Monday, March 16, 2015

Writing About Postpartum Depression Like The Woman I am

Just a couple disclaimers, this post may be a trigger for some people. Also, my post is intended to educate and relate. Nothing more! I urge you to seek help if you find you are experiencing symptoms consistent with those on this website. March of Dimes

In my adult life I have experienced seasonal depression now and again. This of course was a red flag for my doctors when I got pregnant with my sweet girl. So they consistently reminded me after I had her that if I had any feelings of hopelessness or hurting myself or anyone else to let them know as soon as possible.

Postpartum depression can occur any time during the first year after having a baby. You may not experience the symptoms right after having a baby. Here is my story.

On a spring morning in April our sweet girl entered this world after 4 weeks of bed rest, 38 hours of induced labor and 2.5 hours of pushing. I was immediately overwhelmed with love for this heaven sent beauty.
Right away my every breath and every action was for her. I provided her nutrition from my own body, I would awaken at her slightest startle or whimper. I was a new mom. At this point I was experiencing the typical emotional rush of baby blues (which should last no longer than about 2 weeks). But by the end of about 2.5 weeks, I was great! My energy was coming back, my 26 pounds gained while pregnant was gone by 3 weeks postpartum and we were getting into the swing of things. I went back to work when she was almost 8 weeks old because bed rest took part of my leave. It was hard to leave her, but I found some relief in the break. She stayed home with my husband during the day, which was a big blessing due to our opposite work schedules. 
Fast forward a few months and we find ourselves blessed with my husband's first job just a few months after he graduated from college. I would have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom! I was excited. My husband supports me on whatever I choose to do with work, and we agreed that my choice to stay home with our daughter was the best thing for our family. I would also be finishing up my Bachelor's degree through Utah State University's online program.
This job had us moving out of state and about 6-9 hours away from our families. To a strange, HUGE city where we had no friends, or even any idea on how to get to the grocery store. We relied heavily on the wonderful members of our church to guide us, and will be forever grateful for them. 
Fast forward a little more and we are making friends and having a good time getting to know people. I have always been an extrovert, people oftentimes see me as very outgoing and it didn't take me long to meet many new people. But even as I was meeting people, I was alone. Going from a fast paced life of parenting, working and going to school, to suddenly not working anymore was a shock to my system. I went from a job where people consistently thanked me and told me I was doing a good job, to one where my thanks came in the form of poop and snuggles. A blessing, but hard. This was the first check in my box.
I got really in to fitness and lost an additional 27 pounds and was feeling great. I felt like, because I was a stay at home mom, I had no excuse to not try to perfect my body. This was check two. It did not take long for extreme mom guilt to set in if I didn't do things perfectly every day. Pressure I didn't get from anyone but myself. This was check three. By Christmastime, I began to withdraw. It was our first Christmas away from our families and a big one being our daughter's first. I didn't admit it, but I missed being home for Christmas. This was check four. 
From there is where I began my slow but steady spiral. I began to get irrationally angry with my spouse and family members. I was hurting them and I knew it, but I couldn't stop it. I had constant rage and frustration in me. I thought it was just due to the fact that I missed working and that my life was so much the same every day. 
I also began to withdraw from friends. I didn't make any effort to be social, and when my husband would suggest that we did something, I would say no and just want to stay home.
