My Battle With Depression

I sat down last week and asked myself, “what do you want this blog to be?” I wrote down some words that came to mind:

  • Inspirational
  • Honest
  • Real
  • Helpful

With that in mind, I decided to write this post.

I have struggled with depression for about ten years now. I know at this point in my life that it’s something that is a part of my genetic makeup, something that will always be there, and something that I need to manage in a healthy way.

The onset of my depression came after a rough breakup in college. I had been with the person I thought I would spend my life with, and it ended in the most heartbreaking way possible. I had once defined myself with this relationship – that and being a soccer player – and when I transferred to a new college my sophomore year, both of those things were gone.

For a while I figured the feelings were normal and the extreme sadness I felt was a symptom of heartbreak. However, six months went by. I wasn’t eating, I was drinking way too much, and I slept as much as I could. I wasn’t taking care of myself in the slightest. My grades were slipping and I was a pretty miserable human.

I knew I wanted to feel better, but I also didn’t know how. I don’t remember how I got in touch with a therapist, but I did, and it changed everything.

Within a few weeks, I was on Prozac for the first time in my life. I was on a low dose, but it was the kick-start I needed to start to take control of my life. That second semester of sophomore year I had the best GPA I would have in college, I was making friends, and I was running miles at a time.

I was quite proud of myself for “getting over” depression. But over the years, it has returned over and over again.

Sometimes, life events seem to set it off – losing a job, a stressful situation, a big change. Sometimes, it’s seasonal. And sometimes, it’s for no good reason at all.

Last summer, I felt the familiar feel of depression creep back into my life. I was moody, irritable, generally unhappy. I had so much going for me – I was pregnant! – and I wasn’t looking forward to anything. I was waking up in the morning just to tell myself to get through the day and I’d be back in bed soon enough.

David came to me and brought all of this to my attention. He knew something was up, something beyond the normal pregnancy stuff. I didn’t want to admit that another bout of depression had set in, this time at one of the highest points in my life.

When Reese was born, I felt relief. I felt peace for the first time in months. I realized then that my job was weighing on me, and with some distance from it, I would have the strength to start to take control again.

At my six week postpartum visit, my doctor prescribed Prozac once again. This is the fourth time in my adult life I’ve been on anti-depressants, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I fought it hard this time around, really not wanting to use the medicine as a crutch. But almost as soon as I started taking them I wondered why I had put it off for so long.

Even though I’m not ashamed to talk about depression and my battle with it, it’s still difficult to admit to myself that I have it. I think the inevitability of knowing that it will always be there is overwhelming.

My battle with depression is mild in comparison to some, but it’s still my battle. It’s taken time to recognize it and understand what it will do to me and those around me. I hate using it as an excuse, but truly, it does affect my relationships.

So what else am I doing about it?

Well, I know that physical activity is my number one priority when I am feeling down. It’s ironic that as much as I put it off because I feel exhausted and fatigued, it is one of the main things that helps with my mood and overall well being. In the same vein, eating clean is such a game changer! Before I got pregnant with Reese, I was counting my macronutrients every day and I was feeling phenomenal. I’m trying to get back into those habits.

I also find that talking about it is the best medicine. I’m an open book when it comes to most things in my life, and this is no exception.

The thing I’m realizing the older I get is that depression doesn’t have to define me. My goal for this year is to listen to my body and do something about it. I knew that going back to work was not a healthy choice for me and I took action to change that. I know that working out is more difficult now that I have two babies, so I asked my mom for a jogging stroller for my birthday so I can get out and run! I am setting goals for myself – small achievable ones – that I celebrate. And most importantly, I’m giving myself grace!

I hope this post helps you if you are struggling with depression or something similar yourself. It’s cliche to say, but you are not alone! I’m always here to chat if needed 🙂

Continue Reading

Style Sessions: Old Navy February Try-On

As I start to blog full-time, I realize that the one thing that really pulled me into blogging in the first place, besides storytelling, was shopping! I really am a shopaholic at heart, and I love to do these style sessions for you guys.

The biggest thing I’ve learned in the past few years is how important it is to dress for your body type, and to ensure that the pieces you are buying go well together. I recently did a closet clean-out (thanks Marie Kondo!) and got rid of all the items that were outside of my personal style and didn’t go with anything else that I had! Sometimes I get in the habit of buying a piece because it looks great on someone else just to realize that a. it doesn’t work on my body type and b. I have nothing to wear it with!

My hope by doing these style sessions is to help you dress for your body type (I’m a pear shape and I have child birthing hips!) and purchase outfits rather than items.

That being said, I have a fun Old Navy try-on for you today! Enjoy!

Football Tee

navy striped sleeve top // high rise jeggings (great for postpartum!)

navy striped sleeve top // high rise jeggings (great for postpartum!)

