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You’ve come a long way, baby

30 Apr

Today marks a major milestone for me — I’m sharing my 100th post.

100 posts.

100 times that I’ve bared my pain, vented my woes, shared my secrets, bragged about z-baby, opened my soul… and hoped to nourish yours in the process.

100 times that I’ve wondered what to divulge and how much to share.

100 times that I’ve hit “publish” and felt a little of the weight lifted.

I browsed through my old posts last night, and as I read through them, it was like reading some other woman’s diary. I couldn’t even remember writing some of them. I laughed at some (at least I can make myself laugh, heh?) and flinched from the pain of others. And I was thankful for this woman. Thankful that 1 1/2 years ago, this woman decided, on a whim, to start a secret blog and document her struggle with postpartum depression. I remember that woman… lying on her bedroom floor in the dark, afraid to move a muscle for fear that it would wake up her baby and she’d never get him back to sleep… wondering what other women with this illness actually thought and felt… wondering if she would ever be able to move forward… wondering how to fight the dark thoughts that kept pushing their way into her head.

I can only hope that something I’ve written in these 100 posts has resonated with someone battling postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and/or postpartum OCD, and helped them to know that they’re not alone and that things can get better.

This is a small, humble blog, and I want to say thank you to anyone who has ever read it and for those who have ever left a comment.

And for those of you who are new to The Vaca Loca, I still write a little about postpartum depression, but it has evolved into thoughts and stories about my real life, rather than just my illness. So for nostalgia’s sake, and as a celebration of how far I’ve come in 100 posts, I thought I’d share some of my earlier posts with you all…

  1. How did I get here? — the path to my PPD/PPA/PPOCD
  2. A minute inside my head — the painful record that played in my head 24/7
  3. What tipped the scales — the evolution of thoughts that made me get help
  4. Down with rubber duckies — my meltdown over a rubber duckie
  5. The spa episode — the one where I very nearly killed sig-o before I got help
  6. I do good guilt — really… but what mom doesn’t?
  7. Birth Story — reflections on how z-baby came into this world
  8. Taking care of mom — what happened after the birth story
  9. It’s a love-hate thing — watching sig-o parent through the lens of PPD
  10. And yet — still in the midst of PPD, but know it’s getting better

It’s a Fiesta!

1 Apr

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I am so excited that I just serendipitously ran across 5 Minutes for Mom and their Ultimate Blog Party 2011! And the party started today so I’m actually not late to something for a change.

So for those of you blog hopping your way through the fiesta (yee-haw!), welcome to The Vaca Loca! I started this blog after I was diagnosed with postpartum depression/anxiety/OCD in an attempt to document what it really feels like (for me, at least). I hoped that other moms going through the same thing could relate and know that they’re not alone and that things will get better.

Now that I am feeling better, I’ve been working on re-inventing The Vaca Loca. I still blog about what it’s like to live with the remnants of postpartum depression, but I also write about being a stay-at-home mom to a 2-year old and life in a bi-cultural family. I offer happy thoughts on Mondays and recipes on Fridays. And really, when I sit down to blog, I never know what I’ll be writing about until it starts oozing out. Wanna know more? I must have known, because I recently posted this.

So pull up a chair and stay as long as you’d like. I’d offer you something to drink, but all I have in the fridge is a trickle of whole milk. And let’s face it, I’d just be setting myself up for an early-morning meltdown if I gave away z-baby’s last bit of leche for his cereal.

I’d love to hear from you and look forward to hopping over to your blog, too. Now go get your fiesta on!

Say what?

31 Mar

When I started this blog, I only told two people about it: sig-o and my sister. My sister has had full access to it from the beginning, whereas sig-o only reads it if I ask him to. They’re still the only ones who know about it.

When thinking of what to name the blog, The Vaca Loca immediately came to mind. Loca? Because I felt like I was absolutely losing it at the time due to the postpartum depression. Vaca? Because sometimes (and sometimes still) I felt like that was all I was and all I was good for — a dairy cow, lactating for little z-baby. The Vaca Loca? Well, it was also a little shout out to Manu Chao (me likey mucho!). I knew my husband got it, and I thought I had told my sister what it meant, too (she doesn’t speak Spanish). But maybe not…

The other day I was talking to my sister on the phone and z-baby came up and wanted me to read him a book in Spanish. There was a picture of a cow so I asked him, “¿Qué dice la vaca?” He responded with a cute little, “Muuuuuuuu.” My sister said, “Wait, what did you just say?” I said, “Vaca. You know, like my blog.” There was a long pause. Turns out she thought my blog was called The Vacay Loca, as in the crazy vacation.. And I get it. It never would have dawned on me, but I get it. And I thought that was cute.

