being told you have the hormone level of a 90 year old woman (when you are only 33) does a few things - #1. helps you understand why you've been feeling absolutely terrible for the past 18 months #2. makes you a little mad that nobody came to this conclusion sooner (eventhough you mentioned this possibilty several times) and #3. provides relief in knowing you don't have to keep questioning yourself and your body and gives you hope that you will be pleasant to be around once again. finally, after months of searching for answers, this is mine. after numerous tests and dr. visits, i had a saliva test done to test my hormone levels and this is what we have found - my estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEAS and cortisol levels are all so low, it's actually a small miracle that i can function at all and that i haven't had a true nervous break down yet and basically means i have extreme adrenal fatigue. (not that i haven't felt like it might actually happen on several occasions). obviously this is really personal for me, especially to share out there on the world wide web, but i think it is really important to share because i can only hope that maybe my struggle to track this down might help someone else who is experiencing the same thing.
here's the run down:
the first 12 months of channing's life were rough for me, as i know they are for all new moms, but i really felt there was more happening with me than might be normal. we struggled with nursing and i had a lot of difficulty functioning on such little sleep. i was terribly impatient with luc and was so irritable. we thought it might be postpartum but, i really didn't feel depressed...just EXTREMELY exhausted and unable to get back on track. as soon as we hit the 12 month mark, and channing began sleeping through the night, i was certain it would get better. nope. 13 months came along and she stopped nursing...ok, now it will get better since i truly have my body back to myself. still no. i have never wanted to go back and not have the baby...i've just wanted to go back and feel like i did before i had the baby - to feel like myself again.
here's the deal- i know the difference being extremely tired and overwhelmed by responsibilities and how i have been feeling for the past months. yes, i am very tired and overwhelmed, like many new moms, but i am also very foggy in my thinking which makes it very tough to focus and multi-task, unable to gain any energy (even when sleeping a full 8 hours at night), having a lot of difficulty getting up in the mornings (and this is coming from someone who taught a 5:30 am spinning class for almost 10 years), hitting walls in the middle of the day which hit me out so hard i can barely keep going to take care of channing, being exhausted at night but not sleeping well, being very cranky and irritable, feeling very anxious about even the smallest of challenges, having headaches and weird aches and pains, very itchy skin, have a very difficult time making decisions about anything. i have wanted badly to work out and get back in shape and just couldn't because i don't have the energy to go to the gym or get on my spin bike. (thank goodness for the good weather and channing's love being outside because walking every day has been the only way i've kept myself sort of sane and felt like i've gotten a little bit of exercise). this is not me. and i am pretty tired of people saying things like "well, this is just how it is after you have a baby. your life has changed." i don't buy that. i've felt for, quite some time now, that a lot of people haven't believed me...that maybe i was just depressed and couldn't get out of it. maybe i'm just being cranky and not looking enough on the bright side. i have been told i had a parasite, that i needed more vitamin D and more sleep (duh) and that i wasn't eating enough protein. this, all by doctors. well, i addressed all of these concerns and nothing provided any changes or results. i've been tested for mineral and vitamin deficiencies, allergies to wheat, viral infections, thyroid issues. nothing. it has been a big struggle. i have honestly been afraid i might feel like this the rest of my life and that has really scared me.
i am now anxiously awaiting supplemental creams (including progesterone, testosterone and DHEAS) to arrive in the mail so that i can, hopefully, starting getting some relief. i can't even tell you how relieved i am to know that this is what has been causing so much of my challenges. i know i still have a bit of a road ahead of me but i also know that soon, hopefully very soon, i will start to feel more like myself again.
thank you for your support, i know a lot of women go through difficult things after the birth of their child. and i appreciate the support i've been given, instead of being given up on. xoxo