Monday Motherhood Moments ~ For Mothers Who Wear Capes…Mine Is Currently at the Cleaners In Sri Lanka

Who is this woman?! I want a pink cape and fishnet stockings! At least I know I’d fit in well at Walmart….

MOTHERHOOD

It’s a blessing, it’s a curse

A bowl of love, a booger stuck to a wee one’s finger

Soft kissable baby feet, grape-stained shirts that even Stain Stick refuses to remove

A picnic at the park, a permanent marker on the cushion of your dining room chair

A quart of giggles, a potty training nightmare

A house of love, a three year old’s tantrum in an aisle at Target over a Barbie

Little hands that hold tightly to yours, a no-nap taking ball of evil

A wondrous reflection of you in a tiny frame of sweetness, a quart of testing your patience that asks 4,000 questions an hour about why the crow outside is picking at his feathers…why doesn’t he just take a bath, why is the sky blue, will the ground ever swallow you whole, why is that lady wearing curlers in her hair at Kroger?

Pretty much. I do believe during pregnancy the amount of brain cells depleted by the unfathomable number of jars of pickles eaten or bowls of ice cream consumed transfers our minds to the little love of grace in our bellies. Babies don’t give those brain cells back. This is why LISTS become a mothers source of sanity after giving birth. Without lists, our lives would be reckless. Whoever invited the “To-Do” list was a mother. To do what? See? You need that list today…what was my point here? I didn’t write it down fast enough.

My life is crazy. Yet, I do my best to put on my cape of motherhood and head out into the bustling world of all things mom. Some days I realize my cape is at the cleaners, and when I don’t wear it, I usually end up losing my kitchen shears, only to find them later in the passenger seat of my car, or make a bowl of Mac & Cheese for the kid who HATES Mac & Cheese at lunchtime which ends in tears, or forgetting to return a library book that now costs me $23 in overdue charges. I don’t LOVE “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” that much I tell ya…

By the graceful words of Barney Stinson….

Mothers are not meant to be perfect. I’m not. So when I feel like a failure because I forgot to pick up SpongeBob fruit snacks at the store for my 8 year old who asked me 587 times to get them, I stop being sad…and I be awesome instead. And I drive all the way back to the store to buy those dad-gum fruit snacks because that’s what mother’s do.

SuperMom ~

VSK

*This is a guest post by our social media director, Valerie King, right here at IntelliGender. Valerie is also a homeschooling mother of three boys and an aspiring author who has already published several books, with more on the horizon. Her sense of humor is what keeps us laughing, and it’s blog posts like this that are DEFINITELY worth sharing! Want to learn more about Valerie or follow her blog posts? Then visit her at her personal website here. 

Guest Blogger Thursday ~ Heather from God Centered Mom

Boy, Oh Boy!



My husband has 3 sisters. His dad has 4 sisters. His grandfather had no siblings. The prosperity of the “MacFadyen” name was resting on our shoulders. We needed to have a boy.

#1

The day of the ultrasound arrived and low and behold there it was on the screen…”the 3rd leg”. We were shocked but in a happy way. We were amazed. We’d done it! On the first try! Amazing. I’m sure he would be cute and get married and have children and carry on this Scottish name with pride.

#2

Our next pregnancy began when my first child was 16 months old. We were excited to have kids close together. I was excited to maybe experience another gender. Something new.
But the moment she turned on the screen there it was again…”the 3rd leg”. I had just settled down in the seat when she made the announcement. I think my husband had just turned on the video camera. It came so quickly it took me by more surprise than ever. It was liked getting punched in the gut…out of no where. I think once she left the room I cried a little. I had convinced myself it would be a girl this time.
I remember lying in bed with my husband discussing what we needed to get for the 2nd baby and I mentioned a cute Pottery Barn bedding set that I wanted to get and monogram. He said, “Well couldn’t he just use the same set we already have?” I burst into tears. “This baby doesn’t have anything special. He gets hand-me-down clothes, car seat, toys, stroller. I just want something to make this experience feel different and special!!” Guess who got the PB crib bedding?