Leggings & Crew Neck

leggings – these are really good! // crew neck sweatshirt – so soft!
leggings – these are really good! // crew neck sweatshirt – so soft!

Wide Leg Jeans

luxe crew neck tee – super soft and stretchy! // high-rise, wide leg jeans
luxe crew neck tee – super soft and stretchy! // high-rise, wide leg jeans // cardigan – so great for spring

luxe crew neck tee – super soft and stretchy! // high-rise, wide leg jeans // cardigan – so great for spring

luxe crew neck tee – super soft and stretchy! // high-rise, wide leg jeans // cardigan – so great for spring
luxe crew neck tee – super soft and stretchy! // high-rise, wide leg jeans // cardigan – so great for spring

Stripes

luxe long sleeve tee – super soft and stretchy! // high-rise, wide leg jeans
luxe long sleeve tee – super soft and stretchy! // high-rise, wide leg jeans

Some things to note – both pairs of jeans I’m wearing are terrific for postpartum. They are high rise, and the straight leg pair suck everything in! They are fantastic!

Continue Reading

Diving In Head First

top is from amazon and nursing friendly // joggers are from the gap // blue light glasses from eyebuydirect.com

This post is long overdue. Perhaps some of you have even wondered why it hadn’t been written yet. I know I’ve wondered that for a long time…

I have some exciting news: I’m not returning to my corporate job after maternity leave.

Yikes! It’s real. I officially told my manager as of yesterday. I have been talking about this moment for years, literally years. I cannot believe it’s actually my reality.

Let’s back up a bit.

It all started with the genesis of this blog back in 2014. There was a lot of disappointment in my life that year. I had been laid off from my first “real” job due to budget cuts, David and I were forced to pack up our home in Indy to move back East and live apart for the summer, and I looked for a job for months and months until I finally landed one in September.

After being laid off a little voice in my head started asking, “do you really want to depend on someone else for your paycheck?” The answer was no, but my confidence took a hit from losing my job and I wanted to prove to myself that I could succeed.

After four and a half years at that new job, I feel more confident than ever. I kicked butt there, and I’m no longer too shy to say that. I loved what I did, and I did it well.

But then I had kids.

I wrote a post last summer about my struggle being a full-time working mom. It never sat well with me having to send Finn to daycare just so I could go to a job that no longer fulfilled me. I was growing increasingly unhappy, and I was outgrowing my job.

When Reese was born, I was grateful for the time away from work. I figured that it would shift my perspective and by the end of maternity leave, I would be longing for adult interaction. But that never happened.

As I started to think about going back to work, the same sense of dread came over me. I continued to put off signing Reese up for daycare and started talking to David about not returning and about making my dream of working for myself a reality.

Needless to say none of this would be possible without David. He truly is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. When I start doubting my decision, he is the first one to remind me of my work ethic and determination – he believes in me more than I do.

So what’s next?

I’m following in my family’s footsteps and diving headfirst into the entrepreneur life. I’m starting my own creative marketing agency and using the skills I’ve developed in my corporate career to launch a business of my own. I’ll also be blogging here full time.

This new chapter in my life will allow me to have a flexible schedule and spend more time with my kids – and that’s truly the best part! Reese won’t have to go to daycare until we are ready to put her in, and Finn will only be going part time.

I haven’t felt these feelings of excitement and nervousness in a very long time. I know the next few months are going to be a hustle, but I keep reminding myself that failure isn’t not making this work, but would be never trying to make it work in the first place.

I’ll be writing more about my new business in the coming weeks as things start to come together.

I’m so proud of myself for making this decision! It always seemed like a far away dream, but now it’s my reality.

Continue Reading

Our Favorite Baby Products

It’s funny being a second-time mom. I appreciate the perspective of the things I was told I need versus the things I know I actually need.

There have been some differences between Finn and Reese. For one, Reese has yet to take a bottle. I blame this partially on her being great at nursing, but mostly on my unwillingness to ever want to pump. I pumped for nearly 8 months exclusively with Finn, and it ruined me. This situation has made the “stuff” that goes along with bottle feeding – bottles, pump, sterilizing stuff, etc. – not necessary this time around.

I’ve also realized that luxury items like wipe warmers and diaper pails are just that – luxuries. At two months old, these seven items are truly the must-haves for infants.

White noise machine – I swear by these things. Not only do white noise machines drown out any noise that is happening outside the baby’s room, but it also reminds baby of being in the womb. Finn still sleeps with his. We bought this white noise machine off Amazon for Finn and it’s wonderful. It’s extremely affordable and works great for their bedrooms. Highly recommend.

Sleep sack – Would it be weird if I admitted I wish they made sleep sacks for adults? How cozy do they sound? Not only do they keep baby warm, but they keep baby cozy and snug, just like they were in the womb. I have a ton of these on hand, and Reese will sleep with them until she is one, or beyond.

