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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday musings...

I don't really know what to talk about. I just know that after I posted my last entry, I felt so much better having let out some of my feelings.

Alec is taking one of his nice, long naps (I usually get one GOOD nap out of him per day), and Keith is out at the grocery store.

We had an odd week. My car decided to leave me (and Alec) stranded at the Babies 'R Us in Danbury (thank goodness it wasn't the Waterbury one!!). Keith came to the rescue, and then my best friend's husband came to rescue with tools. Turns out, it wasn't even the battery (duh...jumping it wasn't working!), but the starter. Yay. We paid more money to have it towed to the family mechanic's place, than to actually have the damn thing fixed. It cost us $160.00 to get the Jeep towed from Danbury to Seymour (roughly 23 miles), and it cost us $155.00 to get a new starter put in - labour included. Of course, this guy doesn't charge us storage fees, and gives us a really good break on the labour. Which is why we trust him to not gouge us with fees, and to do a good job.

Since the Jeep was out of commission from Saturday through Wednesday, I did go a bit stir-crazy. I went out, but very little. I had Keith's car Monday night, having gone to a job interview (no, I haven't heard anything), and Wednesday, my friend Dina came by for a little bit with her little girl; and we went to get the Jeep that night, and had dinner at my father in law's house. Thursday was a tough day. I really didn't want to do anything, after that horrible dream I had on Wednesday night. Yesterday, we had a busy day, Alec and I. We had a playdate with my friend Dina again, and then booked it to my physical (where I got two shots, ouchies!), and then to visit our other friend, Lindsay, to bring her some birthday cookies.

I guess it did feel good to externalize my feelings. Maybe that dream was a wake-up call that I needed to get myself out there.

This weekend, we're seeing two sets of dear friends, and during my down-time, I plan on looking for a playgroup or two in my area, as well as signing Keith and me for AAA. That tow job was highway robbery!

In more normal, and happier matters, Alec has his 4 month check-up on February 3. Where did time go? He's definitely getting bigger, catching up to all of his contemporaries (i.e. my Bumpie friends' babies). He fits into all of 0-3 clothing, as well as most of 3-6 months. I am totally addicted to cloth diapering. I'm so glad we made the decision to cloth diaper. Not only are they cute as hell on Alec's little butt, but we're not contributing to landfills anymore than we have to. I mean, we still use disposable diapers at night at this point, since we still need to get more hemp inserts, as well as more diapers that can do the 'night shift'. We also use disposables when out and about. We do, however, use the Earth's Best diapers, which are chlorine-free, so they're a bit better. On average, we use maybe 10 disposable diapers a week. Far better than the 50 we would be using. I will also be attempting to make some diapers. Yup. You heard me. MAKE the sewing them...!

Anyway, I'm trying maintain some sanity here. Maybe keeping myself busy with some playdates, playgroup activities, and some sewing and knitting will help me stay busy. I mean, Keith is an amazing husband, and father. He is supportive, patient with me and awesome with Alec. I think there is only so much he can do, though....He has a lot on his plate. But that's a story for another post.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I had a dream...

Last night, I dreamed a dream that was so disturbing, both in its content, as well as my own ability to dream up such madness. I think about it, and I begin to cry.

Now, lately, I've been having a rough time keeping up with life in general. It is tough with an infant, but I would never, ever, place my own child in harm's way. Never. I can't stress that enough [to myself]. This dream disturbed me so much that when Alec woke up for his nightly feeding at around 5:00a.m., this morning, I held him after he was done eating. I squeezed him as though it was the last time I was to be able to hold him. And I cried out of sheer fear.

Luckily, I had my yearly check-up this morning with my ob-gyn. I told him about my dream, and how I have had, in past few weeks, several dreams that were slightly disturbing in nature, such as the one I had last night. I am sure that I would have called for help had I not had this appointment today.

After I answered a few questions, he told me "Monica, I'm afraid you are an ideal example of post-partum depression (PPD), and I'd like you to contact a psychiatrist so that we can get you the therapy and medication you need."

