When we enrolled Brenden in Preschool, one of the things I was most looking forward to was the end of the year performance. Brenden is quite the entertainer at home and I was curious to see how he would act on stage.
We were joined by grandma and grandpa Warehime, grandma and grandpa Kelly, and uncle Justin and aunt Meredith. Brenden was so excited! When we told him he couldn't go on stage immediately he started crying, which worried me a little. What if he was one of those kids that got on stage and froze! I should have known better.
He had a blast! And every song that they performed was absolutely adorable. Lauren had a blast, too! She stood in the middle of the aisle, doing a boppy little dance and clapping and yelling for all the kids. I think she wanted to climb up there, too. Great...two performers in my house!
At the end they had a slideshow for all of the graduating pre-k kids. I was almost bawling and they weren't even my own! Then they had them walk down the aisle and handed out diplomas. The whole thing was great.
I'm so impressed with the school as a whole. I feel so lucky that I happened across them in my search for a decently priced, nearby school. I cannot wait for Brenden to start back in September. I know he'll miss it!
Invisible pressure crawls up my spine. I feel it tugging at the back of my neck. I can't stop myself from stretching, moving...trying anything to make it go away. Soon, it bubbles up to the top of my head, making every day life almost impossible. It's time to call the doctor again, to increase the dose of my medication. I breathe deeply, knowing that life could be so much worse.
I usually spend my posts on this blog talking about the fun things my family was able to do, or the not-so-fun things that popped up to drive us crazy. I talk about my adorable, fabulous children and everything that they do to make life worthwhile. This time, I want to share one of my personal struggles - postpartum depression. It's not easy to talk about. It's not easy to deal with. I guess I just feel like I should share my story. Maybe if one person reads it and can feel some solidarity in this crazy thing they call "motherhood" then it will be a good thing.
I've read several articles about it since I became Brenden's mommy back in 2007. Some are personal blogs, others are actual medical references, like the Mayo Clinic link above. I even bought a book hoping to see some of the things that I had experienced put on paper, to prove to myself that I wasn't the only one who had gone through it.
When Brenden was born everything started swirling downward pretty quickly. Breastfeeding was absolutely horrendous for me. I never felt the bond that so many moms feel, the warm fuzzies that feeding my child should have given me. All I felt was pain. I did every thing I could to succeed. I called a friend that is a doula. I met with a lady from La Leche League who really did nothing for me. Eventually I developed mastitis, an infection in a milk duct, and then thrush, another common infection. By the time he was 5 weeks old I was done, and by the time he was 8 weeks old he was completely weened. I still remember, fondly, the last time I ever fed him. Of course, it wasn't a fond memory because it was so special. I was just so happy to be done.
Fast forward 18 months. We've dealt with moving back home, trying to sell a house in a terrible market, and living with Tim's parents. (Who were, and still are, fabulous. I'm not sure how they lived with my sullen self.) We finally found a way to move into our own house, ended up selling our house in Colorado rather quickly, and things were looking up. Still, I was having daily struggles with even the simplest of tasks. I was never happy. I cried...a lot. I was constantly tired. Finally, I made the decision to go to the doctor, where I quickly broke down.
He put me on Zoloft, which I had been on twice before. Once, when I was graduating from college and my world felt like it had collapsed. Then again when Tim was in Iraq. (I don't think that needs an explanation.) I did feel better, but it had some side effects that weren't making me happy. I think we switched medications at least 3 times, and then I got pregnant with Lauren. There was no way I was going to take them while I was pregnant so I stopped.
The funny thing is, I felt wonderful while I was pregnant, at least mentally. I had morning sickness and I was exhausted, but I didn't feel the crushing weight that used to suffocate me. I thought maybe, just maybe, it would be different this time. It only took me 4 weeks to realize I needed help again.
Walking into a different doctors office was scary. They didn't know what I was dealing with or how I had been before. Thankfully, both of the doctors there were more than helpful. All I said was, "I have a 2 year old and a 4 week old and I need help." I've had to switch medication a few times, try out some herbal supplements, but I know it's going to be okay. My main issue seems to be a lack of progesterone. Hormones are such a pain!
