I almost forgot this existed. Just as I have forgotten myself in the mundane never changing, but always expanding life. My newborn is now almost 3 years old. In only another week. Really not sure how that happened. My anxiety is better. Depression is somewhat better. Both of those were replaced with a short fuse. It doesn’t take much for me to tear my sons head off for any little thing. Then, I feel like the biggest asshole. He has started saying “i’m sorry you’re made, mommy”. Melts my heart every time, but it doesn’t seem to sink in until I do it again. It’s nothing major. It’s the repeating myself for him to do something about 10 times and on the 11 attempt it comes out as a loud and stern voice….maybe a yell. I hate it. I had that as a child from my sperm donor, and promised I would never raise my voice. Maybe it’s in the DNA and I can’t get around it. I’m hoping that finding an outlet for my frustrations will help make me a little calmer and patient with him. Time will tell.
As my son is becoming more and more independent, my anxiety has gone through the roof. As we are able to remove baby gates, because the house is now more baby proof since we prepare to move. I keep picturing that I walk into a room and something has fallen on top of him. Only seeing his tiny feet and nothing else. I can see it so clearly in my head, as if it was right in front of my face. I hate these thoughts, and I try to shake them away. Part of me thinks that maybe these are premonitions of things to come, and then I become even more anxious. I would absolutely die if anything were to happen to my son, especially an accident that I could prevent.
My husband is always telling me that worry does nothing, but easier said than done. I wish I could make it go away as easily as it comes. I’ve always been wired for worry, and it’s only becoming worse since becoming a mom. I really don’t want to be a helicopter mom, and I try to rationalize away the worry. I’m afraid that I’m going to do so at the wrong time and something will happen.
I’m so tired of having anxiety cripple me. It really impacts my life in so many ways.
It has been almost a year since my last post. Nothing and everything has changed all at the same time.
I still have PPD. It seems that I always will. Nobody understands or really seems to give a shit. Not even my doctors. It’s the big elephant in the room that everybody tries to ignore. I wish I could ignore the damn elephant like everyone else does. I feel like I’m a pile of damaged goods. The pieces should fit together, but they don’t. All the time. I try as hard as I can to suck it up and ignore the nagging beast within me. Sometimes it works. Most of the time not.
I love my son very much and if I have to feel this way the rest of my life, it’s worth it. I just hope that I can get to the end of the tunnel to fully enjoy him. Some days are obviously better than others. I marvel at how much he has grown and learned over the course of 15 months. I only wish that I could evolve even half as fast as him.
I fear for having another child, but I know that it will most likely be in the cards. What if this happens again? What if it worsens? The unknown scares the shit out of me. I have tried to explain my fears to my husband and he doesn’t understand. He calls me “helicopter mom”, and dismisses my anxiety on an almost daily basis. I wish he could read my mind sometimes and then he might lay off just a bit. My normal brain (pre-mom) always jumped to worse possible scenario, and now it’s like that times a billion.
It’s funny and sad all at the same time that this post about “almost a year” later is now three months since that post. And still, I struggle. The one outlet that helps the most is writing my thoughts, because at least then it’s like I’m talking to somebody that cares. Nobody wants to hear about what is going through my head on a daily basis. They don’t know how to deal with that information. Hell, I don’t know how to deal with that information. Finding the time to get to this outlet is a different story.
I woke up this morning and I had this nagging thought that I needed to get my story out there. As a newer mom, and maybe even those that have babies that are now in their 20s and 30s, you have probably heard about the normalize breastfeeding movement. I’m all for that, I’ve been breastfeeding for 18.5 months now. More importantly, in my opinion, is normalizing mental health. And, that is mental health in general, but most importantly that of a new mom.
