31 Jan
I’m Pregnant And Depressed But Are Drugs The Answer?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I am currently almost 4 months pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant I was taking an antidepressant. I immediately got off of it. My problem is that I am now suffering from severe depression and having panic attacks almost every day.

I went to see a new OB/GYN at the suggestion of a friend (my old OB wasn’t well versed in medications). This doctor believes that it would be better for me to be on the antidepressant than to suffer like this through the rest of my pregnancy. She has even suggested that I see a psychiatrist.

My problem is that I’m really conflicted and scared. I don’t want to hurt my baby. My family thinks that if I take anything it will detrimental to my child’s health. I really want to do what is right for my baby but I don’t think that my current mental and emotional state is helping either. What should I do?

Please help!

Anxious About Antidepressants

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Dear AAA,

People are really great because just as we all bleed red (except Tom Cruise, I think his insides are made of green slime) we also all have opinions. And we love to share them!

I’m not sure if any of your family members are medical professionals so I can’t speak to their qualifications but even so, it’s possible that their closeness to the situation is interfering with their judgment. And family pressure can be especially difficult to handle.

It’s best to begin to draw your boundaries now because this is just the tip of the iceberg. Wait until you have chosen a name for the child, at least 75% of your family will know a dog, drug addict, or vagabond with that name. And when you want to sleep train or not sleep train your child you will get no fewer than 20 suggestions as to what you should really do, these may or may not include the following:

-give the baby a drop of whiskey

-wear ear plugs

-sleep with your child until they are 12

-bundle the baby in no less than 5 layers, including hat and mittens

-walk around the crib 2 times clockwise

-call Tom Cruise and ask his advice

The good news is, it sounds like your new OB/GYN is being extremely careful. The fact that she even wants you to go and see a psychiatrist for a another opinion regarding your mental health tells me that she is really looking out for both your welfare and that of your unborn child.

I have to note here, however, that I am biased. I struggled with depression and anxiety throughout my pregnancy and was prescribed an antidepressant by my doctor, who specializes in pregnancy and women’s mental health. She doesn’t recommend a lot of medication and she was extremely cautious about what I took, making sure I was at the lowest dosage necessary. My son was born happy, healthy and a week late. I’m only telling you this so that you know you are NOT alone, I am not trying to persuade you one way or the other.

Everything we put in our bodies comes with a certain amount of risk and this goes triple for medication. The important thing to focus on here is the question of whether the benefits outweigh that risk. This decision should be made between you, your partner, and your doctor and no one else.  I could go into numerous studies done on women with depression who didn’t take anything while pregnant and studies done on those who did, but I believe that this is the domain for your OB/GYN and your psychiatrist. They will help you to choose the right route for you and your baby.

The best of luck!

Tonya, TMH

 

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30 Jan
Unplug!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

It seems that whenever I go out with my girlfriends, they spend so much time looking at their smart phones that I wonder even why they bother going out. I’ve mentioned that I find it rude but they sort of keep sneaking peeks, claiming that the babysitter may be trying to reach them.

Any ideas?

Signed,

Luddite
___________________________________

Dear Luddite (Does that rhyme with Crudite?),

Yeah, I hear you. I hear you because I also have friends and family members who tell me that I’m on my (Very) Smart (and Beautiful) phone all the time. But I can’t help it! What if I’m spending time with my friends like an idiot and miss an email about Target’s latest promotion or a text from one of my kids letting me know that the other one is a HUGE STUPID DUMMY! Or a tweet! OMG. What if someone tweets and I’m not there to see it? Will that tweet even exist?

If this existential exploration isn’t exactly what you had in mind, I have some other ideas.  (And I’m going to assume, based on your question, that you already had the mature “It bothers me when you constantly check your phone while we’re out together because it makes me feel like you’re not fully present and are also probably plotting to kill me” and “the babysitter may be trying to reach me” is the grandchild of “the dog ate my homework” discussion. )

1. Play a fun game! I heard of a new trend of everyone putting their phones into the center of the table and the first person to reach for hers pays for everyone’s dinner. Surf and Turf with truffles, here you come!

2. Every time someone checks her phone, say “OMG, is everything alright? What was THAT all about? No, I don’t believe that it was nothing. Let me see! GIVE ME THAT PHONE!”

3. Instead of meeting at local restaurant next time, try a nearby cave (call ahead to make sure there’s no WiFi). Spelunking is the latest craze! Probably.

Hopefully, you and your friends will find a happy medium (try Patricia Arquette!) and  your friendship can survive this difference of opinion on etiquette.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

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27 Jan
Up Close and Personal With the Housewives: Meet Marinka!

Hello! It’s time, once again, for Meet the Housewives! Last week we enjoyed getting to know Wendi and now we’re ready to Meet Marinka!

Name: Marinka

Hometown: NYC

Age: 44, but looks younger. Especially in childhood photos.

And now here are some Q & As that will answer all the questions you never had about her!

If you were stranded on an island what celebrity would you choose to be stranded with and why?

Johnny Depp. He speaks Pirate.

Which would you rather:
-Strawberry Hill or Zima?

I don’t do drugs.

-sleep with Karl Rove or give a full body massage to Gary Busey?

A little late with that question. (Call me!)

If you were a stripper, what would be your signature song?

If? Fine. I Will Survive. It’s a klassik.

What’s your blood type?

AB-. What’s yours? I always like to surround myself with potential donors.

Who is your favorite comedian?

Robin Williams.

Why is the sky blue?

Because grass called green.

Square or rounded?

Square. OMG, does someone choose rounded?

What should they name the first Royal Child?

Prince.

Most embarrassing memory?

Yeah, right. Do I look like I was born yesterday?

What are you currently reading?

These questions. Is this a trick one?

