Sunday, July 29, 2007

Preparing for a full-fledged nervous breakdown

It occurred to me last night, thankfully just a few days prior to my psychiatrist appointment, that my anxiety is flaring up probably a little more than I had realized. I've been noticing some breakthrough intrusive thoughts here and there, but I suspect I'm experiencing greater flares as I get increasingly big. There is no way I'm adjusting my meds down, and a greater likelihood I'll be increasing my dose. I'm just glad I noticed it prior to my visit with Dr.

It is a little discouraging how easily I slip back into catastrophic thinking without even noticing it for awhile. So how did I know things were starting to slip?

First off, it has occurred to me that I have been obsessing over eventually getting another house. Mind you, this would only occur if we decided to have a 3rd child (and since we haven't yet had our 2nd, we are talking years from now before we even discuss it with any seriousness). I guess with the market the way it is, I've been stewing over which neighborhoods we'd look in and how much a 4 bedroom would run with a finished basement and how much we'd have to save over the next 4-5 years in order to have greater equity in another house and what the interest rates might be doing then and how much our payment might increase. Yep, good old obsessing over an issue that isn't even an issue at the moment and may never be.

Then, a friend who is expecting in August told me her 4-year-old asked her how long the baby would be staying once he arrived. She told her daughter, "Forever." My first thought when she said this is how I would answer N if she asked the same question because I wouldn't want to say "forever" because G might die during birth or afterwards of SIDS. Catastrophic thinking at it's best, which sums up my every thought during my pregnancy with N. I guess I'm lucky I've gotten to 30 weeks without feeling too much of this stuff.

Today I almost didn't wash a new crib sheet with the thought in my head that I may need to return it to the store if G dies, but I went ahead and washed it anyway which felt like a psychological victory.

I imagine other women have fleeting thoughts like these (or they don't have them at all), but mine tend to hover over my head for awhile and then finally make a nest. I guess given my previous postpartum breakdown, I fear the worst....another bout but made vastly harder by my being responsible for 2 children, not just 1. Maybe I expect it?

I guess the one good thing about noticing my increasing anxiety is that I am noticing it. I recognize it is not healthy or normal to have thoughts like this that stick around and never really go away.

This too shall pass.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sans pants

Yep, I'm at that stage of pregnancy. It has come to the point when I no longer want to wear pants or anything resembling pants...basically anything with elastic that binds my lower belly is evil. Just put a long t-shirt over me and let me go free and au naturel.

I remember while pregnant with N I got to the point where I wanted to wear the maternity pants with the big belly pockets, rather than the ones with the elasticized bands because they would just bind me so badly.

This time around, I don't want an elastic band or a belly pocket. I simply can't get my pants low enough...I daresay I'll start looking like a middle school age boy who belts his pants around his thighs and has half his ass hanging out.

I remember feeling so weird the day I arrived at the hospital to be induced when I had to remove my underwear and slip into the birthing shift. I guess that is how a lot of women are before delivering a baby the first time..a little humble, a little modest. After having half the hospital encounter your vagina on some level or another, you just say "the hell with it." Now, I am about ready to visit my local hospital and purchase some of those shifts so I can run around without my underpants for the next 10 weeks.

Married with child(ren)

D and I will celebrate 10 years of marital commitment in November...provided the stress of having a 3-year-old and a new baby doesn't make our home implode prior to then.

Neither one of us is really very good at accepting change. I think we are still adjusting to life with N and all the sacrifices that go with parenting her. We haven't really talked about it, but I think we are both expecting all hell to break lose when G is born.

Sometimes I forget that D gets stressed over being a dad, I guess because he goes off to work everyday and I tend to the meat and potatoes work of discipline, feeding, cleaning, organizing, driving, doctoring, etc. The way I envision it it can't be that bad for him because he is OUT of the house, AWAY from tantrums and dawdling and wrestling and the 20 second attention span. He gets to be around adults and pee & poop without an audience. He gets to go out to lunch with coworkers/friends 2 times a week.

But there is alot of mental stress associated with being the breadwinner--worry about paying for things and providing for the family. And work is work, regardless, so it isn't like his day is all about fun and relaxation. And then when he comes home, he enters the world of preschool psychosis, which can be amusing and scary at the same time (but is rarely relaxing).

