Saturday, March 28, 2009

Within sight of Square One

I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, "A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water."

One of the last times I had occasion to test the strength of my own tea was when boy was two weeks old. Husband had taken the first two weeks off of work to spend time with us, and both of us are so glad that he did. Those two precious first weeks of tiny boy-ness could never have been recaptured, and it was exquisite to have that time together. Anyway, over the course of those couple of weeks, we'd learned that boy would sleep when held. Period. And that when I held him, he definitely thought it was mealtime, and therefore was restless and fidgety. So that meant that husband was the default baby mattress. 

Every day of those fourteen days, I'd say to husband, "What happens when you go back to work? Where will he sleep?" Or husband would ask me the same thing. We didn't have any answers, though, and before I knew it, it was 6 a.m. on husband's first day back at work, and he was handing me a sleeping boy, and I had no idea how I was going to do anything that day, alone. Would he sleep if I held him? Early indications were that no, he would not. Would he sleep if I put him down? Definite no, there. Even if he did sleep in my arms, how would I pee/eat/shower/not get a kink in my back from the constant carrying? No clue. I was wound up as tight as could be over the dilemma. 

Husband left, apologetically, necessarily, unavoidably. I looked down at the sleeping baby and prayed that we would figure it out. I might have cried a little -- I actually don't remember. It doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility. At the very first feeding after husband's car had pulled out of the garage, I got boy started nursing, and within two minutes, he'd had a massive poop blowout all over me, my only nursing nightgown, my (very essential) nursing pillow, himself and the bed linens. And you know what? I was instantly over my fear. Because if I could get myself, the baby, the bed and my nursing gear all cleaned up and still be able to laugh about it, I could handle this being-alone-with-the-baby thing. 

So last February, tea = strong.

More than a year later, I've got water on the boil again. I've been off of Prozac now for about two months, and for the most part it's been going ok. A few things have been conspiring against me, though, and lately it seems I've been living right smack-dab in the middle of a cross-roads of things to worry about or deadlines of some sort.
  • My mom had major surgery to replace a hip. OUCH.
  • Boy has definitely hit separation anxiety, full-on.
  • Husband has traveled out of state the last two weeks out of three.
  • I've been helping my father-in-law with some cover letters for jobs as he searches for a new one, and in some instances, we've been submitting those cover letters and resumes right ON the close date for several job postings.
  • Both my brothers are going through stressful periods at work or school, and my heart aches for them.
  • Over the last two weeks, either husband, boy or myself have been ill at one point or another. 
Taken one at a time, none of those things are major issues of any sort. Separation anxiety? Be patient and it'll pass. Mom's had surgery? Take her some frozen meals, visit her every day, and don't forget the flowers. Husband out of town? Tack on bath duty to the rest of baby-duty throughout the day, and enjoy the time with a drippy-wet one-year-old while you're on deck. 

All at once, though ... well, that's a different story. It's seemed lately that I can't turn around without being behind on something I should have done already. Leaving the grocery store, I'd remember that I should have bought more trash bags. Heading home from mom's house to put boy to bed, I'd realize I never started that load of laundry I'd meant to, for her. Looking at my calendar, I'd clap my hand to my head as I grasped the fact that dad had another two job posting closing in nine hours and I hadn't started reviewing his cover letters yet. 

The timing has sucked, because I'm starting to get really short on patience with everyone I love, and I feel a lot like I did a year ago when I STARTED the Prozac in the first place. I talked to my doctor about it, and we agreed that I'd take another week or two to see if the anxiety lifts at all. If not, he's supplied me with (sigh) a prescription for Prozac, 10 mg. So it may be postpartum depression, take two, and I'm not really all that excited about the possibility of this encore performance. 

So now I'm in this weird limbo, weighing my every mood. Is it just a bad day? Or is it Something Else? The "right" way to look at it is to say that no matter what happens, whether I power through and find that I'm fine without medication, or I realize I need the scrip, I'll find I'm still a strong woman, a good mommy -- that I'm still brewing tea with a punch. And maybe in a few weeks, in hindsight, it'll feel that way. If I'm honest with myself, though, it feels like I should be over it by now. It feels like I shouldn't need the meds anymore, that I should have rebalanced by now and gotten things back into whirring good order upstairs. It feels, in short, like a failure to be even considering the possibility again. 


Stay tuned.


married yoshimi said...

love and a hug for you.

screamy mimi said...

You're brewing kick-ass tea. Sending happy thoughts and virtual support your way!