The Taynors

The Taynors

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More than the Baby Blues

I have been thinking about/wanting to write this post for a long time, but I never knew exactly what I wanted to say.  As we are getting closer and closer to Ryan's first birthday, I finally decided that I just need to write it before it becomes a distant memory.  My very best friends, and some family already know that I was one of the many mom's that was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.  This is a very personal thing I went through... something I didn't want to admit to my husband, my friends, or even myself.  The only reason I wanted to write this all out is because I want to be able to refer back to this when I have another baby.  Who knows if I will go through it again with future children, but in case I do, I want to be able to recognize the signs and get help sooner.  So here is the break down of my experience.

Right after Ryan was born I had what I would call the "Baby Blues".  Totally sleep deprived, stressed, agitated, overwhelmed... normal for new moms, right?!  The problem came along when it didn't get better, it just kept getting worse.  There were many days when all I could think about was that I made a mistake.  Looking back this breaks my heart!  I hate to even admit it out loud, but I promised I would be 100% honest to myself.  I felt like it was a huge mistake to have gotten pregnant and now have a baby.  My life was over, it will never be the same (in a bad way), things were so good before and I ruined it by having a baby.  These feelings had nothing to do with Ryan specifically, just being a mom in general.  Unfortunately, this was just the start of the PPD.  As you know, Ryan was a very difficult baby for the first 4-5 months.  Many days he would cry, and I would just walk around crying with him.  We just cried and cried and cried.  I would call my mom and just say "I can't do this anymore" and she would drop what she was doing and show up just so that I could step away.  Mike and I would fight all the time... he would try to help, but in my eyes he couldn't do anything right.  I didn't know how to talk to him or express how I was feeling. 

Panic attacks were a regular thing, crying happened many times a day, and I felt completely OVERWHELMED with even the simplest daily tasks.  I think things hit rock bottom in the middle of July, so Ryan was 4 1/2 months old.  He was slowly starting to get better, cry a little bit less, sleep a little bit more... but I was not feeling any better.  All I wanted to do was sleep, all day every day.  I felt utterly exhausted and miserable most of the time.  I would try to put a smile on my face when we went out with our friends or family, but all I wanted to do was stay home in bed.  Actually, I wanted to go to the beach by myself, or read a book by myself.  I just wanted to be alone.  No friends, no babies, no husband.  With going back to work in the near future... I finally went over the edge.  I had complete break downs multiple times a week.  Most days Mike would leave for work as I yelled and cried about how life sucked.  Any suggesting he came up with to help me feel better, I shot down.  I was feeling completely hopeless.  I would day dream about just leaving.  Taking a bag of personal items and just getting in the car and going somewhere.  But then I would snap out of it and be devastated with myself for even thinking those thoughts.  I didn't want to go back to work, but I couldn't stay home by myself all day...there was nothing that was going to make me happy. Looking back, it is so obvious that I needed help.

A couple of things finally happened the beginning of August that eventually lead to my "recovery" (I don't know what else to call it).  First of all, I finally called a psychologist.  My first appointment, I literally cried hysterically the whole time, getting a few mumbled thoughts out between the tears.  She asked if I was anxious, sad, hopeless, overwhelmed, desperate for change...yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.  We decided at that time that I would come and see her at least once a week for as long as necessary.  She also recommended I see a doctor and get on medication.  She really believed that PPD was a combination of many different things, and a combination of meds and therapy would be the best way to feel better.  Those who know me, know that I hate meds!  I was not at all happy about taking medications, but again, I was desperate to feel better.  So that was my treatment plan... every Monday I went to see the psychologist and I started on a low dose anti-depressant.  I will admit it, the combination worked well.  Within about a month I was starting to feel better.

In September (Ryan 6 months) I was feeling better, but not myself.  One day the psychologist asked me to describe myself and I told her I was normally outgoing, talkative, happy, social, and I was a great multitasker.  She then told me that she had not seen any of those characteristics from me since being in therapy and she wanted to help me get them back.  This was a big kick in the proved to me that I wasn't myself.  I continued the meds, and continued therapy, and continued my search for a new career option.  I had good days, great days, and very bad days. 

