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Thursday, December 31, 2009

It Is What It Is

I apologize in advance for what is sure to be a rambling ADD riddled post. After a week away, can you blame me? And you never know, this make take more than one post.

We got home Tuesday. I was never so glad to have my own bed and get our Bean back on a routine. Silly person that I am, I thought that having our own space agaon would be good. I am an idiot. Back into said routine, I'm trying to keep myself together and write without crying. I very nearly want to call my dear husband and tell him to come home. He's at the Library working on his Thesis. And I need him to work on his thesis so he can get a job so we don't end up homeless and begging on the street for money to buy formula and diapers. And besides, if we're lucky, R will be able to find a Wii on sale- if they're not all sold out.

Speaking of formula, Baby Girl is eating her third meal of the day. I swear she just ate and went down for a nap. We paused for a diaper change, I LOVE diaper changes!! I know, I'm nuts. But it's these moments when we're face-to-face and I have her undivided attention. She listens to whoever is talking to her and begins grinning like an idiot. She smiles like her Daddy and her Grandpa (my Dad)- right into her eyes. It melts not just my heart but every part of me.

As I was changing her just now she stared into my eyes smiling. I burst into tears. At the beginning of this post I had convinced myself that I could hold out, that I didn't need the medication. Staring at her, soaking up all her sweetness, I know I have to- for her, for R and for myself. The fibro is slight, the PPD deafening in it's roar. They feed off each other. I need to break the cycle.

So here we are on the eve of a new year. I will start it having had my heart full with more joy than I thought possible. And I will start it trying to fix the things that have gone wrong in my body and my mind.

I feel a bit like a failure by needing the meds. And you don't have to say it, I know there's nohting wrong with medication if you need it -I've heard it all. Right now this is how I feel. I'll get over it.

So I wish you a Happy New Year. I have much to catch you up on and much catching up to do myself. But tonight, I am going to curl up with my incredible husband and my baby. We're going to read a bedtime story to our dear girl, put her to bed and watch a movie (or play Wii if we're lucky).

And then I will take the step I need to to fix this.

See you in 2010.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Anti-Scrooge

People can still surprise me.

I'm at my in-laws place for Christmas. My MIL and I run to the store to pick up a few things because I was going to make fudge tonight and dinner on Monday (mmm, Tagine). We had to run to a second store because the first was all out of the mini marshmallows needed to make the fudge. The second store didn't have it either so I opted for regular marshmallows and would cut them up.

I get in line to pay for them and put them behind the items for the guy in front of me. He looks at me, grabs the marshmallows and puts them with his order. He says that he'll grab them for me. I said I had change but he said not to worry about it, so I said okay, and thanked him for being so generous. They only costed $1.39 but it was the point that counts here.

An elderly lady gets in line behind us and puts her few items up on the conveyor belt. He looks at the cashier and asks how much she thinks her items costed. She said about $25.oo. He motions to her items and says, "these ones too". The elderly woman looked very confused at first but when he explained that he would pay for her groceries, well, you should have seen the look on her face. She gave him this big hug and even kissed him on the cheek. He laughed and then frantically rubbed his cheek to remove the bright red lipstick away. He asked us if he had gotten it all off and sure enough he did. I could just picture him going home to a wife or girlfriend and what would have happened if he didn't get it all off.

He wished us a Merry Christmas and there was a round of hugs. I think we all had a bounce to our step as we left.

I don't even think I bothered to put on my gloves. I didn't even notice the minus 5 degree Celsius chill.

It's nice to know that simple generosity still exists. I do wonder though, was it a random act on his part or did he plan it? Did he leave for the store saying, I've got a little extra money, why don't I pay for someone's stuff? I'll never know and you know what? I don't think it matters.

Merry Christmas. May we all find a little generosity this holiday season- whether financially or just in love and friendship.

Peace to all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays

If I look out my window, I can't see anything for the bank of fog that has descended into my neighborhood. I'll pretend it's snow for the Holidays. Not that I want the headache of trying to fly out through snow but maybe it would make me feel more Christmasy.

We leave tomorrow to spend a week with R's family. I am looking forward to it, but...

I feel like I have to put on a smile and enjoy things, even if I'm not up for it. Perhaps it's a suck it up situation.

In any case I'll be back on the 29th. I'm wishing everyone a lovely Holiday, if you're celebrating, and if you're not, I wish you well.

