Out From Under the Depression Rock

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit absent from Blog Land lately. It hasn’t been intentional. I am constantly composing posts in my head or taking pictures of stuff thinking, “this will be the day I post!” only to let another day slip by. And the more time that goes by, the harder it is to really compose something that I really want the world to see. The past few months have been the most magical and the hardest months I have lived through.

Since being diagnosed with postpartum depression, I have gone through a roller coaster of symptoms and a feeling of all the feels. Most days I can function pretty well, and every now and then I have a great day. But then there are days when I don’t want to get out of bed, when I cry for no apparent reason other than it just seems like a good idea. I think things like I’m a bad mom, or it doesn’t matter what I do because I’m worthless anyway. Really bad, horribly depressing thoughts. The worst part is that it’s really hard to talk about it. I know that it’s a chemical imbalance in my brain, and that it’s not “me.” Postpartum depression is a very common side effect of having a baby (I’ll take “Things No One Tells You About Parenthood for $1000,” Alex) and there are a lot of resources out there that can help.

The thing is, when you’re truly depressed reaching out for help is nearly impossible. I didn’t want to talk to anybody, I was doing everything I could to push everyone away. It took a really bad day with a lot of encouragement from my husband to tell myself to pick up the phone and call my doctor, that I needed to get help and waiting for it to go away on its own wasn’t happening for me.

So now that I’m getting treatment, I’m sort of into this self-healing thing. I’m trying to be very mindful of my internal dialogue and what sort of “tapes” I tend to play myself that may not be reality. I’m trying to get back into running again because I know that a good run always did wonders for my mental state. And I’m really censoring what media I take in. Sometimes the most innocuous blog post or trashy reality TV show can really pull me into a dark spiral for inexplicable reasons. I don’t want to hide from the world, but I recognize I need time to repair and get my bearings back.

And now because I hate leaving a heavy post out there, here’s a cute baby picture to cleanse your palate.

IMG_7916

Can’t go wrong with a chunky baby picture.

I haven’t been posting a lot of pictures of Squish lately, because half of the time he’s out with the nanny, and the other half of the time he’s a blur of 3-year-old activity and I can’t get a good shot out of him. I have to bribe him with the iPad to get him to sit still.

IMG_7884

He takes chillin’ out with the iPad to a whole new level.

Go make it a great day!

Advertisements

Baby’s First Blog Event: a StitchFix Launch Party

A few weeks ago, I received a curious invite from StitchFix to a secret event. There were no details other than a date, time, and mention that kids were welcome. Because I love a good mystery, I accepted the invite. It also helps that the StitchFix HQ are right around the corner from my apartment, since I have major “seven block” mentality when it comes to where I will go in the city. If it’s more than seven blocks from my home, I’m a bit lazy about it.

If you don’t know about StitchFix, it’s an online personal styling service for women. Since I hate picking out my own clothes, I’ve used it several times in the past and I’ve loved it. To get “a Fix,” you go online to the StitchFix website and fill out a style profile, price range, and the date you want your fix delivered. A personal stylist will select five items for you ranging from clothes to jewelry to handbags, you name it. You try it on, keep and pay for what you want, and send the rest back. Oh, and if you keep everything, you get a discount. It’s super easy, and so much fun when the box comes in!

Okay, so now you know why I was pretty intrigued and exited about this event. I get to go hang out with a bunch of personal stylists at a mecca of fun fashion! So Monday I received the final invite – it was a secret launch party to introduce StitchFix’s new Maternity and Petites lines!

IMG_7908

Squeee! All the squeee. Since I am both petite and have needed some good maternity clothes in the past, I was super excited to find this out. When I was pregnant and wanted to do a StitchFix, I requested an accessories-only fix which was really cool, but I could’ve still used a good pair of maternity pants, you know?

Anyway, I figured this would be a good mommy-daughter outing for Buttercup and me. We even got all gussied up for it.

IMG_7907

They had professional babysitters from urbansitter.com to corral the kids, so I promptly handed the little miss off so I could schmooze and peruse the cute clothes and fun baby products from 4moms that were being raffled off.

IMG_7910

“You’re coming back, Mom … right? Mommy?” I don’t know, Cream Puff. There’s free champagne and lots of cute clothes over here.

