It’s been several weeks since I’ve written about my journey to motherhood. In the last Mommy Monday post, I shared how I was finally pulled out of Postpartum Depression by my third pregnancy in less than three years. It turned out to be the jolt I needed to get my hormones back where they needed to be.
I had a hard time preparing myself for baby #3. But I was blessed yet again with an uneventful pregnancy, a more patient-centered doctor, and a much smoother delivery than my first two (they had been rather nightmarish). When nine months were finally finished, I ended up with a bundle of complete sweetness. God, who thought it would be funny to give me three kids in less than three years (His sense of humor is sometimes lost on me) was kind enough to give me a calm and happy baby this time. I’m convinced that she was the best baby in the entire world. Not one fussy-for-no-reason night. Not one. She slept through the night early and gave me no trouble at all. She was awesome! (She’s four now and is trying to outlive her good reputation!)
As I learned to survive daily life with three babies (thank you, Mama), I was physically exhausted. Of course, who wouldn’t be??! I was chasing a crazy toddler, an 18 month old, and taking care of a newborn. But what I still didn’t know was that hypothyroidism was steadily creeping up on me, sapping what little energy I did have. I’m pretty sure that it started after the birth of my second baby (read about that here), but I had yet to be diagnosed. So now, I was no longer depressed. Instead, I was just fading away mentally and physically…all the while not knowing that I was a poster child for Hypothyroidism.
Who knew that one small butterfly-shaped gland could affect your life so greatly. But what’s worse, is that I ignored just about every symptom I displayed–I wrote them off as the result of life with three babies.
What made me reconsider these symptoms? My OB/GYN. I love her. She took a look at me, listened to me explain my irregular cycles, my dry skin, my sluggishness and asked me if I had ever had my thyroid checked. Nope. I’d had a doctor suggest it might be low, but no one ever pointed me to the lab, scheduled me with an endocrinologist, and arranged for an ultrasound on my thyroid. She’s great….I love her. I owe her my life.
And also owe my life to my endocrinologist (I love him, too) and the tiny little pill that he prescribed for me. It regulates all the important things about my thyroid and makes me feel sane. Makes me clear headed. Gives me energy. It gives me my life back.
After almost two years of poppin’ pills, I’m finally used to feeling as good as I do. Most mornings I wake up feeling pretty good. I don’t freak out when something throws my plans off. I don’t feel anxious or foggy headed or constantly tired or any of the other millions things hypothyroidism can make you feel.
But recently I had a relapse of sorts. For 2 days I forgot to take my medicine. Totally forgot. I woke up busy on both days thinking about all that needed to be done, so I forgot my medicine. Day One: no problems. Day Two: I started feeling a bit tired and worried about how I was going to get everything done. By late afternoon, my head was not feeling the best, and I was tired. That evening I had a meeting. The room was air conditioned and although the other ladies were sweating, my arms were freezing, but the rest of me was hot. My head was hurting. My body started to ache. I had to sit down while the other ladies mingled and talked. My stomach began to feel bad. During part of our meeting, I asked a friend the same question two or three times and couldn’t remember her answer or the fact that I had already asked her. I’m sure she thought I was on drugs! But the fact was I needed some! By the time the meeting was over, I was exhausted. Thankfully, I car-pooled and didn’t have to drive the hour back home. I dozed in the back seat. When I got home, I took my medicine. The next day I stayed in bed and did very little. It took me ALL day to recover. ALL DAY. And I realized, that is how I used to feel every day! (thank you God for my doctors!)
So it’s been a long journey up the mountain of Motherhood, through the forest of postpartum depression, and into the foggy valley of hypothyroidism, but I am finally seeing the mist rise and the sun shine. The past year has been the first time in 7 years that I have been able to think.
I had almost forgotten what it was like.