Life Lately: August 2021 Recap
Hey friends! I’m so confused as to where August has gone, even though I have plenty of pictures on my phone proving that it did, in fact, exist. As I mentioned in last month’s post, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression at the very beginning of this month, so in accepting that + getting back into therapy + working on some medication changes, I’m not really surprised that things feel like a bit of a blur.
We didn’t do a ton of activities this month because it has been a HOT summer, but I did take the kids blackberry picking with my friend Pooja. It was Miles’ first time picking fruit (minus last year when I just carted him along in a stroller so I could pick peaches) and he had a really good time. Then we all made sure to grab some of the fresh ice cream they had at the farm as well.
While last month was filled with a lot of emotional challenges for him and me, this month seems to have been better for little Miles. We haven’t had as many wild tantrums or mood swings and I’ve been steadily working with him on identifying and feeling emotions. I ordered even more kids books about emotions and they’ve been helpful for me as well as I learn how to be more gentle with myself.
Remy has picked up a lot of new skills this month, which has been a relief. Her progress, even with weekly physical therapy, has felt so slow to me, but all of a sudden she’s made some big jumps in the past two weeks. She’s more comfortable on her stomach and is starting to push herself up more and more. She’s stable enough to sit in the Skip Hop and play with the toys on it. I also bought her a Boppy at a local thrift store ($8 for the win!) to help her with her sitting since I noticed that she’s been feeling more and more stable while I hold her. All of these things have been amazing and I’m really proud of her.
As always, she’s SO happy. It’s a happiness that I’m grateful for, but it also makes me feel guilty as I work through my own struggles with my mental health. I so want to join her in her joy, and lately I’ve felt it more and more, but other days it feels like a reminder of something I can’t feel and relish in. She’s such a little ball of joy and I’m so grateful for her.
As she has gotten more stable and started blossoming into her own little person, I’ve finally felt more happiness about the relationship that her and Miles have (and will continue to have). For the longest time, it felt like I was raising two separate children. It felt like I was raising a toddler and I was raising a baby, but never at the same time. If I was attending to one, I wasn’t attending to the other, and often that meant Remy getting the short end of the stick because she’s always been very content just playing with herself.
Lately, the two of them have been interacting more with each other and they feel more like siblings. I can envision them playing together as they get older and I love how each of them wants to interact with the other. I had a lot of worries in the beginning — did I have them too close together? Is one not getting enough attention? Will Miles be affected by me not giving him 100 percent (and same with Remy)? — but as they both grow I feel much better about their relationship and the bond that they are forming.
As for me, I’m doing the work. I found a local therapist who I’ve been able to cry with and not use my humor as a defense mechanism. I realized that the issues I’m working through aren’t anything new, they’re just the same things I’ve identified before and apparently still need to work on. I’m working with another mental health provider to adjust my antidepressant medication, because they can stop working as effectively over time. I learned about a DNA test that helps identify which mental health medications work best for you based on your genetics and even though my case isn’t a complicated one, I asked her to order it anyway because I love science so much. We discovered that I would potentially do better on a different medication, so we switched me over to Prozac and I also started supplementing with the active form of folic acid because I have a reduced conversion rate. (L-methyl folate is the active form and is a cofactor in the body’s natural production of important neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine). I’ll report back on how the medication change is going next month so that I can give it some time to work.
I’ve been holding Remy more when I can (usually the days Miles is at daycare). I’ve been working on giving her my undivided attention and making sure I really SEE her, because these past nine months have been kind of a blur and she deserves more than that. It’s been helping and things feel like they are slowly coming together — piece by piece.
By far, one of my favorite parts of August was getting family photos taken. I love taking pictures of the kids and everything around me, but it’s hard to get pictures of myself WITH them. Professional photos are always a bit of an investment, which is why I’ve put them off for so long, but I realized that it’s one of the few things that I yearn for and always wish I had, so I made the decision to finally get them done and I couldn’t be happier.
I wanted to have photos that weren’t super posed and instead reflected our everyday life at home. I reached out in a local Facebook moms group and many people overwhelmingly recommended Danell Beede Photography. I stalked her IG page and website and finally decided that she would be the perfect person to document our little family.
When she came over, we immediately hit it off and my normally socially anxious self was able to talk to her for two hours while she snapped a million images of us. She even came back another day to grab some more pictures of my scar and me and the kids. The photos turned out beautifully and it’s something I want to aim to do every year as they grow. I included the video of images below if you’re interested and it’s one I’ve watched an innumerable amount of times. The music and the imagery made me cry the first handful of times I watched it and it really helped put into perspective the gratitude I feel for everyone in my life despite the challenges that I’ve been dealing with lately. If you watch it, make sure to have the sound on. It really does make it that much more special.
And that’s my update on our little family in this little corner of the internet. Thank you all for being here and as always, for all your support. Catch up with you next month 🙂