#3

We have always wanted 4 children but in my mind I wanted to have 2 close together then a 3-4 yr space and then 2 more close together. Life doesn’t always go according to “plan.” When my 2nd child was 14 months old I got pregnant with our 3rd child. I was not thrilled. We had just settled into a good routine. I was loving having 2 boys and they were just starting to really play together. Life was good.
I was starting over again. The nausea. The exhaustion. The anger. The emotions. The only thing that got me a little excited about this pregnancy was the hope that maybe this time we would have a girl. I mean, how perfect would that be? 2 boys and then 2 girls. Perfection.
For this ultrasound we decided (mistakenly) to bring the boys along. My eldest son was convinced I was having a girl. Told his teachers that I was having a girl and we were calling her “Lucy”.
So when that sonographer again saw…”the 3rd leg”, my sweet 3 yr old son verbalized what I wanted to. He yelled out “NO!!! It’s a girl!! No you’re wrong. It’s not a boy. We have boys. It’s a girl!!!” We left the doctor’s office and he broke my heart when I was loading him in the car and he started crying…so desperate for a little sister. He and I sat on the couch at home, held each other and shared tears of sadness.

#4

My wonderful gift, my 3rd child (who is gorgeous and sweet and awesome in soooo many ways) was almost 2 by the time we got pregnant. That’s the longest I’ve gone between pregnancy. I was having some medical issues and was actually about to start medication when I discovered I was pregnant…against all odds.
I am so excited to be pregnant this time. I have been telling everyone that I would be happy if this baby was a boy or a girl. Having a family of 4 boys sounds so fun. Having a girl for the first time would be wonderful as well. I truly thought that’s what I believed…until I purchased the Intelligender test and the results revealed…”BOY!”.
I just completely lost it. Sobbing uncontrollably on the bed. Listing off all the things I would “never” get to experience…ballet class, passing down my Barbies, tea parties, painting toe nails, braiding hair.
It has taken me two weeks since taking that test to come to the point of being okay with the results. I know that this baby is such a precious gift. I know that I am meant to be a mother to boys and that is a special blessing. I know that mother-daughter relationships are not always wonderful & can be really challenging. I know that I may still get 4 amazing daughter-in-laws and granddaughters.
Mostly, I am thankful for a test that helped reveal my true feelings before the ultrasound. There is still a small chance that I am having a girl…a fact to be revealed in 3 weeks. But I am thankful for the opportunity to enjoy this ultrasound, instead of crying big, fat, ugly tears of disappointment. I will be able to examine each of the amazing features of that baby and be in awe of the miracle of life.


Heather MacFadyen has been married for 12 years, is the mother of
3 young boys and, in her “free time”, writes for her blog,
www.godcenteredmom.com. Her goal is to encourage other moms (and
herself) to daily clothe themselves in humility by placing God in the
center, so they can serve their families with joy and to bring God
glory.

Guest Blogger Thursday ~ Lisa from ICouldUseADeal.com

support during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum

About the Doula | Benefits of a Labor Doula | Doula Services

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our third child, we made the decision to give birth naturally with a midwife. Our first two were born in the hospital with full out inductions and epidurals (for no medical reason), because we were uneducated about childbirth and we followed the hospital norms. Skeptical about a home birth, my husband agreed to a birthing center birth. It wasn’t until about 31 or 32 weeks that someone introduced me to a doula in training.

doula is an experienced, non-medical assistant who provides physical, emotional and informed choice support in prenatal care and support, during childbirth and during the postpartum period. A birth doula offers continuous care for labor in many settings, to include homebirth, birth center and hospital birth.
You would have never guessed that my doula was in training. I felt like a queen during the entire labor and birth process, and I could not have pictured my birth going any better than it did. I firmly believe that having a doula by my side made a world of difference in the way I labored and gave birth to our son. I was confident, empowered, happy, fun-loving, not stressed, excited, certain, relieved, over joyed, calm, and on and on and on, mostly because I had a wonderful doula who helped me be strong and helped me enjoy my birthing experience!
According to DONA International:
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
  • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals

Research shows parents who receive support can:

