Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An intro

My name is Cheryl Bradley.  I'm 32 years old and live in Texas.  I have a beautiful 2 year old daughter, Tessa, and have been married for 5 years to my husband.  Since she was born in Dec. 2007, I have been breastfeeding Tessa, and she is still nursing today at 2.  While extended breastfeeding is not common in the U.S., the WHO actually recommends that moms breastfeed for a minimum of 2 years.  My plan now is to let Tessa self-wean when she is ready.  I had no major issues with breastfeeding my daughter such as problems with sore nipples or latch issues, but even so, in the beginning, I thought there was no way I'd make it 2 months, much less 2 years.  I am SO proud of us for making it to our 2 year breastfeeding anniversary.  But I do hate that the majority of the people in the U.S. seem to view extended breastfeeding as "weird".

If you know me from other sites, you'd know I also have dealt with postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety & panic disorder and years ago now, an eating disorder (anorexia and compulsive exercise) while I was in college.  At my worst, I did weigh around 80 lb.  I am 5'4" tall so that was very underweight.  The ED is more or less under control now and my weight has been stable for years, ranging from around 105-115 lb. (when I wasn't pregnant).  I don't know that I'll ever be 100% free of the ED thoughts, but I do much better with them, and behavior-wise, I'd consider myself recovered from the ED for around 8 years now.  The anxiety and panic issue as well as the PPD is another matter, though.  Currently, I take Cymbalta and Xanax as needed for panic attacks & the depression and Trazodone for sleep.

Shortly before Halloween, my husband was laid off from his job (financial problems at his company).  He is a Ph.D. physical chemist, and despite the fact that he earned his Ph.D. at Rice University in Houston under a Nobel Prize winning professor (Dr. Rick Smalley, now deceased), he has a hard time finding work.  He contracted for Johnson Space Center (JSC) for awhile, but cutbacks at NASA forced a lay off there as well.  I don't know what we're going to do this time, with a toddler.  We may have to move in with my inlaws in Southern California if he doesn't find a job soon.  I have a master's degree in microbiology from the University of Houston but have been out of the work force some years and am currently a SAHM, so the only income we have right now is his unemployment and money we can beg off his folks.  I really hate this limbo state of affairs, and it's not doing my anxiety disorder any good, that's for sure!

I'm not sure exactly what this blog is going to be like--a little about parenting, about breastfeeding, mental health issues, current happenings in my life, whatever strikes my fancy.


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