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Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Breathing

Adjectives I would use to describe myself in terms of my approach to life: resourceful, level-headed, pragmatic, dependable, even-keeled. I was completely caught off-guard with my runaway emotions yesterday. And, while I am feeling slightly better today (as in I have not cried, I feel in charge of my emotions instead of the other way around), I am very fragile.

In an unlike me way, I spent the better part of 16 hours yesterday crying. I also gave into micro panic attacks (crying uncontrollably, thought I was going to throw up or pass out, rapid breathing, restless limbs, muted wailing). What scared me was that I could not get control of the runaway train. I also had illogical thoughts like I was just going to hop a plane today with baby to NJ. In moments of clarity I thought I should at least reach out to my therapist (which I have).

I was dreading the night, when the sun went down. I am so worried about Baby G still being swaddled and able to roll (but all attempts at unswaddling him have resulted in him hysterically crying for over an hour until we finally give in, reswaddle him, and he is so exhausted he conks out with no energy to roll over), that I knew I’d be unable to sleep until Phase II of the evening, after what should have been his 11PM feeding and coming to bed with me. I tried to stay awake, checking in on him on the video monitor, but dozed off somewhere around 9:30. I awoke to him crying and saw that he had, in fact, rolled all the way over and had wedged himself against the slats of his crib. He was fully awake, having scared his trapped self, so I fed him and brought him to bed with me. We both fell asleep somewhere around 10:30 and so began a very restless night for him with me having to pop his pacifier back in every 45 minutes or so. And, because of the hour earlier late night feeding, he was up for the day at 5 AM.

I bought a sleep sack and as much as I KNOW it isn’t going to be easy to get him down in it tonight, I really have no other choice. A friend suggested making bolsters (which I could by cutting two, foot long tubes of pool noodle) and placing them under the crib sheet to prevent him from rolling, but even that would be a temporary fix (we have a pool noodle so I think I will do it and have them at the ready if I cannot get him to sleep in the sleep sack).

I used to cherish being alone. I loved curling up with magazines or a book or watching a movie or catching up on TV. Oh, the welcome silence of being alone. However, it has been over 6 years since I have truly been alone and even though I’m technically not alone with Baby G, I am void of adult conversation or interaction and I am completely ill at ease being alone. Somewhere along the line, I forgot how to just be with myself.

And, I completely underestimated (as in did not plan for) how much I was going to miss the whirling dervish that is my older son. As much as he gets on my nerves with the loudness that is him, the silence in this house is, truly, deafening. I miss everything about my older son, but mainly his company. I am used to being with him.

However, if I am being honest, which I know I am prone to here, I think something else is afoot. Ever since I wrote this post, I have wondered if I could be suffering from delayed post partum depression or another form of depression. I wonder, too, if it is a side effect of the BCPs or if the BCPs are exacerbating an underlying depression.

I do know that I have not been myself in at least a month, but probably longer. The closest I get to approximating myself is just after working out. Otherwise, I have fallen into a rut of managing the house, tending to Baby G, and collapsing every night after he does. I am on edge, short-tempered, quick to anger, moody. There are moments of pure joy (a smiling, cooing baby gets me every time) but mostly I would not want to be around me. I am continuously frustrated and outwardly snappish with my husband in a ‘he can do no right’ way and that has driven a wedge between us. I feel like every day is Groundhog Day, lather, rinse, repeat.

The gratitude I feel for finally being in this place, having completed our family with the gift of Baby G, co-exists with and is muted by a general malaise, feeling of helplessness, of not knowing where I fit or even who I am aside from being a mother, and now most recently by agitation, anxiety, and an inability to rein in my emotions. I need to see my therapist and get a handle on things and am open to medication if that is what I need.

I live in a happy, colorful world and want to feel that happiness and not the greys/blacks and whites that seem to dominate now. Maybe it’s not PPD as much as PTSD (from the loss of my brother, from infertility, from an emotionally absent mother and birth mother) triggered by the trip my son went on (especially that they flew). I don’t know. I don’t profess to have all the answers. As with most things, it’s likely a convergence. 72 hours to go.

7 comments to Breathing

  • I have to tell you that I have been where you a. One thing I didn’t know is that depression manifests as grouchiest or crabbiness. And boy was I grouchy and crabby and sad. After struggling for months, I went on a very low dose of the antidepressant Lexapro. I actually had an almost immediate response, the biggest being that my temper was calmer, I was happier, things didn’t seem so difficult. My husband , who had been against me taking medication also saw the noticeable change and commented that it was a very good thing. I took them for 3 years and stopped a year ago and my depression has not returned even after a breast cancer diagnosis. I expected to need to be. Ack on antidepressants but so far I am holding my own. I just wanted you to know that if you need to go the medication route, it can be helpful and it is not permanent.

  • Sarah

    Ppd or depression of a more adjustment style can and deserves to he treated. I think the fear and disappointments inherent in taking care of a demanding baby can push a person to their edge. I wonder, and your therapist might know this, do adoptive mothers struggle with the difference between them and their babies? I certainly wanted to tak to our donors mothers and say “was he/she like this as a baby? ((((((hugs)))))

  • Shoot. I haven’t checked on you in a few days and I’m sorry to find you in this state. Have you had a chance to talk to your husband and son since they left? Get some reassurance that your son is not going anywhere near those motorized toys! (One of my stepsons had a horrific accident on one of those little motorcycles and now has an ugly scar covering the whole of his left leg. I don’t think he will ever grow hair on that leg.)
    Pass the time however you need to. Keep occupied. Forgive yourself for how you feel and just make the time pass. You can work out your identity and the source of your feelings later. Just be kind to yourself until your family is all together again. I’ll be thinking of you.

  • I’m sorry things have been so hard with DH and your son away. I hope they get better soon.

    I was wondering if you have looked into the Woombie to help with the swaddling issues. We bought a few and they were godsends with my daughter
    Maybe they would help with your son too?

  • I am really glad that you got back in touch with your therapist. It seems like there is a lot to sort through and she sounds like the right person to help. You have finally reached the goal you were working on for 6 years. Now what? Yes, you enjoy your beautiful family ( if you can muster up enough energy and deal with the difficult feelings) but there is a big question mark too? Now you are where you wanted to be, where do you go from here?
    I also think that you are right, despite the situational and life cycle issues, as well as the past trauma, there is some kind of underlying chemical imbalance that may need something to boost it. Interesting that you feel best after exercise when your endorphins are high.
    I think lots and lots of moms go through a loss of identity also. Especially when we ALI moms struggle so hard to gain that status, that motherhood, it’s easy to see how it can take away other parts of us.
    Good luck on this next stage of the journey and the count down to your beloveds’ arrival home!

  • I wish I had some advice or something wise to say, but I certainly don’t. I had severe PPD with my daughter- bordering on psychosis (I was having hallucinations about killing her. Horrible.) The only thing I can say is that I’m glad you’re speaking with your therapist, and open to meds if necessary. Thinking of you during this difficult time…

  • Peg

    hang in there. I’m sorry the last two days have been so hard. Deep breaths and good, mindless TV helps me reign in the crazy sometimes. Good call on reaching out to your therapist. Sending positive vibes your way :)

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