Mommy Brigade

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Postpartum Depression/Anxiety

Maybe talking about this more openly will help me feel better because so many other mom's I know have talked about it before and there's alway a lot of support and love for the mom's who are struggling..... but maybe it will make me feel really insecure and vulnerable. Probably that one, but we're going to dive in anyways!

So after I had Damon, I was so happy, but on the other hand my delivery was pretty traumatic for me, nursing was intense, and he was an awful sleeper. I totally had that "Oh crap what did I do?" moment probably about a month/ a month and a half after he was born. But once we got into a better routine, even though I was sleep deprived I was able to snap out of my little funk.

After Rafe was born, his jaundice was so bad that after we took him home from the hospital- he had to go back on the Billi blanket for a crazy amount of time! Like 16 days, which felt like eternity! Taking him in every day to get his heel pricked and take his billi levels was awful. Thankfully he was a VBAC and my recovery was so much easier than it was after Damon. But I felt like I couldn't just sit and snuggle my little baby. I always had to put him back in his little light suitcase. We started on the blanket then had to upgrade to a suitcase. He could not kick it and was so close to having to go back to the hospital. So it was hard to deal with- but I didn't feel super depressed. Sad at times, but still happy over all.

After was a mix of both but I wasn't depressed to the point that I thought I needed meds. I would get really irritated and it took me a really long time to get used to having three kids. It was so crazy and just so stressful. I thought that it would be easier since the older boys were so independent.....but it was really hard. I would snap at my husband and just have crazy mood swings is the best way to describe it. But after probably 4 months it went away and I was feeling better.

After Raquel....honestly it's kind of a blur.....and it hasn't even been that long. Having cholestasis again made the end of my pregnancy stressful, but I knew exactly how the delivery was going to go and that was nice. But about a week or two before she was born I was so stressed out about having to have a c section again and the healing process and having 4 kids. I was just scared. Sitting in my hospital room getting prepped for my c section I was in tears because I was so nervous. And it made me mad. I couldn't just try to enjoy those last moments of being pregnant. It was never going to happen again. I just was so scared it trumped everything. After she was born I was happy and my mom was staying to help me through the recovery and my husband is amazing so I was good for about 2 months. But once my mom left and I was on my own during the day, it started to creep in.....

I say creep in because I honestly just thought I was emotional. I was crying multiple times a day. I had zero confidence in myself as a mom and just as a person in general. I didn't want to really go anywhere or do anything and I wouldn't leave my house for days at a time. Which isn't super crazy but when you're depressed it's probably good to get out of your house every once and a while. My mom would call and check up on me and so would my friends from Boise....but I just feel like I don't really have anyone in Idaho who actually cares about me. That sounds so dramatic and it is- but I just don't have anyone over here that I feel comfortable calling up and saying, come over or lets go to lunch or anything like that. I just felt alone/still feel alone.

I went in for my 6 week check up and my dr talked to me about depression and he told me he wanted to put me on some medication for it. I was willing to try it because I could tell I wasn't my normal self. So he put me on zoloft......

I turned into a zombie. I felt like my depression was just getting worse. I could hardly get off the couch and do anything. Everything seemed so daunting. Just normal every day things just overwhelmed me. It was just getting worse and worse so I upped my meds. And then upped them again.

Being on such a big dose of zoloft made me feel more self conscience that I was before.  This was my fourth baby. Why was it happening now? Why did I have to feel this way and feel so horrible about myself? I googled what I could do to help it and a lot of women said that just doing one thing a day for themselves helped. So I tried to get out of the house more. I would go shopping after the kids went to bed. I'd paint my toe nails or take a bath or something like that to help. But honestly, none of it helped. Momentarily yes. But here we are- 7 months later. And I feel it just as bad as I did before. I don't know why. I do know that I've gotten better about not thinking about it and hiding it because I find that when I would think about it or look at myself as depressed- that it would make me more depressed.