Sometimes I'm sure D forgets how difficult it is for me being a full-time mom...if for no other reason than it can be tedious. I clean the bathroom this week, and then next week, I have to clean it again. Same for laundry, cooking supper, vaccuuming, grocery shopping, etc. And even though I do these things ad nauseum, I don't get a review or pay increase or bonus every year where my housekeeping skills are praised, or I am commended for promptly paying our bills every month.

So being a full-time mom is mind-numbing due to the repetitive nature of the work, plus I am totally dependent on D to provide for me, to continue supporting me as a full-time mom...both financially and emotionally.

We were married for over 6 years before N came, so he and I got VERY accustomed to doing exactly what we wanted to do and for as long as we wanted to do it. D used to wash his car every weekend and play computer games for hours on end. I used to just go whenever I wanted, and so being housebound every afternoon during naptime or having to go out virtually everywhere with my preschool traveling partner doesn't allow me that fancy free feeling I used to get.

Despite all of this, I love my life so much more than before we had N. Maybe a big part of this is I am finally medicated after needing to be since I was at least 20 (but not being). I don't want to sound too warm & fuzzy (because no doubt about it parenting is a BITCH), but I adore my family and what it has brought to my life.

I do have plenty of moments (especially when N hasn't taken a nap) when I think, "Why the fuck did I do this?" But most of the time I think about what will be going through my head when I die, and I know it will be my family. I will be thinking about D and N and G. And not the sucky times either...I will remember the funny things, the vacations, the times we spent together. And I will hate to leave them.

I don't know how men think, so I don't know whether D feels the same or similar as I do about his family. Sometimes I really think (or fear) he'd prefer to be single, live in an apartment and play video games every evening for 6 hours. I know he loves me and N, and will love G, but it is just different for guys. My suspicion is that while moms have their moments of thinking they want to run away from it all (but wouldn't really because it would kill them to leave their children), dads would strongly consider making a dash (and possibly even do it) if it weren't for the legal system and guilt.

Didn't nature design us that way? Males deposit their sperm to as many females as possible and high-tail it out of there. Females try to find the "best" male with whom to reproduce and hopefully get him to hang around for a bit (or bite off his head after he orgasms).

I've said it before and I'll say it again: we need to live in communes (but this is a thought for another blog--my fingers are tired).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Pregnancy makes me a sucky mom

I can tell my AD is not working as well as it was. I can blame it on the pregnancy, and not just because of the hormones. As my blood volume has increased during the pregnancy, the AD is essentially diluted in my bloodstream. I've been having more breakthrough intrusive thoughts and obsessive worries. It is not affecting my appetite or sleep, but I have definitely noticed a difference in my head in the past 2 weeks or so.

This maybe why I feel more and more like such a sucky know, just those darn negative thoughts that pop up when my brain is not soaking in the full strength AD juices. Or it could be this plus the combo of actually being pregnant and therefore not interested in doing anything that requires much energy or effort, which is all that is required in being a stay-at-home mom.

If N and I go someplace--the library, the pool, the zoo, the store--I don't feel like a sucky mom because I am interacting with her. And getting out actually makes me feel better physically. It is when we have time at home that I feel like the world's worst mom because all I want to do is sit on the couch and sigh (or groan).

And it is not that I don't try to do something with her, rather than both of us zoning in front of the tv. I'll ask her if she wants to do a craft. NO. Do you want to do your sticker book? NO. Do you want to color? NO. Sometimes all she wants to do is just have the tv on and zone, which I allow because why fight it? I am so tired of fighting the tv "demons," especially as I come up on my 30th week of pregnancy. N watches nothing but kid shows (not soap operas or COPS), so who cares? Me---because I feel awful that I am not interacting more with her.

When she does want to interact with me it is to play with her Disney princess dolls, which is not quite as boring as ironing clothes but a very close second. I have such a difficult time with pretend doll play because it seems like a never-ending saga with no purpose. If we do a craft or color or paint, there is a finished product at the end. If we read or do a sticker book together, she is learning words or using her spatial abilities. If we bake zucchini bread together, she helps me and learns useful life skills. If we swing outside she is getting physical exercise.

But having the Disney princess dolls chase each other seems the most pointless event in life (although I know I am looking at this through the skewed eyes of an almost 34-year-old woman). And I am so lazy the dolls can only chase each other arm's length because I refuse to move my pregnant ass one inch to the left or right in order to reach any of these princesses.

I guess too it is boring for me because all the Disney princesses do when they play is reenact scenes from the movies/stories, which we have read or seen bazillions of times or relive moments from our own life, which is dull in the extreme in reality so why relive it is our fantasyworld? Because it is fun for a 3-year-old.

