Another good day….

16 04 2009

I was reading an article titled “Parenting Through Depression”  and this excerpt tugged at me:

Depression affects approximately nineteen million Americans, or 9.5% of the population in any given one-year period. It’s twice as common in women as it is in men. While awareness and understanding of postpartum depression has increased in recent years, there’s little public discussion about ongoing clinical depression in mothers, and the repercussions it can have on their families.

This is probably due to the fact that depression still carries a significant stigma. Lots of people still believe it’s not a “real” illness but a weakness or a personality flaw — something that sufferers should be able to talk, exercise or vitamin-supplement their way out of (right, Mr. Cruise?). Even women like me, who know that their depression is a very real, biological condition, can internalize that stigma and feel guilty as a result.

I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I was to come across this article.  I believe God put that article in front of me to say “See – you are not alone!”

I’ve had to battle depression since the age of 18 and medication has lent it’s blessed hand to me for 15 years.  Of those 15 I was on the same medication and was instructed by my OB to take myself off of the medication when I was in my second trimester with my son.  Since I had been taking that particular medication, I hadn’t experienced too many depressive episodes, so I assumed I would be ok until my son was born and then I would go back on the same medication and all would be well with the world.  Boy was I wrong. 

A week after giving birth to my son via a very unplanned c-section, I experienced what would be the darkest hours of my life.  And it would last for a long, long time.   I was back on the medication, but it wasn’t helping.  Depression held it’s dark grip on me and it wasn’t letting go.  I didn’t want to move.  I didn’t want to breath.  I didn’t feel like what I thought a mother should feel like.  I never thought about intentionally hurting my child.  I loved my son.  However, I couldn’t connect with him.  He was a foreign object to me.  I was jealous of him and the love he was getting from my husband.  I was upset because he had turned my life upside down.  Sound ridiculous?  I thought I was ridiculous too.  I wanted to know why I couldn’t snap out of it.  Why I couldn’t wake up from the fog.  I kept thinking, ” this isn’t fair.  I know I shouldn’t feel this way.  I know I should be happy.  What is wrong with me?!!”

In March 2008, after enduring 3 months of this, I finally contacted my doctor and was referred to a psychiatrist and therapist.  We tried different medications, finally settling on a good combination in the fall of 2008.  Since then, I haven’t had a major episode, but it’s been a slow uphill battle for my husband and I.  Luckily I am blessed with a saint of a husband, who has been nothing but supportive through hell and high water. 

I now feel somewhat “normal” and I have many, many more good days than bad.  I attribute this to being proactive with my depression.  I have to take my medication, or I fear what the next few days would bring.  I have to remind myself that my depression does not control me, and that because I experience it doesn’t make me a bad person or a bad mother. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression, please talk to someone about it.  And know that you are not alone.  Everyone deserves to have good days.





Sponsor Me at March for Babies!

15 04 2009

I will be participating in the Greenville, NC area March of Dimes on Saturday, May 16th.    I have a personal fundraising goal of $200 and I am asking my friends and family to help reach that goal so that we may help the little ones who cannot fight, win some of the biggest battles of their lives.  I am blessed to have had a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.  There are so many others who have had to struggle so much more than I have.  Together we can help them win their battles and provide them with hope that otherwise they may not have.  You can read one example of awesome life, Maddie Spohr, in the post below “Holding him tighter” 

Help fight the battle for those who are too small to fight!!





Holding him tighter

14 04 2009

I read about sweet Maddie Spohr today and was crushed. 

To have a child taken from you in death is a horrible experience that no parent should have to experience.  Please pray for Maddie and her family as they walk through this difficult time in their lives. 

Reading about Maddie’s beautiful life has helped remind me how truly blessed I am to have a healthy baby of my own.  Life can come to a crashing hault in a matter of moments.  We must cherish the ones we have, for there is only now and only today. 

Please also keep in your thoughts Angie and Todd Smith and their family as they celebrate what would have been Audrey Caroline’s first birthday. 

I will be holding my son a bit longer and much tighter today and counting my blessings.





Spring has Sprung

10 04 2009

WordPress has been irritiating me as of late.  We had to take a break.  Now that I’m back here’s an update………

 

I am happy to report that Braden had his very first Easter egg hunt this past weekend and we had a blast with our GM friends!  Afterwards, we went home and cooled off in the sprinkler, b/c in NC it’s nice in April!  Days like today I definately don’t regret leaving Chicago!!!  AMEN!

