Sunday, February 24, 2013

Plan of Attack re: PPD

Am experiencing a good, hearty dose of post-partum depression. We are almost at week five since Jack's birth. I have had lots of help at home with the kids, cooking, cleaning, etc. Lots of company, which I set up ahead of time. But still, I feel major moments of despair and hopelessness. I often feel mildly apathetic, frustrated, cranky, and very impatient, like I just can't deal...followed promptly by severe guilt. Lots of weeping. I don't know if it is because of the hormones, the difficulty of adjusting from one kid to two, the lack of structure in my new life, or lack of sleep, or general weakness on my part. But then again, the reason doesn't matter so much, does it? So this is going to be my first plan of attack. Having a plan is already helping me feel a little better. In no particular order...

1) Reach out and ask for help. (done)
2) Get some better drugs.
3) Talk to doctor (my check up appt is this week).
4) Walk with Jack in stroller. [Is it okay to bundle him up and take him out even though it is very cold and sometimes snowing? I do have a carseat cover thing that zips up.]
5) Make a daily Gratefulness List (GL).
6) Go out in the mornings while Lucy is at daycare and do some visiting.
7) Spend more time with Jenn, who is always a big supporter.
8) Try to avoid crutching on my vice. (argh)
9) Drink some. (I do not have any problem with drinking, so maybe one here and there will help me chill out.)
10) Shop with Jack (I have some gift cards to burn)...a little retail therapy. This could also include getting my hair cut, which always makes me feel better.
11) Sleep more. (oy)
12) Call Gerry, the post-partum counselor from the Family Place (and a previous friend). (and it's free)

Gratefulness List for today:
1) I have a healthy, beautiful baby boy and a healthy, sweet toddler who is coping with these changes quite well, all things considered.
2) The blessing snow that has been falling yesterday and today to comfort me (thank you God, got the message).
3) Scott, ever helpful.
4) The wonderful women who have been staying with us to help us through: Mom, Rebecca, and soon to arrive, Fran.
5) Random money that seems to keep showing up when we need it (again, thank you).

Wish me luck.


Marie said...

Allison, I suffered a lot with Post Partum Depression and I know how very hard it is. Hoping that you have a loving and supportive husband by your side, which should help alot. I did not. I had a husband who was more interested in his career and drinking with his buddies. Not good. In any case I struggled through it and here I am. I used to tell myself, this isn't forever, this isn't forever. When I had my fourth baby, I had three in diapers and we could not afford disposables, so three diaper pails, lots of washing, etc. I think back now and I wonder how the hell I got through it all! But I did. I wish I had some great and choice advice to give, but all I can say is take it one day at a time and know that there is always, always light at the end of the tunnel. You have two very beautiful babies, a great husband, a supportive family, and you are a lovely lady and mum. Love you to bits. xxoo
PS Jack is beautiful.

Allison said...

Thanks so much, Marie! Three kids in non-disposable diapers...i would call it a day! You are amazing. And this gives me hope that i will make it and someday look back like you are now. I know you love your kids and didn't throw any of them down the stairs! Love you too. A

Rebecca said...

Allison, I just read this tonight, and I love your plan. Wonderful idea - just to have a plan. Do even one or two of the things on your list and, if nothing else, you'll have to feel like you're getting something checked off the list. I especially like the idea of going outside: it's totally fine to bundle Jack up and take him out (Dr. Spock is a big proponent of fresh air year round, I seem to remember). I spent LOTS of time pushing strollers and walking around with baby carriers when my Lil and Ella were little: so helpful for all. Everyone's happier outdoors. You could also wear him inside your coat in the baby carrier things you have - I did that with Ella, who was born in January as you know. Sleep more - always, always good advice. Still true for me today, and I have no good excuse for not sleeping enough. I love you, and am so, so grateful for the days spent with you and the babies.

Charlotte said...

I remember how easily that old PPD can overtake you. I had it too, and mostly it's normal, just not fun. I think your ideas of getting out for more walks, talking to your post-partum counselor, and stretching out Jack's eating schedule so you can nap more in between feedings are all good ones. Glad you saw your doctor - take whatever meds would help.

Also, thanks for reminding me of the Gratefulness List - I need to do that a little more myself these days, to think about not just what I've lost in recent years but what I've gained. Love to you always.