And I know when G comes along I will feel even more like a sucky mom to N because I will be putting so much time/effort into caring for him. Of course by then, hopefully my blood volume will be back to normal so my AD can do it's job with greater efficiency.

Fine line between big girl and baby

Sometimes I am astounded by how "big" N has grown, and not just physically. I remember a playgroup mom telling me last fall that when a kid turns 3, he/she just seems to blossom more, get more independent, and that is really what N has done. She has gotten so much better about not needing me sitting right by her at playdates, or if she wants me beside her it doesn't take but a couple minutes for her to feel secure so I can move away. She looks forward to seeing her neighborhood friends and asks to do things with other kids. A couple weeks ago she even had her first playdate without mommy when I had a stomach bug and a friend offered to watch N for a bit.

She still tends toward the quiet side and is definitely a kid who observes before jumping headlong into an event, activity or experience (and maybe she will always be this way since that is how both D and I are; she certainly gets it honest). Once I'm familiar with people, they find that I am far less reserved than I initially appeared, but it generally takes me awhile to warm up to people.

However, I have to remember there is a fine line between that big girl that N seems to have become and a baby. Three years is still so young, and there is so much that is big and scary for her.

Today she had her first swim lesson at the pool. I signed her up back in June, thinking it would be good to do it at the pool since she is familiar with the location. Unfortunately, despite the class being for kids ages three and up, N was the youngest kid (by like a 3+ year margin).

It was absolutely NOT a class for beginners. The instructor had them start by doing "bobs" in the water. Now N is just starting to learn how to and feel comfortable with blowing bubbles, so bobbing her whole body in and out wasn't something she was anywhere near developmentally ready to accomplish.

Not surprisingly, N started crying and wanted out of that pool pronto. I got my money back and have signed her up for a true beginners class at the local YMCA. Hopefully that brief experience today doesn't make her shy away from all swim lessons.

Seeing her crying and looking scared and needing mommy really reminded me how little she still is. Maybe I'll be writing something along these lines when she is 16 and gets upset about a situation and I will think that she is still such a baby. She will always be my baby, but especially at 3, she really and truly is.

It makes me a little scared about preschool for her in the fall, but I know it will be good for her (and me). I guess since I will just drop her off that will maybe make it easier on both of us because I won't be able to hover and she will have to rely on her teachers instead of running for help and comfort from me.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fear of birth

Yesterday I had my 28 week doctor visit, which was surprisingly uneventful. I took my birth plan with me so I expected some kind of discussion or questioning of my preferences, but there was nothing. I guess my doctor has kinda figured I'm not gonna be a "roll with the punches" gal who just goes along with whatever she or any other doctor says. I suspect like Elaine Bennis I have "difficult patient" stamped all over my medical chart.

So as the days roll on, I find myself worrying a bit about the birth. Now I am not as uptight about the birth as I was with N. I want a healthy baby, and I guess my Lexapro use makes this issue more prominent than it was with N. But sometimes I start to wonder how the birth will go. Will I have to be induced? Will he be late, like N was? Will my body remember how to push?

I know my body knows what to do, and it will remember when the time comes and my brain will shut down and stop thinking just like it did last time. But until then, my brain is the operational unit and it doesn't remember anything; hence, the worry.

It seems a little ridiculous to have a slight fear of birth again with the 2nd kid, but just because I've done it before doesn't mean it will happen the same. What events in life ever happen just the same as the first time? I'm not losing sleep over it, but I would so much like Graeme's birth to be as easy or relaxed or non-intervention emergency-like as N's was.

There are few things from my pregnancy with N that I would like to relive, but her birth was amazing. I guess all I can do is use my doula, have my birth plan in place, and start using my birth ball. (As well as pray that this dude doesn't try to break world records on birth size or decide to stand on my cervix instead of being head-down.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Comments from my loyal readers

Goofballs like me start blogs without knowing what we are doing.

Hence, I was not aware that I could click a button that would allow anonymous comment postings from the 5 friends who read my insightful ramblings (without them having to register or donate plasma or cosign someone's loan).

So now some of you quiet ones out there whom I know read my blog (I won't mention names) can offer a comment or two if you want. You know something on the order of, "Hi, I read your blog today. You are weirder than I thought."

Some weeks

....are better than others.

This week has been crazy busy in the evenings, which is fine the 1st day of the week, but by Wednesday everyone in my home has come undone. We were all simply not made to live large, I guess.

