Monday, February 27, 2017

Postpartum Depression after infertility

I look back at pictures of my beautiful baby boy and I feel like I don't know who that sweet baby is.  

Our new life as a family of 4 was a blur.  We went through the motions day by day.  I would get overwhelmed with my duties as a mother of 2, but all moms do right?  I was exhausted from nighttime feedings and keeping up with an almost 2 year old during the days, but all moms are right?  I was frustrated when Lucy would wake Easton up after FINALLY getting him to sleep, but that was justified right? I was snappy and short with Dillon for not picking up his socks and not being home ALL the time, but I was just hormonal right? I didn't want to visit family and I didn't want to be around people, but I was just tired right?  I would lose my cool and yell at or spank Lucy when she was acting like a 2 year old, but I was just overwhelmed right?  I would lay Easton is in crib to cry because he wouldn't go to sleep and I didn't know how to make him, but I just needed a break right?  I was convinced something was wrong with my new precious baby every time he spit up, every time he cried too much, every time he made a funny noise, every time he looked at me wrong.  But I just loved him and wanted him to be healthy right?

I would get the hang of the 'having 2 kids' thing soon, I would be happier tomorrow, I would control my temper better next time, I just needed a girls night, I just needed an outlet, I just needed a good nights sleep.......

I loved these sweet babies more than anything! I prayed for them, longed for them, spent years trying to get them!  There is NO WAY I had Postpartum Depression.  There is NO WAY I had anxiety.
No possible way.  I wanted to be a momma! I would enjoy all the moment mommyhood had to offer.  The good, the bad and the ugly!
I would try harder, I would pray harder, things would get better.

But, things weren't getting better.  I was still overwhelmed.  I was still tired.  I was still angry.  I was still frustrated.  I still didn't want to be around people/family.  I was still worried.  I was still anxious.
 I would see an article about PPD/PPA and brush off the fact that I had answered "Yes" to most of the symptoms.  But maybe, just maybe, there was a reason I was feeling this way.  Maybe I should call my Dr.  No, I was fine.  Maybe I should talk to a friend that had been through PPD before.  No, I didn't have PPD.  Maybe I should look further into it.  

Before I knew it my sweet baby was 6 months old and I was still overwhelmed.  I was still exhausted.  I was still angry.  And I was still over anxious. 
I felt like I had been living in a fog for the past 6 months.  
What was my baby like as a 3 week old? As a 3 month old? What was he like even 3 weeks ago?

Then we had a rough week, a really rough week.
Something was NOT right.  Things were NOT ok.  I was NOT ok.  
That next Monday morning I broke down.  Another sobbing, ugly faced crying breakdown.  I picked up the phone and called Dillon who came home with chocolate and a Dr Pepper and prepared to give me a priesthood blessing.  It had happened, I had reached the point when I knew it was time to make that call to my Dr's office and instead of hanging up as soon as I dialed.... to wait and hear the receptionists voice and make that appointment.

3 days later I found myself with a knot in my stomach and my hands and limbs shaking, sitting in the waiting room, waiting for my turn.  Finally, they called me back.  I told the nurse I was struggling.  I waited for Dr Leavitt.  He came in.  He asked me how I was doing.  And....... I lost it.  
He listened, he let me cry and he told me it would be a good idea to get on some medication to help with my depression and anxiety. He had done it, he used those words I had feared and dreaded.
Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety.

But how? Why?  These babies were my BABIES!  I LOVED them!  I WANTED them!
I was living my dream of being their mother!

My sweet baby boy is now 10 months old and he is MY baby.
I know him, I love him, I am his momma!

Life is still crazy and being of momma of 2 still gets overwhelming and you always worry about the safety and well being of these precious little ones.  But I am happy. And not just pretending to be happy.  I know that I can do this!  I can enjoy the moments of motherhood.  I can love and cherish the happy and funny times and I can cope and get past the sad and scary times!  I know when I need to take a step back and take that girls night.  I have found my outlet that allows me time to be me, Heidi, and not just mom.

