Monday, April 5, 2010

Fog

It's been 10 weeks since Katie was born. She is growing and getting more and more wonderful each day. She is easy and sweet and constantly smiling. We're very lucky to have our girl. Maggie is thriving as a big sister! She continues to exceed every dream I had of her as a loving big sister to Katie.

As for me, I'm, well, not great. At first, I had some personal and professional stresses that I thought were contributing to the way I felt. But I've been working on those. And yet, I'm still, just....blah. I'm unhappy. Not about anything in particular. Just unhappy. Overwhelming & exhausting. I have little energy for much besides my girls. They are the one thing that brings my joy. Feel like I'm doing everything else very poorly--work, being a wife, being a friend, etc.

My head constantly feels like I'm in a fog.

I think it's time to call this more than just "baby blues." Shouldn't that have gone away by now? She's 10 weeks old. I didn't experience this with my other girls so I don't know. Shouldn't I be able to pull myself out of this like I have other times, including during my worst times of grief? I thought yes, but I can't seem to do it. I don't know how to make me better.

I have moments, hours, and even one or two days where I felt a little better. Thought it was getting better. But then, a stressor comes along and I crash. Normally, I can deal with things as they come. This weekend was the worst. Our family received some news last week that I'm not ready to share yet but it really rattled me. Everything will be fine, I know this with all my heart, but it was unsettling. Compounded with the fact that yesterday was my father's TENTH anniversary of his death and I was done. I spent Friday and Saturday in the worst fog I've had. Barely got out of bed. Foul funky mood. Yesterday was better. I spent the day with my mom, Andrew's mom, and my girls at the zoo. Maggie was so giddy with excitement that I couldn't help but to light up around her. However, I still found myself in that fog as I made my way through the zoo. I still feel that fog now as I sit at my desk working.

I don't know what to do next. I struggle with the idea of medication, even though I know many people do it and I have no problem with that. I worry about side effects (especially with Heroes and Handbags this Friday in Dallas and next Friday in Houston). But I'm tired of feeling this way.

I'm ready for the fog to lift and start feeling like me again.

37 comments:

RB said...

I think it is worth it to talk to your doctor. I will pray that your fog lifts and you feel comfort soon.

Mom Of 3 said...

With all you have going on in your life, sometimes it can all just become overwhelming. PPD can occur at any time not just right after birth, I didnt get it until 6 months with my first. You are an amazing person, and truly if you feel in a fog that you can get out of talk to someone, if you dont want meds that is understandable but sometimes talking can help. I will pray for you. I know you will get through this you are a strong amazing woman. Lots of love and hugs.

Julia D. Photography said...

Please, please, please talk to your doctor and get some help. Medication may not be needed, but you need to start somewhere. Sending lots of love.

Mama23Bears said...

i blogged about something similiar on my blog after my son was born and received lots of support from other bloggers.i didn't want to talk with anyone face to face about it and it helped me out alot. i suffered from ppd after my 2nd child was born and the meds helped so much. there are of course people who advocate not to go that route but if you feel you need to try it then you should. just know that you are not alone and you have lots of support from me! i understand! i hope everything starts to get better but just focus on what you absolutely need to do and let the rest go for now. i will be thinking of you!

Christina said...

Been there done that, was my third baby too, My first whom we had 2 hours with I ddin't get PPD, my second fine, my third I was about 10 weeks post partum feeling IDENTICAL to you I blammed it on having a special needs baby, but I finally pipped up to my doc at one of her visit's and turns out I had PPD was on meds for 4 months (paxil) and felt like a changed Mommy. My subsequent pregnancy's have not had PPD my last(and final) one I had to be cleared for discharge as with having twins and being premmie increases the risk of reocurance, it didn't.

And please don't blame yourself. It happens to the best Mom's we can't prevent it but there is hope!

Ok sorry for the novel, but hopping knowing others have been there would help!

Kara said...

I'm so sorry you are in a fog. I hope you find it clearing very soon. I too had quite the fog after both of my children were born. My doctor recommended getting out for walks to get the endorphins flowing. I thought it was a crock, but it truly, absolutely worked. It is such a mood elevator--even just a short walk around the neighborhood. All the best to you.

Hannahsmama said...

Sorry to hear things have been tough for you Jenny. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate so be gentle with yourself. Get whatever kind of support and help that you need. I understand the fog...it's sucks! I found the book by Byron Katie called Loving What Is, to be really helpful,just thought I'd pass that on :)

Hope you had a chance to see the giraffe's on your trip to the zoo!

Hang in there Jenny...the fog WILL lift!!!!

Kia

Minivan Mom said...

