Wednesday, February 25, 2015

160 Is Your New Lucky Number

When I was first diagnosed with postpartum depression, my psychiatrist told me to get my heart rate up to 160 every day. Studies show that this helps fight depression. He told me I did not need to keep my heart rate at 160 for a long time - a few seconds was enough.

If you have postpartum depression, or think you might, please see your doctor. But don't just rely on pills and monthly check-ups. Recovery is so much more than that. Try getting your heart rate up to 160 every day and see if that's a piece of your recovery puzzle. 

If you are out of shape, you will not have to do much to get your heart rate up! Some jumping jacks might do the trick. If you are in excellent shape, then you probably have the exercise thing under control and you don't need any lectures from me!

You can do this. When my psychiatrist first told me to get my heart rate up, I felt so overwhelmed. Exercise? Every day? Impossible! How could I possibly be a good mother and get my heart rate up?

Now I know that was the PPD talking. When I exercise at home, Pippa is fascinated. She imitates my moves while I flail about and get my sweat glands working. When I go to the gym, she is thrilled because she gets to play with her friends at day care for an hour.

The goal is 160 every day - but whatever you can do, that is a good start. Carving out a few minutes for jumping jacks might seem overwhelming. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  If I could reach through your computer screen and give you a hug, I would. It is okay to feel overwhelmed. Your hormones have gone bat shit crazy! On the exercise front, do what you can. Congratulate yourself for what you do.  Forgive yourself for what you can't. 

Location Change for Tuesday Meetings

So last week, I learned that Grant Park is not the place to be on Tuesday mornings. (Unless you are willing to pay a $46.90 parking ticket (ugh, street cleaning)).  So going forward, we will keep meeting at Grant Park on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, and we will meet at Brookside Park on the first and third Tuesdays.

Brookside Park has two playgrounds.  There is the awesome pirate ship park behind the aquatic center - we are NOT meeting there. We will meet at the playground on the Kidspace side of the park. Go to the Rose Bowl. Park in Lot K - there is plenty of free parking, and there are lots of signs pointing the way to Kidspace. As you head towards Kidspace, you will see a playground.  There's a main playground and a smaller playground for toddlers. We will gather at the smaller playground for toddlers.

If you have PPD, I know this might seem intimidating. YOU CAN DO THIS. And if you get lost or the baby has an explosive poopy diaper or you accidentally go to the pirate ship playground? So what!  You missed a free play group, big deal. My feelings will not be hurt - I know how tough it is to get out of the house when you are fighting those PPD demons.

If you can get yourself to the Rose Bowl, you can find the playground. There are tons of signs pointing the way to Lot K and Kidspace. Follow the signs, you will be fine. I know you can do this.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Upcoming Meetings

I thought a little predictability might be nice. Going forward, we will meet on the first and third Tuesday, and the second and fourth Wednesday, of the month. Our gatherings start at 10 a.m. at Grant Park.

We gather at the picnic tables by the sandbox. As you can imagine, my toddler does not like to patiently sit at the tables while the playground beckons, so I will dump my bag at the tables and put up a sign that says PPD. (It's a really pathetic simple sign right now, but maybe someday, I will paint something pretty!)  Just add your bags to Camp PPD and I'll make sure we connect. 

Since we have fun weather in Pasadena, please remember to check the blog the day before a meeting to confirm the location. If there is rain or brutal heat in the forecast, we will meet elsewhere. Also, be sure to check the blog for other fun random gatherings.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Upcoming Meetings

Park gatherings are suboptimal because it's difficult to have a meaningful conversation while keeping a baby or toddler safe.  But, parks are free, and I don't want anyone to miss a meeting because something is not in their budget.  I am hunting for a better meeting place.  A place where we can safely corral and easily entertain our little ones, and still have good conversations.  If you have any leads, let me know!

For now, we will stick to Grant Park. We will set up camp at the picnic tables by the sandbox.  There is an excellent coffee shop across the street.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 10 a.m. at Grant Park. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 10 a.m. at Grant Park

I would eventually like to choose some regular meeting times, but for now, I'm shifting days around to try to accommodate as many moms as possible. 

All moms who have or had postpartum depression are welcome to attend!  Let's build a community of peer-to-peer support together and help eliminate the stigma and ignorance surrounding the most common postpartum complication.