Things got better.  By November I had weened off of the meds and I had "graduated" from the psychologist and I felt like Shannon again.  Life was good, Ryan was great, and I woke up feeling happy on most days.  Mike and I were doing much better and I was actually excited about time with my friends.  On a side note, that was also a huge help.  Mike and I would plan date nights, I made the extra effort to go out with the girls, we got babysitters (sometimes even overnight) so that we could do some of the things we loved to do without worrying about getting home.  I finally felt like I could combined my old life with my new life.  Other mothers may thing I am crazy, but I need that me time... I have to be Shannon the person so that I can be Shannon the mom.  I think I have found a great balance of being a mom, a wife, and a friend. 

So the bottom line... Ryan is the love of my life (along with Mike) and I am sooo lucky to have such a wonderful, beautiful baby boy.  I do feel guilty that we had such a rocky start, but I can't change the past.  I am thankful that I did get help and didn't try to fix it myself.  I was obviously doing a terrible job getting better on my own.  And I would recommend anyone who is going through similar emotions to also go for help.  Yes I am not proud of it, but PPD is the real deal.  I am a better person now because I got the help I needed.  Sometimes its more than just the baby blues.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome Baby Boy, Mason!

One of my very best friends since I was 13 years old had her first baby this weekend (January 22, 2012 to be exact).  She also did not find out the sex of the baby, so we are all very excited at the announcement of her baby boy, Mason Anthony.  Today the girls and I went out to meet Mason and he was absolutely adorable.  It was great to see Heather as mommy... of course she was a natural.  Mike, Ryan, and I are also super excited that she had a boy.  Now Ryan and Noah have another boy to add to their play group. 

I have to admit, I definitely had a little bit of baby fever.  Not enough to make me want to actually get pregnant yet, but enough to make my uterus hurt just a bit.  Holding tiny Mason in my arms was just another reminder of how fast it all goes.  Soon he will be a bouncing, crawling, climbing baby boy just like Ryan.  I held Ryan in my arms and rocked him just a little bit longer tonight, trying to take it all in.  I look forward to doing it all again, but for now I am going to continue to devote all my love to one baby. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

1st Vacation- Disney

I have previously stated that 2012 will be all about travel.  Well, it has begun... we just got back from our first trip.

Where: Disney World

When: January 13-16, 2012

With who: Mike, my sister in law and her husband (Michelle and Jerome), my brother in law (Matt) and 16 people from Select Basement Waterproofing.

The details: Mike and I were last minute additions to this trip.  Jerome planned on taking his full time employees to Disney World as a Christmas bonus and a thank you for all the hard work they did this summer and fall after Hurricane Irene.  One of the guys and his wife couldn't go, so Jerome asked if we wanted to take their place.  If there is one thing I will say about my brother-in-law it is that he is super generous.  He took 21 people to Disney!  I mean hotel, plane tickets, transportation to and from the airport and park passes to Universal Studios and Magic Kingdom!  How many bosses do you know that will do that?!

We had a great time and I didn't have to plan a thing.  I am normally the organizer so it was really nice being able to just follow the crowd.  One negative is that it was cold... like 30's over night and a high in the 50's during the day.  I know that's not bad compared to Jersey weather in January, but I was not prepared.  We spent Friday traveling and going to Downtown Disney. Saturday we went to Universal Studios and then spent the night at a great sports bar watching playoff football.  On Sunday we went to Magic Kingdom during the day, ESPN Club for the Giants game (woo hoo Giants), and then back to Magic Kingdom at night. 

The best part about the whole trip was watching some of the people we were traveling with.  Of the 21 people that came to Disney, about 14 of them have NEVER been there before!  This really surprised me.  Anyway, watching these grown adults really enjoy Disney World was the coolest thing.  They truly just enjoyed the whole vacation.  They didn't stress about getting to all the rides, or where they should eat, or how cold it was... they just had fun running through the parks, taking it all in.  These are people who grew up with really rough lives... no parents, abused, worked hard for every penny they have, two of the people have never even left New Jersey (until this trip).  So watching them relax and get to enjoy this fun vacation was really great.  On the way home, one of the guys said "This weekend was amazing, I will never forget it!" 

My point is, I took a step back and really looked at how great of a childhood I had and how lucky I am now.  I have had so many opportunities that many people don't have.  For some families, this 4 day weekend in Disney World was the biggest vacation they will go on.   I really need to appreciate what I have and not stress so much about the little details of life.

The Big Decision

As my previous post hinted, I have resigned from my position as a teacher.  This was a VERY difficult decision and one I agonised over for 5 months.  There were several things we were concerned about and a few key points that made the decision so hard. Here is the break down to how Mike and I finally came to this decision.