Every day remains to be a struggle with ups and downs. I mean that’s life. Some days are easier, some are harder. I feel like mentally I have made some improvement, mostly in part thanks to Zoloft. Now instead of the ever dreading fear of all the bad happening, I’m numb. I still have PPD/A, but the delusional moments don’t happen as often as they used to come. I’m usually able to rationalize things away. I’m still crippled from the effects of PPD/A and I fear that it will be a struggle for the rest of my life. I hope and pray that I’m strong enough to always identify my triggers, and when I need to go to someone for help. Awhile back I found that a major trigger for me is when I become overwhelmed. Maybe it’s because I’m slightly overwhelmed at the moment that this whole idea even popped into my head. While I might be strong enough to get through my more manic episodes, not every mom will be. The more we normalize mental health the more that the help will be there to get people through the times when they are going through the pits of hell. I still feel like I don’t have anybody to talk to because nobody wants to talk about it. I have reached out to several people in my life in hopes of support, and I feel like a lot of those people now avoid me like the plague.
Let me tell you something now…that sure as hell doesn’t help. Your avoidance doesn’t make me sane again. If I don’t have you, or anyone for that matter, to go to when I need help…then what? People are so quick to judge, but don’t even think for a moment of what they would need or want if they were to be in the shoes of someone else. That is just the sad truth with our society. I’m not condoning it, or saying it’s acceptable, but I can see how moms or dads can go off the deep end and do crazy shit things. When I first went to my OB with my struggles, I even told her that I was going BAT SHIT CRAZY. Because…I was. I would envision really horrible things happening to my son. Horrible things that I could do that would pop into my head. Luckily the thoughts disappeared as quickly as they came. Sometimes these intrusive thoughts still come about. When they do, I have an agreement with my husband to discuss with him at the moment that they occur. I will say that his response (or lack thereof) has never been one that I like, but what is he to do? How does one respond when they are told about the crazy thoughts running through their loved ones brain?
It was hard reaching out to loved ones that I was afraid would judge me. I knew that I needed to so that I wouldn’t become another statistic. Another mom that harms herself, or her children. I can’t be that person. There have been times that I thought that everyone would be better off without me. I haven’t been to the point of planning anything, but the thought has occurred to me. It’s also just hard to live this way. To look in the mirror and not recognize the image looking back at me. To feel so out of my mind all the time.
Over the course of the last 18ish months I have been on the most wild roller coaster ride that I would ever imagine. From the obvious moments of overjoy and extreme love for my little one to the not wanting to do a damn thing moments. It’s a little bit of a catch 22 here that my reason for living is also in a way my reason for not wanting to exist. Obviously it’s not because of my son, but you know what I mean. Luckily my reason for living has been reason enough to not contemplate my life, or departure from, any further.
Lately the anxiety is less and the depression is more. When I look at my life from the outside looking in, I don’t know how I could feel anything but utter elatement. Maybe it’s because I gained 65 pounds during pregnancy and I still remain overweight. Despite diet and exercise, I fluctuate between needing to lose another 30-50 pounds, maybe more. It’s definitely contributed to my depressive state since I never want to get outside my home to do things…because what would I wear? I have finally accepted that it’s probably not going to happen until I stop nursing, and hopefully it will at that point. That I’m one of the unlucky ones that breastfeeding doesn’t make you shed all the baby weight and then some. I’m also hopeful that after I stop breastfeeding that my hormones will work themselves out a bit. It would probably be better for my family if I had stopped awhile back. I wanted to do what was best for my son, and of course I had guilt over that with either direction I would have chosen. On one hand, there are the health benefits from breastmilk and what that might mean for the future. On the other hand, our familial unit might be quite different had I not been nursing. I learned very early on that parenting has a pro/con to every freaking decision. From trying to do it all to not doing a damn thing, there is no happy medium with me.
And then, there is trying to learn what really is important and letting go of all of the rest. From a complete Type A personality, it’s tough. That is probably one of the biggest battles throughout this whole thing. Learning that not everything can be done the way you want it in life and especially in parenthood. There is no black and white road map to take, it’s all full of twist and turns and ups and downs. Another form of anxiety for me is how quickly time seems to be slipping through my fingers, and how I hope that I’m doing what I should be to help with my sons development. I remember thinking how I’m supposed to teach this little being everything he knows, and how much that scared me…because let’s be honest, when I’m in the state that I’ve been in, how in the hell am I supposed to mold something into that of beauty and not of disarray? That’s all on me. I think that if he were to be able to tell you now that he most likely wouldn’t have a clue that I’m battling the things that I am right now. That I’m able to hide behind that smile and keep my craziness on the down low to the point that he can’t see it. I hope and pray that’s the case anyway.
