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Body and Mind After Baby

Today I was yelled at by a WIC case worker that I’ve lost too much weight postpartum too fast. By too much weight, she means I’m about half a pound less than I was before I got pregnant. I’m sorry? I didn’t mean to? I pointed out that, that was according to her scale and my pre-pregnancy weight was based on my scale at home and that both WIC and my OBGYN asked me what I weighed before I was pregnant. There was no “official” pregnancy weigh in on either one of their scales. So it was all based on my scale at home. So fairly accurate, but not as 100% law regulated perfect as WIC or the OBGYN. That also, wasn’t necessarily my weight EXACTLY right before I got pregnant. Just very much close enough. But it could have been off by a pound or two in either direction, though not much. But basically, while her scale had me just under my starting weight, my scale at home had me 3-4 pounds over.

Even so, I only gained 19 pounds this pregnancy. Considering I spent about 14 weeks in the smack middle not able to gain anything, having gained that much is amazing. And it actually was well within the range of what I should have gained considering I started out heavy. And then I gave birth to a 8 lb baby, placenta and fluid. So again, what exactly did she want from me?

In the end, I was just glad she weighed me WHILE my breasts are still engorged (more on that later) and not after I lost my milk. Would hate to hear the lecture AFTER that 5-10 pound weight loss.

Finally… Hello, I just started Cymbalta. She knew that. The first week or so of it KILLS your appetite. I’m not trying to not eat or lose weight or anything, it just sort of happens when you start a new med with that side effect. I’ll be eating again like normal in a week or so. If not, just wait til I’m back on the Geodon. That’s coming soon enough. (I’m not, not eating, it’s just not a lot. Or not as much as I’d normally eat when not pregnant.)

So all in all, I was bitter that I got yelled at for losing too much, when the scale my starting weight was recorded from, had me 3-4 lbs heavier than her scale had me in the first place.

Then I came home and weighed myself. Seems our scales are an exact match. Oh. My bad. Still, should I be upset I don’t have the final 10 lbs to lose that make postpartum women everywhere miserable?

On the bright side: One of my concerns about getting pregnant was that I finally had clothes that fit me. As in more than a handful of shirts and a couple pairs of pants. I had a full wardrobe. And I was scared that I’d not fit in any of it after I gave birth. Keeping in mind my Geodon makes it REALLY hard to lose weight.

Well, it seems that as far as skirts and pants go, I fit in the stuff that I care the most about already. The rest of it I’m really close to. The shirts should fit, though I’ll have to see based on what my boobs decide to do.

With both boys, despite me not getting much, if any milk, my boobs went up a cup size and a half, at least, and never went back down. Honestly, my shirt size is based more on my breasts than my actual stomach and waist. So depending on what happens this time around, I may or may not lose a few shirts in my wardrobe. Honestly, the bra I’m currently wearing actually is the best fit I have and a month ago it was too small. But I can’t remember if that was based on band or cup. Either way, I still have a few weeks before my breasts settle down into their final size.

So speaking of breasts, let’s talk milk. At first there wasn’t a hint of anything, then through the night Friday into Saturday, oh hello, there it was. By morning I was engorged and wearing a bra was suddenly more comfortable than not. Which anyone who knows me, knows that is something to be amazed over. I loath bras. They were made by the devil. But I’ve been wearing one non-stop, except when I shower, since Saturday morning. I am looking forward to taking it off though.

So how much milk? No clue. Could I have fed Sammy exclusively with my milk? No clue. I’d have to attempt pumping to find out. And doing so would just encourage more production and I’m NOT doing that. Even with milk coming in, I can’t use it. The meds won’t allow it. I am slightly bitter, though, that the one baby I’m not even trying to breast feed, is the one I actually got what might possibly be an adequate supply for. I would have been much happier if nothing came in. But, I’ve since come to terms with it, and we all agree that me on my meds is much more important than Sammy being breast fed. Besides, I don’t exactly work a job where I could go pump every 2 hours to keep up supply. So, it’s for the best. Still bitter though.

Meds. I’ve been on my Cymbalta for a week now. The initial dizziness and nausea is long past. As mentioned, I don’t have a huge appetite, though I am still eating. And about 9-10 hours after I take my dose for the day I hit a wall where I have to sleep NOW. I’m hoping that passes. For now I’m just taking it late morning so I can last until 8 or 9 in the evening. If I have to stay up later for something, I take it a bit later. Luckily, the few hours between me crashing and Sammy waking for her first night feeding, is enough to get me functioning well enough to take care of her. I’m tired and all (no one waking up for a midnight feeding isn’t tired) but I can meet her needs. Luckily she mostly goes right back to sleep. Through the night I sleep off the effects in 2-4 hour chunks and by morning I’m good to go.

