Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Depression

I've been vocal about living with depression but I don't think I've ever really posted about what it's like when I'm depressed. Thankfully, through medication, I don't have to deal with depression very often. 

However, I'm dealing with depression right now. I hate it. I hate what it does to me and I hate what I, in turn, do to everyone around me when I'm depressed. 

Yes, I'm on Zoloft and my life is so much better because of it. However, it's not perfect. Everyday is not some miraculously wonderful stress-free day. Depression still slaps me in the face at inopportune moments...Zoloft just helps it happen less often. 

Right now, I want to run away by myself without anyone being able to find me until I'm ready to be found. 

No, I'm not going to do it. Even at my worst, I'm still rational. I have two wonderful kids who depend on me and need me. That fact never leaves my thoughts, although I often wonder if things would be different without antidepressants. It scares me enough to know, without a doubt, that I will continue to treat my depression with medication for as long as I live.

Right now, everything is overwhelming. Everything is too much and I want to walk away from my responsibilities. I want to turn in on myself and ignore the rest of the world until I feel like myself again.

I know that I can't do that, regardless of how much I want to and I am grateful for enough clarity to realize it. 

Right now, I want to be alone. It literally exhausts me to have a simple conversation with someone. Chitchat requires more energy than I have available to expend.

Right now, I'm numb. I don't connect with other people the way I should when I'm depressed. I don't feel appropriate emotions, positive or negative, when I'm depressed. I view life happening around me like an observer & not a participant.

I unintentionally hurt people when I'm depressed. I know it. I see it happening and I am powerless to stop it. Feeling powerless is part of my depression. Being powerless is one of my biggest fears and depression is good at using that against me.

I used to feel like this all of the time. Now, it just hits me every once in a while but sometimes I think it's harder on this side. 

I know what it feels like to enjoy life now. I know what it feels like to wake up in the morning aware of the fact that I am blessed in so many ways.

I know what it feels like to be happy and I know exactly what I'm missing.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Scream's Birth Story


Klaw's birth was pretty memorable. Scream proved himself capable of creating his own memorable birth in a completely different manner.



As this pregnancy wound on, I was more than ready for Scream to make his debut. I have mentioned before that I don't do pregnancy well. I was over it. I was in pain. I was still puking. Chiropractic care and zofran did what they could to ease my discomfort but I knew nothing would completely ease the discomforts of pregnancy except giving birth.

We finally got around to replacing the vanities in our master & guest bathrooms on April 12, 2013. Scream's estimated due date was April 16, so I knew we were cutting it close but I wanted the bathrooms finished. The guys doing the work arrived around 10am and started on the guest bathroom. They asked me how close to giving birth I was and I told them to not be surprised if my water broke.

Looks good, though!

I went about my business washing clothes & cleaning up around the house.

Around 1pm, I was walking into the master bath and, lo & behold, my water did actually break. Thankfully, Klaw, at 3, is old enough to follow basic commands like "bring mama a towel, please. Yes, that one. Please bring it to mama. Thank you, baby."  I texted my doula, Amara, to let her know my water had broken. I wasn't feeling any contractions yet, so I decided to continue doing stuff around the house. I mean, I was in labor with Klaw for over 20 hours. I wasn't in any hurry. I did tell Chris that he might want to head home.

Within the hour, I started having mild contractions. They were immediately pretty close together which caused me a little concern but, again, I was in labor for 20+ hours with Klaw. I really wasn't worried.  Chris got home and shortly after that, the guys working on the bathroom said that if they started on the master bath, it would be several hours before they finished it so they wanted us to decide if we wanted them to stop for the night or go ahead & get started.

Obviously, even though I wasn't worried about giving birth anytime soon, I wasn't dumb enough to go ahead & let them rip out our sink in the master bath. I did want to soak in the tub, so that would have been really awkward for everyone involved had they stayed...

By this time, the contractions were picking up in intensity. I had been texting Amara off  & on, keeping her up to date on how things were going.  Suddenly, a series of contractions hit that were different. I instinctively knew things were different. I had Chris text Amara & let her know.

