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Depressed? Nah.

I’ve had some questions about how I’ve been feeling since Jessica arrived, and I thought it warranted a blog post.  The long story short is that I’ve suffered from bouts of major depression and anxiety since I was in high school, was diagnosed in college, and had a major episode during our stint overseas.  However, when we moved home from England last April and I found out I was pregnant, I quit my medication cold turkey (which, for the record, I don’t recommend…ever).

So here we are now, almost a year later.

I won’t lie and say it was always pretty.  Once I made it through the withdrawal, I suffered from a condition known as “first trimester.”  It wasn’t pretty.  But I don’t know if it was uglier for me than it was for any other women with two active children and a husband still overseas for seven more weeks.

Then, I suffered from a terrible bout of “it’s getting dark earlier.”  It did have me craving a Celexa, but I survived thanks to my fabulous husband and family.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I ran into “the end of pregnancy blues” that are often accompanied by a lack of sleep and severe exhaustion because you’re the size of a house.  But I actually think I managed to handle them pretty well.

Of course, after Jessica was born I was visited by “the baby blues.”  Been there, done that, wrote the book.

So that brings us to where we are today.  And I won’t lie and say that being a mother to three children (five and under) is easy.  There are days I starting counting down to bedtime (usually on my fingers, because my kids have sucked all the intelligence right out of me) shortly after we get up in the morning.  But overall, I’m feeling pretty good about life.

I’m loving every second of Jessica, and I know that’s helping.  The thought that she *might* be our last (my husband is feeling pretty “done” after three girls…I’m not convinced) gives me plenty of cause to cherish every second.  And I’m not sure if it’s because this is my third and Marcus and I have this parenting thing down, or if it’s because Jessica is such a good baby…but I feel pretty on top of things.

For the first time in a long time (ever?) I feel like I’ve got things under control.  I’m a good mom.  Not perfect, but good.  Some days I’m great.

So depressed?   Nah.

It hibernates.  Will it rear its ugly head again?  Perhaps.  Probably.  Maybe. One day.

And I’ll be ready.

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A New Beginning

2010 is certainly set to be a year of new beginnings for our family.  Along with Jessica’s impending arrival, we’ll also welcome our first nephew, Wyatt, this year.

39 weeks pregnant!

Along with new beginnings, we’ll have new adventures–kindergarten, preschool, and balancing three kids between two adults.  We’ll continue to work on the old adventures too–keeping the house, our finances, and work straight, while still finding time for fun and games, too.

Life in our home is never dull, and 2010 won’t be the exception to that rule.

How could it be, with these little things running the show?

Ready for the Next Adventure!

Here’s to the new beginnings, continued adventures, and a wonderful year ahead!

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Festive Mood

The holiday season is drawing to a close, and it has been a busy one for our family.  We tried to stick close to home, which was a good idea.  Even with visitors coming to us, for the most part, I still found myself pretty worn out in the evenings.  I can’t imagine how tired I would have been if we’d been traipsing about as we’ve done in years past!

The girls had a wonderful Christmas, filled with family, friends, presents, and treats.

Marcus is happily enjoying his new iPod iTouch, which means he can back off of my iPhone a little bit now.  🙂  He’s also thrilled with the gift certificates that made their way into our house–there’s nothing he loves better than spending money without diminishing our bank account.

As for me, I had a great Christmas, too.  Things have settled down for the most part, pregnancy-wise, and other than feeling extremely tired, I’m doing alright for 39 weeks along.  I’ve been getting things organized, as much as possible, and trying not to stress out and obsess.  Of course, I have my moments (just ask Marcus and my mom about last night) but overall, things are going well.

The festive mood is starting to dwindle, and we get back into the business of our day to day lives.  But I’m excited that, for our family, some excitement is on the horizon to spice things up a little…

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The Reason for the Season

My daughters attend a Catholic preschool this year, which was a nice transition home from the UK for us, especially this holiday season.  I hate the thought that once the girls are in public school, their religion will be something that is taboo to even mention.

But that’s another blog post, I suspect.

What I want to share are these pictures of my gorgeous daughters at their preschool Christmas concerts–concerts where they could sing about the reason we (along with over 85% of Americans) celebrate Christmas.  Samantha even got to play an angel in her class’ Nativity play (and if I do say so myself, her lines were the best performed of the bunch!).

