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Don’t Let the Thought Possess You

13 Aug

I was very depressed as a teen, and throughout my 20s. The thing is I also suffered from terrible anxiety. I guess the “upside” to that (if you can call it an “upside”) is that I never once thought about self-harm. That scared the shit out of me.

Something changed when I lost Nadav though. A dormant switch was turned on in my head.

And sometimes, to this day, a thought creeps in. An invasive thought. An awful, terrible thought.

I had a bit of a wake up call a few months ago and saw my psychiatrist, and told him that I was having invasive thoughts.

He knows I’m a girl who likes her research. So he pulled out a study about invasive thoughts and read the conclusions to me.

I’ll save you the boring details, but basically the conclusion is that these things are common, especially amongst people suffering from depression and anxiety.

And that the thought tends to linger if you dwell on it.

That if you possess it, it possesses you.

That the best thing to do, when something like that creeps in, is to push it aside, acknowledge that it’s chemical and a lie, and if you’re not getting help already, to seek it. ASAP.

I guess Robin Williams succumbed to the chemical lie yesterday. He let it possess him.

I won’t eulogize him. I didn’t know him. But you should know that he WAS my childhood. That I have been deeply saddened by what has happened.

And I’ve spent the last 24 hours – amongst the stresses of work, a baby with a fever, and very little sleep – reflecting on what has happened.

Last night, as I went to shower, trying to wash my face so I wouldn’t wake up tear stained in the morning, I looked at myself in the mirror.

And I realized it’s been a while since I did that. I’ve been avoiding mirrors again.

And I realized I may not be as OK as I’ve been pretending to be.

And that as soon as the dust settles around this latest bit of chaos I will seek out help. Again.

And that having such a bright ray of light extinguished is what woke me up to the fact that I am, once again, drowning.

That I need to find a better solution.

I hope that if anything, his actions last night will inspire more people to seek help.

Depression is a fucking awful disease.

It never really has a cure. All you can do is be vigilant. Be vigilant, and don’t let the invasive thoughts possess you.

You are not alone.

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Back in the Saddle

15 Jun

So I know I’ve been away for a bit. Things are their usual insanity, but the truth is I’ve been going through some stuff.

I spoke about it here quite a bit lately – postpartum anxiety. I’ve been treating it with Xan.ax. But the truth is, like I wrote here in the past part of my way of dealing is taking care of Bunny with a bit of emotional detachment.

I wasn’t liking it. And it was starting to bleed into my other relationships. I was getting more detached for longer periods of time. Finally, Shmerson said that he thought it was time I check in with my therapist. So what if I don’t have the time. I need to MAKE the time.

So off I went, and it was truly a wake up call. I don’t want to go into it here, but the long and short of it is that 20 minutes into the session she said she thought it was time I get back on anti-depressants.

I credit cym.balta with saving my life. I also credit it with a huge chunk of my weight gain, and with obliterating my sex drive completely (though 3 miscarriages and a stillbirth obviously did their part to contribute).

But the fact is she was right. Sure I am super-functional right now. But overly so. I’m functioning so much I’m forgetting about living. I function to deal with things. I keep myself so busy I don’t have a moment to think or reflect.

And the moment I did – at my therapists office – I had my first panic attack in months.

Don’t get me wrong, things are truly very very good. It’s just in moments of quiet, anxiety sneaks in. When I’m alone with Bunny, if I’m 100% connected to her, I get overwhelmed and can’t deal.

That’s not good for me, and that’s not good for her.

It’s partly emotional, yes. But the truth is that when I step back and examine it, a lot of it is chemical.

I left my therapist’s office, called my psychiatrist to make an appointment, and called Shmerson to break the news that I most likely have to get back on my meds.

He was of course super supportive, but also a little sad. He was hoping we were past this. He was hoping things were good enough that I wouldn’t need meds.

In the week that followed, the realization that I had spent the last couple of months basically repressing everything brought a lot of things back up to the surface. I had more trouble sleeping. I felt more anxiety. My eating was back to being out of control.

At my psychiatrist’s I told him what was going on. He actually wasn’t incredibly concerned. He gave me two options: Go on a very low dose of cym.balta or just continue dealing with things on my own.

I was truly debating what to do. I hated the decreased sex drive and how hard it was to get off of these pills once you start taking them. I told him that my big concern was that cym.balta made me feel like the volume on my feelings was turned down very low. Like I was always not 100% present.

He answered: Well, that’s how you’re dealing now, isn’t it? You’re making yourself emotionally detached in order to deal with your anxiety. This will do the same, only in a more controlled way, and without you having to work so hard.

I asked him what he thought I should do. He said he could go either way. It was up to me.

So I thought of Bunny.

And I thought of the fact that 90% present is better than o% present.

And I realized that I’ve never taken meds when I wasn’t in crisis mode. That maybe- just maybe – they can help me get to contentment, and not just survive the latest trauma.

Maybe they would let me enjoy my daughter more. And free up the energy I’ve been using to try to control my anxiety to be used in healthier, happier ways.

And worst-case scenario: If I don’t like it, I can stop.

So I did it. I bit the bullet.

On Friday, I took the first pill.

Now it’s two weeks of fuzzy brain while I adjust to the pills again.

And we’ll see where we go from here. We’ll see if a chemical helping hand will be what it takes to tip the scales over to contentment.

Wish me luck.

 

PPA Part 6 – Here and Now

23 Apr

12:57am. I’ve been looking at pictures of Bunny and crying. I miss her. It’s like I’ve barely seen her in a week.

Bunny had an ear infection and a fever all last week. It was mostly up to me to take care of her.

It was a nice healthy dose of emotional detachment that got me through it.

Emotional detachment and Xan.ax.

Because otherwise I couldn’t have withstood it.

She’s been better for 4 days. But I’m not quite better yet. Her being sick made me sick.

I have moments that I’m attached again, looking at my beautiful girl, smiling, being her usual playful self after a week of unbearable pain.

And here she is, good as new, but I’m not.

I’m detached. I detached to deal with it all, and now I have to find my way back.

That happens a lot. These days, that’s what happens more than anything.

When things get hard I detach so I can be there for her.

She’s the one who is allowed to cry.

I’m not allowed to cry.

I cry – but I try not to do that with her. With her I’m strong. I do what I have to do. I take care of her. And hold her. And hug her. And rock her. And sing. And read stories.

But I can’t help but worry that she detects the hints of detachment in me. I can’t help but worry that my way of dealing sometimes puts a wall between us.

Because if I felt all of my feelings all of the time I would not be human.

There would be no work. There would be no sleep. No food. No showers. No conversation.

Just sinking completely into her.

Joy, grief, pain. Joy. Joy. Joy. Fear. Joy. Fear.

“They” say having a child is like putting your heart into someone else’s body.

I think “They” may be right.

I’ve always felt things more strongly than most. Feelings overwhelm me. I see things in black and white.

Which is why I taught myself to shut off feelings so I can function.

Or I’d sink into her, completely. I would disappear into the lovely, amazing, miraculous person that has taken my heart into her body.

It’s cheesy. It’s cheesy because it’s true.

My heart is in her. So when she’s not here it’s not here.

I go to the office. Or I stay at home and work while she’s at day care. And I sometimes forget she’s real.

Not really forget. That’s not really the word.

But I do remember she’s real each time I see her again. Each time. I remember again.