So stupid

I talked to my dr. and I switched medicines because being a zombie wasn't helping anything! I felt like it was probably making me feel worse than just not taking anything at all. At least I could function and get things done- which does make me feel good. So i switched to wellbutrin which has been great! It gives me energy but helps curb the anxiety side of things. Anxiety runs pretty deep in my family but I never thought I really struggled with it until now. I scaled back the zoloft which has been nice but it still makes me so tired-but it's great for helping my mood.

I don't know when I'll be able to get of medication- I'm hoping it's soon. But i'm honestly scared to get off of it because I'm a little scared to see what I'm like without something helping me.

Feeling inadequate, feeling lonely, feeling overwhelmed, and becoming a little bit of a hermit have been my main struggles. I love my kids and I don't have thought of hurting myself or them. I just feel like I'm not good enough to be their mom.

Ugh this is seriously hard to type out.

Like getting it all out and seeing it layed out before me is ugly.

I've really only talked to a handful of people about this. And not even in this depth. I don't like admitting that I'm having a hard time or struggling. I hated telling Dan how hard it was for me to get through every day. I know he wasn't judging me and he has been nothing but sweet through all of this. But it's just hard to admit- and admit to your husband who goes to a stressful job and deals with all sorts of shit every day. I never wanted him to feel like I didn't want this life or that I wasn't grateful for all that we have built. But I was just struggling and it's hard to put into words and it's even harder because I don't know what to do to feel better or fix it or what has caused it to get like this.

There are days when I feel good and feel like I'm getting a handle on things. But then there are days where I just want to scream if I have to change one more freakin diaper or hear "mom mom mom" one more time.

I'm excited for the day when I can look back on this time in my life and see the lessons I've learned through this struggle. I'm hoping I'm learning something anyways- cuz it's hell. And there's got to be a silver lining somewhere.

For now I'm just trying to soak up the stages that my kids are in and enjoy the little victories through the day. Like today- I put on makeup even though I wasn't going anywhere. Total win in my book.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Rocky Girl

Ok- I get that some people hate the nickname rocky for raquel......but I don't really care. She's the sweetest thing ever and I could call her anything and it would still be cute.

She's getting so big so fast and I can't even believe it's been 7 months.  I seriously am loving that she's more of a little baby and less of a potato. But I am soaking up every moment with her. All the milestones she's hitting are so bitter sweet. I'm loving her gummy smiles but i'm excited for her to have some teeth so that she can eat more snacks and stuff. She's got the cheesiest smile and I just melt every time I see it.

She probably gets kissed about 500 times a day. No joke. He cheeks are seriously amazing and I just can't even help it. Jag loves to give her kisses too. He's been so sweet with her. I'm so glad he's been so great because he can kind of be a bully.

Yesterday I put up an instagram post about all her favorite things and how sweet she is and what a good sleeper she is. Andddddddd wouldn't you know, she slept like absolute crap last night. Why does that happen? As soon as you acknowledge it, it goes away.

I wish there was like reverse psychology where your like, "Man my baby spits up so much...." then they just stopped. Instead it's always the good things! Jokes on you mom!

Anyways, having a girl is seriously so much fun. I love putting bows on her, dressing her up, painting her nails, and I just think- I have waited forever to do this kind of stuff! If she would have been a boy my nieces would have had to put up with me ;) But I really love it. And when I think of all the stuff I can't wait to do with her, I get so excited. Buying her first princess outfit, her first barbie, teaching her how to do her hair and makeup!

I hope we are always close and that she will confide in me when she's going through hard things. I hope we will be best friends and that she'll come to me with advice.

Having all boys for a while I would see articles about how when your boys grow up and get married you lose them, but if you have a daughter she'll stay close. How freakin sad is that! Like that is a horrible way to think. All my kids better stay close or I'm kidnapping them.

But I do think there's a different relationship between mothers and daughters. My mom experienced a lot of the same things I went through with boys and relationships and friendships so she could always give me advice. I hope raquel and I have a relationship like my mom and I have.

