Month: August 2014

Postpartum Anxiety

Anyone who has been pregnant, and probably some of you who have not, has heard of postpartum depression (PPD). Most baby books I read or websites I visited had some mention of it. We left the hospital with a mandatory booklet on the subject and the nurse who did our home follow up gave me a short test to make sure I didn’t have it.

When babygirl was a few weeks old I started to have occasional fears – I’d look at her and feel helpless to keep her safe. Sometimes I’d lay awake at night and think about things that could go wrong, how I may fail as a mother and thoughts of bad things happening to her. Even though I had no feelings of depression I immediately thought of PPD and googled it to do the self-administered test. My score was only 2/30 so obviously this was not what was wrong. I mentioned my feelings in passing to a few friends and got the typical response – that it was new-Mom jitters and most of it was because of sleep deprivation. During this time my Gran and another family friend passed away which caused me some obvious grief so I figured this didn’t help things and it was just a mix of emotions I was having. I pushed through.

Over the next few months the thoughts happened less and less and now I do have the occasional fleeting thought or feeling but otherwise am fine. I assumed everyone was right and my new-Mom jitters were slowly fading. Then one night I picked up a magazine and read an article about Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) and whoa – THIS sounded familiar! The thoughts and feelings that were described in the story were harsh and a bit scary but I realized I must have had a mild case of this! I had never heard of PPA, which differed from PPD quite significantly.

I brought these findings up to a few other friends who have infants and found out over half of them also had these same feelings! Only one of them actually knew that it was PPA and the others were amazed and relieved when I brought it up – as I was when I read the article. I was very lucky that my PPA was mild and faded by itself within a few short months, but other women are suffering with a more severe case which goes on much longer and will need additional help from counselling or medication.

Please mention PPA to anyone you know who is pregnant or has recently had a baby so others won’t feel clueless like I did! It’s time to make people just as aware of PPA as they are of PPD!

 

 

 

 

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The Importance of Reading and Writing

When I was in grade 4 my teacher phoned my Mom one evening to read her a story I had written in class that day. She thought I had tremendous talent and encouraged me to continue writing.

English was always my best subject. I never could figure out math, or what I was going to do with it, but English came easy. Even before that, for as far back as I can remember, I’ve always had little stories on the go. I used to re-copy out books I liked, changing the story slightly to fit my interests more before I graduated to writing small stories using my own ideas. I spent a lot of evenings when I was younger with my notebook – just writing. Then I turned 14 and life, friends, and boyfriends took over….however I ┬ánever stopped having ideas and in the last 7 years or so I’ve started on a few writing projects….but always got busy with other things, leaving a handful of things abandoned.

A few years ago I started writing for a fashion & beauty website as well as a wellness site. It reminded me how much I loved writing. I love writing about things I know, as well as things I don’t know so much so I can learn a little bit too.

Some of my earliest memories are of my Gran taking me to bookstores and letting me pick out a few books while she did the same. We would spend many afternoons curled up in our chairs reading. To this day, even through the busy times in my life, I always have at least one book on the go and will pretty much read anything I can get my hands on. I do sometimes read from an e-reader but actually prefer the feel of a true book in my hands. The feel, the smell – a real book is unbeatable.

I think reading and writing is an essential skill, useful for everything in life. I started reading to Babygirl while I was pregnant and do still. She is just getting to the point where she looks at the pages and listens but I’m hoping I’m teaching her to love books as much as I do. I hope to have the same afternoons curled up reading with her as I did with my Gran.