  • Feel more secure and cared for
  • Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
  • Have greater success with breastfeeding
  • Have greater self-confidence
  • Have less postpartum depression
  • Have lower incidence of abuse
After the natural, un-medicated birth of my son, I     decided that I had found my calling. It is a great feeling to help empower and support women through one of the most important and joyous rite of passages in their life.
I am extremely honored to be able support mothers during this special time, and I feel that every mother, no matter her circumstance should have the gift of the presence of a doula for her pregnancy, labor, and postpartum adventures.
I am currently taking time off  from being a doula as we prepare to welcome our fourth child into our family in late September or early October.  At this birth I will have 2 aspiring doulas in attendance as well as the midwives and their apprentices (who happen to be doulas as well).  Although we have chosen not to OFFICIALLY (via medical testing) find out the gender of this baby, our 12 year old daughter will have the honor of announcing to the room the gender of her new sibling.  We just took the IntelliGender test this morning, and our result was: 
About the Author: www.BetweentheKids.com – Lisa Johnston is a Mom Blogger and labor doula from Houston, Texas.  She and her husband have three kiddos and one on the way.  In her spare time, while others like long walks on the beach, reading dirty novels, and fine dining, she’s picking Spaghettio’s out of the couch, wiping bottoms,  and, of course, cruising the internet to find deals to post on the blog she staff writes for www.ICouldUseaDeal.com.

Guest Blogger Thursday – Elizabeth Schubert from A Domestic Muse

Life after Miscarriage(s)

