Archive | February, 2010

It’s a love-hate thing

28 Feb

Everything I do these days seems to be a big undertaking. Even the simplest of things are energy drainers and I have to psych myself up to do them. It’s really frustrating, and it only gets worse when I see how effortless sig-o seems to do things, including parenting. I love him, but sometimes I wanna hate him, too. Whenever he comes home, the baby just lights up and gets all giddy. Crankiness? Forgotten. Sleepiness? Not this baby. Papi is home and everything is a-ok. Sometimes I’m sure the baby is thinking, “Thank god, the sane one is finally home!” I, on the other hand, am convinced I don’t get the same reception, unless he needs quick access to the ta-tas.

I should be thankful that I have a super-dad as a sig-o. And I am. But I think I’m jealous, too. And jealousy is ugly…not something I want to feel. But I wish so much that I could just do what he does the way he does them without all the angst. I find myself just watching it all in awe sometimes, and in these moments I couldn’t love sig-o more. So why can’t I just leave it at that?

I’m back in my routine craze again. I feel like if I could just get a routine down every day, I’d be ok. I’d know what to do and when, instead of finding myself in moments when I’m at a loss and saying, “Now what?” But I just can’t seem to make it happen. I’ve decided that postpartum depression is just a big f’ing sucker — it sucks out all my energy, all my confidence, all my will. Well, almost all. Big fat mother sucker.

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Birth Story

26 Feb

Well, it’s official — z-baby is one! I thought there’s no better time to reflect on how this year started and share my birth story.

A little background: This was our second pregnancy. I lost the first at 14 weeks. We were devastated and it took us well over a year to recoup some from the experience. We had planned on trying to get pregnant again in the fall 2008, but z-baby surprised us in July (I was on the pill!). It was a long, very anxious pregnancy. We were nearly paralyzed until we got past week 14, then we relaxed a little, but not much. We had a doppler like the ones they use at the ob and listened to the baby every night. Every night. We were with a specialist due to severe bleeding I had at around 17 weeks, and then I was put on partial bed rest for several weeks off and on. The worst part of the pregnancy, though, was the morning sickness. OMG. From about week 8 to the delivery room. I had to go to the ER for fluids, and I stayed sick. We took Hypnobirthing classes early on to help us manage the anxiety and get us ready for the birth. That was probably the best thing we did the whole pregnancy — the hypno practice made a huge difference for me. I was due March 4, but we didn’t make it that far…

In the wee hours of February 22, I got up one of the many times that night and went to bathroom and lost my mucous plug. I was so excited I woke my husband up and made him look at it. Poor guy. I went to work that day and had a normal day at the office, but I noticed in the afternoon that z-baby wasn’t moving as much. They told me his movements would slow down, but this seemed like too much (he was a very active baby throughout the pregnancy). So I called the doc as soon as I got home and they told me to drink a glass of orange juice and lay on my side and count his movements. They wanted at least 4 and he moved 3. They said I could come in or keep and eye on it. Sig-o was working that night and my gut said he was ok, so I stayed home in bed with my dog and listened to hypno tracks on continuous play. The next morning I did the same orange juice test and again only 3 movements. So I called and got an appointment for 1pm.

We had a new doctor at our appointment and she first had a hard time picking up the heartbeat so they did a brief non-stress test. Not good — every time I had a contraction, his heart rate would dip significantly. So they sent me on over to the hospital and told me they’d likely induce me today. I called family and told them to stand by. We went to labor and delivery and it took forever to get through all the paperwork. They started another non-stress test which was supposed to last 3 hours, but the doc and midwife on call came back in 20 minutes and said it was to be a c-section — now. Sig-o was out in the hall talking to family and had no idea what was going on. They said if they could get there fast enough I could have an epidural, but after 10 minutes I was going in regardless. The doc got there fast enough and brought in the loudest team of assistants I’d ever heard. I finally had to yell to get them to stop talking and tell them “I’m trying to do hypnobirthing, here, damn it!” I don’t think that was in the scripts… By that time my mother-in-law had come in but still no sig-o. I sent her out to get him as they started my epidural and he raced in at some point like the classic dad-to-be, flipping out. They wheeled me out and he was trying to do a script with me but he was so bad at it that I had him stop and did it on my own instead.

