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Question of the Week - Cheer Up

I don't think there is an exact line where the baby blues becomes PPD. I think there is a big gray, murky area that's in between the two. I'm there. In that big gray, murky area. I know a huge part of how I'm feeling is the lack of sleep I'm getting, in addition to the crazy hormones and stir-crazy feeling of limited mobility due to healing from the c-section. But I know depression. And I know I'm at that edge.

I need to do things to help myself, to keep myself from going to the PPD side of the the big gray, murky area. I really don't want to be depressed. I don't want to feel that way or put more burden on Londo, who is always doing soooooo much for our family.

Don't get me wrong, I've had some great moments and beautiful times already. I am completely in love with my daughter and my son. These three weeks have been amazing. But also really, really tough. My high-needs first child still requires a lot of our time and attention, and she is still needy and fussy and not a good sleeper. And we have an infant, who is, you know, an infant. He constantly needs to be feed and held and rocked and changed.

It's tough, and I need to do things to cheer myself up so I can get over these baby blues and enjoy my summer and maternity leave.

Which is this week's question of the week:

What do you do to cheer yourself up?

For me, getting out of the house is probably the most important thing to do. Especially when it's summer and sunny. We've been starting to take walks and hanging out in the backyard. Today Londo, the Pookie and I went to a local baby store to shop for some things (we got the Citi Mini double stroller, and I'm so excited to take it on a walk tomorrow!). I'm planning a trip to Target in a couple days, and a bookstore too. Londo goes back to work next Monday, so I'm planning on going out even more that week.

Eating sweets helps me feel better too. Partly because when I'm depressed (or even just getting depressed) I tend to lose my appetite--except for sweets. So if I eat chocolate cake, sugary cereal or ice cream for dinner, at least I'm eating something.

I know working out helps, what with the endorphins and all that. But I just don't have the time or ability (or am physically capable) to work out now. Not even yoga yet. But I'll keep walking. That's something, right?

How about you? What do you do when you are feeling down? How do you cheer yourself up?

Comments

meggiemoo said…
I'm right where you are, although a little further down the line (3 month infant, 3-1/2 year old toddler). Having two is *tough* (esp. when your oldest is high needs, as yours and mine are). It has pretty much kicked my butt.

What's kept me going:

- getting outside as much as possible
- keeping in touch with family and friends (calling one person per day)
- taking some time at night for myself, even if it means being a bit more tired the next day,
- remembering that I felt this way with my 1st, too, and the first 6 months were the hardest
- realizing that the baby stage isn't my favorite...that I really dig it when they start becoming mobile and verbal, and that's ok.

Hang in there...you're deep in the weeds now, but each day and week brings you closer to some easier times. I'm so looking forward to when my two really start interacting with eachother. They already find eachother hilarious. :o)
Colleen said…
Hope it's not too late to say congrats!!!

I know after I had Gavin, I was tired and cranky, was feeling ridiculously like I needed to do everything perfect, and had a nice touch of the baby blues because I didn't try to nap when I could because I just had so much to do (or so I thought). But once he started sleeping more around 8 weeks, I started to feel a lot better right away.

After Cooper, though, even though I tried to steal naps as much as I could, this child ate and ate and ate. And pooped since he was eating so much. And I ignored the cleaning and most of the laundry because I knew it didn't matter much. And then poor Gavin wanted to spend time with me and his baby brother, and I was one of the most miserable women out there because I had given up so much (including not spending much time with my older child) and STILL felt awful. Thankfully my doctor gave me some pointers on my slow eater that he should have emptied my breasts within about 25 min of eating (he normally fed for 45-min and would still require a bottle afterwards due to my miserable milk supply), and she encouraged me to go out for walks. It's mild exercise, but it's exercise all the same. She also gave me a prescription for zoloft, but it made be feel weird and I couldn't sleep, so I just focused on speeding up the feedings and getting out, and it did help quite a bit. Just getting that one hour and walking 2 or 3 times a week helped keep me from spiraling further. That's not to say that it will save everyone, but minor changes like that certainly don't hurt (of course I've no idea how long your little guy eats or how many times he's getting up to eat--Cooper was usually only twice a night, thankfully). So I'm hoping you can somehow finagle an extra hour of sleep for yourself--and go take that walk. Maybe you'll bump into a neighbor and a nice chat might help cheer you up as well (it always does for me).

