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Category Archives: ADHD in women

The Milk Maid

The Milk Maid

In honour of World Breastfeeding Week, here is my #brelfie! I’ve fed her at home, at other people’s homes such as friends and family, at the tennis court, at a cafe, at church and now also online.


I’m not one of those mums. You know, the stereotype white middle class mum who wants to do it ‘all natural’, breastfeeds, wears her baby like it’s a cult thing, doesn’t vaccinate, introduces solids a la Rapley and basically makes a big deal out of everything whilst trying to convince everyone and -perhaps mainly- herself that her exhausting way of parenting is the way to do it perfectly. After all, there’s a chance she gave up her career for this. If that’s how she wants to do it, all peace to her. After all, she probably didn’t choose her perfectionism, just like I didn’t choose my ADHD. My only objection is that this fictional mother (with a grain of truth) tends to be part of the mum wars. (Check this video).

I am white middle class-ish, I do breastfeed, I do baby wear (because it’s fun and easy), I do vaccinate and while BB will be learning to eat the old fashioned mushy mushy way, it’s probably good for her to try and chew on a carrot from time to time. And I have muddled in mum wars, mainly to point out that there’s no such thing as the perfect way to raise your child. And because I’m impulsive and say things when I probably should just shut up. But there’s one thing I do want to ‘preach’ -also as a professional-… and that is breastfeeding.

It really wasn’t much of a ‘choice’. I never even considered formula. Babies drink breast milk, that’s just the way it should be. Formula is life saving stuff for babies whose mums can not breastfeed. But I see absolutely no valid reason for me to give my child a somewhat inferior substitute if I can give her the real thing. It doesn’t matter if we don’t live in a developing country. It doesn’t matter if there’s research stating that it doesn’t matter that much… My objection to almost every article I’ve seen is that the breastfed group was also receiving formula under the age of 2..
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But research and stuff is one thing.

Practice is the other.
So this is my experience after almost 5 months of breastfeeding with a difficult start.

  •  When she was 3 weeks old, I got sick. Something flu-like. Had she gotten sick as well she would probably have ended up in hospital. I was so worried! But nothing. She got the antibodies as I was making them.
  • Just a few weeks ago the other baby at her minder had a cold for a full two weeks. I figured BB would be sniffling soon. She was. It lasted a full day and a half, and wasn’t even bad enough to give her trouble breathing or drinking. She was just fussy and drooly.
  • She sleeps through the night usually. But when she doesn’t, I am forever grateful for not having to get up and make a bottle. I simply pick her up, put her next to me, support my back with a pillow and snooze until she’s done. Yes. That’s right. I sleep while feeding her.
  • I’m just going to say it again: I can feed her in my sleep. I am a very rested mum!
  • She doesn’t like drinking from a bottle. She can, but she won’t sometimes. She knows better, that’s all! No better place for a baby than their mum’s breast.
  • It’s the most natural thing in the world.
  • It’s a very loving act. Even the bible mentions nursing mothers as a comparison to God’s love. I mean, wow.
  • As long as she’s being nursed, I don’t have to worry about her nutrition. She takes care of that herself. I don’t have to worry about getting more time between feeds, I don’t have to worry about over feeding her… and with her bottle issues I don’t have to worry about that either because she can just catch up in the evening when I’m home. When she starts solids, I don’t have to worry about her eating enough either.
  • It’s easy, and I always have a hand free to read or play with my phone. And I needn’t even clean up.
  • It’s quick, after the first few months. Takes me 5-10 minutes unless she’s just suckling to calm herself down. Which, in itself, is also useful since she thinks dummies are chew toys.
  • I get a boost of feel-good hormones. Why would anyone pass on that?
  • You know those evenings with a very young baby? Bottle babies have hours in which they just cry. Breastfed babies can cluster feed. I used to hate cluster feeding time, but I am sure I’d hate having to deal with a crying baby even more.
  • It’s amazing to see how much she’s grown, and my body was fully responsible for that.
  • I can’t forget my boobs. I can forget my keys, my purse, her nappies, wipes, clean clothes, entire nappy bag, parts of my breast pump, bottles… possible even her… but I can’t forget to bring along two of my organs.
  • Actually, my nr 1 tip for future mums with ADHD would be to breastfeed. You just have to respond to your baby, no planning involved. Nothing you can forget.
  • The only down side is pumping at work…
  • …and it takes some time to figure it out. Just like everything does if you have a baby.
  • Edited to add: those moments when you can’t figure out what is wrong but the boob seems to fix it…

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to feed the baby!

 

 

 

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Third Trimester

So we’ve reached 33 weeks of pregnancy. I’m 13 kilo’s heavier, tire halfway through what I’d normally be able to do, and can still wear my engagement ring. I’d want to post more often, but work and everything, you know.

