Monday, April 30, 2012

How I know we are foodies

While at dinner the other night, Jesse and I were discussing the contents of the sandwiches we were eating, and he said

"Pickles have a broader application than sauer kraut."  

On a separate occasion, we were having ice cream with Andy and Monica when I commented to Andy that I liked the texture of the cookie dough ice cream, to which he awkwardly agreed and tried to find something to say in response.  It didn't strike me til afterwards that I was the odd one.   

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A jazzy evening

Jesse's boss had some spare jazz tickets from the company and gave them to us! 

We had pretty great seats, but I'll show you a picture of us instead. 

Jesse almost lost his voice from yelling so loud and we were both half deaf afterwards.  

Oh! How fun! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On postpartum depression

Friends, I come to you today with an unusually serious topic, because I know it's something I need to talk about (and I was encouraged by the bravery of my wonderful friend Kylie!)

The year before we had Nikolai, I started getting baby hungry.  We had been married for about a year, and we had done the math and figured that I'd be done with school in a few months so it was about time to think about the next phase of our lives.  I grew up with a wonderful mother who loved being a mom and in a religious culture that emphasizes the importance of motherhood, and so I had always planned on being a mom.  

We got pregnant very easily and minus the first trimester's morning sickness, the rest of my pregnancy was very easy.  I loved being pregnant--feeling our baby move inside of me, dreaming of what he'd look like and how wonderful it would be to be his mother.  His birth even went relatively smoothly--I was able to make it to pushing without any pain medication, a personal goal I had, but because he was late and BIG we needed a C-section to complete his delivery.  But even that went fine--there were no complications, he was healthy and strong and I healed quickly.  

The first few days at the hospital, I felt great.  Nikolai took to breastfeeding like a natural so we didn't have that to worry about, and I was feeling so good that we had him room in with us every night so I could nurse him whenever he woke up.  

After 3 days at the hospital, we got to go home.  Jesse had gone back to work so he came and picked us up on his lunch break and took us home before heading back to work for the afternoon.  It was so exciting! But after a few days at home, I started not feeling so well.  Part of it was how little sleep you get with a newborn--people warn you about it, but it was something I just didn't understand until I was doing it.  I thought I understood being tired--I had stayed up late writing papers many a night in college, after all--but getting up every few hours every night for WEEKS is a completely different story.  It really takes a toll on your body.  

So there was that.  But I also had stopped feeling like myself.  I sat on the couch every day, watching endless hours of tv on netflix while intermittently feeding Nikolai and changing his diaper.  (side note: don't watch Hoarders as a new mom.  Your house starts to look like theirs and it makes you feel awful!) I never knew what he needed when he cried, so I felt really insecure about how I was doing as a mom, and I started dreading his little cry because I knew it was up to me to figure out what was wrong and fix it, and it felt like too much.  I thought I'd never sleep again, and I couldn't think rationally about things anymore.  I knew Nikolai was cute and sweet and that he was really an easy baby, but all I could think was that I just wanted him to go away.  

Probably worst of all, I realized that every single person that has lived on this planet was born from a woman who did this for them--fed them and cleaned them and hardly slept for months on end, and yet I just couldn't do it.  I remembered quotes from leaders of our church about motherhood, that it was the highest calling for women and the most important thing we could do.  And I felt guilty, because most days, I hated it. All I could think was, "I wanted this?! What on earth were we thinking? And why would I want to have any more children?!"  It felt like a life sentence.  I felt like a terrible mother, a terrible person, and a terrible Mormon.  It was awful.  

A few weeks in, I had a breakdown.  We were at my parents' house one Sunday afternoon, and I had gone to the back to feed Nikolai.  My mom came in to talk to me about something or other but I felt so bad all I could do was cry.  When I finished feeding Nikolai, I had her take him out cause I just couldn't bear to be with him.  Jesse came in and said some comforting things that couldn't touch the downward spiral I was in and ended up just holding me while I cried.  I didn't want to do it anymore, I told him.  I dreaded going to bed every night because I knew I wouldn't sleep.  I got sick to my stomach even thinking about getting ready for bed.  That night, we ended up spending the night at my parents' house because I couldn't bear the thought of sleeping in our bedroom that night.  