IMG_7911

It was fun dusting off my “work a party” skills again. Coming from new baby and this whole postpartum depression thing, it was great to get out and meet some other bloggy moms from the area. The event was co-hosted by ClubMomMe, a community for parents and parents-to-be to network, socialize, and get clued in on new baby products and helpful tips in the overwhelming “oh-goodness-we-have-to-keep-this-small-human-alive-and-thriving” world. I met with the nice ladies of Club Momme, and found that there will be a stroller-friendly 5k coming this fall in the Bay Area! I’m quite excited about that, since it will give me a little extra push to actually finish up my Couch-to-5k program that I’ve started and stopped about five times since I was cleared for exercise. Maybe this will become a running blog again!

The launch party was tons of fun and I got to meet a bunch of really cool moms and bloggers, and Buttercup did her thing of looking cute and squishy and pulling off the “baby can’t even” quite nicely.

IMG_7912

I can’t even. Nope, can’t even.

Thank you to StitchFix, Club MomMe, and all the great sponsors for this event! I can’t wait to schedule my next Fix with real petite pants that I don’t have to take to a tailor to hem! 😀

Make it a great day, everyone!

Disclaimer: I was invited to the launch party, all opinions are my own. These are not affiliate links, because I’m not that cool. And I buy my own StitchFix fixes because I like them.

Back-to-Bed Kind of Day

It’s raining!

IMG_7721

So glad I didn’t bike into work today.

This kind of weather always makes me want to crawl back in bed. But I had to rely on the next best thing.

IMG_7722

A hot cup of coffee with a side of biscotti is almost a substitute for bed. Almost.

Buttercup was all smiles the other morning.

IMG_7716

We have finally settled on a satisfactory nickname for Mercedes! Squish’s real name is Jared, but when she met him my sister pulled out the line from Finding Nemo, “I will call him Squishy. And he will be mine. And he will be my Squishy,” and it stuck. Because, you know, he’s squishy. But we hadn’t settled on a good nickname for Mercedes yet. I have been calling her “Cream Puff,” because she’s so fat yet fluffy, but didn’t think that would stick long term. Then the other night Hulk was holding her while we were eating dinner, and he dribbled some melted butter on her head. We didn’t notice at first, then later on while I was holding her I noticed that she absolutely reeked of butter. We started joking that she’s turning into butter, then a very appropriate nickname formed … Buttercup! So she is now known as Buttercup, except for when I call her Cream Puff. So, I apparently make fat babies.

IMG_7670

“Why have you not yet commenced the feeding?”

Make it a great day.

Pancakes and The New Normal

I’ve had so much to talk about lately, I don’t even know where to start.

IMG_7269.JPG

“Please, Mommy, indulge us with a soliloquy.”

Sometimes when life gives you a big change, it’s best to throw all of your expectations it the door and focus on what you are actually able to do. I had big thoughts and plans to blog through the newborn days. Which of course didn’t happen. Partially because I forgot how time-consuming a newborn is, and completely because I had no idea how additionally time-consuming having an almost-three year old with a newborn actually is.

IMG_7296.JPG

IMG_7290-0.JPG

Good thing they’re so cute. I heard the other day, “one is two and two is ten.” It feels like they were right.

I figure that the best way to get out of this trial-and-error period and into the “new normal” is to start building the life I want with what I have, rather than trying to build the life I want with things that aren’t available. I do not have a solid hour a day to do my blog work. But I do have several 10-minute chunks of time in between feedings and napping (both for her and for me) that I can try to assemble something coherent.

The big benefit to not having to be anywhere in the morning is I can make food. I’m getting fairly good at one-arm cooking. This morning it was French toast and eggs, with some clementine.

IMG_7299.JPG

One of the legacies my mom left when she was out here helping with the new baby is instilling and obsession for pancakes in Squish. Every morning when we wake up (read: he bounces out of bed and declares, “mommy, wake up now!”) he insists on pancakes for breakfast. We are out of the pancake mix my mom used, so he has been boycotting my breakfasts of oatmeal or bacon ‘n’ eggs this week. Fortunately he was fooled enough with the French toast to call them pancakes, and I was able to get him to eat something this morning. Score one mommy win for the week. Every point matters in this stage of the game.