I pray every day that I won’t be another statistic. My hope is that by sharing my story that a mom might share with her loved ones that she is struggling, and those that she reaches out to will actually be a support system for her.
They aren’t always what they seem, and rarely ever are. The world is always so connected. The lives portrayed are utter bullshit. I’m guilty. So is like everyone. We all have perfect lives with perfect families. Except for those that over dramatize and have horrible lives where nothing goes right, and everything is always wrong. Those people make me appreciate my life, even though I know they are attention seeking and lying behind their computer or phone screens.
Are these little white lies, or something more? Who even really cares. I don’t intentionally, but I guess I still come across as a cookie cutter wife and new mom. That is, unless people are just trying to be nice.
I always get the “you look so beyond happy”, ” you have an amazing life”, etc, etc. Don’t get me wrong. Overall, I love my life, but it’s far from perfect. Sure, I post pictures of my little family. I post about what I’m proud of at the moment. Who wants a Debbie Downer…all the time? I don’t think the life I portray is overly happy.
I do good to keep it together every day. I get maybe 5 hours, if that, of very interrupted sleep every day. My boobs currently have me as prisoner to my babes mouth. My husband is supposed to be managing the house, taking care of our son during the day time, and pulling his own weight. Not happening. I used to wonder how people that seemed so happy as a married couple for years prior to having kids could end up divorced shortly after. No, man, I see it now. It ain’t easy and definitely not for the faint of heart. My husband was way too pissy with me tonight just because I wanted to “fix” whatever was upsetting our 4.5 month old. Obviously he wasnt getting he job done and it was mere moments after he scared the shit out of the kid…not sure you’re the one to soothe him, dude! I literally couldn’t take it anymore. The babe screaming so hard that you would think he was being tortured. So hard that I’m not sure how he managed to effing breathe. So, I’m sorry I couldn’t take it anymore and I had to step in, but that does not mean that I want him in our bed still when he is six years old. I mean, keep it up and he might as well be because your sure as hell not. Surprise, surprise…the minute he threw my boy into my arms a hush fell over him. I managed to calm him down enough that within 10 minutes I had coos and smiles and even managed to read a book. But, no, I guess I should have just lazed to the side and ignored him.
If that sounds like a perfect, very happy, life…you got me. You called it for sure. If not…appearances lie. But, I do love my babe. And I love how we have figured each other out in 20 short weeks…even that is far from perfect.
The first month. Let’s be honest. It was a blur that never wanted to end. I cried when my mom and grandma went home. It was hard for them to leave anwyay, but I was also fed while they were with us. My appetite still to this day hasn’t really found its way back. Which is fine. I’m not losing much weight anyway. I’m down almost 50 pounds, but still feel like I have a long way to go. Babe only weighed 7 pounds .04 ounces and by the time I got home from the hospital I had only lost 10 of the 65 that had been packed on during the pregnancy.
We had his two week appointment and all was good. I got used to breastfeeding. We had a couple outings in his first two weeks while my mom and grandma were visiting. We did the outlet mall experience and dinner out one night.
The second month seemed pretty uneventful too. I mean he grew, slept, ate and pooped. That’s about it. He started smiling and it made all the sleepless nights worth it. Honestly he pretty much always had his days and nights straight, but I can never just sleep when he sleeps.
Sometime in the second month the PPD hit me like a ton of bricks. It first reared its head in the form of loneliness…in a way. My family and friends all live far from me and hub has most of his fairly close. It became very hard to see multiple people, or have them visit us, to meet babe. Other than my mom, grandma and step dad, I didn’t have anybody to visit or vice versa. It became very clear what I was up against. I saw the clear separation in family for once since we were married and this should be a time of more unity. The week I realized I was having PPD issues I made an appointment and went on meds.
