Post Partum depression and Anxiety

I have dealt with depression before but never really had anxiety. Very quickly after getting home a debilitating anxiety set in. Robert and I were both having difficulties with breastfeeding. I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t listen to my intuition. My poor baby’s tummy was rumbling all the time and I didn’t know what to do and didn’t know that I wasn’t getting him enough food. I have no idea whose brilliant idea it was to not have a mothers milk come in for 3-5+ days after birth. We came home from the hospital on a Friday and thankfully we had an appt at the hospital on Sunday to check on him. Thankfully Similac formula had sent us some samples of premade formula so we gave him an ounce at one point.

When we got to the hospital they weighed him and he had lost almost an entire pound since birth. I could not stop myself from crying in that appointment thinking I had been starving my sweet baby boy. They said it was ok and he was fine but that we were going to start a 3 step program where ever 3 hours on the dot I try and feed him from each boob for at least 10 min, then pump for 20 min and feed him formula and anything colostrum that would come out when I pumped. Thankfully pretty quickly he started gaining weight again and my milk came in. We did supplement for awhile with formula and I am ok with that.

The anxiety though meant that even though my mom was here to help I barely slept, afraid that my baby would need me and I wouldn’t be there. Even though he was gaining weight we were having serious breastfeeding issues and he would just scream because he wasn’t getting anything and i was having trouble getting him to latch and I would just cry and cry. I went to a breast feeding support group at the hospital and that made all the difference in the breast feeding area. By his 2 week appt we were able to start dialing back the 3 step program because he was gaining weight well.

But overall at this point the anxiety was so bad I could barely eat and sleep. I was taking melatonin to try and get myself to nap which of course just made me more tired when I had to get up and stay up in the middle of the night. I was sick to my stomach and lost almost all of my pregnancy weight in those first 2 weeks, and no I was not trying to lose weight. After the baby’s 2 week appointment I went to my Dr. and asked for help, I knew I was in an unhealthy place and honestly I was hating motherhood. I loved my baby and thankfully the depression and anxiety didn’t manifest in a way that made me wand to hurt myself or my baby but I honestly regretted having a baby at that point.

My Dr. and I talked and decided medication would be a good option for me. I started it that night. The pharmacist warned me that the first week was going to be rough and he was right. The meds made me sick. There was one morning I was breastfeeding, sick to my stomach but forcing a banana down to get some calories in me and then I puked it up while feeding the baby.

Holding the puke filled burp rag while baby sleeps

After a few weeks the meds fully started to kick in and I was able to eat and sleep (when allowed by the baby hahahaha) and things started to get so much better. I bought a newborn sleep program and learned about babies habits and things really started to turn around. My mom stayed until I was 5 weeks post partum and was doing a lot better.

I am now 14 weeks post partum and we are doing so much better. Most nights the baby sleeps from 8:30pm-7am with one feeding around 10:30 to top him off for the night. Not every night, things do happen but, overall the sleep is great. I have a pretty good routine with him during the day and overall we are good.

I am definitely not perfect though, there are still days and times that I get frustrated or am tired but overall I am loving being a mom. When he smiles at me it is the most amazing thing ever and I am so excited to watch him grow up and see the little man he is going to be.

Week in the life update

This weekend I worked my first 2 shifts since giving birth. My husband and I decided I would not go back to work full time right now. Daycare would cost more than I made however, with the job that I had I have the option to pick up a shift here and there when they need the coverage. So, this weekend I worked for the first time since I left for maternity leave. It was actually really nice! It was nice to get a little break from parenting and be able to interact with adults. Also, I think it was nice for my husband to get to spend so much uninterrupted time with his son. The only downside was pumping at work. I had to pump at every break which means no going out for a walk or going to get lunch. I had to make sure I had everything I needed. But overall it was nice and I will enjoy picking up a shift here and there……and of course the money doesn’t hurt.

Monday went pretty well. I got a workout in and my buddy joined me outside for some quick planting of leek starts. I still have a few more to do cause he started getting fussy.

Made some delicious sheet pan chicken. I love sheet pan meals, so simple and easy. Chicken, brussel sprouts, shallots, garlic and potatoes with maple syrup, rosemary, salt, pepper and butter.

Tuesday I did my Barre Blend workout and got a shower in! Winning!!

