Thursday, April 16, 2015

PPD Tip: Join the MOMS Club

If you have postpartum depression, you might feel alone and isolated. Making new friends with babies close in age to your baby can really help on this front. Of course, that is easier said than done. When I had postpartum depression, so many people told me, again and again, that I had to make new mom friends.  It was overwhelming. It felt like another unmanageable task on an already daunting To Do List. I could not even handle the laundry. Now I was supposed to get dressed, leave the house, and make some new best friends?

Friendship is not something you can force. Just because you join a Mommy and Me class does not guarantee you are about to meet your New Best Friends. You might have to visit a lot of playgrounds, and go to a lot of classes, before you feel comfortable around other new moms. That's okay.

Once I was being treated for postpartum depression, I realized that I really did need some local mom friends who could relate to the motherhood issues I was handling at any time. I tried a lot of different things, but in the end, one of the best resources was the Pasadena MOMS Club.

There are MOMS Clubs all over the country.  Chances are, you live near one.

The MOMS Club of Pasadena is wonderful. It hosts lots of group activities, including a monthly Mom's Night Out. Members are assigned to play groups, and I met a lot of good friends that way.

This is not the only way to make friends, but if you have postpartum depression and live in Pasadena, I think the MOMS Club is a great place to start.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hi! I'm Pregnant!

Sorry for the lack of posts and gatherings, but it's all for a good cause: I'm pregnant! And oh my god, I feel as if I've been hit by a truck.

My psychiatrist changed my medications at the very start of the pregnancy. Goodbye, Zoloft; hello, Buspiron. I'm now taking Buspiron, 15 mg, three times a day (it has a short half life.) When I first cut the Zoloft, I had some rough days - lots of uncontrollable crying and feeling like I had been thrown into a dark pit of misery. I felt about as crappy as I felt in July 2013, the day before I admitted myself to the hospital for PPD. That was discouraging, to say the least.

But I cried myself out, and wrote a bunch of pitiful entries in my journal, and now I am feeling much better.  The Buspiron seems to have kicked in and is doing good things for my serotonin. But I am still seeing my psychologist tomorrow. He treated my PPD, and I have not had an appointment with him since March 2014. It feels like a good time to touch base. I think I have some lingering PPD ghosts that need to be addressed. 

Physically, I'm feeling like shit on a stick. Last Wednesday, I had to go to the ER at 4 a.m. because I could not stop puking. The nurses took good care of me. They hooked me to an IV, gave me anti-nausea meds, and rehydrated me. I was discharged after a few hours and spent the rest of the day in bed, feeling like death. Thank goodness my dad was able to spend the day with Pippa. 

My ob/gyn hooked me up with a relatively new medication that is helping the morning sickness. I can still only eat bland foods, but at least I'm not puking five or six times a day.  (I'm not being coy about this new medication's name. It starts with a D but that's all I can remember and I'm too tired to get up and check now.)

Now I am mainly dealing with first trimester fatigue. I feel like I'm getting the flu and also like my muscles are disintegrating. It's frustrating and scary. For me, first trimester fatigue feels a lot like depression. When I was depressed, I just wanted to stay at home, lie around, and do nothing. Now that I have first trimester fatigue, I just want to stay at home, lie around and do nothing. I've done very little work on my book. I haven't painted in weeks. And just the thought of going to the gym makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry.

When I had PPD, and felt like doing nothing, I had to do something. No matter how lazy and exhausted I felt, I had to exercise. I had to take walks. I had to paint and draw and knit and work on my book and throw impromptu dance parties with Pippa. The more I did, the more energy I had.

Now I'm exhausted because I'm growing a brand new soul. Important amazing stuff is happening in my uterus. Right now I'm fine-tuning the four chambers of baby's heart. Is it any wonder that I want to nap all afternoon and then go to bed before 8?

But I keep second guessing myself.  I worry that I should be fighting against the depression and dragging my ass out of the house to go on adventures. I have to remind myself every day that I am not depressed - I'm pregnant. The things I'm feeling are normal pregnancy symptoms, not depression red flags.

Anyway, I have gatherings planned but I'm giving myself a little time to nap and cruise in the slow lane. Need to make sure this baby gets ten little fingers and ten little toes. When my energy is back, there will be more activities.