Love you girlie. You know I'm here if you need to talk (and if/when you want to talk to someone about meds, you know I can also hook you up!) :)

Oh, and you're the best friend. Don't doubt that.

Jamie said...

It might be weird to get advice from a total stranger...but here goes nothin'! I struggled with the baby blues after my 2nd baby...I just felt totally blah...the best way to describe it was that I felt like an outsider in my own life...like I wasn't really participating. Does that make sense? I struggled with the thought of meds too...but once I finally broke down and went to the doctor...the antidepressants were the best thing that ever happened to me! Hang in there...you'll figure out what's best for YOU!

Lyndsay said...

I'm sorry you're feeling sad. You've had more than enough of that for a lifetime and deserve to be enjoying this special time. I hope things improve soon... however that comes about!

JustJn said...

yet another stranger chiming in. i've followed since allie but don't think i've ever commented. anyways, i have 6 kids and after my last i had to get help. i wasn't feeling overwhelmed or anything, i just felt off. i couldn't explain it and my awesome dr didn't ask me to. i went in and told him i just didn't feel right, i was just "off". he said he understood, gave me cymbalta and i feel amazing. i know alot of people are so scared of meds but sometimes we need them to get our minds back in sync. it's not forever. it doesn't mean somethings wrong with you. we're not crazy, we just have a lot going on and need some help getting our brain back on track. please go in, talk to your dr. i know you have an amazing group of friends, an awesome husband and a wonderful family that will support you no matter what you choose to do. you deserve all the happiness in the world and your girls need a mom that is happy.

Kim said...

Jenny, first of all, you're very brave for admitting something is wrong. You know that you're not yourself. You want to get better. You need to get better. That's the most important thing.

I could have written your post almost 9 years ago. I just had my first baby and at 6 weeks post-partum, I still was not myself. In fact, I don't think I was myself during the latter part of my pregnancy. There should have been red flags right there.

I finally confided in my doctor and she put me on Zoloft. After that, every day was a better day and within a few weeks, I felt more like "me" again. I was able to enjoy my daughter and enjoy my life again. What a difference!

In 2005, I had my 2nd daughter. This time, I paid attention to the warning signs VERY EARLY. I had trouble again. Once again, I was put on medication. I was also nursing and anti-depressants frightened me because I was so devoted to nursing. But with a lot of research, I found that Zoloft was the best and was very safe for mothers who were nursing.

You have an incredible support group. Don't think you're any less of a mom, wife, or person if you turn to medication. Sometimes just a little bit goes a long way. The fog will clear, I promise. I will keep you in my prayers.

Another thing is to have your thyroid checked periodically. After my 2nd was born and I was done nursing, I found that I had an underactive thyroid. This makes a big difference in mood, weight loss, hair, etc. Just pay attention to your body's cues.

HUGS Jenny!

Kim

Bonny said...

Anti-depressants saved my life.

Kelley said...

I went through the same thing after the birth of my 4th child. I found out I was HYPOTHYROID. I had never even heard of it until I went for bloodwork and had all the symptoms. Worth a call to your doctor! Hope you're feeling better soon!

Sugar Photography said...

Love you. I was logging in to post that a) you are an awesome friend, and I'd never have guessed you were in a fog because you've been just as attentive and caring as always; and b) I have the dr hookup for you!

But, as always, MVM beat me to the punch. ;)

So INSTEAD I'll just say MWAH and I hope you feel back to your happy self soon. And, I love you.

Jen

Wendy Martin said...

Hi there-- been a lurker since the Babycenter days--- when my son was born in 2003, all was good, but when my daughter was born via c-section in November 2005, I had a tubal at the same time. I never gave it a second thought- we were done and it seemed to make sense that while they were in there go ahead! I recovered well, she was a good baby, nursed for about 4 months and through it all I too was in a bit of a fog... my issue was the "blahs" and also anxiety--- I worried all the time, not about my kids but about something happening to me--- convinced myself that I had something wrong and wouldn't be here to see my kids grow up. The internet is a wicked place and would search my symptoms (which I now know were anxiety) and was convinced something was wrong all the time. After losing a whole weekend (after months of being out of it) being detached, distracted and in a fog I finally called my OB--- my daughter was about 4 to 5 months old and was convinced I was past the baby blues stage-- I was then told that pregnancy hormones stay in the body 8-12 months after birth and also learned about post tubal ligation syndrome. There can be a hormone shock associated with that, though there isn't much medically out there-- (www.tubal.org) but again, I took all that with a grain of salt-- but I did go see my OB, I fought anti depressants HARD-- but in the end took a low dose of Zoloft, chatted with a counselor a few times and was amazed that I could get my life back. It worked wonders-- and the weight of fog lifted... I only took them for about a year and it was the best decision... There shouldn't be any stigma about taking something, but I fought it, in the end it really saved me.
You are a rockstar in my opinion, and have beautiful girls-- your story inspires me and I hope things get better soon--- you aren't alone and this too shall pass! Hang in there!

