Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression can start anytime in the first year after delivery of a baby. In the first 1-2 weeks after birth 80% of women experience some "baby blues" which are wide mood swings brought on by the hormonal changes taking place in a woman's body during those weeks (see about.com:pregnancy and childbirth).

If the feelings of depression continue beyond that, it is then considered Postpartum Depression (PPD). Sometimes the fatigue and depression can be from anemia or low thyroid. It is best to have those things checked out in a blood test by a physician. If those items check out fine, often the depression is linked to continuing hormone imbalances (Dalton, Katharina:
Depression after Childbirth. (Oxford University Press, 1985) . Dr. Dalton explains in her book that the pituitary gland doesn't send the message to the endocrine system to produce the necessary hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid. According to Dr. Dalton, natural progesterone is safe for use during breast feeding and can help with most symptoms of PPD. With my fifth child, my doctor had me have (I believe the dosage was 100 mg) progesterone shots for 10 days, and then wrote me a prescription for 2 100 mg progesterone suppositories a day, one in the morning and one in the evening.

I felt better than I ever had after any of my other childbirths. I
took 50-100 mg. of B6 and a good multi-vitamin, and made sure that I got plenty of rest. (One way to help insure that you get plenty of rest is to read On Becoming Babywise by Robert Bucknam and use his methods. I wish I'd known them with my first four!) At about 4 months postpartum, I walked a minimum of 30 minutes 4-5 days a week. I should have started at six weeks postpartum, but I still felt great even though I wasn't exercising.

I would say that my PPD was moderate with 3 of my first four children and moderate to severe after having Tessa and a traumatic delivery including severely hemorrhaging and being anemic. After having Tessa (who is #3 for me) I was almost completely cured when I started walking 4 days a week on a treadmill when she was 3 months old. I didn't even know what PPD was at the time. I just knew that I felt incredibly better after exercising for only a week.

The link above from About.com is a very helpful website. I have been searching for websites that offer natural remedies for PPD, but haven't seen any that recommend progesterone therapy so far. I know that it made my postpartum experience 95% better than the others had been previously.

If a woman has a history of bipolar disorder or prior depression before childbirth, she is much more likely to have PPD and should talk to her doctor/midwife about prevention of PPD before she delivers her baby.

The nice thing about this treatment for PPD is that it treated the root of my PPD and didn't have the side effects that other treatments can have. The progesterone did increase my appetite, but that is the only side effect that I noticed. (Another reason that I should have started exercising sooner!)

A good book to read about PPD is
Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression by Marie Osmond. I like it because it has a quiz in the back the take to see if a person is experiencing PPD and helpful natural remedies that Marie used which were given to her by her doctor. I have a signed copy and got to visit with Marie at her book signing in the Phoenix area. I was thrilled that she wrote the book because I'm sure it has been read more because of her celebrity status.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Frustrated Blogger

Today I had such high aspirations of posting on both of my blogs. But my children kept interrupting me when I was trying to write and I just don't multi-task well. Now I'm going to go watch Dan in Real Life again. I love it! So much for blogging tonight! So look forward to a blog post on postpartum depression. Hold me to it. It is important.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Am an Addict

My name is Terry and I am an addict. My family has known for years that I have many addictive behaviors. I'm not going to list them because most of them are obvious to those around me. But finally recognizing this addition completely took me by surprise.

Brace yourselves.

I am a scale addict. That is right! For years I have been weighing myself almost daily. I did miss a few weeks here and there two years ago when we were moving. I actually lost weight because I was so busy that I forgot to eat(and had some anxiety). But when we got moved and somewhat settled, the weight started creeping back on. I went from being 5-10 lbs "too thin" according to my family to again being 15 lbs over weight in about 5 months. I was only weighing about once a week at first, but as the numbers on the scales climbed (in spite of any exercising or healthy eating on my part), my need to weigh everyday took over.

