Archive for January, 2011

The Truth About Postpartum Depression

This is another one of those “let’s get real” posts. One that is really hard to write, but also really therapeutic. I’ve had a short version sitting in my drafts for a couple months but I decided it was time to revisit.

I had a meltdown on Friday. A complete meltdown with tears and yelling. It was a long time coming, I knew that. Women need a good cry on a semi-regular basis and I literally cannot remember the last time I cried. It’s been months, I’m sure. Let me tell you, girls, that is not healthy. Holding it in just causes a serious meltdown at a very inopportune time- like ten minutes before your husband leaves for a guitar lesson and 20 minutes before your baby has a similar meltdown.

Listen, my life is great. I’m in love with my husband and my son. We have jobs and a house and supportive families. But sometimes the little things pile up on your shoulders and weigh you down until you just can’t support their weight any longer. The only thing you can do is crush into a helpless heap underneath them.

That’s what I did.

I’m tired, y’all. Stephen and I don’t go to sleep until 11ish at night and we wake up before 6. I usually wake up 1-3 times in the middle of the night to put Jansen’s binkie back in his mouth. (He sleeps through the night a few nights per week, but it’s no longer the norm.) Then I get ready for work and then sit in the freezing cold car and pump breastmilk while my husband drives to his office. I then drive the second leg of the trip to my office. It’s a long, tiring commute. My job is less than stimulating. I have kept from discussing details of my job because I don’t think it’s appropriate. But I’m about at my wit’s end and every day is a struggle to maintain my happiness. It’s rough to spend so many hours at a job that you don’t love when you know that your baby is at home. It wears you down.

Things add up and eventually cause you to flip out when your husband says something that really shouldn’t bother you that much. Stress is a disgusting beast. Especially when it is combined with postpartum depression.

I’m not going to claim to be an expert on this topic, nor am I going to claim to have a serious case of PPD. I believe that it is a serious issue and some women have a very difficult time getting through it. Me? Mine was just this internal struggle that I knew would pass soon enough. And for the most part, it has. Every not and then I feel sort of yucky though.

I read in The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy (or maybe The First Year?) that most women don’t realize that they had a bout of postpartum depression until they are out of it and look back. They realize that they weren’t entirely present at that phase of their baby’s life.

I realized it one morning while I was on maternity leave. I was laying in bed, cuddling Jansen. The very thought of another person coming to my house for a “quick visit” made me want to scream. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to shower, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to share my baby or talk about my new life as a mother.

For many of you, this is the first you’ve ever heard me mention PPD. And unfortunately, I believe that most women never utter the words, no matter how much they are effected. Why? Fear of judgment, fear of losing your mind even more, fear of people treating you different or thinking you’re weak.

The term “postpartum depression” is very misleading. It implies a darkness, a constant dark mood. That’s not always the case, friends. I wasn’t depressed. Not at all. I was blissful. I had the most wonderful baby in the whole world and sometimes I’d smile at him so much that it’d bring tears to my eyes. But that’s all I cared about. My baby. Nothing else.

There is a difference between joy and happiness. I was joyful. Deep down, these were the best days of my life. But there was this yucky feeling that stole a lot of my happiness. Thankfully, I was aware of it. I knew not to blame my baby or myself, I knew it was hormonal. (And I have to say that a lot of it was probably magnified by a situation going on at my job that was causing me serious grief.)

This is why I never talked about it. I didn’t want to breathe it to life. I knew that if I spoke it, it would be true. Does that make sense? So I just kept it to myself and prayed that it wouldn’t stick around for a while. I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me or treating me like I’m fragile. I don’t know if that’s healthy or not, probably not. But it made sense to me. I had no reason to be sad, I had no reason to want to keep to myself. And I knew that most people wouldn’t understand that.

This post feels like a bunch of rambling. I have no idea how to morph this into something cohesive so I’m not even going to try. I just know it needs to be written.

I don’t know when hormones balance out and become normal again. Maybe when Jansen goes to college? All I know is that last week was a crappy week. It was a combination of lack of sleep, exhaustion from pumping, hatred of pumping, discontent with my house, frustration with my job, period hormones (yes that’s right, I started 3.5 months postpartum), and general sadness.