IMG_7266.JPG

“I could eat my corn dogs. Or I could pretend that they are cars and drive them all over my plate. Yes, that is a much better use for corn dogs.”

While one child seems to have lost interest in eating, the other hasn’t stopped snacking at any and every opportunity.

IMG_7256-0.JPG

“Is that a boob?”

Little M was born at 6 lbs 15 oz, and at her one-week checkup she was already at 7 lbs 9 oz. So she’s gaining roughly an ounce a day,
which is impressive. Her newborn clothes were pretty baggy when we brought her home, but as we are approaching her three week birthday anniversary, they are starting to get a bit snuggy. I’m changing her onesies at any opportunity to maximize the wear on all the cute newborn clothes she has. I hate it when they wear an outfit once or twice before they’ve outgrown it.

IMG_7253.JPG

Like her party dress from Thanksgiving! Yes, she has an infant-sized tutu.

Okay, this turned into a marathon post. And I’ve reused pictures; I’ve been pretty lousy at remembering to take pictures during the day. Of course I kind of have my mind on other things, but I also do not have a lot of pajama pants with pockets. I went to Target to get some pocketed pajama pants, only to find that they don’t make pockets in women’s pajama pants. Yeah, because women apparently don’t need pockets. But men’s pajama pants have pockets. Like, legit side pockets and not that dinky little panel of fabric on the butt excuse for a pocket. So I am now wearing men’s pajama pants so I have a place to stick my phone. So if you are looking for holiday gift ideas for me, I could use more men’s pajama pants with pockets. Oh, and the fleece ones at Target are on sale for $10 right now and are sooo cozy warm, if you have a dude (or lady) in your life that appreciates a good pair of fuzzy warm pants with pockets.

Okay, I am done now. Make it a great day!

The Blackest of Fridays

Wow, that post title sounds depressing. And all I’m trying to do is stimulate the economy like a good little consumer. Does anyone else think we should just retire “Black Friday” to “Black Weekend” or even “Black Week”?

Anyway, this has kind of been my world lately, as you may have guessed:

IMG_7256-0.JPG

Sweet little smooshy face.

Mercedes has been doing fantastic. This is definitely easier the second time around! She is a great eater, and only lost about 5% of her body weight at her 3-day checkup, with no sign of jaundice which is fantastic. Infants normally lose about 8% of their birth weight the first few days, due to water loss and all of the digestive systems firing up, and sometimes develop jaundice since they’re not eating enough to flush it all out. I know Squish dropped to 10% loss and we really had to watch him, so his little sis is well ahead of the weight gain curve. Makes momma proud.

She’s also doing a great job of sleeping at night. Last night she was up at 1:00, 4:00, and then I woke her at 8:00 for a feeding. This will all change in a couple weeks I’m sure, but for now I’m loving what we call the “coma baby” stage!

Squish is adjusting to his new role as big brother. It helps that my mom is here to help out and give him a distraction.

IMG_7228.JPG

Proud Gramma! Bribery with toy trains works, too.

Anyway, it’s time to stuff our faces and nap, as soon as we’re done staring down this bunny. Eat and sleep: it’s not just for Thanksgiving thing anymore!

IMG_7248.JPG

Make it a great day!

The Baby Story Post

I can’t believe our little miss is almost two months old already! These last few weeks have been such a blur of holiday festivities, showing off baby to family and friends, and lots of night feedings. Oh, the night feedings.

Anyway, before my baby brain forgets all of the details, I figure I’d better get the baby story out of the way.

On my last doctor’s appointment, I was three days overdue. My doctor was concerned that since this baby was larger, she didn’t want me to go much past one week overdue. And I was very, very done with being pregnant (if you haven’t been able to tell from my lack of positive posting as of late) so an induction sounded fantastic. I was a little nervous about it because I would have preferred to go into labor naturally, but since it was my second baby and things have been going well, I was relatively low-risk for complications. So I planned on heading to the hospital Saturday for an induction.