Only after talking to a couple truly healthy friends of mine, did one of them tell me that I was too focused on what I weighed and not focused enough on my overall health. She told me to not weigh myself for two months and focus on being healthy by good eating and exercising. I reacted to the advice quite strongly. My face told her that I couldn't even fathom it. She then said that I was addicted to weighing myself. She is right.

But I really don't want to go cold turkey because I'm counting calories and exercising everyday to lose 10 pounds by October 1st. So I committed to not weighing for a week. I started today. I didn't weigh. It was hard not too, but I didn't. I can see it getting harder each day. I'm going to have to use some EFT for this one!

So the focus is now on health. Mind, body, and spirit.

A side note, I bought a mountain bike today to save gas and get some exercise. I'm going to work up to riding it up to school. I rode a mile uphill without stopping today and 3 miles down. School is 2 miles uphill. It might kill me, but if it doesn't I'll be stronger!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Julie Allen is giving away an activity book on her blog!

My friend Julie Allen has made very fun activity books for her children and is giving one away on her blog. Go enter her contest. I did!


I got an email today that said I was approved for academic renewal through Utah State University. For those of you who don't know, I made a mistake when I went to my first quarter of college at USU. I got sick for a couple of weeks right before finals, was totally overwhelmed, and didn't take my finals. That equaled 2 F's and a D on my college transcripts. Five years later, I returned to school, retook the two failed classes and got A's, but have always had that D from Geology on my transcript calculated into my otherwise perfect GPA.
Yesterday, I went and registered and applied for academic renewal. They approved it and award it today! Those bad grades are still on my transcripts, but they don't calculate in my GPA any longer! I have a 4.0 on as my overall GPA! It feels wonderful!!! Now I just have to keep my grades up for the next . . . ummm, 4 years until I graduate with my bachelor's. Piece of cake!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Two More Beautiful Girls

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Beautiful Girl

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Striving for balance in life is such a challenge. I have a tendency to get so involved in things that I don't leave room for quiet time or enough sleep. More things than that suffer. I could list them, but it would be a long list.

I'm going back to Utah State this fall and taking 9 credits to finish my associates of science. I haven't taken 9 credits since before Tessa was born. I'm sure I'll be fine, but I want so badly to do it without negatively impacting my family. My children are much older, but their needs are different, too. Maybe we can have family homework time in the evenings.

I want to stay in shape and feed my family healthy meals. I know how important family prayer and scripture time is. But we have done that for years at 6:30 am, so it should still work.

It will be an experimental semester because then I'm thinking about going on to get a bachelor's in health education with at least an LPN in there. Only 4 more years of school full time! I'm not getting any younger!

My motto-enjoy the journey! I'm actually excited about it!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm Tagging Myself

3 Joys
My family (that is way more than one and hopefully growing more soon!)
Close Friends

3 Fears
Going crazy (again)
Never graduating from college
Losing more of my hair

3 goals
Completing college
enjoying the journey
being more self-reliant

3 current obsessions/collections-
being healthy

3 surprises about me-
My favorite bumper sticker says, "Question Authority"
I was born at home in England
I was ticketed for riding a mini bike when I was 12 and had to do community service

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Summer Vacation

We have had a full house this last week. Mindy and her family are here. Grandma Jo came for the week. We have done some great things. We went to Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT and walked the gardens. We went to the play "Chuck Wagon" at Pickleville Playhouse over by Bear Lake. We've gone hiking, fishing, and camping. I think we are going to go to Bear Lake and swim tomorrow. We have barbecued, and eaten well, way too well. Dan actually took the week off from work. It has been so nice. I love building memories with my family.
Tomorrow , April goes to Especially for Youth. This week I should finish up at work for the summer and get registered for college. Then summer will be half over . . .sad! This is my 3rd vacation so far. I'm hoping to still go to Jackson Hole or western Washington before it is all over. We are so blessed to live in such a wonderful, and beautiful country.