Rock and Play – Finn slept in the Rock and Play until he was about seven months old. I love the portability of this thing and the ability to rock and vibrate. Reese slept in this for a few weeks, but she does better in her crib – I’m not complaining! However, the Rock and Play is the perfect place to put her down when I need a free hand. She naps in it sometimes, too.

Carseat cover – Finn was a May baby, so the need for blankets and carseat covers was unnecessary. I bout this carseat cover on a whim a few weeks before Reese was born, just because I was nervous about the cold weather. It is one of the best things I’ve ever bought. I never have to worry about her getting cold, or snowed/rained on. She is always cozied up.

Play mat – We love the idea of letting our babies “play” even before we think they can. This Infantino play mat is very colorful and soft, plus it’s easy to clean up spit up or anything else off of it. Reese spends a ton of time on her play mat, both for tummy time and on her back.

Portable white noise machine – Like the white noise machine above, this portable one goes everywhere with us. Babies are funny. They tend to sleep better in the loudest room than in a quiet one. We put the white noise machine in Reese’s carseat, in her swing, and anywhere she may be sleeping. It keeps her asleep.

Backpack – This time around, I decided to go hands free and bought a backpack for our diaper bag. This particular backpack isn’t meant to be a diaper bag, but that’s fine with me. I like being “stylish” and functional.

Baby wrap – Like any baby, Reese’s witching hour is typically around dinner time – right when David and Finn are coming home and stuff needs to get done. I love wearing Reese with this wrap so I can have my hands free and nine times out of ten, she falls asleep in it. Definitely worth purchasing!

Continue Reading

Life Lately – January 28, 2019

As much as it feels like January has lingered around forever, it also feels like Christmas was just yesterday. Having kids changes your perspective of time – the days are very long, but the weeks fly by.

There has been a lot of change around here lately, and all of it for the good. As I alluded to in this post, the newborn stage with Reese has been dramatically easier than the first time around. I’ve really been trying to take it all in and appreciate her snuggles as much as I can. At the same time, it makes me realize just how much Finn has changed and it breaks my heart that he isn’t a little baby anymore.

Maternity Leave

My maternity leave has been very relaxing and it came at just the right time. With Finn, I let the days take control of me and by the end of leave, I was craving a schedule again. This time, I’ve been trying to be as intentional as I can be with my time. I wake up with David and Finn each morning to get my day started, regardless of how many times I’ve been up with Reese at night. This usually gives me some time to enjoy a cup of coffee before Reese wakes up for the day.

I’ve also been trying to get out of the house at least once a day. It’s not as intimidating to get out with Reese as it was with Finn, especially since I’m nursing and not pumping/bottle feeding.

Lastly, I’ve been putting in work on this blog and in other ventures as well. I’m excited about 2019 in ways I haven’t felt in a long time, and I can’t wait to share more.

Reese

Reese has been such a sweet baby. Like any newborn, she has her moments, but since the first week we’ve had her on a pretty nice schedule of feed-wake-sleep that has made our days fairly predictable. I learned quickly with Finn that a schedule helps everybody – especially the baby. I read a little bit from BabyWise and Moms on Call and put into place a schedule that works for Reese and me.

At this point, Reese is waking up once a night, at about 3:00am. She goes down each night at 7:30pm. She has been waking up for the day between 5:30am and 7:30am, it really fluctuates. She’s only 9 weeks old, and I think this is about the same schedule Finn was on at this age, however I went back to work at this point with Finn.

I plan to write a lengthier blog post about Reese’s schedule this week.

Finn

Finn is back in daycare and as much as I’m grateful for that, I miss him a lot. I kept him home in December, and it was exhausting, yet so satisfying to just be a mom for that time. He likes school, so it’s just me who struggles with it.

It’s crazy to think that Finn will be 3 in just a few months. I cannot wrap my head around how big and mature he is. Two has been a tough age in terms of tantrums and a little attitude, but it’s also been so much fun! I finally feel like I can have conversations with him and we can go do things with him that he truly enjoys.

What I’m Watching

Spending time at home has allowed me to watch quite a bit of television. Even when I’m doing something else, I enjoy having something on in the background. David wanted me to watch Game of Thrones since he has been watching it all along. I wasn’t interested at first because I thought it was like Lord of the Rings, which I hated. However, I can say that GOT has been the best show I’ve watched in a long time. I’ve even been re-watching it because I felt like I missed so much the first time around. I can’t wait until April!

David and I have also been watching Billions on Showtime. It’s such a smart show and makes you think – but it has all the right things: love, corruption, crime, etc. Definitely worth the watch.

Our Life in iPhone Photos:

getting the hang of tummy time
daddy’s little girl
finn on the left and reese on the right – both at 2 months old. think they are related?
mr. independent brought us jelly and bread from the fridge and asked for a pb&j 🙂
Continue Reading