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Ciara's parenting journal

Entry 5
~ A New Year!

I never thought it would happen to me but I do have Postpartum Depression. My mood swings, trouble sleeping, constant crying, and overall feeling of emptiness kept increasing no matter how much I tried to ignore it. I felt wonderful when I was with Dylan and occasionally with John but the moment I was left alone to my own thoughts and feelings I was a mess. My anxieties about everything would keep me awake in the middle of the night. I would run through different scenarios in my head, trying to find a solution to my problems.

Our marriage was suffering mostly from my mood swings. I constantly felt like John was not helping enough and then would break into tears because he helped so much. I was scared he would label me "crazy" and divorce me. I kept thinking he was mad at me for this and that when he wasn't. It was really stressful coming home from work everyday. We didn't even spend New Year's together because of a stupid fight that was fueled by all this stress and anxiety we both were experiencing. After an explosion of emotions John went to his mother's house for two days. Dylan and I were alone New Year's Eve. After a long struggle to get him to sleep with the fireworks booming outside, we both slept through the New Year and John came back that next day.

We were a mess while he was gone. I was, of course, crying my eyes out every second. When Dylan would see me cry it made him cry! That made me cry even more. I can't tell you how heartbreaking it was. Dylan was also just fussy and irritable the whole time. He knew something was going on. When John came home he was such a happy boy again. We talked out our issues and are working on things. Also, we now go on date nights which have helped more than anything. Though money is tight, it is so important to take that time to relax together as a couple. Dylan is the best baby I've ever known but we still need a break from him every now and again.

I finally went to the doctor to talk about my problems and she set me up on Zoloft. It is supposed to be safe for breastfeeding. After a few weeks we have definitely noticed a difference. I feel better. I sleep better. My mood swings are normal. Just yesterday I woke up and felt happy. As I got ready for work I was peaceful and ready for the day. I really am glad I got the help I needed.

I can take care of my family and myself. It's ok to take time for a date night, for a bubble bath, or just take the longer route home from work for some "me" time. I think that is important for every mother to learn to find the balance. Sometimes we get stuck into being "mom" all the time and forget to be ourselves.

Last year on New Year's Eve John proposed to me. We actually found out December 30th that we were expecting. It's been a long road since then!

Dylan is thriving. He is beautiful and wonderful! I can't praise him enough. I never imagined a child could be so perfect and happy.

My breast milk supply is the same but his appetite has increased so for one week we put him on formula so I can store up some milk. He is fine with drinking the formula now (he used to gag). It helps me relax knowing he is getting what he needs. I get tired of pumping all the time but we still plan for me to pump until he is a year old.

Dylan continues to sleep through the night. In the morning he coos and talks to himself until we come get him. We help him sit up and roll over. Lately he will roll mostly over by himself but can't seem to get his arm out from under him. It is super cute! He is drooling like crazy and loves to munch on everything! We feel teeth coming closer to the surface. We started him on his cereal once a day. He likes the mixed fruit flavored kind. Last week we gave him peas for the first time. At first he eats it up but John complains that most of it he spits out. I tell him that's ok. It's just really for practice anyway. We are going to introduce a different food each week now. We have a food processor and it is fun making our own baby food. We freeze it in an ice cube tray and just microwave it up once a day for his dinner time feeding.

I'm excited for the future now. Life is good.

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