Archive for the ‘Everybody Has Issues’ Category

T minus 1 week

It’s passed midnight, so that means it’s officially Saturday. And I can’t sleep. My sporadic insomnia has an edge of panic attack to it. Spinning head, slightly numb hands. I know that my panic attacks are directly linked to my stress load. Let me see… In exactly one week my husband, daughter, dog and myself move in with my mom and her crazy dog (formerly my dog. But I seriously cannot handle his spaz anymore. Thus shipping him off to my moms. And now I’m going to be living with him again?!) in her super small 1 bed + loft room, 1.5 bath. Seriously, I’m guessing this place at about 1,000 square feet. I’m not packed nearly as much as I has planned due to delay of acquiring boxes. My mom is SO HAPPY we are moving in, so no pressure for me to be happy or anything. I feel like she isn’t acknowledging how hard this is for me, or for Hubster. Yes, of course there are things I’m looking forward to. Not being homeless. Less expenses. Extra help with Seedling. I know Seedling is going to be over-the-moon-thrilled to spend so much time with her Grammy. But yeah, just a lot of emotions. Loss of independence and privacy. Fears of tension and conflict. Loss of personal comforts – most of our stuff is going in storage. A few kitchen items, our clothes and dressers, Seedling’s crib and changing table and blackout curtains, a few books, a few knitting/craft projects, movies… That’s all that us coming with us. Everything from our table, plates and cups, couches and wall art, decorative curtains, Chiba cabinet, our bed… All going to storage. I know it’s just stuff, but it is stuff we have accumulated to make our apartment feel like home. it is the things that I’m so familiar with that I don’t consciously bite they are there, but they surround me with a sense if familiarity; colors, textures, aesthetic that I enjoy. While my mom is open to my ideas on arranging stuff, ultimately it her HER home. Her aesthetic, her stuff, heck, Hubster and I don’t even have our bed! (Not because we were forbade from bringing it, just that trying to fit our king in amongst everything seemed too tight.)

Alright, I more or less emptied my brain. Here’s hoping sleep will fill the void.

I cannot do those things

It’s been an exhausting week. Last weekend we flew (first time for Seedling!) to California to celebrate my brother’s graduation from the prestigious Air Force Test Pilot School (there were only 12 pilots in his class. This is a big deal) and while there was lots of fun and awesomeness, there was also a lot of being tired and stressed, because that’s just how things go with extended-family-events. We get back and, of course, Seedling has a little cold. Not a major disease or anything, probably just a big from flying etc. But when she is sick she pretty much wants to nurse, or nap in my lap. Which would be fine except we are supposed to move THIS WEEKEND. Then I had to rush my stupid dog Glen to the vet because he ate trail mix and was vomiting it back up all morning/afternoon and I was starting to worry he had an obstruction because he ate the almonds WHOLE. Twit didn’t chew at all! Thankfully NOT obstructed. Thankfully NOT a giant vet bill. But I got home and felt absolutely claustrophobic. Dishes that need to be put away, piles of laundry to put away, laundry that has been sitting in the dryer since MONDAY. Boxes piled up, some full, most waiting TO be filled. I haven’t been able to properly unpack. I’m eating random junk because I’m exhausted and there is no time or energy for anything else. Pretty sure I’m dehydrated, and I’m certain I haven’t showered since Sunday.

I need help. I can’t do it all. But Hubster has to be at work and school. Friends and family have their own lives to take care of. Even when people offer I just don’t know how to accept the help because I’m that far gone. I called my mom to vent and she tells me “Just take care of Seedling, walk the dogs, eat healthy and sleep as much as you can.” Like that’s the bare minimum to surviving. But you know what? I can’t do all of those things. I can’t. I try so hard to do it all, to pull myself up by my bootstraps. To tell myself to figure it out, to stay strong, be an adult, cowgirl up. But I’m out of steam. There’s no more energy. All I can do is the first thing on that list; take care of seedling. And maybe the dogs. But me? Ya, there’s no time or energy for that. And anyone who tries to tell me I’m a loser, or a failure as a parent can go take a hike because I’m already telling myself that.

I can’t do all these things.

