Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dealing with Depression

It's not something I like to talk about.

I'm pretty sure it's something no one likes to talk about.

It's painful. Raw. Vulnerable.

It's definitely not something I brag about. And in truth, not many people know it happened and of those who do, there was one who used it against me. That made it a thousand times worse. So, I resolved to keep silent....until I realized that knowledge is power.

I suffered from Postpartum Depression.

In truth, it was a hormonal imbalance/vitamin deficiency. But then again, I'm pretty sure most cases are.

I scared Jason during that time, but mostly I scared myself. I pride myself in always being in control of the one thing I can trust-my mind. But during this time, I had NO idea of how to control my thoughts and emotions.

I was completely out of control of my emotions. If I got upset, I would bottom out and on more than one occasion, totally freak out. I would often have panic attacks over the slightest thing. I couldn't trust my own mind, no matter that I KNEW that I was acting irrationally, I couldn't do anything about it. I didn't just cry, I would be lost in sobbing convulsions. I felt like a failure as a mom and a wife. I was completely overwhelmed with life in general and I didn't know what to do about it.

My case wasn't one of those severe cases where the mom harms her baby. I never had a desire to harm him. Not once. But there were days that I didn't want to exist anymore. Days that I just knew that everyone would be better off without me. Days that I was just tired of hurting. Tired of being.

Jason begged me to talk to my doctor. She immediately took me off the birth control I was taking and put me on a high dosage of B6 and B12. There was an immense improvement after that, I was able to function. But it was still there, simmering under the surface. Waiting for a moment of weakness or a catalyst to set it off. It took months-nearly a year-for me to recover-but the effects of it lasted much longer than that.

I think the major lesson I learned through it all is that suffering from an illness like this is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to blame myself for. It wasn't my fault. I also learned that there's no substitute for talking about it and having an amazing support system.

I think God every day for bringing me out of that dark place. And I hope that maybe one day, my suffering in this season of my life and the lessons I learned will be of use to someone else.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


the first time, it's like a butterfly's wing
soft, gentle, easy to mistake
so brief and so rare that it's easy to dismiss
as something else
something not as beautiful

then it happens again and i'm almost sure
but then i wait
and wait
and wait
and feel nothing

it's so slight and unsure and so rare 
that i allow worry
and doubt
and fear
to creep in

then one night-so late it's early-
when i lie as still as can be
and wait
begging to feel it again
then there you are

no longer easy to mistake
no longer cool and gentle
it feels powerful and warm
and distinctly like life
you are real, you are there, you are mine

suddenly i know that everything

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Feeding Jax

Jax refuses to eat solids (for the most part). I mean, it's partly mostly my fault, I haven't really pushed him to eat solids. Our doctor recommend exclusively breastfeeding until 9 months, and since I haven't been ready to give up that bonding ritual, I haven't felt it necessary to push him to eat solids-in fact, I rejoiced at the fact that I could continue providing the only nourishment he gets-it's exhilarating and there is nothing that can compare to those sweet nursing moments.

It's not just the bonding either. Formula is expensive! I don't know how people do it! At $20-30 a can, I could have easily spent upwards of $400 a month on formula alone. So in 9 months, we've essentially saved $3600. I'm grateful for the availability of formula, because I know that there are moms who just can't breastfeed. However, breastfeeding is a choice I'm very glad I made.

But there are downfalls. Jax doesn't take a bottle well.  At first, I was glad. That meant he had to be with me everywhere I went or I had to be back within 3 hours, and let's face it, I didn't want to leave him anyway. I mean, if I had to, I could pump and leave him with a bottle, but pumping is a lot of work, and I'm lazy. So Jason and I don't get a lot of alone time.

There's a part of me-a teensy, weensy selfish part-that wishes Jax would wean already. I'm tired. It's exhausting.

Jax loves his ninny. (So much that it was his second word, after da-da and before ma-ma.)

The other, much larger, part of me is very protective of our nursing relationship. I don't want to cut him off prematurely-as long as there is a benefit, I want him to get it. I find myself grieving at the thought of not having those quiet moments that make all the problems of the world disappear as I can bask in the relationship with my son, the relationship that noone else will ever have with him. For a full 18 months (in utero and out) I've been Sweet Jax's lifeline, his sole source of nourishment, which is not only satisfying, it's beautiful.

How incredible is it, God's design for our bodies? That for 9 (10?) months this tiny being is formed from nearly nothing, grows from microscopic to an incredible newborn with all the same organs and body parts as an adult? That the woman's body was perfectly designed to carry and nourish this little being until it is capable of life in the real world? That once the child is born, the mother is able to continue to nourish the child for months and in some cases years?  A truly well thought out design. Thank you, Father, for your amazing plan for our lives!

Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
1 Thessalonians 2:7
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
Jeremiah 1:5
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” 
Luke 11:27
because of your father’s God, who helps you,
    because of the Almighty, who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
    blessings of the deep springs below,
    blessings of the breast and womb. 
Genesis 49:25

In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  
Hebrews 5:12-14

“Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice greatly with her,
all you who mourn over her.
For you will nurse and be satisfied
at her comforting breasts;
you will drink deeply
and delight in her overflowing abundance.”
For this is what the Lord says:
"I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried on her arm
and dandled on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
Isaiah 66:10-13

Sunday, May 6, 2012

No more disposables!

