Yesterday Ethan turned 8 weeks old and the dust is finally clearing after the major overhaul this has made of my life. Even more than with Elena, Ethan's conception to birth has effected every area of my life in a huge way. This boy child has had a big impact on my husband, our relationship, our home, our finances, our sleep schedule, our emotional strength ... everything.
Now at 8 weeks, it feels like everything is finally settling back into a happy place thanks to a few big things. First, emotionally its been a very rough pregnancy and its been that way for so long I started forgetting how it felt to not be constantly on the edge - for every little thing to throw you into a dark place. Before Ethan's birth, my doula and I sat down and had a serious talk about postpartum depression. My husband always has a harder time in the winter which wears on me - plus I didnt think that emotionally I would be healed after birth. So we brainstormed preventative measures and decided to proactively encapsulate my placenta. With Elena we kept our placenta but never felt the need to encapsulate and use it. After birth I felt okayish and decided to wait to take my placenta pills until I needed them. Last Friday the day started out fine but ended very badly. I can only describe it as complete meltdown. I lost it. Completely utterly lost it. I am not going to get into the gory details. Just know there was screaming and sobbing and it was very ugly - am emotional breakdown at its finest. I cried myself to sleep that night and woke up Saturday morning feeling unhinged. I picked fights. There was more screaming and crying. The ugliness continued. In the midst of it all I thought: this isnt me. Something was obviously wrong. So Saturday afternoon once both kids were in bed, I took my first two pills. Within 30 minutes I felt like a new person. A rational, composed person. I felt happy. Like myself again. Since that day I have taken my pills a few times. They help a ton. I no longer feel like life is spiraling out of control. I often don't see it creeping back up on me but then will realize I am edgy feeling and need to take another dose.
If you havent heard of placenta encapsulation before, its pretty simple. The placenta is filled with tons of vitamins and nutrients - and most importantly hormones. Civilizations for ages have consumed the placenta for many reasons. In the United States at the turn of the last century, it wasnt uncommon for midwives to use the placenta to stop hemorrhaging after birth by placing a piece between the mom's cheek and gum. This makes since when you realize pitocin is a synthetic hormone and while it is used to induce labor, almost every ob/gyn in the United States uses pitocin after birth to contract the uterus and stop bleeding as a preventative measure against hemorrhaging. So as you can see, hormones are pretty cool when they arent making your crazy.
Despite my temporary insanity and its resulting clingyness, therapy is working. I think. I am in general happier. I see change even if its baby steps. I have really needed authentic change. Also, Ethan is sleeping! He has a mild case of reflux. Mild in that we cope well. However, he has a hard time going to bed. I dont know what magically happened. Maybe the sleep training is finally sinking in some, but Ethan has slept a minimum of one 6 hour stretch every day for the last week in his crib. Last night he slept 9 hours and I didnt wake up once to feed him. Sleep is nice, especially when you haven't been feeling well. I also very much enjoy having my husband back in my bed. The first month he spent on the couch after drifting asleep at work (dangerous when you work with heavy machinery) while Ethan and I were co-sleeping.
Life seems to be getting into a groove. A happy place with mommy daughter dates, baby boy smiles, and laughter and sharing over the dinner table.