It has been a very long time since I have actually taken to my computer to blog. Most of my blogging takes place on my Mom-Stagram (which you can find at anxiouslyramblingmom on Instagram) but today I need to get it all out. Whether you read my blog or not, I need an outlet and my councilor once said that getting it out of your systems helps more than you realize. So read on…or don’t…I care not…like what I have to say…or don’t…I care not.
I CANNOT handle this quarantine. There is a reason that I work outside the home! I mean don’t get me wrong! I love my children! They are my reason for everything, but I NEED A BREAK from them! My children are incredibly hyper, engaged, into everything, think they are smarter than everyone, wild children. In 2 days my 16 month old has fallen off the coffee table, jumped off the toy chest onto a box toy, fallen off the couch and has been dropped by his 5 year old sister. My 5 year old is now spending the majority of her days switching between her tablet, our iPad, her dad’s old phone and the laptop playing ABC Mouse, watching YouTube and Disney+.I started strong with a schedule and all kinds of activities for her to do. But trying to homeschool her, while taking care of her brother and trying to work full time is insane. It just cannot be done….oh and did I mention we are in the process of selling our house to move in with my mother for a month until we can move into our new house???
If this doesn’t end soon people are going to start rioting in the streets…mostly by my husband and me. AND if I see one more meme or post that says working moms now know what stay at home moms deal with I am going to scream because it is in no way the same. Trying to have a Zoom call with my entire team or my customers with my child screeching in the background is not the same thing. We are lucky enough that my husband and I can continue to work from home and still have income to pay our bills and keep food on the table. I know we are so lucky…he is considered essentials because he feeds the troops with his job, but we are lucky that he can do that from home without having to leave the house, risking our exposure to the virus.
I believe that we should have closed our borders back in January when this thing started and stopped letting people in that could risk the health and safety of the American people…but no we didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. We should have locked down the entire country to keep this thing from spreading….but no we didn’t want to violate anyone’s civil liberties. Well…now we have thousands of people sick and dying. We need this to end and it needs to end now!
I am not trying to lessen any person’s experience. I am not trying to start and argument. I am just releasing my pent up feelings….so don’t come at me all butt hurt over what I have written or over what I believe.
“You are not depressed, you are just tired from the new baby!” You have a beautiful new bundle of joy what do you have to be sad about?” “Snap out of it, you have a child to take care!” I have heard each of these things and more from family and friends, both with my first child and my now with my second.
No one like to talk about postpartum depression and anxiety. Many women are embarrassed or feel like they will be looked at with disdain if they admit they need help. They are afraid that people will think that they can’t take care of their child. But the thing is PPDA is a real thing. It can be completely incapacitating. Trust me, I know because I suffer from it. With my first child I cried constantly for no reason and every reason. I ran the gamut of emotions all day. Only at that time I had no idea I had PPDA. I have anxiety normally when I am not postpartum so I just assumed it was a little exaggerated since I was a first time mom and didn’t know what I was doing. Luckily, I have an incredible support system and my cousin told me I needed help. I sought out a councilor and it helped tremendously. I started blogging and after a difficult struggle I got through it.
Cut to four years later and it is happening all over again. I had my son 12 weeks ago and the PPDA hit me like a ton of bricks. It is so much worse than before. I cry all the time, I have no interest in doing anything that I need to do. Even though I love my children more than anything I don’t really want to do things with them. I am getting very short and cranky with my older daughter and just going through the motions with my son and husband. The positive is that this time I was able to recognize it and I decided to do something about it on my own before I was too far into the depression to pull myself out. I decided to join a clinical study for a new PPD medication. At the current moment there are no medications that are specifically geared toward PPDA. When moms seek out help for the PPDA they are put on things like Zoloft.
The research for the clinical study shows that PPDA is caused by the rapid decline of the pregnancy hormones causing the symptoms PPDA. The medication works to put the hormones back into the system and slowly reduce the hormone and a more manageable rate. I have had two psych evaluations and a physical before being allowed to participate. After all that I was approved to participate. When I received the news I thought, “Yay I am able to participate!” but at the same time I thought, “Great, I have PPDA!” so it was a little bittersweet.
Not only am I hoping that the new experimental medications with help me with my depression but that it will also help other moms and the future overcome their depression. PPDA is a serious problem and society need to acknowledge and talk about it. Too many moms have suffered and even taken their on lives due to the severity of their depression.