Monday evening was our meeting with our financial guru, a once a year event to discuss where our money is really going and where our money should be going.

Tuesday evening was N's Sibling-T0-Be class at the hospital where I will deliver. She had a great time and is very jazzed to be a Big Sis. Seeing the babies in the nursery just about sent her over the edge. Ahhh, if only her enthusiasm would last once the reality of having a baby brother is here.

Wednesday evening was ok for me because I went out to dinner with my moms club, but D was left to deal with N (who did not take a nap yesterday). He had his mom over to help (Mamaw eats with us every Wednesday evening), but N was a whirling dervish because had she stopped she would have dropped to the floor in sleep. God forbid.

So D and I were both awake this a.m. at 4:00--him overthinking and me worrying about him overthinking (following waking up to pee because this is what I do most anymore. I am turning into a 5'7" walking bladder).

What was he thinking about? Not sure, but I suspect some of it was his mom pronouncing G (when she saw it written in N's Super Sibling coloring book she received at the hospital).... Grammy.

Oh Jesus.

So although I initially was worrying about D overthinking things, now I am worried about the following:
  • That due to his mom's comment D will poo-poo G and start us back on the long boring road of trying to find a boy name. Fuck it....his name is BOB. Can anyone not pronounce (like my mom) or mispronounce (like his mom) BOB????? Why do we even associate with our mothers if they are going to keep fubarring our name quest?
  • Is BOB transverse in utero and, if so, will he move to the head-down position? Don't ask me where this worry came from.
  • How bad my Thursday will suck since I have been unable to sleep?
The good news is WE HAVE NO PLANS FOR THIS EVENING. Praise be!

Monday, July 9, 2007


June 26, 2007

This boy, I know, already weighs 18 lbs. And my uterus must be staging a rebellion because I think it has decided not to grow any larger to accommodate Mr. Big. Most days it feels like he is just going to blow out a chunk of my abdomen at any second.

I don't remember feeling this big or this tired or this blucky with N. It seems like I sailed through my pregnancy physically with her, although I am sure some of this is that nice little "failure to remember anything about pregnancy" evolutionary trick that dupes one into producing additional offspring to ensure the continuation of the species.

Yes, I am 4 years older.
Yes, I am with a 3-year-old all day long, which wears me out even when not pregnant.
And some of these things should factor into my head when I feel big and tired and exhausted and thinking entirely too much about how many weeks I have left until delivery. Shit....but that is when the REAL WORK begins!

Maybe I was in such denial during my first pregnancy that I didn't accept or acknowledge feeling very pregnant. Or maybe it was because N was so serene in utero that I didn't feel like I had a mini Savion Glover in there doing his Mr. Bojangles routine.

With N, I was determined to go as long in the pregnancy as possible and connived to get myself to 41 weeks. I'm thinking I'll be looking at membrane stripping well before that this time.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Pool mamas

My friend G just logged a most excellent post about making mom friends and how being a mom sometimes makes it hard to find mom friends because alot of those little quirky things we would normally try to keep under wraps come out in our parenting.

Which got me thinking about the different kinds of pool mamas I see and the ones to whom I tend to gravitate.

I am a "sit by the kiddie pool and watch my kid" mama. If N's neighborhood friends are there, I talk to their moms, but I keep a close eye on N and what she is doing with her friends (or doing to them or having done to her). I would say the majority of the moms at the pool fall into the same category.

But then there are the "sit away from the pool and talk on the cell phone while your kids wreak absolute havoc in the kiddie pool and you occasionally yell for them to stop it but you never lift your ass off the lounge chair and end your phone conversation" mamas.

I have a hard time with these gals.

Mind you, there are like 2 of them at the pool of which N and I are members, and both have 3+ kids. Since I only have 1 kid right now I cannot honestly say that I wouldn't be the same way as one of my only means to ensure some remnants of sanity are left by the end of the day.

Today one of these mama's kids was playing with N's Dora doll, which was totally fine until she launched it over the fence into the big pool area (meaning I had to pick my pregnant butt up and march over there to retrieve it). Did her mama see this and reprimand her? Nope---her mama was having a very intense conversation with some other mama. She has 3 kids, but the other 2 are bigger and often not in the kiddie pool area at all (so at these times she, like me, is only having to watch 1 child).

Maybe I'm just boring and since I have very little to discuss with anyone I can use my time to actually keep an eye on my kid. Lord knows I wouldn't have enough interesting topics to fill up 3 minutes on a cell phone even if I did own a cell phone.

