I’ve been on depression medication for about two weeks now. I’m over the side effects for the most part and am feeling less like a stranger is taking over my body. I still have stressful days (like yesterday), which is of course normal, but instead of the stress rendering me despondent, I am able to see clearly enough to acknowledge my feelings and deal with them.
Now that I’m feeling more with it, I can try to describe what the worst of this depression has been like. It literally felt as if I was a casual observer of all that was going on, that the world around me was flying past so quickly that I could not keep up with the plot. I was often so confused and my thoughts so scattered that I was even having trouble deciphering the meaning of sentences. Words were like puzzle pieces but instead of my brain stringing them together to process an idea, it scattered and jumbled them so I was only able to capture a small piece of the meaning. I am not sure that I can really articulate it well. I guess I’ll just say that instead of feeling cemented to my chair because I’m in slow-motion while the rest of the world is playing normally, I now feel like part of the goings-on. I can participate in life!
I still have work to do. There are a lot of things that have been put on hold because I just couldn’t deal. The top of the list is my marriage. I haven’t figured out how to be fair to be a wife, a mother, and an independent woman. Joe and I are planning to regularly swap babysitting duty with my bro- and sis-in-law in the near future so that we can all get date nights and remember a little of what came before the babies! I know that will be immensely helpful and a big step in the right direction.
I am scheduled to take a course on depression management and continuing to see my psychiatrist, who is awesome and reminds me of Dustin Hoffman’s character in Stranger than Fiction (if you haven’t seen it, do!). With my history, the doctor advised me to consider medication as part of my vitamin regimen for the rest of my life. Instead of treating each episode of depression as if they were individual illnesses to be treated, I will instead strive to break the pattern with preventative medicine.
Most of all I must remember that with medication I’m still living the same life but now the light switch is turned on and I can see everything more clearly.
The last two nights Jack has slept pretty poorly, and then this morning was kind of a disaster. Joe is working on the peninsula today and tomorrow, which means an early departure and the morning drop-off is left to me. Last night Jack went to bed late and he didn’t take it well when I woke him up at 7:15 this morning (bedtime was close to 10pm last night!). He cried, thrashed while I tried to dress him, and said “No!” over and over when I put his shoes on. No way was I able to get a coat on him. He did cheer up a bit when his monkey puppet (which he only took a liking to when Curious George came into his life) hugged and “hoo hoo ha ha’ed” at him, so I was able to get him out of the door and down the hall to the elevator.
As I was waiting for the elevator that goes to the garage and holding Jack, I felt warmth spread against my hip and his jeans under my hand grew damp (apparently a Swaddlebees can’t hold a toddler’s first morning pee despite the hemp insert, either that or it was wicking which does not bear thinking!). I quickly set him down so that his diaper didn’t leak all over my work clothes, but had no time to run back to the apartment to change him because I was on a tight schedule to catch my carpool. Off to daycare we went, and I had to once again wrestle to get him out of the wet diaper and pants and into a fresh set, all while he was thrashing and crying because he knew I’d soon be leaving him. I was completely shaken by the time I bolted out the door to get to the carpool meeting place because I freak when I can’t soothe my baby’s crying. Thank goodness his daycare providers are so good with him and completely understanding of rough transitions!
Coincidentally, the carpool was running a tad late. At least I got time to settle my nerves.
So yeah, it was one of those mornings…generally I try to let Jack wake up on his own and I allow plenty of time for nursing and breakfast because he tends to be in a better mood when those things occur prior to daycare drop-off. None of that was happening this morning, though. *sigh*
Jack loves Curious George (interesting reading there on Wikipedia). He was first introduced to him by Joe who, in a fit of desperation while home on a rainy day, turned on the television to see the little monkey making mistakes and learning how to fix them. I personally cannot stand to watch Curious George. It stressed me out to see the monkey making mistakes! No, George, you’re throwing away The Man’s hat! Ack!
This same desperation also took Joe and Jack to pbskids.org where they spend time playing George-themed games (well, Joe plays while Jack watches). He particularly loves the paint game and the “Feed Gnocchi” game.
While we were in Wisconsin, Joe’s aunt gave Jack a cute outfit with George on the shirt. This is Jack’s favorite shirt, and he will carry it around with him when he finds it in the laundry. If we dress him in the shirt with a jacket over it, we must leave the jacket unzipped enough so that he can see George at all times. He then points to his shirt a million times a day and exclaims with wonder, “George!” If we take the shirt away, or turn off the computer games, he chants “more George! more George!” He pronounces it with a slight French accent.
I suppose I will be buying some George-themed items for Jack’s birthday this year. I am not entirely sure why Curious George appeals so much to him, but it sure beats Barney!
Last night, for the first time ever, Jack favored solid food over nursing! He had only been nursing for about 5 minutes after I got home from work when Joe pulled out the Pirate’s Booty…Jack yanked my shirt down, said bye-bye, and ran to beg for some snacks. I was shocked! Cheese puffs favored over breastmilk? He got a few while I prepared a more wholesome dinner.
