The Polls are Closed

The polls are closed, and the votes have been counted. By popular demand Gabriela’s nickname will be spelled with an “i” – Gabi. Actually, full disclosure here, I was going to change the spelling regardless of the voting results. This blog is not a democracy, in spite of the presence of polls. It is a benevolent dictatorship, and I am the benevolent dictator.

I have always tried to keep my blog upbeat, and it isn’t usually very hard, as I am generally an upbeat person. This is also my journal, and as such I want to be able to express myself freely. So if you don’t want to read about my frustrations and difficulties, you might want to skip this part.

When I was discharged from the hospital two and a half weeks ago, Dr. Horlander expressed concern for my mental health. She told me that because of my situation, I was especially vulnerable to postpartum depression. She insisted on writing me a prescription, but I never filled it. After a few days I came to appreciate what Dr. Horlander was talking about. Yesterday I called the Critical Care Nursery, where Gabi was staying while she was in the hospital, because I had some questions about her nursing. They contacted the preemie lactation consultant specialist, who called me. She also mentioned that I am especially vulnerable to postpartum depression. I don’t know if depression is the correct term for what I feel. I consider myself to be overwhelmed and inadequate, and I cry at the drop of a hat, or more accurately, I cry and the merest mention or thought of either Rachel or Gabi.

Two kids is not twice as hard as one, it is four times as hard. 1. Rachel and her issues and needs, 2. Gabi and her issues and needs, 3. Rachel and Gabi together. That’s four. Nursing and pumping takes up so much time and is such a major PAIN! I seriously do not know how other people cope. I (try to) cope with a sense of humor, and a perspective that thinks (or hopes) that in a few years it will be easier. I certainly wish I had been more sensitive and helpful to others who have been here before me.

Enough of that nonsense. I am surviving, and I am fairly sure that things will get better. Gabi is continuing to do well. I haven’t weighed her since last week, but she feels like she is gaining weight.

Rachel still seems to enjoy Gabi. She hasn’t really shown any real jealousy, and she likes to hold and kiss (and poke and pull on the fingers and toes of) Gabi. That being said, she is also showing more “terrible twos.” More temper tantrums and more whining. I need Supernanny. But at the same time, I can tell Rachel is growing up. She certainly has an opinion, and she is not shy about letting me know what she wants!

8 Replies to “The Polls are Closed”

  1. Noelle, medicine can be a good thing when used wisely and under the care of a physician.
    That being said, I will keep you in my prayers. Keep your chin up and enjoy these days/weeks/months. You will treasure the memories! I love you! and I'm glad you like the package. Michael loves his Build-a-Bears. He told me the last time we went there that he was growing out of it, so Rachel gets the benefit of getting a bear because of the money we spent there last time! I hope she likes it!

  2. I feel your pain, babe! The truth is, the first three months after a new baby is born, I call the GREAT FOG. It was during those months that I felt I was just trying to survive from one feeding to the next. I was constantly exhausted, my house was constantly a mess, my children got away with murder, because I was just too tired to care. And I had NO clue what was going on outside my little world.
    It does get better, I promise (and if you want me too, I will tell you about all the dinners I burned after Sienna was born–multitasking was NOT my talent at first!) I would also agree with Luella, that the medicine is not a bad thing. I have had a couple family members who will be forever grateful that there was something to help them cope. You'll know what is best for you, but just know that I am ALWAYS there if you need to talk. (you know how much I LOVE a good excuse to chat with good friends!!!!!)

  3. I am no pro at the matter of having two kids but they are alive and kicking that means you are a great Mom by the way my number is 502-554-7204

  4. I tried commenting a couple days ago, and right after Jonas was saying "Awwww, Ba-bee" while looking at Gabi's picture, he decided to push the little blue button on the computer– ie the Power button! Aah! Oh well.

    Gabi is beautiful. Hopefully we'll get to see her in person before long.

    Noelle, we'll definitely pray for you. Holly and Luella gave wise comments. I don't know what you're experiencing, but can only imagine… as I have days when I'm completely overwhelmed with ONE! I don't know what else to say other than, you need to remember that Heavenly Father obviously thought you were capable (even if it means taking some medicine to alleviate the emotional stress temporarilly) …and the demanding stages now won't last forever. You are an inspiration to me. Love you.

  5. Hey. Hang in there. Pumping and feeding a baby is brutal. I did it with Marty for a couple weeks before she finally caught on. Either one of those activities takes forever, doing both is rough. My sister's first was very early and she did the pump and feed thing for a whole year, but by the time the second was around, she decided formula was good enough to save her time and sanity. I did the same when Linda didn't take to nursing. There was just no way I could take that kind of time feeding the baby with two toddlers around. If you can handle the pumping routine, that's usually best (and WAY more cost-effective, formula is pricey!), but don't feel bad if you can't keep up with it.

    I've never gotten help with post-partum depression, but I know I've had it. Usually with my miscarriages, so there was other depression there too. I now wish I'd ever gotten help. The first time was intense for about a year. Most recently I'm just pulling out of the fog from my early March loss. March and April I pretty much did nothing, and still it's hard to focus or remember anything for more than 5 seconds. Can't help but wonder what could've been different with help.

    Sorry if this was all TMI. Hang in there and take care of yourself. Everything does get better eventually. For me, parenthood becomes worth it when they can smile and laugh. Before that, it's just time to get through. Good luck.

  6. Oh, Noelle, I will be praying for you. It is hard to manage two. I was thankful for the availability of respite care through the state system so I could take some time to care for myself. You need a break, sis, and you should not feel guilty for needing or taking it. It will recharge you and make you better able to cope. See if somebody there (Jeff?) will come and watch the kids for a few hours on a regular basis while you go and do something for yourself (like taking a good long nap!). You can always pump some milk for Gabi so she can be fed if she needs it while you are gone.

    I hope you can get this all figured out. Don't hesitate to call me and complain if you need to. I'm here for you.

  7. I went through all those emotions the most intensely after Davey. That was a hard, emotional, depressive time for me. I did go to my doc and went on meds for about 6 months. I think they helped, but I think what helped the most is that I started really exercising regularly, and getting the blood pumping through my brain and feeling "alive" again was really beneficial. Hang in there Noelle – it does get better. These newborn phases are all about survival, not grand accomplishment. (I've been sitting on my behind nursing for the last 10 days straight, it seems. He's a little piggy.)

  8. Noelle,

    I'm not ashamed to admit I've suffered Postpartum depression with several of my kids… your symptoms are classic. I would strongly suggest at least trying the meds for a few weeks and seeing if it makes a difference. It made a huge difference for me. No need to suffer if you don't have to =) Call me if you'd like to talk about it…


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