I read a story about post-partum depression today, it wasn’t a happy one, which reminded me that I haven’t updated the internet on the state of my health: mind, body and soul.
It’s good news. [Sigh of relief]
I don’t really feel like talking about the depression, it’s part of my past now and I know that it could potentially be part of my future. For now I’m going to tell you what I’ve been doing, about what makes me happy.
I needed more Family time, spouse time and time just for me.
First, I called my mom and asked if she would pay for my gym membership. I knew that all the time away from the gym was one reason I was sad. I missed regular exercise!! I started making better choices with my food and I started pampering myself.
Anyone who knows me, knows that when you think of me, you don’t necessarily think “cheapskate.” But, for years I have rarely paid for haircuts (ask a friend or sister to just cut it right over a trash can), I almost never go into a salon, I have never had a manicure and I only get pedicures once or twice a year (because if I didn’t, my entire foot would turn into a callus). I also never spent money on makeup, hair supplies or skincare.
My skin care routine – up until this year – was usually going straight to bed without washing my face. Rinse face in morning or just wait till I took a shower…whenever that was.
Wearing makeup was usually reserved for Sundays and the makeup I did own was either purchased for me by a mother or sister or given to me by a sister or my mother (because it came as a free gift during a purchase)! I spent very little money in the hair, skincare and makeup department.
In the spring and summer of 2016 when I struggled with pink eye, I had to throw away all of the makeup I did own – which included some new and nice (gifted) things. In addition to throwing out all my makeup, I threw out all my bed pillows (nice, newer pillows I couldn’t afford to replace).
We were also very broke when this happened.
Somewhere between back to back pregnancies, a husband who was gone all the time for school and with church responsibilities, a four year old just barely potty training (read “three kids in diapers”) – I was feeling pretty haggard.
Well, I discovered a multi-level marketing company that has amazing skin care and makeup. I knew I couldn’t afford to buy/wear good products unless I sold some. So, I signed up to distribute.
Along the way, I started having fun with my life again and taking care of myself made me feel good.
So, I’m going to the gym, taking care of my body, eating healthier and getting better sleep – now at bedtime, I don’t lay in bed trying to un-wind from a day that pulled and stretched me, I go to bed, I think of all the things I’m grateful for and all the things I can do better tomorrow.
Then, I stop thinking and go to sleep.
I started singing around the house more often, letting the messes sit later, snuggling with my babies a little longer.
I decided that dates with my husband were worth the cost of a babysitter (again, where I tend to be cheap – “let’s just not get a baby sitter and stay in or take the kids with us.”
I re-took my Athletic Training exam (to re-certify) and was 23 points short of passing!! [I mean, I can’t be too sad, I’ve been out of practice 11 years!! With very little study time I squeezed in, I almost passed!! Yes, I’m taking it again].
My energy levels increased and the chemicals in my brain have found balance as I allowed for more positive thoughts.
I consciously made it a daily effort to push negative thinking away and only see the positive. I had let negative thoughts camp too long in my mind and I didn’t want to be sad anymore.
Happiness had been my life before and I wanted that life back.
I never stopped praying during my struggles. I never stopped hoping. I knew that change would come if I just kept trying.
God knew me, He had faith that I could overcome my circumstances and He has faith in you too. The tools are there, we just need to reach out. Ask for help and take steps to change.
Postpartum depression is not an old friend, but foe. An enemy I may face in the coming years. But I have hope that my faith and past experience will help me defeat him again.
Disappointments still arrive, but I see the light and know that everything will work out.
I keep looking at my baby and think, “he’s turning into a little boy too soon!”
Right now I’m so happy to have him as my little koala baby. He is eight months old already…
My, now, three year old just walked into my bedroom holding some wildflowers that he and his daddy picked in our backyard.
When Wiley isn’t telling me what to do, he is pretty stinking cute himself.
I was always tired when Wiley was a newborn, so it’s hard to remember anything from that time period in my life, but I do remember just loving that baby boy (even though he was probably the worlds most high maintenance infant).
I was so happy to be a mother.
Baby T, who is now crawling and pulling himself up and getting teeth…I remember very well his newborn-ness.
He was a good sleeper, so that mean’t I was getting more sleep, he was (and is) so chill when I had to put him down to take care of Wiley’s needs.
I constantly felt bad how often I had to put my new baby down to help Wiley (the ever high maintenance child – haha) and now that he’s turning into a toddler, I feel like I missed out on his infancy.
My baby also started whimpering for pureed food far earlier than I had expected and again, I felt like he wanted to grow up too fast.
It was God’s plan – when I got Little T – he sent me a baby that was going to be okay when I had another baby fifteen months later.
On Good Friday I learned that I was going to have another baby (along with a 1/3 of all the women I know…).
Since our return from spring break, at least twice a week, my son has asked if we can, “go to the beach mommy?”
I know he doesn’t understand, “the nearest beach is about 18 hours away buddy.”
Yeah, our town has a pretty cute lake, with sand and he loves going there too, but it’s not the same.
The “beach” at the lake doesn’t have waves that tease you – charging after you, only to run off again – time and time again.
While we were in Texas in March we spent two afternoons down at Galveston State Park.