Well, not long after that the crazies started. I switched meds. And here I am a zombie that doesn’t know what the eff she does in her sleep. I think it’s getting better. I hope. I have the breastfeeding figured out, which had helped A LOT. I love my son more than I could have ever imagined.
Right now there isn’t much that comes to mind in my sleepiness confusion that I have at oh, 8:30. I’ll update later when I can make more sense of things.
I guess my baby brain made me forget this blog ever existed. The last post was during my tenth week of pregnancy and BB is now one month old. I guess I’ll need to give the real cliffs notes for this post.
We had our Anatomy scan on May 5th and everything looked great. My mom was told the gender, and we kept it sealed in an envelope. Hubby knew I was dying to know even though we discussed the reveal wouldn’t be until the end of June. On Mothers Day he had a cake made with the icing inside revealing the gender. We found out we were expecting a baby boy. Ultimately we decided to use his initials, RCB, and announce the name at birth.
Overall, the pregnancy was uneventful. I had the nausea and fatigue for the first trimester. The fatigue decided to stick around for most of the pregnancy, but definitely not as bad as the first trimester.
I failed the glucose test and then had to do the three hour. I barely passed that and was told to limit carbs so that I wouldn’t have a huge baby with big ass shoulders. I tried to limit those carbs, I really did. I was somewhat successful at first. Baby wants what baby wants though. My carb, starch, and sweet addiction resulted in a weight gain of a whopping 65 pounds. Yep, 65!! I’m one month out and only halfway back to pre-pregnancy weight.
Probably from the bad eating habits and weight gain came the borderline preeclampsia. It wasn’t until the final weeks that my doctor was somewhat concerned. My urine test came back fine, but I still had high blood pressure and swollen feet. The blood pressure stayed right on the edge of concern. In the last weeks we discussed an induction date because of these issues. The induction was scheduled for September 14th, just a few days before my 16th due date.
My mom and grandma had flights booked to arrive on September 8th. About 6 weeks, maybe less, before my due date we asked the doctor when she would buy a ticket. She said around the 10th. We kept them updated and let them know when the induction was scheduled. My mom was going to push back her arrival since it didn’t sound like I would go into labor early.
I joked around about going into labor on Labor Day. I had my first contractions the day before. I had even more on Labor Day. I was afraid I jinxed myself. My mom and grandma were to arrive the next day. The contractions didnt last long and were very subtle. I was wrong. Thankfully!
They arrived at the Austin airport early on the 8th. Hubs picked them up and left me sleeping. He was worried I would go into labor while he was en route. He almost had me stay at his gmas in case I did, since neighbors could help me and she is closer to the hospital. Since I wasn’t having contractions before be left he wasn’t too worried.
By the time they got back to Temple from Austin it was after 10. We went to lunch and then I had chiropractor and OB appointments later that afternoon. At my OB appointment I had not progressed much since the previous week, which was really only 5 days since the last appointment. She said she would be seeing us on the 14th. We did talk about ways that I could trigger labor. She stripped my membranes, but remained confident nothing would happen before the 14th. She also said that I was so constipated that BB was probably staying put until that was resolved. We discussed a Miralax cleanse, which should solve that problem.
The night went by uneventful. I did my cleanse and went for a walk with my mom. Fast forward to about midnight when I was finally getting into bed… I swear, the minute I laid down I started to have minor contractions. I waited for them to stop like they had the previous two days. They didn’t. I slept through some of the earlier ones, but around 2:30 they became so intense that I started tracking them with an app on my phone. They kept getting stronger, longer and closer together (as was the mantra in childbirth class). They were horrible!! And, about the time they started to become more intense, the cleanse kicked in too. I started to think that maybe it was poop pains and went back and forth in my head between labor and poop pains.
Meanwhile, hubs appeared to be sleeping soundly. I wasn’t sure how between my trips to the bathroom and moaning and groaning through contractions. This continues through the night. I watched my tracker to see the contractions becoming less than 5 minutes apart and lasting for a minute or longer each time. I waited as long as I could until a decent time of morning. Around 7 I found my mom and told her I thought it was time. Going back and forth about whether we should go to the hospital or not, I finally said it was time.