Rehearsing...

...and performing!

Rehearsing...

...spotting mom and dad in the audience...

...and performing!

I can’t wait to share next year’s Christmas season with our new daughter, too!

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Patience

If you know me, either in person or through my blog, you may recollect that patience is not my strong suit.  It happens as a teacher, as a parent, as a writer, and as a knitter, even…the context makes little difference, even when I try my hardest to be a patient individual.

Being my third child, I’ve tried to approach the pregnancy with patience.  Thus far, I’ve been pretty impressed.  Even Marcus has commented that, overall, this has been a pretty good pregnancy.  No real problems, other than some ups and downs and the regular first trimester woes.  And to be honest, I’ve found myself in no real rush to get this pregnancy “over with” like I have in the past and like so many women that I know.

That was, of course, until this past weekend.  Here’s what I looked like last week, at 36 weeks:

Definitely getting pretty big, but still feeling alright overall.

But then this weekend, I had a lot of contractions all day on Saturday and Sunday.  They did ebb and flow some, but often were as close as 4-5 minutes for extended periods of time.  And for the first time, unlike the BH contractions I’ve felt a lot this pregnancy, this were painful, instead of just uncomfortable.

So, on Monday when they’d been 5-7 minutes apart for 2+ hours, I called the midwife.  She asked me to come on in to the office, and she checked me out and we talked some.

She pronounced me (pregnancy talk…sorry guys) a “good 2 cm” and soft, but still long.  She said Jessica doesn’t seem to feel like she’s ready to drop and shorten my cervix just yet, but that there’s no telling.

I left there still contracting, and told to keep an eye on things.

I continued to contract erratically all night long, and had a difficult night’s sleep.

But here I am today, contractions almost completely gone.

On one hand, I am totally fine with this.  I’ve had this idea the entire pregnancy that I’ll go late, so this would seem to fit.

But now…well, knowing that I’m already 2 cm (even though I also know, as a mother of two, that this means a big fat nothing), and knowing that my cervix is soft, and knowing that those contractions were doing something…

I’m feeling my patience start to dissipate a bit.  It doesn’t help that everyone around me is convinced that Jessica is going to arrive early.

I’m trying to stay the course.  Patience…patience…patience.  Jessica will arrive when she’s good and ready.  It would be hard if she came this week with all the holiday prep and the girls’ Christmas concerts.  After the holidays is best.

Just remind me of those things when you see me or if my patience seems to be wearing thin!

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Wyatt

The cat is finally out of the bag that my sister is expecting a baby, too!  I absolutely love that we are pregnant at the same time, her just 9 weeks behind me.  She did have to mix things up a little and is having a boy to mingle with our three girls.

We couldn’t be more excited.

This did, however, throw a kink into my knitting.   I mean, boys?  What the heck do you knit for baby boys other than blankets (did it), hats (did it) and mittens (did it)?

When I couldn’t find something I loved, I did what any sane, 35 week pregnant woman would do…I designed something myself.

Appropriately titled Wyatt after my soon-to-be nephew, this unisex pullover sweater is finally ready for test knitters and tech editing.  I’m hopeful that it’s release will occur before Jessica’s arrival in late December/early January.

I do still have room for a few new test knitters, so if you are interested, please let me know.  Sneak peaks, yarn requirements, and additional information are located below.

Wyatt (still in need of seaming)

Wyatt is a unisex, pullover variation of in threes: a baby cardigan.  It was designed with Malabrigo Twist, a light chunky weight yarn, in mind.  Only requiring the knit and purl stitches, the ability to cast on and bind off, and a basic understanding of seaming, it’s ideal for both an advanced beginner through a more experienced knitter.

Gauge:  16 stitches to 4 inches

Yarn Requirements: 2 (2, 2/3, 3, 3, 3/4) skeins of Malabrigo Twist or a similar weight wool.  The approximate yardage is 190 (240, 300, 350, 400, 450).

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Marching On

Time continues to march on, and suddenly, it’s December.  Where did the year go?

Marcus and I cannot believe that Christmas is right around the corner, that Jessica is due in a month (give or take), and that a new year is preparing to begin.

We started the year like this

The Herdrichs, March 2009, Cork, Ireland

And prepare to end it like this

I can’t wait to see what happens next!