It didn't take long to stop hearing from friends as often. And I do not blame any of them for this, because I always play myself as someone who is always okay. I help others, I don't need help. So I assume most just thought I didn't like them anymore rather than ask if I was okay. Again, I do not blame anyone for this. 
I got a call from a dear friend and she asked me how I was really doing. I have relied on her sage advice for years now, and when she asked if I could be suffering from Postpartum Depression, I denied it and wrote it off as maybe needing to go back to work. She didn't let me escape with that excuse, and that is the best thing anyone could have done for me. She made me call her to check in and talk. She had me promise I would ask my husband for a blessing and see a doctor. I said I would, but continued to go on without doing the things. I was in denial. I KAITLIN do not need help. And that is when things got worse.
I don't really know the moment when it happened, but my world went dark. I stopped doing things that I loved, like running and cooking and being close to my husband. I began to resent my husband for the smallest of infractions. I began to be angered by the cry of my baby. I began to want to die. I didn't want to live. Every time I got angry with my baby and my husband the guilt would hit me ten fold and I would sink deeper into my depression. I stopped getting dressed and wore the same pair of sweatpants every day. I was withdrawn when my husband got home and would just hand him our baby and sit on the couch. One night he had to put me to bed, because I just didn't want to get up, or go on. I sobbed with guilt. And as someone who has studied different aspects of mental health, I knew I was 100% in denial.
I decided to get help. Calling the doctor's office and telling them I need an appointment for PPD was the hardest thing about it. I felt like I was saying "HEY LOOK AT ME, I CAN'T HANDLE MY LIFE AND NOW NEED HELP." Which I know is not true. My doctor truly listened to me, and for that I am grateful. He suggested medication. Something I thought I would never do, but my baby girl needed her mom, and my husband his wife. So I took it. It is not a happy pill, but it did not take me long to notice that the darkness was being lifted from my mind. I started getting up each day and being pretty happy. I fell in love with my family all over again. My doctor said that we should be able to ween off the meds after a few months, and I hope I will be able to.
People should never be ashamed for being depressed. The best thing you can do for a friend or a loved one, when you notice they begin to withdraw, is to follow them. Get closer to them and ask them what you can do. If you notice some darkness in them, suggest they seek help. I would almost say that my over presence on my social media accounts was a big sign. I was seeking the approval of my hundreds of friends in order to feel like I could function each day. I still post, but have removed social media applications from my devices so that I am not so focused on thinking everyone else's lives are perfect. I still call my friend, and we have "therapy" which to me is better than seeing a therapist, because I am so very honest with her, I know she isn't going to admit me to a mental hospital for something I say. There is no fear, she has always been there for me. It is a whole family effort for me to heal. My husband has stepped up even more that he had before! He works so hard for our family, and comes home and is amazing with our daughter to give me a break. He tells me to go out and be social. It is taking some time to heal socially, but I hope to feel like myself again soon.
What I have learned from all of this, is that no one is too strong to get depression. Those who smile on the outside, may really be hurting on the inside. 1 in every 8 women will suffer from PPD. That is huge seeing as there are are around 4 million births in the United States each year. So here is my soapbox! Seek help, and help others to seek help. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Why I like to keep it positive on social media