I am putting out a call to action. If someone know seems to suffering from any form of PPDA please reach out to them. Ask them how they are doing. Ask them if you can help in any way. Even if you just listen or hold their new baby for a few minutes. You will be surprised how much the littlest things can help. I will keep you posted over the next 6 weeks while I am participating in this study. I am praying for positive results.
I have been looking forward to this vacation since we booked it months ago. I could not wait to get away for everything and relax. Sit on the beach, lounge around at the beach house, wake up late, eat so much yummy food and not worry about anything! What I have come to realize though is…As a mom you never truly get a vacation!
Our first morning here my 2.5 yr old completely leaked through her diaper all over the bed! Thankfully there is a washer and dryer in the house that we rented. We had to wash everything and clean it all up. After visiting with some friends we headed to the beach. We get settled with our spot all set up, Fiona starts playing in the sand with Harrison and I get comfy in my chair. I look at my mom after 5 minutes and say “this is nice,” at that exact moment Harrison’s exclaims, “Uhh I think I need to go back to house!” Fiona, playing in the sand throws sand directly into his face. Not on purpose but it stills sucks. So now he can’t see anything and I have to guide him back to the house to get his eyes cleaned out.
Later that night we head out to the boardwalk for dinner and rides. We stop at this little place on the boards, Angelo’s which I highly recommend, and as I am placing my order, Fiona spills my entire 16oz water ALL OVER ME! I am soaked! She gets upset and starts to cry. We calm her down after I dry off and we eat our meal.
Many people would look at all of those things that happened and think, “Oh man this vacation is not a vacation at all. Things just keep going wrong!” But what I have come to realize is that all of those little mishaps do not ruin your vacation they enhance it. These are little things that happen that make it memorable. They make the amazing parts of your vacation that much more wonderful. When we returned to the beach after cleaning out Harrison’s eyes we had a blast in the ocean teaching Fiona how to use a Boogie Board. After the water incident we watching Fiona eat a salad and cheese ravioli with such pleasure because she loves food.
At first she was terrified to go on the rides at the boardwalk and we thought we had wasted our money on the ride tickets, but she overcame her fear and had the best time riding with me and Harrison. Our first two days of vacation had its share of ups and downs but it has been an amazing time so far!
So remember, all those little things that you think ruin a vacation, or a party, or an event, really enhance it…it all depends on your perspective!
My darling daughter, oh how you test me! You push every single button and push it perfectly! You push me right to the edge and the moment before I burst a blood vessel you flash that winning smile and my rage increases exponentially! You know you are adorable and you know that you can get away with murder. But since I am your mother, the person whose job it is to raise you not to be a little shit I will take a deep breath…or 10 and as calmly as humanly possible, tell you to knock it off because “you are not an animal” or that “I swear to God you will go to bed with no story.”
I hate to do this to you but you have become such an obstinate little panda that I must. I feel that many of issues today stem from parents trying to be their child’s friend. “I can’t yell at them, that are too cute!” Or “how can you be so mean and punish them?” Ummm because I am the parent, not their friend!!! I will punish, reprimand and scold my children when they are wrong or out of line but I will also teach, support and praise my children when they soar or accomplish great things.
My main job on this earth is to ensure that my progeny grow up to be useful and productive members of society. If that means I have to put you in time out when you refuse to apologize for hitting your father in the face, so be it. If I have to put you to bed with no story because you threw the book at my head, I will. I will do whatever I have to do to make sure you are polite, kind, caring and respectful to the people around you. And I pray every night that I can. So when you are wailing because I threw your milk away after you poured all over table AFTER you watched me clean the already spilled milk, know that I am doing it for your own good and because I love you. (Man, I never thought I would say that, but then again, I guess all woman turn into their mothers when they have children…love you mom!)
My darling daugter,
I am sitting in the living room with you while you watch Pororo for the 1000th time. I finally got tired of saying no to the 1000000 other things you have gotten into; pots and pans, cereal, soda cans, trash etc. After you napped for only 40 min I decided that I just couldn’t say no one more time today. I just didn’t have it in me. I love you more than anything in this world. But you have no idea that after you woke up and I tried fruitlessly to put you back down for a nap I sobbed while holding you on my arms. You wanted me to sing 3 little monkeys, which I did through blurred eyes and sobs. You gave me hugs, smiled and laughed as I sang through my tears. I worry daily about 9 thousand different things. And today I broke a little. For that I am sorry but mommy is not perfect! I do my best everyday and I pray that it is enough!