Every morning that I wake up with her. Every time I go away and come back. Or she goes away and comes back. I remember.

She’s real. This is her.

This miraculous, beautiful, exquisite little person is mine.

And if I let myself feel that… Everything that comes with feeling that. The fear. The pain. The ecstasy….

If I let myself feel that all of the time there would be no me any more. I would melt completely into her.

So I throw myself into work. And at 4pm every day I sink into 3.5 hours of complete bliss that is my daughter.

But I always need a wall.

Or I would cry. I would do nothing but cry. Overwhelming tears of joy, of gratitude, of grief, of fear. Of every feeling that chases me each time I hear her laugh. Or hear her say mamamamamamama over and over again.

I know she’s not calling my name but I know that someday that will be her calling mamamamama. Mama.

And that’s me. And I have to be a whole person. For her.

So when I need to, I put up a wall. And hope against all hope that it’s a glass wall.

Transparent enough that she can see me, in all my undying love, devotion, fear, love, love, unconditional, unending, overwhelming love – for her.

On the other side.

bunnycrawling

PPA Part 5 – Day Care

18 Apr

She’s six months old. It’s time.

I packed her clothes and labelled them. I wrote her name on her bottles with a sharpie.

It’s time.

I can’t be with her during the day while I work any more. She’s getting more active. She’s more of a handful. I need to work.

Burning the candle at both ends is becoming unbearable. I haven’t slept properly in weeks.

It’s time.

8am. I stand in the middle of the day care center. She’s in the small crib they’ve designated for her. I stand there next to her. I can’t go.

I start crying.

Great. Now I’m the weird crazy lady in the middle of the day care center crying.

I can’t go.

Crying becomes sobbing.

I’ve  been here for half an hour. I really need to go.

I can’t go.

But I really need to go.

The day care worker gently suggests I leave.

I can’t go.

She suggests I take her and try again another day.

I really have to go. She needs to be here. I have to go.

I go.

The car is parked outside. 8:30am.

9am.

9:15am.

I’ve been sitting in the car for 45 minutes. I really need to go.

But she’s in there. She’s in there without me.

I need to go.

She’s alone.

She’s not alone – she’s there with a lot of other babies.

She’s so quiet, they won’t notice when she needs something.

They will. They’ll notice. She knows how to cry when she really needs something.

They don’t have movement sensors on their cribs.

Fuck. Holy fuck.

It’s getting hard to breathe. I need to go. If I don’t go now I’ll run back in there and take her away from this place.

But they don’t have sensors.

Horrible, awful, unbearable images run through my head.

More than horrible. More than awful. More than unbearable. There are no words for this.

The quiet cry I’ve had going for the last 30 minutes starts to devolve into hysterics.

I put the car in reverse.

I need to pull off the band aid. I need to go.

Luckily home is close.

I drive away from her. Hysterics devolve into screaming in terror.

I park outside our house.

I need to get out of the car and go in the house.

9:30am. I need to go in the house.

I try to calm my breathing. I take a Xan.ax.

Just don’t think about the sensor. Don’t think about the sensor. Go in the house.

10am.

I go in the house.

PPA Part 4 – Doctors

13 Apr

“Trust your gut.”

But how will I know if it’s something serious?

“Trust your gut. You know her best.”

(I know her best.)

(Of course I know her best.)

(I also know that I can’t trust my gut.)

So what are the warning signs?

“There aren’t any. Trust your gut.”

 

My gut tells me that doctors can’t be trusted.

My gut tells me that when doctors say “everything will be fine” nothing is fine and I lose my son.

My gut tells me to be afraid. Always be afraid. Always expect the worst. Always.

If I trusted my gut, I’d never take her to a doctor.

If I trusted my gut, I’d be at the doctor’s office twice a day.

Then there’s the history. She’s registered under my health care plan. Her medical history is my medical history.

5 pregnancies. One premature labor. High-risk pregnancy. No other living children.

So the pediatricians. They know. They know I’m scared. They know I’m anxious. So they don’t take me seriously.

But I’m trying to trust my gut. My baby’s not eating.

“Sometimes babies don’t eat.”

But she screams when she has a bottle in her mouth.

“Don’t overreact.”

I’m not overreacting.

“Here – try this formula”

It’s helping but it’s not enough.

“It is enough (stop being so anxious).”

It’s not enough. Should I take her to a specialist?

“Trust your gut.”

But how do I know that thee pediatricians aren’t right? That I’m not just being anxious?

“Trust your gut.”

But my gut is what makes me scared that it’s not just what I think it is – that it’s something 100 times worse. That even the specialist is wrong.

“The doctors say everything will be fine. The specialist gave her a prescription now. They say everything will be fine. ”

Fuck doctors. Doctors are not gods. Doctors can be wrong.

Doctors have been wrong.

Doctors have been so fucking wrong.

“So trust your gut.”

But my gut is even more wrong.

My gut is scared shitless. My heart is scared shitless. My head is scared shitless.

I’m scared shitless.

I’m her mommy. I’m supposed to know. Where does the fear stop and the knowing begin?

PPA Part 3 – Dinner

9 Apr

Bunny is 3 days old. It’s our first night home. We are in pure bliss. The post-labor high hasn’t quite worn off yet. We give her a bath. We take the cutest pictures ever. I can’t stop smiling.

Bunny falls asleep and we order pizza.

Blessed pizza.

I’ve been waiting for pizza for 4 months. It was off limits because of the gestational diabetes. I’ve been wanting this pizza more than anything.

Ok – almost anything.

Blessed carbs.

I have a slice.

Something doesn’t feel right. I feel hot. I run to the bathroom. I bend over the toilet – gagging.

It’s nothing. It’s my hormones acting up. This is supposed to happen around three days postpartum. It’s my body not being used to the junk food. It’s me being tired.

It’s nothing.

Bunny is 4 days old. My milk has come in. The high has worn off. Happiness abounds, but the lack of sleep is starting to reach crisis point.

I make spaghetti.

A few bites in and I can’t stomach it. By the end of dinner I’m once again gagging.

Maybe it’s just too heavy for me.

 

 

Bunny is 5 days old.

Sushi. I waited 10 months for sushi.

Gag. Sputter. Gag.

 

When I was a teenager, my parents used to joke that they knew when I was anxious, because they would hear me cough.

That’s where I used to feel my panic attacks – in my throat. They used to start in my throat.

But not any more. That hasn’t happened for years and years. These days they’re supposed to start with my eyes. With my ears ringing. With a weird buzzing around my head.

 

Bunny is 6 days old.

I have started a very low dose of a an anti-anxiety med that is safe for breastfeeding. But it’s skittles compared to xan.ax. Does it do the job? Not really. But it helps. It took headphones on at full blast, bunny in another room,  and complete darkness – but I slept for two hours.

Chicken meatballs and rice.

Gag.

Without thinking – I grab a skittle pill.

 

Right. This is what this is. My body has decided. This is how I panic now. Again. It’s back in my throat.

The skittle helps and I finish dinner.

 

New Years Eve. Bunny is 3 months old. We have been to a good friend’s house. Eaten good food, drank good Lambrusco, had an amazing time. Bunny is asleep at her grandparents’ and we are walking distance from our beds.

