"KNOWING" *me* Answer Edition

 What would you consider your #1 greatest achievement in life?

EASY. The birth of my children! I can honestly say that I was a bit of a lost soul before I had children. Throughout my entire teens and twenties I was always "searching" for something to fulfill me and I never did find it until the moment my son was born.; suddenly I was instantly gratified. I felt like my path was laid, my goals were set, anything else was trivial at best.

 What is your hands down most amazingly favorite memory of your relationship with your husband??
Oh....Oh......Oh......this is SOOOOO hard. I have known the man for 17 years, dated for 10 and married for 5 so we have been through it all together!!!
My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Italy traveling the country for 16 days. I believe it was our second night in Italy, we had arrived in Genova, which is GORGEOUS by the way. I highly recommend spending a good amount of time there if you get the chance to go.
We had dinner at this little restaurant tucked behind houses and alleyways and winding streets. It was in fact, a house. A family home. The mother and father were in the kitchen cooking, the sons and daughters were our servers. There was NO menu. You ate what they were cooing that night. PERIOD. It was glorious. We sat down at a table outside on their family patio and were served a 7 course meal. We must have sat there for 4 hours eating and drinking and TRULY, TRULY for the first time enjoying our time as husband and wife together. 
I would say it was the most romantic night of my life easily! 

 If you didn't have/weren't able to have children, how would your life be different?
I wouldn't even be the same person I don't think. Having children had fulfilled me in a way that nothing else ever has. I am beyond grateful and blessed to have those tiny angels in my life.

Do you see a therapist for your depression? Do you feel like it has helped you?
Yes, I have a Psychiatrist and a psychotherapist in fact. I like therapy A LOT and I find it very helpful. I strongly suggest seeking the professional help of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist if you feel you are depressed or just have some things you need to work out. Honestly, It has saved my life.

 If you had to live on three foods/dishes for the rest of your life what would they be?
Oh Lordie..................this one is HARD!!!!! Okay let me think, I'm going to say,  PASTA (I'm Italian through and through) A GREAT salad, and fresh berries served in yogurt. 
There you have it! 

Do you take meds for your depression now or only when you're not pregnant?
I only take meds for depression when I am not pregnant or breastfeeding.  I have been taking them on and off for about 8 years. I have tried several times to get off of them when I'm NOT pregnant but always end up relapsing so for now it is what it is.  
 However, this is totally a personal choice and many, many woman prefer to stay on their anti depressants during their pregnancies and that is a decision that is up to you and your doctor to make. 

I don't exactly have a question but I'm wondering if you can try and explain depression/what you go through to those of us who have never dealt with it. I try REALLY hard to be compassionate and understanding but--as someone who is happy by default--I just don't get it. I feel awfully ignorant.

This is a very broad question and many people who suffer with depression suffer with different types. I have what they call "Major Depressive Disorder" and also "Seasonal or cyclical" depression.  SO what does that mean?
 Basically is means that there is a chemical imbalance in my brain and it also means that it gets better or worse depending on the time of year (worse in the winter, better in the summer). It means that typically my dopamine and serotonin is out of balance which can cause all kinds of problems like, depression, anxiety, inability to cope, insomnia..........the list could go on forever an differs in everyone.
The kind of depression that I happen to struggle with puts me into a very reclusive, self destructive place. Whenever I have had a major breakdown, I end up not being able to physically  get out of bed for 2-6 days at a time, meaning, I cannot even make it to a phone to call for help. I have had to drop out of school on two separate occasions due to episodes of this nature.  Usually a few months prior to this "breakdown" I will end up gaining 20-40 pounds and generally just starting to go downhill, not being able to manage my life.. I stop paying the pills, I stop returning important calls, I can barely make it to work. 
Typically if  I stay on my medication I will not have any episodes of this nature. Each time one has occurred it has been because I have stopped taking my meds. Anti depressants aren't like "happy pills". There is A HUGE misconception that when you take anti depressants your going to get some kind o f 'high". Let me assure you, you will NOT!!!!! You don't even feel it. It doesn't make you into a different person with a different personality. It literally just restores a balance in your brain that needs to be corrected. Many, many people who struggle with depression will result to using drugs or alcohol to try to self medicate for the imbalance, obviously, this just make things worse but the point is,  as a person suffering with depression and anxiety, I just want to feel normal, not happy all the time or crazy energetic. I just want to feel like I can function and when I am depressed I cannot. 
I hope this has shed a little light on this subject. I just want you all to know that have ever experienced depression that it is not an excuse, a cop out, or a way to get something easier. TRUST ME!!!!! Everything comes much harder in fact. It is a medical diagnosis that needs to be treated like a disease process just like Diabetes or pneumonia. 
It's serious and I mean it!

