Category Archives: Pregnancy

My Journey with Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

I had dealt with depressionpostpartum depression anxiety off and on throughout my life, but never like I have during this postpartum time.

Once I found out I was pregnant in August of 2014, I went off the antidepressant I was taking on the advice of my obgyn. We then found out we were having twins at our 12 week ultrasound! I had a few times where I felt down during my pregnancy, but felt it was best to just deal with it and I didn’t feel it was severe enough to go back on medication.

I had a healthy twin pregnancy and was induced at 38 weeks (which is considered full-term for twins) giving birth to two healthy baby boys. Little did I know how hormones and sleep deprivation were going to affect me in the months to come.

After stopping pumping/breastfeeding at the 6 month mark, I started feeling a TON of anxiety. Constant, niggling anxiety which just ballooned and made it hard to function. I felt depressed too, but the postpartum anxiety covered up my depression because it was so overwhelming. On the outside it showed up as anxiety (of course), irritability, lots of crying, physically being fidgety and tense and constantly telling those close to me how inadequate I felt.

If anyone knew the war that was being waged in my brain, they would have been amazed, because what was going on there was a million times worse than what was being shown on the outside. I felt like I was barely holding things together, and that any moment I was going to crack or explode and everything would just fall apart.

At the same time I was staying home mostly full-time with my twins and I continued to feel worse and worse. I was back on an anti-depressant, but it didn’t seem to be helping like it had in the past.

Finally I couldn’t take it anymore. At about 11 months postpartum,postpartum depression anxiety I saw a psychiatrist who was able to pinpoint what was going on. We started dealing with the anxiety first, and then uncovered the depression that had been going on all along. In my case they walked hand in hand and aggravated each other. The anxiety and depression I have dealt with since then has been so much worse than anything I have dealt with in the past.

15 months (today!) after delivering my twins I finally feel like I am on the slow road towards resolving some of my issues. I am so glad I am working with the physician I am, because it has been invaluable to find someone knowledgeable and caring, who gives me hope that I will feel ‘better’ one day.

I do feel like I fell through the cracks a bit… My OB’s office and my sons’ pediatrician’s office had me fill out surveys on PPD for the first six months, but not after that. Since I stopped pumping/breastfeeding after that point and my hormones REALLY started changing then, my more severe issues didn’t start until that point. I never felt like hurting my children or some of the other symptoms of PPD, but I did feel severely depressed and anxious. And just the other day I was reading that postpartum anxiety might be more prevalent than depression…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/postpartum-anxiety-might-be-even-more-common-than-ppd_us_57742e48e4b0cc0fa13661c0?

If I could say something to postpartum women experiencing any depression or anxiety: if you are feeling depressed or anxious, you don’t HAVE to feel this way. There are people who are willing to help you, and you are not alone. It is not ‘normal’ and you can be happy again. It may take a little bit to get things going, so don’t wait as long as I did to get help. Reach out to your primary care physician, your ob, or a psychiatrist. Don’t be afraid to tell that person how you are really feeling. Hormones and chemicals in your body do crazy things. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You will enjoy your baby. You will enjoy your life. You can be happy.

You will smile again.

37 Weeks Twins Pregnancy Update!! They’re almost here!

37 weeks

 

How far along? 37 weeks

Size of Babies: The size of winter melons!

Total weight gain/loss: I think around 30 lbs-ish. I will weigh before we go into the hospital. 🙂

Symptoms: Lots of swelling in my feet and legs, just look at my feet in that picture! My acid reflux has been a lot better, I think both of the boys have moved down a bit.  I’m still not sleeping much, but try to nap through the day also.

Maternity clothes? Mostly maternity pjs at home now! I do get dressed to go out, but my choices are pretty limited now!

Stretch marks? Yepper.

Best moment this week: Having my LAST OB and perinatologist appointments. It felt so strange to not re-book appointments for next week!

Miss Anything? Sleep. Being comfortable. Wine. <<<STILL.

Movement: Some days they are still crazy little gymnasts in there, but I have noticed they have more quiet time now also.

Food cravings: Ice water, Sonic Cherry Limeades, milk, juice, iced tea.  🙂

Anything making you queasy or sick: Mexican food and meat. Yes, still. This has not changed.

Have you started to show yet:  Just a little.

Labor Signs: Well I am now 1 centimeter dilated and 75% effaced! Have some crampiness and my Braxton Hicks contractions are definitely stronger and not fading even if I move, change positions, drink water or go potty. Things are definitely going on!