~Elizabeth Schubert
 I never thought that I would miscarry. I’d learned about them in school, and heard stories from friends and family members, but it was always something that happened to ‘other people’, not to me.
My husband, Chris, and I met when his family moved to our small island community, and we instantly hit it off. Four years of amazing friendship later, we started dating. A year and a half after that, we were engaged and set to marry in March the following year. We planned on waiting a year or two until having children, so a month before our wedding, I went on the pill, because, the worrier that I am, I wanted to make sure that I was settled in the daily regimen.
Two months into our young married life, I noticed that even though I was taking the “period” part of the Pill, I wasn’t having one. I admit to freaking out a little, (ok, a lot) and rushed over to my doctor’s office for a pregnancy test. Those five minutes waiting for the test results have probably been the longest in my entire life. Finally, the nurse came back with a confused look on her face. She told me that I was indeed pregnant, but I had very small amounts of hCG.  Not knowing really what that meant, I shrugged it off and left the office with a smile plastered on my face, but fear wrenching my heart. I was terrified that I had harmed our precious baby by continuing to take the Pill while unknowingly pregnant.
When I went in for my newly scheduled appointment with my gynecologist the following day, she assured me that the baby was fine, and that I shouldn’t worry. She told me that many women who conceive on the Pill don’t realize it, like me, but go on to have healthy babies anyway. So, I tried to stop worrying. I made an appointment off the island to get an ultrasound, and my darling hubby came with me. We watched in wonder as the technician showed us two little blips on the screen, and happily informed us that we were expecting twins! I think if Chris hadn’t been sitting, he would have fainted. Having twins, the first time around the pregnancy/parenthood wheel, is a very scary thing when you’re young and have been married less than six months. But we were happy, and for a moment, everything was perfect.
And then that moment ended. A week after that ultrasound, I began having intense cramps, so painful that they would bring me to my knees. A few hours into that, I started bleeding. I was devastated and totally freaked out. I knew what was happening, but I wouldn’t allow myself to believe it. After a while, the bleeding tapered off, and as I sat on my grandmother’s couch, I cried my eyes out to her and my mom.  Both of them suggested I go see my aunt and uncle, who is a nurse and doctor, respectfully. Now, having a doctor with his own office is great, but when you just want a little understanding and comfort instead of logical responses, it can be a pain.
Several days and pints of ice cream later, prepared for the worst, I went. They started off the appointment by handing me a plastic cup and pointing me to the bathroom. I remember thinking very unkind thoughts as I walked, humiliated, into the bathroom. I peed in the cup, which I am still envious of men for this particular anatomy difference, and put in it the box in the wall. I went back into the examination room where I then was instructed to lay down.  As I lay there on the examination table with my shirt tucked under my breasts, I tried not to cry as he pushed an audio only ultrasound around my stomach.  He made another pass across my abdomen and we heard a thump-swish. As he moved back over the spot, we heard the magnificent sound of a heartbeat. We both looked at each other in surprise, and then I burst into tears. He began the search for a second one, but only found the one. He made me a second ultrasound appointment for the next day at the off island hospital. This one I went by myself on, because we couldn’t afford to have Chris miss more work. Once there, I looked at the screen in an odd state of bliss and deep sadness. There was really only one little dot, but I was so thankful for that little dot that eventually grew into my now two and a half year old daughter, Felicity.
After five pre-term labor scares, four of which were stopped, and twenty-five hours of pain (7 hours of that actually wasn’t that bad, believe me or not, I slept during my labor!), she was born, healthy, happy and pink. Six pounds, and fourteen glorious ounces at thirty-six weeks.
We couldn’t have been happier with our gorgeous little princess, despite the lingering sadness I still felt for her lost twin. And that old wives tale of you can’t conceive while breastfeeding? Yeah… that one is false for us. We did, and while it worried us, mostly about how we would handle a newborn and pregnancy at the same time, we welcomed this surprise pregnancy with open hearts. I miscarried at 8 weeks. I was devastated, and was a zombie for several days. I asked my uncle and my gynecologist what could be causing these miscarriages, and I was given the same vague answers. There was something wrong in the chromosomal match-up, or there was something else just as wrong with the pregnancy, or my body just didn’t have enough hormones. Being told that you and your husbands DNA doesn’t match up right is not something I enjoyed hearing. They told me not to worry about it, and that it probably wouldn’t happen again, since the women who have miscarriages still have good chances at conceiving again and having normal pregnancies. Miscarriage isn’t a disease, and just because you have one, or several, doesn’t mean you’ll never have more children.
Soon after, I had an IUD inserted. About six months later, I conducted my monthly check to make sure the IUD was in place. Much to my surprise, it was not. The thing I loved about having an IUD, was the fact that I stopped having monthlies. It was fantastic, until I started bleeding very heavily. I took my daughter to my doctor’s office for an emergency visit and was told that no, my IUD was not in there, and yes, I was indeed having my third miscarriage. I bawled. I cried so hard and it made Felicity cry, and we both cried together as I rocked us back and forth on the examination table.
I was told to go home, get some rest and food, and to come back in a week and have another IUD inserted. They gave me some iron supplements to take for the blood loss and told me to drink plenty of water. I nodded and sobbed my way out of the office, into the car, and back home, where I put Felicity to bed, grabbed a pint of ice cream and two iron pills, and cried myself to sleep.
   At this point, I was so depressed, that I had no will to do anything. 
I struggled daily to find the energy to do anything. I constantly blamed myself for the miscarriages, and I began to hate myself. I felt that I was a horrible mother, because my body kept throwing away these children that I so desperately wanted. I felt overwhelmed by guilt and hopelessness, and there were very few things that made me feel better. I was tired all the time, and even as I watched the baby fat just slide off of my body, I couldn’t be happy about it. I was wearing my old clothes again, and I looked as if I had never had a baby, apart from the awesome jump in bra sizes. My depression only got worse when my body gave up breastfeeding. I was eating the extra calories needed for it, but my body stopped making milk. That brought me to another level entirely of depression, and I began hating myself because I felt like I wasn’t providing even basic natural nutrients for my baby. I felt tremendous guilt when we started her on formula, and the awful looks and things that were said to me on the subject, some comments by my husbands family, just put more nails in my shame-filled coffin.