I have no brilliant advice. I don’t know the solution. But I do know that if you recognize it in yourself and admit defeat, it helps. Don’t ignore yourself. Be aware of you moods and know that it is not your fault. My advice? Fake it ’til you make it. Is that the best advice? Who knows. But I do know that if you force yourself to smile, eventually the smile is real. In that same regard, if you force yourself to get out of bed and actually shower and see people, eventually it won’t become work to do so. It’ll be natural. And one day it may even be desirable.

Like I said, my life is generally great. I really have no real complaints. And I wouldn’t say that I’m struggling with PPD at this point. But I do have a day here and there when all I want to do is break into a puddle of tears and sulk. And you know what? I don’t think I’m abnormal. Mostly, I think I’m a new mother who works fulltime who is tired. Regardless, I think it’s important to talk about. I think it’s important to get you a good girlfriend or two to talk these things out so you don’t feel like you’re a freak job!

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January 31, 2011 at 7:15 am 27 comments

Friday List Stuff

1.
Jansen had his 4 month appointment yesterday. Do the math. He’s almost 5 months. What does that mean? I’m a terrible mother and forgot to make his appointment at 4 months. Forgot. But all went well. He’s in the 50th percentile in both weight and length. He is 15 lbs. 15 ozs. and he’s 25.75″ long. He was so great the whole time but then he screamed bloody murder when the nurse gave him his shots. It was sad but I looked at him and said, “Buck up! It’s for your own good, kid.” (Totally kidding, I would never say that. But, really, it is for his own good.) He was sleepy the rest of the day but not very crabby. When I took off his bandaids last night, one of his legs had a pretty big bruise on it. Poor kiddo!!

2.
Okay earlier this week I showed you my manicure and told you how professional the Seche Vite Top Coat looked. It seriously dried so quick and shiny. I was anxious to see how long it would last. Well y’all, I think it’s better than a professional manicure. Check it out. The first picture is how it looked on Sunday, the second is how it looked last night.

Besides the fact that the first photo is quite a bit closer and my ring finger has a new scar in the second photo (compliments of an incident with the pan when I was cutting a Totino’s pizza), they look pretty much the same. There is a bit of chipping on my middle finger but that’s my fault. I nicked it with the fingernail clippers when I was doing some maintenance on a cuticle hangy thing. (I am the queen of too much information…)

So my review? Amazing product. It was easy to use and dried quickly. I can’t give you an accurate set time but I do know that I slammed my finger in a Rubbermaid that same evening and there wasn’t even a tiny imprint. That would never happen with any other polish. And seriously, a shiny and professional looking finish even 4 days later? This is better than a professional manicure. You can buy the Seche Vite Top Coat at Ulta (I saw it on sale for $4.99 but it was sold out) or at Sally’s Beauty Supply (I think I bought it for $8.99 but it also came with a bottle of China Glaze). So yeah, buy it. I’m a believer!

3.
So many YouTube videos! I hope you’ve enjoyed them and found some new ones. My sister is now obsessed with Marcel the Shell, so thank you to those of you who recommended that one. Pretty funny!

It got me thinking about life before YouTube. My freshman year in college we were obsessed with a video and I think we saw it originally on College Humor or something like that. I tracked it down. As with most videos, it gets funnier the more you watch it. You’re welcome.

Pffffffff……..

Happy weekend, y’all.

January 28, 2011 at 7:14 am 7 comments

More Of YourTubes

I didn’t get much feedback yesterday but I saw the stats. Everyone loves them some YouTube. So I have to share some more because I would be a bad person if I kept them to myself. (Although they aren’t actually a secret, they are public videos and they are featured on all the Ten on Tuesday posts.) Regardless. Enjoy.

I wouldn’t consider this funny, but this girl is pretty freaking cute.

I love this. And I don’t even like Star Wars.

I don’t really understand the Antoine Dodson obsession but I think I’m the minority on that one.

This is awesome. Apparently they were on Ellen. I think this is something really special that they’ll treasure forever.

This is HI-larious. I am 100% against children cussing but this is too funny.

I wonder if this girl gets terribly embarrassed about this.

This is fantastic!

