So this isn't something that is easy to admit and I struggled with it on my own for the first 5 months of the girls being born, but I have post partum depression. I know I have dealt with depression a majority of my life and have always written it off as with my crazy life who wouldn't be depressed. I did the same thing after the girls were born, the social worker in antepartum that I talked to often before and after the girls were born and still stop and see now if we are in the area, has been recommending I start antidepressants since the girls were born. I kept saying oh, I'm fine, but I finally realized I wasn't fine. She was very insistent that it would just take the edge off and make things bearable and I would continue to deny it and say who wouldn't be depressed with their girls being born 11 weeks early, in the NICU, no house at the time, then twins at home with no sleep, just moving into a house and constantly having things going on. Then I started getting mad at Jim for everything, we were fighting daily and barely speaking. I figured if we kept going like this we would be divorced in a year and if antidepressants would really take the edge off at this point it couldn't hurt. I want my marriage to work and was willing to try anything. Unfortunately at that point we were barely speaking and I couldn't tell him I had started them. I was ashamed, and felt like I should have been able to get through this on my own. When you have a psychology background it makes it even harder to admit you have a problem and need help. So it took about a month before I could tell him. When I did tell him he took it very well but is blaming himself. It's so hard to explain to someone that isn't dealing with depression that it really is nothing to do with them and there is just something not right with you. But it's easy enough to treat. Since starting the pills there has been a drastic difference and I have even had moments where I thought man I want to be mad about this but I'm just not, it's ok. Do I walk around with a big goopy smile all day and in la-la land... no, it's exactly like Peggy said, it just takes the edge off things. I'm not always good about taking them everyday, I have never been good about that, but I notice a difference after skipping them for a couple days that they really do make a difference in my attitude.
Now, since there is a big story right now about the mom in Zimmerman that just killed her 2 kids and all the other crazy people killing their kids, or suicide or whatever, I need to say, I have never since the girls were born thought about hurting myself or the girls or Jim. Suicide crossed my mind often during my teen years but my sister beat me to it and put things in perspective. I have a couple times had to leave the girls crying and walked out of the room for a couple minutes to gather myself but I think most parents go through that and I would never neglect them or leave them in a dangerous situation.
Like I said this has been very hard for me to tell my husband, and I just told my mom and Jim's family this weekend, and for me to tell all of you is hard as hell, excuse me. But I feel like depression and other mental health disorders are shunned in our society and instead of reaching out to help people we stereotype them and avoid them like the plague. If you choose to do that to me so be it, I still have a wonderful husband and family that I assume will love me no matter what. I would rather raise awareness and share my story like I have with so many personal things regarding the girls. I want to be open for other people going through similar situations to have someone they can talk to or just know they aren't alone. Depression whether it is post partum or just depression effects everyone at some point in their life I believe. Some people can deal with it on their own but sometimes you need help and I think that should be admired, putting yourself out there and admitting you can't do it on your own.
Anyways, on side note, we are walking as a family on April 28th for the March of Dimes March For Babies Walk. I'm so excited about this and looking forward to giving back to an organization that has done so much to help so many people, including us. We have been so blessed to have such a miraculous outcome with our girls and we just wish everyone could be so lucky and feel the need to give back. It is something we feel very strongly about and would love to make it a family mission for the rest of our lives. Not only were my girls premature, but I have 3 nephews and a niece that were early and it is something we feel very passionate about. We would love for everyone to walk with us and are thinking about having t-shirts made if we can get enough people signed up in time. Otherwise we would be so grateful for any donations we could get. I know most of you have a dollar and even a dollar gets us 1 dollar closer to our goal and its 1 more dollar than they had yesterday. We are looking forward to some of the nurses and staff from our hospital will be walking and some of the other residents we were with in the NICU and Antepartum so it will be a big reunion and we would love for them to see the support our girls have had through this whole ordeal. It is only 2 miles and I'm over 100 pounds overweight so if I can do it you guys can too!!! Like I said we would prefer people walk with us as much as we want your donations, just to see everyone with us that prayed and kept us in your thoughts as we went through so much would be enough motivation for us! Anyways, to sign up or donate it is www.marchforbabies.org/TwinBells.