Why I didn't want to go back:
-Being a high school English teacher is a non-stop job!  At work all day, bringing work home at night, spending Saturdays and Sundays planning and grading. 
-I was tired of working for very disrespectful kids.  I didn't want to play body guard to the fights or listen to that awful language every day anymore.
-There was a lot I did love about teaching...but the over all anxiety I felt every day was too much for me!  When I left for maternity leave last January, I was absolutely miserable.
-Now that I have my own child, I can't imagine putting all my time and energy into my job the way I have the past 5 years.  I don't know how to half way do that job, I am not the teacher who leaves school when the kids do.  My priorities have changed.

How can I make money:
Being a stay at home mom is not an option for us at this point in life (or maybe ever) so if I didn't go back to teaching, I needed to find a way to make some money.  We set a goal of what I would need to make every week in order for me to leave my job.  Since September I have been working on building my hair business and finding part time work.  As of November, I have reached that goal (and surpassed it) every single week!  I am pretty close to making the same amount of money now as I would be taking home as a teacher.

What about health benefits:
Right now we have great health insurance and benefits through Mike's job, but we were still worried about the risk factors if Mike lost his job.  This was probably our biggest concern.  But we decided that if something happened to Mike's job or our benefits we have some options.  We can always get Cobra through his company, we could get our own insurance that covers emergencies only until Mike got a new job, I could go back to work while Mike is looking for new work, or we could get benefits through my brother in laws company (who I now work part time for).  Bottom line, we have options and we could figure it out if it ever happened!

My schedule now:
After a few months of figuring it all out, I have a pretty good schedule worked out.

Monday- Work from 10-4 at the Chiropractor
Tuesday- Work every other week from  12-3 at the Chiropractor and then back at 6:30-7:30 at night for a health talk
Wednesday- Work from 11:30-3:30 at the Chiropractor and then from 4:00-7:30 at Select
Thursday and Friday- I am home with Ryan, I normally do about 5 hours of work from home while he is napping or after bedtime. 

Then I am available for hair on Monday night, Tuesday afternoon, and anytime on Thursday or Friday.  I can also do the weekends if that's the only time that works.

Then my weekends for the most part are still just weekends to spend with Ryan and Mike.

Making this decision was very bitter sweet.  I am absolutely positive that its the best decision for our family at this time, but it was till hard.  I worked sooooo hard to work full time and go to school full time in order to get that teaching job.  Then I poured my heart and soul into teaching for 5 years!  So many people want my job that I felt crazy to be giving it up.  I will miss all of my awesome colleagues and I will miss the "good" kids.  I do feel sad to be giving up something that defined me over the past few years.  But no matter what, they can't take away my teaching certificates...I can always go back!

Friday, January 13, 2012

January Projects

I feel like I have the never ending to-do list for January! Every time I accomplish one task, a new one is added to the list. I need to clear my head... So here is my list of January projects (as of right now, it's sure to change):

-financial summit with Mike to discuss annoying things like debt, retirement savings, and our new monthly budget
-Plan and book vacations to Key West and Tampa
-Plan Ryan's 1st birthday party (ahhh)... Invitations, food, decorations
- Plan something for my Mother's 60th birthday ( another ahhhh)
- Shutterfly madness... Create a first year photobook for Ryan, a 2011 photobook like I do every year, and I want to create a text book with all my blog posts from 2011.
- Order more business cards
- Create a business Facebook page for my hair business
- Register Ryan and I for mommy and me swim lessons
- Shampoo our carpets
- Go clean out my classroom ( big hint as to what my work decision is... More about that to come)
- Create an amazon wish list for things Ryan needs ( great suggestion Kelli)
- Create more recipe pages for my "friends" cookbook
- Blog!! So many topics in my head right now!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Holidays in Photos

Decorating for Christmas

My attempt at a Christmas photoshoot (you know, like the ones we see on Pintrest).  Some cute pictures, but obviously I'm not a professional photographer just yet.

 Christmas Eve at the Taynor's

Santa Came!

Christmas Morning at Home

Christmas Day Part 1 at My Parents

 Christmas Day Part 2 at the Wheelers

Love my new firetruck

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Years Resolution

I hate the idea of resolutions because that goes along with the idea that it will never actually happen.  So here are some of my GOALS for 2012.