Shmerson reflects on where we were last year. Announcing my pregnancy to the same people we just celebrated with. Two years ago – pregnant with Nadav, taking it easy. Three years ago – on a break from trying – at a restaurant with friends. Four years ago – planning our wedding – no idea what was to come.

Today. Look at us today.

I realize that there is a baby waiting for us – five minutes away.

A baby. She’s ours. She’s mine.

Gag. Sputter.

I have to stop and catch my breath.

Gag. Retch. Gag.

People walking next to us are starting to stare.

Gag. Gag. Retch.

I lean on a tree. Bend over.

Gag.

I try to breath deep. I start rummaging through my purse, crying.

Gag.

Here it is.

Gag.

Good.

I build up the spit in my mouth between gags. Pop the pill and swallow.

Xan.ax.

Blessed Xan.ax.

 

PPA Part 2: Cognac

8 Apr

It’s 2am. I’m sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of our living room.

My shirt is pulled down, nursing bra exposed. I don’t really care at this point.

It’s Monday night. Bunny is 5 days old. Practically to the minute. She’s fast asleep in my lap. We just had another failed nursing session. She really likes to fall asleep while eating.

I’ve been doing everything to keep her awake. EVERYTHING. Nothing is helping.

I haven’t slept for 8 days.

8 days. Not a wink. Ok. One wink.

Not for lack of trying.

In the hospital I was riding the oxytocin high. I stared at her face for hours. I would just hold her endlessly. I didn’t care about sleep. Sleep meant she would go to the nursery. Sleep meant I would miss out on a moment with this miracle.

When day 4 came around the hormone crash kicked in.

The bliss was still there.

But reality had re-entered my radar like a mac truck.

I need some sleep.

When we go to bed for the night, I’m too afraid. Her bassinet is right next to me. Yes – the movement monitor is on. But it’s not enough. I stick my hand through the bars and put it on hers. I need to feel her movement. The monitor is not enough.

Shmerson takes her to the living room. Maybe if she’s not in the same room I can block out my constant need  to see her breathing.

I lay in bed, and my body begs to succomb to a few hours of blissful darkness. But as my eyelids droop – I jump up – startled.

Maybe it’s because I still hear her gurgling. The headphones come on. Once again – I drift. Only to jump up second later in a panic.

Something is not letting me sleep. It’s no longer in my control. It’s animalistic. It’s a never ending chemical loop.

I’ve managed to get half an hour total – between 4am and 4:30 am on Sunday night using the following configuration: Bunny is on one cushion on the couch. I’m curled up on the other. One hand on her chest to feel her breathing.

Half and hour of blissful sleep. Until she woke up, and my neck hurt.

Day 5. And it’s 2am. And I know I’m in an endless chemical loop and only one thing will save me: Xan.ax. But I can’t. I’m breastfeeding. Failing miserably. But breastfeeding. I’ll be a horrible mother if I can’t feed my child.

I’ll be a horrible mother.

I look at Shmerson and I burst into tears. Not the sad tears. The kind that are tinged with panic. That can spiral into terror at any moment.  He tries to help me gain control.

I just need to sleep. I need to sleep.

I need to sleep.

I go on twitter. He goes on google. We look desperately for a solution. Finally we hit on it – alcohol. I can breastfeed, have a drink, and by the time Bunny feeds again it won’t be a big deal. I’m a lightweight anyway.

I get excited. Yes! Alcohol will do it! Alcohol will make the panic loop stop!

I rouse bunny for another pathetic feeding session – filled with moist towels and foot tickling  – begging her to stay awake.

Back to sleep she goes. My glass of cognac awaits.

A blessed glass of cognac.

I hate cognac.

But this will make the loop stop.

I hand Bunny over to Shmerson and drink the entire glass in a minute flat. Then I head to bed.

My eyes droop – my body longs to succumb to the darkness.

And I jump up with a start.

The loop didn’t stop.

Maybe I’ll be able to get another half an hour on the couch.

If my neck can take it.

PPA Part 1: Empty

7 Apr

Thank you all for your support on my last post. “Coming out” so-to-speak has brought on a renewed barrage of inspiration. This is a first in a series of slightly more abstract posts that have come to me. I’ll get to the practicals later. I’m still in the process of writing these, and it is cathartic. I hope you stick around to read them. 

Empty

Bunny was born three hours ago. I barely held her. Barely registered her being and they took her to the nursery. That’s what they do. They need to monitor her. She’s a gestational diabetes baby. They need to monitor her.

The nurse that took her at 4am – I asked her to let Shmerson come too. She said he could come, but couldn’t stay. I was upset. I don’t remember how, but somehow someone told her about Nadav. I didn’t want to leave my baby alone. She promised she would hook her up to a heart monitor. Just so I could feel better leaving her without us.

Just so I know they’re making sure she’s breathing. But that’s my job. I need to make sure she’s breathing.

4:15am. Shmerson texts me a picture of this wonder – this miraculous creature who I only got to hold for a few minutes. She’s hooked up to a monitor. They did what I asked.

I send him home to sleep.

5am – I get wheeled into the ward.

“When will I see my baby?”

“Probably around 7am. You should get some sleep”

Yes. Sleep. It’s Thursday morning. I haven’t slept since  Sunday night.

“Ok.”

I get to my room.

6am – A nurse helps me out of bed so I can rinse off two days of induction and a hard-fought labor.

“When will I see my baby?”

“The doctor checks them between 6am and 7am – then there’s a shift change. They’ll probably bring her to you around 8am. Get some sleep.”

Ok.

In my room I stare up at a ceiling and close my eyes.

And I do what I’ve done 100 times before in the last four months – since I felt the first flutter.

I start to count. 10 in an hour. But usually with Bunny I get ten in 15 – 20 minutes. I wait for a kick.

A kick doesn’t come.

I start to panic. I put my hand on my stomach.

Where is she?

She’s here. She’s just not with you. But she’s here.

I start to cry. Is she really? Is she really here?

6;30am.

I jump out of bed. Barefoot. Wearing a half-open gown. Traces of the last 48 hours still all over my body.

I don’t care. I run to the nursery.

The door is locked. The doctor is checking them. The door is locked.

The panic rises. I start to cry. I start to pace back and forth, back and forth in front of the sliding doors. Waiting. Panic tickling my throat.

My hands are on my stomach.

I feel so empty. Where is she? I’m empty.

An eternity later the door opens. A nurse sees me. She sees my distress. Nobody is supposed to come in at this hour.

I cry. I beg. She lets me in. I walk up to the bassinet. Bunny. She’s here. She’s here and breathing and sleeping. She’s here. She’s breathing.

But the nurse says I have to go.

“Can’t I take her with me?”

“We’ll bring her to you at around 8:30.”

“No. I want her now.”

“We need to check her blood sugar again.”

I see the small bandage on the bottom of her foot where they drew her blood. Tears well up again.

“When will you check it?”

“Very soon.”

“Then will you bring her? Please. I can’t wait until 8:30. Please bring her to me.”

The nurse looks at me with pity. With exasperation. With something.

“Ok. Try to get some sleep.”

Sleep. I haven’t slept since Sunday.

I go to my room. 7am.

Sleep? Who can sleep?

7:30am – my amazing, miraculous, beautiful baby girl is wheeled into my room.

I sink into three days of blurry, sleepless, unadulterated bliss.

Clearing the Air

5 Apr

The truth is, dear readers, I have not been honest with you or with myself for the last couple of months.

