My Mental Health

As Mental Illness Awareness Week comes to a close today, I feel I need to do my part to #stopthestigma

It’s hard to talk about my own mental health, but I saw @kevinhinesstory speak a few weeks ago and it was so powerful that I have been thinking about his strength ever since.

#thingspeoplesaidaboutmymentalillness

“But you have ‘everything’ how could you be sad?”

I have heard that often from others… too often from my own voice.

I am working on learning that it really is all relative to me and my life. Some people may have it worse or be physically sick but having depression and anxiety is still an illness… most likely caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain.

I have been on the rollercoaster of depression for many years now. Sometimes it is hidden deep within for a long time and then decides to show up at what I think are random times.

After the birth of my first daughter I had heard about Post-Partum Depression and the effects it could have on me and all those around me. I thought like everyone else, having a child is a wonderful, happy time. But low and behold when she was about 8 months old I still wasn’t feeling myself and having issues with anxiety and symptoms of depression. With the help of my husband and my parents, I reached out. I was seeing a counselor for a few weeks and felt I was getting back on track.

There were days when I felt I was circling in my thoughts during my conversations with the therapist and I would never get a hold of it all. In hindsight I should have looked for someone else to talk to, she wasn’t a good fit, but on the other hand I thought I was “healed”. Knowing deep down, I may never be healed, I may have many moments of depression and anxiety throughout the rest of my life.

When I was pregnant with my second child I had moments of anxiety thinking “how could I handle another baby?” “how will I love them just as much as I did my first?”.

On the day we were to be released from the hospital I was told that due to my past history with PPD they wanted me to speak with the social worker before I discharged. Ironically, knowing that made me anxious, especially when we were just waiting on that ‘check mark’ to leave with our new baby.

In full defense mode when the social worker came to talk with me, I cried and felt I was already being “labeled”. She attempted to reassure me that it was just to let me know that “if” I felt I needed someone to talk to, to reach out sooner than later.

Well this time around when my baby was just a few weeks old I felt I was anxious all the time. Trying to raise two young girls, keep them fed, healthy and do the same for myself as well was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Post-partum anxiety is something that isn’t talked about and is generally lumped right in with PPD.

I spoke with a friend of mine who was my labor/delivery nurse and she told me I should reach out to the social worker I had spoken with in the hospital. I had kept her card with the hospital paperwork and I knew that was what I needed to do, so I contacted her.

I didn’t tell too many people I was going through this. I felt ashamed, scared and weak. I think to this day many people close to me and in my life in general have no idea I am dealing with PPA and PPD.

I don’t know when it turns from Post-partum issues to everyday anxiety issues. My youngest is almost 15 months and I am still meeting with the social worker twice a month to work on how I can get through the days and weeks with my anxiety that triggers my depression.

So no matter what “category” we lump my mental health struggles under, they are still my struggles and I am working every day to be able to manage them and go forward and #beheretomorrow

Thank you to my “rocks” for helping me up and getting me through each day… or more honestly taking the brunt of my episodes and still loving me no matter what!

 

Struggling with your mental health ??? Reach out!

There’s no shame in asking for help!

 

 

39 Weeks

39 weeks and waiting for Little One to arrive…

This pregnancy has been similar to my first in many ways. I’ve had it pretty good and apparently I make a cozy home for my children in my belly, so much so they don’t want to come out 🙂

I vaguely remember the “waiting” towards the end my first time around. With my daughter I was induced at 41 weeks 1 day. And here I am at the end of the another pregnancy wondering when this Little One will arrive. We are as ready and prepared as we can be.

I’m pretty nervous about having another baby. We have just seemed to settle into a rhythm as a family of three and now everything will change again. Many people keep telling me that it won’t be long until we adjust as a family of four and I think deep down I know that but only time will allow me to believe it.

I’ve read some other blog posts about moms feeling stressed about how they will love their second child. And is it possible to love the second as much as the first? Is there enough love to go around?

My best friend told me today to take it all one day at a time and that love will get us all through this anxious time! I need to have faith and believe that! 

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Family// Honoring My Husband (not just on Father’s Day)

I don’t know if I can come up with the right words to tell my husband just how much I really appreciate him. 

He works hard for our family, he loves us unconditionally, and he is an excellent Dad… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Over the past 2.5 years I’ve seen a side of him that amazes me everyday! He is a wonderful Dad to our daughter and is already prepping to be a wonderful Dad of two children. 

