Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Care to take a walk with me?

You may not know this but my first pregnancy with Lilyann was- rough- to say the least. I had hyperemesis gravidarum (the worst morning sickness) along with a host of other serious complications. I was hospitalized several times, the longest stay the entire last few months of my pregnancy on complete bed rest. I gained well over 80 pounds and was over 200 when I left the hospital. I had my family with me then. Most importantly I had my mom, she was there for me EVERYDAY, and helped me get through it.

After I had James (another complicated pregnancy and this time with NO family around) I lost 30 pounds and was pretty small compared to after Lilyann. Now, that's great! I had an amazing starting point to get back to a healthy body, but for some reason it created a tiny crack in my wall between happy and sad.

The few weeks after I had James I felt like I was dreaming. I was in pain, but I didn't ever REALLY feel it. I was going through the motions, like my spirit was somehow detached from myself when I hemorrhaged the day I gave birth. My heart wasn't "in it" at all. Then, one day when I was trying to figure out WHY I was feeling this way, Lilyann walked into my bedroom and said "hi mommy". I looked up and KNEW she wasn't my daughter. I was just taking care of her for her mommy while she was away. Then James started crying, and I KNEW he wasn't my son. I would look at him and know he was my JOB and nothing more.... and that made me sad.

I tried so many times to remember a pregnancy, a labor, a birth, Lilyann as a baby, anything really...and I couldn't. I got out the pictures, and cried. This isn't my life. I haven't done these things! and if I have, why can't I remember them?  You cannot possibly imagine how PAINFUL it is to mentally disown your children, not know why and not be able to fix it. I would break down sobbing and praying for something to help me feel like me again. Then, I pushed the thoughts aside and focused on convincing myself that I'd be fine, and channeling my energy towards pumping to feed James breast milk.

Then, as James started getting a little older, sleeping less during the day, I was loosing time like sand running through my hands. I never had TIME. I cannot figure out how my day goes by so quickly! I was in so much pain because I had no time to pump, and my supply that I worked SO hard for 6 weeks to establish was starting to dwindle. Again, another crack.

I knew I had to stop pumping because it was either stop pumping or stop taking care of the kids. It took me 3 weeks of torturing myself with engorgement, trying desperately to keep it up, to finally do what was best for me. I regret it, and I truly wish that I was able to breastfeed, but it's not in the cards for me.

My typical day would be wake up, feed James, change James, put James to sleep, feed Lily, get Lily dressed, play with James, play with Lily, feed James and Lily, make myself food, diaper change, play with James, TRY to clean something, entertain the kids, play with James, oh crap! I forgot to eat...., Jay comes home, I eat, then more taking care of kids till 11pm. Then it's my time. What do I do on my time? I sit and do nothing. I am so overwhelmed that I cannot think.

A few weeks ago I'd wake up before the kids and get things done. Now I can't get out of bed till Jay comes home for lunch. I don't sleep anymore, well I'm up till around 4/5 am. I am worried, anxious, and stressed out ALL THE TIME. I feel, broken, and alone. Even in a room full of people I'd feel alone right now. Something is not the way it should be and I couldn't figure it out.

Yesterday I was diagnosed with anxiety and postpartum depression. I'm going back to the doctor tomorrow to start the journey towards myself again. You know, I never thought ppd would affect me. I planned both of my kids, I thought for sure I'd be the perfect mom and so happy once I had them. While I do love my kids, ppd can affect anyone. People sat things like "you're such an amazing mom!" but I feel like I'm failing them. I can't keep my house clean for my life, the dirty laundry could turn into a laundry monster if something isn't done about it soon. I can think of so much more I could do for them, but I just can't do it. Now, I usually end with something positive and uplifting, but I don't know where this story ends yet. I will say this- I plan on documenting overcoming this right here, and hope you all join me every step of the way. Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Time to check myself, before I wreck myself...

So, it's time for a MAJOR overhaul. I can't even describe how bad I've been feeling lately. Mind, body and soul I'm at a loss... I am SO sick of being busy ALL THE TIME. Yes, it's expected that I'll be busy with to kids, but I don't even have time to enjoy them! I always have something that needs to be done, and I end up putting it all off to spend time with my little ones. Honestly, right now every single room in my house right now is a disaster. Yes, I was sick and took a few days "off"... so I've got a ton to do. I've come to realize it's not just the visible messes either, I need to run a fine toothed comb through the place. Yes, I'm dedicating the next few days to SEVERE spring cleaning.

When we moved to VA from IL last September, we brought 8,000 pounds with us. Since then, we've bought the huge TV, ALL of the baby's things, bookshelves, washer and dryer.... stuff we actually use. But, the downside is it's heavy, bulky and we have another PCS coming up in a few months. I fully intend on getting rid of at least a thousand pounds of our belongings. We have SO much junk that we don't use. I think I'd enjoy packing a bit more if I were packing things I actually care about! Example: I spent 3 hours earlier in the kitchen (still not done in there LOL) and discovered that while I own (and use) an electric can opener, I also have 3 other can openers in a drawer. Why do I have 3? I have no clue... I mean, I can justify keeping 1, just in case the motor on the electric one goes out, but 3?! WHY has it taken me so long to realize I need to do this? Just get RID of the crap weighing you down Melissa!

I have taken to writing 2 lists. The first for cleaning and organizing, and the second for things I need to do (errands, phone calls, mailing/post office). Oh man, my lists are getting LONG! It's crazy how off balance you can get after a high risk pregnancy, out-of-state move and adjusting to 2 children! I surely hope that in a week's time I no longer feel so crazed. With two growing children, the upcoming PCS and dreaded first deployment looming over my head, the LAST thing I need is a disorganized mess to call a home. So, while this job would easily take a team of specially trained people... I'm going to tackle this in a week, 2 tops. By then, we should know where we're stationed for homeport and we'll be readying for the next big move!