I got carrot seeds planted while the baby napped and made another sheet pan dinner. Chicken marinated overnight in wine and pesto sauce with shallots, potatoes and green beans.

The baby has had a pretty bad rash on his cheeks and shoulders for a few weeks and nothing I was doing was helping so we went to the Dr on Thursday and he said he thinks its severe eczema. We are doing over the counter hydrocortisone cream once a day and baby eucerin for eczema during the day and this mommy is going to try and eliminate as much dairy and gluten from her diet as possible to see if that helps. I guess eczema is usually a reaction to an allergy.

We’ve had a few really nice days so I have put the chickens out in their run three times this week to start getting them used to the outside world slowly.

Overall it was a good week. Baby Robert was a little more tired and cuddly yesterday so I didn’t get much done but the rest of the week was pretty productive.

My birth story

Robert was due December 21, 2020 but did not come on that day.

My mother came into town on a Thursday about a week and a half before he was due to hang out and help us finish getting ready. I was having very spread out very slowly increasing contractions for a few weeks before his birth. My last non-stress test the aid asked if I was feeling the contractions because she could see them on the sheet of paper.

The Tuesday after my mom came into town the contractions were continuing to increase and my ankles were a bit swollen. I tired elevating my feet and went to sleep like normal that night to see if the swelling was less in the morning but it was not. I had not had any issues with swelling or high blood pressure up to this point but my Dr. didn’t want me to go past my due date because of the unknown effects of covid. When the swelling hadn’t gone down I emailed my Dr. offices the next day, Wednesday, to ask them what I should do. They called me back pretty quickly and told me to head to labor and delivery to get checked out to be safe.

My husband was in the middle of a virtual meeting so as soon as he was done we headed to the hospital.

They hooked me up to some monitors and started watching the baby. While this was going on my contractions started increasing a bit and my blood pressure was slightly elevated. I was not effaced or dilated but the baby had dropped so with the knowledge that my due date was right around the corner and my Dr. would induce if I went past it anyways and I had mild preeclampsia systems the Dr. on call and I decided to proceed with induction.

They inserted Cerdivil in my to get the process started at about 2pm. Cervidil works for about 12 hours to help dilate the cervix. At just after 8pm, six hours after I had gotten the Cervidil I got up to use the restroom and my water broke.

My contractions had already started picking up and now they started to intensify. Around 10-11pm I started getting IV pain meds just over every hour until about 330-4am when I was 3 or 4 cm dilated and able to get an epidural. Silly me thought, yay I’ll finally be able to sleep. Getting the epidural was cake for me and it was instant relief. I was so ready to sleep but the baby had other ideas. My husband got to sleep while I had to switch sides every 20 mins because the babies heart rate kept dropping. It would drop, we would reposition, it would be fine for a few mins and I would start to drift off then his heartrate would drop again and I would have to move.

Around shift change at 7am they checked me and i had come from 4cm to 8cm and we learned I could have a second support person so we texted my mom to get her butt to the hospital. Around 7:30am the nurse helped me sit up with my feet under me because I was sick of laying down and within a few minutes my 2nd bag of waters started to make its way out which was the weirdest feeling ever.

My mom made it to the room by about 8am. The pain started to make its way through the epidural and the contractions started to come closer and closer and become more intense. There was a point where even my mom commented that I had like a 10 min contraction. A little before 11am I was fully effaced but had a small cervical lip that wasn’t disappearing so I couldn’t push just yet. It didn’t take long before my body was starting to push on it’s own, my mom called the nurse and told her I couldn’t stop my body from pushing, she checked me again and I was ready to push! The Dr. came in and we started pushing! I pushed for just over an hour and Robert was born! He was happy and healthy so they put him right on me……and he proceeded to poop all over both of us hahahahahaha!!! The hospital I gave birth in was very mama baby centered so we had 2 hours of skin to skin contact immediately after birth, delayed cord clamping, encouraged breast feeding. It was wonderful and they were very supportive, aside from the pain it was nothing short of a great experience.

We ordered lunch pretty quickly hahaha and within a few hours we were moved to our post birth room where we were going to stay overnight. We were able to leave the next day around 1pm. From getting to the hospital until we left I think I slept about 2-3 hours total in the 3 days.