My darling daughter,
From the day you were born you were never much of a cuddler. Never needing anyone for help. You were always independent. As your mother it made me both proud and sad. Proud to know that my spirited daughter will be handle anything that comes her way but sad because I was feared you wouldn’t need me. But this past weekend things changed. You began hugging me tight, grasping for me and not wanting to let me go. This made feel two separate emotions as before. Happy that you wanted me near you but afraid because I did not know what was wrong or how to help. Something else you have had since you were an infant is night terrors. You will randomly cry out in the night, for no more than 60 secs, then go back to sleep. Recently, however, you have been doing it more. I fear now that your night terrors are getting worse and I don’t know how to fix it. I have spent the past two night hugging you while you calm down for bed and then rubbing your back until you fall asleep. Something I am ecstatic to do but at the same time I am worried about what has caused this change. I hope that it is just a phase, you will move passed it and mama is just being paranoid (which I am most of the time when it comes to my child.) But always remember that no matter I will always protect you, even if I don’t know how, I will find a way.
I had that moment last night! You know that moment that every parent has! That every parent says you will have when you get pregnant! That moment! Nothing special was happening, nothing out of our normal every night bedtime routine. My husband and I had changed our daughter’s diaper, put her in her pajamas and was getting her ready for bed. I was holding her, rocking her in my arms and she as was drinking her bottle all by herself, as she has now learned to do. Her lullabys were playing and the lights were dim. It was just another night at bedtime. But it was the night that it hit me! Hit me big time! I looked down at her innocent face and Wham!!! Like a slap in the face! She was my little girl! I had created this amazing little person! I was responsible for her; for her happiness, her love, her nourishment, her everything! I knew then and there that I would do absolutely anything to make sure that she had everything she could possible need or want! My heart swelled and tears began to form as I realized a love that I never thought possible! Is it possible to love someone this much? Is it possible that the human heart is big enough for this feeling?
Today she is napping her pack and play while my cousin is installing a ceiling fan in her room. As I watch her sleep I think about all the things I want to teach her, things I want to show her and places I want to take her. I want her to have every opportunity to do and experience things in her life. I want her to see the world as a place full of light and possibilities. I want her to know that she can accomplish anything she desires. I want her to know that she is capable of anything she puts her mind to. I want her to know that this world is hers for the taking! I want to teach her that no matter what she is loved and cherished by those around her. I want to teach her that the world is nothing to be afraid of. I want to teach her to soar and dream! I want to show her all the ends of the earth! I want to show her how beautiful the world can be, how peaceful the sea after a storm. I want to give her the world!
I have been writing a lot recently about the difficulty that I have been having. Anxiety over raising my daughter, the stress of it, the sheer panic that I get that I am doing something wrong. Well, unfortunately things have gotten worse. On February 22 my father passed away. He was 74 years old and died in his sleep, I am thankful that he passed in his sleep and did not suffer as so many people do. My father had COPD but seemed to be doing well, He was home from the rehabilitation center and starting to get things in order. He was a recovering alcoholic who lived a very hard life. He was a musician in his younger days and lived the life a musician for a while. He had beat cancer and we thought his health was improving. He was learning how to take control of his finances and was even planning different outings and events with his children and grandchildren. He was so excited for spring to arrive because it meant he could leave the house and visit with his family. We had so many lunch dates planned and so many place we were going to go. So many things that he wanted to do. Sadly, my father did not get to see spring arrive, or have the lunches that he had so looked forward to, save for one. Two weeks before he passed away, my husband and I took our 3 month old daughter to meet her pop-pop for the first time. The weather a little nicer and my father had gotten over his cold. So we stopped at Wendy’s (he loved their burgers) and brought Fiona to him. We only spent 1 hour with him. We ate lunch, did a few things for him around the house that he couldn’t do but most importantly he got to meet his youngest granddaughter. He made he laugh and she made him laugh. It is my final memory of him. The giant smile he had on his face when she smiled at him. I regret that I did not take any pictures of them that day. I would have loved to have had a photo of Fiona with her pop-pop. But I was so in the moment and enjoying seeing them together that I didn’t think to take any. All I have is the memory of seeing them together on which to hold.