See you in a week! Now since I better go pack, I leave you with a photo of good tidings...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Perfect Moment Mondays: Glimmers for Soltice

I've long seen people's Perfect Moment Monday posts but this is the first time I've joined in. It's another way for me to force myself out of my Post-Partum Depression shell and engage in the world around me.

It's ironic that the day that is supposed to be the shortest (and therefore have more darkness) has bursted with light. It's a cloudy dark day that started out with dreary with rain and just now has a sun bursting over the sliver of ocean visible from my apartment ocean, lighting it up. I tried capturing it with my camera but I don't have a long enough lense to capture the sight I'm witnessing. Perhaps that's just as well.

So that is one Perfect Moment today. I was reminded of how the light can overcome the darkness.

A second moment came from my friend D who came for a visit today. He came with small gifts- vitamins (to help with the PPD), coffee and a hug. He also watched Bean while I had a shower, which I hadn't had a chance to do as Bean had been awake off and on all morning and had just finally fallen asleep.

Another moment came last night. Bean was wide awake after her bedtime feed (an unusual occurrence). So R decided to read her a bedtime story as I cuddled her in our bed. Picture the three of us curled up reading Dr. Suess. It was a balm on my saddened heart.

Stop by here to see the Perfect Moments for this week...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nothing a Glass of Wine and Sleep Couldn't Help a Little

So Friday night resulted in little sleep. After going back to bed , I lay awake for what seemed like forever. My dear husband decided that this was a good time to discuss something. Really, I just wanted to shut off my brain and sleep. I was tired. It wasn't the most productive conversation but it wasn't awful either. The last time I looked at the clock it was 3 am.

Baby woke up at 6:30. Husband got up to feed her. I crawled out of bed at 8:30 feeling numb. I then proceeded to get ready for the day and do something I loathe...

Christmas shopping at the mall in the week before Christmas.

It could have been worse. I did go by myself which allowed far more freedom in the crowds. But you should have seen it! A mall with over 400 stores can pack an insane amount of people in. The line-up at the bookstore was unbelievably long but the sales clerk in charge of the line-up was lovely. He made my day with his sense of humour. He told everyone that the line-up was only 7 minutes long. Someone asked him if he had timed it which he said that he actually did. He then proceeded to "bribe" us by passing out candy canes.

It was such a simple thing and it made my day. No one was shoving, stamping their foot or being generally irritable. A big difference from the Star.bucks line-up where I very nearly took off the head of the girl behind me because she decided that her huge designer purse required more space than she had in line and every time she moved she banged me with it. I almost became one of those grouchy people muttering under their breath, cursing the holidays.

Almost, but I restrained myself and took a couple deep breaths.

Last night I did something I wasn't sure I could... I went to a Chirstmas party. Hubby's co-worker and his wife were throwing an appys and drinks shindig and invited us out. So we went, baby in tow. There's nothing more amusing than meeting people and having them introduce themselves to the baby first and then the parents. People often apologize but I'm used to it by now so really don't think anything of it.

I knew several people there but it was hard for me. Normally, I could walk into a room of hundreds of people and mingle no problem. But these days a party of 20 people has me anxious. I get claustrophobic in small spaces right now. So most of the time, I sat in the Living Room by the fire and talked to people as they circulated. Sometimes I had the baby, other times she was circulating with Daddy. I should point out also that our lovely host came around and offered to fill my wine glass from time to time.

Two and half glasses later... I was really glad I only had the half glass and not a full third. Mildly drunk I changed Bean's diaper and got her dressed in her pajamas. She had had about enough of the loud place and strange people. She had been awesome (as she usually is) but after awhile, her tolerance dwindles. She was tired and needed to have herself a good cry. I didn't blame her, Mamma understood. So I took her to a quiet room, covered her with her blanket and rocked her to sleep. It's about the only time we will do this since she normally puts herself to sleep. We left soon after she settled down.

We all slept like babies last night. ;)

I think the hardest thing about last night was enduring the regular bout of questions... "How's Motherhood? Are you enjoying being at home? Getting more sleep these days? Are you breastfeeding" The funny thing is I really don't think people want to hear the real answer; they just ask the questions because it's convention. And let's not discuss what happens if you tell them something that is outside their comfort zone.

