Just this morning I (finally) completed an evaluation sent out by our midwifery clinic. They sent it over two months ago. Anyway, going through that had me think that alongside the six month update on Sprout, I could do a little update on how I'm doing six months after her birth.
I am still processing. When I got the midwifery clinic's evaluation back in April there were sections I just couldn't complete. It was too hard to deal with all the emotions surrounding my feelings about the care I was provided with. All along I said that I wanted a vaginal birth, but that the most important thing to me was that both the baby and I were healthy following delivery, and if that meant a Cesarean, so be it. Looking back I should have emphasized my preference for a vaginal birth more than I did. Maybe I would have been encouraged to labour just a little bit longer. Maybe there are things I could have done to help encourage dilation. Whenever I think about the labour and birth I end up thinking, "What if...?"
That said, overall I feel like I'm doing much better emotionally than I was a few months ago. After pushing it back twice, I had my initial appointment with a psychiatrist last Friday. I have another intake appointment in July and from there will likely be referred to another psychiatrist for counselling. I hope to get some strategies for dealing with the anxiety I've been experiencing. Aside from that I find it reassuring to know that there is someone who will just listen. At this point I would say the anxiety is more of a concern for me than the depression. As I said to the psychiatrist, I know a lot of what I'm feeling is completely irrational, but I can't help it.
Jen and I are doing well, but have yet to carve out much time for "us." I miss her. It seems most of our time together is spent dealing with family and household responsibilities. I know it's temporary and I'm not worried about it, but I am looking forward to achieving a better balance over the next few months.
I also miss The Bean. He is such a good big brother and I really couldn't be happier with how he's handling this new role. I try to make sure that I spend time talking to him and playing with him, but there's been a huge shift. Bedtime is where I find it the most noticeable as I'm often preoccupied nursing and putting Sprout down for bed at the same time as he's going through his bath and bedtime routine. I'm pretty sure he feels it too as I can often hear him asking Jen "Where's Mama?"
I am enjoying Sprout. Maybe that sounds silly, but with the depression and anxiety I feel like it's important to say. It's hard on days like yesterday where she needs me to rock her for over an hour before she sleeps. I get tired and frustrated. But fortunately those days are few and far between and when they do come up Jen is a great partner in helping to deal with them. Even on the hard days she makes me smile though. A lot.
The scar from my Cesarean healing well. It fades from reddish-purple to skin tone and has no keloids. It does still hurt, especially when pressure is put on it. I also think I'm experiencing some intermittent pain from when the catheter was initially placed poorly. I have a specialist appointment for that as my GP couldn't see anything wrong, but it's not until September.
I am a little below my pre-pregnancy weight. I can't really take any credit, because I haven't done anything; I think the combination of breastfeeding and the running around that goes with having two kids, a needy cat, and a household to take care of was all I needed to get back here. Mostly I'm just happy that my old clothes fit. My shape, however is pretty different. My bum is gone. My arms are thinner. My breasts are bigger. My tummy softer. I am pleased that I was able to lose the "baby weight", but am neither particularly pleased or displeased with my appearance in general.
Now that my course is over I feel like I finally have some time for myself. It feels like a complete luxury to be able to write a real blog post (this one) or listen to a podcast (This American Life) or pick up a book (And the Mountains Echoed) or listen to a new band (Seer Group). Playing with the manual setting on my camera, crocheting and cooking are next on the to-do-and-enjoy list.
Sorry for the beast of a post. I'll reward you with some baby photos for making it to the end. ;)