Belly Button in or out? I think it’s here for the long haul!

Wedding rings on or off? Off. :(  I’m carrying extra fluid just about everywhere now. Face, hands, arms… they’ve all joined in.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Maybe not so moody as I am nervous and anxious.

Looking forward to: Holding these two little boys in my arms!


 

I have to tell you, I am pretty scared right now. Labor, delivery, bringing home two newborns.  I know it has to feel this way to all soon to be moms.  I just keep giving myself little pep talks… I can do this. Everything is going to go great.  It seems like my pregnancy has gone by so fast, and now it’s here. These two little boys will be here on Tuesday, and not in my belly anymore.  I worry that something bad will happen. I worry that I’m not gonna be a good mom.  I keep just trying to swallow my anxiety and focus on keeping calm.

I just need to let it all go. If only it were that easy!

I am just going to focus on staying in the moment, being present and savoring every moment with A and the boys.


Appointments went really well this week.  Non-stress tests went fairly quickly. No buzzing needed.  Quick ultrasound to check fluid levels. Poor little guys are really squished in there now.  Not much space for all the squirming they seem to do.  At my ob, she checked me and I am 1 centimeter dilated and 75% effaced, so at least there was some progress there.  I’m measuring 45 weeks… so let’s hope these boys are growing well!

Talked over our plan for induction.  We go in Monday night where they will check and see if we’ve made any other progress.  Depending on that we will either start one medication or another to get things moving along and just see how it goes from there.

They’re almost here!!!!!!!!! (!!!x296203948203984)

This will probably be my last update to the site until after the boys are here so be sure to like Defying Lupus on Facebook or Defying Lupus on Twitter as it is easier to post updates there!

Thanks to everyone for your support and love through this pregnancy journey! I don’t know how I would have made it sanely through this without all of you.  

I can’t wait for everyone to meet our little guys!

-Erin

 

Be sure to check out our other pregnancy updates:

Our Pregnancy Announcement

13 Weeks

14 Weeks

15 Weeks

16 Weeks

17 Weeks

18, 19 & 20 Weeks

21 Weeks

22 Weeks

23 Weeks

24 Weeks

25 Weeks

26 Weeks

27 Weeks

28 Week Ultrasound

28 & 29 Weeks

30 Weeks

31 Weeks

32 Weeks w/Ultrasound Pictures

33 Weeks

34 Weeks

35 Weeks

36 Weeks

 

36 Weeks Twins Pregnancy Update

It’s getting down to the wire!

36 weeks pregnant twins

How far along? 36 weeks

Size of Babies: The size of watermelons!

Total weight gain/loss: Not sure atm. I see my OB tomorrow. At this point I’m losing my appetite a bit, so I’m not really worried about my weight.

Symptoms: Lots of swelling in my feet and legs… flip flops are my friends! Not sleeping much. Acid reflux. 🙁  Lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and one measly real contraction.

Maternity clothes? What would I do without stretchy maternity pants? Though those are also starting to feel super tight across my belly.

Stretch marks? Yep, they’re starting to multiply!

Best moment this week: Seeing our boys on the ultrasound.

Miss Anything? Sleep. Being comfortable. Wine. <<<STILL.

Movement: Still lots of movement, though I can tell it has slowed down a bit. I guess they are feeling a little cramped.

Food cravings: Ice water, milk, juice, ICED TEA (yum!) <<<<Still all the liquids.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Mexican food and meat. Yes, still. This has not changed.

Have you started to show yet:  Yepper.

Labor Signs: One measly contraction. Otherwise nada.

Belly Button in or out? Still there! I may keep it yet!

Wedding rings on or off? Off. 🙁  I’m carrying extra fluid just about everywhere now.

Happy or Moody most of the time: I’d say it’s about 50/50 now.

Looking forward to: Having these babies!

I’ll be honest, I am exhausted right now. It’s been the story of my life this week!  I haven’t been sleeping much at night.  I am pretty uncomfortable most of the time… but these boys are still chillin’ out in my belly, so I will quit complaining right now!

Tomorrow, April 14th, I will be 37 weeks pregnant, which is considered full term for twins.  I never would have dreamed we would have progressed all the way to 37 weeks complication free!  I talked with my OB this past week and told her I just felt so lucky that a Lupus pregnancy, with twins no less, had gone so well so far.  I feel blessed… no matter how much I might complain.  A twin pregnancy ain’t no joke, but I know it will be completely worth it.