I have been busy – no doubt. But the truth is that I’ve started at least 10 posts in the last month. And I haven’t been able to bring myself to publish a single one.

And the reason is because I let someone else take away my voice.

These days I have a lot of readers from different places. People find me when browsing through parenting blogs on wordpress, or by finding a couple of my satirical “miscarriages suck monkey balls” posts through google, or through a facebook share, or a tag search.

But the core of this blog started as a part of a small, niche blogging community of women living with infertility and pregnancy loss. Known affectionately as the ALI community (adoption, loss, infertility). I “cut official ties” to that community for my own sanity by no longer participating in blog rolls, link exchanges, awards, and the like. But I am still a loyal reader (and friend) to a lot of women who I found there, and I know that many of you found me through there.

I cut ties because the fact is that that the ALI blogosphere- though an often beautiful community that has saved me more times than I can count, can sometimes be cruel and judgemental. And I no longer wanted to conform to what was “expected of me” through it.

I have once actually quit this blog because of those expectations. I am very happy that I came back, and also very happy that I made the conscious decision to stop conforming to one small circle’s expectations.

That being said – a month and a half ago, I was once again exposed to the cruel and judgemental side of the community, and as a result, I have found myself silenced once again in this space.

And though I was considering doing it again, I don’t want to abandon ship.

This blog has too many loyal followers who I don’t want to abandon. This blog tells a complete story. That story is not over. Not even close. So there’s no reason to end it now. I like it here. I’d like to stay.

So I have decided that rather than keep my silence – I will hit “detonate” on a bridge  that I never wanted burned. So I can clear the air and reclaim my voice.

I don’t like airing dirty laundry in this forum. In fact – I hate it. But in this case, if I want to keep this space safe for me, I have no other choice.

This is about me reclaiming something I was labelled, so I can talk about it and address it without the petty bullshit. This is about me admitting something so I can take this space back.

So I’m going to recount a story here. And unlike the woman I am talking about, I will keep any details that may reveal her identity a secret. Because this is about me, not her. The only way you will know who I am talking about is if you happen to read both of our blogs, and put two and two (and two) together.

I am not mentioning names. I do not want this to become a war. I hate this petty bullshit. If you happen to read us both, and you figure out who I’m talking about, good for you. But please keep it to yourself.

I had a friend. I met her through the blogs. I never met her face to face but after Nadav died, I don’t know how, I don’t know why – she became my wailing wall. She was there for me in a way that nobody else in my life could have been. We talked every day, sometimes twice or three times. I would cry to her over skype at 2am. Often. She was a huge reason that I survived the year following his loss.

When I got pregnant with Bunny I emotionally detached from the world. I didn’t talk to anyone. I couldn’t. I was literally in moment-to-moment survival mode. I explained this to her, and at the same time felt like a crappy friend. Especially since she got pregnant shortly after me. But as I slowly got out of the fog, our friendship was slowly rekindled.

This woman and I had our babies at around the same time, through very different paths. We shared experiences and pictures when we could, then one day – we had a fight.

We were both tired. We were both dealing with our own shit. We fell victim to the mommy wars.

I stepped away, giving her space, but clearly leaving the door open for her to come back. Some time had passed but to be perfectly honest – I kind of figured we would both get in the whole parenting groove and then talk it out when we were good and ready. That’s how I usually handle this type of stuff. There are few fights I’ve had that have been deal breakers. Apparently, this woman felt differently.

Then – TWO DAYS after Nadav’s birthday, (TWO DAYS!) this woman published a blog post. In that post, she doesn’t name me. But any person with half a brain who read us both could figure out in a minute who she was talking about. She didn’t go to great lengths to disguise my identity.

I even received several private messages about the post, asking for my side of the story. In fact – that was the way I found out she had posted. I hadn’t opened my blog reader in ages.

My readership is much broader than hers – but we have plenty of the same readers who are a part of the ALI community.

In her post – this woman published one-sided lies about the fight we had. She put words in my mouth which I never said. She claimed I “walked away from the friendship” when she in fact was the one who was abandoning ship by publishing the post. She said things about me that weren’t true and were incredibly hurtful.

But I don’t care about those lies.I didn’t feel the need to address them – especially not here.

What I did – and still do – care about was that this woman betrayed a confidence of mine. Something that I only slightly alluded to on this blog soon after Bunny’s birth, but was not ready to fully share with the world yet, as I was still working through it.

Something that I told her in confidence, which in her blog post she passed on as her own “observation”.

She said it in a condescending, holier-than-thou tone which took away the power of it. She used it as a “reason” that I said all those things she claims I said but were never said (in reality they were perceived and inferred).

In writing out her own agenda, she took away my right to tell you about it myself. Yes – there are a hundreds of you who have never come across her blog. But there are enough of you who have. That know enough to know she was talking about me. That made what she wrote a betrayal of confidence.

And she did it less than two days after Nadav’s birthday.

Exactly at the moment that I was getting ready to share it with you.

I had been planning a long post about it. It was sitting in my drafts, waiting for one last pass before publishing. Instead, I deleted it.

I was so afraid of confirming the link between me and this woman’s post. I didn’t publish because I was afraid it would eventually lead to me having to write something like what I’m writing right now. Instead of that post – the post I needed to publish – I wrote another post in a deliberate attempt to distance myself from the situation. And I have barely written a lick since.

She took away the power of what I wanted to say. And she did it at a time when I was finally ready to “come out” so-to-speak, and unpack my experience here.

She took it away by making it her “observation”, rather than something I admitted to her in confidence. She took it away from me, by not letting me tell you myself.

And now I’m taking it back:

Before Bunny was born, I was scared of postpartum depression. I luckily dodged that bullet.

Instead, I was hit with the train that is postpartum anxiety.

I have been living with it, dealing with it, and trying to come to terms with what that means since Bunny was 4 days old and I had my first panic attack.

It colors all of my decisions. It makes me question myself as a mother. It makes some things a million times harder than they should be.

Postpartum anxiety sucks.

And I have it.

And it was MY RIGHT to keep that information to myself until I was ready to share it and process it. And unpack it. Because this is the space where it should be unpacked. Nowhere else.

And it’s been waiting in a suitcase in a corner because I let somebody take away my voice.

I have no anger toward this woman any more. I already said what I had to say to her in an email, and I have nothing else to say to her.

I’m saddened because of the way she chooses to deal with the people in her life who love her. I am not the first in the line of abandoned friends in her wake. I hope I’m the last, but I doubt it. I truly hope she finds peace and happiness in her life. I told her as much.

I am saddened because she was a friend to me at a time when being a friend to me was an almost insurmountable task. For that I will always be grateful. And I profoundly feel the loss of her friendship. Though now I no longer desire it.

But I refuse to let this drama stop me from expressing myself here. I am not abandoning ship. I am reclaiming my space right here and right now.

So now it’s out in the open air. Please respect my wishes and if you understand who I’m talking about – keep it to yourself.

And let’s move on from this. The air is clear.

I am Mo, and I have postpartum anxiety.

Let’s talk about it, shall we?

The Perfect Storm of Urgh

13 Mar

So. Bunny started day care.

The first day I dropped her off, I literally sat in the car, outside the day care center for AN HOUR AND A HALF crying like a baby. It brought every single anxiety I’ve been feeling to the surface.

