Remember when I talked about posting more often? Haha. Ha.
Not that you care.
Today, I’ll tell you, the infant stage is not my favorite, though it’s precious. I feel tired. Shocker. Even when my mom visited us for a week and did all the work and the cooking, I still felt tired. While she was here, I was working on a post about sleep routines and tricks . . . not for babies, but for me! I had written a lot of disjointed sentences, and stared at them thinking I’d now be able to reorder and weave them together logically like I’d do when writing a paper in college, but—no good. Lesson: Obviously I wasn’t sleeping as well as I thought and should’ve been napping at that moment.
Anyway, it was nice to look at this picture of Mama Rote and me back in the day:
which called to mind this picture of Mary Tobin and me from the fall:
which reminded me that this is merely a stage and everyone’s going to grow up.
I had my six week postpartum check up (actually at eight weeks because I failed to make the appointment on time) where the midwife and I talked for awhile about postpartum depression. I was surprised that she said 80% of mothers get it (at some point and to some degree)— it’s wildly undiagnosed and untreated. (From a quick google search, maybe it’s that 80% of moms have baby blues, which goes away two weeks or so after birth. Whatever the case, her point remains.) My assignment on that score was to walk outside in the sunshine for at least half an hour each day to help my Vitamin D levels.
My friend Anna Kate wrote about postpartum depression awhile ago, and I thought I’d chime in too, to help battle the stigma. (Tell the stories!) For me, pregnancy through now—Inez is almost three months old—has felt like one big extended PMS: I cry easily, am extra irritable, have more “down days” than usual, have moments when I really feel like I can’t do it. But I’m never to the point of wanting to harm myself or my family, which is why I think this subject is so tricky, so often undiagnosed and untreated. I know that I’m not feeling 100%, but I don’t know where the line is between normal tiredness and true depression.
Wherever you might be on that spectrum, for anyone feeling down (winter blues! hello!), I thought the acrostic NURSE on the postpartum depression info sheet was helpful:
- Nutrition (Stop eating garbage. Have a glass of water.)
- Understanding (Acknowledge how you’re feeling; have supportive people around you.)
- Rest (Easier said than did.)
- Spirituality (Take deep breaths; connect to God/your higher power.)
- Exercise (Ummm, sure.)
So, to sum up, I don’t have answers. The above list won’t solve everything; excellent medications are also available. Talk with someone and try to figure it out. But right now, at least, this gray area is my story and I’m sticking to it.
If you’re blue these days, I’m wishing tons of laughter and endorphins your way! Take care of yourself. xo