Thursday, May 30, 2013

Back to Basics and Babyblues

I guess I should count myself lucky. I’ve never had to deal with the full-blown, emotionally/physically debilitating postpartum depression that some mothers have. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my fair share of baby blues.  Hormones tend to yo-yo up and down for about a year after giving birth, especially if you’re breastfeeding, which I am.

And for the last three months I’ve felt fiiiine. Completely fiiiiine!

Until, suddenly, I didn’t.

Phoebe turned three months old on Monday and this entire week I’ve felt entirely un-fine. Emotions are pretty much stuck between the irritation and sadness settings, and a part of me would very much like to grab a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of wine, and a block of chocolate and whole up in a shadowy corner to start writing dark poetry about fading beauty or the abyss.

But then, I realized the fact that I suck at poetry would render the whole thing more depressing than I could bear.

So I cleaned my house, thinking that a shiny environment would make things feel better on the inside…Then I realized just how much I hate cleaning and went on to despise every minute of the monotonous tasks before me.

I also felt bad about missing not one, but two blogging days this week. So I decided- who cares if it’s Thursday!? I’m going to blog today. I miss the interaction with my writer friends. I miss opening up my email and reading the comments.

And you know what else I miss? I miss what pushed me to start this blog in the first place.

Writing and Querying

Okay, maybe not querying so much as acting on the perpetual hope that somehow, some way I’ll one day see my books on bookshelves all over the world one day. That hope has been evading me now for quite some time and I need to set its tail on fire.

And then, there’s writing. I’ve had a premise in the back of my mind for awhile but haven’t felt that pull quite yet- the one that makes you want to take a break from your life and go wade in a different world of your own creation. I don’t want to force it, because I’ve tried starting projects just for the sake of writing, in general, and they always remain unfinished. But at the same time, I really miss that thrill and hope inspiration will strike me hard, soon.

Where are you guys at, writing wise?  And for those of you who have ever had to deal with periods of ‘un-fine’, hormonal or not, what are your tried and true pick-me-ups?  


Natalie Aguirre said...

I've never been pregnant so haven't experienced those mood swings. But I do on occasion have those totally blah weeks where nothing feels right. I just try to get through them, knowing they'll pass. I hope yours does too.

I'm trying to squeeze the writing in when I can. Blogging takes up a lot of the writing time I have. I hope to query for the first time toward the end of summer and start digging in on my new project. I love the writing when I do it. It's just hard finding time with work and family. Hope you feel better soon. I know you will.

Laura Pauling said...

Well I"m not pregnant and I seem to go up and down emotionally too! Maybe it's part of being an artist. :) Hope you feel better soon. I usually wait it out and read!

My summers are more relaxed writing-wise and I try to enjoy my kids being home.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm not writing or blogging, but I've got nothing legitimate to blame it on. Maybe I just need some time off.

mshatch said...

I felt the same way last December (no baby blues but loss of job blues). I had something new I was working on but it wasn't pulling me like it needed to if I was going to jump in whole hog. So I let it go and just did some practice, using writing prompts, and one of them turned into something. I just kept writing and seeing where it would lead and pretty soon I had 10k and had to call it a wip. Now, almoast 6 months later, I am a few thousand words away from finishing the first (and very rough, I might add) draft. Maybe a little practice will help?

LTM said...

oh! ((hugs)) I would love to join you with the wine and the chocolate and the dark corner. I have to skip the ciggys b/c I get the asthmar... LOL!

*sigh* This is a HARD business for feeling bad. The feedback often does not improve one's mood. :P But you know what does? Writing. The writing always makes me feel better...

Give that premise a try! And know we all love you~ <3

D.G. Hudson said...

When I was feeling baby-blues, I could cry at the drop of a hat. What I did: I started working on a baby book for the newest addition a bit at a time. It took my mind off myself. I wrote a story telling about her beginning (in child terms).

The trouble: hormones and the female body getting itself back into balance. Having to produce the feeding material means your body is still in post-baby mode.

Perhaps chocolate and fresh fruit can help the body recover? I seem to remember craving summer fruit. In September.

prerna pickett said...

I feel your pain. Giving birth is a miraculous occasion but it's full of lots of emotions and hormonal changes. Hang in there!

Laura S. said...

I'm sorry about your baby blues :( I've never had those, but I've felt blue, and re-reading something funny and charming picks me up: any of the Stephanie Plum books, Anne of Green Gables books, and Calvin and Hobbes comics are my favorite go-tos for cheering up.

