Yes, I know it’s only Tuesday!
Is it Friday yet?
I’ll be leaving in a few minutes to finally go have an abscessed tooth removed. The prospect of a visit to the dentist office has never excited me so much before today! I have been in bed due to this tooth since last Wednesday. Like I said, rough week.
So, rather than writing a new Just Talkin’ Tuesday (which I’ve been unable to do because you see, I have been clinging to the ceiling in pain), I thought we could revisit some of the more recent posts instead.
Here are the five most recent Just Talkin’ Tuesdays. Feel free to jump in and share your thoughts on one or all of them!
The person who coined the phrase, “Sleep like a baby,” clearly never had one. Granted, when babies DO sleep, they are peaceful. For all of what seems like two seconds. And then bam. Right when you hit the couch, they’re up again. Diaper. Feed. Burp. Walk. Rock. Glare at the pile of laundry skulking off to Vegas and wondering how you can hitch a ride without anyone calling CPS. Yeah, I think we’ve all been there a time or two.
I remember the early days. Blurring together, feeling like I had just closed my eyes only to have hubs waking me to inform me of Babe’s infinitely empty stomach. But I JUST nursed! No, it was about two hours ago. What the… really? So I’d jump roll slowly creep out of bed as I cursed the boob monster responsible for ripping me from my nest.
Sleep. My best friend in college. The reason I had no classes before noon my senior year. The reason my last quarter of college only had me in one class well after noon and only twice a week. I mean, really. Whole days of sleeping in – who is going to begrudge you that in college?
Once the kids are in school, I tell myself, I will take the first day off. I will put all three of the children on a bus at 635 a.m. because that’s what time it gets here, I will smile and wave. And then? Then I will Irish Jig ALL the way up the damned driveway, happily skip into my bedroom, reset my alarm for 2pm, and close my eyes. Think I’m kidding? August 5, 2012. I.WILL.SPEND.THE.ENTIRE.DAY.IN.BED. It’s on my calendar.
They say you can’t catch up on sleep. Once you miss it, it’s gone. No sleeping in on the weekend will recapture the sleep you missed out on because Junior decided 345am was an awesome time to wake up and play with trains. Or because Princess decided that 213am was the new 7am. Nope, you’re so screwed out of that time. I don’t know that I believe that. I always feel better after sleeping in on a Saturday.
So let’s get to just talking – how are you sleeping? Falling asleep easy? Feel rested when you wake up? Or are you struggling to fall asleep? Waking up feeling like you never quite got the rest you should have in the hours you were sleeping? Or are you not sleeping at all? Sleep deprivation does feed into Postpartum Depression. And Postpartum Depression? Yeh, it decreases your quality of sleep. Lovely. Oh, the havoc of sleep deprivation!
I will say this – prior to becoming a parent, coffee was not my best friend. It is now my holy grail. For without it, I would never survive.
How do you survive your sleeping issues? What works for you? Any tips for moms with PPD currently struggling with sleep issues? Toss ‘em out there into Comment Land. I’m sure there are some Moms in need of suggestions!
Then Allison from O My Family tweeted an amazing post, “Proof that I am in a better place.”
And I knew.
In her post, Allison thoroughly enjoys cuddling with her son as he sleeps on her chest.
Sure, it sounds innocent and as normal as could be for any mother and child. But for a mom with a Postpartum Mood Disorder, the ability to enjoy a “normal” moment with our babies is often beyond our reach. It fell beyond my own reach for the longest time. Then one day, as I sat watching all three of my children play together peacefully, normal slammed into me.
I wish this moment for every woman struggling with a Postpartum Mood Disorder. We fight so hard against the darkness which envelops us after we give birth. The sunshine is always so much sweeter once the fog has lifted.
As Allison so eloquently closes her post: “By the end I was in tears as the joy flowed over me and I was hit like a brick wall with the realization that this is who I am. This is me, this is my son, this is reality.
It IS good.
I wish you so many more moments like this in the months and years to come. You will certainly have earned them!
P.S. Allison, grab the graphic above and slap it up on your blog, linking back to this post. Brag about your status as the Postpartum Voice of the Week! You deserve it!
Hang on folks – put your seatbelts on and make sure you keep all arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.There’s another shocking study involving sleep and Perinatal Mood Disorders.
It IS important to be aware of your sleep patterns during the postpartum period as sleep deprivation can certainly make you grumpy. It can also cause a number of other issues if not corrected quickly.
That said, a new study published in the July 1st issue of the Journal SLEEP, states that Postpartum Depression may aggravate already impaired sleep quality.
What does that mean exactly?
It means that if you’re already not sleeping well, your visits with dear Mr. Sandman may become even more insignificant if you develop a Perinatel Mood Disorder.
Interestingly enough, 21% of the moms involved reported depression during pregnancy while 46% had experienced a previous bout of depression prior to conceiving.
The risk factors discovered by the researchers involved “Depression, previous sleep problems, being a first time mother, not exclusively breastfeeding or having a younger or male infant were factors associated with poor postpartum sleep quality.”
They also discovered that “Better maternal sleep was associated with the baby sleeping in a different room.”
I find it interesting that not exclusively breastfeeding was a factor in poor postpartum sleep quality. Many times mothers feel that if they could just stop nursing and give a bottle so others in the family could help with the feedings, they would be able to sleep better. I know I finally got rest when I stopped pumping and/or nursing. I do concur with the baby sleeping in a different room – all three of my children slept in their own room in a crib from the day we brought them home from the hospital. We did not want to wean the child from our room at a later date. Those who choose to co-sleep should seriously consider this particular risk, especially if depression is an issue.
The lesson here?
Moms - if you’re not sleeping well, tell your care provider. EMPHASIZE that this is not normal for you.
Caregivers – If a new mom tells you she’s tired, LISTEN. Don’t brush it off as just a new mom thing. Dig beneath the surface. She may be trying to tell you she’s depressed and doesn’t know how else to put it.