Why do fools fall in love?

So that we can have reality TV.

If you were on a desert island, what three items (or people) would you bring?

A ship, a captain, and probably Tenille.

That’s all there is to know about Marinka! Nothing else! Certainly no criminal record or anything, so stop asking! We’ll be back soon with another Up Close and Personal Q&A! Will it be Kelcey? Tonya? Kristine? Perhaps Wendi will get some more questions to answer! Try to enjoy the weekend amid all the suspense!

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26 Jan
Help! My Nanny Can’t Hold My Baby!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I’ve recently gone back to work so we had to get a nanny for our 4 month old. A friend of ours loves her nanny and our babies are about the same age so we have decided to do a nanny share where the woman watches both babies. I thought that this was working out really well until recently when I learned that the nanny doesn’t hold my baby very much.

My friend’s daughter is much louder and needier than my son so it seems like he is getting the short end of the stick.   When they go out, the nanny has my friend’s baby in the Bjorn while my son is stuck in the stroller. And when it’s feeding time she has the girl in her arms with a bottle while my son is, once again, stuck in the swing or bouncer!

I’m really worried that my child isn’t getting enough physical contact! Am I being overly paranoid and high maintenance? The nanny is really great in every other way!

Signed,

Please Hold My Baby

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Dear Hold My Baby Dammit,

I don’t think you are being paranoid or overly high maintenance.

If you were, your worries would include:

-Is the nanny watching me while I sleep?

-Can she hear my thoughts when I’m not wearing my foil hat?

-Why won’t she use military corners when making my son’s bed?

-Is the nanny planning on stealing my child and selling him to Angelina Jolie?

-Why won’t the nanny feed my son his rice cereal from our best china?

-Doesn’t the nanny know my son only likes Beethoven Symphony performed by the New York Philharmonic, NOT the Old El Paso Orchestra!

It seems to me that your concern is warranted. The sense of touch is the primary way a mother or caregiver communicates with her baby. And given that the skin is the largest sense organ, this makes it extremely important. Studies have shown that touch helps in both the growth of the body and the brain, and can even aid in digestion. Physical contact, such as holding, hugging, and massaging, creates a sense of security and attachment that helps babies to blossom.

That being said, attachment studies have also shown that it’s more about quality contact than quantity. So your real concern should be if the nanny is able to give your son the quality interaction he deserves.   Does she respond to him immediately when he needs it? Does she talk to him? Does she hold him other times of the day? Certainly, if he were in daycare this would be the case. And there are thousands/millions of children who thrive in that environment.

It’s time to have a serious heart-to-heart with your nanny.   Because, not only is she in charge of your most precious bundle of joy, but she is also being paid to be a nanny – not a daycare. And taking this one step further, you really have to listen to your gut. You are your son’s mother. You know him best. If this situation doesn’t make you feel comfortable, then change it. There’s no need to throw around labels like “high maintenance” when it comes to your child. You want what is best for him. Even if that means getting a nanny just for him.

Good Luck,

Tonya, TMH

Here are a few interesting articles on the subject:

Brain Development in Childhood

How Important is Physical Contact With Your Infant?

Stimulation and Development During Infancy: Tuning in to Your Baby’s Cues

And this book is an amazing resource*:

What’s Going on in There? How The Brain and Mind Develop in The First Five Years of Life by Lisa Eliot, PhD

I read this while I was pregnant and have gone back to it throughout my son’s 4 (sometimes seemingly LONG) years.

*This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

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25 Jan
D-I-V-O-R-C-E spells PARTY TIME!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My good friend “Cindy” and I are both in our 40′s. She recently got divorced and now, quite understandably, she wants to go out to clubs and bars and start mingling. The problem is that she wants me to go with her because she doesn’t want to go alone. I’m happily married and don’t have the time or desire to hang out in a singles bar, but I still want to support her. Advice?

Signed,

Not Single, Don’t Wanna Mingle

_________________________

Dear Not Single,

One thing nobody tells you about in your 20′s—when you and all of your friends are out every night meeting guys—is that half of you will be doing it all over again 20 years later. Only this time most of the guys will be bald, disillusioned and taking medicine for their high cholesterol. It’s like Cocoon meets Sex and the City meets Dr. Oz. HOT!

Anyway, while you’re a good friend for supporting her, of course you can’t accompany her on her nightly Man Trawls or you’ll soon be divorced yourself. Therefore, I have a few (brilliant) suggestions for you:

1. Find another single or divorced woman you know and hook them up. They no doubt have a lot in common and would love to spend time going out to clubs together. (Think  The First Wives Club, but without the poor writing and lip syncing to Motown songs.)

2. Suggest Cindy try another way of meeting men, such as Match.com, eHarmony or the new dating/tax service I just invented two minutes ago called “Heart o’ Tax” where you can go on a date with a CPA and have him do your taxes before he kisses you good night. 1099! 1099! Oh, God, 10…99!

3. Related to #2, see if she’s interested in being set-up with a single man you know, then maybe go on a double date. That way she still has you around as back-up, but it’s a little more civilized than a single’s bar where people lick things off of other people and then scream “Woohoo!” and have to go to the county health clinic a week later.

4. Do not, under any circumstances, call her a Cougar, a Puma or a Mountain Snow Leopard because it will only hurt her feelings. Unless, of course, she’s dating a 25-year-old guy named Colton who works at a kiosk.

But my biggest piece of advice is for you is to realize that she’s probably sewing some wild oats (or “sowing” if you prefer the “correct” usage of that term) and will calm down soon enough. Divorce is incredibly stressful and she’s now just enjoying herself as much as she can. So be there, support her and listen to the stories about all the hot guys she met last night.

Especially the bald ones who have high cholesterol.

Sincerely,

Wendi, TMH

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