There has been times where I have felt very betrayed by my body in relation to Lupus.  You feel like you have no control over what happens, and stuff does go wrong sometimes. In the past, there have been times where I doubted whether I would be able to carry one child to term… let alone twins! We’ve come so far!

Alright, enough rambling!

What happened this week?

We had our regular appointments with my OB and the perinatologist.

The poor little guys had to get buzzed in their non-stress test again. They were just sleepy!  They passed pretty quickly once they woke up though.

We went in for our ultrasound afterwards. No pictures this time.  But they were measured.  Baby A measured at 5 lbs 7 oz and Baby B is our little guy at 4 lbs 10 oz.  They are still within 15% of each other, so the perinatologist isn’t concerned about the size disparities… though their mama was at first. Otherwise everything looked great. Great amount of fluid, good movement.  They look like they have cute little faces. 🙂 Hopefully they are gaining about an ounce a day now, and they will be healthy weights by the time they come.

I saw my OB that afternoon and she helped to put my fears at ease.  We discussed that the measurements could be off as far as 1 lb, and the farther along you get in your pregnancy, the less the measurements are straight on point. She really helped me to not stress so much.  🙂  I was not dilated at all at that point (though my cervix has softened), and Baby A’s head was right there.

We scheduled our induction!!  April 21st. D-Day.  If I have not dilated at all by then, they will have me come in the night before to prep me and then start me on Pitocin in the morning. Oh boy!!!

We have picked out names!  Our families know them now… but I think I am going to keep them a secret here a little longer. 🙂

If anything happens before my next update, I may not be able to update here, but be sure to like Defying Lupus on Facebook or Defying Lupus on Twitter as it is easier to post there!

-Erin

 

Be sure to check out our other pregnancy updates:

Our Pregnancy Announcement

13 Weeks

14 Weeks

15 Weeks

16 Weeks

17 Weeks

18, 19 & 20 Weeks

21 Weeks

22 Weeks

23 Weeks

24 Weeks

25 Weeks

26 Weeks

27 Weeks

28 Week Ultrasound

28 & 29 Weeks

30 Weeks

31 Weeks

32 Weeks w/Ultrasound Pictures

33 Weeks

34 Weeks

35 Weeks

 

35 Weeks Twins Pregnancy Update

35 weeks

How far along? 35 weeks

Size of Babies: The size of honeydew melons!

Total weight gain/loss: About 20-25 m/l.  So far. I have a feeling I’ve gained pretty well in the last week. We will see what the OB says. 🙂

Symptoms: Lots of swelling in my feet and legs. Heartburn, even with the Pepcid. Mucho Braxton Hicks. Feeling more pressure, but no contractions. Stay cookin’ babies!

Maternity clothes? What would I do without stretchy maternity pants?

Stretch marks? Yep.

Best moment this week: Seeing the surprise in A’s eyes when he lifted up my stomach. It is SO heavy now.

Miss Anything? Sleep. Being comfortable. Wine. <<<STILL.

Movement: Still lots of movement. Though now when they don’t move as much it worries me.

Food cravings: Ice water, milk, juice, ICED TEA (yum!) <<<<Still all the liquids.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Mexican food and meat. Yes, still. This has not changed.

Have you started to show yet:  Well, I’d say so.

Labor Signs: Nada!

Belly Button in or out? I think it is close to being a goner. But maybe it will hold on til the bebes get here. It just keeps shrinking.

Wedding rings on or off? Welp, today was the first day I couldn’t get it on. 🙁

Happy or Moody most of the time: Moody. Mostly happy. Just uncomfortable.

Looking forward to: Seeing A’s face when he holds the boys for the first time.  Just thinking about it makes me teary.

Saw my OB and I am now measuring 44 weeks!  Either there was an off measurement at week 34 or this week or the boys just really grew!  I had only gained about half a pound since the previous week.  But I do think I made up for it this week. 🙂

The boys passed this week’s non-stress test with flying colors… much better than in previous weeks! We got another quickie ultrasound where we saw what we think was Baby A’s GIANT foot up near my ribs.  Their little faces were pretty hard to see since they’re so close to each other and head down now.  Their fluids both looked great though and we were sent on our way.

Our next perinatologist’s appointment we do measurements on the boys! I am excited and nervous about this.  Excited because I can’t wait to see how much they’ve grown, but also nervous because I want everything to be GREAT. We will hit 36 weeks on Tuesday, and I consider this another huge milestone for us (though really every day between now and 38 weeks is really a milestone!).