- disclamer- this is a posting on my personal thoughts and choices for the new year. Take from it what you like.

It is a new year and that brings about a time for new things and remembering old things that we may want to perfect. Well something I decided about half way through last year was to keep my social media posts positive. Why you might ask? Well I have a few reasons. Many may look down on this posting and say "Kaitlin why do you want to hide who you are?" I do not think of it as hiding who I am one bit. I think of it as I have 100s of people I call my friends and I know someone has got it worse than me. So here I go on my soapbox.

Someone has it worse than me: Early in 2013 I saw a different doctor because I was tired of doctors telling me to lose weight and me telling them that I eat 1500 calories a day and exercise 4 days a week. This doctor finally ran some tests and told me I had PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I spent many nights upset feeling like my husband had married a broken woman. I felt it was all my fault and yet somewhat relived at the same time. I finally had an answer, something I could blame, and yet that wasn't enough for me to not feel like I had a death sentence (I'm a little dramatic). I kept my diagnosis a secret for a while more out of shame than anything. But when I did reach out I was welcomed by many with the same struggles. Many who had it worse than me. There will always be someone out there who has it worse off than me. I thought of my courageous aunt who had just battled cancer and knew she always remained positive. I turned to those thoughts for empowerment.

Truth is not everyone cares that my Monday sucked: I was having a particularly bad day and of course like any woman who's husband was away on an international study abroad trip I turned to social media for a pity party. I posted something of the nature of "had a terrible day wish husband was here". I sat by my phone for an hour or so waiting for a notification to say that someone pitied me. Well it never came. So as any embarrassed social media failure I deleted my post. Pretending it never happened.  No one really cared because chances are there day wasn't peaches and cream either.

I have a loving spouse who cares: I think the word spouse can be interchanged with anyone in your life who cares about you. We all hate to burden those we love with our problems, so instead we burden 300+ pairs of eyes with our problems. What has this world come to? I married a man who promised to be there for me for anything and he never took that promise back so why am I not letting him do his husbandly job? I think I'm being selfless but I'm really being selfish.

I never know when what I post could be a trigger for someone: If you ask me privately how I am doing I will be honest and tell you most days. But there are some things out there that you may think are harmless but could trigger deep emotions within another person. The things I may complain about on a daily basis may be the very blessing someone has exhausted all their efforts trying to achieve.

I need to remember to rely on my Heavenly Father:  I am not one to frequently post on Facebook about my spritual convictions to the gospel (I should more often but I am shy) but there have been many times where I have not turned to the Lord and the tools he has given me to make it through this life. I have scriptures to turn to and even more excitingly prophets on the earth today who constantly give me material and the strength to keep going (to learn more about what I mean visit

As I climb down off my soapbox I just share with you all my personal reasonings for keeping social media positive. This isn't a challenge, but it sure has helped me out and is a resolution I intend to keep working on every day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Creating Light Healthy Recipes That Taste Delicious and Learning to be Domestic Like the Woman I Am!

Well Howdy Readers!!!

Did you miss me? My New Husband from Preston would be 100% proud of me for using the word "Howdy" haha.  Well I must say I sure have missed writing on this blog, being loud and speaking whatever is on my crazy mind(with censorship and poise of course). Well today I readdress a few topics, first topic today is DIETING. I really hate how the word DIE is in DIET. Because that is how I feel! I am not calling it a diet though this time around, I am going to call it a changing my ways for a healthier and easier tomorrow... Okay that is garbage, IT IS A DIET. I track my calories and fitness using the amazing website My Fitness Pal, there are also apps for Android and iPhones. I also used Jefit and Body Building to help plan my workouts. I selected programs for beginners and hope to shed some pounds here soon. We shall see though. I promised my facebook friends that I would share the recipe to my amazingly delicious salad(185 Calories)  and 5 Calorie(Non diet tasting) 22 oz CHERRY LIMEADE. Yes, the delicious-if-i-drink-you-i-will-screw-my-diet-over-for-three-days. Drink that many of us love. Just so you know, I have a plushy midsection, untoned legs that go for miles, and when I turn my head, my neck folds in a couple places. So needless to say, I am not here to preach, just to share what kept me full, because lets face it, dieting usually equals starvation, which later on equals quick return of weight when you return to your normal life.

I am going to call my salad:

The Delicious Filler

1/4 a large head of iceburg lettice chopped/shredded
1/4 cup of all white meat canned chicken
1 tbsp Taco Seasoning
1/2 a roma tomato
1 tbsp refried beans
1/6 a cup mexican cheese
2 tbsp Italian dressing
(opt) diced onion

I do not need to tell you how to put a salad together... but I will tell you to sprinkle the taco seasoning on the chicken in a microwave safe container(leave the water with the chicken) and heat for 45 seconds. Also make sure you heat your refried beans (they nasty otherwise)

This salad was awesome, it sounds a little weird, but you can't dis it until you try it. I was full from 1:45-7:00 tonight on this salad.

Now for the 5 calorie Cherry Limeade

Yes you can go to Sonic and get the light limeade, but this tastes so much better, much closer to the real deal(possibly even better!)

Cherry Limeade
20-24 oz glass
Hawaiian Punch single serve(I think it is called lemon berry) mix pouch
diet Ginger Ale
Lime Juice.