Then, this morning, I was running late to catch my bus and Jack woke up before I got out the door. He decided he wanted to take his sweet time at my breast (even taking the second side!). “Joe, get the yogurt raisins,” I requested. As soon as Jack saw the package, he flew off my lap, nursing forgotten.
Not only that, but he drank a significant amount of cow’s milk at daycare yesterday. This is the first time he has taken milk of any type while away from me in months. Could an end to breastfeeding be in sight?
Published February 25, 2008
Tags: chocolate, ice cream, toddler
I relented a little bit on the no junk food rule and Jack got a chocolate ice cream bar while we were in Wisconsin. Needless to say, he loved it. It’s okay once a year, right?
Trasitioning to a new daycare is tough. It doesn’t matter how great the daycare is. In the early days it was easier but only because Jack couldn’t communicate and slept a lot more. He nursed a lot after I picked him up but that was it. These days, not only does he nurse more but he is extremely emotional and has to be in constant contact with Joe or me when we get home.
Last night we got nothing done. Jack threw several tantrums when:
I put the stroller away when he wanted to climb on it
we made him lay still while I changed his diaper
I set him down because he wouldn’t stop wiggling on my lap
I tried to keep him in bed to go to sleep
Joe put his new markers (the magic kind that only color on special paper – thanks, Grandma Darla!) away because he was sucking on the tip
Those are the only ones I can remember but I am sure there were more. Jack has this nasty habit of banging his head when he is tired or upset and he did it several times last night, leaving a red mark on his forehead. In reading my child development book I learned that this is not uncommon and most head-bangers have increased sensitivity, musical ability, and even intelligence. Weird!
We went to bed at 9 last night (although I tried to get Jack in bed multiple times before that because he was obviously exhausted). Our apartment is a mess, we still haven’t unpacked, and we are dangerously close to running out of clean diapers but it sure felt good to go to sleep early.
So, the new daycare transition is going as well as can be expected. The first day was rough, with Jack crying a bit and refusing to eat anything other than goldfish crackers, but the second day went much more smoothly with smiles and more eating. The boy loves corn apparently (at home he only plays with it). He managed to nap well both days so far, as well.
I’m really hoping that we can stay with this daycare for years. This is Jack’s fifth daycare in 18 months and it surely has been an emotional roller coaster. I have my fingers crossed that this is the last transition he has to make until preschool, at least.
Published February 21, 2008
Adventures , Family , Photos
Tags: cousins, Photos, toddlers
I didn’t get a chance to upload our photos to Shutterfly or Flickr last night, so here are just a few of my favorites from our trip.
Sleeping with mama on the plane
Crazy Cousin Cole
Bathtime with Emily & Jack (who knew baths could be this fun?)
Super excited (at the children’s play place)
Jack started his new daycare today. I left for work before he was even awake, and Joe dropped him off. I have been guarding my cell phone all day in case something were to go wrong but it’s been silent. I know I can call and check to see how he is doing, but I have always resisted doing that. I think it’s my own peculiar way of staying focused on work at work (uh, blogging aside) so that I don’t miss him so much during the day.
I wish I were the one picking Jack up today! I am dying to hear what/how he ate, whether he napped, and if he cried when Joe left. I want to know that everything was just fine so that I can relax and stop worrying that maybe we’ll have to find another daycare! There is no reason to think that this one won’t be great but we have been burned so many times that it’s hard not to worry. I am counting down the time until I get home to see my little boy!
(Full update tomorrow on our trip. It went very smoothly!)
Published February 15, 2008
Heading to the frozen north (Wisconsin) for a few days with the family. See y’all next week!
Published February 13, 2008
Tags: fun stuff
Cat over at Misfit Motherhood tagged me for this. Thank goodness because I’m busy today helping my sister-in-law find childcare for my adorable little niece and don’t have the brain power for a real entry.
1) Link to the person that tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least 3 people at the end of your post and link to their blogs.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6) Let the fun begin!
1. I wear white socks a lot because I like the style and texture (don’t care about the color). This bugs certain people, and…
2. …when somebody says I should or should not do something, it makes me want to do the opposite (’cause I detest social restrictions).
3. I am not a risk taker, and I calculate risk in nearly everything I do. I like rules and order.
4. I am extremely loyal and would do just about anything for my friends and family. I guess my “love language” is “acts of service.”
5. I am forgetful. I even forget how old I am. I forget what I did yesterday, what I said an hour ago, what you said just two minutes ago. With that said, I always remember little details and “rules” even if I don’t remember the rationale.
6. I am shy and somewhat reserved. It takes years (possibly decades) for me to open up to someone unless I am asked specific questions and then I will tell all.
I am breaking the rules and not tagging anyone. Instead I’d like to know if any of this surprised any of my readers!
My mom and her partner came for a visit this weekend. This is the first time that Jack really seemed to bond with them. He insisted that Grandpa read to him. Halfway through Bob the Builder (“Scoop Saves the Day”) we noticed Grandpa Jim had changed the story line, “And all of the ducks ended up in a stew and quack quack quacked because it was so hot.” Sheesh!
