Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Raw thoughts of a postpartum Mommy????

Alright friends, I need some feedback (from all three people who read my blog (he-he) ;) Be honest, (but not too honest ;) and if you feel the need to be spicy, please add some sugar to soften the blow....

I originally started this blog after my husband read parts of my journal and suggested that I should maybe share some of my thoughts and feelings with the world.

I thought that was a totally ridiculous idea and threw the journal in his face....

I'm just kidding.


OK, not funny.

I was however, so nervous about the idea of writing for the general public that once I got up the nerve to actually open a blog account, it took me well over a month to write my first post. Lame, I know. But putting myself out there is not one of my strong points. It makes me more nervous than a flock of chickens being chased by a 3 year old (I have video of that that I'm sure you'll want to see).

That's where your input comes in handy.

I am contemplating "putting myself out there" in a tremendous (and petrifying) way and want to know if ya'all would find it helpful. If not, I won't.

Soooo......drum roll please......

I have been thinking about sharing some of my most poignant journal entries dated back to when I was in the heart of my breakdown. They are strong, raw examples of the feelings and thoughts of desperation, anger, pain, hope and helplessness that so many women experience in this battle. It would be its own category and I would still share generalized posts. I don't even know how many of them I will share, but reading over them was so emotional for me, I just know that other women would be able to relate, and maybe, just maybe, really get that they are not alone in this battle. 

Yay, or nay?

Brilliant or ludicrous?

What are your thoughts?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Baby after postpartum depression

My brain is swimming with thoughts of having another baby. It seems like the hubby and I have permanently made our residence on a rubber (ha) floaty of dreams, lazily floating down the river of possibility. I have to admit, it is fun (and even exciting) to dream about a new little one, especially when 6 months ago I didn't think there would ever be a thought of another baby, yet my anxiety always seems to get the best of me when conversations (or thoughts) of another pregnancy arise.... the timing still feels off, but I desperately want to be ready now. I worry, because I still have symptoms. I still frequently will have foggy moments. I still have trouble even seeing a newborn baby without being terrified that the scary thoughts are going to come back, and usually, it is the anxiety or the fear of the thoughts, that triggers them to rear their ugly head. Granted, they are not even close to even being in the same realm as when I had my breakdown, but still.

Then my mind goes to that pesky place, what if I never feel ready? It's been THREE years. What if, I wait and wait, wanting to feel ready, and it just never happens, I never do feel ready? What then? I don't want to plan my whole life around this depression. That thought alone makes me depressed. I want to live, I want to continue on with my life and let the past be past. But it is SO hard. So very hard.

Having been battling with these significant feelings for the last couple of months, I was excited to see that my new pal over at Arms Wide Open has dedicated the past several weeks to the same topic. When do we know we are really truly ready for baby numero dos? She has some incredible guest posts that sheds some light on the issue. I urge you to go check it out. It is very insightful.

So, as of right now, we are waiting. That's the verdict. But I keep hoping that I will magically wake up and feel completely normal, and just know that the time is now, life will be great from here on out, the green light for baby making blinds us with it's certainty..... Wishful thinking, I know. But seriously, a girl can hope. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Choice for Joy and Faith

Pheww, I finally have a few minutes to sit down and write. It has been pretty busy around here. And when I say "busy", I don't mean that in the "pleasantly occupied" sense of the word. I mean, life threw so many bazaar circumstances our way all at the same time, it felt like a giant seagull flew over us and crapped a big one on the last 4 days of our lives. Ugh. Again. BUT, God works in mysterious ways, and through the "crap", we have seen his provisions in a pretty remarkable way. So, Join me in reminiscing on this peculiar past week, won't you?

So I have already told you that we lost our health insurance. Totally out of the blue. No letter, no phone call, nothing. The only reason I found out was because I went to fill my prescription at target and they had a hard time getting me insurance to go through. They called the company and were told that we were dropped as of June 30th. I wanted to cry, right there in the target store. I had to pay $50 out of pocket for my measly little bottle of zoloft, that would have normally cost me around $6. Thankfully it wasn't something crazy expensive like Abilify- Did you know they charge $500+ for a bottle of that stuff without far as I am concerned, if you are going to buy something in a bottle that small, it had better be filled with liquid gold...or diamonds. So anyway, I canceled my psych appointment that I had been waiting to go to for weeks on end, since there was no way we could afford to pay out of pocket, and tried to keep myself calm and collected, literally refusing/willing myself to not have an all out panic attack because we had essentially just been royally screwed over big time.

Then, last Saturday, we were caught off guard by a storm of epic proportions. It was incredible. The rain came down in sheets and the hail was baseball sized. We watched as trees fell in our neighbors yard and narrowly missed our beloved SUV by a mere few feet. We really felt like we had lucked out, not noticing any real significant damage to our property right away. Ha! We shouldn't have been so hasty to proclaim our good fortune...the next day, we realized while trying to make eggs for breakfast, that our stove/oven had been shorted out by lightning. Ugh. We had a $500 deductible and our stove was ancient, so there was no way insurance would help us out. In other words, we were oh so out of luck.