One woman there was a younger Mom like myself. She had an eighteen month old. She was really nice to talk to and refreshingly didn't try to give me every piece of advice that exists under the sun. While I didn't get into the PPD and I think she could sense I was a little bit "off" and was really sweet about it. She didn't push and let me say as much or as little as I felt. Her daughter was really cute as well and really interested in everything around her. I would look at her and then glance at Bean and try to imagine my little girl that big. Just can't quite do it yet.

I know, I know, they grow so fast, time passes so quickly, blah blah blah. Let me just enjoy her as she is right now. It's a hard enough to do that one simple thing some days, let's not force time to get away from me. I want to just soak up her new smiles and let them heal what seems to be somewhat broken. Here's one of those precious smiles...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Only in the Wee Hours

The TV options available after midnight are limited. You've got a Late Show and then often a Late, Late Show. Which is silly really, since they all seem on time to me...

I know, I know, groan. Sorry about that. Occupational hazard of being married to a man who can spit out puns as easily as he breathes. After over 6 years together, it was bound to rub off eventually. Now where was I? Oh yes, TV.

I have to say that TV at the turn of the day is infinitely better than when I was usually getting up for a night feed: 3 am. At this time, most of the channels go off the air or have "Paid Programming" selling some ridiculous items that people really don't ne... oh wait, are you serious? You mean that gizmo, will give bottles AND change a diaper? I better write down that phone number. Wait no, I haven't gotten that phone number down yet!

Damn it! Oh well, maybe next time. But with my luck, it'll be yet another food chopper/mincer/slicer/knife sharpener/cutting board and storage contraption for only 3 easy payments of $19.99. Like I said, not much on at that time if the morning.

This particular morning sees the wife getting up instead of the husband because of course, she's been listening to the baby wake up for the last five minutes and knowing that the bottle in the fridge will take a few minutes to warm up, someone should get up NOW to place said bottle in hot water so that it's ready BEFORE the baby gets into a her "I'm so hungry, I'm going to perish" cry (which is a good one if you ask me). Anyway, so the wife gets up because her husband half asleep says he's not sure if he can get up, and promptly continues sleeping through Baby Girl's noises.

So the wife gets up, only mildly irritated at the whole exchange since she's now wide awake due to accidentally making regular coffee instead of decaf early that evening and drank it anyway since it's a crime to waste such a precious liquid that is coffee.

Stay tuned to see what time the wife actually gets back asleep and if the baby decides to sleep too. There are fair odds in her favour since the bout of hiccups that ensued while this was being written is over and Baby Girl is once again working on the last of her bottle.

Wish her luck...

Within Reach

A photo for the place in between...

Friday, December 18, 2009

We Have a Winner!

So the deadline for my contest came and went. I pretty much forgot about it- go figure.

BUT, we do have a winner. The lucky blogger is Mrs. Spock!! I submitted her suggestion for my Creme de la Creme post a day before the deadline. Whew, made it. So I'll be contacting her about her prize and she can share what it is when she gets it. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seriously? Almost Worth a Laugh

I was a little bit excited. This afternoon (and every Wednesday afternoon), my health unit, which is two blocks away has a Parent/ Baby Drop-in. I've yet to make it once. But today was supposed to be a holiday celebration/social. I figured I should go. Boy was I nervous! Normally I could walk into a room of 500 strangers and mingle no problem. But these days I become shy and unsure how to talk to people. Friends and family are hard enough, but strangers? It's a whole other battle.

But I fed Bean, ate something myself, got both of us dressed, put her in the stroller armed with a rain cover and headed out. It was pouring! I walked the five minutes in the rain only to find out that the baby group was cancelled for all of Nov and Dec due to the H1N1 Vaccination Clinic they were running.

It took all of my strength not to cry right there and then.

I dragged myself home. I did consider going for a walk. H*ll, going anywhere would have been nice, but between the rain and the fact that elevator at our Sky.train station is out till Jan.8, I didn't have the energy for the long expedition required to get anywhere I'd want to go.

Bean fell asleep for her nap soon after we got home. Then my friend K called. Both of us weren't having the best day. We vented and listened. It was nice. After we hung up, I took advantage of a sleeping baby and went for my own nap. 50 minutes before I woke up on my own! I'm not complaining.

Bean was still asleep when I got up so I git dinner going. It's simmering as I speak. Tonight, R and I are off to the holiday social for his Barber.shop chorus. I'm somewhat rested, am filling up on caffeine and actually calm.

