*DISCLAIMER: I'm not a doctor, I'm not a specialist, I'm not an herbalist, I'm not a psychiatrist. This is only what I've read, experienced and taken that already seems to be helping. PLEASE consult your Doctor/OBGYN before you add any vitamins or herbs to your daily routine!!!!
So I've been MIA. I'm sure you've noticed. But I have my reasons. It's been a hard, really hard, last few weeks. Maybe even a month. I've been meaning to do the second post for the second half of our trip (Portland HERE, still have LA to do) out west. But haven't. I've been meaning to post about our first year of cloth diapering. But haven't. I've been meaning to post about our sleep training and where we are with that. But haven't.
You know what, I've been meaning to do a lot of things. But they just aren't happeneing. Why? Because I have to focus on me right now. For the first time, in a long time, we're all focusing on me. I have to get 'me' back in a way. So what the heck is going on? Read on. I'm really kind of scared but also really ready to share. I know I'm not alone. I know it. And if this post can help just one other woman know she's not alone...then my job here is done. All the other posts are sub-par to this one, in my mind, right now.
Soooo, where to begin. I've had a few greyish Motherhood blips on my radar of pre and postpartum baby life. Usually I'll be a bit down when family leaves or when we've returned from a trip seeing either family. After about a week, I realize that our life in Austin is amazing, we're so blessed in friendship/support and I get over my own pity party and move on. So that's the extent of my 'baby blues' thus far. Missing family, that's it. Seriously, that's it. I love mommyhood and I'm enjoying 99% of my time with Nash. Because let's be honest, there is that 1% of the time when Walt gets home and I'm like, 'TAKE THIS BABY!' Those are usually either teething or bad napping days, ha!
I've also loooooooved nursing Nash. LOVED! I got all those feel good hormones and we both got that 'milk drunk' feeling after many sessions. But I knew at about 10 1/2 months that I was done. He was showing signs of disinterest and biting too. So we started the weaning process. Super slow, we were at five daily feedings at that time and we slowly removed one about every week or two. After a month (where we are now) we only have the two feedings left. One right when he wakes up and one right before we start his bedtime routine. My body (well, boobies) have adjusted physically with very little issue. But my overall health is having a really hard go with this.
I tried to hide it from Walt but I'm sure he wondered what was going on. I've been super irritable, really angry, easy to snip, easy to criticize and just an overall bear to be around. I haven't been smiling at much of anything and I've been cancelling playdates and outings, left and right. I'd mention it to close friends and hope they'd come over and see me...or reach out. But I don't think they realized how bad I was feeling. I've been insanely tired and lethargic. Let me make this clear: INSANELY TIRED. I've even had thoughts of putting Nash and me on a plane and just heading to Florida so my Mom could watch him and I could rest. All day. For days.
Y'all...this is SOOOOOOOOO not me. And I'm proud that I am on the right course to nip this CRAP in the bud. It took a few weeks to sort of come out of this 'fog' and truly realize this isn't 'normal' behavior, thoughts or feelings for me. I'm the world's most upbeat, positive, optimistic woman...FULL OF GOD GIVEN JOY. No really, ask my husband. Ask my friends. Ask anyone that knows me. I'm a happy, happy lady! But this was all going on in the midst of sleep training, then Nash got croup, then more sleep training, then Nash got an upper respiratory infection, then more sleep training. Sooooo, life was also a bit rough too. Nothing felt peachy keen.
I spent some time this past Saturday morning really researching weaning, PPD (post partum depression), lethergy and the good ol' baby blues. There are a few great articles out there floating around but only a few really give concrete examples of how to combat unbalanced hormones in a more holistic and less 'pop some anti-depressants' manor. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against anti-depressants. I'm just super sentitive to medication so I'd rather beat it with herbs and vitamins. And not even go that route.
I'm on day 3 of taking a whopping eight different supplements and I already feel MUCH, MUCH BETTER! I'll share those with you below along with any other pointers I think might help you tackle this big beast. If you are feeling blue and are in the process of weaning, know you're not alone. You're not. And I really am here for you!
Things you might want to do:
- Reach out to your local La Leche League as they're a wealth of info and support.
- Create a Facebook page/email group of Moms you know and share what's going on. I've created a Facebook Moms group chock-full of all my Mom friends so when I posted what was going on in our group I was surprised to hear that other Moms were going through/have gone through the same thing.
- Confide in a good girlfriend (or two) who is wise and will check in on you. Or a Mom. (Hi Mom!) Or a sister. I haven't wanted my Mom to worry but my sister has been such a rock for me. Love you, Britt!
- Tell your husband. I held it all in thinking it would pass and when I finally came clean...I could tell he had an 'ah ha' moment of clarity, seeing as how I've clearly not been myself. Make sure your husband/partner checks in on you daily to see how your day is going. Each day is different, it's just nice to know someone cares and is thinking of you in your journey to feeling better.
- Take a long hot steamy shower. My aesthetician said that when your hormones are out of whack and some women get really emotional (not me this go round, but I know this happens) it's actually your body trying to release toxins. Take a long, steamy shower and SWEAT!.
- And if a steamy shower isn't your thing then get out and do some exercise. I just did my first 'jog' yesterday since becoming a Mom and it felt good to sweat.
- Drink more water than you ever thought humanly possible.
Things you might want to take (and should research before doing so):
- Omega 3's
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Bach's Rescue Remedy
- Magnesium Citrate
- B vitamins
- Vitamin D
- Quality (whole food) Multi vitamin
Some of my personal symptoms:
- Hello break outs! I don't think I would've made the connection at all with my moods/hormones until I went to get a facial that Walt so kindly gifted me. She asked me what stress I was under and I mentioned weaning and she said, 'That's why you're all inflamed and have breakouts in this area!'
- Mood swings
- Edgy and anxious
- Wacky sleeping patterns (overly tired one day, can't sleep the next)
Again, I think time is really the only true 'cure' for these crazy a$$ hormones...so I'll just hold out. But it makes me feel good just sharing what I've learned as this whole thing hit me like a 20 ton mack truck. I've had relatively no huge hormonal shift except right when Nash was born, but that only lasted for a few days. My heart goes out to any other Mother dealing with this...just know you're not alone. HUGS!
If you have any other pointers or added insight, please leave it in the comment below. I want this post to serve as a 'catch-all' for suggestions that have worked for other women. We women, we Momma Bears, we have to have each others backs. We have to rally and support. We just have to!