I called my brother and he reminded me that my mother not letting us find our independence is a huge reason we’re both a bit messed up.

That thought and a mixture of emotional detachment and xan.ax got me through week one. It was clear that I was the one who needed adjusting. Bunny seemed to like it there. Shmerson (who did the majority of the dropping-off) commented on how he could hear her do her happy squeal as he was leaving.

Yes, she got home exhausted and I felt like I was completely missing out on her. But I knew it would get better.

They also started giving her solids. I’d done a small introduction to them, and I was totally on board with them taking the reigns.

Then – the tummy trouble started. I won’t go into detail – but it wasn’t pretty.

Then – Bunny literally started screaming just at the sight of a bottle and has been refusing food since Monday.

It was a perfect storm – starting solids, she had just finished cutting her first two teeth, some sort of virus which made her throat hurt, and her reflux is definitely worse.

I took her to the doctor on Tuesday. He said I just had to ride it out. He suggested I talk to the gastro specialist about the new eating issues.

I’ve been home with her ever since. Every bottle is a fight. She’s miserable. I’m miserable.

The gastro specialist got back to me today and I missed his call. Once I managed to call him back he didn’t have time to talk and just said we should switch meds. Though I didn’t get a chance to tell him she’s been crying just at the SIGHT of a bottle. But we’ll make the switch and hope for the best.

But in the meantime, she’s losing weight.

AND EVERYTHING IS FLOODING TO THE SURFACE

My mistrust of doctors. I’ve been told before that everything would be fine by a doctor then it wasn’t. I no longer believe everything will be fine.

My guilt at putting Bunny in day care.

My incredible anxiety that something bad will happen to her.

And on and on.

Oh – I’m also blaming the day care for making my baby sick.  Even though I know it’s normal and it happens. I just want to pull  her out of there. It’s a perfectly nice place. I just want her home with me.

It’s a perfectly nice place that I no longer trust because my daughter refuses to eat.

It’s a perfectly nice place that gets to enjoy my daughter for the majority of her awake and energetic day. While I do what – effing internet content? Some days it just doesn’t seem to be worth it.

Logically I know she needs to stay. I just don’t know how the hell I’m going to be able to drop her off on Monday without freaking out and/or calling every 3 minutes.

It’s been a miserable couple of days. I’m seriously afraid that the eating issue and other tummy issues are not just a virus and reflux but something worse. I’ve been avoiding Dr. Google like the plague. I’ve been crying. I’ve been worried. I’ve been anxious.

I hate this. Everything is flooding me. I’m completely overwhelmed with anxiety. And I know this is TERRIBLE  for her. I need to fucking let go and relax.

But she’s not eating. And she’s in pain. And she’s paler than usual and I can tell she’s lost weight. And I feel helpless.

I hate this.

What’s Left Behind

4 Feb

So – I’ll save you the usual apologies for being gone so long. Until we move and/or get Bunny into daycare, sporadic will just have to do. 🙂

This post has been running through my head for a while, though I admit it’s still a jumble. I’m hoping that writing it out will help clarify some things.

What is left when the wreckage of the last 3.5 years is cleared?

I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately. The last 5(!) months since Bunny was born have been a whirlwind. New job, big decisions, and of course the huge life change that is just having her here. I admit there are still days that I “remember” I’m a mom and freak the fuck out. She is still in a lot of ways an abstract to me. But she’s slowly but surely becoming a little person with her own wants needs and desires, so the abstract is gaining focus.

Last month, Shmerson and I re-watched the first two seasons of “Sherlock” (don’t be so impressed, it’s only six episodes), in preparation for the new season. While watching it, I realized that I remembered NOTHING. Not one single thing about this show, which I knew that I loved and I always categorized as brilliant. When I mentioned this to Shmerson, I noted: “We must have watched it while I was drugged up.”

I don’t think I hid this here, but I don’t think I discussed it much either: After losing Nadav I spent the better part of six months HEAVILY medicated. My pregnancy with Bunny I spent on very strong anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds, which meant I was mostly emotionally detached from everything that entire time (and it wasn’t just the meds, it was also a defense mechanism). I credit that medication with saving my sanity and my life. But it does mean that there’s a good year or so of my life that passed in a complete haze.  I started taking anti-depressants for the first time in December of 2010 – over 3 years ago – which generally numbed my feelings. I am now only taking Xan.ax to deal with my anxiety disorder, and I’m on a very small dose. For the first time in 3 years – I’m no longer in a haze or emotionally detached due to medication.

It gets more complicated: My first miscarriage happened just two months after our wedding. From that point on, I was a woman on a mission. I abandoned literally EVERYTHING in pursuit of a baby. In June of 2010, had you asked – I would have said that my greatest ambition was to direct feature films. I had already gotten a development grant and I was getting closer and closer to that goal. If you would have told me then that I’d abandon it all to accommodate a string of high-risk pregnancies, and then become a content manager at a start-up and actually ENJOY it I would have thought that the notion was absurd.

My first loss turned everything upside down for me, and the world has only really begun to straighten up now. There were moments during the last 3.5 years that I *thought* I had things figured out. I “made decisions” regarding my future. I “pushed on”. In hindsight – those moments were a total crock.

I spent 6 months thinking I wanted to be a teacher. I spent a year and a half teaching.

I do NOT want to be a teacher.

I went back to school to get BA level psych credits so that I could do a Master’s in Art Therapy.

I do NOT want to be an art therapist.

I also don’t think I want to be a filmmaker, though that option hasn’t completely been taken off the table. 10 years of pursuing it and 2 degrees keep it perpetually on the table.

I love my job – but I’m also not sure I want to be doing that for the rest of my life.

But this is not just about career choices.

Out of the last 3.5 years, I spent 84 weeks of them pregnant. That’s almost 20 months. Practically two years.

I spent the remainder either attempting to get pregnant or grieving a lost pregnancy, or both at the same time.

(For the sake of this argument, I’m not counting of course the 5 months I have now spent raising Bunny).

That time basically demolished me completely. Giving birth to Bunny only cleared the wreckage, and of course, I can’t rely on her to rebuild. This is about me.

I need to figure out who I am now. That’s kind of a huge deal.

The last 3.5 years have called almost all of my assumptions about myself into question. Parts of my personality that I was CONVINCED were inherent to it are now absolutely gone.

A small example: I was absolutely 100% convinced that I will always be a person who struggles to diet. Gestational diabetes changed that. I have been consistently shedding pounds since giving birth and I’m now 5 pounds less than I was before getting pregnant with Bunny. I have a good 20 to go before I reach my ideal weight, but I’m getting there, and it’s not even CLOSE to being a struggle. Patience and willpower? Ha! Small potatoes compared to the hell of a high-risk pregnancy.

Any free headspace I have these days is dedicated to two things:

1) Figuring out who I am

2) Making an effort to fix the things I don’t like about myself.

There are very few things I know about myself now. This is what I’ve managed to figure out so far:

I know I both love and am terrified by being a mother.

I know I love my husband.*

I know that I have a strong survival instinct, and I am incredibly stubborn.

I know I’m good at my job.

I know I’m a good writer (prose mostly, ok at scripts, suck at  poetry).

I know I don’t trust doctors.

I know that generally, people tend to like me when they  meet me.