Maybe today is a better day than I thought...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Show and Tell: A Place to Begin

*Baby mentioned

If there's one thing I've learned in my life so far, it's that when you hit the bottom, you have only one way to go but up. Depression is a fickle thing. Just when you think you've got a handle on it, it can throw you for a loop. But it can be dealt with. I think I'm starting to figure out how to deal with it this time. As someone reminded me yesterday, women who have experienced IF/Loss are more at risk for PPD. Given that I was high risk to begin with, it figures...

When I was in the depths of my fibro, I searched out ways to express what I was feeling and thinking. Words couldn't do it for me. I turned to my painting. Brushes and painting knives became my lips and tongue, forming the things I held inside.

Photography does the same. In one image carefully shot, I can sum up myself in the one moment.

It's been some time since I joined S&T. I was pregnant and stressed and tired. Now I have a 2 month old daughter and am not much better, in fact worse. But I figured I need to throw myself into things in order to find myself again.

So here we are. This week I'd like to show you a photo I took Sept 2008, after my second (and devastating) miscarriage. I was in Toronto, running a work charity event and working on a project. In my evenings free, I took the subway downtown and explored, camera in hand.

I love this photo, there's something about this man, hands in his pocket, head bent down, just walking his path, that resonated with me deeply. It still does...

Don't forget to stop by Mel's place and see what the rest of the class is showing...

A Tank Half Full, or Half Empty?

I was 30 minutes into a much needed nap. I was thinking to myself, "if I can just get a little sleep now, maybe I'll finally start to fill up the tank a little". It wasn't to be. The phone rang and it was yet another call about RESPs! I almost wanted to yell at the poor lady, "What makes you think that the middle of the afternoon is a good time to call new parents?" I spared her the lecture. But it was ironic when she asked if I was getting more sleep these days.

The tank (of energy) has obviously been running pretty low. Some of this is normal, but to be honest, when you have a chronic illness sitting on the back burner, it's a risky game to play. Still, I really thought in those first few weeks, that I was going to be fine. But tiny bit by tiny bit, I was using up the reserves. Then I tapped into the spare tank and eventually here I am with my little gas can wondering how I fill it back up. It's not like I can run to the magic gas station and fill 'er up for free. It costs something.

The cost is the balance I'm trying to find. To steal a little time to get some rest means I'm not doing something else I need to. Laundry, making dinner, writing Christmas cards, mailing said Christmas cards. Silly things, some of it, but I don't know about you but I like having clean underwear and I'm pretty sure my daughter likes her sleepers clean too. Oh yeah, and baby requires constant attention most of the time.

So at what point do you say "that costs too much"? What happens if you reach that point? I know what I need to do but it is daunting. Yes, I need to exercise. But when? Do I choose exercise over a nap? Socializing keeps me sane, keeps me going. But again, it's at the expense of time I could be sleeping. I imagine I could probably sleep all day given the option. How sad is that? Pretty typical of depression (I quite remember it from before), but still, I don't want to go there.

Intravenous caffeine? Hey, not a bad idea. Kidding, just kidding... well, partly.

So where is this all coming from? Baby girl slept 8 hours last night!! 8 beautiful hours. I slept 4 before getting up to check on her, since we "broke the rules" and let her sleep on her stomach last night. She had her 2 month vaccines and it was the most comfortable position for her at the moment and soothed her as she was cranky and fussy. So I got up and turned the heat down a bit and heard her sigh the sweetest sigh. I smiled and went back to bed.

My head hit the pillow. I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned for a full hour. By 3 I was almost in tears. Exhausted tears. I felt a hand slowly rubbing my back. It calmed me a bit. At some point I fell asleep, I'm not sure when. Bean finally woke up at 5am hungry. R got up and feed her. We both got up for the morning around 7:30.

That brings me to now. I had a pretty good night's sleep all things considered. The tank was at minimum and I was hoping to fill it up a little. To be at a place to put the gas can back in the trunk for a rainy day. Then the phone rang. I crawled back into bed after hanging up and tried to go back to sleep. 10 minutes later I resigned myself to the inevitable and got up.

I'm hoping for a better tonight. And a better tomorrow. It will get there. I will get there. I've done it before- come back that is.

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I had a lovely weekend. R and I took Bean to see my family for an early Christmas since my Dad was home on his week off. It was nice to visit with my parents, brother and Aunt. To see how everyone reacted to Bean after not seeing her for a whole month. It was a happy time.