I also had Chris call my midwife to let her know I was  in labor. Now, I didn't want him to tell her my water had broken because I knew she'd want me to head on to the hospital and I was still worried it was way too early. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible. I did not clearly explain this to Chris, so that was the first thing out of his mouth. I got MAD!!! SO MAD! I couldn't believe he didn't read my mind and now we had to go on to the hospital.

One of my friends picked up Klaw and we headed out around 3pm.

At the hospital, Chris parked at the main entrance, clearly marked only for drop-off & pick-up (this becomes important later*). We enter the hospital. I'm stopping every couple of minutes to work through a contraction while Chris pushes the wheelchair carrying my bags. People stop & ask if I'm okay. I just wave & say "pregnant."

We finally get to the maternity floor & I have to fill out paperwork. I make Chris give me the birthing ball so I can sit on it through contractions while I'm filling out the paperwork.  Throughout all of this, I'm still worried that we are at the hospital way too early.

I get settled in the room and the nurse wants to check dilation.

Yeah, I was already dilated to 8.

Obviously, my fears of getting to the hospital too early were completely unfounded.

This also explained the intensity of the contractions I was having. The best way to describe what I was feeling was a knife being shoved in both of my hips & twisted. Repeatedly.

They didn't get any less intense, for the record. I wanted to push so badly but I was told I couldn't. The only way I knew to stop myself from pushing was to cross my legs. Tightly.  No, it wasn't comfortable but it was the only thing that worked. Amara suggested I try another position, so I got on my hands and knees and OH MY GOD I felt the sharpest, worst pain ever. I thought my hips were breaking.

I clearly remember stating several times, "Jesus H Christ this hurts so bad. This hurts so bad, Amara."

I rolled back over and said the magic words, "I feel like I need to poop."

Amara called my nurse back in so she could check my dilation. She began to check and immediately yelled for my midwife to come it. It was showtime!

Three minutes later, Scream entered this world.

brand spankin' new baby

Yes, three whole minutes of pushing after five and half hours of labor. Yes, it was intense but I would choose fast & furious over long & exhausting like Klaw's birth any day of the week.

Scream is now almost 5 months old. He doesn't have VLCADD. He is growing like a champ and Klaw is the best big brother a little boy could ask for. Thank you to everyone who is reading this. I know my blog has taken a back seat for the past  year+.

*edited to add: Chris ended up leaving the car parked right in front of the hospital's main entrance for 24 hours. Thankfully, our hospital is pretty small & laid back. We didn't even have a ticket. I'm guessing this has happened before.




Monday, December 31, 2012

24 Weeks - a comparison

In my last post, I didn't really want to do a comparison shot between my pregnancies with Klaw & Scream. I changed my mind.  I'm just over 24 weeks pregnant with Scream and I decided to just go for it. I think it's neat to compare the two pregnancies. I'm a little bigger this time around, but I feel like my body & belly is shaped almost exactly the same with the two boys.



Thankfully, everything is going well. I'm still pukey, but I have accepted that this is just how I do pregnancy. Scream seems healthy and is very active in the womb. Very. Active.

I've been reading some new (to me) pregnancy & birthing books. I tend to be interested in the books discussing the socio-economic/cultural aspects of the American birthing system and books that affirm our bodies' abilities to give birth without intervention, barring emergencies.

On the one hand, it's absolutely amazing how much we are able to do with modern medicine. So many lives, both babies & mothers, can be saved now that would have been lost decades ago. On the flipside, it seems so counter-intuitive to prescribe these amazing life-saving interventions to women who are capable of having a medically uneventful birth.

No, I'm not getting into a debate over which model (midwifery or medical) is better. I have my opinions about what appeals most to me but I won't begrudge another woman the decisions she makes or the healthcare provider she trusts & is most comfortable with leading up to & during birth.

Personally, I like to keep my feet in both worlds by birthing in a hospital with both a midwife & a doula. That way, someone else has to clean up the mess and my dogs aren't all up in my business. Balance.

What is some of the best advice you have heard regarding pregnancy &/or childbirth?
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