The Loneliness Behind That Latte.

starbucks-venti-chai-tea-latte-caffeine

My social media is plastered with posts about coffee.  Pics of my Stewart’s Iced, or something I’ve been tagged in; cute memes, play on words, or themed t-shirts.  They are cute, and it’s true, I love coffee, but the reality behind my love for coffee is less than cute.  I live in a world where sleep is scarce, often getting 2-4 hours sleep over a 42 hour period. My workload is heavy, and my husbands multiple health challenges makes him  unable to help beyond the paycheck he earns to keep our family afloat financially and I am BEYOND grateful that he is able to do that so I can stay home with our boys .  While other moms post pictures of nights out “sans kids”, or show a chore completed or the lovely meal their husband fixed them I “like” them but inside I sigh because I know that is not something that is likely to happen for me.  My coffee is the only self care thing I really have.  The Venti Latte seems lush, and lovely and a bit extravagant but in reality it is all he really has as means of helping me.  Often times it is handed to me on his way to bed for the day/night.  So while most women chat with their partner about the days events, or they all do something as I family on a Saturday, my husband is tucked into bed while my kids and I carry on. His presence missing, he says he hopes the coffee at least is a help and he says it is his way of trying to show he cares, even when it looks like he has all but hidden from us.  I joke about my coffee consumption as a means of making me feel a little less like crying, and it keeps me from unloading my real situation on the poor person who asks in passing at church “Hey how are ya?”  But the reality my coffee is the earthly thing that helps sustains me when there are miles to go before I sleep.
Now the real factor to my ability to stay the course, however sloppy the results may seem to the outsider, is my faith in Christ, but that is a post in and of itself!!!

 

Relearning What Love Can Look Like.

As he shut the door to the bedroom all that was within me wanted to scream “stay out with us.. COME ON!!!!” but this year has taught me that by doing that, guilting him into staying out with us I risk ruining a good day and could even hinder or mar his relationship with our kids.

For many people that seems totally backward.  How could staying alone in his room be BETTER for us????  For my husband his sever depression has robbed him of so much, and by proxy us too.  But I learned that when he is drowning, when the waves of anxiety, agitation and depression rage around him his ability to cope is low or non-existent, so a well meaning hug or a game of “climb all over daddy” sends his body into panic, and that instinctive fight or flight sets in.  His response is less than ideal and the kids can’t understand it, so we have learned to reassure them of his love and that daddy is in bed so he can feel better and have fun with them another time, and he always follows through, so they are building that foundational trust, that he will stay true to his word.

This is not at all what I had envisioned our family life to look like but as I relearn what love can look like, I see that atypical as it may be he loves his kids just like any other dad, but that HIS love takes on a different face sometimes as he tries to balance the heavy weight of depression that is countering his love for his family.

 

Post Partum Depression and D-MER a Wicked Combo.

I sat on the bed sobbing.  Little E layed there screaming for me to pick him up.  His little lamb like cry broke my heart, because I knew it meant he was hungry, and yet I dreaded picking him up, i dreaded putting him to breast because I knew that soon my milk would let down, and then the pain, disrest, and anxiety would kick in FULL FORCE, that pit in my stomach feeling of dread, and fear.  Of course I would pick him up, and I did put him to breast, and as anticipated the minute my milk let down the negative emotions kicked in.  The Breast Feeding educator in me recognized this as D-MER (pronounced “Dee Em E Are) a condtion affecting women during or before let down ONLY.  It is not post partum depression although because I was suffering from PPD the DMER  associated feelings lead to much guilt.  How could I not want to feed my child, this MUST mean i am a bad mother! Even though I knew  I didn’t choose these emotions my PPD altered my thought process to make myself think that.  My almost 2 year old would run wild while i fed, it was as if he knew I was physically unable to interveine, and emotionally lacked the capacity to discipline from where I was.  At 2 weeks post partum I hit an all time low.  I was a mess, I was crying every feed and a few times above and beyond the every 1.5 hr feeding schedule. I feared my  mental health status would interfere with my ability to parent the way I wanted to, and so I met with my midwife who emphatically said “thats it honey.. the boobs are going away!” She begain to explain to me that at this point, the anti depressents that I needed , in the doses required, combined with their inability to effect the DMER meant formula feeding and meds was our best option.  She could tell I was fighting the tears back, I finally have a milk supply and THIS happens?? WHat would the crunchy community say?  How was I going to take a botle of formula to the Non-GMO education/seed exchange event.  I can’t go to the farmer’s market and buy orgainc fruits and veggies then hit up wally world for powdered nutriton could I?  She hugged me, and looked me in the face and said “You are still all of those things! You still use Mama Cloth, you stil have a cute stash of cloth diapers, you still babywear, and you still believe in your own brand of crunch, and if anyone dare to say anything (which it is none of their bussiness) you tell them Sue (your MIDWIFE) said ‘the boobs are going way’ 

I am now 8wks ppd, the meds have reached full effect, and  baby has adjusted to formula. I still baby wear, I still love Ina May, and have not sworn off the farmers market.  Am I happy 24/7? No! Am I better? Yes! Did i make the right decision?  yes!