Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Pre Post-Partum Appointment

I had an appointment last week with a local therapist, Kelly Boyd, who specializes in issues for women related to all areas of reproductive health {fertility issues, miscarriage, post-partum, infant loss, menopause}. I have so many words to describe the appointment: amazing, uplifting, validating, encouraging, inspiring... And now I'm going to bore you share with you the details!

First off, Kelly GOT IT. When she told me her story, I started crying. Her own journey involved post-partum {plus so much more!}, and while it's a terrible 'club' to be apart of, it definitely provides a sense of solidarity, and I think knowing the person you are talking to has been through that same hell helps so much.

She also gave me so much valuable information - some of it validated what I did with Drew, and some was new information. While I am hopeful I won't have post-partum again {especially since MTHFR is linked to post-partum, and I am treating my mutations}, it's nice to have more tools in my belt to fight this nasty beast. One of the things I wanted to discuss with her was all the supplements I took with Drew. My plan was to take them again, but I wanted to know when I should start. Kelly said it depended on me - did I want to 'wait and see' if I would have post-partum again or if I wanted to be really aggressive. Um, for me that was a no brainer - REALLY AGGRESSIVE! I would rather take supplements I didn't need than get into that post-partum hole and have to dig out of it. So her suggestion was that I have all my supplements at the hospital and pop out a baby and pop in some pills. {grin}

We also talked about me needing:
* to eat every 2-3 hours. When your blood sugar drops and your body is full of oxytocin, your hormones skyrocket. If you eat {healthy and filling food} on a regular basis, you can keep your adrenaline from surging. Kelly also told me that hormones are not only tied to breastfeeding but to changes in breastfeeding - so when Smoochie drops a feeding it will cause a change in hormones which will cause a change in mood. Good information to have!
* to get at least one 3-4 hour sleep cycle/day. The psychiatrist I saw with Trent had me do this as well - when we got Trent into an earlier bedtime of going to bed at 8:00 pm, I would read for a bit and have lights out by 8:30. That way when he woke up between 12 - 1 am, I had gotten a good REM cycle. She said if once or twice a week I could let go {hahahaha} and have someone else give the baby a bottle, this would be huge too. I'm not sure this is possible for me honestly. We'll talk about what she said about my need for control soon. {grin}
* to get out of the house every day - once with the baby and once without. It could be something as simple as walking to the mailbox, but Kelly stressed how important it was to get out of the 4 walls of my house.
* to have self-care {doing something for myself} and couple time {even if it's a date-night in or 10 minutes of cuddling}.
* to not be alone. We talked a lot about how much company helped me when I was battling post-partum with Trent and Drew. My mother-in-law took 2 weeks off of work when I had Trent and came over every day. With Drew, I spent 1 day at my in-laws and 1 at my parents every week. Kelly suggested that I get commitments from family and friends and pretty much create a 'care calendar' of keeping me company.

We also talked about a technique she calls HALT. If and when I feel those moments of anxiety, I need to 'halt' ask myself the following questions:
H - am I HUNGRY?
A - am I ANGRY?
L - am I LONELY?
T - am I TIRED?

Once I can identify the underlying emotion I now have the tools to fight it. If I'm hungry, eat! If I'm lonely, go visit someone!

We also talked about my need for perfection and control. I don't think this is an issue I have in my 'normal' life {Brent, would you agree?}, but with a new baby I have a hard time finding that balance and that new normal - I want to give ALL of myself to each kid, and that's not possible. I need to be the one to care for them and feed and be there. And that just is too much for anyone - I need help, I need to take care of myself, I need to get away {even if it's for 30 minutes or an hour}, so I just need to try and remind myself that a new normal will arise and we will find balance. 

I also need to be vocal with Brent about what he can do to help. He has talked to me in the past about how helpless post-partum makes him feel because it's hard for him to help me. Kelly wants to meet with both of us and formulate a plan for ways Brent can help - it will make him feel less helpless because it will!

One of the last things Kelly talked about was that we currently have a family wheel that is spinning away every day. And we're about to add a new person into our family wheel. And just like dropping a pebble in water, it will cause ripples. But we'll get that wheel righted! That was a good analogy to focus on for me.

So we had a really great appointment, and I really feel like I am even more prepared for this baby. I really don't want to go through post-partum again, but I feel more ready to tackle it. Fingers crossed!


katie@tulsadetails said...

So glad you have a great plan! I will say, the best advice my pediatrician gave me was to make sure that I was getting at least five hours straight of sleep every few days and let someone else feed the baby in the middle of the night. It helps so much!

Unknown said...

You totally didn't bore me! I'm happy that you're aware of what happens with you and your babies and are proactive in having a plan. The anxiety stuff is interesting because I deal with it regularly. Thanks for sharing! If I lived closer, I'd come keep you company!

Emily said...

Wow so much interesting information! I'm glad you took the time to write it. The change in hormones with dropping a feeding was very new to me. The HALT questions are also great. Thank you for sharing!

Kathryn Bagley said...

umm hello for me time-manis/pedis and massages!! :)

Kathryn Bagley said...

oh sorry "self care" not me time..ha!