This blew me away, I knew I have been hormonal - obviously...I had a baby almost 4 months ago, and my body and mind are still adapting. But I never realized that what I have been feeling were symptoms of depression.

I can't hold it in anymore at this point. I have tried so very hard to be the strong woman that Keith fell in love with; not to show how I feel, how isolated and lonely I feel 99% of the time and I struggle to maintain a happy face so he doesn't worry about me. I have to admit to myself, to Keith and to Alec, that I am not perfect, that I have my weak points and limitations as to what I can withstand as a human being.

This dream that I had last night, was so real, and so vivid; that when I first woke up, I bolted upright to make sure Alec was still safe and sound in his bassinet. I am still thinking of that image of opening a locker door, and finding my almost-4 month old lying face-down on the cold, hard floor of the locker, still crying, with tears running down his face, having been abandoned by me. I still can't believe that I would be capable of even just dreaming of placing my baby in a locker.

On one hand, I can't get the dream out of my head, but I am glad I had it on one hand. It made me realize that I had to talk to someone.

Never in my wildest dreams, would I have ever thought that new motherhood could be such a painful, isolating phase of my life. Throughout my pregnancy, I always imagined that it would come so easily to me. I sometimes feel as though I am failing miserably - hell, I can't even nurse my child adequately without taking a boatload of herbs and medication to help me lactate so that I can make almost enough milk. I never realized that I would feel so isolated from the world, so lonely most of the time. I barely know what day it is anymore, unless I look at the calendar, and although I have my dear friends whom I see on a semi-regular basis, Alec and I stay at home most of the time. I talk on the phone a lot to some of my friends, and this helps me somewhat, but something always suffers when I do that. Either the floors don't get swept, laundry doesn't get done, or the bed doesn't get made. Alec is always well taken care of, but sometimes I forget to shower and brush my teeth.

I love it when Keith has snow days from school, or when he's home, because I can feel human again, having another adult to talk to. I know he wants the best for me, for us, his family. I know he wants me to speak to somebody about how I feel...I'm proud of myself for admitting that I'm not made of steel, or invincible, and making an appointment to speak to a psychiatrist.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dear 2010, I shall miss thee

It's January 3, 2011, and I can't believe how much my life has changed in the past year. It took one year to get pregnant and have a baby, lose a job, get married, and gain a larger family.

On February 9, 2010, I took a test to which the results were to be life-altering.

On April 26, 2010, I lost my job for [known] reasons still unknown to me.

On August 15, 2010, I married the person who completes me.

On September 30, 2010, I gave birth to the most beautiful, most perfect tiny human being I've ever had the grace of knowing.

It was a life-changing, name-changing and humbling year for me. For the better, of course. Although I can honestly say that a pregnant woman with no job, is a disaster waiting to happen. Asides from going on countless interviews, submitting hundreds of resumes and cover letters, and scouring the internet looking for a company who might hire a pregnant lady; I read, blogged and bumped a lot. I met a few women who have turned into some great friends. I read countless pregnancy books, watched hundreds of birthing videos, and basically...freaked myself out, as well as worry my now-hubby, with my 'fountain of knowledge', as I like to call it. Oh...and the stories of drama on The Bump.

When Keith and I found out that I was pregnant, our first reaction was "holy shit, what are we going to do?!" and "how the hell did this happen?" Well, we knew 'how' it happened...we were just stupified that it happened while on birth control. We went from debating on whether or not to get married, to deciding that we didn't care about what society considered 'normal', to saying we would tie the knot after the baby was born, to worrying about money and preparation, etc., etc.

Fast forward to April, when I lost my job. I'm still relatively sure that I was fired because I was pregnant, and new on the job (I had only started in October 2009). But...who knows? It sucked royally for the remainder of my pregnancy trying to find a job. I landed countless interviews, but as soon as they realized I was pregnant (how can you hide that?!?!), they would kind of shoo me and in and out, and not even call me back. We worried a bit about how we were going to survive on one income, but things have worked out - we just have to be careful.