Body issues

Pretty sure Seedling is teething. She goes from her normal happy-go-lucky self to hysterical screaming at the drop of a hat. Drooling, hands in mouth, frozen teething rings, nursing 24/7, Tylenol, holistic teething tablets… Such has been my life the last few days. No real end in sight. My heart just breaks for her 😦

Last night was the first time Hubster and I were intimate since Seedling was born. Well… Since about a year ago, actually. Pregnancy sex was just too weird for us, and then the exhaustion of patenting a new baby… We have talked about it quite a bit and agreed we wouldn’t have really high expectations. It’s been so long, my body is changed from childbirth and breastfeeding. Needless to say, we had to pause and giggle a few times. Since I’m nursing my nether regions were quite dry so we had to stop and hunt down lube. Then milk was leaking everywhere so I had to stop and put on a bra with absorbent nursing pads. But the most frustrating thing was that everyone told me after giving birth that “it’s like the Grand Canyon down there”. Um, no. Things were quite snug, uncomfortable… Actually quite painful, particularly along my episiotomy scar.

In talking with some other moms today, it came up that I have not had an exam since my delivery. When I went in for my “6 week post partum” check, the nurse looked at my chart and said “oh, you’re not due for your annual Pap smear. Sorry you came all the way in for nothing” and sent me home. I thought it was odd at the time, but I was also exhausted and hormonal and just eager to go home and sleep more. So no one has checked that I healed correctly, or any of the other bits and baubles that should have been done.

And now I no longer have insurance coverage.

I don’t know why exactly but it all just hit me very strongly this afternoon. I felt like I’d failed something, somehow. Failed myself. Failed my body. Or my body had failed me. There was crying.

I just feel like every time I turn around something is wrong. Of course, it could be that everything is hunky dory and normal. But I don’t know that. Why didn’t I stand up to that nurse? Why didn’t I ask more questions? I’m overwhelmed with questions of “Am I ok? Will our sex be painful forever? How will this affect future childbirth if I’m lucky enough to get pregnant again?”

Hubster was very sweet and understanding. Both during the sex, and during my mini panic attack this afternoon. He told me to call a doctor and be seen ASAP, we will just have to pay for the exam, my health is the most important thing.

Several people have told me to go back that doctor and demand a free exam. He was a descent enough guy, the best option with our last minute change during the pregnancy, but I don’t really feel 100% comfortable going back there. I got several great recommendations of other doctors and midwives to choose from. I tried calling today but offices were closed. Guess I know what I’m doing on Monday!

I’m so grateful for the amazing support I have. Dear childhood friends, an amazing local mom group, new friendships I’m forming in my church. I think that’s why I so rarely blog anymore… This space was about needing support that I didn’t have. But now I have so much support. But it’s still comforting to come back here and lay it all out. Like a childhood security blanket.

I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to say. I’m so exhausted and drained. It’s been an emotional day. Sleep is calling. I’m just gonna curl up with my blankie and go night-night.

Insanity

I finally understand what happened to all parents everywhere to make them crazy. See, I’ve been staunchly anti-crazy when it come to talking to things that don’t talk back.

Most everyone agrees talking to plants? Crazy. Talking to your pets? Crazy (socially acceptable, but still a little crazy). So I’ve never done it! However, with Seedling I have to work really hard to talk to her. Tell her about the plans for the day. Narrate what I am doing, as I do it. Review all we’ve done that day.

Sample conversation: “Seedling, today we are going to visit Suzy. Isn’t that exciting? (No response) I know you’re excited, her babies will be there, aren’t you looking forward to playing with them?! (No response) Oh, and now I’m just going to pour myself some almond milk. See? I am just over here by the fridge, now I’m opening the door, now I’m pouring… Be careful you don’t spill! But if you do spill, that’s ok, we can clean it up (no response….)”

And she will smile or frown, giggle or coo, spit bubble or spit up. But it’s not like she really talks back. I can feel myself slipping into craziness as this is getting more and more second nature. I’m more or less talking to myself. Like a crazy person. But it’s totally worth it for the precious, adorable, bouncing baby girl.