Being a mom IS scary.  It IS crazy.  It IS overwhelming.  BUT there is a point when there IS something more.  It is ok to ask for help, it is ok to talk to your Dr and it is ok to take medication.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Baby #2 is born

Welcome to the world 
Easton Rhet Merrill
Monday April 11th 2016
8lbs 20 inches

Waiting for this little man to make his debut was much different than waiting for his sister.  Before Lucy was born I was perfectly fine to remain pregnant but was over anxious to have her here and to see her sweet little face and be able to squeeze her little cheeks and love on her.  Before Easton was born I was not perfectly fine to remain pregnant, I wanted him out!  The end of his pregnancy was much more difficult than Lucy's and I was in much more pain (in my hips and pelvis specifically) and was having a lot more contractions a lot earlier on.  I of course also wanted him here to see his sweet face and squeeze his little cheeks and love on him also.  
At my 36 week appointment the nurse checking me in asked if I wanted Dr Leavitt to check me to which my very quick response was YES!  I was more or less just very curious to know if all the contractions I had been having were doing anything to progress me yet.  He checked and I was 70% effaced and a fingertip dilated.  Not even a 1, just a fingertip.
At my 37 week appointment I was convinced I would have made more progress... 70% effaced and 1 cm dilated.  Not much progress.
38 week appointment, I KNEW I would have progressed. All those contractions had for sure done something to help get this little man here.  And he had finally dropped a little to help with the effacement, right??  Nope.  70% effaced and 1 cm dilated.
39 weeks appointment (well 39 and 3 days to be exact) 75% effaced and almost 2 cm.  I no longer was convinced he would be coming early (I thought he would come early my whole pregnancy).  Dr Leavitt did strip my membranes and I held on to hope that that would put me into labor THAT DAY.  But, just in case we scheduled an induction for the following Monday (40 weeks and 1 day).  
Sure enough stripping my membranes did absolutely nothing for me and Sunday evening my mom arrived at our house to be our Lucy babysitter so we could head to EIRMC first thing the next morning.
Monday April 11th at 6am I called the hospital to see if they had a bed for me.  Much to my dismay the answer was no! WAHHH!!  They did tell me to call back around 7 and they would probably be able to have me come in.  We decided to head to IF a little before 7am just in case they said "Come now!" when we called.  If not, we would just go get some breakfast and hang out until they did have room for me.  
I called and they said if I could be there at 8am that would be great!  Heck yes we could!  8 o'clock sharp we were in Labor and Delivery. Since they knew we were coming they were completely ready for us and showed us to our room (same room Lucy was born in) and let me change.  From there we went on to answer 1,000,000 questions, got IV going, etc.  Our nurse was amazing and efficient and had me going on PIT by 8:45 (perk to having your mother-in-law work as a L&D nurse in the hospital you are delivering at, she hand picks your nurse for you :))
 She checked me to see where we were starting from and I was still 75% effaced and between 2-3 cm dilated.  
We were left to hang out and let the PIT do its thing until Dr Leavitt could come on his lunch break to break my water.  They graciously hooked me up to the portable monitor and we walked the halls for awhile, came back to our room and played Uno dice game, watched TV and just hung out.  
 At 12:40pm Dr Leavitt was there to break my water.
I was still only 75% effaced and still only between 2-3 cm :(  
Since there were 7 other women in labor that day and thanks to experience from Lucy's birth, I asked for my epidural right after my water was broke and thankfully the anesthesiologist was able to come right in and put it in.  When I got my epidural with Lucy I was already in a good amount of pain and had a contraction right as it was placed which made for an interesting experience.  This time I was still not in a lot of pain yet and my contractions were a little farther apart so I was sure it would be a better experience.  Although it wasn't terrible I did feel an awful "zing" right as it was placed and at the exact moment that my anesthesiologist told me "you might feel a slight zing."  No other word to describe it besides "zing" and it was not comfortable or fun!  But, it didn't last long.  The site did hurt more than I remembered it hurting with Lucy.  It also did take longer to take effect than Lucy's did and it was very uneven and took a good chunk of time to even out to both sides.  It finally started working as it should and I was able to get a little rest.
At 1:55pm my nurse came in to check me before she started her lunch break.   I was 4-5 cm and baby boy had dropped more so I was more thinned but not much more.
Again we just hung out and watched TV and rested.  Since my nurse was on her lunch break, lots of different nurses kept coming in to readjust baby's monitor since he was quickly making his way down lower and ducking away from the monitor.
Around 2:40 I started feeling more pressure during the contractions.  I told Dillon about the pressure and based on Lucy's experience and quick birth he went to tell a nurse.  My nurse was just finishing her lunch but came to check me as soon as she heard the word 'pressure.' 
 At 2:55 she checked me and said "We are ready to have a baby."
She immediately called Dr Leavitt and in just a matter of a few mins he was in my room.  He asked Dillon if he wanted to help deliver and had the nurses help him get all suited up.  Then it was time to push.  
A contraction hit and they told me to push.  I pushed.  They told me to push again.  I pushed.  They told me to push one more time.  I gave a 1/2 a push and baby boy was in Dillon's hands.  Daddy had delivered his baby boy in just 1 contraction and 2 1/2 pushes at 3:15pm. 
Dillon said if he hadn't have helped delivery he wouldn't have believed it was our baby because of all the black hair! (Even though he did look exactly like newborn Lucy :))
I did end up with some tearing (not quite as bad as with Lucy but in 2 different directions) so Dr Leavitt stitched me up while Dillon and I 'oohed' and 'aahed' over our handsome new little addition.  After just a few mins I asked Dillon what he thought his name should be and he said "Easton" and I immediately agreed.  
We were so in love with our little Easton Rhet!
Dillon's mom was working that day but since they had so many other ladies in labor she was very busy and wasn't immediately able to come in and meet her new little grandbaby like she wanted but as soon as she got a spare moment she poked her head in long enough to take in a good long look and give him one tight little squeeze and tell us congratulations before having to rush back out to check on her laboring patients.  