Put the ice in the cup first and spray with your desired amount of lime juice, the poor the drink mix on the ice, then proceed to fill your cup with the diet ginger ale. Seriously,  this is so so so good! And 100% guilt free! I choose ginger ale because the ginger in it keeps away that off diety taste that sprite zero has in it.

So now it is story time. I do not know if I will ever be a great domestic housewife. I came to the realization the other day when I was trying to do dishes and proceeded to flood my sink, I have a pile of mending, I never iron and I kinda dread cooking sometimes. But my husband knew what he was getting into before he put a ring on it and wouldn't have me any other way!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hello Friends of LTWIA... Sooooo I am obviously the worst Blogger in the world. I will be coming back soon to this blog, but also invite you to follow my new family blog! Lots of Love!

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 21, 2011: Unexpected Expectations

How can one truly expect the unexpected when there is so much in the unknown? So to my readers out there... I must first apologize! I will be a better blogger, this I vow from today on out! I have neglected this lovely page for far too long!
Okay back to the subject matter. The last 5 months for me have been insane and eventful. I know that the goal of this blog is for impowerment of women, but I wanted to bring up the many things that make us the way we are.
We as women have an amazing ability to adapt in an almost chameleon like fashion! I am going to share a few ways with how I have changed to fit my surroundings in the past few months.
March: In the month of march so many things changed for myself and many that I love! My Bestie, turned 19 and got engaged 9 days later to an amazing man! Talk about the element of surprise, She knew it was coming but as her fiance schemed and I played the roll of MOLE, she was not to know when it would actually occur. Needless to say she said yes and will be marrying her sweetheart in less than a week! Go her!
My sweet sweet little sister, turned the big 8. When this happened I realized that it had been nearly 11 years since I had been her age, boy how time flies. Kimberlie was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. In my family, we take baptisms pretty seriously, because this marks the point in our lives where we take the first major step of what I guess you could say is showing our devotion to our religion.
March was also the month where I started to reconnnect with a guy in my apartment complex, I could say that it was a game of chase where I was pursued endlessly by a handsome young suitor, but that would just be far to honest! ;-) This boy, goes by the name of Bret, the truth is, he made his attempts to get to know me months before this and had honestly given up on me because I was stubborn, determined I was happy and hated men. I felt like I did not need that other part in my life at the moment and just shoved anything male other than my man posse I hung out with on a regular basis(but everyone knows that best friends are genderless, and you should never date within a circle... wayyy tooooo awwwwkwwwwarrrddd). It took some creeping of my own and with some odd intentions to reconnect me with Bret. He was super sweet and fun to hang out with, I knew from the first time that we hung out that he was someone I wanted to get to know. So I did. He is amazing, funny, dorky, booksmart, cute as heck, tall, active, all the things I need in a guy.
April rolled around and Bret and I became boyfriend and girlfriend, I can honestly say before this point I had no clue what I was missing out on. Have the presence of another person when you need them or even when you don't is just something else!
In my family we have 3 birthdays during the month of April. My mom joined Club 5-Oh, Kindahl had a sweet 16, and miss Khloe turned a whopping 15. As I look back a few years at Kindahl and Khloe's ages and where I was, I think they are spending that time much better than I ever was. I admire my cute sisters for that. The focus at that time was not based on the present, but what could the future bring for me! My advice to anyon at any age, plan for the future, expect it to change, but make sure that you live in the present.
May flew by so fast I can hardly remember anything but finals week and my amazing cruise to mexico! Oh what fun you can have in mexico :-D.
Same thing happened for June, The main thing I remember about that month is Bret joining the church. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing this, but that day was one of the most spiritual days I have ever had.
Now we are in July.I spent the 4th with Bret and his family and friends, it was a bit of a culture shock at first but I LOVED it! Then I hit another quarter life crisis dealing with the fact that I had yet aged another year by no fault of my own. Every birthday I struggle a bit with acceptance because it marks the fact that another year for me has gone by, I am almost forced to look at what I have done up until that point, and what there is to accomplish by the next year.
Some decisions that have caused me to change even more is my plan for education. I was not finding my niche at Utah State, so I have taken a one year leave of absense to pursue a career in the medical field through Bridgerland Applied Technology College.
I am still working at the Credit Union, but have taken on a load of 10 more hours a week! I can do this I know I can.
In the space of five months I can honestly say, my ways of thinking about life has dramatically changed. And I like it. Who is to say exactly what the future holds, but the now is what I am enjoying. Being surrounded by family often is a feeling I have grown to love.
Some minor changes I have taken to(and you know who you are because you have caused them!) are that I now love to eat cookie dough more than cookies sometimes, want a puppy, enjoy spending hours with children, and have accepted my flaws more than I ever thought I would.
A bigger change for me is that I have learned to love more, and feel like I am more honest in what I do. A challenge I would give to anyone is to see how many things in one day you can do for someone else, without thinking "how will this benefit me?"