I wasn’t interested in anything, and I latched onto Felicity like a lifeline. She was my miracle, my blessing. I had started wondering why God was tormenting me, by giving me these pregnancies, and then taking them away. I started to wonder what I was doing wrong to earn such spite. I couldn’t stop the vicious cycle that had started in my mind, and with each spiral I kept sinking further and further into depression. I was prescribed antidepressants, vitamin D, and a slew of other drugs that were supposed to make me better, including sleep aids.  In what seemed a very short period of time, I was taking over a dozen pills every morning, and then the same dozen at night.
When Felicity was just past her first birthday, Chris and I decided that it was time to try again. I was terrified, and still placing guilt on myself, but, convinced by family and science, I got my IUD removed. A couple months of trying went by with no luck, and I started wondering if there was something else wrong with me. I went to the off island hospital to get some testing done, taking a list of things that my aunt had given me of possible things that I may have. I was tested for everything. Endometriosis, cancer, ovarian cysts, AIDS, all of the letters of Hepatitis, and down on to poly-cystic ovary syndrome. Nothing. They even tested my blood to make sure that I wasn’t RH negative. Nope, I’m O+.  There was no medical reason, that I was given, that accounted for these losses. The doctors who tested me suggest that I take a prenatal (which I was already doing) and said to come back for some fertility treatments if we hadn’t conceived in a year. OK then.
Another two months went by, and finally, we got a positive test! If I hadn’t been so paranoid by this point, I would have jumped up and down. We would have another baby. I forced myself, multiple times a day, to think that this would be it. This would be the one that would make it through the full nine months. Week six went by. Week eight. With each passing day, my confidence and happiness grew and grew. Week ten. Week eleven…
And then it happened. I lost the baby a day later, at my home, and it was terrifying. It happened in the bathtub, and embarrassing as it is, Felicity was in there with me, and I thought I was just having gas. Well, it wasn’t gas, as I quickly found out. I grabbed Felicity and plopped her out of the tub, wrapped a towel around her body and asked her to go get a diaper. As she left the bathroom, I stared at the bloody water and nearly fainted right there and then.
Once again, the vicious thoughts popped back into my head, calling me things that I wouldn’t call anyone. I didn’t know what to do, I only knew that I couldn’t allow my daughter to see it. I emptied the tub and wrapped a towel around myself, smiling as she came back into the bathroom with her diaper. I diapered her, and placed her in her room with her building blocks, asking her to stay here and play while mommy got dressed. As she entertained herself, I dealt with this new loss. Tears slid down my cheeks as I looked at my angel, and some part of my mind refused to acknowledge what I was seeing. I went outside into my shed and found a little box and a shovel. Around the side of my house, I have a little garden where I buried my child, and in some ways that brought closure, but in others, it’s a constant reminder of what I’ve been through.
As of today, I have had a total of five miscarriages, the most recent one happened two months ago. I got sick with the flu and had a temperature of 102.6 degrees for three days. My doctor tells me anyone would have lost a pregnancy after a fever that high and that long, but that’s a small comfort.
My husband and I are committed to adding to our family, and have made a plan. I have since stopped taking antidepressants, as I believe they made me worse. I still take Vitamin D and a prenatal vitamin, but the thing I think has helped me the most is myself. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great, if a little confused, support group; my mom, husband, and best friend Jacquelynn being the biggest members. I was told, by lots of different people that it was all in my head, or I was exaggerating, and that miscarriages are a natural part of life. To some extent, I do believe that last one. Miscarriage is natural, as much as it hurts to believe that. When I say that my biggest help was myself, I mean it. Even through all of the angry and blaming voices in my head, it was a daily struggle to tune them out, and sometimes, argue with myself. In a way, I have come to terms with these losses, and while I still cry when thinking of the children that might have been, I know that there is some reason why. I can’t tell you the reason, because I simply don’t know, and while I’m still on shaky terms with God about that, I do believe there is a reason.
A very good friend of mine told me, just two weeks ago, that these losses may not have been something gone wrong, but it’s that the child that little cell would have turned into, was not ready, or that we were not ready as parents to parent that child. It doesn’t make a lot of sense at first, and it sounds very weird, but I draw some comfort in it. There may be something more I need to learn in order to be the best mother I can be to future children, and I’m ok with that. I love to learn, and I dearly want to be the best mother I can.
For a very long time, I didn’t want to talk about my story to anyone, for fear of rejection and ridicule. It took me a long time to admit I was having problems, and even longer to seek help for them. I still have doubts and worries, but I have a stronger will to be happy. I forced myself for months to be happy, to literally turn my frown upside down. And now, it’s so easy, I don’t even think about it. I am content with my life, and I love every minute of being a mother and a wife.
   My biggest and strongest plea to other women who have experienced loss is to not blame yourself.
I know you’ve probably heard this hundreds, if not thousands of times before, and I know it’s harder than it seems. Turn your mind around when you start going into the depths of despair, think about the good things you have in your life already, put some happy music on. Now, I’m not telling you not to grieve, that is a very important step in the healing process. I’m still going through it, but there are different ways to grieve. You can wallow and mope about for months or years, or you can take the time to acknowledge the loss but not let it consume you. You will be happy again, and if you continue to brave the journey to parenthood, even the second or third (or more!) time around, I know you will be blessed.
Make a plan. Write it down. Our plan is simple. We’re going to try again for another year, and if nothing comes of that, then we are going to adopt. We want more children very much, and if we can’t have more children of our own, then maybe we are called to adopt a child, give them a home, a family, and the love that they deserve. We already have all of our paperwork in, our background checks done, our home check appointment is in a month, and all of our ducks are in a row. Now it’s just a game of hurry up and wait. Please, no matter what your current struggles are, never give up your hope and self worth. If you have children, give them a giant hug and count your blessings.  I know I certainly do.
Visit Elizabeth’s blog, A Domestic Muse here…..