*Drink more water!!!  This is seriously #1.
*Eat better... not diet.  I really want to eat more fresh and natural foods.  I will  never be able to give up things like french fries, cookies, ice cream, beer, wine, etc.  so instead I want to load my diet up with good, fresh, natural foods to help balance when I eat the crap.
* Continue to work out at least 3 times a week
* Make a good home cooked dinner at least 3 times a week (which means left overs for at least 2 nights)
* As of March 1, 2012 I want to start running.  I want to be doing 5k's regularly by May/June and then slowly increase the distance.  The Disney half marathon is less then 14 months away!

And my motto for the year is :
"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for."

Thanks Meghan, I stole this from your Facebook.  But this quote is soooo true.  The things I have in my life right now are the things I was always dreaming and hoping for.  I so badly wanted to get engaged, then I dreamed about my wedding, I couldn't wait to buy our first home, and of course I had a major itch to have my own baby and become a mommy.  Well look, I have all of that!  How lucky am I!  So instead of planning the future and thinking about what I want next, I am going to spend 2012 enjoying all of the things I desired for in the past.  Its the last year of my twenties and I want the entire year to be a celebration!

10 Month Update

This past month was the BEST! Seriously, every single day Ryan has learned to do something new.  I wake up every morning and think "wow how did you get even cuter over night?!"  I can't believe I am starting to plan your first birthday party!!  When did that happen!

Obviously, this month was very important because it was RJ's first Christmas.  We went and cut down our Christmas tree, we went to many Christmas parties, we got Christmas pictures taken, we did not get to go see Santa Claus (I know, bad mom), and Ryan trucked around town with me as I did all my Christmas shopping.   It was a great month.

Here is the 10 month stats:

- About 21 lbs, 60-70% for boys at that age
- Size 12 clothes and 3 diapers
- He still has blue eyes and blond hair
- He is doing some major teething, I can see the top two but they have not come through yet
- He cruises all over the house
- He can stand unassisted for brief moments
- He is officially climbing- climbs the stairs, climbs over toys, climbs over anything in his way
- Loves clapping, waving bye-bye, and giving high fives
- He wants to push things...push open doors, push buttons that make noise, push toys to move them away
- His tongue is always sticking out
- His skin is still a mess.  His back is covered in eczema and his cheeks are SUPER irritated. (When I finally get around to posting pictures, you will see how bad his cheeks are.  So sad)
- He has finally figured out how to eat finger foods on his own.  He likes puffs and everything else he just plays with in his fingers.

**Oops, I was rushing when I posted this and I want to add a few things.
-Not only is Ryan climbing like crazy, he is obsessed with the stairs.  He can climb the entire staircase!
-He loves using his walker to stroll around the house.
-RJ has quiet the temper.  He is much happier than when he was a baby, but he can throw a complete temper tantrum.  I would say at least 5 times a day he has a complete meltdown... the kind where the tears are pouring out, boogers in the nose, kicking his legs, hysterical cry.  He has a pretty fierce dramatic flair (hmmm I wonder who he gets that from?!)
-Food he eats: sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, green beans, squash,edamame, spinach, beets, rice, oatmeal (with cinnamon and raisins), peaches, pairs, apples, mangos, pomagranate, bananas, lentils, and a variety of dinner foods like turkey, beef, chicken, and baby soups.  I make a large amount of his food but use jars for when we are out and about or need a quick meal. 
-Finger foods so far: puffs (the boring healthy kind made with spinach, kale, and berries), steamed potatoes and carrots, and little pieces of pancakes when I make them. 

We also have a pretty good schedule going on right now.  Our typical day goes like this...
-Wake between 7-7:30
-Bottle, some play time, and then breakfast (normally fruit or oatmeal)
-Little more play
-Nap around 9:30-11 ish (sometimes this morning nap can be up to 2-2.5 hours!)
-Bottle and lunch after nap
-More play time (this is normally when we run errands or I bring him to the babysitter so I can work)
- Nap time anywhere between 1:00-3:00 depended on how morning nap went
-Bottle after nap
-Play with Dad, or Gigi, or whoever is babysitting (I am normally working)
- 5:00 dinner (veggies and protein)
- Sometimes bath time, but always bedtime routine starting between 6:30-7.

See what I mean about the cheeks... so sore

Happy New Year!

Love those chubby thighs :)