Mommy Monday

mommy monday

 

I need to vent.

I feel like, when a woman gets pregnant, people come out of the woodwork to tell you what you should be doing.

Mommy Monday Frustrated Gif TIm Gunn

Don’t drink caffeine*. 

You’re not supposed to eat lunch meat**. 

Are you sure you should be working out?*** 

It really butters my biscuits when people come up to me and tell me what they think I ought to be doing. But it infuriates me to no end when I see the media adding to this culture of fear.

Mommy Monday Y'all Are Stressing Me Out

Where is this coming from? I’ll tell you.

Tonight on NBC Nightly News (with Lester Holt, because B.W. got the sack) they led with a story that had the headline: Pregnant Women Who Take Anti-Depressants More Likely to Have a Child With Autism (or something to that effect).

Now, I have a degree in journalism and one of the things we learned was how to write a news story. One of the things I will never forget is Dr. Clark hammering into our skulls that the most important info comes first.

However, during this story, all I heard for more than the first half was: “Anti-depressants will absolutely make your child have autism. Stop taking them!”

It wasn’t until the story was almost over that a medical expert came on and said, “Mothers don’t need to worry. The study shows that it [a mother taking anti-depressants while pregnant] only increases the chances of having a child with autism by half of a percent.”

Half of a percent. That’s it.

But I guarantee you that many women only heard, “Anti-depressants will cause your child to have autism no matter what.”

Mommy Monday Today Sucks

I would hope Dr. Clark would tell the writers at NBC News that the information relayed by the medical professional would be in the lead of the story. I believe THAT is the most important information. Not scaring women who probably need those anti-depressants into going off their medication before speaking with their doctors. After all, to quote Frozen, “People make bad choices when they’re mad or scared or stressed…” 

 

I guess I’m getting so worked up about this because I firmly believe that many people need those anti-depressants and its a bigger risk to encourage someone to go off of them rather than stay on a medication that they KNOW works****. And it also irritates me when the media adds to this culture of fear. Don’t they know that pregnant women are already freaking out about EVERYTHING?! This is why I have adopted the mentality of, “I’ll go by what my doctor tells me and the rest of you can bite me.” Its a great mindset to have.

Mommy Monday Two Snaps

So that’s my rant for the day.

 

 

 

 

*My doctor told me to limit my caffeine to either two cups of regular coffee or two sodas a day. I’m sensitive to caffeine, so that’s really all I need. For you it may be different. But talk to your doctor first before doing anything crazy.

 

** I was told by my nurse to have the folks at Subway (or any other sandwich place) to heat up my sandwich. If I make it at home, I don’t need to worry about it. She said (and I quote), “When you go out for a sandwich, have them heat it up. Just because I’m not sure if those teenagers behind the counter are making sure the meats are kept at an acceptable cooling level. When you buy it from the store, you keep it in your fridge, so you’re fine.” Different doctors may have differing opinions, so talk to yours.

 

***I worked out about 3-5 times a week pre-pregnancy. Its totally okay for me to continue to workout. If I get tired or start to cramp, I should stop and rest. And I absolutely need to drink as much water as I can. It may be different for you. Talk with your doc.

 

****I’ve been on Zoloft since having Huff the Tot. I suffered from anxiety and depression for years pre-baby and the natural ebb and flow of hormones made post-partum depression tough for me. I’ve been on Zoloft ever since and my doctor said that it is perfectly safe for me to continue (especially since I tried to go off of it prior to getting pregnant and it was AWFUL). Your situation may be different than mine, so talk to your doctor before switching or stopping medications.

 

 

 

(See what all of those had in common? TALK. TO. YOUR. DOCTOR.)

Adventures in Motherhood

I’ve made it no secret that I have suffered with anxiety and depression pretty much most of my life. At times, it was bad. And at others, it wasn’t that bad; I was able to cope with the symptoms and live pretty well.

 

When I got pregnant, one of my biggest fears (aside from pushing a child out of a place that should never have to go through that much pain) was post-partum depression. I decided I was going to do placenta encapsulation to help with my symptoms naturally. So when I got an infection and couldn’t do the placenta thing, I was super bummed. And super scared. How was I going to get through the post-partum depression I knew was going to plague me?

 

Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

 

I had Huff the Hubs home for two weeks after Hermione was born. I had my family and friends come over and sit with me when he went back to work. Then, eventually, it became just me and her. Things were going a long pretty well. And then I went back to work.

 

I don’t know if it was the stress of going back to work or the stress of being a mom, or both, but I started noticing symptoms of anxiety I had never experienced before.

 

I found myself getting up in the night, just to check that Hermione was breathing. And even if I saw her, lying there, perfectly fine, my mind would start to cook up all of these horrible scenarios.

 

What if she moves her hand in the night and the blanket suffocates her?!

 

What if while we’re driving to the sitter’s, we get in a car wreck?

 

What if I’m so tired that I fall asleep while feeding her and she falls out of my lap?

 

Finally, one morning on the way to the office, I hit my breaking point. It was icy and I was white-knuckling it the entire way. Hermione was in her car seat in the back, so I was keeping A LOT of space between me and the cars around me. Suddenly, the car in front of me spun in a circle and drove off into a ditch.

 

I screamed. What if that car hit us? What if we hit them?

 

I held back the tears as I dropped Hermione off and got to work. Everyone had called in that day, so it was just me. I went into an empty office and shut the door, crying out to God.

 

What can’t I stop these thoughts? Why can’t I stop thinking about the worst-case scenario?

 

So I did what no one should do and Googled.

 

Turns out, it was the best thing I could do. I found out I am not alone in this struggle. Which at first made me ache for the other mothers out there that are experiencing this, but then I found comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone.

 

I went to my counselor and talked to her about it. I have post-partum OCD.

 

She explained it like this: “What are all of your fears and worries about?”

 

“That something is going to happen to her,” I replied.

 

“Exactly. You’ve felt a deep sense of protection for people in life before: friends, family. But this? This is different. You made this person. You carried this person. The protection you feel for her surmounts any protective feeling you feel for anyone else.”

 

“So why am I worrying myself into panic attacks?” I asked.

 

She smiled. “Because you love her. And you’re a mom.”

 

She went on to say that even though I have this new role, I still need to work on my fears. Fear is based on not having control, she said. So, I’m working on it. I’m working on not freaking out about every little thing. I’m working on not letting fear control my life and fret myself into a panic attack. Its tough, but I’m working on it.

 

And thanks to my counselor, Huff the Hubs, my faith, and my support system of family and friends, I think I’ll be able to get through this. I know it won’t be easy and it will take some time, but I know I can do it.

 

And if there are any moms out there that think they’re the only one struggling with this, I’m here to tell you, you’re not. I think we need to start being more open and honest about our struggles instead of smiling and saying, “Oh…yeah…everything’s fine.” We need to support each other and help each other out. The only way to get through these times is to talk about it. I’m so glad I did.