Saturday, March 8, 2014

Three weeks=HUGE difference

It's amazing what can happen in just 3 little weeks. I feel like a new person! The changes we've made in my life have definitely made a difference in how I feel, how I act, and how I get along in the world. I was feeling pretty darn crappy before, and now I have energy, optimism, and enthusiasm. Life is good.

Depression is such a selfish disease. It takes hold of your mind and forces you to think only of yourself. For the past several months I've been dwelling on how miserable I am, and how much happier my life would be if this and that, and so on and so forth, and yadda yadda, could happen for me....when all I needed was to be content in the moment. There's a wise saying from the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu:

I like living in the present. I like focusing on my family, my current responsibilities, and the important things I am doing right now. It feels good to be able to look at each one of my children and to know that I am here for them, and that there is purpose and meaning in raising them where I am right now. These past few weeks I've been extremely happy to be here in Utah. I've been feeling an overwhelming gratitude to the Lord for leading us back here (even far, far away from one of my favorite and most beautiful places on the planet,Hawaii).  I know that when I am allowed to be at peace in the present, I can glory in all the goodness around me. 

Some things I'm pretty sure have helped lift my depression:

1. Changing my pre-natal vitamins: I have more energy now. I feel lighter, bouncier, and happier. I needed the natural folate and not the synthetic folic acid. Although I haven't done the genetic testing, all symptoms pointed to MTHFR.

2. Lessening the guilt, pressure, and stress in my life: I feel an amazing release of pressure  since our middle child has started Kindergarten. 
Just those three little hours he is away (being entertained and busied by another responsible adult), has helped me calm down immensely. I've realized that with having three children my mind can get three times more cluttered! When just one of them is gone, (and it doesn't matter which one) I immediately feel more peaceful and relaxed. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE each one of them and wouldn't ever want them gone for longer than a few hours at this point, but dang--those few hours help me get centered again to the calm mama I need to be. Furthermore, I'm not sure that moms are meant to do this alone. I certainly can't! I need other wonderful people in our lives to help me on this often challenging journey of motherhood! Which leads me to #3:

3. Having someone here to help me through all these hard transitions: Since Micah's mom has been here to stay, I have felt immensely happier, probably because she is always happy! She has been here to play with the boys, which she always makes time to do. She has been here to babysit and care for the other two, while I helped Odin get used to school. She has been here to talk me through my doubts and fears, and give wonderful motherly advice. She has been our biggest help and blessing and I am so grateful to her! (we get her for a whole month!)
4. Buying a house: We bought a house with large, sunny windows, and a humongous backyard, in a great location that's all above ground! We get to move in at the end of March! I am so excited! I feel a deep sense of peace with our new permanence, and excitement for our futures here.

5. Finding out the gender of our baby: It's a boy!  No doubt about it!
And I'm so happy that we know! Just knowing what to prepare for has me feeling happier and more settled in the future of things. It has also lessened my anxiety and enabled me to live in the present! I know I was hoping for a little girl, but I feel warmth and love for this baby boy already! I am proud to be a mom of ALL boys!
Funny story: When Micah and I came home from the ultrasound we wanted to surprise the boys with the gender of the baby by doing something fun (well, it was my idea as Micah would've been happy just to tell them). So we stopped at the grocery store and bought some blue cupcakes. I wrote on the top of the box, "Boy=blue. Girl=pink," then told them that whatever color cupcakes were in the box, was the sex of the baby.  The boys slowly opened the lid to reveal the color. Jonah was standing right there looking very confused and said very sadly,"But these cupcakes are turquoise..."  We quickly clarified that they are closer to blue and therefore it is in fact, a boy, and not some kind of strange alien baby. Phew!
6. Exercising daily: I gained a lot of weight this time around. In fact, at 22 weeks pregnant, I weigh the same as at the time when I last gave birth! And I have 18 more weeks to go! Yikes. So,  I'm carrying a lot of weight with me and it can be a burden on my mind and body. However, when I get outside everyday to walk, I feel healthy, energetic, and forget that I am so excessively large. Exercising helps me to center my mind and focus on how amazing my body is at growing a human, and not on how big and uncomfortable I am. I like to walk in the sage and juniper hills near our house. We also got a pool pass to our local aquatic center. I take the boys swimming 2-3 times a week, where I get to submerge myself underwater, and feel more like me again. 

7. Serving others: When I am in the service of my fellow beings, I am only in the service of my God. (Mosiah 2:17) When I am helping other people, I feel happier overall, and closer to my Savior. I have been making a point to be more diligent in my callings, and more aware of the needs of those around me. I try to smile more at the grocery store and make a new friend wherever I go. I'm reminded of that quote: 

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves." James Matthew Barrie

I am also happy with the level of volunteer work I am doing in my community with LLL. There's a lot more I'd like to be doing, but I know my limitations and am keeping it minimal until I have more time and energy. I received five breastfeeding help calls in the first week of March, which was a record for me! I love helping other moms and feel the joy in seeing happy mommys and positive results. 

Most importantly I love serving my family. My little boys need me. They are still so little and love being with their mama so much. When we go to the pool they all hang onto me, crowding their little bodies around me. They want me to play games with them, to be silly with them, and to give them lots of undivided attention. It can be exhausting, but also very flattering. I know they won't want me like this forever, so I try my best to be present in the moment!
Overall, I'd say things are going great! I am looking forward to the future, grateful for the past, and peaceful in the present!

p.s.**I did a baby-stuff inventory in my house and found that we don't have any baby items left! Not even a single onesie, cloth diaper, or baby toy! So with the exception of a few slings and carriers that I was saving for my daughter-in-laws, we are starting from scratch! It's like the first child again! 
So I am having a lot of fun perusing craigslist, the local facebook selling sights, plus the thrift stores and consignment stores for gently used baby items. I bought a bag of baby boy clothes yesterday and came home feeling so excited for our baby to come. Only 18 more weeks to go. Stoked.


arianne said...

Glad you're feeling better. Peace is always the best indicator of a good decision. And another boy! Wow. Coming from a mom of four boys, I'm so excited for you.

Honestly, I was a little worried when I found out we were pregnant with boy number 4. My first three boys were all pretty intense. But Gideon has been such a peaceful, perfect little baby. I needed him more than I ever needed a baby girl.

I know this baby will be just what you need too.

arianne said...

Oh, one more thing. I gained more with my last pregnancy than I ever have. And I always pack it on when I'm pregnant. But it has come off faster this time. And I'm not doing anything special. So don't put pressure on yourself. You'll be fine.

Sally Jackson said...

Thanks so much ARianne! And now I know your baby boys name. :) I love it!