The Recipe of the month is a Greek Salad I have yet to try it but it sounds DELICIOUS! A great way to utilize left over chicken and that fresh lettuce that should be maturing a gardens here soon!

  • 1/3 cup(s) red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh dill or oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon(s) garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cup(s) chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) (about 12 ounces) chopped cooked chicken (see Tips & Techniques)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup(s) sliced ripe black olives
  • 1/2 cup(s) crumbled feta cheese

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Loving Me, Like the Woman I am: February 2011, part 2

I promised in my previous post this month that I would address love! Well as I wracked my brain for the little knowledge I have obtained about love, I realized this was a lost cause.  Then the brilliant idea entered into my head that I do not have to make this about how we as women love others, but as to how we as women can come to love ourselves.
It took me a very long time to grow to love myself, not just as a physical being but as a spiritual and intellectual being. Growing up, I was always a head taller than all the other girls, and when 5th grade came along I was also a good 4 pounds heavier. This was hard for me, I never wore a size 00 like most of my friends. My body went strait from girls 12/14 to Junior's size 5 in one somewhere. This was hard on me. By the end of 6th grade I was 5'8 and probably oh a good 150 pounds or so. That to many women would be ideal, but the little girl inside felt like a major outsider. I just continued to grow and develop. By the end of 8th grade I had reached my full height of 5'11, wore a 36 C bra(of which I now wish I had back), and a size 11 in jeans. This sudden blossoming of my body only made me more down on myself. My self esteem was wracked on by outside sources such as the media, friends and even sometimes family wouldn't realize that their small comments would cut deep.
Between 9th and 10th grades I decided I was going to lose some weight, so I changed my eating habits and worked out like a mad woman, lost just short of 20 pounds. Yup I was feeling good. But it did not really get me the relief I was expecting to feel. Needless to say I have now learned to love myself even though I have put on 13 of those pounds since then. One time on my FACEBOOK page I posted a profile that said the following, "I went through the mental list in my head that i might not have enough of: funny, thin, curvy, pretty, spiritual, sweet, caring, loving, flirtacious, bubbly, serious, softspoken, outspoken, smart, goofy etc. Then I started to think... I have just the amount I need of each of those, the way god made me, because he doesnt make mistakes. I have no reason to change anything. Take it and love it, leave it and lose. ;)"
The older that I get, the more insight that I gain that beauty comes in so many different forms. Now what would this blog post be if I didn't address men at all? Well certainly not one that had to do with love. This next statement is for you single women still waiting for that special someone. Today as I cleaned out my fish bowl, I decided to watch the fish for a while. I poured some fish food into the bowl(because heaven knows the last time I fed the poor thing.) The fish just sat there, and watched the food fall to the bottom of the bowl, and then slurped it up along with some scum. I thought to myself "You idiot fish, what are you doing?! You would rather wait for the sodden pieces of no-good to fall to the bottom of the bowl and then slurp it up with some of your own feces? Gross and not smart, the good stuff is still floating at the top!" Then it occurred to me... "Wow, men/boys can be just like my goldfish. Not just the part about the 15 second memory, but the part about how they will wait for the stuff that was once good to fall to the bottom. They will wait because it is too hard to go up to the surface where the good stuff awaits, they wait for some of the pieces to fall away to the bottom where they are easier for the picking. Never mind that they may have been mingling with some scum. This does not by any means, mean that you are not worth their time, but it means they are not worthy of you. Occasionally my wish would arise and go up to the surface and get some of the food. I thought, well if there is hope for those flecks of food, there must be hope for us single women!"
And as for you women who have already signed into a contract of love, I have a quote for you from an excellent book I got for Christmas this year entitled I Hate It When Exercise Is the Answer- A fitness Program for the Soul by Emily Watts. In this book she addresses really any stress one may come across during a months time and answers it with an "exercise". Well there is one chapter/exercise that addresses how men are different from women. Exercise #7 An Exercise in Understanding Men: The next time you are frustrated because you don't seem to be getting a response from the man in your life, remind yourself that he is not being deliberately obtuse it's just the way he is wired. Communicate your needs clearly and directly, and don't forget to express gratitude when they are met.

