Is this the sweetest little cow or what? Olivia had her first Halloween party on Sunday afternoon, hosted and attended by church friends who have babies around the same age. We dressed her as a cow since Mark loves cows and also in attendence were adorable monkey girl complete with cute tail and VERY sleepy dragon boy! Dragon boy was born on the same day as Olivia and in the same hospital. They both have jungle themed nurseries and Daddies with Jeeps! Monkey girl has beautiful blue eyes and LOVES her carseat! (Wish she would teach Olivia the joys of the carseat!)
On Saturday morning I noticed that her SECOND tooth had made its appearance! They are the sweetest little teeth just barely poking out of the gumline. It's so exciting to see her changing and growing! What a sweet blessing from God!
Now to switch gears I want to talk about something more serious. One of the primary reasons I started blogging was to share my journey through postpartum depression (PPD) in hopes that I might help someone else....a friend or family member who reads this blog or a stranger that just stumbles across it. I have many embarrassing things in my past and current life but I've always been an "open book" to others because I believe that God uses the 'weak' things to show His strength. So, with that being explained I'd like to share a little with you today.
It is so embarrassing to have PPD! No one talks about it for that very reason. What mother wants anyone to know she is not blissfully happy about her newborn? It is devastating to realize that one of the most wonderful things God has ever allowed you to experience is also causing you to become inexplicably saddened, filled with anxiety and thinking completely irrational thoughts. It is equally embarrassing to have to be put on medication for 6 months to a year in order to deal with those feelings productively. It's just embarrassing, embarrassing, embarrassing - there is no way around that but in order to get "better" I need to be open about my journey so that I can get the help I need and do what is best for my family.
So, how do you know when you are getting "better"? I think it is when you are willing to try "new things" you were too afraid to do before. For me, one of those things is taking my daughter out for an entire day including being in the car alone with her beyond the 5 minutes it takes to get her to and from her nanny. Why would that be such a big deal you wonder? Well, for me it is huge deal because in the early months of Olivia's life I was terrified to go anywhere with her. She was sooo unhappy and cried all the time. I could not handle it emotionally so eventually I just stopped trying and stayed at home all day everyday while I was on leave and even since returning to work have not been able to be out with her.
This weekend I knew that Mark would be busy all day and most of Saturday so I decided it was time to try a "new thing". In truth I felt afraid to be with my daughter alone all day (that's a "new thing" yet to be accomplished) so I decided I needed reinforcements. My mom will not drive to Raleigh because she hates traffic so I knew I would have to go to her instead. First I confirmed that she would be home and then I called my sister-in-law who is wonderful with my baby girl. She said she could come - yay! - but then I started thinking that two extra people might not be enough so I asked her to bring her mother too! I was getting an army together to help me with my first "new thing" because I did not want to fail!
So, Saturday I fed Olivia her first morning bottle, managed to keep her happy until the next bottle and after that we set out on our adventure. During the one hour drive she did exactly what strikes terror in my heart - screamed the entire way - I thought I was going to die. But somehow we made it to Rocky Mount and she promptly fell asleep until we pulled up in the driveway. Whew! Made it through the first leg of my "new thing"! There were 4 adults and 1 child total in addition to my girl when we set out to enjoy lunch. Between all of us we managed to keep her from screaming for a few hours. We went back home afterwards and my brother also joined our army and we kept her relatively happy for another few hours and then it was time for me to head back to Raleigh. I climbed in the car knowing the trip home might put me right over the edge and I was right, she screamed for 40 minutes straight (while I tried every music station and noise I could think to make) before she conked out. My nerves were in pieces but I made it home, got her ready for bed, fed and put her to sleep. It was rough but I did it - I tried a "new thing" and saw it through to the bitter end! I'm making progress people....slow as molasses but progress all the same!