Enough about me and our mission, I'm sure you would all love an update on the girls!! They are getting so huge!! We had our NICU follow up appointment a little over a week ago and the occupational therapist, nurses, nurse practitioner and neonatologist were all amazed at the progress they have made!! They are meeting or exceeding all milestones they expect a 6 month 11 week premature baby to be hitting. Even since that appointment they have started doing more things! Anabell just figured out tonight as a matter of fact how to roll over from her back to her tummy. Really I think she was just so mad because we are working on fixing our bedtime routine that it was out of her frustration she was rolling over. Then she kept getting her foot stuck in the crib rails when she rolled and would be twice as mad! I felt so bad for her but couldn't help laughing and clapping for her progress which she also did not enjoy! She has also started sitting for a couple minutes on her own, unassisted. When I tried showing her pediatrician last week of course she refused to do it and made me look like a liar, but I figure I have 18 more years of that to look forward to and wasn't too surprised!! Isabell is right behind her and has been rolling to her side for weeks now but is just as content on her side and doesn't seem interested in going all the way over. The pediatrician was impressed that she is starting to get her legs under her and may crawl before she rolls. :s Not quite ready for that!! We started solids last Wednesday after their normal 6 month appointment, but we jumped the gun on that one. Isabell had been a little stuffed up but didn't realize til that night that she actually had a pretty bad cold and had already passed it onto me and and Anabell. You aren't supposed to start solids when they are sick and fussy so there was mistake number 1!! Then it probably didn't help that they had their shots that day and ended up getting a fever for the first time from them. Again, didn't catch onto that till later, so mistake number 2!! Either way they survived the rice cereal attempt, but they weren't too impressed by it. Then we tried again on Saturday, after giving them a couple days to get better, and they were pretending to be hungry even though they just polished off their bottles so we figured what the heck!! Went much better and they seemed to enjoy it a little more. The real treat came yesterday when we started sweet potatoes!!! They LOVE them!! They both went to town and in the 2 feedings between yesterday and today have almost polished off the whole jar!! Anabell screams bloody murder if you don't shovel it in fast enough!! It is amazing how quickly they figured out putting the spoon near their mouth they should open their mouth and suck it off! They keep sticking their tongues out and drooling a lot of it out but it is just amazing to see how quickly they are figuring it out! Pretty sad for me, they are growing so fast!! Anabell is almost 17 pounds now and probably is over actually and Isabell is probably over 14 pounds by now. They have stuck to this 3 pound difference for awhile now and it seems to be working for them. Good for us because as most people are noticing, the older they get the more they are starting to look alike!
Other than that not much going on. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! I had to work in the morning and missed most the excitement and seeing my girls in their dresses so I'm a little depressed about that, but nothing I can do about it now I guess. I actually really enjoyed the time I was at work and some of the kids amazed me and gave me a glimmer of hope the world won't end when they take over! I offered to make deviled eggs for the first time ever and all the kids said they hated them but I decided it wasn't Easter without them. Turns out most of the boys had never had one and they all thought they were amazing! They just didn't want to feel stupid for not having had one. Made me grateful for what I do and have had and realize how privileged I really was. There are so many things I take for granted and then some of those boys make me realize how bad it could really be. It is those moments that make me love my job and continue working there despite driving over an hour to get there and all the crap I get from some of them.
The girls baptism was beautiful! They were so well behaved and pretty much slept through getting the water poured on their heads. Isabell woke up and whimpered at the end but really didn't care. We had a nice lunch afterwards and were lucky enough to use the church instead of trying to cram so many people into our little house. It was so sweet when I got there I changed the girls there because I never could have gotten them in their carseats in their dresses. After I changed Isabell this sweet older lady came up and took her and walked around during the coffee hour showing her off to everyone while I got Anabell ready! It was so nice and I just wish I knew her name because she talks to us every Sunday and is always gushing over the girls and how well behaved and beautiful they are! We were given some beautiful gifts and were again reminded of how blessed we are by so many people in the congregation giving us cards and coming to talk to us and wish us well. I drove home crying once again! Someone anonymously gave us a giftcard to Coborns and never wrote anything on the card or anywhere. We really have no idea who it was and if they wish to stay anonymous that is fine but if you know who they are could you please thank them from the bottom of our hearts! We are so grateful to all the people who have supported us through this journey and continue to be part of our lives. I can't think of a better way to end this except by once again saying Thank You and God Bless!
Love, Heather, Jim, Anabell and Isabell