Those first few weeks at home were ROUGH!!! I will talk about that in the post partum blog coming up.

Big News

Hello!! I have been gone for quite some time and this is why!!!

I am a mom!

I did not enjoy pregnancy for the most part. I was pretty sick until about week 20. I threw up enough to need to get anti-nausea meds from the Dr. I had a lot of bloating through most of the pregnancy so I never felt super great. I did love feeling him kick and seeing him on the ultrasound but I will definitely never be someone who says they love being pregnant.

I also got Covid in my 3rd trimester which complicated things. Thankfully it wasn’t serious enough for me to need to be hospitalized but it did turn my pregnancy into a higher risk since there were so many unknows. After I had recovered and passed the contagious period they did an extra ultrasound to check on him and I went in for weekly non-stress tests to check on his heartbeat and movement until he was born.

I will do a whole blog on my birth story here shortly so I will skip that for now.

After we came home with him I suffered from severe post partum anxiety and depression. I will also do a separate blog post on this so look for that soon.

All that being said my little nugget is going to be 14 weeks old on Thursday and I am going to try and get back to blogging more normally. I have done a few runs since birth, am starting a Beachbody Barre Blend workout program, spring planting is starting and I am now a stay at home mom!!! Well mostly, I will occasionally pick up some shifts at my old job on the weekends when they need a fill in but generally I will be home raising my son….oh and we got chickens!!!!

May I formally introduce my son. Robert!

A fun weekend

Last weekend we went to Sun River, OR with the in-laws. We all chipped in and rented a vacation rental. Little to no snow this year but it was nice and still so beautiful!

It was a nice big place 5.5 bedrooms, I say .5 because one room was a room with a bunk bed, futon and queen bed then you went though a door and there was another bedroom but you had to go through one to get to the other. And 4 bathrooms. There were 10 adults, a 2.5 year old, an 8 week old and dogs, it was chaos but good chaos.

We didnt do anything super crazy or active. I think the goal of the weekend was just to spend time together. Brandon and I got there last on Friday night because everyone else took Friday off and drive up on Thursday night. So Friday was basically just the drive, dinner and settling in. Saturday morning we got up and took the dog for a long walk and found a park to play in

Midmorning we went for maybe a 2 mile bike ride, it might have been 1.5

Then the siblings all went to lunch while grandma and grandpa watched the kids and dogs. Then we wandered around a little shopping district. Dinner at the rental that night. Then Sunday morning was just some relaxing then getting all packed up and cleaning the house a bit then the looong drive home. It was a fun weekend but i also feel exhausted this week. But how cute is this?

That is my husband and our new Nephew

Since coming home I’ve made some bread, started a sourdough starter and transplanted some of my seeds. I’ll plant more this weekend

A quiet time

We are definitely in the quiet season of the year. I think of winter as quiet and cozy. Not much has been going on the last few weeks. Settling into a new schedule at work which gives me weekends off with my husband which is wonderful.

This last week though I have seen and felt spring coming. The Pacific northwest has had a pretty mild winter anyways but now we already have buds on trees and green leaves sprouting and even some flowers starting to pop! It is starting to feel a little like spring.

My husband spent most of yesterday working on one of the beds we will use to plant and working on the lumber we will use for it. I got some seeds started

I want to do succession planting so each week I will start a few more seeds

I got 1 broccoli, 1 cabbage, 1 cauliflower, 4 bok choy, 4 basil, 2 snap peas, 5 beets, 4 okra, 4 parsnip, 16 carrot, and 9 onions started yesterday. Hopefully I will get a few more done tonight because I still have some things I want to get started for this first week.

And so the planting race has begun….though really this is just the warm up. Right now it is kind of a rush (but not really) to get seeds started then once they are all started it will be hardening them off then transplanting them to the ground…..if my raised beds are done, if not it will be into bigger pots until the beds are done hahaha. I think we are going to have a great crop this year. Now I just need to get used to cooking what is available not whatever I feel like. I have 2 cookbooks that are based on seasonal produce and all the farming memoirs I have read have a few recipes and most of them sound amazing soooo hopefully we will be eating like kings this year and still lose weight and get into shape since it will be a lot of veggies hahahahaha