I just needed to acknowledge it. 🙂 The little things that change when you become a parent!

Thoughts on being a SAHM

Way back when I first met Hubster, and we started dating, I made the statement that I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Looking back now, I realize that I pretty much felt I was going to college to please my parents, society, and feminists everywhere. I basically figured I would get a degree and a job until I found a man, got married and had kids. I know, how very “unenlightened” of me. But from a young age I saw a great value in being a mom who was around!

This week my very dear friend Suzy and her husband Professor bought a house. Suzy and professor are the same age as Hubster and me. They got married the same year as us. They had a clear life plan. They stuck to it, going to college for a normal amount of years, graduating on time, obtaining jobs and saving up until they started their family, and now have two dazzling kids. Suzy is a SAHM now, but because per-kids they had both worked, they were able to pay off all their debt (including student loans) before buying their home. All before they were 30.

If left to my own devices I can’t help but wonder if we would be further along in our life. If we would be buying a home, instead if renting. If our debt would be paid off. Because here’s the thing: I was on the path. From high school I went to college. My first year is when Hubster, Suzy, Professor and I all met. We then transferred to different colleges, but we were on “the path”. Keeping in mind I was getting a degree… Well, mainly for fun. Because that’s what I was “supposed” to do. I was basically killing time until the whole married-and-babies thing happened. So what was I getting a degree in? Biblical studies. Until I changed majors to Theology. Until I realized that with Hubster pursuing a career as a firefighter I might actually need a job and career and what in the world would I do with a degree in theology??? So I took a year off. Floundering. Trying to figure out “what I wanted to do”. When the truth was that what I wanted could not be gained from a degree. But to say “I want to be a mom” was offensive to most people, like as if declaring I wanted to be a stripper. Because desiring to be a stay at home mom must mean I wasn’t very intelligent or intellectual. I was lazy and an unproductive member of society.

Finally I decided to go back to school to be a vet tech. And the truth is I fell in love with the field. So I had a new plan: vet tech/mom! But then we hit infertility. And a miscarriage. The miscarriage coming right as I was finishing my degree. So I made several highly emotional decisions in an attempt to work through the loss. Decisions that set my career back.

At the end of the day, there has never been a solid chunk of time where both Hubster and I have been working. One was always in school, or dealing with some medical issue, or just unable to find work in a struggling economy.

I know there are other reasons we aren’t on a debtless-home buying place of course. Things that were completely outside my control. My vehicle dieing, and having to take on a car payment a month into our married life. (That we just recently finally paid off! Woot!) The next month Hubster had a seizure at work, and was subsequently out of work with some pretty big medical bills. You know, stuff like that…

But maybe if I hadn’t floundered… Maybe if I could have embraced my SAHM desires, we wouldn’t have my student loan debts. I could have spent those years of I was in school focusing on learning better budgeting skills. Better housekeeping skills. Maybe we’d have a little less debt and a little more life skills.

Of course, can’t forget that becoming a mom (working, home, or other) wasn’t as quick and easy as we had hoped. So the real truth is that whether I had gone to school or not, our picture probably wouldn’t look that different. And I know I shouldn’t compare my life to my friends… The grass always looks greener. But I still have regret for money and time wasted. I lived the vet field, but I’m really glad to be home. To watch my daughter grow and change and learn. I’m even entertaining thoughts about homeschooling! (More on that later…)

I guess what I’m trying to say is I love being a mom. I’m so thankful I tried working (so I can’t wonder “what if?”) but even more thankful that now I’m home. I wish it hasn’t taken me so long to get here. But Im so grateful to finally be here.

It’s Gonna be a Rough Day

Hubster sent me to bed, determined to let me catch som e sleep son e I return to work today. And the man tried, he really did. I can only assume Seedling is having one helluva growth spurt. It started a few days back, being fussy in the evenings. But it’s slowly
progressed. Tonight it was inconsolable screaming. As in “the zombies are eating my brains, WTF aren’t you people going anything to stop this torture?!?!”

