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Archive for the ‘chemicals’ Category

been a while.

hello there, friends.

so once again it’s been awhile since my last substantive post, and i think it has a lot to do with a lack of momentum. because right now, the waters are still and shiny in my life, and it’s hard to come up with content that goes anywhere beyond, “wow, this is kinda nice”, but let me try:

wow, this is kinda nice.

little j has maintained her kick ass sleeping schedule for nearly a month now. sometimes she is an angry crier when we put her in her crib at night, but even on fussy nights, she usually puts herself to sleep within minutes. and mostly, she falls asleep while nursing, or waves goodnight when she’s awake in her bed. i harp on about this subject because after 8:30 every night, i get to be pretty obligation-free again. no work. no parenting. nothing but a little wine, perhaps some chocolate, and my special lady friend.

nice, right? right.

i like this pace. i am in a comfortable groove at the workplace for the moment, and my stress is minimal. despite the baseball sized hail damage to my car. despite the fire ant infestation of my house. i’m feeling amazingly…content.

the drugs must be working. i am so proud of myself for not languishing in the guilt of depression, for picking myself up and dragging my sad ass to the doctor. i know that i am the one responsible for this season of calm and contentment, and i feel empowered by that.

ladies and gentlemen, hear me now: there is always hope for relief. depression does not have to be constant and permeating. please don’t ever, ever resist help. they don’t call’em happy pills for nothing.

i am convinced that my brain is functioning now as it really should. i feel sober and awake and present. and so ridiculously grateful for every grace-filled moment with this danger baby of mine, who is fast turning into a girl. a girl who takes independent steps. a girl who cradles rubber duckies like baby dolls and coos at them maternally. a girl who grunts loudly for a bite of your steak. a girl whose favorite flavor in the whole world is black coffee (licked off my finger). i love being her mama.

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all things new.

hello there, all. i must thank you a bazillion times over for the wonderfully kind words you sent my way after my last post. the commiseration and encouragement have carried me a long way.

after a full on panic attack on new years eve, i filled my prescriptions. i’m taking a very low dose of prozac (10 mg every other day), and have only needed the klonopin once. hormonally, i’ve felt a little more balanced. and my overwhelming love for my child is feeling more…palpable these days. already, i feel able to savor emotion a little longer, before it takes off in another direction entirely.

i apologize for the dearth of posts around here over the holidays. we have traveled every weekend (to dallas and tiny, texas respectively), and my work days have been longish and draining. i just accepted a lateral sort of promotion, which will hopefully mean more professional visibility, and i’m spending my days now learning the ropes. and pumping, of course. in fact, i should probably go do that now.

but here, have a blurry happy photo of my judelet, who now waves at me as i leave for work.

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pee ess, i just remembered it’s that delurking time of year. care to reveal yourselves, hordes of lurkers? (all 1 of you.)
i’d love to wave hello to you specifically!

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spilled milk.

so i just sat down to pump for the first time today in the quiet privacy room at work, and i opened my pump bag to find…yesterday’s milk–all 14 ounces of it–staring up at me. it had been sitting out since 6 o’clock last night. needless to say: it had gone bad. with bitter tears sitting on my eyelids, i dumped the whole bagful down the drain. what took a good cumulative hour to extract from my body disappeared in mere seconds.

my reaction to this unfortunate event was a moment of rage: rage for the fact that i am working and pumping, instead of being at home and breastfeeding my child; rage for how scattered i feel every moment of every day, which led to me forgetting to refrigerate the milk in the first place; rage for how i feel control over anything in my life further slipping from my grasp. rage turned to anxiety. anxiety became shallow breathing. and so i sat in the privacy room for twenty minutes, replenishing jude’s food supply and simultaneously talking myself down from the proverbial ledge.

i do this a lot anymore, the talking myself down thing. i walk through my day with a clenched jaw, and it takes very little to set off the rage. pets and clutter and finances are just a few culprits. i keep the raging to myself most of the time, choosing instead to mutter motherfucker under my breath, and try to move on. because i know better. i know that i am sweating the small stuff. but the rage and anxiety (and might i add my inability to fall asleep without my heart first racing for awhile) are clearly symptoms of something bigger: i’m not doing so well.

so there it is. after 15 months antidepressant-free, i am not doing so well. anxiety is a big part of my bipolar 2 diagnosis, along with depression. (thus far,) the depression has been kept in check by my responsibilities toward my partner and daughter. i confessed to my therapist recently that, if it weren’t for h & jude, i would have spiraled downward sooner. i would stay in bed a lot more often. instead, i suck it up, suck it in, and move forward. forward forward.

writing this post is exhausting. i am so numb with exertion. i am tired. tired of the wall between myself and my world. i poke holes, and life trickles in like sunlight through closed blinds, but it’s not enough. i miss the mindful me, the one fully capable of engaging. if i can convolute the metaphor of depression further, i feel like i am on a 5 second delay in conversation, in connection. even with my baby. and then i cry.