The first visit was with Danny’s parents. Before we stopped at the beach, we made a stop to see Danny’s grandparents in Houston.
It was the first time the great grandparents saw baby T.
Danny’s grandpa is is a man of many interests, he has a shop for his woodworking and a shop for his stained glass lamp making, where he makes Tiffany lamp replicas.
A Tiffany lamp? I didn’t know what one was until I married into this family.
My husband has been saying for years how much he wanted a lamp – well – this trip his grandfather presented a lamp he made just for us!
Had we realized how much stuff we would be hauling home, we may have packed lighter before we came…
His grandmother also gave us some lovely Moon and Star glassware (up until then, we didn’t have a salt and pepper shaker…so we were really happy to get some beautiful glass salt and pepper shakers) for us grown ups and some soft stuffed dogs for the boys.
I am reminded during visits with grandparents, that children grow very quickly and when they are gone, there will be plenty of time for hobbies and personal enrichment.
right now isn’t the time for me, but it will come soon.
I made everyone take a hundred photos…
Wiley is not really a fan of taking photos…
Dan’s not really a fan of taking “posed” photos…
After the great Grands treated us to lunch, Nona and Grambo took us to the beach.
Wiley had so much fun in the water, he didn’t want to come out even when he was teeth chattering cold.
It was a pretty warm day, but the water was about 65 degrees – which is still much warmer than the Pacific ocean!
With promises of another trip soon, Wiley reluctantly got back into the car to go back to his Papa and Gregre’s house.
The weather is still trying to figure out if it wants to be warm or cool, so we haven’t made it to the lake “beach” here yet, but it is on our summer to-do…but so is another trip to Texas, so he’ll get to see the Gulf again in a few months.
Wiley spent the first two years of his life on a ranch, but in the last year our lives have been very suburban and it’s easy to forget our country life.
Replaced are the early morning sounds of the rooster, cows and baaing sheep. I’m now bothered by large trucks zipping by or cars blaring awful music that occasionally threatens to shatter my windows.
It’s not coyotes that howl late at night, it’s college kids racing their crotch-rockets.
The life I’m living now is so far from what I had as a child growing up…from what I can remember. I wonder how much of this my children will remember?
So getting away for spring break was perfect for lots of reasons, first to see family and second to escape the city.
We stayed with Danny’s Papa and Gregre (the grandparents who looked like Barbie and Ken) and we got to watch silent film of when my mother in law was a toddler!!
Wiley got to play freely outdoors – free to dump sand in his hair – any time I couldn’t find him, Papa would say, “did you look in the sand?” (Which Wiley called the beach) that was right outside the door.
Wiley was always playing in the sand when he could.
One afternoon, my in-laws took us out to see the property they purchased. They bought a huge plot of untouched land in the middle of a “sub-division”… not the typical sub-division you’re thinking of or living in.
This “neighborhood” consists of “homes” that are mostly airplane hanger with a garage/house attached.
A beautiful grass airstrip makes up the majority of everyone’s front yard, where old guys go pleasure cruising…in their planes, not classic cars.
We had been in the neighborhood about twenty minutes when a plane pulls out of it’s hanger, taxis about and takes off (maybe) 40 yards in front of us.
I’m waving at the pilot as the plane lifts off the ground right in front of me and he waves back, like he’s in Mayberry…full of planes.
What the heck? People actually live like this?
They do! And if my father in law gets his dream, he will too and my kids will experience this type of thing on a regular basis.
One of the awesome parts of marriage is you get to experience ways of living that never existed before your partner came into your life.
I’m so blessed and grateful for my life and my family…and so sad that spring break is over already. Take US back!!
My due date is less than three weeks from today – here I’ve waited NINE months for this and suddenly I think, “I can’t have the baby yet!?!? I have more projects to finish!!”
The time for projects are coming to a close – for a while – I still work on small things between taking care of my family and getting chores done.
What I have been making time for, once or twice a week, is meeting up with a friend or two and taking Wiley swimming.
I may be huge and my swim suit may be getting smaller on me, but I look forward to time with friends and Wiley loves the pool or like today, the lake.
The photos on today’s post are actually from late May.
On our way home from visiting family in Texas, we stopped in southern Missouri just outside of Houston (Houston, Missouri – not to confuse my family in Houston, Texas) at a swimming hole along the Piney River called Baptist camp.
I still wasn’t feeling well the day we went, so I sat on the shore and took photos of my husband, brothers, friends and my son.
Wiley has a tendency to be hesitant at first around water…after 40 minutes he has no fear and I have to stay right on top of him.
Today I met up with a friend of mine who is also pregnant (about six weeks behind me) and also has a two year old.
We met up a a place in Columbia called Stephen’s Lake, which is a lake/splash pad combo and Wiley was not hesitant at all today. He jumped right into the sand and crawled straight into the water.
I didn’t take photos today – but I’ll have to get some pictures eventually – it is a beautiful park.
I guess I’ll have to go back soon…maybe I’ll take Danny too if he isn’t at work or completing Honey-Do’s.
I’m glad Columbia has so many parks and pools, it has helped me through this summer, as has the weather.