In an attempt to distract us from our heavy stress load, we decided that a nice trip over to the in-laws (hi mama c) was necessary, since we had to bring our newly purchased camper up there anyways to store it. Upon hooking up the camper, we noticed a big hole in the roof where a tree branch must have punctured it. We looked inside the camper and were startled by what we saw. Water had seeped into the the camper, damaging the floor, the ceiling, the insulation, filling the light fixtures with several inches of water....REALLY? C'mon! Didn't we have enough on our plate???

Oh but wait. There's more......

Things apparently don't happen to us in threes; our magic number is 4. Lovely. Anyways, we decided that we would still go ahead and take the camper to the folks farm, which was a good idea because we had a great time and it was nice to just relax for a change. We parked the camper, assessed the damage some more and then went and helped them build a deck (really, truly, that was Alex's idea of relaxing). We finally left at around 10:30pm after being there for hours. Turning out of the driveway, we immediately started talking about what we were going to do about the camper, stove and insurance. We weren't but two blocks down the road when out of nowhere a  suicidal deer jumps out in front of as, clearly deciding that our beloved SUV was the best option to bring about his quick demise. 50mph folks. Didn't even brake. Thank god we are all ok! But alas, our truck was not. It narrowly missed being hit by a monstrosity of a tree 2 days before, so evidently, it's wreckage was inevitable. To add insult to injury, our poor 3 year old was absolutely terrified. She was convinced that the deer was trying to eat us.

Isn't life wonderful? ;)

Actually, it is.

To be completely cliche, I am a firm believer that one has to have the bad times to really appreciate the good times. And the last 3 years sure have not been fun. But I'll tell ya what. This past week has felt like a piece of cake in comparison to my breakdown. It really has put things in perspective. Life could be so much worse. It has been so much worse. At least now we are together, we are safe, we are healing. We are beginning to pick up the shards of our glass shattered life and are really truly seeing how blessed we are....despite the setbacks.

Frankly, this past week has felt like a test, one that I sincerely hope that I have passed. I am learning that my joy does not come from my life circumstances. I have to choose joy. I have to choose to have faith. Feelings frequently lie, I have learned that the hard way with ppd. I am now actively choosing to live in joy and faith, not just passively waiting for the feelings of them to come.

So, this week has stunk. BUT, this too shall pass, and I'm not gonna go through this stink and come away with nothing. Ooooh noooo, if I have to go through it, I sure as heck am going to take all I can get out of it and run!


Friday, July 16, 2010

No, I'm not gonna let it get me down.

The world has a way of kicking one when they are down. Ya know what I say to that? Eat it stinkers, jokes on you. Being knocked down only makes me stronger when I use my muscles to jump back up.

So for the inquiring minds, my insurance dropped us.

Yep, that's a kicker.

I am not going to let it get me down, though. I just won't. Nope, will not. Repeat it again, Leigh, "I will not let it get me down". I didn't get treatment for 2 years because I had no insurance, and I regret that with every fiber in my being. I'm going to continue with our plan of action and just pray the money in...These trials WILL make me stronger. Amen and amen.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Could Postpartum depression be hormone related???

I wish there was a magic pill that worked for all women out there who are dealing with postpartum depression. Yeah, yeah, I know, there are antidepressants, but even those don't work for everyone. Like me for example. I am on my 3rd type of med and I am still experiencing symptoms.


(I hate that word."Ugh." At least in this context. It doesn't even begin to cover how I feel about the situation, but the words I would use in its place to describe my angst aren't very Christian of me, so "ugh" will have to do.)

All the doctors I have been to tell me that my hormones have nothing to do with the problem. I am not convinced. I mean, hello, don't hormones play a rather significant role in my getting pregnant? Don't they play a rather teensy, tiny role in giving birth, and bonding, and breast feeding, and yada, yada, yada? You can't tell me that there is no correlation.

Just for my own curiosity I asked my doctor to test my hormone levels. He was VERY reluctant, but I am convincing and he finally relented. He made sure to tell me he had NO idea what to do with the results because hormone levels fluctuate so much naturally throughout the month. I didn't tell him that I had been doing my own research, doctors cringe when you tell them that.

Anyways, I took the test two days after I started my period. My progesterone level came out normal, but I was taken aback when I read that my estrogen level was a 15. FIFTEEN people. While on my period. It is suppose to be between 50-400. But alas, my doctor got mad at me when I addressed concern because "it may be that my body normally has a lower rate of estrogen."


So I went to a different doctor, and they told me the same thing. I am confused. My symptoms are definitely worse at certain times of the month.

Does anyone have the same issue, or am I the odd ball?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

OOOoooo you taste so good ;)

Mmmmm, mmmm, mmmmm...........

I love my man. I mean, look at him......

How could you not love a gorgeous face like that? I'm biased, but still. And he's a mans man. That's right ladies, no prissy boy here, this guy's made of braun. He's a fighter, a leader, a protector, a lover (heck yeah), a man that's not afraid to look death in the eye (and has, several times), he's a man that has more to be proud of then most men, and yet remains to this day, to be thee most humble man I have ever met. He loves his family more than life itself and doesn't go a day without telling me I'm beautiful. I have watched him grow into the man he is today and I love him with all my heart. And you know what the very best part is?

