Monday, June 29, 2009

Two steps forward. One step back. Wait, make that three steps back.

I thought I made it through just fine, but now I'm not so sure.

In January, with the support of my obstetrician, I stopped taking antidepressants for postpartum depression. I was feeling good, and things seemed fine for a few months. I thought I weathered the storm, came out a stronger woman, and things were looking up.

I did come out a stronger woman - I learned a lot about myself, and things were looking up. But now, I've hit a rough patch, and although I fully believe that things are going to get better, it doesn't make it any easier for the time being.

The past month things have started to get bumpy again. I've been hesitant to write about it as I've been trying to make some sense of it myself. I've been getting cranky again. And this time, there's been bouts of anxiety and depression - not just irritability, but the "I don't know why I'm crying and I can't stop" kind of depression.

It's been bothering me a lot. Poor Dennis is having to deal with me being all mean and cranky - A LOT, and - I feel like I'm back in that same boat I was months ago. I've forgotten what it feels like to be me. I've forgotten what it feels like to make it through a whole day without getting really mad about something or without getting all worked up and overreacting to some little thing that's really nothing at all. Don't get me wrong - I have my good days, but the bad days are starting to be more frequent.

I miss being able to go through a day and just have fun and enjoy it. I'm not feeling like me, and that's not okay.

Today I met with my doctor, and I told her what's been going on. There's a possibility that the birth control I was on is contributing to this, but there was no surefire way to determine the culprit while I was still on it.

So, I've stopped that particular method and I'll be starting a new one. My doctor wants me to give it some time (one month) to see if the birth control was the issue. If I'm still Spongebob Crankypants, one phone call is all it will take, and I can go back on the Lexapro. I've already decided that if it continues to be bad, I'll call her before the month is up, and I'm sure she won't have an issue with getting me back on the meds.

To be honest with you, one thing that really bugs me is the fact that I did well for months without the medication, and now I may need it again. I'm not sure why - I'm a big fan of the medication, and it worked wonders for me. I think it's just part of that whole idea that I tell myself I've got to have it all together (even though I know that's absolutely ridiculous). I feel like I failed. And I hate failing - shoot, who likes it?

I know it's nothing I did or didn't do. I am not choosing to be depressed. Try as I might, I can't shake it, but I never understood that until I actually suffered from it myself.

Before, it was like, "Depressed? Get outside, change your attitude, open the windows, quit wallowing in self-pity, snap out of it." Seriously. You can't. You simply cannot.

I know it will get better. It got better last time, and it will get better again. I know it will.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fashion Friday: Pinky, pink, pink.

Time for another Fashion Friday with Summer at Le Musings of Moi, and this week, I'm using pink as an accent color. Why? Because I love pink. It's awesome. And, I'm impressed with passing off this "jeans and t-shirt" outfit as acceptable casual Friday clothes for work.


Pink tank top - Old Navy
Gray top - Old Navy (I found it at a consignment shop, though)
Jeans - Big Star Maddie Fit Boot Cut

Shoes - Payless (a BOGO find)

Earrings - Maurices

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I want a goose that lays golden eggs for Easter.

In my teen years (and if I'm being totally truthful with you, even now), if I want something from my dad, I act all cute and do the Veronica routine from the original Willy Wonka.

"Daddy!!! DADDY! I want a golden goose. I want a goose that lays GOLDEN eggs for Easter!"

It's kind of just this little joke that we have. Only now, it's not like I want to stay out late (well, actually, I wouldn't mind that, if I could actually stay awake long enough to be out past 9 p.m.) or have money to go to the movies or have my dad drive to who knows where to unlock my car for me because I locked the keys inside of it for the umpteenth time. Now, I mostly just say it to be stupid and funny (two things that I am really, really, ridiculously good at).

Now, my wants are a lot different. It's not so much about the movies, going out with friends, or being let into my car. These days, my wants are not as easy to fulfill. I've chosen my current top 3 wants, and I'm sharing them with you today. Should you have any suggestions for me, please - enlighten me.


1. I want my 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels DVD back. Kaylee, fess up. Where did you hide it, you little 14 month-old super sleuth? Mommy's butt is growing by the minute, and I won't do my squats and push-ups without my dear Jillian. Get on that, would you? While you're looking I'm going to go have some chocolate cake. Don't mind me, and don't ask me if you can have any. You can't. So be quiet, and go find my DVD.

2. I want a full piece of cheesecake that does not mysteriously decrease in size by 50 percent when I leave the house to go to the gym. That makes me cry. And whine. And turn into Ice Queen. My mom is taking care of this request this evening, so I won't be pining after it for much longer. But still, my mom is not here yet; hence, I am still wanting that cheesecake. Badly.