I was sick in the delivery room (true to the pregnancy til the end!), and then it all went very fast. They had the baby out quickly (though they had a hard time and had to cut me open even more to get him) and he wasn’t moving his arms or legs. He was “floppy” with a low Apgar score (sig-o kept telling me he was “sloppy” — so cute). I couldn’t see him because there were so many people around him. Finally they brought him to me and let me kiss his head and they all ran out. I sent sig-o with z-baby to the transition nursery. He visited me once or twice during recovery, but I was in there alone almost the whole time. I didn’t even mind though, I just wanted updates on the baby.

As it turned out he was fine. His face was pressing up against my cervix and so every time I had even a mild contraction, the strain was putting him into distress. In the nursery, his blood sugar did drop and they gave him formula which made my husband go into a blind rage, I’m told (z-baby wouldn’t take a bottle [shocker — he still won’t] so they put a tube down his throat). But everyone hid all this from me at the time. By the time I made it to my room, there was a room full of people waiting on me. They would take turns going to see the baby and I would look at the pictures on their cameras. He was in the nursery for over 6 hours and then I finally got to hold him. As they wheeled him in, I stripped down and told them to undress him and we nursed and it was wonderful and none of the other stuff mattered.

In the hospital I didn’t sleep. For like 4 days. Then I slept a little, but not much. Both my husband and I were delirious (both happiness and sleep deprivation). Everyone camped out in my room (there were 4 people in there all night long besides the baby, sig-o and me!) and I couldn’t get rid of them, though I tried!!!! I got off to recovery on a bad note because of that but was still so happy that my baby had made it into this world without a problem. I was in awe and still am…he’s already a year old and the awe doesn’t diminish. It may change and different things amaze me, but it’s still there.

Happy Birthday!

Hello OCD!

19 Feb

So my little bitty z-baby will be one year old in a few days. So we’re gearing up for a birthday party this weekend to celebrate this gi-normous milestone. Enter postpartum OCD. I haven’t mentioned much about that aspect of my postpartum funk, but it’s been alive and kicking this week. I guess we just have so much going on and I can’t keep everything straight in my head. It’s been days since I’ve posted because I can’t even concentrate long enough to get more than a few sentences down. My compulsive list-making is back, and I keep needing to check and recheck everything I’ve bought so far for the party. My poor sig-o has had to sit through it several times already and he doesn’t even know how many times I’ve had to do it when he’s not around. And the things that are the hardest are the tasks to come…things I can’t do in advance but have to wait to do…these are the things that drive me crazy. And things that rely on others who aren’t so worried about getting it done… Yikes! I have special lists just for those people! So I’m happy that at a minimum I got a few sentences down about this today. One more thing I can check off my list.

Woof-baby blues

13 Feb

Let me begin by saying that I love my dog. LOVE my dog. She’s my protectress and buddy and is the sweetest thing ever. But lately, it’s not always bliss between us. You know how in the book Marley and Me, the mom has postpartum depression and flips out one day and wants to get rid of the dog? Yeah, I’ve been there several times already, and today was one of those days.

As soon as I got z-baby down for a nap, she barks and wakes him up. I let her out to go to the bathroom and she takes off chasing a squirrel. I call and call and nothing. It’s freezing outside and I have the baby who doesn’t want to be alone and won’t do a pack-in-play or walker or exersaucer, so I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to go get this damn dog because it’s too cold to take the baby out. I go back and forth between leaving her and looking for her, when she finally trots back to the back porch. Nice. Then I get the baby down for the night and wadda ya know? She barks and wakes him up again. Do they have doggie boarding school? Is it wrong to want to send my woof-baby off to one? Because she’s more than I can handle right now. And the bad thing about it is that she really is a pretty laid back and lax dog.

And if I can’t handle a baby and dog, how would I ever handle a baby and a dog and then another baby??? Not that that’s in the works anytime soon. Believe me. When I was pregnant with z-baby I was so so so sick the whole time. I would wonder then how I would ever take care of a baby when I couldn’t even get up off the couch or feed myself. Well that’s all passed and while I don’t think I’m winning any mom of the year awards here, we’re doing ok. So I’m hoping that all this postpartum depression, anxiety, and OCD is like the morning sickness, and that this, too, shall pass. Then I’ll be able to take care of more than one kid and a dog without sending any of them off to boarding school.

