Monthly Archives: September 2010

Whatever Wednesday: Iceburgs, my kids, and Al Gore

Every Friday around here is pizza and movie night. This past Friday was no exception.

Dad went out to pick up the pizza and Moi stayed home with the kiddos.

Everything was going okay at first. Then Dad didn’t come right back.

The kids? began to melt into the floor. Yes, melt. Into the Floor. Screaming, yelling, thrashing about, smacking, hitting, stealing of toys, etc.

After I duct taped them all to nicely asked them to sit on the couch and they stared at me like I was a wanton crazy woman peacefully complied, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to turn on a NatGeo OnDemand program for them. You see, around here, I use scientific documentaries as punishment. I figure if they’re gonna be bored out of their minds it might as well be:

A) Something I’d like to watch because I’m a nerd like that

and

B) Something they might actually LEARN from.

And yes, I do know I can turn off the TV as well. I simply choose not to on occasion.

SO – there were no good documentaries on Live TV. Off to OnDemand. Alas, I find a lone Iceburg NatGeo special that’s about 18 minutes. I think to myself, “yay! they’ll love this and learn all about the iceburgs! How fun!”

A few button pushes and wham. It’s playing.

Peace. Quiet. Still Children. I can exhale.

The over-dramatic documentary guy starts talking.

Iceburgs. Huge blah blah blah blah … melt into the sea … blah blah…world warms up…..blahity blahity blah….flood cities…. blah blah blah…killing tens of thousands of peo….”

“MOMMY!”

Oh.My.Friggin.GAWD.

Make it stop. Make it stop. MAAKE IT STOPPPPPP!!!!!

Where’s the remote Where the HELL did I put the remote? Where the EFFITY is the remote?!?!?! I suddenly need a remote clicker.

I start to sing. Loudly. While looking for the remote control to make this all disappear into a cloud of Curious George or Super Why. Something, Anything would be better than this. (Ok, maybe NOT the Teletubbies but still…)

“Mommy? Is that going to happen? What about the babies? What about the.. are the Iceburgs going to flood the cities? Are they? Why are they so big? Why are they melting? What’s going to happen to us if that happens?”

Wait for it.

“MOOOOMMMYYYY??? What’s Global Warming?”

Sigh.

Al Gore? You? Officially Suck.

NatGeo?

Bueller?

Anyone want to explain all of this to my innocent little 6yr old who really should not be worrying about global warming, flooding cities, and melting iceburgs?

All I wanted was a few moments of peace, solace.

What I got, thanks to NatGeo, was an onslaught of questions and a totally wigged out pair of daughters.

(My 2yr screamed. But he screams at EVERYTHING so I didn’t consider him traumatized.)

I don’t care how annoying Barney is. He’s GOT to be better than this.

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The Motherhood: Live Postpartum Chat @ 1pm today

Join a host of fellow bloggers, Dr. Shosh, and me over at The Motherhood with Emily McKhann today at 1pm. We’ll be chatting about Postpartum Sadness, Depression, and Anxiety. Don’t miss it if you have questions!

Here’s the details straight from The Motherhood site:

Postpartum Sadness, Depression and Anxiety

Talk starts on Sep. 29th, 2010 at 1:00pm EDT

It used to be that no one talked about postpartum depression. Thankfully those days are behind us and we have each other.

Join a group mom bloggers who have LIVED this topic, having gone through it themselves and blogged about it extensively. We’ll talk about how to get through PPD or help someone else get through it, issues on your mind (there’s been a lot of talk about breastfeeding while on medication, for example) and give each other all the love and support we possibly can.

Leading the conversation will be Katherine Stone, the author of Postpartum Progress, the most widely read blog on postpartum depression, and a group of really wonderful mom bloggers.

Bring your questions, share your experience and find out about the great new resources that exist!

Just Talking Tuesday: Through the eyes of another

It’s dark. You are both collapsed into heaps, this time, you managed to make it to bed. You sigh, close your yes and mutter goodnight into your pillow.

It’s 234 a.m., your wife notes.

“Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

You lift your head and glare at the clock.

It’s 315 a.m.

You shove your face back into your pillow and silently scream.

Really? 46 minutes?

Sighing, you get out of bed to get the baby. Check the diaper. A little wet so you change it. Rock, sing, soothe. Nothing works.

Time to get mommy. She’s got the food.

You walk into the bedroom to wake her up. She sighs, shifts, and snuggles closer to the bed. When you do manage to wake her up, she snaps at you.

“But I JUST nursed! Did you check the diaper? Try to put him back down? I’m tired. I don’t want to…. ”

“Yes. Gimme a little credit. I’m not an idiot. I’ve tried everything. Clearly he’s hungry. You’re nursing so…”

“Dammit. I’ll be there in a minute.” She snuggles back into the bed.

You sigh, loudly, frustrated, knowing it will be a good 30 minutes before she even attempts to get out of bed. She will fall back asleep and you will have this conversation all over again before she finally gets out of bed, cursing you under her breath for interrupting her sleep.

She won’t mean it. She’s exhausted, just like you. And yes, you have work in the morning and should be sleeping but she won’t get to sleep much during the day either. Oh, she may rest, but it won’t be restorative. She’ll nod off while nursing, try to snooze when the baby does, but if the baby is up, she is up. And then there are chores. Dishes. Laundry. Cleaning. Cooking. Possibly other children to care for. Errands. Her job? Never.friggin.ends.

Your job never ends either. It’s hard for her to see that though. What SHE sees is you, walking out the front door toward other adults. Toward freedom. Toward conversation that involves more than a few garbled syllabic words at a time. What SHE sees is you, showered, shaved, dressed in something other than the same pajamas she’s now lived in for two weeks. What SHE feels is jealousy, hatred, sadness, grief. For the most part she knows it’s not rational. Somewhere, deep down, she tries hard not to feel this way. But she’s been moody for weeks now. Snapping at you for the simplest comment or action.

You bring home dinner. It’s not what she wanted but she loudly sighs and announces “It’ll have to do.” You pick up the baby and she watches your every move with him like a hawk, waiting for you to falter. You begin to falter yourself. Are you built for fatherhood? Are you doing things wrong? What if you’re screwing up your kid for life at just 3 months old? What if she never lets you really be a father? How will you ever learn what to do? Will your marriage survive? Where the hell are you?

What she doesn’t know is that as you walk out the front door every morning, your heart hurts. YOU are filled with jealousy because she gets to enjoy every moment with your son. She gets to watch him grow, change, and do new things every day. You mourn your fatherhood as you shower, dress for work. You fumble under her judgmental stares, worrying that your fathering skills are not up to par with her expectations. You’ve askedĀ  a million times but you can’t for the life of you get her to tell you what her expectations are for you as a father. What are the rules to this ball game? If you only knew, life would be so much easier. After all, you’re not a mind reader.

___________________________

Today’s Just Talking Tuesday is cross-posted with The Postpartum Dads Project. If you’re a mom, please go visit the Postpartum Dads Project and share what you wish your husband had known about Postpartum Mood Disorders and parenting. What would have best helped you when you were suffering? If you’re a dad, share here. What got you and your wife through those dark days? How did you keep communication open if you managed to do so?

(Note: The Postpartum Dads Project site is down for the moment. Let’s all just share here for now and I will cross post when the site is back up! Thanks for understanding.)

Social support is key for recovery from a Postpartum Mood Disorder. The best social support starts at home with your partner. Get them involved and you’ve zoomed forward a zillion spaces on your recovery path.

Let’s get to just talking.

1st Annual Postpartum Balloon Release today

It’s here!

The day of the 1st Annual Postpartum Balloon Release! (Oh, and my birthday!)

I was woken up this morning by three of the most amazing angels on the face of this Earth. They all piled into bed and curled up with me, yelling Happy Birthday. My youngest informed me that “Birfday coming up! Birfday coming up.!” Yeah buddy. Today!

Then, as I walked into the living room, streamers and balloons seemed to spring from every corner and crevice. The little angels were there as well, cheerfully batting the balloons about and yelling more Happy Birthdays!

