News, Organizing

2018 New Years Goals

January 17th was National Ditch New Years Resolutions Day. I have repeatedly made goals only to find that come May I have either completely given up, forgotten, or just found myself complete sidetracked. This year I made goals instead of resolutions. I’m even following a couple of New Years Goal email courses. One of the common themes of the Goal Crushing courses I signed up for determine your word of the year. This year my word is Focus, so often I find myself sidetracked away from my goals. This year I am determined to see them through. I even created goals for my husband and I’s relationship and my eldest son Wesley.

Word of the Year:

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For so long I have been unmotivated, unfocused, and just drowning. This year I’m determined to keep my mind focused on the future ahead. Focused on getting us out of Debt, focused on moving forward. Focused on getting my family to a healthier and happier place.

I followed the Best Week Ever email course by Ruth Soukup this year and created a list of Goals for my life. The theme behind all these goals do it scared. (Ruth Soukup is one of my blogging super hero’s she inspires me to be both a better mom and blogger every time I read her posts.)

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I created 7 life goals and 4 goals for the year.

Life Goals:

Become Debt Free

Make enough money on my own so that my husband doesn’t have to work if he doesn’t want to.

Have a big Renaissance wedding

Travel the world

Live in Japan for 2 years

Make enough money so my husband can open a restaurant and I can open a book store as a part of our retirement.

Get my PHD

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My 2018 Goals:

Maintain good mental health- this will help our finances in that it will provide me the energy and will to save not spend as well as to work extra hard to bring in an income.

Have monthly budget meetings- this will put my husband and I on the same page in regards to our finances, creating less argument, aiding in positive mental health and allow us to set goals for our debt free stretch goal.

Maintain good physical health- by keeping myself healthy I have more time and energy to put towards making money. This ultimately means showering regularly, changing my clothes, brushing my hair and teeth, taking my vitamins, drinking plenty of water, drinking hot lemon water in the morning, eating breakfast, doing yoga, and getting outside.

Establish and get into a routine- a regular routine will ensure I have the time to clean, cook, play with/care for the kids, work, and care for my health. A regular routine ensure that everything can and does get done.

If I do nothing outside of establishing a routine this year then I will have achieved the bare minimum of all of my goals. Establishing a consistent routine is the most basic first step to accomplishing all my goals for this year and future years down the line.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I had also created goals for my partner and eldest son Wesley.

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Goals for my son:

Turn juice into a treat, not an everyday beverage. We are actually doing well with this since the New Year. Juice is not an everyday, and on the days it does happen he gets no more than 2 water downed cups.

Get him potty trained during the day. He is definitely showing signs of being ready and will be three in July. We are planning to start potty training in February, hopefully we will be fully daytime potty trained by the end of the year.

My son loves his wubby an animal attached to a pacifier. I am really hoping that we can get rid of it for everything, but naptime and bedtime if not all together before the year is up. After all that thing is getting disgusting. I just need to be proactive about hiding it during the day.

Get Wesley socialized. He has not spent a lot of time with other kids his age and I feel he really needs the opportunity to start making human friends. He is currently best friends with our dog, and I really wish he had a better role model than a creature that eats of the floor, licks their own butt, and barks at random sounds.

A lot of the goals for my son will be accomplished via creating a routine.

I also have goals for my marriage, at least one of the goals for our relationship is also one of my 2018 goals. The rest will again be accomplished with a routine.

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Goals for my marriage:

Once a month date night.

Weekly cuddle/communication sessions 3 times a week minimum.

Weekly budget checkins

Monthly budget meetings

I have big goals for this year, but ultimately I feel they are within the realm of possibility. I didn’t create any big weightloss goals, or even say I want to be out of debt this year. After all I know it is unlikely for me to get out of debt 100% this year unless I somehow manage a big break or get a routine setup that allows me to complete a level of work that can make me 150 k by the end of the year. (My debt is not quiet that high, but I imagine that is the type of money I would need in order to not only pay off all of my debt, but also to support my family in the process.)

Do you have any goals you have set for this year? Share them in the comments below.

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Motherhood, Year One, Year Three, Year Two

Preparing for and Dealing with Postpartum Depression

I originally wrote the following post back in September of 2017, while I was still very pregnant with my second baby boy. He is of now 6 weeks old and I am feeling absolutely amazing. Its a complete 180 from my first postpartum experience and if I’m being honest I think having a second baby is what finally pulled me out of the long depression I had myself stuck in. I’m choosing to go ahead and post this in hopes that it might help another mama out there. 6 weeks postpartum and I have so much energy, I feel even more bonded to my first baby who is now 2 in a half and I am working hard to help get my family to the place it needs to be financially. In fact I had so much energy after the birth of my second I went out and found a job just one week postpartum. I feel like a combination of supermom and crazy.