Bread! And gardening thoughts

After probably almost 2 years I finally pulled the bread maker my mom gave me from the garage and into the house…..and proceeded to make 3 loaves of bread. Potato bread, banana bread and rosemary cheese bread. The potato bread was a mix from Bob’s Red Mill and turned out amazing

Then I made banana bread but it wasnt the most dessert like kind you are thinking, it only had 1.5 tbsp sugar and 1.5 tbsp honey and it had yeast and everything. It is like normal bread with a slightly sweet banana cinnamon finish. Very subtle sweetness and tastes amazing with butter. The rosemary cheese bread is also more of a subtle herb and cheese flavor instead of a smack you in the face flavor. I used recipes from an old bread machine book. I’m excited to slowly work my way through it.

I am starting to think about this years garden and i am going to try square foot gardening. Making my plans and layouts it looks like I will be able to plant about 3x as much (if not more) in almost the same amount of space. soo this will be amazing or do terribly hahahahaha. We will see. The premise with square foot gardening is that the plant has enough room to grow but they are also close enough that light doesnt filter down to the ground so weeds grow a lot less because they dont get any sunlight…..

Rain is forecast all week so no garden work for me cause its going to be a swampy mess. Once we get a few clear days I am going to start turning soil and working on the beds…..but that probably wont be for several weeks.

Update: on life and the blog

Hi! Obviously it has been a hot minute since I posted. More like almost a hot year. I needed to take a step back because I honestly had no idea what this blog was becoming. I started it as a journal of my hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, I didnt finish the trail, in fact I barely started which turned out ok but I learned what I needed to learn (dont get me wrong I still love to hike and backpack). Then it became about gardening on our small plot of land and becoming a nurse. I am still all about growing as much of our food as we can and I’m super excited to see where this year takes us. I also still want to be a nurse but I am looking at different programs and figuring out my time line. I didnt get into last years program and this year the school I was aiming for changed all their prerequisites throwing a snag in my plans so i am re-evaluating. I didnt blog for awhile because I wasnt sure where I wanted this to go. I got it in my head that I needed followers and to be one of those people who makes money from their blog and social media platforms but honestly that is not why I started this and it isnt really what I want. I just want someplace where I can maybe have a little community and to basically have a journal of my life. So that is what this is going to be. No guarantee on how often I will post or content. It will just be my life from now on and whatever that entails.

The summer switch

The last few months of my life have been all about school and work and while my life is still about that the switch to summer has stayed to take hold. The days are warming up, there are longer breaks in the rain and my mind is consumed with vegetable starts, direct sow seeds and the food that will come from it.

This is our second summer in the house and I am getting my act together. I made myself a Google docs spreadsheet to keep track of what I am planting and what is is producing so each year I can do more and more, add new things and reduce what we had too much of or increase what we had too little of.

Here is what we have planted so far:

A red, green and orange bell pepper plant on one end and 2 hot pepper plants on the other end of the garden, my husband wasnt happy about the mixing of peppers last year so this year we are separating them. In case you didn’t know peppers cross pollinate so if you have mild and hot peppers close to each other you could end up with spicy bell peppers and mild jalapenos, last year everything ended up pretty mild so this year they are at opposite ends of the bed.

We planted 2 different kinds of cantaloupes, last year I did pumpkins.

2 zucchini plants to last years 3. 2 cucumber plants to last years 3.

5 tomato plants, 4 romaine, 6 iceburg and 3 red lettuces.

All the herbs that should have survived the winter did and are flourishing. We had to replant basil and cilantro. Our fig bush has doubled in size but isnt producing yet. The pear tree is doing great.

I still have onion starts to plant. Carrot and spinach seeds to plant. I just ordered radish and turnip seeds and need to pick up a kale plant.

We didn’t get chickens this year. I let school get away from me and was overwhelmed but I am focusing back in on life.
Getting back to my roots……hahahaha sorry the pun was there for the taking.

I want to get through school as fast as possible but I also need to take a step back and live life. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and I want to enjoy today.

I didn’t make this falls nursing program and I am starting to think that is a blessing. I need to get my life out of school squared away. That is my goal for the next 9 months (until the next round of applications) still focus on school and get done what I need to get done but also enjoying my life, my marriage, my family and my friends.

I am am going to thoroughly enjoy this summer, stay tuned.