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Archive for August, 2015

3rd Trimester Survey – baby #3

I’ve done this with the other two, so wanted to do it for this one. 🙂

How far along? 28ish weeks

What was the first thing you bought for your baby? 3rd baby means I haven’t bought a single thing, what’s there to buy? Lol. Sorry buddy.

Total weight gain/loss? Total gain of around 11 lbs. At my appointment today I found out I’m 13lbs less at this stage than I was with Timothy, and I was in better shape with him than Brooklyn. So this is my healthiest pregnancy yet, though it has been my worst as far as how I feel.

How are the maternity clothes? I can still wear a lot of my regular shirts, maternity leggings are my favorite thing though. Comfort forever.

Stretch marks? Not with this one.

How’s the sleep? Terrible, up and down so much, I usually fall into a good sleep around 5-6am, which is right around the corner from when it’s time to be up for the day.

Best moment this week? Yet to be determined, the week just started. Hoping for a great week though.

Movement? He moves a lot. I call this baby the ninja baby, because I feel like he moves more than the other two did. Movements are getting painful, I go to bed in pain most nights because of how much space he’s taking up.

Have you taken a birthing class? Nope, been there, done that.

Type of delivery you’re planning on? Drug free is the way to be for me. 🙂

Biggest change in your body besides belly? Hmm. Not swelling like I have in the past. Also I feel like I’m carrying this baby differently than the other two- maybe because he’s the third and my body knows what to do or maybe his position is different.

Food cravings? Really just a lot of aversions. Nothing ever sounds “good” to eat.

Gender? Boy

Labor Signs? Nope, just regular Braxton Hicks. 🙂

Belly Button in or out? Kinda just flat.

What are you missing? Sleeping normally, emotional stability 😉 thanks hormones.

What are you looking forward to? Seeing what this baby looks like, B and T didn’t look alike at all as babies, so I wonder if he will favor one or the other or entirely different.

Other Updates? I’m ready for this little guy to have a name. I’m sort of hoping he comes in October because that is my favorite month and I think that would be cool. Feeling a little anxious about Timothy transitioning from the baby to the middle child (I love that we will have the middle child bond because he is my little twin in so many ways already). Brooklyn did so well when Timothy was born, she is very motherly and pretty independent, Timothy is reserved and though he loves babies he is my number one fan and so I’m not sure how he will do when I’m having to give so much time to the new one. Thankfully he has a mommy #2 (Brooklyn) who will be right by his side as well. 🙂

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The struggle is real.

It’s a four word phrase tossed around about things that aren’t struggles. Ya know, like the first day back to classes for the high schoolers and they are all tweeting “gotta be in pre-alg at 7:40am #thestruggleisreal” or when we girls have a bad hair day and we’re all “humidity -amirite????? the struggle is real” or when Trader Joe’s is out of those candy-cane joe joe’s before it’s even cold outside (that struggle is pretty real, actually).

Anyway, you get what I’m saying.

Some struggles though? They are pretty real.

Most physical struggles people merit realness to without much argument. Seeing someone who has lost their hair in chemo- a struggle we see as real. A wheelchair bound person navigating through unforgiving spaces in a supermarket or mall- a struggle we see as real.

Mental struggles though? Sometimes, most of the time, those are easily dismissed and stigmatized in a way that makes it feel like the person who struggles from these things is simply at fault for just not having a handle on their own life.

I don’t know many people that would approach someone battling cancer and remind them that someone has it worse than they do, to stop feeling sorry for themselves, it’s all in their head, or their cousin tried a home remedy and cured them within 12 seconds so if you would just try it you could probably overcome as well.

I’ve never had cancer, so I can’t claim those things – but I’ve heard people speak to people with evident physical struggles and heard people speak to (and experienced the unsolicited advice in regards to) someone struggling with a mental issue. We approach these differently. I continue to believe (as I’ve said in previous posts) that we just don’t talk about mental illness enough.

So here I am, to continue to talk about mine.

The last time I wrote on depression was a year ago. You can click that link or be satisfied to just read this as a free-standing post.

One thing I wrote in that post is “I am not depressed today so it is easier for me to think about it objectively, but living in the moment of depression – it seems at times like you can’t take ownership over anything…”

Lately though? I’ve been feeling that depression creep back in and I’m not sure I’ve ever written about depression publicly while I was dealing with hints of it here and there and I think that could be beneficial. So here we go.

Maybe you are one of those people that gives glossed over statements to people who struggle with depression or anxiety or name-your-mental-illness. Maybe you learn something by reading this, maybe you need more time to realize there is something to learn. Wherever you are in your understanding of mental illness, I hope you take time to try to understand it better, there is always more to learn. This is depression focused because that’s what I’m dealing with currently, but much of what I’m saying can be applied to other mental illnesses.