But the truth is I do sometimes talk to other moms at the pool....moms who tend to sit right at the pool and keep an eye on their kid(s) like I do. Maybe they are frustrated by the 1 or 2 moms who spend a little too much of their pool time in la-la-land.

I don't want to discipline other people's kids when their mamas are 10 feet away. I have a hard enough time managing my own child's behavior, let alone the 4 or 5 others who's moms are too busy chatting to see that their kids are spraying others in the face with a water gun, or pitching toys over the fence, or pulling pieces off toys that don't actually belong to them.

If these moms were busy nursing a newborn or tending to one of their other children, I would have a much easier time accepting their inability to keep an eye on their kids, but when I hear them blathering on about a big sale at Kohl's or what the rest of their weekend plans look like I can't muster up anything other than a sarcastic, "O Jesus."

And I am certain that these couple of moms are blogging this moment about the uptight moms at the pool who hover, look like they need an intravenous vodka drip, and sometimes give them the evil eye.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


This is what I'm calling the boy when I'm not calling him G.

Yes, I have decided to start calling this fetus by what I expect will be his name, provided my dear hubby can commit to it. (I am astounded that he and I will celebrate 10 years of wedded life given his inability to commit to most things.)

There are technically 2 branches of government in our home that usually work together pretty well, but I'm pulling a George W. and claiming executive privilege.

The other day at the pool Norah started talking to a mom with a baby boy (he was maybe 9 months old). She was telling this woman that we are waiting on Daddy to pick the name of baby brother. I thought, "OK, that's it. Time to take action."

G is our top name on the list, but D is worried about its spelling. He fears everyone will misspell it as they misspell N (leaving off the H). I told him, "D, my last name is V*******." I can't count the number of ways people have botched both the spelling and pronunciation of my name, but I've survived.

The other thing is that D is easily influenced by what other people like or dislike, so he is leery of telling people the name. I don't give a rat's ass what other people think of the name. My only concern is that someone else will realize what a fantastic name it is and "steal" it from me (with their baby boy due 2 weeks prior to mine). As I've said before, other people's dislike usually induces me to feel even more strongly about a decision. And besides, if someone he knows named Ernest or Elmore were to say anything, you can't really take him seriously because look at that name.

I like the name Glen, but D works with a Glen, so that name was never even on the list. (Like would people think I had conceived the boy with D's coworker or something?????)
I had to give up Hugh because D didn't like it and my mother couldn't say it.
I like Clive, but D didn't like that one.
We like Roan and Rhys, but are concerned about the fact that they are unisex and might veer eventually to female names (like Ashley used to be a boy's name but no longer).
We've talked about Bennett, but D doesn't like first names that sound like last names.

I am tired of calling him "boy." What is the point of knowing he is a boy if I can't give him a name and start thinking of him as a little boy person with characteristics like those that might come from a name.

Pinball comes from this new little game he plays in my uterus whereby he seemingly holds his hands above his head and pokes one side of me and then bounces across my uterus to the other side, where he pushes off with his feet. Back and forth, back and forth. He does it really quickly too, so it is more than a little unnerving.

So if D decides at the last minute that G isn't going to work for him, I am writing Pinball on the birth certificate.

Naptime MEMO


To: My child
From: Your mother

Naptime is a longstanding routine in this institution, namely our home. It is necessary to the well-being of both mother and child. The evidence of this is ample and will be explained below.

When naptime is avoided, it has a negative impact on the child. Child becomes cranky and falls asleep on the couch at approximately 5:00 p.m., which thereby interrupts the evening meal and other scheduled events. If child avoids crankiness in late afternoon, child simply refuses to stop being active, thereby increasing her fatigue and making crankiness far more severe at bedtime.

Naptime avoidance also causes difficulties for mother on a number of fronts. First, the schedule/routine is thrown out of sync, which causes mental anguish. Secondly, the anticipation of child's crankiness later in the day causes mental anguish on the part of the mother. Thirdly, mother needs an uninterrupted break from child, and child playing in other room quietly doesn't provide mother the same mental reprieve that comes with knowing child is sound asleep two floors away.

Naptime is required under certain conditions: following a day at the pool and when child awakens prior to 8:00 a.m. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in unpleasant behavior on the part of the mother.

For your own benefit and well-being, please keep this memo in an area where you can refer to it frequently.

THE BOSS!!!!!!!