And then, then it started. The rain. And the thunder. And I freaked out. How am I supposed to do the Balloon Release in the rain with thunder and lightning? So I rushed to weather.com and guess what? The weather isn’t supposed to let up. Right now, it’s just grey, not raining. But later, when I had planned on doing my own release (because I’m supposed to be at church but am not because of allergies), the weather is supposed to be WORSE. Lovely.

SO… I am kind of waiting to see what the weather actually does. If it improves, I’ll do my release today. If not, I’ll do it in the morning first thing. That is, if the weather is cooperative.

It’s kind of interesting that the weather isn’t cooperating, actually. That a storm is trying to rain on my parade. Because really isn’t that just like Postpartum Depression? Doesn’t it just sneak up on you and WHAM totally screw up any plans you have for how things are supposed to go? Doesn’t it force you to make new plans? New plans that you may not be happy about but are forced into accepting? I know my Postpartum taught me, albeit the hard way, to learn how to roll with the punches. I wanted nothing more than to give up and curl up into a ball in my darkest days. Back then, it was okay for me to do that. It was okay that I fell apart. Sometimes we all need to fall apart to rebuild ourselves into a new and stronger us. It has taken me almost four years to be able to say that it was okay for me to fall apart. If you’re still struggling, know that your day to say it was okay for me to fall apart is waiting for you. It may not be tomorrow, it may not be a year from now, but it is waiting. It is patiently waiting for you to arrive and is shivering with anticipation to celebrate with you. Today is a celebration of survival. It’s a celebration of struggle. It’s a celebration of US and the stronger US that awaits us down the road. And if need be, tomorrow will be too.

If you’re participating into today’s festivities, please leave a comment here linking to your photos and stories about your balloon release. Feel free to post at your own blogs about this as well. The Flickr group has been opened for public joining – you can access it here: Postpartum Awareness Balloon Release. There is also a Facebook Event Page you can access here: First Annual Postpartum Awareness Balloon Release.

I thank each and every one of you for joining me to celebrating today. It is an honor to be able to share my birthday with so many strong and passionate people. I wish we all knew each other for another reason. But here we are, together, growing stronger, and reaching out to help others do the same. We rock. All of us.

You’re invited! 1st Annual Postpartum Balloon Release

This Sunday is my birthday. I’ll be 29 for the zillionth year in a row because 30 only exists in other people’s worlds. But seriously.

I have been thinking of a simple way to celebrate my birthday here on the blog and it didn’t hit me until this past weekend. What about a balloon release? How COOL would it be to have random purple balloons with messages of hope from women with Postpartum Mood Disorders sealed up tight inside floating all around the world on my birthday? That would rock my world. And there’s no telling how many lives it would touch. Even if it’s just the life of a pine tree, it would still be awesome.

After a couple of rounds with Postpartum, I have learned to never take a celebration for granted nor to let any bad memories associated with a certain day ruin it. It’s become very important to me to re-frame the special days in my life. Nothing specifically bad happened on my birthday during my Postpartum years but I sure wasn’t interested in doing anything awesome on those days. I am sure it bummed my husband out because he (and the kids) would get super excited, want to get me a cake and I’d be all “Meh.” That sort of mood will kill a celebration before it even gets started!

So this year, I’ll be buying some purple balloons, taking the family to a local park, and letting them go. (The balloons, people, not my family!) I may even let the girls write their own messages in their balloons. This year? I’m taking my birthday back and paying it forward at the same time. And you’re invited!

All you have to do is go buy a purple balloon or two or three or more. Then write a short message, preferably on paper that won’t pop the balloon once inflated, insert the message, blow up the balloon, and tie it off. If you’re not feeling particularly creative, download a 5 x 7 pre-designed postcard. All you have to do is write. You can even write a message with permanent marker on the outside of the balloon if you want. It’s up to you if you want to include an email address. All I ask is that you include the phrase “This is part of the 1st Annual Postpartum Awareness Balloon Release for My Postpartum Voice” and my blog’s URL on your note. I’d be interested to see how many women or families find the balloons!