Even cuter though was when she visited for Christmas. Z-baby calls all his aunts tía regardless of whether they speak English or Spanish. So one day my sister finally asks, “Why do you all keep talking about tortillas all the time?” It took me a second but then it hit me… we kept saying things like, “Lleva la bolsa a tu tía… Dale un beso a tu tía… Este vaso es de tu tía…” Said fast enough and enough times and yeah, it sounds like we’re obsessed with tortillas! I had to laugh. (Love ya sis! And rest assured that I’m laughing with you!)

Anyway, it made me laugh, so I thought I’d share it with blogdom. We have bilingual mix-ups and blunders with the family all the time… and with a toddler who is talking more and more every day, we’re sure to have a lot more to come.

La Vaca

24 Mar

I’ve been wanting to update my “about” section ever since I started blogging again. But for some reason it doesn’t come easy. I’m never sure what and just how much to share (but that’s another post), so I’ll start with this and call it a work in progress… Let me know what you think — what do you want to know about the Vaca Loca?

When I started this blog and was in the deepest throes of postpartum depression (and anxiety and OCD), all I could muster to say about myself was this:

The Vaca Loca… a lactating, co-sleeping, attachment parenting new mama who thought she had slipped past the postpartum depression monster unscathed…but boy is this vaca loca.

I couldn’t tell you who I was because I didn’t know anymore. But after a lot of work on me and kicking postpartum to the curb, I remember who I am and am discovering more about who I want to be every day. I’m still pretty much all of the above, and while the postpartum depression/anxiety/OCD isn’t making me so loca these days, there’s still plenty loca left around here.

  • I’m a gringa married to a Mexican for 12 years
  • We used to live in Mexico but we’re in the states now
  • We have one living child, z-baby, who just turned two (we lost p-baby during our first pregnancy)
  • I experienced postpartum depression… but thankfully survived
  • A year after z-baby was born I left my career to be a stay-at-home mom (and I LOVE it)
  • I like cooking, reading (though I rarely get to anymore), traveling, camping, and am a yard-sale junkie (pun intended)
  • Every now and then I have those days where everything just seems to fall into place… I get some cleaning done, the baby eats real food, we happily play at the playground, he cuddles and takes a nap and goes down for the night without a fuss. But more often than not I leave piles of clean laundry in the baby’s bed for folding later, the dishes pile up on the counter, the baby has a meltdown when he has to get out of the bath, the dog vomits unidentifiable matter on the carpet (for the 4th time that week), we can’t get our crap together and miss story time at the library, and by the time sig-o comes home from work I’m mumbling like Rainman. I count myself lucky if most of our days fall somewhere in between!

The new Vaca Loca

27 Feb

So waaaay back in August, I made the decision to stop blogging. More than anything I came to a point where I felt like I didn’t need to blog about postpartum depression anymore. I had gone off all my meds (with my doc’s blessing) and was feeling good and was ready to stop thinking about the postpartum as much as I could.

Six months later I’m happy to say that I’m still meds-free and feeling fine. I still think about the postpartum more than I’d like to… but I’ve come to accept that it’s just part of the fabric of who I am now and its remnants will likely always be there. And I’m ok with that.

But I miss my vaca loca. I miss the writing, the venting, the sharing. I follow a few other really great blogs and they’ve inspired me to get back at it (along with some prodding from my sister!).  So I’ve decided to re-invent this little blog. I have no idea what will end up here, but I look forward to finding out.

So here goes nothing…

14 Dec

Here’s my first blog post. Ever. I remember a time not too long ago that I didn’t even know what a blog was. When I found out I thought it was the stupidest idea. Really — why would anyone want to read the daily musings of random people? And who has time for that?

But here I am, on a bit of a whim. I’ll call it therapy (self-prescribed). Some time in the day to myself to do something that is 100% my own. No one knows this little blog even exists, and no one has to read it. But what if they do? Well, then, I’ll call it a contribution (I hope).

You see, postpartum depression is the single most isolating thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. Different than other depression, somehow. And when I went online to read more about it after my diagnosis, I found that I could care less about the technical medical definitions. What I wanted was to hear from other women what it felt like for them. What was going on in their heads, and was it anything close to what was in mine? I didn’t find much, which is frustrating for a woman who does research for a living. Googling was all I could muster, and I could barely even do that. But that in itself is an indicator of my state of mind and testament to how profoundly this condition can affect you.

It has been nearly a month since I was formally diagnosed. Several since I knew in my gut what was going on. And now that the fog is just starting to lift, I thought it might be worthwhile to document this process for other women who find themselves Googling in the middle of the night, searching for voices of other women to assure them that they’re not alone.

Please note that nothing in this blog is ever meant to be medical advice. I’m just sharing my story. If you are suffering from postpartum depression or any other condition, please seek help from a medical professional. And maybe, just maybe, reading my story may help you through your own.

So who is the Vaca Loca? Well, she’s a lactating, co-sleeping, attachment parenting new mama who thought she had slipped past the postpartum depression monster unscathed…but boy is this vaca loca.