Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Having People to Talk With Helps

I still have a lot of concerns, especially as far as breastfeeding goes, but things overall are looking much better. A lot of this is because I finally got some support and took a little bit of a break.

My family is all on the other end of the state, and I don't have many close friends nearby (combo of people moving and me isolating myself either from depression or not wanting to invite people over when the house was so cluttered, and working the opposite schedule from most of the world for so long), so I was trying to do things on my own.

I finally found support and help in places I was overlooking. Not surprisingly, one of these places is online. I've had a lot of help from people I only "know" online, especially considering how many of them only know me from my blog or Twitter account, which have just been around for a few months. Twitter and Facebook have both been lifesavers, as far as a place for "real time" conversations when things have gotten hard to deal with lately. Blogging has helped in a different way, by giving me a release and somewhere to let all of these thoughts and feelings out, without worrying so much about the reactions of my friends and family (I think my mom may have found this blog recently, but most of my family & local friends do not know the URL, if they even know I blog). I also joined the ICAN message boards and, while I haven't posted an introduction yet, just reading other women's stories has helped a lot, because I see I'm not the only one having this sort of reaction to the circumstances surrounding my birth experience.

On a more personal level, I am getting a ton of emotional support and help from my birth team, which I hadn't really been planning on. My midwife and her staff have helped a lot by taking time to talk with me, and to just listen and cry with me at one of the postpartum visits when I was still trying to process everything. It helped a lot to hear that it was normal to feel so emotional, and that they understood why I was feeling a loss over not having a natural birth and sharing those first moments with my son when he was born, because my husband just cannot relate to that at all (like he said, he'll never be able to give birth, so he can't understand why the details are so important). My doula, Debbie, has also been wonderful, staying in touch with my by phone and email to see how I'm doing, and offering to babysit so I can get some needed rest, or to go walk with me so I can get out of the house and in the sunshine and fresh air for a while, and have another woman to talk to who will be understanding.

Saturday afternoon was a big help to me all around. I was a little annoyed because I'd been wanting to spend the weekend just hanging out with my husband and the baby, because I don't feel like we've had much time to bond as a family yet, and my husband and I haven't really talked much about anything important since before Robbie was born. Instead, my father-in-law called and wanted some things done around his house, so my husband spent most of the day down there with him. Debbie had emailed me the night before about getting together, so I called her back and told her it would be a good time, because I was at home alone with the baby anyway. She offered to watch him for a few hours so I could sleep, but I didn't think I'd be able to, so we got the stroller and went to the Greenway and walked instead. It was nice getting out of the house, and getting back into some physical activity, although I think I may have overdone it a little bit. More than anything though, it just helped to be away from home for a while and to have someone to talk to.


  1. If you ever need to talk, my e-mail box is always open. I know what you are going through, I have been there, twice. :)

    The email I check the post is Danielle.Elwood@gmail.com

  2. Raine, I just found your blog. Wanted to let you know I struggled with a lot of grief about how my birth went (I had a natural home birth, but my midwife was a total nightmare and didn't support me) and with ppd. I also had to supplement some but found that ultimately it didn't hurt my breastfeeding relationship with my little girl. Sounds like you're doing a really good job of making sure your son gets the nutrients he needs and breastfeeding.

    Those first few weeks can be so overwhelming. It sounds to me like you are doing an amazing job of caring for your son and reaching out for the support you need. It really does. It's so obvious how much you love him.

    I wanted to let you know I featured your blog in my "Weekly Round Up". Every week I highlight blogs written by moms struggling with depression or other problems after giving birth in the hope that we can offer one another support. The post is here: http://musings-musings-musings.blogspot.com/2010/04/weekly-round-up_14.html . I hope some of my readers will stop by your blog and offer you their support!

  3. Danielle, thanks. I think I just read your birth story on the ICAN blog. A similar thing happened to me as with your second son - stuck at 3cm for close to 40 hours, swollen cervix, turns out he was facing sideways & had the cord around his neck twice, which was keeping him from dropping further and pressing down enough for me to dilate (poor thing had a major caput/bruising on his head from where he was trying to squeeze through).

    The Muser, thanks for the comments, and the feature. I'm starting to think it might be second nature to doubt every parenting choice we make, because to more I talk to other moms, the more I see them going through the same things. It's kinda funny, I'll be going back for my first postpartum visit with my psychiatrist in a week or so - I told him I wanted to wait until a month postpartum to let the hormonal stuff even out and see how I felt then. I can already tell a difference in the past few weeks, and think it'll help even more when I get cleared to go running (ok, slogging) again and get out of the house more.

  4. I'm so, so glad to hear that you're doing better! It really does get so much better week to week!! Hang in there and continue to lean on your "Internet friends" as well as you IRL support -- we're here for you!


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