This is kinda an odd question, but what are some ways your family has been able to help you with your depression? And what are some things that have helped them?
I think my kids probably help me on a daily basis, just seeing their faces, knowing they need me.  My husband is an angel when it comes to my depression, he has always been very, very understanding of it so whatever I need from him,  he has always provided for me.  I don't know if my depression or me in a depressed state has helped them at all. Maybe my children will  grow up with a greater sense of understanding and compassion for people who suffer with depression and anxiety but that is the best I can hope for.

 Any plans to do a "words of wisdom from a mom's viewpoint" type of post/series?
This is a great idea and I have actually asked a couple mom bloggers to do guest posts that include this type of subject matter so maybe it can become a series:)

 Your thoughts on going back to work after baby #3 comes?
Ummmmm................pretty much the thought of it makes me want to break down in  tears right here and now. It always does and always have. I DO NOT want to work. I DO NOT want to leave my children!! If and when I go back to work it will be because i have to.

 What is your favorite holiday(s) and why?
usually Christmas, especially since having children; all that matters is seeing their little faces light up with all the Christmas Magic that abounds! 

WHAT I'M WEARING at almost 30 weeks:
Dress: Mod Cloth
Jacket: Target
Leggings: Wet Seal
Boots: My new Minnatonka Moccasin Boots
Sunnnies: Loran Conrad for Kohls

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Priscilla said...

Thanks for sharing. I like you. I feel like I'm going to be like your answer to number one. I'm fairly happy now, but deep down not fulfilled. I think a child will change all of that and I'll never look back.

Lala H said...

Ah how cute!!! i so miss being pregnant!!!


xo lala

Robyn Burke said...

great post-- so informative, especially in covering your depression. so many of us struggle with depression at some point in our lives-- whether it's a short term episode or an ongoing issue. The misconceptions need to be cleared up and you provided a lot of that.

Jenny Lynn said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am following you now.

There are so many misunderstandings about depression and what works for one person may not work for another. It really is about finding out what works best for you. After having children I battle the blues, but chose not to take anything. Personal reason. I enjoyed visiting your blog.

Hollie "Jet" Black-Ramsey said...

Hello! I'm just swinging by to thank you for following my blog. Thank you for sharing about your depression as well. I've been on meds for about seven years for it and now I'm 37 weeks pregnant with my first child. I was super worried that I'd have to stop my meds during the pregnancy and risk turning into something awful but thank God my meds are super low risk AND I can take them during breastfeeding. We really won't be able to see if there are any negative affects until the baby is born but in my case it would be a greater risk for me to stop taking the meds. I hate being the slave to a pill but it sure beats the alternative!

Jordan Jaked said...

Your outfit is amazing.

I appreciate your honesty about depression. I continue to struggle with it after losing my mom to cancer, almost two years ago, during my last semester of college.

I am now following and excited to hear more from you!!


Elizabeth Ann @ Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box said...

Aww! Congrats on your pregnancy! :-) I'm pretty jealous of all of the snow y'all have since we are from Texas! Thanks for sharing about depression. :-(

Maria said...

Hi Hanna!! I found your blog through Lauren's page and have enjoyed reading all of your wonderful, insightful posts. Your story is so incredibly inspiring...I couldn't stop reading! Congratulations on your pregnancy - you look so happy and beautiful!! Love the mustard dress and capelet!
Thank you for sharing such honesty in all your posts...it's refreshing!
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

toi said...

Beautiful post. thanks for sharing. i love the pictures and the way the sun beams you and your smile. such joy to read. beautiful. happy holidays to you and family.

toi @msbabyplan.blogspot.com

Charlotte said...

oh my word you are adorable!

Bethany@http://thislittleestate.blogspot.ca/ said...

HOW HAVE I GONE THIS LONG without findng your beautiful blog? i love your writing style and how these answered questions now make me feel like we are bff's.
PS: you are absolutely stunning pregnant!!!!

Heather said...

Thanks for answering all these questions about yourself. Your explanation of depression was wonderful and I sort of feel like I get it now--if I can even say that. I think it's wonderful that you're so open about it. I have a friend who blogs about her depression because she says it's important that people know about it! It's not taboo to talk about, it doesn't make you a bad person. It's not something you have any control over, just like any other illness, like you said!!

Thanks so much! You're great :) And your outfit it great! Honestly, you make being pregnant look so fashionable! When I'm someday in need of ideas for what to wear/how to dress while pregnant, your blog will be my go-to I'm sure!



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