So 3am Hubster came and got me. I hadn’t slept much, hard to ignore those kinds of sounds coming from your child. He looked like he’d been through hell. I sent him to bed and was able to finally console her with nursing. (Which lately nursing had been pissing her off – she’s been preferring the infinitely easier to eat bottle. But this morning? It is apparently the magical love of get life. Whatever works! Right?)

Crying alone I can take – but I can’t shake this anxiety that its more than the “6 week growth spurt”. What if something is wrong? Really wrong? What if there is some underlying health problem, that could prove fatal?

What if I gave birth just to lose another child?

…..

Later today I will return to work. When I think about it as just this one day… It’s not so bad. My mom is going to come over and watch Seedling on Fridays. My mom – for all our issues and drama – has been amazing. She has come and helped me, sometimes at a moments notice, driving out in heavy traffic and heavier rain. I don’t know how we would have survived without her. So long story short – I know Seedling will be in great hands. I don’t worry that something bad will happen. I worry that something good, significant will happen, and I will miss it. That I will miss out on smiles, on her grabbing my finger, on her coos and cuddles. What if I miss her first rolling over, or her first real crawl? What if I miss her first really big, hearty laugh? It’s selfish, is what it boils down to.

So I’m crazy, right? As in, clinically insane. I’m struggling with a child who is displaying and more signs of colic every day, a child who is physically and emotionally exhausting myself and Hubster – yet the thought of being gone brings me to tears.

The hard parts… They are so very hard. But the good parts? Pure fairy magic. I wouldn’t miss out on the good stuff for anything.

But it’s going to be a rough day. Seedling is currently sleeping, drifting off from nursing, nuzzled to my left bosom. She’s one overtired infant. With a penchant for waking up inconsolable. Hubsters plans to give me sleep have failed. Hello sleep deprived mommy. Add on the emotions of returning to work. And, of course, my job isn’t exactly all sunshine and roses – there will be the dick clients that feel the need to take out their issues on me.

And then I get to get up and do it again on Saturday. Because, of course, I’m not just returning to work for one day and calling it quits.

So I get on WordPress. I pour out my worries, my stress, my exhaustion. I rock my now-sleeping babe. I pray for strength and forgiveness. Because its all I know how to do in times like this.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy in me, a sinner.

Zombies! Working! EmOtIoNs!!!

Tonight Hubster and I celebrated that Seedling is 6 weeks old by going on our first date since her birth. In some ways, it was for us as a couple – a chance to reconnect and reestablish “us-the-two-of-us” separate from “us-the-family-unit”. It was about wanting to establish this as a part of our lives and routine, ensuring a strong marriage now and for the future.

But also, it was a test run. My mom watched Seedling. She will be watching Seedling when I work on Fridays. This was a chance for both her and me to see what it would be like for me to be gone, in the limited space of two hours, and only 10 minutes from home. Because next Friday, it will be 8 hours gone and an hour from home.

The movie was good, “Wa.rm Bod.ies”. Lots of good zombie humor, a touch of gore, a dollop of whit and an overall feel good romance. Both Hubster and I were laughing out loud and walked out quoting some choice bits.

But it was hard. I had my phone on vibrate in my pocket. And I spent most of the movie clutching it, so as to not miss any text or call from my mom. (She sent three texts… Saying they were doing fine, a cute picture, and then a recognition of her elite grandma skillz). After we got home and my mom headed out, Hubster and I were on the couch as I attempted to ease my tender boobs and coax a sleepy Seedling to nurse, I ended up breaking down crying. I don’t know how I’m going to do next Friday. I wish I could have a childish tantrum, throw myself on the floor, flail my arms and legs and scream “I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna, you can’t make me!” But I realize 1-it won’t make the situation any better, 2-it won’t change the outcome, and 3-it would probably give me some interesting bruises and snarl my hair. That’s not a pretty look. 😉

I thought it’d be easier than this. I love my job. I work with amazing people. I crave adult interaction, intellectual conversation, mental stimulation.

But… I look at her face, tears prick my eyes, I get chocked up. How can I possibly leave my little girl?! It’s my job to take care of her. Even though she will be in great hands… They aren’t my hands!

I’m going to snuggle my sleeping girl and have myself a good cry. For you’re viewing pleasure, the picture my mom sent to me this evening:

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