So is it working? It’s really hard to tell. I knew the worst of my depression would end once pregnancy ended. My postpartum depression hits at about 6 months out. Or at least it did with both boys. Almost exactly, really. So my goal is to be fully medicated and as stable as I can be by then. I’ll still go through the hormone shift, but this time it’ll hopefully be less rocky. We’ll adjust dosages along the way, and again when whatever hits, actually hits.

I will say, I do have one lingering, sadness crushing down on me. I’ll let last night’s twitter woes sum it up:

Now that the date has been set on when I go back to work and it’s not unknown point in the future, it’s hit me hard I have to go back. After 3 months home with my family. By that point 4 months. And one new reason to want to be home, going back is the most depressing idea. I’d give anything to be able to stay home. I didn’t realize how jealous I was of my husband getting to stay home.

Pat came down and had a heart to heart with me, when he heard me crying over this last night. The initial return to work date was going to be the 18th of October, but we’re going to draw it out through the end of the month. Money will be tight those last few weeks, but we’ll be able to make things work. We’ve paid ahead on bills, so we should be mostly fine. I absolutely have to be working again in November though. There is no way around that.

We discussed me filing for disability. BPD is a qualifier. But honestly, I have mine managed enough, that I really don’t stand a chance. And I don’t want to cheat the system by stretching the truth. As long as I’m happy where I work, I can work. When I’m happy where I work, I even enjoy working. If the time comes where that’s no longer the case, I will file. I will qualify. But until then, I’ll work.

I guess what I posted a few weeks ago about wishing I could go back to school instead of work is the ultimate truth. If I could just put bills on hold while I got my education so that I had more options that would make me happy, I’d take that path in a heart beat. But it just isn’t an option to go to school full-time instead of working.

The idea of returning to my current job that I’m on leave from is the most depressing of all. I was job hunting before I got pregnant. So I will go back to job hunting. What that means for the foreseeable future and beyond, I don’t know. I don’t even know where I’m looking. I assume banking, since that’s where I was applying before. But I might be open to other things that aren’t the same thing I’m doing now. My job as a cashier was never meant to be long term. Even if I’m there through this holiday season, I will hopefully be moving on before too long. Even without the pain, my mental health can’t handle me staying there for too long beyond that.

Otherwise, things are going good in my head. My rages are manageable. I’m searching for patience with my children instead of yelling. Am I always successful? No. But I’m trying. Pat and I are bickering daily. But it’s usually over piddly stuff. Nothing that will make or break us. Not that us bickering is a good thing, but I have faith it’s simply us spending way too much time together with my hormones going crazy, and the stress of pregnancy followed by a newborn. I have faith once things settle down, we’ll be fine.

My depression is all work related, and situational depression is acceptable in my book. Everyone has that from time to time. It’s allowed. It’s safe. Safe as in it isn’t mental illness, it’s “this exact situation sucks and I’m reacting to it as such.”

I guess you can say I’m striving for an even keel. I’m not perfect with it, but I’m doing about as good as can be expected. And I’m working even harder to get my meds back in my system to maintain that even keel long term. And that’s all I can really do.

4 Comments

  1. Comment by Ms.Sassypants:

    Have you thought about seeing what you qualify, as far as loans/ grants, for school online?

  2. Comment by Walkingborder (Karen):

    I don't currently qualify for grants because I had to drop a couple classes past the deadline to drop, due to life drama/moving, so my GPA suffered.

  3. Comment by Barbara:

    Well you sound very balanced and are making perfect sense to me. I had four months home before having to go back to work when my son was born, and I hated going back, but had to. Enjoy the rest of the time you have and try not to think too much about work till you absolutely have to.

    My bra size got much bigger after I had Kev and never went back down either. I think my boobs are too big sometimes so I wasn't thrilled about that.

  4. Comment by Walkingborder (Karen):

    I've been saying for years I want a breast reduction. I just needed to be done having babies first. And at my size, my insurance might actually pay for it, if I fight for it right. Due to my size it's hard to check for lumps and my back is all sorts of screwed up. If my insurance won't pay for it, it's one debt I'd gladly take on. I'd be happy with a D. Anything smaller would be too small for my frame. And anything bigger would defeat the purpose.

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