I was a bit of a train wreck come Saturday morning. First of all, I was super “frexcited” (frightened + excited) so I had a difficult time sleeping on my last baby-free night of sleep. Then my doctor gave me some specific instructions on how to go about arriving at the hospital for the induction. Because mothers in active labor are given precedence over inductions for beds, I was told that if Saturday morning ended up to be a busy morning and if I didn’t get a bed by 7:00 am to not bother coming in at all, but wait until Monday. I was to call the hospital at 5:00 a.m. to confirm bed availability and show up by 6:00 so I can get in right away. Well, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on my last baby-free night of sleep so I could down a hearty breakfast and call the hospital. They told me to come in at 8:00. In my anxious, tired, sleep-deprived state I couldn’t figure out what exactly that meant compared to my doctor’s instructions. Does it mean they have beds available but want me to come in later, even though my doctor told me to be there at 6:00? Or does that mean if I go in I won’t get a bed by 7:00 and I should just wait until Monday? I was so confused and totally overly emotional (which bodes well for the sleep-deprived near future where I have a small human dependent on my sanity). So Hulk had to step in and make an executive decision to just go in at 6:00 as planned and see what the deal is.

I also slept horribly because I was unusually achy all night. Normally I would go to bed achy, but after a couple hours of sleep I would feel normal again. Not this night; my back and hips were just as achy in the morning as when I went to bed. And on the way to the hospital, I was noticing some slight cramping. So I have a feeling that if I wasn’t on my way to an induction that I may have gone into labor sometime that weekend anyway.

We got to the hospital, and it turns out that it was a slow night on the labor and delivery floor and I was the only planned induction there, so I was shown to a bed right away. Score, and all my anxiety and panic was, as usual, unnecessary.

Waiting room selfie!

IMG_7189.JPG

I was in a room by 6:30, and strapped to an I.V. by 7:00. At 7:15, they broke my waters and started the Pitocin. And good times were had by all.

IMG_7191

I told the nurse that I wanted a pain med free labor. Yup, I was going to rock this au naturale like I did with Squish. Because I’m nuts. The nurse was great and brought in a rocking chair, and a birthing ball and helped arrange the fetal monitor and IV so I could move a bit more freely about the room. At first the contractions were pretty manageable and I just chilled out in the bed and breathed through them while Hulk made a Starbucks run.

10172601_10101645798982613_103507166093270610_n

The nurse brought me some chicken broth, crackers, and juice to snack on but after a few bites I quickly realized things were getting very real very fast and I was worried about keeping everything down. Around 9:30 I was in full-blown labor. Hulk was a champ at keeping me moving as much as possible. I started out in the rocking chair, and every other contraction or so would stand and sway through the contraction as Hulk supported me, or leaned on the bed. That worked pretty well for a while and when they checked me I was at 4 cm. My contractions were starting to come too close together, so they reduced my Pitocin.

By 10:15 I was really starting to cave. The pain was getting really intense and my mind kept screaming at me through every contraction, “Ask for drugs, you idiot! We don’t have to do it this way!” Holy hell was that tough. I ended up on my hands and knees on the floor for the contractions, then back in the rocking chair to recover for the next one, sweating like crazy. But in the end I didn’t request drugs because I was worried about it being too late for drugs, and didn’t want to ask only to be turned down. That would suck. So I kept on plowing through, focusing on each contraction as it came, talking positive talk out loud about how productive and good this contraction is, and trying not to think about how much longer this was gonna be.

At some point the nurse suggested I labor in bed on my side, since that may help put the baby in the right position. Laying down sounded awesome at the time because I was exhausted, so I climbed in bed and tried it. This was around 10:30, I think, and I was starting the transition phase, which is the toughest phase of labor. It was so, so hard. I was on my side for a couple of transactions and then would flip on my hands and knees and moan into a pillow. The intensity was unreal, I was doing everything I could to keep calm and relaxed. The nurse kept asking if I felt “pushy,” and soon I felt the urge to push. She checked me and I was at 9 cm, so, so close. All I could think about is what I could do to make each contraction more effective, which really translates to me as what can make them suck more. So I alternated between laying on my side (sucked) to hands and knees (still sucked) to laying on my back so the nurse could check me (sucky suck). The whole time I was trying to be calm and work with the the contractions and not thrash around, and Hulk was still by my side like a rock star, squeezing my hand and rubbing my shoulders.

