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I am still alive…

I have been so bogged down with depression that I scarcely have any memory of the past couple of months post birth. I have gone in to hiding, only existing.

Breathing because I have to, looking after the kids because I have to and not doing much else except sleep. That I can manage. Lots and lots of sleep.

So off I went to my GP to get a prescription that is okay to use while breastfeeding, hoping that it will sort of drag me out of this quagmire, only to find that I have lost a month.  Seriously? A whole fecking month. Gone.

So it is back to the drawing board.

I have to decide what is more important.  My mental health or feeding my son?

I am really proud of the fact that I managed to get the breastfeeding thing right this time around.  It is my little life raft that makes me feel like I am not a complete failure as a mother. Call it my mantra if you will.  So now what?

I think I will go sleep on it.

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Honesty is not always nice, but it is needed.

I started blogging because I was living too much in my own head and like my blog title suggested was getting dangerously close to losing a couple marbles.

I lived in my head so much that I would sometimes forget to voice what I am feeling and thinking and that lead to alot of strain between me and my husband.  He would get so upset with me (well still does) when he asks me a question and I wouldn’t answer, of course I would vehemently deny this because I did answer, problem was, in my head.

This is not a good place to be in all the time. I was feeling out of synch, isolated and like I was being a spectator in my own life, problem was, I was being a spectator in my own life.

I don’t know whether this internal retreat was a long time coming, or where it originated, but it got really bad right after the birth of my son and the car accident in Jan 2010.

It is already such a big shock to have a baby, everything you think you know or thought you understood about yourself can pretty much be thrown out of the window.  You will never be the same. You think that you have had nine months to prepare yourself for this, but really ten years would not be enough time to get your head wrapped around the chaos, the sleepless nights, the fear, awe, amazement and the utter horror the first time that baby starts to howl and nothing you do or say gets them to shut the hell up. I saw all of my friends who had their babies and they were totally in love with their little bundles and I was green with envy.  Why couldn’t I feel like that?

Then came the accident. And just when I thought I cannot get more lost, I was proven wrong. I. definitely.could.

I cannot describe the mind altering pain of those first couple of days in the hospital.  I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t do anything but lie on my back and wish I was dead, immediately thereafter to feel engulfed by the rush of guilt that I had just wished to be put out of my misery.  I was not allowed to feel like that, I had to be grateful. I was spared. I was alive. I would walk again. All the while I was screaming in my head, get me the fuck out of here. This pain is fucking excruciating, I want to DIE! Just let me die.  Why won’t you let me die?

Of course my son was also in his own little hell, a hell that he could not articulate in any other way other than crying, violent acne rashes, refusal to breastfeed, refusal to take a feed from a bottle and an inability to sleep for longer than what felt like 3 seconds at a time with hours and hours of screaming to break the tediousness that is sleep.

I hated every moment of it.  I hated my husband, I hated my son, most of all I hated myself for feeling the way I did/being the way I am. I was a perfect breeding ground for postnatal depression. I was the poster child for PND. And I wore my badge with shame.

In front of everyone I wore this façade of the doting mother who was ever so grateful for surviving that which we had. I cooed when it was appropriate to coo, I smiled and gurgled when everyone was watching, but all the while I had this deep dark secret that I kept locked in my head. I retreated in my head because that is where I was safe.  I was allowed to feel what I felt without the judgement. I was allowed to say that I was angry.

Only once in that hell did I try and reach out, I told a friend that I was so tired of everyone telling me I should be grateful, wasn’t a great reception to that observation, so I kept myself in check. I stopped talking apart from exchanging pleasantries.

But I am over that now. This festering feast is no longer going to remain in my head and corrupt everything that I feel and think.

Yes I had PND but for the first time in almost 18 months I can honestly say, I adore my son. He challenges me to be better than what I am, he makes me smile and when I think of him my heart swells.  I think I am finally experiencing that new-motherhood glow. It took me a while but I am finally getting over my anger too.  I actually went to church on Sunday and it felt good.  I did not feel like a hypocrite.

I am taking this in baby steps, but I am getting there. Starting with this post, I am moving a bit out of my head.

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Sleepless in Marina

*CAUTION:

This post contains some vivid imagery, if you are at all like me, and think in pictures, I would suggest that you read no further. The author cannot and will not be held responsible for any therapy that you may need as a result of this post.*

This has been a week from hell in the sleeping department.  Somewhere during last weekend, my toddler has been replaced with someone else’s.  Can’t be mine, mine slept like an angel.

DH goes away every month for a week for work, he has done this since T’s birth, so there is nothing new, he has always taken it in his stride, and although I try to lessen the impact by spending extra quality time, this week it is simply not doing the trick.

He has been waking every night, without fail, at 2:00.  Not with the usual gurgling laughter and smiles, but with big crocodile tears and loud wails. He won’t take his bottle, dummy or even his beloved bunny (although Bunny’s shares have dropped decidedly since he donned some clothes-Gotta love Build a Bear).  The only way he calms down is by putting him in bed with me, which has left me with very little sleep as sharing a bed with him is the equivalent of sharing a bed with a hyperactive octopus or similar.

<I honestly don’t know how the co-sleeping parents do it, I am as ratty as a bear with toothache and it is been nary a week, I cannot imagine that this should be a permanent arrangement (apart from the fact of course that sharing a bed is as good as taking birth control-definitely not high on the list when TTC).>

Last night things got pretty out of hand.  He would not stop screaming, even when he was in the bed with me.  I was not even allowed to turn or move an inch.  As Murphy would have it that was about the same time that I had to go to the little girls room with the mother of all pee’s and there was just no getting up out of bed. Eventually, by the time that it felt I was about to spontaneously combust it seemed that he had finally fallen asleep.

I had barely gotten to the bathroom when he jumped up out of bed and proceeded to run about the house, frantically looking for me, while screaming at the top of his little lungs.  After a week of this it is little wonder the neighbours won’t greet me anymore. Any the way, this little tirade culminated, with him sitting on my lap, while I was on the loo.

I was really trying very hard at that point to hang onto the last dregs of sleep while trying to wipe and not have a complete sense of humour failure.  Alas twenty minutes later his was snoring his sweet cheeks off and I, was counting sheep.

Needless to say I am feeling rather green around the gills today and all would be well served to steer clear of me, as I am very likely to bite.

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My slice of “Humble Pie”

Ghandi said “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist

Sounds naive, I have to admit, but I think Ghandi had a point.

We are all from different walks of life, shaped and moulded by what we have seen, felt and lived through. We have to be different, otherwise it would be mightily boring, so when someone differs in opinion, we would do well to listen.  We dont have to make use of their advice but we should feel free to.

I was recently extended an olive branch, by someone that really had every reason not to, but still did so. Leaving me feeling ever so guilty.

Lesson learnt…

So here I am, extending an open hand…and hoping to make a friend or two.