Guest Blogger Thursday ~ Alexis Kendall from Cosmopolitan Woman

Suffering in Silence
– Alexis Kendall
The story of how I became diagnosed with Postpartum depression and how I recovered. I became a better me.


After I had my son four years ago I found myself living in a new state having been moved from California to Florida with a four month old, only having my in-laws as a support system, and being the only people that I knew besides my husband. It was isolating to say the least. When my son was six months old I started to feel like something was a bit off for me. The first thing I noticed was that I could not lose the baby weight no matter how much I exercised or how clean I ate. Frustrating, but I felt that that was my first clue that something was off. As the months went by I started noticing a difference in my energy level.
As time went on I started noticing the feelings of guilt creep in, however I couldn’t figure out why or what was causing these new feelings. I started to feel guilty that I couldn’t lose the weight even six to eight months later. I started to feel guilty that all I wanted to do was sleep instead of get out of bed, but my body was just so tired. I knew it wasn’t because I was sleep deprived because my son slept twelve hours at night and there was no excuse to be tired. The guilt was brought on by everything that I started realizing I couldn’t do as I had when I first had my son. The guilt was becoming a constant theme throughout my daily routine. I would tell myself that I was being irrational, or unreasonable, but no matter how positive I tried to be, the feelings of despair, guilt, shame and unworthiness to be my son’s mother always came looming back into my mind. I tried getting out more and tried to find more things to do to keep me busy. There would be a few days that would go by and I would think to myself, “Wow, today was a great day! Maybe I was just having a bad few months.” Then slowly as the weeks passed the feelings always came back.
When it really became troublesome was when I started feeling very anxious. The anxiety was like a freight train; once it started there was no stopping it, even after I tried pulling the emergency brake. The train was out of control. The anxiety turned into full blown panic attacks where I felt like I was having a heart attack, but I didn’t know I was having anxiety attacks so it was very scary. The best way to describe an anxiety attack is: extremely overwhelming feelings that not only consume your mind, but also the feelings take over your body. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell yourself to calm down the feelings just rush over you like a tidal wave and you’re left with the aftermath. It was one of the most out of control times of my life.
When I finally decided to go and see a doctor it was on one of my “bad days” as I called it. I had just had an anxiety attack and decided that it was time to find out what was going on with me. I was scared, felt alone, and didn’t know who to tell. The problem that later occurred was that my doctor didn’t know what was wrong with me. He did put me on anti depressants because I asked him if I could be depressed. He thought maybe they would help with my “mood swings” as the doctors referred to them. Not long after I started taking the anti depressants I began to lose my hair and a slew of other problems. The new symptoms became greater and more obvious that something else was going on with my body.
Still depressed, anxiety ridden, and on fifteen different medications for all the “new” symptoms that kept arising, I had never felt worse physically and mentally. I was fifty pounds heavier, balding, and losing my fingernails and toenails. I felt like I was a shell of the person I once was.
 I was trapped inside my own body and could not get out, could not reach out for help, and could not imagine living like this forever.
In the midst of all of this we had a disagreement with my in-laws. I wasn’t prepared for what they had felt. They had felt that there was something wrong with me and going on with me. To them my behavior was concerning, and I can guess that I probably scared them because they didn’t know what was wrong with me either. The disagreement came about because I didn’t feel my problems with depression and anxiety caused me to be a “bad” mother as it was put. I had already had so much guilt that hearing the words “bad mother” and “not fit” was devastating. I knew in my heart that during the darkest part of my depression that protecting my son and making sure he had very stable and loving parents was one of my utmost concerns. I did the best I could with the situation that I was given even under a doctor’s care. I never had feelings of wanting to hurt my son. I always thought of him as a light in my life and he is what gave me the strength to keep pushing forward, even when sometimes deep down I wondered if my husband and son would be better off without me around. I would think about leaving them to keep them from experiencing what I was going through, to protect them from seeing me in the state I was in. It was like I disappeared. I could see them but they couldn’t see me. I was no longer in the physical body that I once was.
What I learned was that the disclosure that my in-laws left me with caused me to feel like everything I was doing was for nothing. All the suffering I had counted for nothing even though I wanted to be a better me. I wanted to be well! I wanted to be healthy! I just didn’t know how to get myself back to that place. I felt that since I couldn’t cope with the harshness of their words and couldn’t forgive myself for being what they said I was, I decided to put myself in therapy.
Over the next year and half in therapy it was then that my therapist diagnosed me with postpartum depression. She realized by hearing me talk about all that I experienced those years that I indeed had suffered with depression brought on by the birth of my son. It spiraled for months going untreated, but my health took a turn for the worst when I was put on anti depressants. For my body, the medications made my illness worse. I had a reaction to the medications and didn’t know it for a year and a half. When my therapist confirmed this to me that day I started to cry, because I knew the whole time that I hadn’t gone crazy, I knew that I wasn’t lazy, I knew that I loved my husband and son, I knew that I was a good mother and a good wife. I knew it all along, but I just suffered in silence for two years. Even though my family knew something was different about me, the matter of contention I had was that instead of putting me down, telling me I was making it up, or accusing me of being an unfit mother, I just needed someone to listen. Instead their words just pushed me further away. How could I ever ask for help from my family when they felt this way and they didn’t even know what was wrong with me? What would they have thought of me if I did tell them what I was really going through?
          What I learned was you have to tell someone that you trust.
Always tell someone you trust and you feel safe with: A doctor, a therapist, a friend, a mother, a sister, or even your husband. Never ever feel like you are alone in this. It may feel that way, but the ones who care for you will always be there and will understand. I chose to tell my doctor first, but unfortunate circumstances forced me into therapy and I am thankful everyday that it turned out like that. I never gave up and I always knew that I was never meant to suffer in silence alone.
-Alexis Kendall
If you have ever experienced postpartum depression and would like to share your stories, please feel free to email me at: alexisdkendall@aol.com Support from anyone you trust is what will get you through this.
Please visit my blogs at: www.cosmopolitanwoman.wordpress.com & http://ditavonpike2.wordpress.com
Also on Facebook and Twitter