Anyways! Speaking of the sweet little baby- she just woke up from her nap so I probably need to go squish her;)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I just need to rant!

Ok let me start off by saying I LOVE my kids, my husband, my life! Like seriously I am so blessed and I know its days/weeks like this that I need to remind myself how lucky I am.
But there's the other side of me that just needs to vent! Like seriously just let it all out.
I am so tired.
I finally have a free moment to myself today and I literally don't even know what to do with myself. Do I shower?
Do I catch up on This is Us?
Do I get something to eat? My dinner consisted of Jag's leftovers.....
Do I go to sleep?
Or do I just enjoy the silence and no one touching or needing anything from me?

Being a mom is so tough. I love it. But there are days I just want to cuss it out and punch it in the face and call it a day.

Now, this might be some of my PPD coming out, (which why is that even a thing? I was just pregnant for 9 months and delivered a baby.....why do I have to feel like this and literally have no control over it?) but there are days I just want to go back to bed and try again tomorrow.

Today Rafe asked me why I'm in my pajamas all day...... well Rafe, Mom hasn't had 5 minutes to myself without a crying baby attached to her hip to be able to change into something different. Forget brushing my teeth or putting on any makeup or doing something with the hideous bun that's been on my head for the last 3 days! What I really told him is that sometimes, when your a mom, you get to wear stretchy pants. It is for fun. It's fantastic! I love it!

Being on the clock all day is hard. Waking up at 6:30 and having a non stop day, going to bed at midnight, plus waking up during the night for the baby gets soooooo tiring. She's normally a great sleeper, but she's teething and just got her 6 months shots and has been miserable for 3 days now. She's had a high fever and won't take a nap or let me put her down. So I'm just extra moody this week because of that.

I love my life I love my life I love my life.

I'm going to bed now to try and sleep off this negativity!

annnnddddd I just remembered I have laundry in the washing machine....sshhhheeeeiiiiittttt.
I'm going to sleep.

p.s. Shout out to all you mommas who feel me on this! It's ok to have a bad day/week and totally be mad at life for a minute, right?!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Breast feeding

OK seriously, why does no one tell you how horrible breastfeeding CAN be. I say "can" because it was pretty easy and natural with Damon. It all went down hill from there! I think it gets harder every time! This last time definitely takes the cake and there has been sooo many times that I've just wanted to throw in the breast pads and quit! I wasn't able to breastfeed Raquel at first because she was Sooooo tiny! And she has the smallest mouth ever. So I switched to pumping because I would cry every time I had to latch her on. I was so sore and cracked, I never thought I'd recover and be the same! So I started pumping and it was ok at first. But it was hard for my milk to let down because it wasn't my baby feeding, it was a machine!!

My milk supply is pretty crazy the first few weeks. Like 9 oz on each side crazy. SO I pumped and pumped to avoid mastitis and plugged ducts then I start to wean it down. Well then I started only pumping in the morning and at night so my milk supply plummeted! I got so tired of pumping and just being a little milking cow! I was ready to quit but i'm just too stubbourn! haha So I started taking fenugreek and pumping more throughout the day and night.....pretty much anytime raquel ate, I would pump. It worked like a charm and I built my supply back up to about 4 -6 oz each side about 5 times a day.  Finally! a win! so we pumped and pumped and when Raquel was about 3 months old, I wanted to try breastfeeding again. It would take me about an hour to pump each session and it was just sooooo time consuming! So I latched raquel on and away she went!!! It was amazing! She did so good! It was painful but I wasn't cracking and bleeding like I was the first time!

It still hurts when she latches on because her mouth is so small. (no it's not a tongue tie! Been there done that with Rafe and Jag so I knew what to look for with her) But she's nursing great now. She takes FOREVER to eat though and it's driving me a little crazy. But I'll take it over having to pump!! She eats about 2 oz then gets tired and falls asleep, takes a small cat nap, wakes up and eats again.....and again...... and again..... I am constantly feeding her. I don't know what would be more time consuming, to actually feed her until she's full, which would take about 40 minutes.....or feeding her 20 minutes at a time to just by me time until she's hungry again. When she's full shes so happy and hardly makes a sound! When she's still hungry she's pretty fussy! SO we'll get the hang of it! We've come a long way and have fought to get this far so we'll figure it out!!