Here’s a super TMI part, so feel free to skip ahead if you’re already squeamish and another dose of childbirth crazy will send you over the edge. Let’s just catalogue this next experience as “things you would never, ever be comfortable with unless you’re in the final stages of labor.” Yes, this is the Poop Story part. Anyway, I hadn’t pooped yet that morning, and I guess I was, um, full. So the nurse told me to try and poop, since it would make more space for baby to come out and be easier. So here I am, sitting on a toilet moaning loudly through contractions with the bathroom door wide open to a room full of nurses and hospital staff prepping for the delivery. Besides the complete and total lack of privacy, do you have any idea how hard it is to poop when you’re 9 cm dialated and are already feeling urges to push? You have to figure out really quick what’s a baby push and what is a poop push. I really didn’t want the experience of delivering a baby in a toilet. Anyway, I successfully figured it out and she wasn’t delivered in a toilet.

Then it was time to push for real! I was so ready for this to be over and to finally have my baby, I was in full-on “warrior mode.” As I felt the contractions come, I started pushing with everything I had left. Then the doctor said, “stop pushing” right in the middle of a big one. Then everyone started telling me, “Stop pushing, stop pushing!” Let me tell you, to not push when everything in your body is telling you otherwise is slightly less than impossible. Apparently the cord was wrapped tight around the baby’s neck, and the doctor needed some slack so she could cut it off. Once I figured out what was happening I completely put the breaks on as much as I could, I was so worried I would screw this up. Quickly the cord was slipped from her neck. I gave one last push and suddenly, I had a baby in my arms.

IMG_7194

Other than her face being a little purple and mottled from the cord, she was absolutely perfect. The doctor delivered the placenta, checked me out, and declared I didn’t have any tearing whatsoever! That was very unexpected and fantastic news. Yay, less pain!

This was such a great birth experience. It was just over four hours from when they induced me to when she was born, and I still can’t believe how perfectly everything went down. Mercedes is my “magic baby,” with the perfect combination of being a great eater, sleeper, and cuddler. I couldn’t have imagined anything better than this.

IMG_7195

And I have no idea why I wore makeup. I must have forgot I was having a baby and not going to work or something.

Welcome to the world, baby girl!

2014 11 24 Mercedes Swaddle

Meet Mercedes!

“What did you do this weekend, Emily?”

“Oh, not much. Sat around, watched some TV, had a baby.”

WOO-HOO! She’s finally here! Baby v2.0 made her appearance Saturday morning, meet little Mercedes Catherine:

IMG_7194.JPG

I’ll post more pictures when I get them off of Hulk’s phone. He was our main social media coordinator/photographer throughout the event.

Anyway, Sadie was born at 11:18 A.M. on Saturday, November 22. She clocked in at 20 inches and 6 lbs, 15 oz of pure squashy baby fury.

IMG_7211.JPG

Proud papa!

Labor and postpartum at the hospital were everything and nothing like I remembered it with Squish. I’ll post the birth story later, but in a nutshell it really couldn’t have gone any better and I feel fantastic (considering I just squeezed out a baby I now have to breast feed around the clock, of course)!

Go make it a wonderful day! I know mine will be, we are bringing our little burrito baby home today 🙂

IMG_7195.JPG

The Induction

On Thursday I met with my doctor, and we decided that I should go in for an induction today. So I am now sitting in the OB reception lobby waiting for a nurse to fetch me and get this show started. As my paperwork is being passed around the nurses, they were saying, “the Induction is here.” So now Hulk is referring to me as The Induction.

IMG_7188.JPG

I’m not really sure what to expect yet. I was having crampy-like contractions on and off all night, so who knows? Maybe I’ll go into natural labor while waiting for the Induction Show to get started. Either way, we’re having a baby today.

All right, we need a palate cleanser after all this baby talk. Check out my Ghiradelli sundae from the other night:

IMG_7184.JPG

We went out for Indian. Spicy food doesn’t seem to work on me as far as inducing labor goes, but it’s delicious anyway. And afterwords we decided to stop at Ghiradelli for one last no-baby sundae.