The way he interacts with our daughter is so cool to watch. She has his personality and for that I am even more grateful. They are both so easy going with life and take most things in stride… I am learning so much from both of them. 

I think we are a great team in this challenging part of life called parenthood and I wouldn’t want to go through life with anyone else! He helps keep me balanced and knows exactly when to step in when I am having a tough time.  

To you my awesome husband, until I find the words to express how I feel deep down… I say a simple THANK YOU! Thank you for being you and for loving me and our family! You truly are one of a kind and I am so grateful to have found you! 

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#28daysoflove

With all the division going on around the country and the world lately I keep hearing “all we need is love”. And I agree! I can do my part in my own life and hope that it transfers to the world around me. 

I decided to challenge myself in the month of February to take a picture (all with my iphone 6), at least one each day and then post them to my Instagram account. 

I’m happy that I did it and it’s fun to look back on the month!

Each picture I took was of a moment in my day that made my heart feel happy! 

Enjoy! 

January 2017 Here and Gone

I can’t believe it’s already the last day of January?! I feel like we were just Christmas shopping and here we are heading into the second month of 2017. 

We celebrated “Squirt’s” 2nd birthday this month also.

HOLY COW I have a TWO YEAR OLD?!?!?! 

*pt* and I were just reminiscing about when I was pregnant with her and now we are having full conversations with her. She is so smart and learning more each day! 

Favorite things of our beautiful 2 year old: 

-singing

-dancing

-spinning in circles

-playing with her kitchen making “nom nom”

-Minnie Mouse, Daniel Tiger, Curious George 

So proud of our little girl and who she is becoming! She is so polite and says “please” and “thank you” all the time and uses her signs for them too. 

Thanks for being so amazing Sweet girl! Can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the year ahead! 

xoxo

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Keeping it Simple

I am sad that I haven’t been writing lately… there are so many days that I think of things I could be jotting down and I just don’t make time or I don’t get around to it.

I came onto my site and I saw that I had drafts from a year or two ago that I never finished and that made me really disappointed in myself.
When I was young, I used to love to keep a diary or journal. I found some of them when we cleaned out my parents house recently and most of the days I just wrote simple things that happened or how I felt about something. I think that is how I need to get back into this. Keep it simple…

I am envious of friends and other people who have blogs and write all the time and I make time to read them, but neglect my own thoughts swirling around in my head.

I don’t need a million people to read or follow what I write, so I need to just focus on me and my writing… or better yet for now just jotting down my thoughts.

Thought for the my day:

Keep it simple!

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18 Months Young

It is so incredibly hard to believe that our little girl was 18 Months yesterday!

She is the most amazing human I have ever met!

I am elated that she chose me to be her Momma and I can’t wait for each day with her to see what she will learn and do!

1 hour

1 Hour

1 day

1 Day

1 week

1 Week

1 month (2)

1 Month

1 month

1 Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 year

1 Year

March 2016

It’s March 2016 already… time and life gets away from me so quickly since our little Squirt officially made us a family of three. The last time I wrote a post she was 100 days old and now she’s something like 420 days!

In the last year *pt* and I have enjoyed watching her learn new things and we in turn are learning new things right along side her.

She is a perfect blend of *pt* and me! Her personality most of the time is very low-key, like her father, thank goodness for that! I have enough trouble dealing with myself let alone a little me too 🙂

I have been around many children in my life but her being my own is unique. It’s fun watching her learn to do things and reach milestones. She is so smart and funny at just barely 14 months old.

She loves to say “Hi!” She blows kisses and is slowly learning some animal sounds! It’s really cool to watch her brain absorb all that life throws at her. She loves to play with balls that we have, small, plastic, even a soccer ball!

I am fascinated when she plays with her larger Lego blocks and can figure out how to turn them to click them together. She loves when I build a tower really high so she can knock it over.

Her giggle is the most infectious thing and we love to have “tickle time” just to hear it.

She has a toy piggy bank that has plastic coins that help her learn how to count. She is so smart and has figured out that she has to hold the coins a certain way to fit in the slot.

Within the last week she started playing with her stuffed animals too. She likes to carry them from her room around the house and most of the time she gets bored rather quickly with them but for the few moments she’s hugging them it’s adorable.

She LOVES to dance! Whenever she hears music of any kind she bounces back and forth! I wonder if she’ll be a dancer? Or a musician?

Her favorite game is to go behind the couch and let us “catch” her! She makes full circles around the couch and just giggles when we play as if we are going to get her.