It is estimated that 80% of women will deal with some form of postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, or postpartum psychosis following the birth of a child. Some women may even experience pre-natal depression or anxiety. It is important for anyone experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression to speak with their Dr.fear-2903342_640

I’ve been doing a lot of healing exercises lately. I realized recently that I’ve been in a cycle of depression for I’m not sure how long. I estimate I have been in this cycle, probably since I hit puberty. For as long as I can remember summer break was always depressing and anxiety ridden for me, because I no longer had the mandatory school schedule and day to look forward to. After graduation I had a plan for my future, but an unplanned pregnancy threw my plan off road. I was no longer able to just “fake it till I made it.” then postpartum depression set in and I could barely function for a while. I am pregnant again and I sort of have a plan, but again I know I’m just going with the flow, taking those baby steps expected of me to move forward. I know once this baby is born I’m going to once again find myself in the overwhelm that is postpartum depression.

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Postpartum depression has many forms and showcases in many ways. For me I was exhausted, unmotivated, irritated, angry, and just sad. The sadness was probably the worst part, because it made me feel lonely, my loneliness fueled my anger. My anger caused me to push away the one person who was meant to support me and he tried he really did. Since I took notice of the cycle that I have been caught in for who knows how many years I’ve been setting small realistic goals for the right now and I’m brainstorming goals and the steps needed to reach them for the future. I’m trying to decide  and I mean really decide before this baby arrives what it is I want to do with my life. I’m attempting step five from my post, What to do after trauma?

Since I have been through postpartum once before and if I’m being 100 percent honest have yet to fully recover from. I know I’m likely to experience it all over again. As a result I’ve been doing some research on postpartum depression and anxiety. I’ve learned about a number of different vitamin deficiencies that can lead to it one of which I already know I suffer from and another that I suspect to be a key player in my depression.

As a result it is my plan for the first three months postpartum to partake in a vitamin regimen, which I plan to discuss with my Dr. and child’s pediatrician (since I breastfeed). In addition, once my bleeding stops I plan to start taking daily walks around my apartment building and once approved by my Dr to begin exercising I plan to increase that walk to around my entire block at first with just the babies, but after a month I will likely add the dog. I’m also planning 10-20 minute yoga/meditation sessions everyday. I’m hoping that 3 months of vitamins and exercise will be all I need to see a difference in my state of mind. However, if after 3 months of doing all of this consistently I still feel sad, angry, unmotivated, and irritated I plan to have a serious talk with my Dr. regarding anti-depressant medication.

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I wrote this poem to help describe the emotions I felt following the birth of my first baby.

Postpartum Thoughts

By Leeann Minton

 

I sat there staring adoringly at you.

I cried heavy tears in adoration of your newborn face.

I felt like a river overflowing its banks,

My soul cloudy with lifes’ debris.

I feared my actions would be your downfall.

 

I hated your touch.

The need you had for me.

Though innocent all I could think was,

But why is it always me.

Sleepless night after sleepless night I stared at you.

I held you to my breast to feed.

 

As time moved forward you consumed me.

I forgot everyone else,

I could only see you and me.

I lost my motivation.

I forgot about my goals.

 

Keeping you alive.

Keeping you from crying.

Keeping you away from the pain.

Pain, which I felt every day.

 

I wanted so much to be good for you.

So much to do what was best.

I didn’t always succeed.

I almost always felt I failed.

I tried walking away.

 

I thought it would be better if I was gone.

I thought I should take my life.

I thought maybe I could run away.

However,

Your face it always had a smile.

You knew just when to learn something new.

You managed to pull my heartstrings.

 

Your father he protected you.

He saw me falling.

He never gave up.

I hope you are like him.

 

Mommy is getting help now.

One day I will feel all better.

 

I have spent years avoiding medication as a means of controlling and “fixing” my problems, but recently I’ve realized that sometimes we need the extra help. Sometimes will power is not enough to move past the hurt and to get out of the darkness.

Since my son was born 6 weeks ago I have been taking my regular dosage of magnesium, which helps to prevent my seizures, but its also been known to help combat depression. In addition, I have been purposeful in getting out of the house. Its a little more difficult with a breastfeeding newborn, however my husband has also been extremely helpful in this regard. Sometimes though it can’t be helped the newborn has to go with, in those instances I have been wearing him both so he stays warm and so strangers do not try and touch them during cold/flue season. I have not managed to do the workout routine I originally set up for myself, however I’m so busy that I might as well be working out. Staying busy seems to have definitely helped keep the depression at bay.

