Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Getting beneath the surface

It's pretty fair to say that our lives have been pretty chicken-centric as of late. So, it makes sense that when trying to put my battle with ppa into words, the images coming to mind have to do with eggs.

Broken, cracked shells. An egg shell doesn't shatter. The shell breaks and cracks, while being held together by a thin, transparent membrane. My outer shell is cracking, too. My ability to hide my reality was forced upon me my.whole life. I was the only one not surprised by my parents' divorce. Because they hid the problems and acted happy around everyone else. I was told without words that I was expected to help protect the facade of the perfect nuclear family.

So I still hide problems. I feel like showing imperfections is weakness and makes me an imposition on others. I try to act like things are great.

Great. What a lie that word is! How many times do we say that we're doing great when the truth couldn't he further from that? I know I'm not the only one who is like this.

And now, with this facade, this shell, cracking away there's exposed vulnerability. This is new to me. Me, the girl who finished small talk while paying the hairdresser seconds after finding out her Pa had died. Who doesn't break in front of anyone. Who's pulled together, at least marginally so.

This affects me in ways I'm not used to. Which brings us to the inside of the egg. Two words that fit an egg and my nerves: fried and scrambled.

I am constantly on the verge of tears. Stress of any kind renders me incapable of handling even daily life. And I can't take excess noise. The baby crying, the girls playing loudly, dogs barking, tv. All can cause me to mentally shut down. Because I can't cope if there's noise around me. I start to get why they put people in padded rooms. Because one sounds really nice about now.

Most of my days are spent outside with the kids (where noise doesn't bother me as much) or in the house sending them to play in a different room. This doesn't make me proud, and I feel guilty for constantly shooing them away. I keep saying soon I'll feel better. But when is soon?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, and Family Planning

I've been battling postpartum anxiety again...which gives way to postpartum depression. I had this after R was born, too. Then I was in denial it was happening. I stopped taking the Zoloft I'd been prescribed, and acted like I was fine.

Except I wasn't. When R was 5 months old we moved into our house. Same town I've always lived in. I, the woman who never locks a door, would be awake all night worrying. It was just me and the girls home, K works overnight. Every tiny sound was lurking danger. If I dared fall asleep, my dreams were nightmares of people breaking in and doing horrible things to me and my children. So, I stayed up.

At the time, I had a part-time job. A job I loved, actually, full of people I loved seeing everyday. Every day I felt sane, that is. I called in more than anyone should. Not trying to slack off, but my anxiety was so bad at times that I had huge panic attacks just trying to get out of bed. I still feel bad about that.

This time I was trying to avoid PPD/A. I spend time outside for vitamin d. I'm taking fish oil and encapsulated placenta. It didn't work. I am not as bad as I was after R's birth. Which surprises me because I have family issues that I figured would be a catalyst for any anxiety issues.

This time, though, I feel like my kids are suffering more. I yell. A lot. They play in their toyroom without me a lot. because sometimes I just can't cope with the incessant talking and noise. I'm just not an engaged parent, and I get mat at them far more than they deserve. Apologies are an everyday occurrence around here.

Which has me questioning if we should consider more kids. I have said since we decided to have more than one that I want four kids. And K has agreed to four, but I know he feels 3 is a better number for us. I really don't feel done. But is it fair to my children to put them through this postpartum Hell again? I don't know. But the only kind of birth control that has ever worked for me isn't safe while breastfeeding...and my sleep isnt conducive to charting. Which has me at a loss.

I hate the idea of birth control (for me! No issues with it for anyone else...) anyway. I very much believe there is a plan for us all, so if I'm supposed to have another child, it'll happen. So what's the point? This is a very poor way of expressing what I'm trying to say, so I'll stop while I'm (somewhat) ahead.

I'm also considering looking for part-time work again. I would have to get a job where I could work on K's days off and days K2 (aka my non-bio little sister) would watch the girls. And find a bottle L will take. She didn't do too bad taking some from K2 on our trip, but has refused any K has tried to give her. I'm thinking a little extra money and a few hours a week away from the house would be good for me. In the past I've wanted jobs close to home. Now I'm liking the idea of a reasonable but decent commute. Just for some time alone with my.thoughts. Or the radio. Without interruption.

Again, I feel like I'm left with decisions to make, but no clue where to start.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer is here.

Summer has meant heat, humidity, mosquito bites, trips to the zoo, walks, and The Park. We are boycotting the park by our house. Why, you ask? Well one week Reese fell off the ladder going up the slide and broke her leg. Of course this had happened when we walked there, and Reese hadn't rode in a stroller, trike, or wagon. We got home by her riding on my back in the Ergo. Thank God for babywearing!

The next week my husband sprained his wrist in the same park after a fall from his bike. Yes, this park is not a favorite place of ours. Reese just got her cast off two weeks ago, and the park will be avoided for another month or two until its completely healed.

Another big event happened two weeks ago. I had surgery to correct the nerve problems in my wrist. The decision to have this surgery is one that has been stewed over for months. But the pain was quickly and progressively getting worse. Obviously within 2 weeks its hard to tell how well it worked. But, besides incision pain, it seems to be a tiny sliver of what it once was. I'm praying it continues to heal well and that I wind up with a complete reversal of symptoms.

Now the summer is just about family. We spend time outside with the dogs and chickens (NOT at the same time!). We go to the zoo. We watch movies. It's very relaxing. Which is good. Anna-Lee turned 5 this summer and has decided to attend kindergarten. I want to enjoy every last minute with her before I lose her for the better part of the day. So bittersweet.