I’m nowhere near the most depressed I’ve ever been, but I’ve felt it breathing in my direction lately and so I feel like this is as good a time as any to keep the conversation on mental illness alive. So how about we tackle what some people typically say vs what may be better to say….here we go:

1. Well, try to remember someone always has it worse than you do.  

This approach minimizes depression in a few ways. First, it warrants that perspective is going to win over a condition you can’t control. Second, it’s telling someone that they aren’t allowed to feel what they feel because someone else is feeling something worse.

The perspective shift problem is that depression is not something I choose – just like someone else doesn’t choose cancer. Sure, there are things you can do to decrease the risk of suffering from one or the other – but those are not a sure fix. So, yeah, even when I’m taking care of myself, eating well, sleeping when I can, not indulging in negativity, exercising, etc…I can still suffer from depression. So asking me to remember how much better I have it than someone else, doesn’t validate another person’s real/worse-off struggle so that I can feel blessed, but instead makes me feel invalidated and worse than I was before.

Also, it’s as if saying to someone who is hungry that someone else is starving so they aren’t allowed to be hungry. Both need nourishment, to different degrees, but nourishment is needed none-the-less. So, if you want someone to feel worse about themselves, then sure- stick with this line, if you want to breathe life and hope into someone, I’d encourage you to try: I am sorry you are dealing with this, what you are feeling is important because you are important.

2. Stop feeling sorry for yourself

The thing about depression is it isn’t just a feeling, as much as it is a state of mind. Depression isn’t self-pity. Actually, I would argue most people who are depressed really feel so incredibly awkward when you focus on them, and they are not trying to draw attention to themselves. Self-pity is a ‘woe is me’ type of feeling that says: look at how awful my life is because the world is against me, please feel sorry for me because I’m better than my situation and I am blameless in all of this. Depression is a type of mindset that says: look how awful you are, your surroundings/circumstances are a product of your inadequacy, you are to blame for how you feel.

When you tell a depressed person to stop feeling sorry for themselves, you’re helping to perpetuate the lie that they have ownership of controlling the feeling and thus they are to blame. I cannot control what I feel, I can control how I respond to what I feel. Instead you may want to say: I’m sorry you feel that way, here are some truths about you that I love: _____________”  Honestly you can go all Aibeleen Clark on them: You is kind, you is smart, you is important.

Meaningful encouragement to a depressed person is like laying in front of the lit fire place after coming in from a snowfall. It warms what is feeling frozen. My best friend often tells me that she is “less without me”, the volume of those three words are unexplainable at times but if there is someone in your life that adds to the richness of your life in any way, let them know that.

3. It’s all in your head.

Well, duh.

This is sort of the beginning of the definition of depression – it is literally all in my head. Chemical imbalances that skew my outlook.

Thanks.

So full of help.

🙂

Really though, while it factually is in my head – this does nothing practical for me and it’s another way to minimize the way my mind is working, which is again something I am not in control of. You’re telling a person because something isn’t on the outside it isn’t merited as real. So, if we’re going to dismiss mental issues, let’s dismiss love too – because that’s all in your heart. Or let’s dismiss logic because that’s all in your brain. Ok.

If you’re tempted to say this to someone, I would try just saying: If you want to talk, I’m here for you.

Sometimes because it is “all in our head”, it feels silly or embarrassing to vocalize things that we often know are ridiculous or untruthful thoughts. So, if you’re actually good at listening, offer to, even if they turn you down – it means a lot to know a door is open that they’ve probably been staring at hoping it would open.

4. This worked for such and such, so how about you try it and it will work for you?

Nope.

Unless it’s essential oils, then just nope. (I’m kidding about oils, kind of).

Here’s a reminder about medication, exercise, diet changes, naturopathic approaches: every individual body reacts differently to everything.

I think it is well-intentioned to let someone know you know of something that has helped them or someone they know, but the key to this is not making one solution fit all people.

It’s added pressure for someone to feel like they can fix you with their one step solution. Because if it doesn’t work, then what? You just feel more broken.

(let me interject that this is how a lot of pregnant women feel when you tell them a sure fire way to ‘cure’ morning sickness, this is such a sick joke – stop doing it! 😉 not that I would know, I digress…)

If you know someone who has had a positive result from some kind of treatment, lifestyle change, specific voodoo system with seven thousand steps, first ask: Would you like to hear how I approached this/what worked for me/what worked for this person I know? If the answer is yes, proceed, if the answer is no – deal with it.

And never tack on those last annoying words that it will definitely work. Even if it worked for 10 out of 10 people you know. Don’t be that person.

I think that’s a good start for today. I can think of another half a dozen or so typical responses from someone when they find out you’re depressed, so maybe look for a subsequent post in the future.

Until then, remember: the struggle is real, don’t be a jerk. ❤

 

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