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Archer: 15, 16 & 17 Months Old

2016-05-31 18.06.02There hasn’t been much of a monthly update in awhile on Sir Archer which is the plight of the second child, is it not? But beyond that, the past few months have kind of been a blur. It was probably in April when I started to feel really overwhelmed, exhausted, and kind of struggling in general. Depression was creeping in. My anxiety spiked and I had a couple of whopper panic attacks.

I recognized the signs because I started to feel that way back in September or October of last year and went to my OB to get some help. I didn’t want to get as bad as I had with Jude and this time around, I knew how to recognize and get help for postpartum depression and anxiety. But this spring’s relapse was super frustrating – I had been doing so well from November thru March. Why was I nosediving into anxiety again?

As I thought about it, I realized there was a lot going on: lots of travel (High Point and our PCH trip), lots of stress (hello, home tour – I’m looking at you), the Better Homes & Gardens shoot (round 2 of Stress-O-Rama), and lack of sleep. Not to mention the overall stress of having TWO KIDS which is oh-so-much harder than just one.  In other words, a potent cocktail for disaster. The biggest problem of all of this was that I was still getting up with Archer (who sleeps in his room upstairs) at least once a night, more often twice. And frankly, I was REALLY over it.

So it was back to counseling I went (I’ve gone off and on since I was pregnant with Jude 8 years ago) and started to work on a plan to get some support. As the summer months loomed (all you moms know the fear of unscheduled time), I hired a babysitter to come to our house twice a week (the first time I’ve ever hired a sitter if you can believe it) to give me a break, I dialed back our commitments overall, and finally I got help for Archer’s sleep issues.

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A friend of mine suggested reaching out to a local sleep consultant to help get Archer (and me) sleeping through the night. Listen, I know that talking about sleep when it comes to babies is like setting off a grenade on the internet: there are SO MANY OPINIONS. And I won’t go into great detail on what we did specifically because really, it doesn’t matter to anyone other than us. (If you want specifics, I am more than happy to share them with you!) I needed/wanted someone to give me a step-by-step plan on exactly what to do and how to do it. I knew Archer needed to be weaned off the bottle, but I was surprised too to hear that he needed to go back to 2 naps a day. (I’d dropped one nap out of frustration because he’s been such a crap sleeper.)

I steeled myself for what I assumed was going to be so difficult on all of us, but surprisingly (mercifully!) he adjusted super quickly. And I am not even kidding – within a couple of days he was sleeping all night long. It was a total miracle. He’s so much happier and likewise I am too.

It was easily the best money I’ve spent in a long time.  But beyond the plan of action she provided? I felt supported. Like I could breathe again and that someone else understood what I was going through. That, my friends, is priceless.

So that’s the big update on months 15-17. The short version is this: if you’re starting to feel like you’re sliding into some place dark, know that you’re not alone. GET HELP. Depression and anxiety is a big fat ugly liar and you CAN get better. (I also found great support in sites like Postpartum Progress)

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Likes: basketballs, stuffed animals, Nickels, dogs in general, climbing everything, swinging in the backyard

Dislikes: swimming (what?!), being strapped down, riding in the car, being told no.

I love you so much, sweet boy. We are all so thrilled with you and your delightful little personality as you continue to become your own little person.

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  • “It was easily the best money I’ve spent in a long time. But beyond the
    plan of action she provided? I felt supported. Like I could breathe
    again and that someone else understood what I was going through. That,
    my friends, is priceless.”

    Thank you for writing this today. What you said above is something I’ve been trying to put into words for the last few months. It’s still hard for others (family, friends) to understand; they want to know why they aren’t considered ‘support,’ but sometimes it’s important to have someone’s (a professional) understanding who knows what you’re dealing with, specifically, and can offer constructive help and – like you said – a plan to deal with what you’re going through.

    Glad to hear things have settled down with your family’s sleeping schedule. A good night’s sleep, alone, is enough to improve your day-to-day. 🙂

  • Sarah1964

    Just thought I’d write a couple things after finding your website/blog through another Instagram account. You know how it is, you follow all of these links to other sites, which (generally) tend to be curated by people with a great sense of design and an eye for composing the perfect shot. While it’s beautiful and inspiring, it can also be a bit daunting, as I think people can’t help but compare their own imperfect lives. So I think it’s just so amazing to have people like you share struggles that they’re having, offer strategies for coping with said struggles, and basically, just be human. I think it’s an easy trap to think that other people’s lives often look effortless, while our own feel much more imperfect, and the internet just amplifies this. So while I’m always eager to look at new, lovely design ideas, it’s really gratifying to know that in addition to that, you’ve just used this platform to share and be honest, which has probably helped a lot of people.

    • Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. I agree – it’s far too easy to assume thanks to social media that everything is peachy in someone’s life. I mean, it is the highlight reel, after all, is it not? I enjoy sharing pretty stuff and creating gorgeous photos, rooms, etc, but the real joy comes from sharing personal experiences that hopefully make all of us feel a little less alone.

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