I think the nursery is about 99% finished!  I am waiting on one decorative item to come in the mail, and once we have totally nailed down the boys names, I have a crafty little project to do with their names on the walls above their cribs… otherwise I think we are done.

Here’s a little tour!

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The nursery is such a little room, it will be so nice to get into the new house eventually.

IMG_0260You can’t see it very well but I made the valance for the window, hung new blinds and got this comfy glider gently used (I think it was one of our first purchases!).

A dresser we already had that I painted to match the colors in the room. I had so much fun doing all the projects for their room!

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The top of the dresser. I already had the lamp and re-did the shade since it used to be pink. 🙂 The two little bears were from a very sweet client of mine. The little bow-ties are from my mom and I can’t wait to get the boys pictures taken in them.

 

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My all-time favorite picture in their room. I bought it off a seller on Etsy. It is called ‘Yay! Daddy’s Home!’ I loved it because it has the daddy and mommy fox and two baby foxes. It hangs just inside the door to the nursery.

 

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I have two more pieces to hang here on this wall and then it will be done!

 

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A little bookshelf I put together made from wooden crates. So glad for all the books we’ve already received!

 

IMG_0267I couldn’t see spending $50 (each) on mobiles for the nursery… I am just too cheap. So I made these. It did take FOR E VER, but I love the way they turned out.

Thanks for stopping by! Leave a note and let me know you were here!

-Erin

 

Be sure to check out our other pregnancy updates:

Our Pregnancy Announcement

13 Weeks

14 Weeks

15 Weeks

16 Weeks

17 Weeks

18, 19 & 20 Weeks

21 Weeks

22 Weeks

23 Weeks

24 Weeks

25 Weeks

26 Weeks

27 Weeks

28 Week Ultrasound

28 & 29 Weeks

30 Weeks

31 Weeks

32 Weeks w/Ultrasound Pictures

33 Weeks

34 Weeks

34 Weeks Twins Pregnancy Update

34 weeks twins

 

How far along? 34 weeks

Size of Babies: Our babies are the size of cantaloupes! All this fruity talk is making me hungry for fruit salad. 🙂

Total weight gain/loss: About 20-25 m/l.  I am 20 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight, but had lost a little and gained it back.  I can tell I’ve really lost some muscle, but overall I think I’ve gained mostly baby/pregnancy weight.

Symptoms: Swelling like a crazy person, mainly just in my legs and feet.  Braxton Hicks: I’ll go a few days with just a couple each day, then I will have a day like yesterday where it seemed like I was having them non-stop.  I think it is mainly just on days where I tend to over-do it with house cleaning or walking.  It stinks because I really don’t like just sitting around all the time.

Maternity clothes? We’re getting so close to the end I am not buying anymore maternity clothes… but I have 1 pair of jeans left that fit across this belly. 🙁

Stretch marks? Yep.  Just a good sign these little rugrats are growing in there!

Best moment this week: Seeing my belly really grow. These boys are getting big!

Miss Anything? Sleep. Being comfortable. Wine.

Movement: I thought movement was supposed to start slowing down… but these boys must be acrobats!

Food cravings: Ice water, milk, juice, ICED TEA (yum!)

Anything making you queasy or sick: Mexican food and meat. Yes, still.

Have you started to show yet:  Well, I’d say so.

Labor Signs: Nada!

Belly Button in or out? It’s still an innie but is poking out a bit at the same time? So weird.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: More moody. Poor husband.

Looking forward to: Holding these little babies.

 

Quick recap of week 34!

So what was new in my 34th week?  Measuring 40 weeks along!  My OB checked me and my cervix has thinned slightly. I had my Strep B test (which came back negative).  It’s been hard to believe that these little guys could get here anytime!  My OB did tell me that at my 36 week appointment we will schedule my induction. Crazy!! That isn’t too far from now!!!

I am meeting with my OB and the perinatologist weekly now.  Had my second non-stress test, where neither of the boys were very awake.  They got buzzed… a lot. Poor little guys! They jump so hard when they have to buzz them.  We had a super quick ultrasound to check their fluid and heartbeats and then we were back out the door.  Good news: Baby B is still head down. 🙂

promise to get pictures of the nursery here soon!  Now it’s time for bed for this ole pregnant gal, I am so tired!

