Post Partum Depression

Mamas on Bedrest: How to Climb Out of “A Pit”

July 5th, 2013

It’s the day after the 4th of July and I”m coming out of an emotional “pit”

nausea-thumbI did not do my Wednesday video blog this week. I was feeling physically lousy-PMSing, not sleeping well, worry, anxiety…  I have been feeling overwhelmed with my move from Texas- not knowing where some of my things are (in boxes here or in transit), managing remodeling projects on my house in Texas remotely, and just wanting to feel settled and being anything but settled and secure. I woke up and my brain literally did not have the mental bandwidth to put anything together. So as was once my custom, I began berating myself and telling myself all the reasons I suck. And as one would expect, I felt worse. Then I took a step back and asked myself, “What’s wrong with me? I feel as if I’m going crazy!”

First and foremost, I was tired. I had been averaging 5-6 hours of sleep and that just isn’t enough. I’m sleeping on a sofa bed at my parent’s house and while I am eternally grateful for their generosity and hospitality, I miss having my own space and being “the lady of the house.” I have been managing remodeling projects long distance on my house in Texas and that is just plain stressful. I want this all to be over, to be settled and to be moving forward with the next phase of my life.

Does any of this sound familiar?? As I tuned into what was irritating me, I realized that the pit I am in is not unlike” the pit of bed rest”. Life events are happening, my body is reacting in ways that are not helpful and I am less able to cope. I am not in control. I feel anxious over what is going to happen and those around me don’t seem to understand what I am going through.

Now don’t think that I am trying to minimize bed rest. Bed rest is a bear, and as one mama put it, “it’s like doing hard time in the slammer!” But when we fall into an emotional “pit” the steps to get out are pretty much the same-no matter if that “pit” is bed rest or life changes.

How to climb out of “A Pit”

1. Acknowledge you are in a pit. 12 Step Programs say acceptance is the first step towards healing (paraphrasing). If you accept-or as I say acknowledge- what you are feeling you can address the feelings and start the healing process.

2. Don’t judge yourself for your what you feel. Your feelings are your feelings and they are neither right or wrong. They simply are. Do we judge our children for crying when they are disappointed? Of course not! So let’s use a bit of that same compassion on ourselves.

3. Ask for What You Need to Meet your needs. For me this was easy. I was tired and that fatigue was accentuating my PMS symptoms. So I asked my mom to watch my kids for the night and I got myself some extra sleep-9 1/2 hours to be exact. I felt loads better!

Identifying your needs while on bed rest can sometimes be challenging. Is it a task that needs to be done such as  the laundry? Is it a physical need such as is your body is achy and needs relied? Do you feel lonely? Taking a moment to tease out what is causing you to fall into the pit, you can then figure out what “lifelines” are needed to help you climb out of the pit. Mamas, What do you need? Who can meet this need for you? Ask them. You will most likely be pleasantly surprised at how willing people are to do tasks for you. The key, be specific!

4. Enlist Allies. This is most critical for Mamas on Bedrest. Bed rest is really hard-both physically and emotionally. As many of you have so aptly stated, if someone has never experienced bed rest or if they’ve not known a woman with a complicated pregnancy requiring bed rest, they may not know how best to support you. They may (without guile or malice) say inappropriate things.  Find and hang with those people who understand (or are at least able to sympathize with) your situation.  A shameless piece of self promotion-join our facebook community. We are over 600 mamas strong and we share tips and information about surviving this bed rest experience. Sharing your feelings with people who truly know what you are feeling takes away many of the “freakish” feelings many Mamas on Bedrest experience. (And just for the record, I did call a good friend and shared with her what was going on, how tired I was and she too agreed that I needed to get some sleep!)

We’re all going to experience ups and downs and perhaps fall into  emotional “pits”, but we don’t have to stay there. Use these 4 tips as your lifeline and pull yourself out of any pit in which you find yourself!

 

Mamas on Bedrest: Ask for what you really need!

May 22nd, 2013

Effective communication is important in all aspects of life, but it is critical for women on bed rest and those caring for them. As so vividly illustrated by former Mama on Bedrest Rebecca Buscemi, Mamas on Bedrest often “hide” their true feelings and that can have catastrophic consequences! Mamas, ask for what you really need! You’re not being a bother and you’re not whining. It’s really okay to say that you feel completely out of control and don’t know how to handle those feelings.

Likewise, providers have to ask leading questions, questions that will require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. It’s not enough to ask, “Is everything okay?” Ask, “How are you and your partner faring?” Ask, “Who is taking care of your children and how is that going?” Ask, “Are you crying at all during the day?” These probing questions will yield much more pertinent information and enable providers to intervene and help Mamas on Bedrest should assistance be required.

Mamas on Bedrest: “I Spent $47,000 in 10 Weeks!”

May 20th, 2013

In this podcast, we hear from former Mama on Bedrest, Rebecca Buscemi. Rebecca has a remarkable story of incidental injury that lead to 10 weeks of bed rest, depression, manic spending, bankruptcy and now a successful business. Rebecca shares with us her “cover ups” and how deeply she hurt while on bed rest and yet no one suspected and she never divulged the truth. She shares the pain of depression so deep that she has no recollection of the early months of her daughter’s life. Her pain and “spending to soothe” resulted in bankruptcy for her family and $47,000 in debt that extended to her parents. Rebecca pulled herself back from the brink, started a business and now,  nearly 5 years later, is once again financially solvent.