We drove to Alvarado Park in Richmond, a place my mom remembered visiting as a kid. It was warm and sunny and I don’t think I have ever enjoyed being outside quite so much. It was nice to walk in the sunshine with my little boy.
Jack and Grandma Darla played on the slide and showed public displays of affection.
On one of their many hikes Joe taught Jack that bay leaves smell good. Of course now he inspects all the leaves he sees outdoors. Joe doesn’t mind.
Jack loved the rocks in the park. He kicked them and scratched them and then we played peek-a-boo with this one.
Why can’t we have weather like this every day?
It’s been a week and a half since I pumped last. I had been trying to pump less and less but got impatient. On January 31 I just decided to cut out that last pumping session. So far I haven’t had any plugged ducts and no cases of mastitis (knock on wood) but I am certainly engorged by the end of the work day. Twice now I’ve arrived home to find Joe and Jack gone off on some adventure and my mind screamed, “Nooooooooo, they have to come home so I can get some relief!”
So, nearly 18 months of expressing under my belt and I’m no longer running off every few hours to read while listening to the rhythmic hum of the pump motor and the drip drip drip of milk filtering into collection bottles. I won’t miss that pump one bit, although there was a time I welcomed a pumping schedule over a nursing one. After 6 weeks of being home with Jack establishing our breastfeeding relationship while dealing with thrush, latch issues, and oversupply, pumping for a couple of 15-minute sessions per day was a piece of cake. If Jack would actually drink any milk at all these days, I would probably keep at it for a while longer because it’s easier to continue pumping than it is to stop. I only have so much freezer space, though, and (obviously) no reason to keep pumping!
I have my fingers crossed that my my milk supply will adjust soon but past experience tells me I might have to make use of cabbage and peppermint tea. At the moment I am feeling lazy and celebratory. I am happy to be out of the pumping stage.
Here’s to 18 months (give or take, via Kellymom)!
Published February 8, 2008
Tags: parenthood, toddlers
Jack is so cute. Last night he got the biggest kick out of helping me do laundry. He loves to push my rolling laundry cart and throw wet clothes into the dryer. I’m amazed at how much easier it is to get toddlers to do things when you ask for their help. He’ll even throw things in the trash for me!
Pretend playing continues to be a hit. Last night he was pouring from a cup and bowl (both were empty) and pretending to drink from the cup. I just watched him with amusement. He still loves talking on the phone, and he has taken to carrying around an old purse of mine.
Jack’s quickly learning how to speak in sentences and it’s kind of unnerving. “Hi mama” and “it’s cute!” and “I’m tired!” He also repeats EVERYTHING so I was cracking up last night when he copied me and Joe with awesome, cool, and sure. Unfortunately he knows how to say shit now, too (that’s one of Joe’s). I’m surprised it took him 18+ months for that, honestly, because we have terribly dirty mouths.
Music is also big right now. Recently while riding in the car and listening to the radio, Natasha Bedingfeld came on the station. Not being a big fan, I turned the station immediately and Jack started FREAKING OUT. At first it didn’t click and we tried to calm him down to no avail…so I changed the station back and he promptly quieted. I was in shock because usually he is a rocker (he is the little king of the Meloik and headbanging) but then he fell asleep and the world made sense again – he wanted something dull on so he could nap! But he actually does like Britney Spears…
Jack went to bed at 8 last night and I did a little dance, pumping my fist in in triumph. I thought maybe he was getting back on track. Over the last few days he has been sleeping better at night, even sleeping through. I had started to breathe a sigh of relief that perhaps the sleep regression was behind us…
Kids are master torturers, aren’t they? Absolutely brilliant. Just went I decided to slide into bed, Jack awoke. I got him settled and then I had just drifted off when he woke again. The number of times he repeated this has been lost in a foggy haze but let me just say that it was excrutiatingly frequent. I ended up with maybe 2 hours of patched together sleep.
My brother-in-law and I commiserated this morning, as his daughter has been doing the same thing. We wondered why no one tells you about these hard times before you have kids, and could only conclude that misery loves company. I suspect there is an equal component of fried parent-brain that turns any potential warnings into nonsensical gibberish. Either that or in becoming a parent we learn to speak a different language, one that only other parents can understand.
I think that if you can’t understand what a parent is saying, you can safely assume it is some version of, “I am so tired my face is going to explode.”
Since my post last week after his pediatric appointment, Jack has decided that food is the best thing in the world. Suddenly he is ravenous. He’ll finish a whole box of raisins in a sitting, eat the corners off all the slices of pizza, and finished off a package of cherry tomatoes in a mere 3 days. Can we say growth spurt?
He still isn’t drinking much during the day but luckily many of the foods we give him keep him hydrated and he still nurses like a champ when we’re together. I have no idea what to do to encourage him to drink during the day, as no vessel seems to tempt him.
I like the fact that Jack can now tell us when he’s hungry. Last night he gestured upward with his hand toward a box of Cheerios and opened and closed his fist while he chanted, “Moremoremore…” It’s adorable.
Gosh, sometimes it seems these kids like to freak out their parents on purpose.