Be sure to check out our other pregnancy updates:

Our Pregnancy Announcement

13 Weeks

14 Weeks

15 Weeks

16 Weeks

17 Weeks

18, 19 & 20 Weeks

21 Weeks

22 Weeks

23 Weeks

24 Weeks

25 Weeks

26 Weeks

27 Weeks

28 Week Ultrasound

28 & 29 Weeks

30 Weeks

31 Weeks

32 Weeks w/Ultrasound Pictures

33 Weeks

33 Weeks Twins Pregnancy Update!

33 weeks

How far along? 33 weeks

Size of Babies: Our babies are the size of pineapples!

Total weight gain/loss: Not sure, but see the OB in a couple days so I’ll find out then. I’ve been trying to up my protein quite a bit, and with not having so much heartburn I’ve been able to eat more… so I expect to see quite a gain this next appointment.

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks like crazy. Still a little indigestion and heartburn, but the medication is helping.  Swelling, a bit everywhere now. 🙁

Maternity clothes? Growing out of some of my favorites. :(

Stretch marks? On the very front of my belly.

Best moment this week: I’ll share a little farther into my post. 🙂

Miss Anything? Sleep. Being comfortable.

Movement: A ton!

Food cravings: Milk, water, orange soda, baked potatoes.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Mexican food and meat. STILL! Bleh!

Have you started to show yet: Ugh.

Labor Signs: Nada!

Belly Button in or out? It’s still an innie but is poking out a bit at the same time? So weird.

Wedding rings on or off? On for now, but now that it is warming up, that may be changing here soon.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Moody. Most of the time okay though.

Looking forward to: Holding these little babies.

 

NewsNewsNews!!!

We had our first non-stress test in the 33rd week! Also got some amazing ultrasound pictures and news!

So, for the non-stress test.  My mom went with me for this appointment and I am really glad she went with me.  Baby A passed his part of the test with flying (quick!) colors, but Baby B was my sleepy little dude for the week and refused to wake up. The test ended up lasting about an hour and I started to get a little nervous.  B ended up passing eventually… so hopefully this next week won’t be quite so nerve-wracking.

Next we went into the ultrasound! Always my favorite part. 🙂

Here’s Baby A

0323151943a

 

It’s always so much harder to get pictures of him since he is so much farther down in my pelvis.  Can’t wait to see his sweet face in person.

And Baby B

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The tech was able to get such a clear shot of his profile… which is amazing BECAUSE!!!!!!!!

He is now also head down!!!

Here are our two little guys with their heads right next to each other.  My mom and I cheered!

0323151944

 

One night this week I was having a really rough night. I was so uncomfortable. I’d had a long day and blamed it on that for awhile… until I started having some really intense pain across the right side of my abdomen.  I knew I wasn’t in labor, but it really hurt pretty bad. I think this was Baby B turning, because I really have nothing else to attribute this to!

I’ve been sleeping better lately. Not great by any means, but only waking up 3-4 times a night and most of the time I’m able to go back to sleep fairly quickly.

Except for my second exciting night when I think Baby A dropped!  I woke up having to go to the bathroom really bad.  I made it to the bathroom door and thought I was going to throw up or pass out or something.  I made it across the room, sat down and really didn’t have to go too much.  But since then you can tell my belly is much lower, I have to pee constantly and I’ve started having a lot of popping in my tailbone along with a little bit of pain (but not much).  AND I can now feel Baby A’s hiccups in my butt! I have to tell you that is the weirdest feeling!!! I laughed the first time I felt it.

Will talk with my OB this upcoming week about everything that has gone on.  We also have another non-stress test, and will be seeing both the perinatologist and OB every week from here on out.

A comparison pic of Weeks 13 and 33.  I am wearing the same shirt in each picture… the lighting is just different.  🙂

13-33 weeks

These boys are getting big!!!

 

In other news I think we have the nursery finished!  I plan on posting a blog with pictures of it soon!

Keep your fingers crossed for us that everything goes well on our Week 34 appointments this Wednesday and that both babies stay head down!

 

Be sure to check out our other pregnancy updates:

Our Pregnancy Announcement

13 Weeks

14 Weeks

15 Weeks

16 Weeks

17 Weeks

18, 19 & 20 Weeks

21 Weeks

22 Weeks

23 Weeks

24 Weeks

25 Weeks

26 Weeks

27 Weeks

28 Week Ultrasound

28 & 29 Weeks

30 Weeks

31 Weeks

32 Weeks w/Ultrasound Pictures