Before long Grandpa Merrill made his way to the hospital to meet his first Merrill grandson.
While Grandpa was there we were able to move to our recovery room and enjoy more snuggles with our new little man.  
Big sister was still at home in Rexburg with Grandma Brough but got to come meet her little brother as soon as she woke up from her nap.  
 She absolutely loved him!
 Baby brother had a present all ready for big sister to tear into and enjoy
And she loved her new puzzle
 First pictures as a family of 4!

 It took quite a few tries :)

 She loved to point at brothers hair and nose and then had to point out mommy's hair and nose, daddy's hair and nose and Grandma's hair and nose
The way she looked at her baby brother melted my mommy heart over and over!!

We weren't very good at getting pictures of those that were able to come and visit us in the hospital but we did manage to remember to snap a few.
 Grandma Brough meeting baby Easton
 Uncle Chase and Aunt Taya

Uncle Landon

Daddy got to help again with baby's bath and mom was able to sit back, relax, take pictures and laugh :)

So fresh and so clean!
Daddy thought it was fun to give him an old man comb over
 Big sis was able to come back the next day to give more snuggles and kises

 And share her 'visitor' sticker with brother :)

 And point out his nose some more

And play with his hair.  

When nap time came Grandma took sissy back home and mommy and daddy were able to enjoy some baby snuggles and get some rest

And of course we had to play with all that hair!!
And enjoy the many funny newborn faces of our little man 

When Grandpa Merrill came back to visit that evening he was able catch this adorable little smile :)

Easton did have a little heart murmur that the Pediatrician heard when he first checked him out after birth.  They monitored it and listened to it multiple times a day to hear if it was getting louder or softer.  After the first night it did sound softer and there were high hopes it would be gone (PDA completely closed) by morning but by morning it sounded louder again.  The day we were supposed to come home they listened again in the morning and said if it didn't sound better later in the day they would do a heart echo to see how big the opening was and if action needed to be taken to help it close (as simple as giving him Ibuprofen to help close it or as complicated as surgery).  Luckily as the pediatrician checked him over before going home all sounded well and the murmur was almost nonexistent and we were able to come home! YAY!
 All dressed and ready to come home!
 Not too sure about the carseat
Waving bye!

 We love you so much Easton Rhet and are so happy to have you here and healthy!