Friday, March 21, 2014

Umm Hello God, Blue Is NOT My Color!

2:13am on a Friday morning I awake and realize I've woken up without the help of my little sweet thing. "You need to go outside" something tells me with very strong conviction. "What?" it's two in the morning I tell myself, go outside for what? I toss and turn for a few minutes trying to figure out what this sudden rush of anxiety is about. I've never felt such uneasy feelings so strong before. I start to feel claustrophobic, panic. I throw on some clothes and run downstairs. Pacing back and forth in front of my home taking on huge deep breaths, I am so confused over the loss of control. Why can't I stay asleep when I am SO tired. I wreck my brain for a few more minutes before I decide to get out of the cool air and go back to my bed. I choose not to wake my husband fearing he'll think I'm as crazy as I feel.

The next day I tell my husband of my odd experience, thinking it won't happen again and that it was just a weird night. He tells me to wake him the next time it happens and that I don't have to feel that way alone. Comforted, I spend much of that next day making excuses for what may have caused the episode the night before. As the weekend passes and Monday comes I find myself feeling more anxious as the sun goes down.  After being home with the baby all day, having not left the house even for a walk. I break down hysterically crying knowing that another sleepless night is waiting for me with the large chance I'll have to go outside in the middle of the night with this awful feeling that scared me to death. The difference this time is I call my mother immediately as the mood strikes me. She talks me threw it and encourages me to divulge all my feelings to my husband. I know I can talk to him about anything but again I'm afraid he'll think he married a "crazy" lady. He gets home and I spill my guts.

So, where do we go from here? My family and I devise a plan. The deal is I tell Tj anytime I feel anxious so we can talk threw it together. I make plans to leave the house daily. Now this I struggled with because knowing the old school theory that you don't take your newborn babies out of the house until they get their first set of shots continuously ran threw my head. But being healthy for my little sunshine was more important than abiding by the old wives tale. So as long as she wasn't exposed to a lot of people and was safe, away we went. I was never home alone when the sun went down. A couple of my friends were aware of my situation and called often. My friend and hair stylist cleared her shop just for us and our small babies so that I could get my hair done without worrying about anyone in her face. My God send of a husband planned a stay-cation with the help of our friend at a swanky Orlando hotel to have a change of scenery. The baby came along and we had a great night, not completely free of anxiety, but still great. Then my brother kept her that following day so that we could go to the Strawberry Festival with our friends. Getting away from the baby was good but not for too long because that would make me uneasy. I wanted her near but I knew I needed some time to be old Leah too.

I can only describe the feelings as a sense of purposelessness. I had worked since I was 15 years old so having no job to go to made me feel like I had no purpose, no sense of accomplishment. Of course I knew my job was to take care of my baby but there was not much ration in these feelings. Loneliness, my husband took off the first week, my mom took the second week and my friend Sheontee took the third. But after three weeks of constant company I found myself alone with nothing but the TV, which later became a huge trigger for my anxiety. I had to get away from it. My mom suggested getting a book to help take my mind on a vacation. This was a great suggestion. Fifty Shades of Grey was my choice! A complete loss of control, I had never before struggled with depression or any type of mental anguish so the baby blues took me for a loop. As a health professional knowing how "baby blues" can turn into postpartum depression freaked me out even more. On the reality show Tia and Tamera (which I was an avid watcher) there was an episode where Tamera, who has suffered from depression sought help while pregnant because she was concerned that she would develop postpartum depression. She had lunch with her friend Lisa Rinna, who described to Tamera her battles with postpartum depression and how bad it got. She had had thoughts of stabbing her baby and harming herself. The shear thought that this could be possible for me scared the crap out of me.

Having the baby blues in all honesty pissed me off. WHY ME? Seriously!!! I planned this baby, I waited and prayed for this baby. The only feelings I wanted and expected to have were of pure joy and happiness. I could not understand why I was going through this. I have never really questioned God but I asked Him straight up. Why are you allowing this to happen to ME? This is Leah, HELLO!!!! And while I can tell you I still haven't gotten my answer, He has been so good to me. The ONLY reason I am able to share this with you is Him. The first thing I knew to do when faced with this challenge was to get on my knees and ask Him for help. I felt helpless and He was the only one who could pull me through this. As much as my husband, mother, father, brother, family and friends love me, HE was the ONLY one who could ease this hurt. I started reading scripture and quoting it multiple times a day. The 23rd Psalms, "I am more than a conqueror", "I can do ALL things through Christ". His word became a constant comfort, I've never needed and yearned for it more. Gospel music has been my playlist. The encouraging words have brought me great strength, every song speaks to my heart and soul.

WHEW!!! I wasn't quite sure I was strong enough to share this. Although things are so much better, everyday is still a challenge. I have good days and bad but I thank God that He has shown me that this is only for a season and things will get better. The fact that so many women suffer from baby blues is shocking because I have never really heard many people talk about it. I was able to speak with a couple of people who have suffered previously and it brought me some comfort. But if I can bring any awareness to this through my blog, well then maybe that was God's plan. If nothing else it has drawn me closer to Him which I am always grateful for. This is a REAL thing and no one should suffer alone. I thank God I was able to recognize this from the beginning and start talking about it. I would also encourage talking to your doctor and going to a new mom support group which is something I plan on doing. I'm excited about getting back in the gym next week, it should give me some relief and release some endorphins. I will be going back to work a little sooner than I anticipated but getting back into my normal routine will be good for me. I pray this helps you!

I kept on a smile even though I was going through. I wasn't going to let this take my joy!
Strawberry Festival with the crew!

Noelle with her friend Ezra at the hair salon!

Shopping with my friend Joanne for our baby girls

UCF event with the Hubs

Dinner the next night!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Noelle Celebrate's St. Patrick's Day

 Noelle is starting to smile when I talk to her but she was in no mood to smile after getting dressed for St. Paddy's Day! She is 6 weeks old :)

Her St. Patrick's Day included having lunch with her Grandma, cheering on her Dad at his championship basketball game at the "Y" and having dinner with the team after the loss :(
 It was also her friend Crosby's first St. Patrick's Day too :))
Unfortunately no green beer for me this year but I am well on my way to pumping and dumping!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Maternity Shoot Bloopers

I can't with this guy.....
....our photographer humored my husband by letting him do his signature poses!!

 I LOVE my friend Rhema!! She was so helpful behind the scenes of our shoot. She made it so much fun :)

Briana Lugo Photography

Noelle's Newborn Photos

There were so many I couldn't choose which ones to post, so I posted them all!!! Noelle was 7 days old ;)

Lying on the newspaper from the day of her birth! 1-31-14 <3

THIS ladies and gentlemen is my husband's idea of a great photo....UGH!

Briana Lugo Photography