Kelly said...

Sometimes just talking to someone helps. Sometimes...you need more than that. It's all normal...talk to your doctor. They deal with this all the time and will know how to best help you. For your sake and your family's. Good luck in figuring it out quickly so you can get back to enjoying life. I know that, after Ryan was born, I felt pretty overwhelmed. It all fell into place eventually. It will for you too!

Adrianne said...

I know many people before me have given you great advice. But just talking with your dr is worth it. I found out I actually had mono after my youngest was born. I was just exhausted and out of it. Who knew!! The dr may recommend that you just spend some quality you time. Believe me we all know how precious that time time is! We love you Jenny! And I know through your tweet that this was a hard blog to write and I am super proud that you did! :)

Sarah said...

I had PPD (undiagnosed) after my 1st was born. I totally describe it as a "fog." For me it went away at 6 weeks (right when I got my first period postpartum). I felt just like the fog had lifted when I woke up one morning. Very odd feeling.

No shame in getting medication if you feel like it's not getting any better. Start with a low dose and I'm sure you will be able to go off in no time just like many of my friends have done. I sort of regret not getting something for myself during those 6 weeks. They were the darkest ones of my life (worse than after losing my mom to cancer even).

♥Kelly♥ said...

((hugs)) After my daughter was born (nearly 8 years ago, wow!) I had PPD and didn't know it, it lasted for nearly 5 months. Taking meds for a little while might help. Praying the fog lifts soon for you girlie.

Gertrude (from sarah reed) said...

After I had my 3rd child I have my tubes tied. I think that had something to do with the FOG I was in. I didn't want anymore children, but the fact that it was so final was what did it to me. You have alot on your plate. You inspire a lot of people who read your blog. Hope you feel better soon.

Carrie Darney said...

Oh Jenny...I'm so sorry you are in a fog. I'll be honest, I had trouble conceiving and once I had my little boy I didn't want to hold him, I was sad for no reason, i felt like I was just going through the motions and acting like things were great because...well, this is what I wanted right?!

I go to Dr. E too. When my little boy was 6 months old (yes, it took me 6 months to break down) I was diagnosed with Post Partum. He put me on some medication and I tell you what, it changed my mood. I didn't feel drugged...I just felt more at ease and less stress and just not as anxious. People around you will notice it before you do.

You have had a very eventful life and have had to deal with some very difficult things...you need to talk to Dr. E for yourself. Often times when a new baby is there, Moms forget to take care of themselves. Mama has to be taken care of first!

Take care of yourself Jenny...you have alot of support but only you know what you need to do.

Your friend,
Carrie (we've never met...just been following you for years)

Brittany..Following my Bliss said...

The "fog" will lift and you will have brighter days where you really don't have to TRY to be happy. If you need something to help carry you through this valley there is no harm in having help whether it's in the form of meds or therapy. My prayers are with you and I know just from reading your blog you have alot of loving support from friends and family. Lean on them and let them help you, there is no harm in admitting you just can't do it alone right now! Hang in there!

Heather said...

Please call your doctor for a thyroid check. I had a similar experience after my daughter was born and it ended up being that pregnancy wrecked havoc on my thyroid. It controls emotions, weight, metabolism and a million other things. Its a simple blood test. Literally, I felt better in 2-3 days after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Good luck!

Cristin said...

I was also going to say get your thyroid checkout out. If that's ruled out, PLEASE think about an antidepressant. They are safe and won't change anything else about you. And what's to lose? Good luck.

Esther said...

Jenny, I hope you feel better soon!!! I agree with everyone on here - go to the doctor just to be sure.

Last spring I was going through too much between finishing school, my mom having open heart surgery, my relationship was falling apart, and my company was going through a merger and I was in constant jeopardy of losing my job... This was all in the span of a month and I was having trouble even getting out of bed. I called my doctor, and he immediately put me on wellbutrin and within days I felt like myself. Stress, hormones, etc just wreak so much havoc on our bodies. And definitely have your thyroid checked too.

It was so scary to not have control over my feelings, but within a few months on wellbutrin I was myself again and my doctor let me go off of it.

So sorry you are going through this. Hang in there and know you're a badass :)

One crazed mommy said...

