sitting) up at her crib when I went to get her from her nap. She was crying and crying, and wouldn’t stop even after I picked her up. When I saw those three numbers on the thermometer screen, my heart immediately dropped to my stomach. & panic settled in. Wanting to make sure I had an accurate reading, I took it again. Same number.


I could barely finish changing her diaper, as I turned my head away from my very miserable daughter and lost it cried. It was one of those cries where no sound comes out because you don’t want anyone to hear you. I felt like my heart was about to burst out of my chest, it was beating so hard. Immediately I called Blake, who was working at the hospital (3rd year med school rotations). I collected myself enough to call the pediatrician’s office, where the nurse told me, “You need to take her to the emergency room.” I could barely let out an, “Okay,” before hanging up and crying hysterically. It was no surprise to me. I mean, I knew that’s what she was going to say; but thinking about it, and actually hearing those words are two completely different emotions.


Everyone always says that you’re going to go through something like this as a mother at some point, but Geeze Louise! No one ever said how mystifying it is. By this point, I’m running around like a crazy person, throwing things into a bag. Bottles, formula, clothes… I, myself, was wearing leggings, a long-sleeve shirt, house shoes, tattered hair thrown up into a poor excuse for even a messy bun, and a very red & blotchy complexion.


When we got to the hospital, we went straight to the clinic, where B knows the residents. This way, if we had to be admitted, we could by-pass all the waiting. Her temperature was 101.8 by that time, which calmed my nerves just a bit. We were beginning to think the thermometer might have been slightly inaccurate? Any who, my sweet baby girl was still crying, but who could blame her? On top of already feeling so shitty, she’s being poked and prodded by strangers.


We basically had a couple of choices: 1. Go home with tylenol and motrin, and if she wasn’t getting any better, take her to after hours pediatrics. Or, 2. Take her to the ER.


Since we were already at the hospital, we figured we might as well take her downstairs to the ER. Thank goodness the resident called ahead for us. We were seen right away. It was so heartbreaking to see Emmalyn screaming when she was whisked away by nurses who stripped her down to take her temperature. It’s something I hope I never have to see again.


We didn’t have to wait too long to be seen by the ER doc. She was very kind and sympathetic to us, which I really appreciated. After a while, you could tell the motrin had kicked in because Emmy started waving and clapping her hands. It was almost as if she were saying, “Great job, Mom & Dad! You passed the emergency test. Way to go!”


I just rested my head against the wall and sighed in relief. 


Walking to the car, I was surprised to see it still hadn’t started storming yet. Reports had said it would be storming by 3pm, with tornado watches. It was 6pm. When we got home, Emmy enjoyed her evening bath, bottle, and story-time. (As much as a little girl can when under the weather.) 


While rocking her in my arms before laying her down for bed, I prayed to God once more, for watching over and protecting my little angel. I thanked Him for keeping us out of the storm’s way. & I kid you not, the song that was playing right then and there on the Easy Listening TV music station in the other room was “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.”


I thought to myself, Yes. Yes it will.

& you know what? It was 81 and sunny today. & my baby girl is on her way to feeling better. Slowwwllly, but surely.

I love ya, Tomorrow. You’re always a day away…

11 Months!

Emmalyn Grace
you are
11 Months Old!
{10.17.11}
The fun never stops with you, little love. This month, you got to meet a lot more great aunts, uncles, and cousins. We’re so grateful they were able to travel south for your Auntie Shell’s wedding. We were also so thankful for you to be a Flower Girl in the wedding. Mommy and Daddy didn’t have high expectations for your behavior during the ceremony since infants are so unpredictable, but Emmy Grace–you were an angel! Daddy carried you down the aisle alongside cousins Lucas and Rebecca, and you sat on your GG’s lap and didn’t make a peep the entire ceremony!! 
Seeing you in the beautiful dress simply melted our hearts.
The Florida Sunshine is still here, but it has cooled down enough to play outside in the middle of the day. Recently, we’ve been taking you on stroller walks to the park one neighborhood over, where you love to swing. 
One thing mommy does not like about this month is now you try and stand up in the shopping carts. Never mind the fact that you are strapped in to your cart-cover, which is strapped in to the cart seat. You scoop those pudgy legs into your chest & push yourself up. & you are quite persistent, my dear! It’s made a few shopping trips extra challenging, to say the least.
This month unfortunately brought you a notsofun stomach virus & major diaper rash. You were miserable, and mommy was very sad for you. But! I must say, I’m proud we made it almost a year without you getting anything more than the sniffles. You’ve soaked up a lot of Mommy TLC the last few days! Since you were sick, you missed your cousin Lucas’s 3rd birthday party 🙁 
Mommy took you to the doctor and you weigh 17.8 lbs! Who needs to go to the gym when they have you to carry around all day?!
Can you believe that you still don’t have any teeth? You have gotten so much stronger at standing on your own. You don’t even hold on to anything anymore to do so.

You can say… mama, dada, thank you, water, boo, duck, peak-a-boo, wow, whoa, hi, bye-bye; & can sign for “milk” & “more.”

I’m so proud of all your accomplishments, and am looking forward to celebrating your first birthday with our many friends and family!!

I love you so much angel baby!
Forever Your Mommy….

PPD: Journal #2

An entry from my journal while being hospitalized for postpartum depression:

I want to get better so bad. I just want to feel like myself again. I want to be able to joke, play, be social… I’m scared I’m never going to get there. I have heard, as well as read, numerous times that this is not forever. And while I believe it’s true, I also don’t at the same time. But I have to keep believing and staying strong.

I have to remember the good in life. I’ve been so blessed–I can and WILL get through this.

I finally received my bag of clothes that my parents dropped off. Unfortunately, visiting hours are only on Tuesdays and Saturdays so I wasn’t able to see them. I had to wait about an hour for someone to take inventory on my belongings. It was strange watching this happen. A girl took each item out, unfolded it and examined it. She even had to cut the string out of my pajama pants. My toiletries have been locked up and I must ask to use them. This is so surreal.

***

To read from the beginning, click here