Guest Blogger Thursday ~ Shelly from TwinPossible

TwinPossible

Parenting multiples is an incredible job. It has its rewards and its struggles, though the 1st helps you to overcome the latter. Basically, as mom to more then one baby at a time, you must become a sort of ‘human octopus’, if you will. No number of hands can ever be too many.

You are always racing to rescue somebody, or prevent somebody’s eyes from being poked, or hair being pulled, which at times, the recipient of the abuse, will indeed be you. That’s what you get for all of your love and sacrifice, hey? (Just kidding.) In canning the humor for a moment, it’s truly an amazing experience, and a joy that I never expected, but now can’t imagine living without.

Having two smiling faces looking up at you every morning with unconditional love in their eyes, is absolutely unexplainable. It really helps get you through the day. The chaos, the madness, the ripping off of bibs and now diapers.

As unequivocally petrified as I was when I found I was pregnant with twins, it has been one of the greatest 5 gifts of my entire life, and something that should you ever find yourself pregnant with twins, you should truly celebrate, and not fear so much. Don’t rob yourself of the joy and the beauty of a twin pregnancy, as did I. That is my biggest regret in hindsight.

If I can do it, despite all of my flaws, and love it beyond measure, so can you to! As I always say, ‘God makes no mistakes…only miracles’, and I thank him every day, for mine.

Blog: www.twinpossible.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/twinpossible
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Twin-Possible

Guest Blogger Thursday ~ Shawn A. Tassone, MD

Can My Baby’s Heart Rate Tell Me the Gender?

