Plan of Attack for a High-Needs Boy and an Overwhelmed Mom. Part 1.

10 Jan

The week before Christmas was one of the hardest weeks I’ve endured with the wily Seabass.  He was fussy, often frantically so, and generally dissatisfied with every shred of his existence.   The torrential downpours didn’t help.  Oh the weather outside was frightful, but indoors it was HELL UNLEASHED.  Trapped in a 900-square foot house with an ill-tempered Seabass, I resorted to racking my brain for any obscure errand I might run just to get out.  Finally, the magic hour arrived and Jake was home for 10 whole glorious days.

And I exhaled.

But before falling into the support and blissful contentment that my dear husband brought home with him, I vowed to devise a full complement of ways to keep me and Seabass happier in the months to come.  So, each day this week, I’ll share something new I’m trying to squeeze a little more satisfaction out of motherhood.  Maybe these ideas will work, maybe they won’t.  I hope you’ll come along and see.

Today: B Vitamins.

Pills are good! Pills are GOOOOOOD!

My mom is a big believer in vitamins and herbs.  I’ve often shared some emotional or physical struggle with her that ellicits a suggestion to take one specific vitamin or other.  Occasionally I’ve followed her advice, buying a bottle of St. John’s Wort or Evening Primrose Oil or even a simple women’s multivitamin.  Inevitably, though, I’ve taken a week’s worth, then let it sit on the kitchen counter for a few months before stowing it away in the medicine cabinet, never to see it again. 

But when I hit the brick wall of postpartum depression, a friend told me about how B vitamins helped her stay sane after she transitioned off of anti-depressants.  I didn’t know the first thing about Vitamin B, other than the fact that it lies somewhere between Vitamins A and C.  So I did some research. 

The simplest, most comprehensive explanation of B Vitamin benefits I found says that taking a daily supplement that includes all 11 of the B Vitamins can:

  • Ease stress – yup, got that
  • Treat anxiety and depression – yup got that too
  • Aid memory – what memory?
  • Relieve PMS – no comment
  • Reduce heart-disease risk – yup, runs in the family

So I checked with my lactation consultant to ensure that a B Complex wouldn’t cause any problems with nursing Seabass.  Then I called my pharmacist to see if it would interfere with my anti-depressants.  Once the coast was clear, I bought a simple B Complex from Trader Joe’s that I’ve been taking every morning with my giant bowl of cereal.  To be honest, I have no idea if it’s working yet.  But I like that I’m doing something good for myself, and I’m committed to seeing it through for at least the next few months.  Because how can you tell if something’s working unless you give it a real go?

10 Responses to “Plan of Attack for a High-Needs Boy and an Overwhelmed Mom. Part 1.”

  1. Kendra January 10, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    I like this. Can we suggest things for you to try?, kind of like a guinny pig. Reading this I might try adding the B complex to my vitamin routine as well. Another thing to try is you can add yoga. There is research coming out of UCLA and Harvard showing how Yoga produces similar outcomes as those on an anti-depressant/anxiety medication. There is a therapist/yogi out of Arizona, Amy Wynthraub (sp?), who’s practice is focused on this connection between yoga practice and reduction of depression and anxiety symptoms. The researdh is supporting women who are pregnant to wean off their psychotropic medication while pregnant, and to gain the symptom reduction with yoga. Might be worth checking out new mommy woes. Thanks again Jamie for helping us new mom’s face the ever changing cycle of motherhood.

    • jaimeclewis January 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

      You’re psychic. I’m addressing exercise – specifically yoga – later this week. Nice job.

  2. g January 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Great plan. At least the first step. I may break your heart to tell you that not all vitamins are made equal. I love Trader Joe’s as much as the next girl – but to make sure you are getting the best out of the good stuff go with Rainbow or Now companies for vitamins.
    Second – your son is not a “high needs boy” he is what we call a BABY. That is what they are. Anyone wanna chip in for the CBASS therapy fund? 😉

    • jaimeclewis January 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

      That is really good to know – I mean, about all vitamins not being created equal. I’m going to finish off my bottle of TJ’s stuff and then buy my vitamins from your suggested companies.

      As for Seabass being high-needs, I’ll just leave it to my incredibly calm, well-adjusted, not-easily-spooked husband to back me up.

  3. Auntie K January 11, 2011 at 1:08 am #

    I hate taking vitamins and finally found the solution for me- vitamin powder that I put on my cereal or in my yogurt each morning. I could not live without it and have been taking it now for about 15 years. I wish I had started earlier. Do you remember Doug from the music workshops? It is his family business. It may be sold in stores where you are or you can order online.

    Here is their website

  4. Becka January 11, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    I’m so anxious to hear if this helps. Baby-raising is a trip, isn’t it!? I have a 6 month old who didn’t sleep much for a few months so I feel your pain. What anti-depressant are you taking? I’m been toying with the idea of starting one… but haven’t taken the time to research which ones are ok with breastfeeding.

  5. AKeo January 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    I keep reading more and more about how many people don’t get enough B Vitamin and the negative effects it has. And yes, try it for more than a week. My mom’s crazy probiotic cured me of a nasty stomach problem years ago.


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