I don’t think anyone posted this but it is my second favorite YouTube video and since this is my blog, I can put it on here. Is this real life?

Nobody posted this one either but it makes me laugh. Give that big booty a slap.

And this concludes the tour of awesome YouTube videos. If I left one out, leave it in the comments.

January 27, 2011 at 7:15 am 9 comments

YourTubes

Thanks to you and your answers yesterday, here is a pretty fantastic compilation of hilarious YouTube videos. Pure gold, my friends. Pure gold.

The Orbit’s Commercial. LINT LICKER!

Surprised Kitty. I had never actually seen this but it’s a great combination of cute and funny!

I hadn’t seen this either but a couple people posted it. The very beginning is my favorite.

I don’t know that I think this is extremely funny (I chuckled) but it has been viewed over 96 million times, so maybe you’ll enjoy it.

I don’t know why this is hilarious but I did several very strong, silent laughs.

I just recently saw this one.

Okay so there are several more. Should I post them tomorrow or do you want to go look for yourself?

January 26, 2011 at 7:15 am 8 comments

Ten on Tuesday (64)

These questions are from Sarah at Simply Sarah. I think they are a particularly fun and random bunch! If you’d like to submit a set, send them to me via email at chelsea (at) rootsandrings (dot) com.

1. Do you decorate for Valentine’s day?
Oh goodness no. I just hardly got all of my Christmas stuff down!

2. Does your desktop have a picture or computer graphic? Is it organized?
It’s not organized but it does have a picture. The one at work has a picture of Stephen and I at the Longhorns’ football stadium and my laptop has a picture of Jansen.

3. Do you use a paper planner, electric planner or no planner at all?
I have a paper planner that my sister made. Click here to see it. It’s that style but with a different cover. I love it. I love planners and I have it with me all the time.

4. Do you change purses or bags often or stick with a good thing?
I usually stick with one for about 6 months and then I get tired of it and get a new one.

5. What’s your favorite YouTube Video?
Boys Will Be Girls. If you have not seen it, do so immediately.

6. Do you use Turbo Tax or a real person to pay your taxes?
I use TurboTax or some other program like that and then I have my dad review it to see if I made any mistakes. My life isn’t complicated enough to pay a professional do to my taxes.

7. How many states have you set foot (or tire) in? Which ones?
Oh this is hard, let’s see what I can come up with. Texas (obviously), Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Washington, Maryland, Virginia, New York, Michigan, Nevada, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, California… I think that’s it. So 20 states.

Okay Stephen wants to do this now: Texas, New York, Pennsylania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virgina, Virginia, Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico… so 29. Wow.

8. How many countries have you been in? Which ones?
Just Mexico.

9. How many pillows are in your house? (Sleeping or decorative)
That’s almost an impossible question. I’m not even going to count.

10. How cold is too cold for flip flops?
I’m not really good at knowing degrees. If it’s not hot outside, I’m cold. I would guess that anything below 65 is probably too cold for me to wear flip flops. Is that a good guess?

Here’s Mr. Linky!

January 25, 2011 at 7:00 am 22 comments

All Thanks To You

One problem with blog reading is that you start to pick up habits of other bloggers. You start to eat what they eat and read what they read and like what they like. I recently read a recommendation to try the toffee nut latte at Starbucks with a salted caramel top. Y’all, that thing isn’t even on the menu but someone mentioned it so I tried it and I love it.

Every day you read random thoughts and feelings of strangers on the internet and you learn which opinions to trust.

Bloggers have common hobbies. Most of them cook, knit, or sew. I tried knitting but I wasn’t very good. It took too much concentration for me and I didn’t know how to fix a wrong stitch. I considered taking sewing lessons but realized that I’m not very good at projects that take planning and patience. I like to cook because you get a finished product the same day you start. So now I cook what bloggers tell me to cook. (Thanks P Dub.)

When I was little, I was obsessed with nail polish. I always rode my bike to the local Eckerd and bought bottles of nail polish for 99 cents. I painted designs and alternating colors. I’d even create my own colors in empty bottles. Yes, I was that cool.

But then I grew out of the nail polish phase. I started to embrace my natural nails since they were so thick and had white tips. Plus, I hated the fact that every time I painted my nails, they were stained when I took the polish off. I used to soak my fingernails in hydrogen peroxide to get that stain off!