And that’s it for me. The next post should be full of exciting baby news! Woot!

Bacon, SF Fog, and Hanging In There

First off, I’m still pregnant. For those of you keeping score at home, my due date was yesterday. The little miss is certainly going to be fashionably late.

IMG_7175

Yesterday I climbed 25 flights of stairs. Not sure if that’s really going to do anything to usher baby to the outside world, but it is a really good sweat when you only want to do things for 10 minutes at a time. It’s been my go-to lately for when I feel like I need to move, particularly when I’m getting those fake contractions and the only thing that provides relief is moving around for a bit.

I’m doing my best to stay upbeat about now being overdue. Since Squish was almost 3 weeks early, we were 100% convinced that Baby v2.0 would be early, too. How the gods laugh at the plans of man. But, there are some perks. Despite my massiveness, I’ve been getting really good sleep lately. And as a precautionary measure, we sent Squish off to stay with some friends for the week, in case I go into labor in the middle of the night and we can’t scramble to find someone to watch him while we go to the hospital, so I’m kid-free for the time being. And I’ve been working from home, so I gain back the 3 hours of daily commuting. Basically, I have all this free time on my hands now to sit and ponder what I can do to make baby arrive and not have all this free time anymore. Not sure if this is First World Problems or your garden-variety of irony.

Anyway, the perks of working from home include home-cooked breakfast, usually bacon and eggs.

IMG_7177

Mmm, bacon. With a view.

IMG_7179

Rain and fog have apparently returned to SF! Normally I was digging the warmer weather, but since I’m carrying around my own personal space heater these days and our apartment faces South, I was miserably hot all the time. Our big windows acted like a greenhouse and as soon as the sun hit them in the morning it would just cook, even if we drew all the blinds. That for sure is a First World Problem right there. “Boo, my 30-some story apartment with amazing views gets too hot when the weather is nice. FML.” So I’m pretty pleased with the fog and dreariness at this moment. Ask me again in two months, and I’ll be whining that isn’t California supposed to be warm and sunny? If I’m not too sleep-deprived from baby to realize what the weather is like.

That’s it for me. Go make it a great day!

Stair Runs and Bake All the Things

Every time I’ve sat down to write a post, an overwhelming “ugh!” Hits me. Not because I don’t want to write, but because I feel like I have nothing to write about, besides, “still pregnant!” I don’t like only blogging about babies and stuff; that’s not really what I want this blog to be about. But I do want this blog to be about my life, and 39 weeks pregnant is my life right now.

IMG_7167.JPG

Anyway, I’m still pregnant. I generally feel pretty great during the day, then usually get whacked upside the head by the Preggo Symptom Fairy around 6pm where suddenly my energy tanks and I get super achy and crampy. Which sucks because when I feel great during the day I make all sorts of plans for the evening, only to wallow with my snoogle and a heat pack in bed by 7:30.

I’ve also been trying to increase my activity level in hopes of instigation any sort of action that will lead to some sort of active labor. I’ve been walking to the train and back from my apartment, about a mile each way, and in the evening I run (okay, slowly walk) stairs in my building. Not all of them, just about 26 floors worth. It takes me about 10 minutes and gives me a pretty good sweat and energy burst. And then I hit the couch with my snoogle.

The other night we walked out to one of the piers on the Embarcadero. Pre-pregnancy we used to walk out there a lot as a family in the evening, but I haven’t been there since maybe March. It’s been a beautiful autumn in SF.

IMG_7168.JPG

Besides All the Walking and Stairs, I’ve been bitten by a major baking bug. Cupcakes, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin muffins have all made an appearance out of my oven as of late. Hulk also perfected a homemade pumpkin spice latte recently, but he doesn’t tell me how he does it, and I’m fine with that as long as he produces one on demand when I request it. Why bother learning how to do something when someone else can do it better, and upon request?

Hopefully some day one of these posts will be introducing you to the little miss and be filled with complaints about newborn care as opposed to pregnancy symptoms. And my progress on the Couch-to-5k I plan on initiating as soon as I’m cleared for activity again. That will be refreshing.

Until then, make it a great day!