3. I want a clean house. I want a clean house that cleans itself. I have a self-cleaning oven. Now I want a self-cleaning house, dammit.

What do YOU want? Leave a comment with your top 3 wants of the moment.

Head on over to Mama's Losin' It and join in this week's Writer's Workshop Thursday for yourself. All the cool kids do it. You know you want to.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Capturing sweet moments

A large portion of my readership is moms. So, if you're a mom, you can probably relate to the fact that 90 % of the pictures you have of your child do not include you. You're usually the one behind the lens.

I've got some very, very special photos of Kaylee and I that we had professionally done when Kaylee was a month old, and they are some of the best photos I have of the two of us. As she's grown, I've just wished I had more pictures of just Kaylee and I that would really capture our bond.

Now, I've got that.

This past week we had the chance to meet up with a dear friend of mine who also happens to be an absolutely phenomenal photographer. If you've been with me for a while, you may remember me writing about Jen.

Kaylee was rather fussy through the majority of our photo shoot, and I was so bummed because I didn't think there'd be many pictures of her smiling and being herself. Poor thing was just a major cranky butt.

I remember Jen saying, "Sera? Is this stressing you out?" And I told her how I was worried we might not get many good pictures of Kaylee. (I later went on to suggest to Jen that she start carrying Xanax in her camera bag to hand out to the moms during her photo shoots - I assured her that we wouldn't mind paying a wee bit extra for these black market drugs...)

She assured me we'd get plenty of good ones, and boy, oh, boy, was she ever right.

Right before she snapped this one, Kaylee was crying and carrying on and throwing a big huge fit. For a couple moments in time, she quieted down while I tried to put an end to her shenanigans. This is just such a tender moment, and I think this may very well be my favorite picture from the whole session. And, does she not have some mad photo editing skills or what?!?!

This is another one I'm just totally loving. I can practically hear Kaylee's quiet little giggles that accompany this sweet smile.

Head over to to check out some more of our little family, and be sure to leave a comment for Jen telling her how freakin' AWESOME she is. :) If we get 25 comments we get a free photo from her. Woo hoo!

This post is a part of Wordful Wedensdays at Angie's 7 Clown Circus.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My mom, the rock star.

26 years ago today, my mom was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Not many people are inducted into the Hall of Fame on the very first day they become a rock star, but my mom was.

Let me back up a bit...

On the day Kaylee was born, at some point after I got my friggin' awesome epidural (Dr. K - I still love you!), I remember telling my mom she was a rock star for getting me into this world without any pain medication.

Seriously. She is.

I also told her I needed to call all the women in my family who birthed children without pain meds (some of them multiple children) - because they were all rock stars.

It was my birthday today. I got the lunch and dinner out at 2 restaurants of my choosing. I got the cake, the cannoli, the cheesecake, the presents and all the attention, but really, we should have had a party for my mom.

All I did that day was pop out and then poop and pee all over everything while I screamed my head off. Seriously - why should that deserve a party? She did all the hard work.

You're my rock star, Mom. I love you. Much more than chocolate, even. Of course. ;)

Your Sera B.

This post is a part of Tuesday's Tribute over at 7 Clown Circus.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More about the baby daddy

It's high time you know a little more about the baby daddy.

The moment Kaylee was born, it was like he transformed. Instant daddy. I remember looking at him in total amazement. He held her with such ease and looked as if he'd been doing this whole baby thing forever. It just came so natural, and I remember thinking how lucky I was to have a man like him.

He's got a quiet confidence about him. He takes everything in stride and doesn't let things get to him. He's calm when I freak out, and he remains level-headed when I overreact.

He weathered all the late night craziness of life with a newborn and never checked out - he never made me go it alone. He picked up extra slack when I couldn't do much of anything, and he didn't treat me any different even on the days when I treated him like crap before I got treatment for my postpartum depression.

He never complained. He never excused himself from any parenting tasks. He did dirty diapers, baths, middle of the night feedings, washing baby stuff. Heck, he learned how to put the breast pump together for me.

Kaylee has always been fascinated with him.

She's got a special relationship with him that's unlike her relationship with anyone else. They have their own way of playing and horsing around. She's just crazy about him, and the feeling is quite mutual.

He's an amazing dad - he's fun, he's giving, and he sticks to his guns, no matter hard Kaylee makes it when she unleashes her overpowering puppy dog eyes and equally cute pouty lips.

I managed to snag quite a catch, and Kaylee got herself one heck of a dad in the process.

I love you, Babe. You're an amazing dad to Kaylee, and I couldn't have made it through all the tough stuff without you by my side every step of the way.