Now as I help my brother put all of his affairs to rest I am left with a hole in my heart that I can’t seem to fill. My whole life I was “Daddy’s Little Girl” and “Daddy’s Princess.” When we left him after lunch the last day were together the last he said to me was, “I love you Princess.” That is what he always called me. I am 33 years old and my father still called me princess! I will never “Princess” again.
People have asked me if he was sick or was it expected or was it sudden. Yes he was sick but it is always sudden. Even if the doctor tells you to be prepared it is still sudden. A child is never ready to say goodbye to a parent.
I will miss the phone calls at random times of day just because he was thinking of his “Princess.” I will miss deciphering his writing because he was not a very good speller. I will miss the errands he would send me on to pick him up little things. I will miss the scruffy kisses on my cheek he would me when we said hello and goodbye. I will miss his voice when he would sing to me. I will miss his scent. I will miss knowing he was just around the corner. I will miss him more than words can express.
I love you Daddy! You will always be in my heart and never out of my mind! Rest in peace and keep making beautiful music in Heaven.
Ok, so I didit! I bit the bullet and did it. I have been feeling very anxious and stressed lately. My cousin thinks that I may be suffering from postpartum depression and asked me to talk to someone. So I did. I was nervous at first because of the stigmas that you hear go along with postpartum depression. But I am really glad that I called. I met with the counselor for the first time. His name is Norm. He kind of reminds me of Sigmund Freud. Sweater with collared shirt underneath, grey beard and glasses. Very nice man and easy to talk to. He does not think that I am depressed. He feels that I am suffering from anxiety caused by severe stress. Which I will definitely agree with.
I have this unbelievable fear that I am going to make a mistake raising Fiona and that I am going to mess her up for life. I also have this fear that if I call the pediatrician too many times they will think that I am a bad mother and take her away from me. I know it is an unfounded fear but it is a significant one for me nonetheless.
Adding to my anxiety is the fact that Fiona has decided that sleep is her enemy. She loses her mind whenever we put her down to sleep, at bed time or at nap time. She is normally swaddled but she has begun rolling over in the crib while swaddled, so we need to put her down unswaddled. So she is leaening to sleep unswaddled and sleeping back in the crib. I know that bedtime/nap time is going to be difficult and I dread having to deal with it. To the point where I can’t sleep or focus on anything else.
Norm did tell me I am doing some things right. He says that my Tai Chi class is excellent because the breathing exercises will help reduce my anxiety, workout classes will help reduce my stress and blogging will allow me to get everything out and off my chest! Glad to know I am doing something right.
He did say that I am a people pleaser and I need to get over that. Now that I have a daughter she is the only one I need to make happy. I agree with him. I hate confrontation so I try to make everyone happy. I need to knock that off.
We are meeting again in 2 weeks, after Harrison returns to work. My anxiety is high over the changes that will happen with that. I will keep you posted as to my progress.
If one person benefits from the struggles in my journey I will feel good.
What do you do when you feel that you don’t know what to do? My daughter has been so different lately. When she hit 9 weeks old she completely changed. She is normally a very happy baby. Never freaking out, likes to be in her sing, likes to sit and watch TV, gobbles down her 4oz bottle at each feeding. Then all of a sudden she did like a full on exorcist change. She was like a completely different child. I, naturally, got incredibly worried. I took her to the doctor and the she thinks it might be Acid Reflux. She prescribed Zantac and we have been giving it to her the past 24 hours. But she is still the same. I know that I have to be patient and wait for it take effect but it is so hard to see her in so much pain and so upset. She is barely taking 2 oz at a time, she freaks out/cries/arches her back at every feeding and it is murder getting her to take her medicine. I am not even sure she is getting the full dose. Every time she cries and screams I cry with her. It breaks my heart to know that I cant make her feel better. The only change is that now she is sleeping more, but since she has barely getting to 15 oz a day (should be taking 24oz) she is only sleeping in small amounts. It is a very stressful feeling to know that you can’t fix everything that hurts your child. How do you handle that feeling of failure knowing you can’t do much to make things better?