She is almost walking… we keep thinking any day now she will just get up and go. She walks with her toys that have wheels and along the furniture and while holding our hands but doesn’t quite want to take those steps on her own. We know she will in her own time and that will be so great to see! She is standing a lot more independently and able to balance for longer each time.
In the mean time she has this cute little scoot, always on her left knee. This mode of transportation is quick for her but makes holes in her pants. We’ve tried to use a wristband to help pad that knee.

Her teething has not been too bad, I hope I didn’t jinx it?! She has 4 teeth completely in, 2 on top and 2 on bottom with the 2 more on the top coming through!

She really is am amazing little girl and *pt* and I are so proud of who she is and know she will continue to brighten our worlds in every way!

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Our Squirt Through Her First Year!

 

 

Josieanne Grace’s 100th Day

Last weekend our beautiful baby celebrated her 100th day with us on Earth!

*pt* and I decided it would be fun to take 100 photos of her throughout the day. Nothing fancy and all taken with our cell phones. It was fun to capture her day.

Check out the Flipagram we made of the photos!

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Squirt // 3 Months

Whoa it’s been three months since I became a mom.

People say it goes fast; When I say to someone that my little girl is 3 months old, it does feel like it went fast, but when she’s crying or we are having an “off” day the time drags.

This has been a learning experience for me like nothing in my life has ever been. All in a good way though, I truly wouldn’t change it for the world.

For the first few weeks *pt* and I were living in a the fog that we had heard so much about.

The day after she was born, the door on our hospital room seemed to be a revolving one. Every time we had a moment to breathe and realize we were now a family of three we’d hear a knock on the door: my doctor, her doctor, the nurse, the lactation counselor, the nurses’ supervisor, visitors, the list goes on;

*pt* and I couldn’t wait to go home and get on “our” own schedule and begin the next part of our “Life Tour”.  However, when we went home, we had a moments of wondering what to do next. The hospital gave us a bunch of paperwork and amongst it all was a pamphlet that said “what to do next”. I skimmed it over in a brief moment I had I still wasn’t quite sure what to do. Let’s be honest could a pamphlet really tell me ALL I needed to know about taking care of this beautiful human I have brought into the world?

Over these three months we’ve slowly begun to figure it out. Don’t get me wrong everyday we learn something new and I am sure that will go on for the rest of our lives.

I’ve watched a cousin grow from a newborn to an adult and nieces and nephews from newborn to young children, but now I am watching this little Squirt that grew inside ME for 9 months. She really is changing from day to day. She has filled out the wrinkled skin that she born with, her thighs are becoming chubby cute ones that everyone adores. She smiles a lot at me and *pt* when she sees us. It’s pretty awesome to watch her recognize us.

A few things that I have learned so far:

-The “waiting” during the last few days before she was born seem like an eternity ago;

-Any pain or discomfort I may have felt during my pregnancy and labor are almost nonexistent in my mind now. Once I held my tiny, vunerable baby in my arms there was nothing else I could think about.

-Some people will tell you you won’t need many newborn size diapers–until your baby is small enough to wear them past 2 months old 🙂 We just moved to the size 1 about 2 weeks ago; they are a little big but the newborn had gotten a bit snug.

-The sizes on the tags in baby clothing doesn’t mean anything; your baby may grow out of one outfit that says “newborn” in less than a month and wear another “newborn” outfit past 2 months; 0-3 Month clothing— still trying to figure that size out 🙂 (see picture below- “newborn” on tag)

-It’s ok to just want to cuddle your baby; to let her fall asleep in your arms; This is the BEST feeling in the world!

-Seeing your child smile at you and “coo” is the most wonderful sight and sound. She loves to talk to us and it’s so great to see that she’s trying to communicate with us.

-Some things that come naturally to some mothers may not come naturally to others; Most new moms go through the same stress and anxiety about taking care of a baby–although sometimes you feel like you are the only mom going through it.

Throughout my pregnancy I read “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”. I am glad I did, it was informative on a few levels. Each chapter reiterated one important statement: “every pregnancy and every woman is different”. And not only is that true but all babies are unique and different too. I have to remind myself often that no matter what I see or hear from other moms that our life is going the way it is meant to go.

We have our challenges with a few things but overall our little girl is healthy and the happiest baby I’ve ever seen! I hope she always smiles her way through life as she does now!

We look forward to learning more things in the months to come!

Happy 3 Months Sweet Baby! 

3 Months