That week, I finally started to reach out to friends about my situation.   As I started talking to people to find out if the first few weeks of motherhood had been this hard for them, I found that I knew a few people who had gone through postpartum depression.  I wasn't quite ready to name it that yet--after all depression was AWFUL, right?  And I felt awful, but not AWFUL--but after talking to them, I realized I needed to talk to my doctor about it, because I couldn't take it the way things were going for much longer.  Luckily, I had a c-section check up in a few days, and one of my friends committed me to calling her afterwards so I couldn't back out of talking to the doctor about it.  

After talking briefly to my doctor, he explained that after pregnancy, sometimes your hormones don't adjust back to their normal levels right away and can result in postpartum depression.  He prescribed me a low-dose anti-depressant, saying that sometimes a small dose could make a big difference in balancing those hormones out, but to be sure to call him if I wasn't feeling better soon.  

It took a few days, but after about a week, I remember sitting with Jesse at the dinner table and looking over at him and Nikolai and feeling happy--something I hadn't felt for weeks.  When I looked at Nikolai, I stopped feeling guilty and finally saw him for how wonderful he really was.  Motherhood became a joy instead of torture.  And not long after that, Nikolai started smiling, and things were wonderful, the way I always hoped it would be.  

Don't get me wrong, motherhood is still the hardest thing I've ever done, and there are many times when I hand Nikolai over to Jesse because it's been a long day (yay for having a spouse to help out!), but it's also the most rewarding experience I've had thus far in life.  

So friends, if you've struggled with postpartum depression, know this:

You don't have to suffer alone.  You might decide that medication isn't for you, but you can talk to someone--be it your doctor, mother, sister, spouse, or friend--but you don't have to do it alone.  You should be able to enjoy your baby, even if your hormones aren't cooperating!  

And a brief suggestion to all my new mom friends: read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. It gave me some good tools as a new mom that helped me know what my baby needed and made me feel a LOT more confident as a mother.  

And lastly, to my mama friends: you can do it! It can be great! I love you and believe in you! And lastly, you're doing a good job, because you're doing the best job you can :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Some Monday Haikus and a Baby Update

(also a title capitalized like in German--nouns only)


Monday runs are good
(they make me want to eat well).
But oh! My lungs burn! 


Our little baby
turns three months this very day!
He grows up so fast!

Nikolai's feats this month: 

-Rolling over to the right (although more often than not, his arm is in the way and he gets stuck on his side, squealing frustratedly)
(also, spell check tells me frustratedly is not a word.  Is it really not a word?)

-Squealing! Last month he started smiling, then cooing, and now he's begun to elicit high pitched squeals of delight! (They also have the added benefit of making his ma and pa crack up)

-He no longer freaks out so much at the wind! (it used to make him gasp and cry, now he just gasps ;D)

And a gratuitous baby photo, because no blog post is complete without one:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Some blurry cell phone photos

Our sweet Nikolai is so cute, but I usually don't have my good camera around to capture his cuteness, so I am often forced to use my poor cell phone camera instead.  

Here is our sweet boy attempting to roll over!  I love his tiny legs and how he kinda looks like he's running :)

On his tummy and so excited!

Having some fun with grandma Cheryl :)

And using his papa's computer!

The end.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On the weekend in which

we went to Rexburg to celebrate Juli's birthday and Easter,

we also stopped in Logan to visit Andy, Monica and happy Jack! 

(Jack was particularly fascinated with Nikolai and his hair)

I love these folks! 

So happy!

And the drive was BEAUTIFUL.  I love Idaho!

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures with my camera of the birthday lady...but she did sneak us this picture of young Jesse and herself! 

Ah! My husband is a handsome fella! If I had seen him when we were both in high school, I'd have been like "Ow ow! Cute boy!" Anyways :)

Oh hey, it's our cute baby!  Click on the collage to see it bigger :)  

Our little family pictures

A few weekends ago, my awesome sister Megan gave into my begging and took some impromptu family photos for us! I love the work she did! Here are my favorites (the same ones I put on the wall!): 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

On the night in which

we went to see Radiolab live,

Nikolai stayed home with his grandparents and rolled over for the first time! 

He has not yet repeated this feat for his excited parents.  

(He also has not slept all the way through the night again like he did the other day.  Our talented boy, hiding his talents under a bushel....or something like that.)