Every day isn't perfect. Sometimes I can feel it creeping up on me again, which is when I call the doctor for an appointment to adjust things. I've also started working out, which has helped more than I could have ever imagined. Not only do I feel stronger and healthier, I have more energy. It was rough getting started, but it's worth it. The best thing is that now, I know that my life is good, that I'm blessed with a wonderful husband and two great kids. Sometimes, my brain just doesn't recognize that fact and makes mountains out of molehills. It's like a veil of unhappiness drops and makes life unbearable. I just need some help to lift it.
A huge thank you to everyone who has listened and helped me through the past few years. Thank you for still helping. I may not have explained things fully, but just being there meant so much. Thank you to my kids for still loving me when I was clearly not the best mommy I could be. And the biggest thank you to Tim who has borne the brunt of all the bad things that my brain throws out. I love you more than I could ever say, even on the days when it seems like I don't. Thank you for sticking with me when you had every reason to run away.
I am, again, stealing an idea from my friend Heather over at Critter Chronicles. Thank you for doing all the hard work for me!
This is the first in a series of four interviews that I'm going to try to do with Brenden. I'm not sure if you've ever tried to ask a 3 year old questions before, but my little boy, like many little boys his age, is difficult to keep on subject. Let's see how this goes!
1. What is something Mommy always says to you? The Kendyl Story
2. What makes Mommy happy? Smiles.
3. What makes Mommy sad? When I cry.
4. How does your Mommy make you laugh? *makes a funny noise*
5. What was your Mommy like as a child? A boy.
6. How old is your Mommy ? 16
7. How tall is your Mommy ? As high as my hand.
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Clean up.
9. What does your Mommy do when you are not home? Working.
10.When Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for? ...
11. What is your Mommy really good at doing? Watching me play t-ball.
12. What is your Mommy not good at doing? Not hitting. (I think he thought I meant what would be bad if I did it.)
13.What does your Mommy do for a job? Clean up.
14.What is your Mommy 's favorite food? Chicken and applesauce (What he had for dinner)
15.What makes you proud of your Mommy ? Be happy.
16. If your Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be? Princess Presto (Super Why)
17. What do you and your Mommy do together? Draw
18. How are you and your Mommy the same? Brown eyes.
19. How are you and your Mommy different? You're bigger.
20. How do you know your Mommy loves you? Tickle and hug me.
21. What does your Mommy like most about your daddy? Because he's happy.
22. Where is your Mommy's favorite place to go? To workout.
I think he did okay! Some of the questions were a little too difficult, but some of them he surprised me. :)
I was being silly, of course. Then, I got a message from our friend, Ryan, who was in the Army with Tim while we were stationed in Colorado Springs. He mentioned that his dad painted and that I should friend him on Facebook and that he would paint it for me. To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement! Then, today, David tells me he is done. And I...I am blown away.
Original (taken with my phone):
Original (one of my favorites):
Absolutely amazing! I may have shed a few tears, or a thousand, because I am so grateful and love them so much. Two wonderful guys, David and Ryan!
While Karen was here last week she made some amazing little cookies that have made us ALL happy. I've made them twice since she left...can you say obsessed? :) Enjoy!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup of canned pumpkin (or pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup if using pie mix)
1 stick butter
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbl vanilla
1 package of Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate baking chips (I've also cut this in half a few times)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies do not spread so you can put them a little closer together. Also, they will be done after 10 minutes, even if they don't look like it. I promise. :)
Tim is a civil engineer, a Captain in the US Army, and an avid Oklahoma State fan. In his very limited free time he likes to brew his own beer and fish with his dad. Amanda is a stay-at-home mom, which means she spends much of her day explaining why her kids can't survive on chocolate milk alone. Any free time she finds is spent blogging about the kids, pinning fun things on Pinterest, or trying to be crafty. Brenden is a rambunctious 4 year old who loves super heroes, the solar system and practicing for American Ninja Warrior. Lauren is a precocious 2 year old that loves princesses (but hates skirts), singing and dancing along to Adele, and annoying her brother.