After 9 months of fighting with multiple rashes on Sweet Jax's belly, thighs, bum and more-no matter how many diapers we tried-Jason and I made the switch to cloth. Initially, we weren't sure about the whole cloth diaper thing. We had visions of white cotton rectangles and diaper pins and to be honest, it scared us. But we also knew that something had to be done, because though the rash didn't seem to bother Jax, we knew it couldn't be healthy and it definitely bothered us. I was thrilled discover that cloth diapers today look nothing like I envisioned. There are so many options-options that are just as easy as disposable diapers. I found myself swimming in terms like AIO, pockets, one-size, fitted. How could I possibly choose? One major drawback was the cost-each diaper was easily $15 or more! 12 diapers (what Jason and I figured to be the minimum necessary to CD full-time) would be at least $180, and since we are struggling to be debt free, we just don't have that lying around. I stumbled across KaWaii and read wonderful things about the company. I was positively thrilled with their prices-around $8 per diaper, with free shipping. We ordered 12 and anxiously awaited their arrival.

Moooove over plastic, there's a new diaper in town!
When they arrived, I was unprepared for how incredibly soft they were. I was in love! Each diaper came with 2 inserts (we use 1 insert for day time and 2 for night)

These are waaaayyy cuter than disposables.
 We did have to buy some CD friendly detergent. I already use All Free and Clear (which is wonderful for our clothes), because let's face it, Jax's sensitive skin comes to him honestly, but I'd read mixed reviews about how it does with Cloth Diapers. I found Ecos which was rated as good for cloth diapers by several of the reviews I read. Prepping the diapers was easy. Cold rinse, wash, rinse, rinse, tumble dry low and we're ready to go!

Because I'm crazy, we put the diapers to the ultimate test on the first try-nighttime!  Jax has been known to leak in his disposables overnight, so I was interested to see how the Good Night Heavy Wetter would hold up.

 KaWaii Good Night Heavy Wetter-Double Stuffed for nighttime. This diaper is super bulky, but I don't care since it's for night use.
Jax woke up the next morning completely dry and leak free! Yay!! I was thrilled to use the diapers throughout the rest of the day and was struck by how incredibly easy they turned out to be. I take off the dirty diaper and put in a laundry bag (or wet bag if we're out and about) and put the new one on. Easy peasy! The only downfall is that the diapers are considerably "fluffier" than disposables, which means that sometimes his pants are a little tight. I do think the "fluffy butt" is adorable though!

How cute is that fluffy little rump?
Another aspect I'm impressed by is how well the diapers fit! Our diapers are one-size, which means they adjust to fit from 8-36 lbs! After one week, I'm fairly certain that we will never go back to plastic disposables again! Later I'll write about how to use the diapers and the laundering process. :)

Oh, and in case you were wondering- all of Sweet Jax's rashes are completely gone. Yay cloth!!

What do you think? Would you ever use cloth diapers?

Monday, April 30, 2012


What is love?

Is it a feeling?

An emotion?




Is it even something that can be defined?

I'm not sure I can describe love, I mean I use the word every day. I say "I love you" on a regular basis. I love my parents. I love my siblings. I love my husband. I love my son. I love my Jesus.

But the love I "feel" for the people in my life is as different as the relationships I have with them.

I admire my mom and I'm grateful for the influence she has on my life and the example she has set for me as a Godly woman. I enjoy spending time with her and learning from her.

My little sister is my best friend (other than my husband.) I feel a fierce protectiveness over her. There's a comfortableness between us that can't be replicated. We read each other so well, sometimes we don't even have to speak.

The passion I have for my husband is unlike anything I ever anticipated. After nearly 2 years of marriage, I still get butterflies when he looks at me a certain way. I feel protected by him, safe and taken care of. I have never felt so secure in a relationship in my life. He is truly my other half.

I was totally unprepared for the emotions that flooded my being the first time I held my son. I would do anything for him. Though he's only 9 months old, I can't imagine my life without him. He is a part of me and I have such joy every time I see his smile and my heart breaks in two when I hear his cry. He has a hold on my very being.

I'm grateful to my Savior. He's loved me longer and better than I've ever loved him. Without Him, I am nothing.

My prayer is that I learn to operate in perfect love in every way, because without love, I am nothing.

So, what is love?

I don't know if I will ever have an answer, but it becomes more complete every day. Until then, this is what I know:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13 4-8a 

Heavenly Father,
Teach me to love with your love. Show me how to be the wife and mother I am called to be. Use me to love the unlovable and love those who have done me wrong. Let Your love shine through me.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

discovering my joy

My original blog was called Out of the Fishbowl.

It was about discovering myself outside of being a preacher's kid.

The problem is that I've been out of the Fishbowl for years now, and it's time to move on. It's time to live. It's time to let the past rest. It's time to Simplify my Joy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

life changes

You can read the title of this post as a noun, or as a noun followed by a verb. Either one is a fair assessment.
On August 3, Jason and I welcomed our precious son, Jax, into our lives. 10 days later we moved from our condo to a town house down the street. God really blessed us with this place, it’s much larger and not much more expensive.
9 days after we moved, I started a new job. Now, I know what you’re thinking….
Why would anyone start a new job just 3 weeks after giving birth?
Well, because I’m crazy! this new blessing of a job allows me to stay home with Sweet Jax. It also represented a significant increase of income.
I love my new job, I’m reminded every day what a blessing it is in my life. I have the flexibility to cuddle with my Jax in the mornings and work at all hours of the night.
However, I’m pretty confident that Jason and I will not be making any more major, voluntary changes in the near future. We had enough upheaval to last us a few years.