The ring, by the way, is not entirely accurate any more. TDH and I got married on January 5th, without a wedding. We went to the town hall (of another town) at 9:15 in the morning, me wearing a black pregnancy number, and got married for free. Don’t worry, there will be a party. I suppose that makes me Mrs Darling-Dark Handsome. I didn’t think that one through when I came up with the nicknames.

The Busy Baby is still alive and kicking and growing so fast now. She’s head down and tends to drop in, only to un-drop a few days later. You’d think I’d have some extra space when she drops… but you haven’t met my daughter. Whenever there is some extra space, she uses it to stretch her little legs a bit. I’m pretty sure she has my endless legs!

My maternity leave starts in a week and I am looking forward to it. Work is getting exhausting and I am beginning to feel out of place. I just want to go home and make our little nest. Our messy home is irritating me, and I want to search for the ‘perfect’ stuff for my little lady. Baby’s room isn’t really done yet, but we have a bed so that counts. We also have about 100 nappies… all gifted. I didn’t think this part of pregnancy would actually happen to me!

Otherwise I am doing well. The midwife was surprised to see how well I was holding up, given my history, she even called me a ‘power lady’. Perhaps I am just good at this, perhaps I have been through enough to be able to handle this. Perhaps you really do come out stronger? My mood is actually stable and in general I feel good. Some things are actually better now than during my second trimester: I am only doing day shifts which has a great effect on my sleep quality and my alertness, I am actually feeling some of my familiar restlessness again. I’m walking easier now, I suppose my stretchy joints and muscles gave their problems early enough in pregnancy to allow for my body and my muscles to adapt and get stronger. Even my reflux isn’t as bad as it was.

Of course, some things are worse than they were: my belly is pretty big! The floor is getting further away every day and that doesn’t combine too well with pregnancy related clumsiness! Seriously, I’ve dropped my phone perhaps once or twice before pregnancy. Now it gets dropped about daily! Shoes are getting harder to put on too… And sleeping is sometimes a bit challenging. I wake up several times each night, but so far so good.

Another up side of pregnancy: most pregnant women suffer from pregnancy brain…. with me I’m not sure if it’s pregnancy or ADHD but it’s not worse than I normally am! Except people can’t tell the difference and for once in my life I am ‘normal’! (And that strong nesting drive is sort of helping me focus…)

TDH is being very caring, but impatient for his little princess to arrive. He is, like many dads, worrying about money and providing. He wants his business to thrive so he can provide. It’s just very interesting to see how this works: the initial plan was for me to provide and him to be the primary caregiver, but as it is at the moment we’ll be working equal hours. He is also very much in love with BB’s crib mobile… but doesn’t understand my drive to want to make everything pretty.

That drive is rather simple. Style and creativity is a part of who I am, and I don’t feel like myself in all of this. I know motherhood changes you, but I want to make things look good, and I want to look good and I want to make the baby look good because it makes me feel more ‘home’. I need that ‘X factor’. I miss that part of me. And the mismatching nappy bag and pram irritates me.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2016 in ADHD in women, adult ADHD, Busy Baby, Health

 

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Pregnancy and ADHD…

You know that thing called pregnancy brain? You know that thing called ADHD?

In general, my state is the love child of the two of them. I feel hazy most of the time. I lose time, not knowing where it went and what I did with it. I forget things. I have trouble getting anything significant done. I am distracted.

And my hyperactivity is nowhere to be found. I feel hazy and a bit lethargic. I’m more tired than usual, I suppose that’s part of the why.

Class is a nightmare. I spend the day just trying to not fall asleep or fall off my chair. I can’t focus one bit.¬† Their way of educating me is still not a way in which I can learn… and I leave with muscle aches and a horrible mood.

I mean, I don’t want to complain too much and generally my mood is good, but there’s just this one part that is frustrating.

Next time I’m going to make sure to enter pregnancy with a better level of physical fitness.

Next time I’m going to have more of a plan set up before hand. Hah. Hah. Hah.

Next time I probably won’t be working irregular shifts though, that will help a lot.

Irregular shifts don’t help me at all, despite not doing nights. Having to plan every single day doesn’t work for me. I need some sort of structure in my week, so I can spend my scarce mental focus doing more important things than figuring out how and when I’m going to get my exercise in this week, for example, because most of my options are screwed over because of work.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2015 in ADHD, ADHD in women, adult ADHD, Busy Baby, Work

 

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The busy baby…

The busy baby…

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I must say. Busy Baby is definitely living up to his/her name so far. I could feel kicks just before 18 weeks and that is with the placenta lying in front. I mostly feel side kicks! I’m 19 weeks today. 

Baby was moving throughout all 3 sonograms. 

We had the 20 week scan yesterday. Everything looked fine. Baby even fist bumped the probe! 