He's mine! :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The simple life of a happy man's wife

Alas, it is Friday evening and I haven't written anything for quite some days. It has been a crazy, hectic couple of weeks that kind of threw me into a chaos induced anxiety. I always get so discouraged even when the slightest symptoms begin to appear, and this time is no exception. Except for one little thing...I refuse to be controlled by the hideous ppd/ocd beast anymore. Ha to you, bucko. As far I am concerned, you, ppd/ocd were thrown out of the building and the doors locked behind you. No amount of banging is going to make me allow your ugly face back into this place. You hear me? You are NOT WELCOME. The party has started and you're not invited. Ever. I am going to love my life and you, ppd/ocd, are going to go into a dark corner and die a miserable, slow death while I sit back and sip my fresh lemonade and watch my darling daughter squeal in delight while running through the sprinkler.

I'm simply not going to tolerate this illness any longer. It has taken too much of my life already, and I won't let it take anymore. Even when I have symptoms, I am NOT going to allow those feelings to take me away from my precious reality. I am still going to LIVE. I am still going to LOVE. I am still going to ENJOY things. Despite the pain. This battle will end, I have assurance of that. It just takes time. So knowing that, I am going to make every effort to enjoy my life where I am at. Even if it is something so simple as a glass of lemonade. I am going to work at appreciating the little things. So on that note, I was feeling a little creative (gasp) and decided to snap a few pictures of some of the things that make me deliriously happy. Since I know that you are all just DYING to know what my little mind finds pleasurable, I decided to post a few. In fact, I believe I am going to make this a habit, every Friday I will post something that makes me happy. So I begin with my sweet baby girl....

My little peanut watching the parade

Clearly I am supplying salad to the entire world
Raspberry, mint lemonade made with mint from my garden and raspberries that we picked from the wood behind our house. Mmmmm
Meet Henrietta...I call her Henny. She is loved.

                  I actually have my own tomato plants. This brings my heart unmeasurable amounts of joy ;)

And last but not least, my nearly finished bathroom remodel...I just realize that a light is out, whoops.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Chocolate mint and God

"I am not where I need to be, but THANK GOD I'm not where I was" - Meyers

Ain't that the truth of it?! I am not 100% better. Not by a long shot.The last 3 years has been a of the fiercest I have known. I am still recovering. I am still bleeding. I am still licking my wounds and waiting for all the pain to subside. But you know what? Healing is happening.  I know it is, because ever so slowly (slowly being the operative word), I am noticing that the color is coming back to my life. The joy is gradually creeping in for split moments and I realize that I really am living...not just existing.

Today I want to encourage you. Yeah, YOU. Life is hard. It hurts. The pain sometimes FAR outweighs the joy. I know this. First hand. But I want to share a few verses with you that I claimed with every fiber of my being in my darkest moments, even when I wasn't even sure if God really did exist, I clung to these two verses, because otherwise, there was no hope. There was no purpose to my pain. And if there is one thing I believe is true, it is that there is a purpose for all of this.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, o Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful
                         Jeremiah 31:3b-4

But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord,
because you are called an outcast. Zion for whom no one cares. 
                        Jeremiah 30:17

One thing I want to stress is that being rebuilt takes time. Healing takes time. Restoration takes time. It will happen. You will get better. WE will get better. There is hope. :)

Now for the inspirational picture....I planted these today...and I love them!
That large leafy plant in the back? Yeah, chocolate mint. No lie. A plant made to taste like heaven, who knew!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My baby love

Today I long for another baby. My arms ache to hold a new precious bundle, to feel life inside of my body again and to have my husband experience the reality of me growing large with our child. It is a deep, intimate desire of my heart, a pain that something...someone is missing in our family. But we wait. Or rather, I demand we wait.

You see, I want another baby. So badly actually, that my longing for the pitter patter of little feet makes my heart hurt. But I am scared. Terrified actually. I am just now starting to get better after 3 years and what if it happens again? Oh LORD what if it happens again? I can't do it again. I can't live in that hell again. HELL people! I am not joking. This illness comes straight from the fiery depths of hell. Of that I can be certain. It was a living hell. In my head. And you can't get away from your head. So the question remains; can I do it again? Am I willing to take that chance?


Because Gracie was, is, and will always be worth everything I ever went through after her birth.

And any other future babies will be too.....and that's that.

.............BUT.....I think we'll wait just a little bit longer..........Ya know, cause it's fashionable to have your kids 298734 years apart ;)

La la la loooove summer time!

It really is the little things in life that give so much pleasure. We took a mini vacation this past week and spent our time roaming lake islands. It was amazing. For a few days, I got to forget everything that these past three years have been and just simply enjoye my baby. It was incredible, lovely, beautiful, precious and oh so past overdue. I relished every moment and locked it away in my heart to be cherished for ever. Here are a few pictures of this weekend. :)