I’d love to see photos of your creations and notes as well! There will be a post up on Sunday afternoon that will include photos of my own balloon release. There’s a Flickr group just for this event so you can upload your photos there too! (Or you can email them to me at mypostpartumvoice(@)gmail.com and I’ll upload them!)

So please join me in celebrating my birthday on Sunday! I’d love to have you there!

Postpartum Voice of the week: Sue of @SueandFadra at Lives Less Ordinary

As I was clicking through all the Postpartum blog posts from this past week, one stood out.

The sheer honesty, power, intensity, and raw emotion of the writing leapt off the screen at me. I found myself nodding my head several times, connecting with her story. It is a rare thing to find a writer who not only opens up about her experience with mental illness but does so in such a way that she captivates you, drawing you in until it is just you and her words.

You can find her story here.

Sue’s story really started to speak to me when she mentioned her issues with her pelvis. I had similar issues with all three of my pregnancies. It was never as severe as hers but lemme tell you, when your body produces entirely too much relaxin and your hips can barely keep themselves together to keep the baby in, the pain is excruciating. During my first pregnancy, I could barely put on underwear or shoes without weeping from the intense pain. Turning over in bed? Out of the question. I prayed I wouldn’t have to pee in the middle of the night. We had to get a tempurpedic mattress topper just to make it tolerable. And sleeping on my side (ie, on my HIPS/Pelvis) made things worse. My first OB, classic knowledgeable God that he was, simply told me “Welcome to pregnancy.” Sorry dude, but normal pregnancy should not have you in tears as you get dressed. I ended up on self-commanded bed rest the last two months of my first pregnancy because walking around hurt too much. I stayed propped up on the couch with a vibrating heating pad most days and watched TV. It sucked.

My second pregnancy began to head the same way at four months along. New OB this time – I got PT, which helped. Third pregnancy, symptoms showed up at three months. I got water therapy and it? Was a lifesaver. I ended up agreeing to getting induced at 38 weeks because by that time, baby was so low and weighing so heavily on my weary pelvis that I could again barely walk.

Often times, doctors here in the US are misguidedly unaware of this rare pelvic disorder and brush it off as “normal” pregnancy pain/adjustment. But it’s not. And it can disable you for life if handled incorrectly, especially if you have a vaginal delivery and are suffering from a severe case of it as Sue found herself. For most, the pelvic pain does fade after birth but many women struggle with pelvis issues for life. I could feel my pelvis shift in and out of joint after my second pregnancy, especially when driving my car. It was worse after my second delivery. I can still pop it in and out of joint. But lemme tell you, it hurts like the dickens if it’s out. Oh, the burning, the aching… it’s enough to make me want to take a tranquilizer. I am doing much better these days as I’ve been faithful with doing yoga each and every morning. But the issues caused by pregnancy and relaxin will haunt my pelvis for life, I fear. It’s a large part of why I will never get pregnant again. I don’t think my pelvis could handle another pregnancy. Physically and mentally, I am done.

Enough about me though, let’s get back to Sue. This is, after all, her award post! (I apologize for the digression, it’s just so rare to read about someone else who went through similar pelvic issues during pregnancy!)

Sue’s post is entitled “My Voice, My Depression” and with those words, she owns her Depression instead of the other way around. Sue takes back the power which Depression can hold over so many of us.

My favorite passage:

I am desperately trying to get past this time in my life, but I know it will take some time. I have acquired the amazing talent of hiding all of what I have said above from the rest of the word. If you see me on the street you would think nothing but, there goes funny, upbeat Sue. While underneath I an working, fighting and choosing a happier path than I have had the last few years.

These days are hard because I am trying my best to work though them. Emotional work is extremely difficult. It consumes you and can bring your life to a screeching halt.

Sue is in the middle of her Postpartum experience, still struggling, still fighting to escape the fog and the darkness. And yet she has written with such clarity about the journey she is currently experiencing. For that, she is The Postpartum Voice of the Week.

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