Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Dark Side

Babies are doing great. They are sleeping through the night and have found a way to stick to a fairly consistent schedule during the day. Addie loves her siblings and plays with them constantly; she recently has been trying to teach them to roll over.

So why am I just now fighting post-partum depression? You would think I'd be over the moon with how great things are going. Instead, I find myself crying for no known reason, snapping at Addie and cringing when my babies cry, struggling to find energy to play with my kids vs just nap, and finding more reasons to hate my life rather than rejoice in the blessings.

And for someone who is a perpetual optimist, I find this to be unfamiliar territory.

I've done some self-analyzation to figure out the source of my issues:

1. In the beginning, I had to hold it all together and keep moving because I had no other option. But now that the babies require less care I have time to think about how overwhelming everything is, and well, it's overwhelming.

2. hormones. I mean honestly, my body had 3x's the normal level of hormones during pregnancy and those all just suddenly disappeared

3. I'm simply exhausted. While it's true the babies don't require constant care now, they also require more attention when they are awake. They don't want to just stare off into space for hours on end so I spend many hours of the day switching up their toys, their setting and their activities. Plus, I have a 3.5 year old who would freely take all of my attention and time if she could. There are some days I think Addie consumes 70% of my energy and focus leaving a paltry 30% for the babies, Mike, and tasks.

4. I feel trapped because there are times that I am. We recently had to send our triple decker stroller back to the manufacturer for repairs so for 2 weeks I was homebound during the day since I can't carry 3 carseats. It also wasn't feasible to go out at night because either I was too exhausted or the babies were too cranky and I didn't want to burden Mike with 4 whiney children. Being confined to the home with 1 antsy toddler and 3 needy children is a recipe for feeling hopeless, tired and isolated.

I thought I could "fix" this and pull myself out of the Pit of Despair, but I am willing to admit I need help (as weak as that might sound). I have started to ask for help from friends and family when I need an hour to escape and breathe. I also am finding moments to sit in the sun even if it means I prop open the door so I can keep an eye on the kids inside. I'll also be seeing my dr later this week to ask if there's some "happy pill" that can help curb my anxiety and depression. It'd be nice to enjoy my family again rather than sigh each time I hear someone call my name.


Jennifer Deibel said...

(((Hugs))) You're doing great, mama!! And it's not weak to admit you need help and ask for it. It actually shows great strength and wisdom. There's a reason they say "it takes a village." Praying the bounce in your step returns soon. I've been in that dark valley, and you can be sure I'm praying with you and walking with you as much as possible. Love you, sweet sister.

Catie Cutshaw said...

Ah I miss you!! I wish I could be there to watch the babies so you could run out to relax. It's not at all uncommon for the PPD to take a while to come on, the pregnancy hormones take a while to fully leave your body. You are a fantastic woman, wife, and mother. Remember that! I love you!