But seriously, why does no one tell you the truth about how hard this can be? When you're pregnant everyone warns you about delivery and labor and recovery, but not a whole lot about nursing. It's seriously hell. HELL. It's convenient and cheap, but so hard sometimes. I've had mastitis twice with raquel, and more plugged ducts than I can count.  My little sister is having a baby in January and I'm gearing her up for what to expect. It's not pretty but it is a wonderful way to bond with your baby and that makes it all worth it!

Baby Raquel!!

I figured it was about time to get on here and blog about Raquel's birth story. She's only 4 months old's fine. hahah if that doesn't say anything about how life has been these last four months, I don't know what will. It's bee CRAZY.

I hope I can remember the main details because it's been quite a while, and most of the time I was pretty drugged, let's be honest.

The days/weeks leading up to my c section, I was freaking out. It's honestly like a little bit of ptsd. Knowing what was coming, the recovery, the adjustment, nursing....all while having three other kids to take care of is so overwhelming. On top of all those daunting thoughts, I had the Cholestasis stuff going on and was being monitored so closely, so that helped pass the time. Before I knew it, it was the night before my c section and I was just freaking out.

I was so excited to meet her, to see her face, hear her cry, and know that she is healthy and safe.

I was excited to be done being pregnant, and itching (cholestasis),  and uncomfortable.

But I was dreading the surgery and recovery and the next 4 days in the hospital.

I didn't sleep at all that night before. We had to be to the hospital at 4:30 AM. Surgery was scheduled for 7:00.

So we check in, they did some blood work, then showed us to our room. I got into my gown, they got my IV in and goin, then they asked me 7 million questions. Then we sat.......and I stressed....and cried a little.

It was bitter sweet. This was my last baby. My last few moments being pregnant and feeling the kicks and movement. The stress from the last few weeks took away the excitement of having a new baby. It kept me from really soaking up and enjoying the last little bit of pregnancy. But I was ready to meet my little girl and see her sweet face.

The anesthesiologist came in and gave me this horrible drink that they give you to help settle your stomach so you don't throw up while you're in surgery. It is seriously the worst and I gag just thinking about it!! After that settled it was time to go in and get started in the OR.

The OR is always so cold, especially in the morning. My anesthesiologist was so sweet and had a heater going and warm blankets ready for me. He was so thoughtful and nice! We started the spinal tap, which doesn't take very long, but it always stresses me out. When you get an epidural during a normal labor, you've been having contractions and have been in pain so the epidural hurts, but it's not horrible. The spinal isn't bad, but I don't remember hating getting my epidurals that much!  It was really giving me cramps down my right side so we had to adjust a few things, then it was go time!

I had dr Matt, and Dr. Gunderson for my surgery and they were both amazing. They both had to be there because it was a little more complicated with the amount of scar tissue. It took them 30 minutes just to get to Raquel. It usually takes about 5-7 minutes for them to get to the baby, but I had so much scar tissue they just had to cut through it all.

She came out screaming! I was so happy just because I was having horrible dreams about her not crying when she came out and she was over 3 weeks early and just all the risks of cholestasis had me so worried. So hearing that cry made me so happy.

She was born at 7:30 and was 6 lbs. I was in surgery for about another hour. They took my tubes out and sewed up everything. They also removed my previous 2 c section scars and just left one.....which is huge so not really a great trade off, but I don't mind.