I hope you feel more like your usual self soon, Katie!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'd get those baby blues have the chocolate (I swear it helps) and a walk in the sunshine (to alleviate the guilt of the chocolate, and sunshine helps drive away the blues)

I thought about scheduling the blog, but then I said heck with it. It's my happy place, my writer/ reader connection place, and I'm going to enjoy it.

Love it when you it regularly or sporadically.

Mike Cronis said...

Ooo! The -classic- tale of the girl gone to Hollywood from Nebraska to be a movie star, only to get a taste of reality! Love it. Still, that starlete-in-training might find that the world isn't -that- bad a place after all, and that there's more to life than fame and, whether she likes it or not, be forced to find the beauty in life and take solace in the bitter-sweet of reality. Truly classic.

Still, I recommend gnawing on that block of chocolatey solace. You're pretty thin to begin with, and it'll help. You should listen to what your body craves, just don't overdo it (ie. a pallate of chocolate).

Um.. so what happened to the sperm donor?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't lose hope, Katie!
No idea what you are experiencing, but it will pass. Just sucks while it's happening.
I was stuck for a long time and worried I'd never come up with something decent for my third book. But I kept myself busy with other things, like my music and my blog, and an idea and the burn to write it hit. I think that will come to you as well.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I've had mood swings recently and felt way too down and depressed to write or do anything productive -- and I'm definitely not pregnant.

I've been kind of laying low, reading some books, watching TV, avoiding the big pile of grading I ought to be doing. And then I got hooked on a series and obsessively read 6 books in less than 6 days. And now I'm depressed again because the last one ended on a very upsetting cliff-hanger and the final book isn't due out until August! Arrrgh. So I guess that didn't help me out of my funk much, huh?

Gina Ciocca said...

I'm terrified of those post-baby hormones, especially since this will be my first and I have no prior experience to compare it to. Plus I have a thyroid problem, which can also wreak havoc on your moods, so I've been trying to warn my husband in advance that I'll likely be a mess. It doesn't help that in the midst of moving out of state, I've had almost no time to dedicate to writing, books, blog posts, or otherwise.

When you figure out what works for your baby blues, please let me know! Hoping the funk lifts soon :)

Coleen Patrick said...

I've had them. :( Sometimes a change of scenery helped--like going for a walk, seeing a movie. I remember being so desperate I took my infant daughter to the movies! Thankfully she slept. :)Hope you feel better soon!

T.J. said...

Wow - it's been 13 years since I had baby blues. I'd pack up the Lil Mush and go for long drives. Music, open window, sleeping baby - oh it was so cathartic.

Huh, I still do that. Especially when everything writer-ly is stalled out. I go visit parents in Colorado, visit Laramie or SLC, Yellowstone or Black Canyon. I stay away from the puter, news, TV and just enjoy the kid and Hubby. It seems to help the ole Muse wake up and push me from the blues (which goes from baby blues to "Holy cow, when did you turn 13?")

Anonymous said...

Katie, so sorry about the baby blues. I hope they past quickly.

Connie Keller said...

Hang in there, Katie!! I know it's hard, but the blues will pass.

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh Honey, you think you've got the blues now after having a baby, wait until you go through menopause. That's serious blues.

Don't sweat it. Just relax and enjoy that sweet little baby. Because you know as well as I do, they grow up way too fast.

DL Hammons said...

This too shall pass! :)

If you want to see what I've been working on, check out my blog post from Friday. :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I suffered badly with my first baby, but only realised when I started to go the same way with my second. I went walking as much as possible - baby in pram, rain or shine, out of the house and away. The daylight definitely made a huge difference. I also learnt how to write with a baby in my arms. I hope you feel fine again soon.

Vikki said...

Awww, my daughter's name is Phoebe, too! She's 2 & 1/2 now, but I definitely remember going through bluesy spells the first six months. I'm sure part of it was just hormonal stuff, but I'd also gotten a rejection from an agent who seemed SO excited about my book (she even sent me emails as she was reading saying how much she was loving it), so that didn't help. It was the dead of winter, so walks/getting out weren't much of an option. I remember just trying to get myself to laugh as much as possible - reading funny books, watching sit-coms on Netflix (where I discovered The IT Crowd, omg, HILARIOUS). Anyway, I hope you feel right again soon! Chin up, one day at a time, the sun will come out tomorrow, etc, etc. :)

jaybird said...

Aw, I can relate to those post-partum blues. I felt much better after I stopped nursing. My hormones cooled down and I was a bit more rational. It takes time. At least you recognize it for what it is, which is a huge step in the right direction.

Keep up the writing. And keep that hope of getting published alive. Some days are easier than others to feel like it's going to happen. I keep telling myself the same thing!


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