Looking at this little dude, you'd have thought we had ham this Thanksgiving! That sly grinning guy is just one of the many things we have to be Thankful for this year.
I'd be lying if I said that being a family of four has been an easy transition. I'd be lying if I said that having another baby is just like riding a bicycle. I'd be lying if I said that I was totally satisfied with my performance as a Mom.
They say all pregnancies & babies are different and it is totally true. After Thane was born, I thought things would get easier. I missed being able to play with Knox. There were lots of things that I just wasn't effective doing, because of my slowed-down pregnancy pace. I couldn't wait for Thane to "get out!" so I could get back to "normal" life.
But "normal" didn't happen for me. As to be expected, there was that one giant emotional breakdown after coming home from the hospital. And then another. And another.
Patience has never been one of my virtues, but weeks went by and things (me) just seemed to be getting worse. I was sleep deprived. I had trouble expressing myself without shouting or crying. I found myself composing "free to a good home" ads for Thane in my head. And when my short-fused, emotional rollercoaster had finally become too much for Ib, we sat down and talked about the possibility of something bigger going on.
Post Partum Depression: It's a bitch.
One afternoon, while battling an excruciatingly painful clogged milk duct, I burst into tears and called the doctor. My 6-week post partum check up was only 5 days away, but I couldn't wait that long. The receptionist got me calmed down and put me in touch with the social worker at the women's clinic. She talked with me for quite awhile, discussing all the different options I have for treatment. I dislike the idea of pills, so we went over some "natural" fixes. Unfortunately, I was already doing most of them: exercise, vitamins, sunlight, sleep (by this point, Ib - bless his heart - had started taking every other night to get up with the baby so I could get a full night's rest). But I agreed to bump it up and give it a try: I added fish oil to my vitamin regimen, got more sunshine and tried to consciously monitor my mood. But it didn't really seem to change anything.
Ib kept reminding me of things we have to be thankful for...and I certainly wasn't disputing any of it, but I just couldn't find the joy.
The social worker referred me to a brand new program for Women's Behavioral Health at the hospital. A group of doctors is specifically researching post partum depression and she suggested that I see someone. She even called our insurance company to make sure they would cover it. So, finally, after several LONG weeks of waiting I have an appointment on Thursday (tomorrow)to talk with a psychiatrist. Yeah...I feel like a lunatic just saying the word. But my kids and my husband deserve better than Momzilla.
Of course, I've been feeling really great for the past week or so. Dare I say, "normal"? I am still going to keep the appointment. If I've learned anything it's that these hormones can do crazy things to a person, and you never know when it's coming. I don't think I will have to start a regimen of "happy pills" anymore, but it will still be nice to talk to someone who can assure me that I'm NOT crazy, despite what is going on in my head.
So on Thanksgiving Day, Ib and I were sitting on the couch together and he asked what I was thankful for. I said "My family and my friends." He asked if that was all, to which I replied "Isn't that enough?" He gave me his list, which included (but was not limited to):
Our healthy, beautiful boys
Our family and friends
Food on our table
Our reliable transportation
...and our giant TV
And I couldn't agree more.
And I couldn't agree more.
We took the boys to the playground while our turkey was in the oven. Knox shared his "motorcycle" with some other kids and went down the slide and chased the pigeons. Thane just slept.
It made my heart happy to watch Knox run around, laughing. And to watch Ib go down the slide with him. And to watch Thane nap, peacefully.
And it made my heart happy knowing that joy it is all mine.
So while it feels like I am out of [the darkest part of] the woods, I know there will still be challenges and good days and bad days. But I am going to strive to make only good memories for my family.