I know that I have absolutely NO fashion sense, nor do I have an interest in developing one.

I know I have some serious self-esteem issues

I know that purple is my favorite color, Faith No More is my favorite band, my favorite books are the Harry Potter series, the Hunger Games trilogy, and the odd one out – “The Music of Chance” by Paul Auster. I’m a 90’s pop culture junkie and I love (modern) Dr. Who and (not-so-modern) Monty Python movies.

I know I’m a good cook, though I’m no longer sure what my favorite food is. It used to be lobster. I think it may now be french fries. Or maybe fresh-baked white bread with butter.

I know I’m a good mother, a good wife, a good friend, a good daughter, and a good sister. Though in my weakest moments I question all of that.

If you’re counting, that’s basically 12 things. Everything else is up in the air.

Wait – I know one more thing: That whatever I figure out about who I am, I want Bunny to be proud of that person. I know I need to lead by example.

The wreckage has cleared – it’s time to rebuild.

* Last night Shmerson and I had a bit of a mini-fight. It ended with me explaining all of this to him. He told me: “I don’t know what you’re going to be either, but I can’t wait to find out, because I know it’ll be amazing.” I love him so fucking much.

Bullets and Bunnies – Sick and Tired Edition

19 Aug
  • 38 weeks tomorrow.  I was seriously hoping she’d be out by now. I know that doesn’t usually happen but I figured with the de-stitching and all, we’d have a good jump start on getting things moving.
  • The fit-ball has been taken out, long walks have been initiated. Other than both of those things making me want to pee ALL THE TIME, no huge difference yet.  Though I do think I MAY have lost my mucus plug yesterday. But that can happen waaay before labor kicks in. Le sigh.
  • My mom is CONVINCED I’m going to give birth on her birthday. That’s this Wednesday. I highly doubt she’s right. Trying not to get my hopes up. It’s not like the woman has psychic powers. For the record, I’ll take Thursday or Friday just as happily. Tuesday would be even better. Just sayin’.
  • My anxiety has been through the roof. I’m no longer counting kicks 3 times a day, I’m counting them ALL DAY. With the exception of the occasional rare distraction, it seems like all I’ve been doing lately is focusing on whether she’s moving enough. This is not a fun place to be.
  • The anxiety isn’t just around counting kicks. It’s around everything. Giving birth, what happens if anything goes wrong, what happens if everything goes right (just as scary to me for some reason). How I’ll react to certain triggers, whether I’ll be able to keep my cool. It’s just everything. I’m a hormonal mess. By the time Shmerson comes home each night he usually finds me sitting on the couch crying. Good times all around.
  • When Shmerson goes to bed, he usually kisses my stomach and says “good night”. The last couple of days he’s been kissing it and saying “get out”. Hear hear!
  • I think the best way to describe my overall mood at this point is just sick and tired. Sick and tired of the same daily routine. Sick and tired of eating the same effing thing every day. Sick and tired of work. Sick and tired of running over every possible scenario in my head over and over again. Sick and tired of the anxiety. Sick and tired of “what if”.
  • I happened to see the Russian while waiting for my high-risk OB appointment last week.  I told him that he did too good a job with my cerclage. He laughed and said “at this rate, you’ll go to 42 weeks”. Not funny Russian. NOT FUNNY.
  • I can haz labor now?
  • No, seriously. Poopik is not amused.
  • At least you can haz a bunny:

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The Not-Quite Emergency

30 Jul

Let me start by saying everything is fine.  Now on to the story:

B5 has had a relatively consistent movement pattern. Today she decided that patterns are for losers.

I’m used to a nice barrage of kicks in the morning. Today, she barely poked me once when I woke up. Her movement is relatively consistent throughout the day. Today she was quiet.

At first I wasn’t too concerned. I still felt an occasional jab though they were few and far between. But by the afternoon I was anxious to the point of distraction. I wasn’t getting any work done. I was staring at the computer screen, not able to concentrate on anything, while at the same time just trying to will B5 to give me a nice big movement like she usually does.

But nothing. It’s not that she wasn’t moving at all – but what I felt was TINY. Comparable to week 16. Not 35 weeks by a long shot. It was like she was barely there.

I did some kick counts and again, she squeaked by. I knew logically that it was enough but it was simply NOT LIKE HER.  By 4pm I whipped out the doppler – something I hadn’t felt the need to do in weeks and weeks. It took me 15 minutes to find her heartbeat, and even then it was only for a few seconds.

By that point I was hysterical.

On one hand, I knew that logically everything is supposedly fine. But having been through worst-case-scenarios before all I could think about was the what-ifs.

Whether something was wrong or not, my PTSD was in full force and I was terrified. I called my health service’s nurse hotline and was very honest about feeling movement, but just LESS.

Because I was high risk, she told me to go to L&D, just in case.

My mom came over to pick me up and Shmerson left work early to meet us there.

Of course the moment I was put on the monitor B5 decided it was time to practice some dance moves. Something I had been longing for all day. I calmed down a bit but was still not convinced that everything was fine.

BTW – it took the nurse a moment or two to get a good hold of B5’s heartbeat as well. Seems like she’s just in an awkward position.

U/S showed a “perfect” rear placenta, fluid levels normal, and a perfectly healthy B5.

The doctor was very sweet and reassuring. I guess with my history, no one really judges me if I freak out once in a while.

Honestly I don’t regret going to get checked out. Even with the SLIGHTEST chance that something is off,  I know too much about what can go wrong. I’m not taking any chances.

But I think in this home stretch things are really starting to take a toll on my psyche. Between switching meds, being stuck at home all day in the sweltering heat, and my building anxiety over what’s to come I guess I was destined for a meltdown.

T-minus two weeks until the cerclage comes out (as of now we’re back to removal at 37 weeks). Let’s hope I manage to keep my sanity – at least as much of it as I have left.

PS- THANK YOU ALL for your sweet comments on my last post. They made me feel a helluva lot better, and a lot less alone. You guys are the best.

The Truth Is

28 Jul

Let’s put aside my trauma. Let’s put aside my losses. Let’s put aside my PTSD.  I talk about that enough. It’s time to come clean about another side of it.

The truth is I’m not just scared of things going wrong.

I’m also scared of things going right.

Before loss. Before trying. Before getting married. Before any of this. I was scared of childbirth. Terrified of it. Not the labor pains. The pushing. The pushing of something so big out of something so small. It scared the bejeezus out of me.  That fear has come back with a vengeance.

I’ve been through labor before but Nadav was so small. B5 isn’t term yet and she’s already so big. How in the hell am I going to get her out? That freaking terrifies me.

No matter how many stories I read. How much I educate myself. Thinking about it brings on panic.

And parenting. Holy fuck you guys I’m terrified of that. I’ve spent so long just concentrating on keeping a pregnancy I never actually fathomed that there would be a real live PERSON at the end of this. Who I have to feed and clothe and educate and parent. Me. What the fuck do I know?

Everybody says I’ll be an amazing mom. I still feel 14 years old on the inside. How the fuck do I parent?

Not to mention that I haven’t been able to bring myself to pick up even one freaking newborn parenting book. I just can’t do it. I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Everyone says there’s this magical moment where everything clicks into place and you suddenly feel like a parent.