In July, we decided that - or better yet, I decided for us - that this child was NOT going to come out into this world to an unmarried mother. I just decided that there was too much stigma surrounding an unwed mother, that Lentil (as he was then known as) was going to stay in my tummy until we were hitched. So we planned a smallish wedding for August. To this day, we're still dealing with a few upset friends and family who weren't invited and are now offended.

So, on August 15, 2010, Keith and I were married by a Justice of the Peace. My parents flew in from San Francisco and St. Louis, his parents and step-mom were there, as well as his sister, and step-siblings. I had my two best friends and their families. We also invited one of his aunts, and one of his uncles. It was a perfect day, with the exception of the humidity.

Fast forward to September. My [surprise] baby shower was on September 19th. My best friend put it together with my mother-in-law and step-mother-in-law. I think my mum had a hand in it, too - but unfortunately couldn't make it. She had already come here to visit back in June, and then again for the wedding, and knew she wanted to come when Lentil arrived. I was beginning to freak out, because I didn't know about the shower, and knew Lentil's due date was fast approaching. Little did we know...little did we know.

A week after the shower, I was induced. Lentil was born on September 30, 2010 at 6:19 a.m. Alec Keith Maciog was born 3 weeks early via induction due to 3 factors: (a) almost no fluid in my amniotic sac, (b) poor circulation through his cord, and (c) smallish measurements. It took our OB thinking that my tummy was measuring small and ordering an ultrasound to find this out. I thank my stars every day for this. Had he not seen this, the technician wouldn't have seen it, we would not have been sent to labour and delivery and then sent to a perinatologist for an in-depth ultrasound.

My induction took 36 hours. As soon as I realized I was being induced, I realized I was not going to be able to go med-free. To be honest, I had no clue what I was up against, and I was more worried about having to undergo a C-section, then begging for an epidural...which I did. With contractions coming one minute apart, and peaking off the monitor, for about 4 hours, I realized I couldn't do it. I was shaking when I screamed for an epidural, and the anesthesiologist was in my room within 20 minutes.

Alec was born 9 hours later. No C-section needed. I thank the hospital staff for handling my labour so perfectly. I went in at 37 weeks gestation, without a single iota of progression towards natural delivery. I was not favourable, and in fact, the OB later told me he was worried I would end up in a section. Yay for me!

When people tell you that motherhood is the toughest job in the world, they're not joking.

Alec is 3 months old. I have just gone through the most humbling experience of my life. I have had to depend on Keith as my rock, my shoulder to cry on. I have held my child in arms, trying to make him stop crying. I have struggled with breastfeeding. I'm still struggling. Each day gets better, and Alec is more patient with my low supply. We still supplement, and I have a feeling we always will.

I look at Alec, and I see myself, as well as Keith. I see yesterday, today and tomorrow in his eyes. I see this tiny little human being, someone Keith and I created....from scratch! How can a few cells grow into something so perfect?

Every day, Alec learns something new. Or we learn something new. He is a morning baby. He wakes me up in the mornings by cooing and talking to himself from inside his bassinet...which is still next to my side of the bed. We're all set up for him to go in his crib in his nursery - but yet I can't bring myself to do that just yet. He recently just started raising his arms when he knows he's going to be picked up. I love that. He smiles when we talk to him.

My body is not back to normal yet. I can fit into a few pairs of jeans, but I have to use a hair-band to hold them up. I can't wait to start running again. I would love to be able to wear my clothes boobs got bigger about a month ago, I think when my milk supply went up a little bit. So my shirts are definitely too short right now. But hey, I live in yoga pants and t-shirts.

Now...if only I can stop buying all these cloth diapers, we'll be good.

2010 also brought some loss to a few people I care a lot about. A dear 'bumpie' friend of mine gave birth to a stillborn at 37 weeks. Another dear person lost her baby at 15 weeks gestation. Someone else I hold dear to my heart almost left her newborn son without a mommy right after delivery.

So, my resolution for this New Year, is absolutely no resolution. It's to live life one day at a time, and enjoy Alec while he's still small.