Happy Father's Day, sweetie.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The latest scoop on poop

Before I get into our latest story, you should probably go read about our first bathtub poop experience - click here to read "Fishin' for Turds - My Maiden Voyage." It'll help you understand why I'm so excited about a certain bath toy that functions as so much more than just a bath toy...

If you're new to my blog, then you may very well have missed out on a lot of my crappier posts. And by crappier I don't mean that they were bad posts. There were just a lot of posts about, well - about crap, quite literally. They are all still very near and dear to my heart.

There was "Can't a girl just poop in peace?" - a post about how I eventually learned the art of the "fake poop" just to get a few moments all to myself.

There was, "Well, that's just crap-tastic" - a post about my child's first piece of artwork fashioned out of nothing but straight up baby crap.

Then, we had the aforementioned post about my first experience delving into the murky waters of the bathtub poop.

In case you decide to rob yourself of a good laugh and you decide not to read that post, basically I just talked about the first time I barehanded a baby turd out of the tub. It was the tiniest little turd you ever did see, and I wished to high heaven that I would have had a little net to scoop it up with.

Well, not too long after that fun little escapade, my mom got Kaylee some bath toys that all had a fishing theme. There's a fishing pole, fish that squirt water, foam water creatures that stick to the side of the tub, and perhaps most importantly, a "fishing" net so your kiddo can scoop up the toys as if they are on a fun fishing trip. Here's the gorgeous net I speak of.

See, whoever designed this set of bath toys was undoubtedly a parent. They realized that kids would see this as a fun mechanism for collecting toys. But, they knew parents would take one look at this net and they'd instantly come to the realization that this handy dandy net doubles as a poop net.

It's hard to believe, but several months have come and gone, and all the toy has been used for is scooping up toys. But, all good things must come to an end.

Two nights ago as I was sitting on the couch, doing some stuff for work and watching the season premier of Army Wives, I suddenly hear the booming voice of my husband coming from the bathroom where he was giving Kaylee a bath.

"Sera?!?!? Guess who just took a crap in the tub!"

"SERA!!! Get in here!!!"

I start giggling to myself, put my papers down, and run for the bathroom. This time, we had just a bit more than the tiny pencil eraser sized turd. There were multiple sinkers and floaters, and we needed a plan.

I grabbed a towel and Dennis handed me the baby (I was still laughing to myself as I took her to her room to dry her off). I reminded him about the baby turd net, and he bravely fished the turds out of the tub.

So, we finally got to use the "fishing" net for what I believe it was truly designed for. And I'm not even upset that I wasn't the one who got to break it in. I know my time is coming...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Right where I want to be.

We've been doing good letting the baby cry it out at night lately. We haven't caved, and we're all surviving.

But, tonight? Tonight I really needed to cuddle my baby. I needed those quiet, tranquil moments when she's cuddly and close, when she's out like a light and even snoring at times.

Yesterday I started reading, Down Came the Rain. The book is written by Brooke Shields, and it's all about her struggle through postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, Rowan. I can clearly remember the exact place I was standing in Barnes and Noble the first time I saw her book.

I was pregnant, picked up the book, and quickly put it back after thumbing through a few pages. Some of the words I was reading were just appalling. I didn't want to read more. It seemed pretty dark, and I wasn't going to go through that - so, I put it back and didn't think much of it. I moved on to other books about fetal development, labor, and baby showers.

But, after having Kaylee and waging my own battle with postpartum depression, I've really been curious about what she shared in her book, and what she went through. I think it's a pretty brave thing for a celebrity like herself to share her story and put it out there.

Well, let me tell you that I'm glued to the book, and although there are things she writes about that I can't relate to, there are plenty of things that are stark reminders of my early postpartum life.

She talks about feeling disoriented in her own home during the few days following her daughter's birth. Feeling like everyone but her was caring for her baby because, physically, she could not. She talks about how the majority of her time spent with the baby was when people would bring the baby to her for feeding. She talks about feeling like the neverending cycle of crying, sleepless nights, and feedings wouldn't end. And she talks about feeling like a failure for not being able to do some of the most basic tasks of motherhood, and therefore feeling disconnected from and unfamiliar with her very own baby.

Those are things that resonated with me. And it took me back. It reminded me how far I've come. It was not a place I wanted to be. It was certainly not where I envisioned I would be.

I remember feeling almost like a bystander in my baby's life for the first week - just standing by and feeling completely helpless. In some ways, I was. It hurt to turn over in bed, to get out of bed, to walk to the bathroom, to go to the bathroom. I was in so much pain that it was hard to focus on anything else.

And my family knew that. And they were there for me every step of the way. They alternated nights staying with Dennis and I for the first week. They assumed full baby duty during the nighttime hours so we could attempt to actually sleep.