Raquel screamed the whole time. THE WHOLE TIME! I hate not being able to hold her or comfort her. It was so frustrating and usually c sections aren't an hour and a half, but more like a half hour to 45 minutes. So it felt like FOREVER!!! But once it was all over, they wheeled me into recovery and I honestly don't remember much after that. I'm usually pretty drugged and remember bits and pieces but not much more. My parents came, we took some pictures, she got a bath, i tried to feed her, I threw up a few times (which hurts so freakin bad after a c section, even with the morphine!), then I slept while my mom took care of the baby.

The next few days were rough. Trying to get up and get your crying baby out of the bassinet after surgery is just not fun. Having my tubes taken out and having so much scar tissue cut through and around, my whole abdominal area just felt so sore and scraped through. But she was so worth it all! She was so sweet and tiny! I just can't get enough of her. I tried to just soak up the time with just her and I while we were in the hospital.

My mom came and stayed with us for 6 weeks! It was so nice to have her here and get help with the kids and the cleaning and the laundry. My little sister came for a while too, and it was just so nice to have all the help! They are my best friends and it was nice to not feel so overwhelmed because I can trust them with anything!

The recovery this last time around was definitely the worst, but the pain meds help you get through it, and having all the help was a lifesaver. It was all kind of a blur once I got home. I had a lot of problems breast feeding, and she dropped down to 5.5 lbs so I started pumping exclusively and it was so exhausting.

I know this post might seem a little negative, and "everythings hard and exhausting and the worst!" but it's my true feelings! It's why I don't want to have any more kids. The toll it takes on your body, and the c sections are just tough. And this last time was a doozy. So I love my kids, but I'm done. Some people just aren't blessed to have easy deliveries and birth stories. So that's why it might sound a little negative. But some of you probably relate!!

Anyways, Baby Rocky (I call her that, Dan hates it) is the sweetest little thing! She's a good sleeper and just all around happy baby! I'm so glad that she came to complete our little family! She's lucky to have 3 protective older brothers who just smother her with love! Jag really wanted nothing to do with her in the beginning but he's just as obsessed with her now as the rest of us! ;)

This going home outfit was mine too. My grandma Jolene made it for me and made my mom a matching nightgown. It's so special to me so i'm glad I got a chance to pass it down to my little girl!

Friday, June 16, 2017

33 Weeks and Cholestasis update

I'll be 34 weeks in 2 days, and I just can't believe I'm getting to the end. we have 3 weeks left! That's it! And they're pretty packed weeks with Father's day, Dan's birthday, the 4th of July, and at least 2 dr apt's a week, then she'll be here no later than the 9th! That's when I'll be 37 weeks, and I'm pretty sure that's when they're going to have me deliver her because I got my cholestasis labs back this week and my levels were elevated. I was kind of fooling myself into thinking that I wouldn't get it again this pregnancy, but here we are. It cut our time left almost in half. Thank goodness we just had the baby shower and I bought more clothes so that I feel like I have a little stock pile for the first year. Now it's all in bags in her room and I have no motivation to go through everything yet.

So I get a lot of weird looks when I tell people I have cholestasis. It's a weird thing. Not many people get it, and I'm just that lucky to get it again.....hahaha
So what it is is when your liver has a hard time processing all the bile, so it gets released into your bloodstream and can harm the baby. So they start doing medication, that I'm taking three times a day. I hate that because I'm always second guessing if I've already taken my pill. I need a chart or something! Then they do non stress tests and ultrasounds every week. So it's a lot of dr apt's. The main concern with cholestasis is there's a high risk of still birth. So you're constantly stressed if you're baby is moving enough and if they're ok in there. The medicine and monitoring definitely helps put you mind at ease a little, but it can still happen and it's scary. Most mornings I can't do anything until I feel her move. If I have to wait more than 5 minutes to feel her I start to panic.

So three weeks left, a nursery to organize, and a house I should probably super deep clean because I'll be laid up for a while. I always think I clean a lot and that my house is super organized, then something like this happens and that weird pregnancy nesting kicks in and nothing is good enough or clean enough or organized enough. I kind of love/hate it.