I’d like to be after that magical moment please because I seriously think that if I manage to survive this, and I get a real, healthy, live baby out of all of this, my head will explode. I seriously think I will lose it because I’m having such a hard time truly imagining that this possibility is real. I still can’t fathom it. Pregnancy for me doesn’t lead to babies. It leads to hurt. If this actually leads to a baby I seriously think I will lose my mind because of my inability to wrap my head around it. And it looks like this may actually lead to a baby. That I have to push out. And then raise. Holy fuck. Just writing that is freaking me out.

Not to mention that I want to be after that whole part where I’m so stretched out and in pain I’m afraid my insides will fall out of me.

Seriously, I find that scary as fuck.

This is freaking terrifying. For reals.

And the waiting around for whatever outcome is just making life a laugh riot right now. I’ve been surviving this pregnancy through a nice combo of emotional detachment and distraction. But now B5 is so present. Things are starting to get really real. Holy crap.

Aren’t I just the picture of stability you guys? Good times.

Yes I’m Actually Considering This

26 Jul

Please don’t be hurt if I come off as judge-y or a cynical skeptic in this post. Like I said when I talked about birth plans – I feel how I feel, you feel how you feel. What I feel is in no way a judgement of your belief system, it’s just me. So let’s keep things respectful, ok? Ok.

So I’m still doing pretty crappy. I’m short on patience and filled with anxiety. I realize at this point there’s very little I can do about it. Even my therapist is concentrating on ways to make the time pass quicker rather than deal with all the feelings. Really, the only solution to everything I’m going through is to just power through it until I get to the other side. So I’m white-knuckling things. Fun times. I’m sure I’ll write more about it soon. 

But I promised a follow up to my breastfeeding post and I keep my promises! Plus, I assure you, this one is a doozy. 

I’m considering consuming my placenta. 

Me. This is me we’re talking about. 

The comments on that post really helped me get a plan together, and kind of have me convinced that dehydrating my placenta and turning it into pills which I can take may be a good way to stave off PPD. One thing’s for sure – even if it doesn’t help, it certainly can’t hurt. 

After mourning the ideal picture I had in my head and giving it a lot of thought, my plan is to breastfeed for three weeks while doing all I can to prevent postpartum depression, and then after three weeks, assess my mental state. If I’m doing ok, then I’ll stay off the pills, but if I feel like I’m suffering, then on the pills I go. From everything I know, three weeks is a good time to really differentiate between normal “baby blues” and full-on PPD. I just really need to be honest with myself about my state of mind when I’m in the moment. I hope I can pull that off. Grieving the ideal picture I had in my head has helped that along a bit. I just need to keep the conversation going, so when the time comes I don’t try to manipulate things, but rather am honest with myself.

But I also want to feel like I did everything I possibly could to avoid PPD. Which is where this whole placenta-as-pills thing comes in. 

But like everything in my life, pulling this off has proven to be complicated. 

The thing is I can’t even fathom taking home my placenta and dehydrating it and encapsulating it on my own. Let me be perfectly clear: for me that’s just a step too far. I just can’t do it. It’s too much.

Ideally, we would grab the placenta, put it on ice, bring it to someone, and then a few days later pick up some nice neat bottles of pills. No muss, no fuss. 

But alas, that is not to be. 

I have literally looked EVERYWHERE, and there is nobody that provides this service in this country. Not one person. I’ve asked my doula, my acupuncturist,  and anybody else who would conceivably know of anybody who provides this service, or would know someone who knows someone. Not to mention extensive google searches. NADA. It’s just not done here.

There is something though. But I admit I’m even more skeptical about it than I am about the dehydrated placenta pills. 

Apparently there are private pharmacies here that will take a piece of your placenta and create a homeopathic liquid out of it. I even found a place that is literally a 10 minute drive from my house who does this. 

All I would have to do is ask for a piece of my placenta (just a piece, no need for the whole thing), preserve it in alcohol, drop it off at the pharmacy, and a few days and about 40 bucks later – essence of placenta in a bottle. 

But here’s the thing: I think homeopathy is complete and utter BS. So there is no chance for a placebo effect here.

Consuming full pieces of placenta, on some level makes logical sense to me. But droplets of water that supposedly have some sort of essence of the thing? It just doesn’t jive as well. 

I know what some of you are thinking – how is one so different from the other? 

I don’t know. It just is. One makes sense to me. The other doesn’t. And I just don’t know what to do. 

And I’ll say it again: I am not dehydrating and encapsulating my own placenta. That is just not going to happen. It’s either homeopathy or nothing. 

So- anybody have this done, or know of somebody that has? What do you guys think? Is essence of placenta better than no placenta at all? 

(I seriously can’t even believe I’m having a discussion about this. But desperate times….)

One of Those Days

23 Jul

Well it would be dishonest if all I did here was just post about birth non-plans and shopping.

Because the truth is that day-to-day things sometimes really blow.

Today sucked. It’s not that anything specific happened. It was just one of those days, that have been getting more frequent lately where I just plain lost it.

I didn’t sleep properly, and I spent the entire day on edge.

Shmerson stayed home from work because he wasn’t feeling well, and instead of just taking care of him, there were bursts of taking care of him mixed with taking out my frustrations on him. Poor guy. And he wasn’t the only victim. Everyone I talked to today felt my wrath. I was short and unkind and I feel like shit about it, but I just couldn’t help it.

It’s as if I had a finite amount of patience, and that patience has run out.

I’m terrified that things may still go wrong, and yet I am SICK AND TIRED of being scared, even though I can’t stop it.

I’m worried all the time, and I’m SICK AND TIRED of being worried.

Plus – I would give anything right now for a slice of double cheese pizza followed by a hunk of chocolate cake.

I know I need to stick to the GD diet for the good of B5, but I am SICK AND TIRED of this stupid diet and eating the same freaking thing every day. I just want some freaking carbs. Like – real ones.

Days have just been dragging by at a snail’s pace. I feel like I want to DO things but I can’t without Shmerson here, and he’s only really free to do stuff on the weekends. So I spend all week just feeling stagnant. Like NOTHING is moving.

The only time I feel any sort of progress is on weekends when we actually get things ready for B5, and that doesn’t happen every weekend. And it’s like doing these little things makes the good stuff feel more real. But most of what I do is not getting ready. It’s just sitting around. Waiting, working, eating stupid diabetes-friendly food. Waiting some more.

Yesterday was the Jewish version of Valentine’s day. Shmerson jokingly tweeted: “On this day, what do you get the wife who’s not allowed anything?”

I LOLed. It’s funny because it’s true. And it’s also kind of sad for the same reason.

I am SICK AND TIRED of this. I know we’re in the home stretch, but each day feels like a month.

So today at around 6pm I had a mini meltdown and couldn’t stop crying for an hour. Poor Shmerson. I think he doesn’t quite know what to do with me any more. All he can do is tell me how little time there is left. But right now, for me, it seems like FOREVER.

Come what may – I want to be past this.

Truth be told – I want to see this little girl already, safe and sound and screaming her lungs out. Because I’m sick of seeing all the other possible outcomes and being terrified. I’m sick of the flashbacks. I’m sick of the worry. I’m sick of the uncertainty. I just want to KNOW already.

I AM SO OVER THIS.

I know there are only probably 4-6 weeks to go. I know that relative to “time served” that is nothing.

But right now it feels like everything.

