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.