 

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Pity Party

3 04 2009

Break out the cheese and crackers. 

It’s one of those days. 

bad-day

I didn’t want to leave the house.  Didn’t want to clean myself up.  Barely got out of bed. 

Funny how we can be on such a life high and then come crashing down. 

I had a doctor’s appointment this morning.  I hate doctors.  I didn’t want to talk about all the things that are wrong with me.  I definately didn’t want to get on that scale.  I’d rather go about my day not publicly acknowledging my flaws thank you very much. 

Although a lot of good came out of that doctor’s appointment, it was still very painful.  On the bright side – I have been refered to three specialists that will help me out personally and I hope will also be able to help our family multiply.  Since it will be a while before they can fit me into their schedule, we’ll have to play the waiting game on this one.  I’m hoping the doctors will be personable and professional.  Kind of like a cracker jack box.  You never know what you’re going to get as a prize. 

I’ve also realized that I may be in desperate need of a Momcation.  Used to be that I would just want time alone with the man, but curiously, this is not the case anymore.  I’ve never been one to want to spend time alone.  I’d much rather talk to a stranger than have to listen to silence.  Funny how things change after you have children. 

A weekend alone.  No cell phone.  No TV.  No one screaming for me.  Nothing to clean.  No meals to make.  The beach, some sun, a couple of girlfriends, a good book and throw some wine in there for good measure.

Sounds like bliss.  Sounds like a Momcation in my book. 

Doctor’s appointment and Momcation desires aside, it hasn’t been a terrible day.  Just not a happy one in my book.  I’m trying to look around and count my blessings, but I can’t get the funky cloud out from above my head. 

Somedays the Mommy needs a time out.  Mine’s today.

I’m hoping you’re having a better day than me.  Maybe you need a Momcation.  Maybe you need a time out.  Here’s my advice:  TAKE IT!  You deserve it! 

Here’s to all the Mommies out there looking for a better day tomorrow!





Lucky….or is it Blessed?

2 04 2009

I am so lucky.  No.  I’m blessed. 

Since making our trek from Chicago to North Carolina, I have grown in ways I never thought I could.  My eyes have been opened to the blessings in my life and I hope that I will never let the wool be pulled over again. 

I am blessed with family, friends, health and happiness.  I have more than I could ever wish for.  Part of my blessings has come from meeting a new group of ladies in Greenville.   I was desperate for socialization when I first arrived.  I was new to the SAHM job and had no clue as to what I was doing.  I still don’t.  But this group of women, the Greenville Mommies, has helped open my heart and my eyes to the true joys of motherhood.  Without them I would still be hovering in my den, under the blanket, with a box full of bon bons and hoping that there is just one more episode of Sesame Street on to help entertain my child. 

Not really.  But I was pretty desperate. 

And yes, I monitor the time my child gets in front of the tv.  No more than 4 episodes a day. 

Seriously….do you think I’d let him watch that much tv?  GAWD!

So my sincerest THANKS goes out to this group of strong and loving ladies.  You help breathe more life into my every day than I could have possibly hoped for.





Acceptance

1 04 2009

Acceptance is something that everyone searches for.

Acceptance from our boss, our friends, our spouse, the stranger at the coffee shop.

Accepting ourselves can be an uphill battle. Looking in the mirror every day in hopes that somehow we got better looking, thinner, maybe we were granted more patience that day, more energy, just something that would make somehow make us a better person.

I’ve been in a battle for acceptance with myself for over 20 years now. It hasn’t gotten easier. I just decided to fly the white flag. God has granted me the ability to see myself as He sees me. Is it who I dreamed I would be at 13? No. But the person I am is good enough and blessed enough to have a loving husband, a wonderful miracle of a child, and a circle of genuine friends and church family that are beyond awesome.

I wish I could corner the 13 year old Gina and tell her everything I know. How hard it will be for her to be someone else for the next 20 years. I would beg her to see herself for the beautiful, devoted, talented and admirable person that she is. Instead of trying to look back and regret the person I was in the past, I am living in the now. I will now try to accept myself for a person of God’s awesome and beautiful creation who has a much bigger responsibility in this world. My child. I am a blessed mother who is responsible for the miracle I have been generously given. I want my child to see me as a positive role model. Not one that hates herself or beats herself up over trivial, vain things. In order to do that, I have to accept myself for who I am.

Not an easy thing to do. But I’m working on it.