Fertile World Problems

17 Jul

So today I saw my psychiatrist for the first time since going on bed rest. I made the appointment now in order to get things squared away in case I have to deal with postpartum depression (PPD), which I’m at VERY high risk for. I wanted to make sure that in case of a med switch, we had plenty of time to pull it off.

I left the appointment practically in tears.

So here’s the deal:

I’ve been on a drug called zy.prexa for the last 4 months. It was a good interim solution because it can handle high-anxiety situations as well as curb depression. Though it’s not usually prescribed for depression and anxiety, it’s known to work for people who are SSRI-resistant (or in other words people who the usual happy pills don’t work on – like me).

So I walk into the shrink’s office and pretty much the first thing I tell him is that I have GD. Immediately he says that it could very well have been caused by the zy.prexa. I knew that weight gain was a side effect (knew that all too well, thank-you-very-much), but I had no idea it could affect my blood sugar. He told me that he wanted me to stop the pill immediately, and manage through the rest of the pregnancy with the occasional xan.ax (ok during the third trimester as long as I don’t take any after week 38), and that’s it. The zy.prexa has too much potential to do harm.

He also said that he would recommend I never take the pill again because he’s afraid of the long-term risks for my health, and that it may cause diabetes for me in the long run if I continue to take it.

I have to say I was a bit relieved. I don’t regret taking the pill – it helped me keep my shit together, and if GD is a side effect of that, so be it, but I’m glad to know that there’s a chance my blood sugar will even out more now that I’m going off the pill. And there’s no way of knowing if the pill caused the GD or is just not helping a set situation. Either way I can see an upside to both having been on it, and now going off of it.

Then came the bombshell:

Shrink: “So after you give birth, I want you to breastfeed for a week, then we’ll put you back on a low dose of cym.balta”.

Me: “Ok… Wait… What do you mean breastfeed for a week?”

Shrink: “There’s not enough research out there about cym.balta. You shouldn’t breastfeed while you’re on it.”

Me: “WHAT?”

There was a continual back-and-forth about this but basically the conclusion is this:

I can wait it out to see if PPD hits before I start taking the pill (about three weeks after giving birth), but if I do get PPD, I have no choice but to stop breastfeeding immediately because I would never risk it with cym.balta in my system. I can’t get another pill because me and SSRI’s (zo.loft, pa.xil and the like) are NOT friends at all, and zy.prexa is too big of a risk, so I’m stuck with this one form of happy pill, and I can’t do anything about it.

The fact is that there’s a pretty decent chance I’ll get PPD. I have practically every risk factor in the book between my losses and my history of depression. And if I get PPD, of course it needs to be treated, which means I won’t be able to breastfeed. So now here’s yet another thing taken away from me, and I fucking hate it.

Look – I joked that if breastfeeding doesn’t come easily to me I’ll happily use cym.balta as an excuse to stop. But I have a feeling that may not be the case. What if I love it? How can I give it up if it comes naturally to me and B5?

When I called Shmerson and told him the verdict he pointed out that these are first world problems. That six months ago I would have killed to be in a discussion about the risks of breastfeeding while on SNRI’s.

And he’s right, but right now it doesn’t make this hurt any less.

All I can do now is hope that by some miracle I don’t get PPD. But realistically I know that chances of that are close to nil.

So yes, this is a “fertile world problem”. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to cry my eyes out over it. So excuse me while I go do that.

It Never Goes Away

3 Jul

So I’ve been silent for a while because I was stuck in a brand-spanking new anxiety bubble.

Looking back at it, it was a totally illogical hormonal meltdown. But when you’re in the middle of it, it just seems incredibly real.

Here’s how it started: Last Thursday during the day I felt B5 move a little less than usual. I was a bit worried, but the kick counts I did were fine. On Friday, we had our second childbirth class with our doula, and I mentioned it to her. She was very sweet, and told me what to do if I get really concerned about less movement. Basically: That if I need to, I shouldn’t be afraid to go to the ER to get checked out. Nobody would judge me for it.

At the same time, my blood sugar readings have been a bit high. Nothing too big – 5 points over what they should be on average. But that was there.

Something about those two incidents started getting me to panic (I honestly can’t put my finger on what it was). On Saturday B5 opened a circus in my ute, so I calmed down a bit. But then again on Sunday – quiet. Again – the kick counts were fine. Things were just – softer than usual. The same thing happened on Monday. I knew logically that there was no reason for me to worry. I spoke to the high-risk nurse on Monday as well because of my slightly high sugar readings, and she confirmed, everything is fine.

But then something kind of snapped. On Tuesday I freaked. The eff. Out. I did 3 kick counts in as many hours. I called everyone from my mom to the high-risk nurse crying hysterically. They all told me to just go to the ER, but I knew deep down that this was all in my head and there’s really no reason to spend 5 hours in an ER over this.

I just kept on running through terrible scenarios over and over. It wasn’t really the quieter movement, or the slightly high sugar readings. It was the PTSD and the hormones wreaking havoc on my psyche.

We had our first tour of an L&D ward last night, and on the way there, B5 decided to re-open the circus. Finally I breathed deeply again.

Do I regret not going to the ER? No. I know that nothing is actually wrong right now. My high-risk OB looked at my blood sugar numbers yesterday and didn’t think it was necessary to medicate. B5 has been showing off in my ute all day today.

I think that two things are happening: The first, is that this is all becoming very REAL. I’m less than 6 weeks away from getting my cerclage removed. That’s next month. That’s nuts. It just seems surreal to have come this far. The second is of course the residual PTSD from everything we’ve been through. I can’t think about labor without remembering the last time I went through it. And it’s time I start thinking about labor. I need to find a way to do it without bursting into tears.

So I’ve upped my therapist back to once a week, and I’m trying to work through all of this. Slowly but surely I’m regaining hold of sanity. Let’s just hope that it sticks around.

And Just Like That…

13 Jun

So something went wrong with dinner tonight and I had an unusually high blood sugar reading afterward.

Then I decided to google it to see if it was a big deal.

I found a site that seemed very informative with some nice comprehensive stuff about the condition. I made the mistake of reading it and it scared the eff out of me by getting into worst case scenarios which I didn’t really want to read (and I really don’t want to repeat here), and I’ve been avoiding like the plague. Yay me for being a genius and not stopping reading when I should have. Stupid Dr. Google.

And just like that, a switch went off in my head and all optimism got tossed out the window. I’m pretty much back to terrified and emotionally detached now.

Somebody talk me down, because this is no fun.

Hitting a Wall

25 May

It started last night when the family was over for dinner and afterwards I pulled some watermelon out of the fridge and spent an hour staring at it longingly because I couldn’t eat it and everyone else could.

It dragged into today. The feeling that this is endless. That here again is yet ANOTHER thing I can’t do. I can’t leave the house. I can’t take a freaking walk. I can’t even eat some freaking fruit without there being consequences.

So today, 3 months to go seems endless. Seems like forever.

The worst part of this is is how much I hate being pregnant. How I want to be past this already – but I can’t wish that. I can’t let her come early, that would be awful. She needs to stay in there for another 11 and a half weeks at least.

It’s like a never-ending cycle of guilt over here. Guilt and feeling miserable because I’m freaking not allowed to do anything. And poor Shmerson, he has to live with this.

Everybody keeps on telling me this will be worth it in the end. I know that’s probably true. But right now everything just seems endless and sucky.

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