I remember thinking to myself that I would never be able to sleep again. I really believed that. I was so exhausted and tired that it seemed that the ability to fall asleep had escaped me. I was too busy trying to sleep and not being able to, that everyone else had to take care of my baby for me. I felt like the show was going on without me. I wondered if my baby even knew who her mother was, because I certainly wasn't the one spending the majority of the time with her. In my illogical and sleep-deprived mind, I wondered if I'd be able to bond with her, or if some magical window of prime bonding time had passed us by.

I loved my baby the instant she was born. She amazed me. I was in awe of her, and I loved her with everything I had. But, not being able to have a deeper involvement in her care made it harder for me to feel that connection with her right away because I physically could not do the things I wanted to do. I couldn't just sit awake - even during the day - and stare at her, holding her, rocking her. I couldn't change many of her diapers, clean her up, or wash and fold her clothes. I couldn't even breastfeed my own child, for pete's sake. I felt like the epitome of failure.

My family was (IS) amazing, and I have no idea how we'd have survived that first week without them. They stayed up through the night and never complained once. They did way more than we ever expected them to do. They were by our sides through it all. And when I couldn't be there for my baby, they were. It was because of them that I was finally able to get to that place of being able to be there for my little girl.

So, tonight, when I read more about Brooke's struggles that mirrored my own, I felt an overwhelming need to just hold my baby for more than a quick hug before I put her in her crib to cry it out. Tonight was certainly not a night for crying it out.

I needed to hug her, and hold her close, and tell her how much I loved her. Because tonight I was reminded of a time when I wondered how I could possibly make it to the place I'm at today.


(This post is a part of Mama Kat's Thursday Writer's Workshop, taking place every Thursday at Mama's Losin' It. Specifically, this post is about prompt #5, which is, "Where would you like to be?")

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sending us on a wild goose chase

Kaylee is becoming a master of stashing things.

A few weeks ago, it was the spare key to my car, which was later found under the couch.

A few nights ago, it was her little plastic Ernie bath toy. I rescued him from the bottom of her clothes hamper. The only explanation I could come up with was that she never let go of him after we took her out of the bath, and then she dumped him into her hamper while I was changing her diaper.

This morning as we were getting ready to leave the house, Dennis said, "Man, I can't remember where I put my cell phone." Usually it's on his nightstand. After searching for a bit with no success, he decided to call his cell phone and just follow the ringing.

The ringing led him to the nursery, where he found his cell phone nestled in among the toys of the toy box.

We are so in for it...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kicking and screaming

You should all be very jealous of our night life at the moment.

We're going on night four of letting Kaylee cry herself to sleep at night. When she was an itsy baby I was very much into rocking her to sleep. My thinking was that she is only a baby once, and gosh darn it, I was going to rock her to sleep.

The experts said it was a bad idea, and that it would create bad sleep habits.

Well, it did create bad sleep habits. Now she's screaming like the dickens because she has to be in her crib when she's not all the way asleep and she's wondering what in tarnation would possess her otherwise awesome parents to do such a mean, cruel, and torturous thing to her.

But, the child must learn to put herself to sleep.

Night one went well. We decided to let her cry for 10 minutes and then go in and check on her. She cried and screamed for a few minutes, she'd take a break for a few minutes, cry a little more, but eventually, before the 10 minutes was even up, she was asleep. All on her own.

Night two? We all hung out on Kaylee's bedroom floor at about 7:30 and let her play. Meanwhile, Dennis and I had both about dozed off into La La Land, and Kaylee managed to cuddle up and fall asleep, too. So, in her crib she went, but she still put herself to sleep.

Night three. We were misled if we thought night three would be anything at all like the first two nights. She turned up the drama factor about 8 notches. Crazy, outrageous, ridiculous amounts of screaming ensued. I think it was at least an hour long process to finally get her to sleep. We'd go in every 10 minutes, and then the crying got so much it was every 5. I know, we were wimpy parents who caved into her trickery. Oh, well...

Then, she'd be fine as long as we didn't walk away from her crib. Such a smart little stinker we have on our hands. Eventually, she was asleep.

Tonight? It's 9:30. We've been going for about 50 minutes, and she's pulling out all the stops yet again. For the moment, she is quiet, and we think she may have finally given in. But, there are no guarantees at this point.

So, bottom line? Do I regret rocking my baby to sleep for the first year of her life? Not in the least, and I'll do it again with the next one.

Those sweet, quiet, peaceful moments are something I'd never take back and that I will always cherish. Now we're just spending some time (hopefully only a few more days...please?) undoing a bit of a bad sleeping habit, but it's okay.

(I think) We'll all survive.