Why was I feeling so down the last few days? I have every reason to be rejoicing!
- We are now living in Flagstaff, Arizona, in a wonderful large house with a great backyard in a fantastic neighborhood
- My husband just returned from Mexico with the rest of our belongings (after a tiring and sweat-packed four days of driving and packing, alone)
- I’ve made some great friends that are also moms with young kids
- We’ve been attending an excellent church and meeting friends there
- My son is (mostly) healthy and making friends (I think his body is adjusting to the germs and bugs here)
- We have all the conveniences of living in the U.S. again – parks, playgrounds, restaurants, stores – anything you want at your fingertips
- And most of all, a loving and dedicated husband that is an awesome Dad!
My second pregnancy is going well and I’m 37 weeks along.
To top it off, my dream of having a home birth with a midwife has come true! And not just a home birth, but a water birth! (This has been my desire from the first pregnancy, but wasn’t an option since we were in Mexico.)
So, why was I feeling blue?
I looked around the house and saw things that needed to be done – like putting away everything that just came home from Mexico. And finishing organizing baby Brooke’s room. Washing more laundry and cleaning the kitchen. I needed to buy groceries, since I had eaten mostly leftovers and ‘snacky’ meals while hubby was away. To top it off, Ethan has a stomach bug, again, and was vomiting yesterday morning.
Am I going to be able to handle two kids?
A 19-month-old that still doesn’t sleep through the night (thankfully, Dad has taken over the night shift) and a new baby that will need my constant attention. Washing dirty cloth diapers every day and waking throughout the night for feedings (a.k.a. boobie calls).
Just what the doctor ordered … GNO!
Luckily, I had been invited by one of the midwives to a class last night on using essential oils. My hubby encouraged me to go and he stayed home with Ethan (he has bath and bedtime duty anyway, so no problems there!). I was already feeling a bit better after 2 1/2 days of being down, but a night out with the girls really boosted my mood. Or maybe it was all of the oils we lathered on. (No, wait … it was that amazing Chocolate Bliss Raspberry Parfait that I ate two of!)
I found that just sharing my feelings of inadequacy and being overwhelmed made me feel less alone. Several of the women there have two young kids and said that they mostly stay home, as it is such a hassle to get out the door.
The woman giving the class related one story that really made me laugh (inside, of course!). She remembers laying on the couch during her second pregnancy while her almost 2-year-old was dumping milk out on the kitchen floor. She couldn’t get motivated to even care, let alone get off the couch and clean it up!
I guess I just needed to hear that I’m not alone. I’m normal. I’m OK. I can lay on the couch and nap or just veg out – for a little while everyday if necessary. Nothing’s ‘wrong’ with me. I’m just really pregnant and hormonal!
What is Prepartum Depression?
I thought I was being creative with the term “prepartum depression”, but it’s an actual condition. Who knew?!
Here’s what I found from prepartumdepression.net:
Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful times of any woman’s life. But for numerous women, pregnancy is a time of stress, fear, anxiety, confusion, and even depression. 11% of women suffer from this type of depression according to the recent research.
Prepartum depression is a depression that occurs during pregnancy. It is more like a mood disorder that involves alterations in brain chemistry. As a matter of fact, during pregnancy many hormones change which can influence the chemicals present in the brain of women that are associated to anxiety and depression.
And from allparenting.com:
Recognize the warning signs
It can be difficult to diagnose depression during pregnancy because many of the symptoms are the same as those that occur in a normal pregnancy [yeah, that’s helpful, right?!]. But prepartum depression is a serious medical condition that can impact the normal growth and development of your baby if left untreated, so it is important to get help if you feel you may be affected.
[Here’s the clincher:] If you have persistent symptoms of depression from the list below, lasting for more than two weeks, visit your physician for a medical evaluation.
- Feelings of guilt, anxiety or worthlessness
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Impaired concentration
- Changes to eating habits
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Lack of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
I think I’ve had bouts here and there, but thankfully, it’s not bad enough or consistent enough to see a doctor. A day or two at the most, and then with some rest, exercise and healthy eating, I always snap out of it. And those evening massages from my hubby are helpful, too!
The funny thing is, now I am eager to get some of these last ‘nesting’ things done. I have great energy today and my hubby and I have had good conversation this morning.
I’ve found that I can only handle a couple of hours out of the house a day, and Ethan has his 18-month well baby doctor visit this afternoon. So, I will try to get a few things done around the house before we have to go. Perhaps even 20 minutes of pregnant yoga during nap time. But who knows, maybe I’ll end up just taking a nap while Ethan catches his zzz’s.
And I’m okay with that. Baby Brooke is coming in 3 weeks and I’m giving myself permission to just relax when needed! She won’t care if everything is in its proper place, if her room is decorated or plain, or if all of Ethan’s toys are perfectly organized.
It’s more important for me to be rested, happy, and able to provide a loving and caring home when she arrives!