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Motherhood, Year Three, Year Two

Birth Story Baby #2

*Warning, graphic imagery.

We welcomed baby Charles Joseph into the world on December 8, 2017. He was born 9 pounds 7 ounces, 22 inches long. A full pound heavier than his brother. By comparison this pregnancy was very different from my first. I was in labor for weeks, and had multiple false alarms/trips to L&D. In addition, to the on again off again labor, I also gained 17 more pounds with this pregnancy.

On 12/7, I went into my OBGYN, 39 weeks pregnant, miserable and having been contracting on and off for 2 weeks stuck at 4 centimeters dilated and a negative two station. Baby was also measuring two weeks ahead. I asked the Dr to try a membrane sweep and scheduled an induction for the following Wednesday on 12/13. I woke up on 12/8, having regular contractions 3 minutes apart. This wasn’t completely unusual as I had been experiencing this type of situation for two weeks. The difference this time being that the contractions were much more painful. So my husband and I packed it up found someone to watch our son and headed to the hospital. When we arrived I was 5.5cm dilated, so things were definitely moving along.

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I experienced a lot of back labor and just knew baby was not sitting right. 4 hours later they checked me again and I was only at a 6. This was nothing like my first labor where I arrived at the hospital at a 5 and 4 hours later was holding my son in my arms (after two hours of pushing). Nope it appeared the contractions were just not doing what they were supposed to. So the Dr requested to break my water. Now I was very adamant in my birth plan about not wanting my water broken unless I was trying to push and changing positions didn’t help. My biggest fear being that it would place me on a 24 hour timeline towards a c-section. They assured me that if they broke my water they would not put me on a 24 hour time limit and the only way a c-section would occur was if I or baby were in serious distress. So I agreed. They broke my water and placed me on my side with my legs wrapped around  a peanut ball to help the baby turn. Contractions become crazy close together, and the pain intensified so fast I was unable to get myself to the meditative state, which ultimately saved me during my first labor. I screamed, cursed, and squeezed my partners hand.

It was maybe 20 minutes before I was ready to push. I literally felt my son’s head and body turn and push its way down. I pushed for about ten minutes, and felt the ring of fire. That was probably the most painful part of the whole experience as I literally felt myself being ripped apart. With my first I was in such a deep state of meditation I didn’t feel the ring of fire and didn’t even realize that I pushed for 2 hours, and thought the pushing lasted only fifteen minutes. This time I pushed for 10 minutes and it felt like an eternity. With my first I ended up getting an episiotomy (because of babies head size), which became a 4th degree tear. This time I experienced a 2nd degree tear, which included some un-sewable tissue loss. Despite the awkward tear, I have a million times more energy this time than I did the first.

I was able to jump back into things much more quickly as well. I also have not had any issues with baby blues or ridiculous crying boughts’. I have cried on a couple of occasions, but only about things one would expect an overly hormonal newly postpartum mother to cry about. It appears at least for now that I am/have avoided postpartum depression.

After pushing baby out, he was immediately handed to me, and I got to hold him while I delivered the placenta. I also got to watch my husband cut the cord this time, and was able to feed him right away. With my first he was immediately whisked away, because there had been mecconium and they were worried he might have swallowed some. There was no mecconium this time, in fact baby pooped for the first time right in my hand as I held him. I was so happy to just finally be holding him that I didn’t care. I was left alone to feed baby, and after holding him for two plus hours they finally took him for measurements and testing. They were quick about it though handing him back to me within 20 minutes and giving me yet another hour with him before they took him away for vitamin k shots, eye goo, and whatever other testing they do while they switched me to a recovery room.

I was at the hospital for 2 nights and three days, they took baby each night for testing, and knowing I wasn’t going to be getting any sleep at home I allowed them to hold him there until it was feeding time so I could get extra sleep. On the second night, while baby was out of the room for testing I had a small scare where it appeared like I might have a seizure I felt the early signs with the numbness forming in my jaw. I learned during my first pregnancy that I have a magnesium deficiency, and I had not had my daily dose. I managed to inform the nurse in enough time and they brought me a magnesium pill, which seemed to really help things and I avoided a seizure.

The entire experience while painful was incredibly beautiful and amazing. I didn’t realize how much I had missed out on with my first. I feel so much more bonded to this baby than I did at this point with my first.

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