Saturday, April 30, 2011

Something I'm Thinking About: Misery Loves Company

I am writing this blog post to avoid having to deal with the baby blowout laundry that just came into being. As I was wiping the armpits of my sweet, precious daughter, I found myself wishing that there was some other parent in the world who was having to do something similar with their child. I adore this baby and I typically don't mind changing dirty diapers, but on this Saturday morning, I just didn't want to do it.

My desire for someone else to feel just as put off by a major task of parenthood reminded me that I haven't had the best week. I miss my family, I want these random snow storms to end, and I am not looking like a million bucks, to say the least. I know I am lucky that we don't often have tornadoes in Utah and that both of my kids are finally healthy at the same time. I am safe and prosperous, as far as a majority of the world is concerned.

But, y'all, I have had to face some demons this week.

This photo is me and Jack, circa early 2010. I am smiling, but I can see the sparkle missing from my eyes. And what was not to sparkle about? I was snuggling under a Mickey Mouse blanket with my cute son and we were hydrated thanks to that bottle of water! So many of my goals were on their way to being accomplished (weight loss, making friends, helping Jack learn to talk), but I look a mess. I very purposely did not do my hair or makeup, wear cute clothes, or go outside too often. It was around this time that I had to admit to myself that my undiagnosed, but probably, postpartum depression was too much to bear. I went to our family doctor, who saved my life by prescribing daily Prozac, and began to notice a change in my demeanor immediately. Within a week, I was rocking mascara and donning my favorite tops. Living life felt really great.

This is a photo of me and Caleb, a month after I was on medication. As you can see, I'm not wearing makeup again, and my hair is a little undone, but I look like a different person. In my eyes, you can see life and happiness and excitement. Shortly after this, I found out I was pregnant with little Lucy. For my whole pregnancy, I was terrified that my postpartum depression would return and that having a newborn around again would just plain suck.

Look at that face, everyone. Baby Lucy was not an instant burden and her arrival did not mark another dark period in my life. I'll admit, I look pretty tired in this photo, but it's all in the eyes. I was also infinitely happy. And all thanks to some attitude adjustments, a great medication, and the realization that I deserve really good things in life.

Right now, I am back to a no-makeup, no-hairdo, sweatpants kind of feeling. However, I can honestly say that it isn't because of my body chemistry or my past history or the devastating things going on in the world. I am proud to say that I can pinpoint the fact that I am not eating healthfully or moving a lot to almost all of my recent blahness.

I do not want my misery of postpartum depression to have any company. I had all of the symptoms and ignored them. There are currently a ton of people in my real life and my internet life who are having babies in the next few months. I want all of those ladies (and their partners) to keep an eye out for the symptoms of postpartum and get help if anything shows up. It is so easily ameliorated and any doctor will gladly help without judgment. When I was still healing, I found a ton of comfort in reading blogs like and Miss Carrots.

And, just for the record, I think I had such a negative reaction to the Royal Wedding because all I could think about was, "I'll bet Kate doesn't even want ANY of this and would rather run away to Vegas." But, that projecting of my own feelings of my wedding day is for another entry.

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