I do good guilt

12 Feb

As a new(er) mother (baby’s almost a year old now) with postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety disorder, and OCD, things easily overwhelm me. Diaper changes (more like calf roping at the rodeo). Baths (for me or the baby). Any household chore. Feeding the dog. Getting the baby to sleep. Pretty basic stuff. And there are days when I look at my z-baby and wonder, “what the hell am I supposed to do with him all day?” And then the guilt starts. And it’s good.

I feel guilty for not feeling like I’m 100% able to take care of my baby the way I expected to be (part of the problem may be the expectations we put on ourselves). I feel guilty for not enjoying every second of every day with this miraculous little screecher. I feel guilty for how happy I am every time sig-o takes care of him and gives me a break. I even feel guilty for feeling guilty. But most of all, I feel guilty for complaining about anything — anything — related to the baby. After my miscarriage, I would get furious when I witnessed bad mothering or when I heard moms complain about their kids or not fully appreciate that, hey at least they had kids. I swore I would never be that kind of mom and tried to make deals with the universe to prove it: “please just let us have a healthy baby and I’ll be the best mom to it, I promise.”

And now I’m not the best mom. And I complain (at least in my head because I’m afraid to out loud). And I feel like I don’t always fully appreciate having a baby. And I can’t keep up with everything and get so easily overwhelmed by diaper changes. I mean, really?

I like the way guilt is approached in Buddism, and am trying to apply it to my own life. The Buddhist tradition teaches us (my understanding of it, at least) that dwelling on feelings of guilts keeps us focused on the past, rather than living in the present. Focus on guilt keeps us in a cycle of ego-centric self-loathing, and it’s an obstacle we must overcome on the path to enlightenment. Overcoming means not asking for forgiveness, but instead forgiving yourself. Only then can you find peace and continue on your path. How do you forgive yourself? By recognizing the guilt and pattern itself and releasing it… change things if you can and accept what you cannot.

So can I change that I have postpartum depression that makes me feel like shit? No. Can I get help for that? Yes. Do I have to be everything I expected and wanted to be? No. And I guess that’s part of the motherhood journey. Things change. We change. And some of those things we can change and some we can’t. So for those we can’t, just stop feeling guilty and accept them. Who knows — we may like the change better anyway.

Chocolate, anyone?

11 Feb

So this may sound bizarro, but I’m convinced that my antidepressants cocktail is making me crave chocolate and sweets like a raving fiend. When I first went on the antidepressants, my appetite was actually curbed and I lost a few pounds. Now I think I’m gaining, largely due to my new chocolate addiction. I gotta have it. Every single day. Not that I didn’t like it before, but this is new territory…I sometimes find myself thinking about what kind of chocolate I need at the moment and I start to sound the way Bubba did talking about shrimp… “chocolate bar, chocolate bar with almonds, chocolate ice cream, chocolate chip cookie, chocolate cake…” I mentioned this to my mom recently and she said that when she went on antidepressants she went chocolate crazy and once pounced on what she thought was a stray m&m in her bed. It turned out to be Advil, so you can imagine just how good that tasted. So I was just wondering — has anyone else been overtaken by a raging sweet tooth, or is it just me?

I did it!

9 Feb

Feeling empty these days. Not even in a necessarily bad way… but just empty. Which is why I haven’t been writing much this past week. I don’t feel like I have anything to say. I can’t tell if it’s from increased anxiety or a lot less of it, which I know makes no sense at all, but it’s true.

So in the meantime, here’s an update on my work situation: Well, I did it! Yesterday I met with my client and told her that I would no longer be working on her project. I gave her 2 weeks notice but told her I would have to go part time. Overall she was ok with everything, but then made a few crappy comments about what a shock it was and how difficult it was that I didn’t give notice when I went on short-term disability for postpartum depression (she knew the reason). If I had needed surgery or broken my leg, she wouldn’t even be making this comment, which really pisses me off. I didn’t engage or let it get to me in the moment, and it just reinforced why I need to stop working with her.

I feel at peace with my decision… better than I’ve felt in a long time, actually. I know it was the right thing to do and I’m proud of myself for having done it. There I said it. Proud of myself 😉