I got hubs up and I did all I could to get dressed. He got the car loaded and we were off to the hospital. By this point walking triggered horrible contractions. When we arrived I had him get me a wheelchair. We then went up to be checked in and wait for what seemed like forever for triage. There was a couple waiting to be monitored for something and she was pretty far along. I am sure I gave her a nasty glimpse into her future. There were a few times that I snapped at poor hubs for coddling me too much. I told him that was one thing that would set me off, but he didn’t listen.
Once I made the decision to go to L&D, I grew very impatient. I was in a major hurry. I think mostly for the pain medication. I remember thinking if I wasn’t far enough along they were going to have to keep me anyway, or at least give me something for the pain. The contractions were killer. They almost had me in tears.
Finally we were called back to triage. We were back there forever and 30 minutes. They finally checked me and I had gone from 1cm and 50% at 4ish PM on the 8th to 5cm and 90%-complete at 8 AM on the 9th. I knew before we arrived that it was most likely go time, but the reality didn’t hit me until they asked us if we were ready to have a baby. O! M! G! It was happening!!
Our OB had told us she was leaving that morning and that she would be gone the rest of the week. Hub’s godfather had agreed early on to be in the delivery room for us as support for hub. It just so happened that he was covering for our doctor and he was already at the hospital when we arrived. It was a little sad my OB wasn’t there. I had been a patient of hers for awhile and worked through possible infertility issues. We even met with her together more than once before we were pregnant to discuss various things. It was great that we already had the godfather as backup though.
We finally were pulled back to the room where I would labor and ultimately deliver. I had already asked for pain meds more than once. Throughout the pregnancy I had my mind made up that I just wanted to do IV pain meds because the epidural scared me so much. I finally had my IV hooked up and they started Fentanyl, after what seemed like forever. That did absolutely nothing to help my contractions, but did help me relax just a little. I asked how long it would take to have some relief and was told I already should. I quickly made the decision that I needed the epidural, and I’m so glad that I did. I didn’t want one mostly for two reasons, I wanted to have the ability to walk if I wanted and I didn’t want a catheter. Well, walking wasn’t going to happen because that triggered more contractions and I could suck it up with the catheter. The epidural is God’s gift to women for going through such a painful ordeal as birth. I was afraid it wasn’t going to work because it wasn’t instant, but was told it could take 15 minutes. Well, they weren’t lying. That stuff had me comfortably numb. No more contractions were felt. It was about 12:30 when they gave me the epidural. After 12 hours of contractions, I was ready for a break.
At some point shortly after the epidural they checked me and I was a 7. I know they broke my water and started Pitocin, but I can’t remember what order that happened. I didn’t feel either, so all was good.
My mom and grandma came back, but didn’t stay too long. They had been in the waiting room the whole time until everything was good for them to come back. I had my labor soundtrack going on the iPad, an essential oil going that had been passed down through several mommas to help progress labor/good luck, and didn’t feel a damn thing. Life was good.
After awhile the nurses came in to move me on my side. Apparently BB didn’t like the Pitocin and his heart rate would do crazy things with contractions. After they adjusted me from side to side a few times they decided to check me to see if I had progressed any further. They weren’t going to be checking me again for awhile, but decided he would need to come out soon. I was a ten and complete. Push time! All kinds of activity started happening and they told me how the pushing would work. I had no idea I would only push with contractions. The nurse would have me hold my breathe at the start of contractions for ten counts while pushing and repeat three times. After several pushes the godfather told me we weren’t making much progress. Apparently when I hurt my tailbone in 2008 it bent back the opposite direction which acted as a speed bump. We did several pushes and then the decision was made to use forceps. He even tried to break my tailbone, but it wouldn’t give. The forceps were used and in one contraction he was out and on my chest. A healthy, beautiful baby boy.
I had my skin to skin time as they stitched me up. Eventually they had to take him to do all of his vitals and shots, etc. Hubs and I finally discussed the name. We were still down to four names and we weren’t sure, but we brought the list. We decided he looked more like one than the others..and so there it was.