Unfortunately, bloggers like to paint their nails and they always filled me with nail envy. I’d get my OPI color fix by keeping my toenails painted at all times (a lady should never have unpainted toenails) but you left me wanting more. It’s freezing outside and my tootsies aren’t making much of an appearance these days. So what’s a girl to do?

Last week I painted my nails for the first time in several years. I kind of loved it. It made me feel feminine and pretty, which is helpful to a woman 4.5 months postpartum who is trying to shove into jeans that don’t have an elastic waist. But the problem is that they started chipping two days after I painted them. I’m sorry but I’m a mother of an infant. I don’t have the time to give myself a manicure every three days.

On Friday I asked about those gel manicures. I’d heard they stay on for several weeks and I can find the time to do my nails every few weeks. Unfortunately only professionals can do gel manicures and I’d really rather not shell out $25 and a couple hours of my time. Thankfully, several of you told me about the Seche Vite Top Coat.

I took a trip to Ulta and Sally’s on Saturday and this is my loot. (I am not a photographer, this is from my cell phone.)

The top coat isn’t pictured but I bought that too. I was in search of the new OPI Texas line and in my search, I found the clearance bin. (Is the Texas line released?) Clearance nail polish is one of the great joys in life. I bought two OPIs, three China Glazes, and one Orly.

Thanks to you, I have painted my nails twice in one week. I feel a new Sunday evening hobby coming into my life. I can’t say that I mind, especially if this top coat does what it says it does. I painted them last night and an hour later, I held my wiggly child. No scuffs or imprints at all. To me, that is magical. I’ll update you later in the week about how how long my manicure lasts without chipping, but the quick dry time in addition to the shiny, professional look pretty much makes me a believer in this product!

Thanks friends! Here’s my current look. OPI’s Meet Me On The Star Ferry.

ToT is posted.

January 24, 2011 at 7:15 am 6 comments

A Friday List

1.
I cannot tell you how many people emailed me last season of the Biggest Loser to tell me they miss my recaps and to ask if I was secretly still watching it. I wasn’t. I gave that season three episodes and it proved to be 6 hours of wasted time. But I’m watching now, with much less fervor than I used to. I semi-blogged about it on Wednesday and… crickets. Only three people had thoughts and feelings? Yeah probably won’t be doing that anymore. Looks like I have to either write out 1500 word recaps (which involves over 2 hours of complete undivided attention) or nothing at all. Sorry y’all. No can do. Jansen is too important.

2.
If I do not get a haircut and an oil change this weekend, my split ends will grow split ends and my car will self destruct.

3.
If you and your husband disagree about something, how do you come to a compromise? What if it’s something you cannot back down on? What if, say maybe perhaps, you don’t like the new placement of the couch in your living room but, I don’t know possibly, your husband does? But what if the very thought of that couch makes you lay in bed and suddenly say, “I feel like the couch is a crooked picture frame on the wall. It is bugging me and it needs to be moved.” How do you handle that?

I mean, normally your husband is fantastic at rearranging furniture… hypothetically speaking, of course. But you just have some nonnegotiables regarding spacing and alignment. Like maybe you don’t like the couch pushed all the way up against the wall, you feel that it needs breathing space. And you don’t like anything larger than a chair tilted. What if? What would you do in a situation like that? You’d like to keep the peace and respect your husband’s wishes… but oh the tilting.

4.
My mom is having toe surgery today. She thought she just had an ingrown toenail that has been killing her for over a year, but it never would go away. She finally got it checked out and she also has a bone spur. So yeah, full on surgery where they’ll put her down and everything. She’ll be in a boot for a while and they told her it’ll be painful. Toe stuff is not fun.

5.
I mentioned on Tuesday that I painted my fingernails for the first time in like 5 years. I really do like it but it started chipping two days later. I hate that! Alison Sweeney tweeted that she uses that gel kind and it stays on for a long time. Where do you buy that stuff? Anyone know? I read something sometime about how only professionals can put use it because it uses some UV or something. Is this one of those instances where I should consult The Google? You’re better than Google…

January 21, 2011 at 7:18 am 16 comments

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