i cry over spilt milk.

i have prescriptions for prozac and klonopin burning a hole in my wallet, but, as i’ve also told my therapist, i haven’t been ready. i know that i can take the klonopin at night, before bed, after nursing jude. it takes 6 hours to leave my system. i can make it work with breastfeeding. and i know that prozac is the safest/longest studied antidepressant on the market for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

i should fill these prescriptions. i should.

pride held me back for awhile. after all, i flourished without drugs during my pregnancy. postpartum depression never really hit me after giving birth. i was medication-free and managing my bipolar like a champ! …until i wasn’t anymore.

h reminds me that i did not fail at anything. my chemistry is fucked up, end of story. and yet, my depression and anxiety feels a lot like failure.

failure is to continue down this path when i have tools to help me. failure is unnecessarily missing out on mindful connection with my fambly.

and so i present my new years resolution: i’m going back on meds. i want to greet 2009, in all its challenges and glories, as a more whole person.

and with that, i am leaving work early, and going to snuggle my girls.
thanks for hanging in with such a downer of a post.

note to self: don’t forget to refrigerate milk.

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it’s a sweltering saturday afternoon, pushing 100 degrees, and i am nauseated and lounging in bed and tempted to get all nekked. we’ll see.

sparky is very active today, after being eerily quiet yesterday. i even had some contraband iced tea to see if that would stir her. it didn’t. she only came around as i floated on my side in the bathtub last night.

my charleydog–the alphabitch, as well as mama to 2 litters before being rescued and spayed and adopted by me–has been by my side more than usual, with a worried look on her face. h is convinced this means sparky will be coming soon. i just shrug. i have no idea. reading into signs get so exhausting.

and so i’ve resorted to taunting my fetus. at 3:00 today, i announced that if she wanted to be a may baby, she had 9 hours to get herself out of my womb. this was followed by some poking on my belly and “i’ll bet you don’t have it in you…” “i dare you to try…” “nah nah nah nah nah…” comments. she simply kicked me and ground her head into my pelvis until my cervix ached. i apologized.

yawn.

in other news, i think we have found our pediatrician. he is a jolly guy, nathan lane’s straight brother, who was a (“responsible, because [he] was in medical school”) hippie with midwife michele in the 60s, as well as the pediatrician for her kids.

reasons why we dig him:

  • he accepts our insurance
  • if we should ever find ourselves without insurance, he generously works with self-pay patients
  • he is completely supportive of “families like ours”, and actually got rid of a pediatrician in his practice who had issues with same sex parents
  • there is a lab at his practice
  • he is not antibiotic happy.
  • he is very flexible with vaccine choices and schedules. he trusts parents to do their homework and make informed decisions about their children’s health.

i didn’t know how relieved i would be to have found a pediatrician. we’d interviewed one previously, who was very honest about not having much experience with “families like ours” but had nothing against us either. she was pretty rigid about sticking to the vaccine schedules, and had nothing but horror stories when we asked her thoughts about, oh say, co-sleeping? (she herself slept with her mother as a child, interestingly enough.) i just didn’t feel comfortable with her overall. dr hippie was so nice, and had the answers to our questions ready before we asked them.

also, i had an appointment with h’s psychiatrist yesterday. i’ve met him a few times when i’ve accompanied her to her appointments, and he’s a quirky ADD OCD kind of guy. boxes of files are strewn about his office, and he never wears shoes. he has a fantastic potty mouth, and tells the most bizarre stories. all of his appointments notoriously run late by an hour at least. and he’s fabulous. he actually assesses more than the symptoms he has the power to medicate. he asks for your whole story (hence the lateness of all appointments). yesterday was a baseline assessment of how i’m doing without meds for depression and anxiety. i am officially doing “enviably well”. after sparky comes, i will check in with him once a month to make sure i am maintaining my mental health.

i can’t tell you how good it felt to walk out of a psychiatrist’s office without a prescription.

ok, i’m out of steam. but before i go, i must recommend you go buy the new record, shotgun singer, by my dear friend, kris delmhorst. she’s good people, and such a fabulous artist. AND she is due with her first bebe one day after sparky is estimated to arrive. privately, i am competing with her. my baby will come first. i will win.

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i have a question, aka i’m grasping for straws.

i’m sure that i’m not the only one who decided to ditch antidepressants and mood stabilizers for the sake of getting pregnant? does anyone have a story of how you coped? advice from doctors or midwives?

i’m doing alright. sort of. well. most of the time. but then comes a day like today, in which i am anxious for no reason. anxiety can easily escalate to panic attack. my job entails fixing the problems of angry small business owners, and anxiety does not a problem-solver make.

i’m trying to breathe, relax. bring myself back into perspective. i sneak a cigarette. i close my eyes. i hope it will pass. it does.

at this point, i’ve got the coping skills. i’m a solid girl. but dealing with the tricks my brain plays is hard without chemical help. i can do it. but i’d love some commiseration. got any?

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