Is there a way you can tell the gender of your unborn baby before it’s born? So many myths surround gender prediction that it’s often difficult to discern the real from the surreal. Of all the pregnancy myths, gender prediction myths are probably the most encountered. The most common of these rely on fetal heart rate to predict whether the baby will be a boy or a girl.

In our clinic we hear expectant mothers declare that a heart rate of 140 beats per minute indicates a girl; others swear that the cut-off is the 150 mark. The truth of the matter is that a normal fetal heart rate fluctuates between 120 to 160 beats per minutes. In fact, if measure the fetal heart rate at ten minute intervals during an hour, you might just get six different heart rates, some above 140, and many below.

This variation has more to do with the developing fetal brain than the genitalia (although some would argue that the male brain and genitalia are one in the same.) The fetus’ brain is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system (the flight or fight response) and the parasympathetic system (relaxation.) As the fetus develops, these two systems engage in a power struggle. The heart rate speeds up when stimulated by the sympathetic system, and slows down when controlled by the parasympathetic response. We usually listen to the fetal heart for about ten to thirty seconds at a time in the office. If the baby is moving, the rate may be higher than if it were sleeping.

This variation also applies to men and women, boys and girls, none of whom have different heart rates based on gender. If someone stood behind a curtain, for instance, and I told you that person’s heart rate, you would not be able to determine if that person were male or female. The same holds true for an unborn baby. Thus, science again rears its materialistic head and claims this myth is simply not true. The wonderful thing to remember is that your baby does not easily fit into some descriptive box, and he or she is as individual as you are.

Even though fetal heart rate cannot predict your baby’s gender, IntelliGender™has a high predictive value and is a fun option.

Shawn A. Tassone, MD is a board certified OB-GYN in Tucson, AZ and with his wife Kathryn Landherr, MD are the authors of “Hands Off My Belly! The Pregnant Woman’s Survival Guide to Myths Mothers and Moods”.  Mom’s Choice Gold Recipient 2010 and for sale on Amazon.


Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/PregnancyMyths
Website: http://www.handsoffmybellyguide.com

Guest Blogger Thursday ~ Kirsty from Momedy!

This mama r*o*c*k*s! Be sure to check our her blog and Twitter feed listed below. She adores followers too!

Early in my pregnancy, when I had taken to my bed with morning/afternoon/all night sickness, I turned to cable TV to numb my misery with the likes of the (Un)Real Housewives of Various Unaffordable Locations. But those skinny chicks could only do so much for me. Before long, I was checking out TLC and I was completely addicted to the slew of childbirth related shows they serve up. My kids have become accustomed to arriving home from school to find me slack-jawed, glued to the latest episode of, “I didn’t know I was pregnant”.

This show mesmerizes me because in my experience, pretty much the moment implantation occurs, I know, and I make sure everyone else knows, that I am pregnant. I don’t believe in suffering in silence you see.

As a doula, a mom of four and currently pregnant with my 5th child, I am fairly well acquainted with childbirth and “I didn’t know I was pregnant” defies everything I have witnessed relating to pregnancy and childbirth.

The show opens dramatically with quotes flashed across the screen including, “no morning sickness” (this makes me bitter), “no weight gain” (I gain weight just thinking about being pregnant) and “no movement” (hard to fathom, since from the 7th month on, I was almost certain that each of my unborn babies were trying to burrow their way out, Shawshank-style by way of my belly button).

These weird anomalies aside, I think most pregnant and birthing women have more in common than not.

For instance, I have never attended an un-medicated birth (my own included) during which at some point the mother did not growl the words, “GET. IT .OUT”. No matter how serene and well prepared the mother was for childbirth, no matter how stoically she makes her way through the process, there comes a time during transition or pushing when things get primal. Usually the mom has no recollection of this utterance but it’s always there. And it always makes me smile because I know it means baby is about to make its debut.

Other truisms for us who do know we are pregnant? I’ve never met a mom who didn’t obsess over the gender of the baby. Even if they don’t care one way or another, they think about it constantly. All of us worry to some extent that everything is ok. All of us have dealt with unsolicited opinions regarding the size of our “bump”. And the most universal truism? Upon meeting that tiny wailing bundle, all of us agree that every single pregnancy trial and tribulation that we were so acutely aware of, was more than worth the trouble.

Momedy
Blog: http://momedy.blogspot.com/
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/momedykirsty