And then zombie mom brain made me forget I even started this post and fast forward another two months.
So, the rest of the hospital stay was fairly uneventful. We were eventually moved from the L&D room to one in post partum. On the way to the room where we would finish recovering for the next couple days, we pushed the button that made a little chime ring throughout the hospital that indicated a birth had occurred.
The rest of that night was a blur and I was finally ready to just pass out. My mom brought us dinner and I was finally able to eat at around 10PM.
The next day babe had his newborn pictures taken and hearing test in the morning. Then came the dreaded circumcision. He had some minor bleeding complications which required a stay in the nursery for observation.
The nurses would bring him to me when it was time to nurse. We had an awesome nurse in the daytime, but the night brought an awful nurse who hubs so lovingly named ” Broom Hilda”. She was not great. She didn’t knock on the door before entering and once I noticed a pacifier in his bassinet. We clearly stated we weren’t doing pacifiers yet and breastfed only. I understood he was going through a traumatic experience and needed to be pacified when I wasn’t present. However, they should have checked with me before giving him the pacifier.
So, of course I had some problems with him latching because of the nipple confusion caused by them giving him a pacifier. That brought on the tip of the iceberg. Instead of letting me deal with it, Broom Hilda hovered. We just needed some extra time and would have figured it out because we eventually did. She decided to show me a “trick”. She came back during one of the late night feedings and put a syringe in his mouth that had formula in it so that he could get a little taste. Oh, hell no! Lactation had already showed me the same trick to do with breastmilk. We then kept him in the room with us and she was banned from our room. He slept on my chest that night.
The next day we were discharged after telling lactation, our day nurse and pediatrician about our experience with her.
And then, we were on our own…plus my mom and grandma for a week.
The fatigue and nausea have been pretty consistent. I would say that if I could live in bed I’d be great. For the most part I am. However, with sleepsleep comes some pretty crazy dreams.
I swear. I’m dreaming babies like crazy. Several with twins. Several with big babies. Not only that, just really realistic and bizarre dreams that I can’t quite remember.
We had an appointment with our OB on Wednesday. We were bumped back up to 10 weeks!! Yes! Even a day closer to the second trimester makes me a happy camper. Now I’m like almost a week closer. It seems we might be dealing with a big head though.
Weight gain is real. I still just feel fat and not pregnant. I’m waiting for that real bump to form. BB looks good though and that’s all that matters. Now if September would just get here. Like pronto!
I guess little b is finished swimming. I, on the other hand, am doing all I can to stay afloat.
Not much has changed. Nausea. Fatigue. Blah. Just blah. I had to cancel plans more than once for the big blah.
Keeping my mouth shut for five days was not easy. A part of being pregnant is the need for empathy, or maybe sympathy. I think. You want to complain about how much you feel like death to get at least a look of “imsosorryiwishicouldmakeitbetterforyou”. Listening to the rantings of someone twice as pregnant and now into the “I don’t feel as much like shit” zone is like life in hell if you can’t bitch right along.
I’m now wallowing in my own self pity. About to dig into a gallon of ice cream. I’m ready for the second trimester like yesterday. They say you should only gain a couple pounds in the first trimester. I feel like I’ve gained ten. This is not a competition.
Spending the morning with my head in the toilet was not how I had planned on spending the dawn of my 7th week. Ugh! If this is what I have to look forward to this week, I can’t wait til next Monday!
Have I mentioned that I feel like hammered crap? All the time!!! Yesterday we decided to drive three hours with three dogs in the car. That was not the best idea. I knew it would be bad. Between one dog farting and another licking his balls.
I will be spending the better part of the week with another pregnant woman. She has about two months and a whole other kid up on me. While getting pedicures yesterday and munching on pizza, I couldn’t utter a word about my preggo self. I just have to look like I’ve gained a couple pounds and eat like it’s going out of style. I would love nothing more than to confide in a fellow baby mama, but not so. I have to hold out til the middle of March. Ugh!!!