Oh this line of advice made me giggle, but I am sure that many experienced women out there could really actually apply this tip. 
I have filled this blog up too much with me, but I really am enjoying writing it. My challenge to you is that you go and find that inner peace with you, and WORK IT! And if you must have a man in your life, realize that you should not settle,  because then you place your own self worth below that of what you truly are. Keep in mind as well that most men aren't entirely dumb, they just need to be told point blank what is going on.

Love you! Until next month

Friday, February 4, 2011

Black Like the Woman I am: February 2011 part 1

So as a few of you may know, not only is the month of February famous for valentines day, but its also famous for Black History Month. Now one does not see cards or candies out with pictures of black people on them, because well for the most part many would find this weird. Many have argued as to why black people get a whole month to themselves, well my guess would be that it is because of the hundreds of years of injustice that whites did not have to go through here in the United States. In no way am I racist towards white people but its fair, really the least that can be done. One thing I found interesting that kind of upset me is that basically no one knew what black history month was here in my Utah Schools, it is not acknowledged the way it should be. This post is not to complain about the lack of information given out to elementary kids in school, or to talk about the injustice that "whites" have inflicted upon blacks. This post is for me to celebrate some of the most influential black women in this world!
Coretta Scott King: Wife of Martin Luther King Junior

Gladys Knight(and The Pips): Interesting factoid about Gladys, She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Harriet Tubman: Key woman in the Under Ground Railroad, the project that helped slaves to get to the North to freedom.

Jane Manning James: If you have ever wondered who the black woman in the Joseph Smith movie that is played at temple square and now available on DVD, that is Jane Manning James. She was one of the first black members of the LDS Church.

Mae Jemison: Not only was she a volunteer doctor for the Peace Corps, but she was also the first black female astronaut.

Michelle Obama: Biggest white house fashion sensation since Jackie O. Michelle Obama(despite her husband's less than honorable decisions in office) keeps up the family face with her strong personality and values. They say behind every good man is an even greater woman... living proof.

Oprah Winfrey: She is Oprah! It is too hard to summarize her doings.

Serena and Venus Williams: World Famous athletes, these sisters have been kicking booty on the tennis courts for many years.

Princess Tiana: Disney's first black princess, featured in "The Princess and the Frog"
Kathi Lewis: Okay... so my mom is not black we know, as a matter of a fact if you leave here in the sun too long she starts to turn into a redskin(awful joke I know) But this woman is AMAZING. Not only was she Mother of the Year for Washington State in 2001 but she has adopted 7 children, 6 of which are black. She has always made an effort to make sure that we take pride in our ethnic background. I love you Mommy!

This Post is Part 1 to my blog this month, in about a week or so I will post something on the lines of LOVE! Stay tuned...