What do I do now to cheer up? Besides raiding my chocolate stash? I eat smoked gouda. No kidding. By the time Justin is done with all his traveling, I'm going to be 300 lbs and broke from eating all that expensive cheese. But the buttery creaminess, the smokey bacon-iness...yum!
Oh, and I'll dive into a favorite TV show/movie or a good book. Or cry to get all the sad out and then dive into my book or show. It's okay to feel a little sorry for yourself when you're feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, or crazy (or all of the above). Plus, since you can't have um, relations for a while, the crying is a good emotional release. Sort of wipes the slate clean and leaves you open to appreciating a favorite activity, like reading or a show, or fun music, or coloring with Pumpkin. :)
Big hugs, congrats again, hope you start feeling a lot better soon. Hang in there...you're doing better than me if you're blogging with a newborn. ;)
Cloud said…
I'd say walking counts as exercise, particularly this soon post-partum and after a c-section.

What it takes to cheer me up depends on what is getting me down. In the infant days the magic things were sleep and doing things to make me feel like I was getting a handle on motherhood. I felt so overwhelmed early on, and so incompetent. I'm hoping it will be better this time around, but realistically, I should probably prepare myself for another round of this.

Going to a breastfeeding support group was probably what kept me together most. It helped to talk to other women with newborns. It helped to hear from some of the women with older babies and think that I'd get there, too. And as Pumpkin got older, it helped to see the women with the brand new babies and remember how far we'd come.

More generally, ice cream, a good book, and a walk by the water all help me.

I hope you find the magic combination and stay away from PPD.
Oh, caramama, I'm sorry it's hard and I send you big virtual hugs. I remember that edgy, anxious, barely-making-it feeling in the first months, too.

Getting out of the house is huge for me. I also like to splurge on little things, like nice lotions and bath products. You probably still can't take a bath, but maybe a nice long(ish) shower? Though I know that's so hard with a newborn.

And now that I've finally found a hairdresser, going to get my hair cut can be a pick me up.

Having some good books to read while nursing cheered me up and helped me escape a bit, too.
Trannyhead said…
Dude! Sorry you've got the blues. I think everybody gets them to some extent. I hope it passes quickly.

What do I do? Hmm ... I don't know. I don't really get bummed out very often. I know, I suck. I guess I'd hang out with my kid, though. It's hard to be bummed out around him.
Becoming Mommy said…
Step one: hire a babysitter
Step two: go get my hair cut (having someone else wash your hair feels. so. good.)
Step three: Eat some comfort food (hello brownies and pizza).
Step four: just sit by yourself out in the sun for about 20 minutes.

That list is helpful to me.
Coffee and berries. Esp. Raspberries. They are my favorite.
I would try and take a moment in the morning to just be alone and have a bit of breakfast, my coffee my fruit and some protein and not just wolf it down but try and savor it a bit 5-10 of focusing on the moment. We have a lovely back sitting area that in the mornings is peaceful and I can hear the birds. So I would sit there. But I know finding that 5-10 peaceful minutes is hard with just one!

But I do think squeezing 10 minuets of things that you really enjoy in when you can and focusing on savoring them can help (sure can't hurt!) but for me I do think the nutrient help is probably the biggest factor in feeling good versus falling off the edge.
limboland la la said…
just call my nameeeee.... and i'll be there. or, perhaps you ought to just call my phonnneee...and i'll be there.
MommyEm said…
I agree with Cloud that what is getting me down determines my self-remedy. When I am feeling overwhelmed with work, I find something to do with my hands that I can complete in a short amount of time, like weeding, or folding laundry, or tidying something small. The sense of accomplishment is always an emotional lift. When I am feeling down about something internal, I escape into TV (like Farscape, Charmed, Angel, Eureka, etc.) or I call someone to talk things through.

My recent favorite thing to do is clean the kitchen while watching a DVD on our laptop. I get the sense of accomplishment and escapism all at once! I hope that everything gets better soon!
Anonymous said…
For me it's less about going out per se as having human contact. The sun sure feels good on my face (soak up the Vitamin D!), but what really, really cheers me up is a good laugh - or a good cry, or both - with friends. Do you have any friends you can invite over to hold the baby while you do something else and then have tea and talk? Or cook for you? Sometimes going out is great, but sometimes having company during the day to days of new parenthood is very therapeutic. Going out can also seem overwhelming, especially when depressed. I struggled with depression in my early 20s and even now a year or so into mommyhood going out, exercising, etc are still the hardest things for me. If you feel overwhelmed, even the littlest thing can seem too hard, even if you know it would help.
-Erin
Burgh Baby said…
When I need a break, I get out the bubble machine. Just sitting in a chair watching the kid chase bubbles is better than any sort of therapy.
Shellie said…
Good question, because I'm trying hard not to feel desperate about my lack of focus and organization. Exercise? Getting something done? Changing my expectations? Hanging out with friends in person and online alleviates it, but then I'm still left with the messes in my life...

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