  
We know the gender but aren’t revealing yet. It’s hard not to put the proper preposition in place here!!!

I’m really excited!! 

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2015 in ADHD in women, Busy Baby

 

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10 things I hate about pregnancy….

1) boob pain. Don’t listen to pregnancy books that say it gets better in second trimester. They’ve been feeling like TDH used them as punching bags since the 3rd week. I’m at 18 now. 

2) I’m going blonde. My natural colour is indecisive and I had been looking forward to my hair turning darker during pregnancy like my mums did. It’s not. It’s turning lighter. Even my precious dark eyebrows are lighter. I hate how soft it makes me look. I’m really disappointed!

3) Having to work on the ED while pregnant. Irregular shifts, messed up sleep, chaos, and when do I get to eat??

4) I feel like an anonymous wall flower with my ash blond hair and lack of style. Everything fits oddly, I feel like it’s hardly worth investing in cool stuff for a few months and none of my old clothes fit. I really don’t feel pretty at all. 

5) I am bigger than I have ever been in my life. I don’t feel comfortable in my pregnant body and can’t wait to get my body back. And I still have over half of the pregnancy left.  Yes, it’s special to grow a tiny human inside me,  but at some point it’s also great to do stuff like sleep on your back and bend over comfortably. 

6) Heartburn. Especially when you find yourself on the sofa in the living room at 5 in the morning, trying to sleep upright after 5 Rennies didn’t work…. Listening to the traffic, the central heating and your helpful pet rat. 

7) That thing where my head is even less functional than normally. I’m barely functioning. I had a brilliant point to add to this 5 minutes ago…

8) I changed my mind about being happy about a winter pregnancy. Give me summer! I half expected to be warmer than usual because many pregnant women are. Not me. Still freezing just as much! And staying warm is a challenge if you don’t fit anything!

9) fatigue. Nope. Not exactly bouncing with energy here and I need a lot of sleep. I struggle to function on the amount of sleep I normally need!

10) Waiting. Waiting for the ultrasound, waiting for progress, waiting for baby to arrive. Hurry up, little one!

 
 

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So here we go, then.

June 8, 2015

We decided to ‘go for it’ about a month ago, perhaps a bit more. I think TDH was very decisive on it about a week after I told one of my best friends I wanted to get pregnant accidentally because I couldn’t imagine planning for something like that.

So here I am, planning for it.

TDH did not make the decision alone, of course.

It’s all really exciting, and somewhat scary.

I’m going to go off meds somehow, and considering it may just as well be sooner rather than later, I decided to ‘practice’ going on without it. I’ve had varying results, let’s just leave it at that.

I’m going to see a gynaecologist this week about the meds and a possible pregnancy. An option would be Effexor, except I don’t see how that should work for me given my sometimes scary results on antidepressants. And I don’t see how I’d want the baby’s first experience in life to be coming off one of the hardest antidepressants to come off of. Poor kid!

I’m taking folic acid and vitamin D, I’m eating more fruit and I’m not worrying about a kilo or two I may have gained for no real reason apart form bad choices: baby food!

We’ve sort of already stopped using contraception, but I’m not pregnant because I just had my period.

I want to talk about it all the time, but at the same time I want it to be a secret. (So I’m drafting this, posting it only AFTER announcing a pregnancy!)

 

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Motherhood impending….

I’m 11w3 days today. Sitting in the passenger seat of Padda while TDH is driving us home from his parents. We had his sister’s bachelorette party and her fianc√©’ bachelors party yesterday. 

Bachelorette parties that include cocktail workshops are a bit different without alcohol. After all, a virgin cocktail is essentially a fancy fruit juice. The irony being that the reason why I need a virgin cocktail has everything to do with not being a virgin. I should have had a Virgin Mary….

I’m really grateful that TDH is driving. Fatigue and being off meds make an hour and a half a long time to be focusing on driving. I’m slowly doing better in the fatigue department and I’m past the morning sickness. Apparently the placenta will take over in the next week or so and I can look forward to the next stage of pregnancy. 

I must say I was struggling over the past weeks. I tend to ‘forget’ that when I do manage to get stuff done. I was dead tired and my head was either exploding or very foggy. Doesn’t help with uni, doesn’t help with something TDH wanted me to do that cost some focus. Rather frustrating. I was too tired to get my limited focus ability to function. 

My mood is generally good despite the struggles, and I don’t think I am more emotional than normally but perhaps TDH is a better judge of that. 

I think I am starting to show a tiny bit. I had a tiny tummy! 

Sometimes I worry a bit that Baby may not be OK… At some point I remembered my grandma and realised: this is never going to end. Better learn to deal with it! 

It’s all part of impending motherhood. 

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2015 in ADHD, ADHD in women, adult ADHD, Busy Baby

 

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