It's really starting to kick in how soon she'll be here and I'm a little terrified of having 4 kids. Three is tough. 3 kicked my butt and I'm just hoping 4 won't be any worse. Damon and Rafe are just the best and are great helpers. But Jag's sleep and fit throwing needs to get sorted out. I don't know how i'm going to handle all that he's doing and a newborn because Jag is a full time job right now.

The boy's are at a father and son's camp out tonight so it was just Jag and I. He was like a different kid without his brothers around. He was so happy and goofy. He just ran around playing with everything and just loved being with mom. It was so much fun. I haven't just been able to enjoy him for a while. The last week we've been in Melba having fun at grandma and grandpa's house. Jag cannot sleep well there. I always have to lay with him until he falls asleep which can take forever. and then try to sneak out! Then he wakes up and so I pull him into bed with me which I always hate sleeping with my kids. I never get any real sleep! He just kicked me in the face or back and had to sleep on top of the pillow baricade which made me nervous he was going to fall off the bed so I was constantly readjusting him and waking us both us. Anyways, tonight was nice to just love on him and enjoy his little personality. He has no idea what's coming with a new baby! haha and it's going to be hard. on both of us. He's super needy and jealous so we'll see how that goes!

so 3 weeks left! Pray for us that we can get everything done that we need to and especially that baby girl can stay healthy in there for the next few weeks!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

31 Weeks!

Oh the homestretch! I can't believe it's already here and I'm just a few weeks away from meeting this baby girl!
It's bitter sweet being this far along. Sweet because it's getting so close and because then you don't have to be huge and uncomfortable that much longer, but bitter because you're huge and uncomfortable! hahaha
the sleep struggle has been real these last few weeks! Some nights are ok, other nights I feel like I'm just laying here with my eyes closed hoping the sleep gods will take me away to a perfect cloud that will form around my body and make me comfortable. That hasn't happened yet, but I'm still praying. ;)
Sleeping on my side is the hardest. I'm normally a stomach sleeper, so trying to sleep on my side is foreign. I usually end up on my back, but can never fall asleep on my's kind of annoying. But my hips and my shoulders get so smashed when i'm sleeping on my side that it's just not my fave.
speaking of hips, mine literally don't feel like they're connected to my body anymore! they're so loosey goosey and always feel like they need to be like popped back into place.
But all complaining aside, I've been lucky with my pregnancy so far. It really hasn't been too bad and the little things that i've mentioned before are just part of getting that sweet baby here! I'm just trying to remind myself of that while I'm a zombie through out the day. It won't be any different once she's here! hahaha
Today I had one of those morning where you're like, holy crap what am I going to do with one more child?! Like I cannot even handle these ones I have already! Jag is just going through this phase where he cries about anything and everything, he's not sleeping good, he's not eating well, and everything is a fit. Like how did I forget this stage?! and as soon as he's out of it, the next baby will be in it! I think he might be getting his two year molars......and he had a high fever last week and a sore throat so he's just been thrown off, but man! I'm ready for it all to get sorted out!
Then Rafe was having one of those mornings where he was just being really sassy. And he wanted to watch youtube videos on my phone and I wouldn't let him. So he was mad and crying. He had the fever and sore throat a few days ago, and so he's still off from that.
Don't you hate that?
Like when you're kids get thrown off their schedules or get sick.....and it takes days to get them back to normal. Everything is a big deal and they get super emotional or are sensitive about everything?! Yeah that drives me NUTS.
Damon was at school so he wasn't a problem, but between the two youngest I was like UGHHHHHHH! I called my mom and had that "What the hell am I doing having another baby?!" phone call. Which she then assured me I would be totally fine and it would all work out. I love my mom. Seriously, I wouldn't survive without her.
Then I realized I'M probably being overly sensitive and emotional because I'm pregnant and that my kids are really great and they are going to be the best big brothers and just spoil their baby sister with so many hugs and kisses! Sometimes you just need to put yourself in check, call your mom and have her reassure you it's all going to be fine, and you just go about your day.
Here's to hoping these next 8 weeks fly by!!!