I see a long bubble bath and a pedicure at the end of all this.... Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Navy Brat

So on my trip to the commissary today, I literally had an epiphany. You know, like a frigging light bulb went off and exploded above my head. Jay (my husband) and I have been telling friends and family since we moved to Virginia that Lilyann became the "Navy brat". We thought for sure that we could avoid it, that our sweet and silly little girl wouldn't turn into an uncontrollably rude human being. But, sure enough the tantrums and random outbursts ensued. It wasn't till today that I actually took the time to think this through. I believe have come up with a cause for this condition known as the "navy brat"....

I heard a man yell for his son a few times, trying to get his attention about something. So, when I hear an aggravated response of "oh-my-god! WHAT DAD?!" I look up from my carefully written out shopping list and see this somber looking man ask his son, "Do you like this kind of soda?" (It was a 12 pack for $0.99!). His son rolls his eyes, sighs, and loudly replies "I dooooon't caaaaaaare daaad god!!!" At that point, I had accidentally dropped my coupons. I was shocked!

Now, you may be thinking "oh HELL NO my child will never act that way." or "That man is doing it to himself." But, for all you know he just got back from a deployment and has no clue what his kid likes. It boils down to this: There are two sides to this. The parents, and the child(ren). Now, we all know how hard it is to deal with a brat. (Obviously) BUT, we do NOT realize that our little brat is trying to cope with living an 'abnormal' lifestyle. In our case, Lilyann was taken away from a sense of security and the only real friend she's ever had that she can remember. Instead of realizing she was having a hard time with the move we chalked it up to her having 'terrible twos' a little late.

Looking back on it now, my child was hurting, and I was too busy to notice. Sure, an out of state move is hectic and your children have no choice but to endure it till you settle again. The problem is, no child can decipher for themselves how having their entire life uprooted effects them. Especially not a younger child; and while yes, it would be fantastic if our kids could just say "hey mom, I miss my friend Sophia. This blows." But, that's not very realistic now is it?

So, be your little one's guardian. Love, protect them and REALLY listen to what they have to say. Take their fears seriously (yes, even monsters under the bed) and BE THERE for them. In their eyes YOU are still there, YOU will always be there, YOU are his/her best friend. The best part is your child automatically trusts you. Do not break that trust be making yourself too busy to care about what's going on in their life. After all, it's a life that you created. It makes sense for you to care and nurture it. Right?

Now, I have a challenge for you. The next time your child is acting out, being the "typical brat", PLEASE do not just react. THINK first.  I too have caught myself getting easily frustrated with my daughter, and at times my husband but I am challenging myself to be a better person and the "think before you act" policy really does go a long way. Think to yourself, what would be the smartest thing to do in this situation? Most importantly, how would I feel if the tables were turned? How would I like the pillar in my life to respond to me when I'm upset about something?

This may seem like a lot to think about before reacting at all, but I GUARANTEE that if you do this you'll have a lot less chaos in your life. After all, what does a child do besides mimic their parents? Set a good example, just like your teachers told you to in school. Turns out they knew what they were talking about after all.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The things my daughter says...

"Mommy I'm not hungry. I don't want any dinner." (wait for it....) "Mommy I want some CHEESECAKE!"

"No mommy, not right now. I'm really busy right now. Ask me later."

"My baby brother is just crying, it's okay. He talks like that. That's why he cries."

"Mommy I'm mad at you." *picks up a receipt* "I'm taking my golden ticket and I'm going to the chocolate factory and you're NEVER GONNA SEE ME AGAIN!"

"mommy, I need to eat some real food. I can't have any cookies or candy or chocolate because it will make my TOMACH hurt reaaaally bad."

"Mommy, we have a problem. This is serious mommy. I NEED more toys."

"I don't say bad words.....because they're bad."

"I want to watch Arthur and the vegetables." (It's called Arthur and the Invisibles.)

"This is not a laptop mommy. It's a computer in your lap!"

"Be quiet James! You're trying to sleep!"

"Shut up mommy, I'm WORKIN here!"

"Mommy, you're gonna be SOOOO pretty tomorrow!" (uhhh... what about today?)

"i have to go outside because it's a sunny day because it's not ny-night time because my brother is awake because he's not sleeping because I want to go outside mommy. Can I go outside now? I'm gonna get my boots on and my jacket on and my hat on so I can go outside okay mommy? Can we go outside now mommy?"

"Mommy I'm thirsty. I want strawberry milk in a pink cup with a pink straw."

"My baby brother is crying in there mommy! HELP! GET HIM OUT MOMMY HE'S SQUISHED IN THERE!!" (baby monitor)

"I can't hold my baby brother! No, I can't because he's a FAAAATTTYYY."

"Tinkerbell told me to mommy."

"You helped me do dishes, and you helped me to laundry, and ummm... I peed, and I took pictures outside with the trees, and I peed again, and then I looked at pictures quiet because my baby brother took a nap." (I asked what she did yesterday)

"I can't be on timeout because I'm not in trouble!!" (after touching the computer for the 3rd time)
"Mommy, I need to go play with my friends because I don't want to see you anymore mommy."

"I wish I had....just some chocolate milk."

"mommy I NEED to paint my nails because they have to be pretty."

I want....ummm... I want... to play with my baby brother."

"Hiiiiiiiiiiii baby boooooooyyyyy!!! What're you doinggggggg?! Are you in your swinggggg?! I love youuuuuu!!! Yes I doooooooo!!!!!...... MOMMY!! Baby bother loves me SOOO much he wants me to have some jelly beans."

And my personal favorite...

"I just love you sooooo much mommy." <3