Once again today we had a snow day. That means I have spend four days at home, and figured an update should be in the works. So, with my napping seven-week-old daughter in her boba wrap on my chest, here is a little update on how things have been at the home front.
My wife had a successful appointment with a doctor to discuss the postpartum depression and anxiety symptoms we had both noticed. It took a full week from the time we spoke to the OB about it to get the referral, and then another week to schedule an appointment. I was distressed at how long this took, and I am here to tell you if you are a parent or new dad in the same situation: harass the doctor's office about it. It is absolutely what they deserve, because OB doctors (at least the ones we have seen) don't seem to take these issues seriously. Since patients of OB doctors are people likely to experience postpartum mood disorders, I find this absurd. Don't feel bad about bugging them for help that you or your partner need.
I was surprised to learn some of the things that had actually been going through my wife's head, although they are thoughts typical for PPD/PPA sufferers. I was very impressed with the way the doctor listened, offered measured, neutral advice as to how to proceed. Ultimately my wife chose to try a pharmaceutical option as well as perinatal therapy. I have noticed a huge change just in the past week -- we are happy together and interacting with our beloved daughter, and things have a greater sense of calm in our home.
Our beloved daughter has also been reacting to our faces and smiling -- and I can't explain the feeling from this. It is something above happy to have her interact with us. Prior to this she would cry when she needed something, but there was so little interaction that it made the extra demands (lack of sleep, lack of time to eat, etc.) really take a toll on us. This addition is... very fulfilling.
She has also been in love with the clock in our bedroom. I had bought this clock a bunch of years ago to hang in my study. It has a pendulum on it that swings back and forth. When I turned the music room into our master bedroom this past fall, I neglected to move it into the basement where my study is now, so it is right over the bed. My wife says she stares at it all day, and smiles and giggles at it. The clock is really comforting to her... for whatever reason.
She also really likes the elephant print we have up in her nursery, right over the changing pad. The whole nursery is elephant themed, and again we had this print for a long time so we decided to hang it up over the dresser. She smiles whenever she sees it, which is every time she gets her diaper changed. I suppose it is better that she associates that with happy things, though.
So today on this second snow day I have spent a lot of time with the baby, wearing her close to my chest and letting her sleep. My wife is getting some rest in. The plan is that in a bit we will make some cookies together, which I am very excited about. Those of you who have read Scott Jurek's Eat and Run will possibly remember the mention of "cookies made with whole wheat flour, peanut butter, and oats". I decided to do some research, looked around and found a lot of mention of them, but no recipe.
After having heard so much about them I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted something similar, and my wife, who is a tremendous baker came up with a recipe. We use really good ingredients -- I usually even splurge for high quality butter. We call them "thunder cookies" after the cookies described in Jurek's book, which come from the Positively 3rd St. Bakery in Duluth, Minnesota. I have no idea if our cookies are anywhere close to the cookies at the bakery, but I like them and find them to be a great joy as I train through the cold winter months.
I will post an update with the recipe for these Thunder Cookies once we have made them! Our recipe is a basic cookie recipe tweaked to get to a place that we really like.