Big hugs to you! I have to agree with everyone - go to the Dr. Sometimes it can help just to talk to someone about what's going on - whether it's internal factors, or external - and getting checked out (from hormones to thyroid) is always good to do...worse case the Dr. will prescribe something that will help. Hopefully things will start getting better for you soon -and I'm sorry to hear you received distressing news. I think I speak for all of us on here when I say we are here for you if you want to share - and if not, well...that's fine too - we're here for you anyway. ;) Hang in there!
Jenn

Robin said...

Sorry to hear you are not in a great place. I'd definitely talk to your doctor. PPD is common and can occur within the first year. Hang in there!! You do a great job.

Karla said...

Hi Jenny, you don't know me but I've followed your story for quite some time now. I read your last post and completely related. I just started taking anitdepresants about 6 weeks ago(for the first time in my life). I just suffered my second miscarriage this year (after trying for a year to conceive). I kept telling myself that I would start to feel better soon and that it was just circumstance that was putting me in my fog. It was my doctor that saw it on my face and she brought it up. I immediately started to cry and agreed that I did need some help. I am not ashamed to seek out medical help for depression. It has not made my mind hazy as it gradually takes time to build up in your system. After a month I was still feeling blah (although slightly better). My husband and I do not know if we are going to continue our journey to have a child at this time as it has been too emotionally draining on us, also with taking the antidepressants I'd like to wait. But that is also contributing to my 'fog' because I am so scared it (a baby)won't happen for us this time. I do have two children already and I remember that the baby blues can happen at any time, even up to a year after the baby. Please talk to your doctor...they are the experts and can help you through this time. All the best to you.

snekcip said...

Jenny, I'm with the "thyroid" commentors! I just went today for bloodwork, because I was feeling "that fog" feeling! I just know when "something is NOT right"! Also the "see your doctor" comments were right on target! I just want you to know you are "not alone" and we are here supporting you! Praying for you.

Gin said...

You've already gotten great advice, but I wanted to add my experience for what it's worth. :-)

I never had any sort of depression until the birth of my 3rd child. Like you described, I was in a fog, irritable, and not really interacting with my family more than necessary. Sadly, I didn't even realize how bad it had gotten until about 9 mths post partum. I didn't like the thought of taking meds either, but I knew something had to change. I took Lexapro for about 3 months and it was the best decision I ever made. I had absolutely no adverse side effects and I found myself constantly smiling....even through the chaos of 3 kids! I weaned myself off and have been fine since.

I wish you the best and hope you get some answers soon!

C said...

I've followed your blog for a long time. I'm sorry that you're not feeling 100% and hope that you're "you" soon. Please be kind to yourself.

Melissa said...

Talking from years of experience with what you have described I would say you have a couple of options and you are the only one that is going to know what works best for you. Baby Blues can last and begin any time with in the first year after child birth from what I have been told so no it's not to late and it doesn't matter if you had it before or not. I suffer from severe depression so I am medicated for the rest of my life and I accept that. I would speak to your doctor and see what he recommends explain your concern with side effects but I know there are some medications that do not have that severe of side effects. Typically the worst side effect is a headache and drowsiness. You could also talk to a therapist and see if that helps but I'm sure you have had experience with that at some point with all you have dealt with. Jenny my heart goes out to you cause I know all to well how you are feeling. I suggest you act now rather than later so you are able to enjoy those girls more than you are and have.

Mary Anne Whiteley said...

It's an awful feeling- here you have this new baby who is happy and healthy, and well, you don't feel all that great. I've been there. It was very bad for me. It is definitely worth it to bring it up to your doctor ASAP if you haven't already.

Jan R. said...

I understand.
Ask for help.
It will do a world of difference.
I am thinking of you and your beautiful family.

Lea said...

Hey Jenny, it's Lea from the early Heroes days. I have to agree with everyone. RUN, don't walk to dr. E. or any mental health professional you want to visit. Someone else on here said that antidepressants are safe and that they won't change you. What I have to say is that they will change that fog you're in and make you "YOU" again. Many women on here understand that fog, some of us even unrelated to pregnancy. As we age the opportunity for "fog" increases and getting the help you need is very important. Right now you're probably feeling like this will never go away, please don't spend one more day feeling this way because there are ways to make it stop and it will amaze you how easy it is, but you have to take the action and sometimes that's the hardest part. Take care and know that Allie is still inspiring me to continue in my nursing education and work to help those children in need. Take care.

Jennifer said...

Hey there!
I was going through Sugar photography's website, and I saw Maggie's beautiful eyes, and thought "I used to teach that child dance... when was it??"

And I can't find my notes as to when I had her - but I recognize you all and how beautiful you all still are!

:) Ms. Jennifer
JennnAL@aol.com