I wish I could have been as happy as I knew I should be. Don't get me wrong, I laughed and enjoyed everyone's company. But there was a part of me that was quiet and a tiny numb. Friday afternoon, my Mom and I went to the mall and hung out and talked. She's been in my shoes and dealt with depression before. It was nice to talk to her, to put it all out there. It's also brought everything to the surface. Normally, I'd say that would be a good thing but I did find it hard to put it to the side completely so I could just simply enjoy myself. Perhaps it was getting only 3 hours of sleep Friday night due to Bean too noisy of a sleeper. Normally she sleeps in our Living Room in her bassinet since she keeps me awake. That wasn't an option since Bean likely would have had a cat joining her. She was also restless and a little fussy. We think it was because she's older and knew she was in a different place. It took a night for her to adjust.

Last night was better for both of us... thankfully. I feel a little better today.

I think the hardest thing about depression is the feeling of numbness. At some point you just disconnect from things around you, including your senses. I saw my GP on Thursday. I'd like to say we had a discussion about my PPD and fibro but that's not usually how it works. He hears what I say and will respond but often I'm not always sure if he actually listens of not. Probably not an unusual occurrence for Doctors. I'm at least used to him and how he works, so I know what to pull from what he doesn't say.

He gave me a one month supply of Lyr.ica to try if my fibro pain gets bad. He'd rather I not go on anything unless I really need it, because it can have side effects. The med will help me sleep and also help the depression. However it's a pain med not a depression med. So I can't just start it to help the PPD. He did ask if I was doing any stretching, which I haven't been. But I have been walking, which I told him. So hint, hint, I have things to do. In reality, it's all part of the lifestyle management that helps me cope with the fibromyalgia. I had a spark of real pain on Thursday and Friday but that's been it so far.

As for the depression, it was sort of put on the back burner if you ask me. Whether he thought it was a serious issue or not, I'm not sure. My Mom suggested I see my OB about it. I had my post-partum check-up a week ago, so I doubt it would be much of an issue to go back.

In a way I feel in limbo. In a place between handling things on my own and needing medical intervention. Do I start the meds, or wait for the fibro to get a bit more serious? Do I just do the lifestyle steps- diet, exercise and stress management and hope it's all it takes?

I'm not sure what the answer is. Despite not having family in my city, I do have a group of girlfriends from my online message board. We all have babies around the same age and one of the gals has a touch of PPD also. We went for a walk early last week to commiserate. It was really nice. Then another friend came over for a visit. Thursday, I was overwhelmed with all the prep I had to do for our weekend away, so my PPD buddy K came over and helped. She watched Bean while I went back and forth from the laundry room in our building, washed my tub, helped me pack, made lists of things to not forget to pack and was in general a lifesaver. Her company alone helped.

Perhaps that's the key. Just having people around. I'm such a social person that I have found parenting a newborn very isolating and lonely. I can talk on the phone and write here but sometimes you just need a physical presence beside you to remind you that you're not alone.

I'm in a strange place and we'll see what these next days bring. I have at least two visits with friends plus a visit to work on the agenda for this week. Also, Ben gets her first set of vaccinations. That should be interesting.

Time to go. Bean is still sleeping . Expecting her to wake up with in the next 30 minutes or so to eat; unless of course she pulls another bout of long sleep. That would make three in three weeks. Boy can I not wait for her to start sleeping through the night...

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Pit

I fell.

In a way I saw it coming but I missed the point where I hit the bottom. Now I'm sitting there wondering what the hell to do. I'm seeing my Dr this week for Bean's 2 month checkup and vaccinations. I also need to get my seasonal flu vaccine having already gotten the H1.N1 shot.

And having had depression before, I know he'll agree that I have PPD- Post-Partum Depression. I found the Edinburgh Post-Natal Depression Scale. It's out of 30. Anything over 10 is likely depression of some degree. I scored 20.

Well, there you go. I kinda figured.

We'll see what my GP has to say about it. I really don't want to go on medication unless I absolutely have to. I stocked up on vitamins. Hoping keeping my immune system healthy will help my fibro. I've felt painful aches in my hands and wrists and my left knee- usually when I'm really tired... which is often. The early morning feed is usually okay but it's been difficult these last couple of days.

Last night was particularly bad. She had been fussy all evening and was taking forever to finish her bottle. I'd take it away thinking she was done but then she'd get all upset. I woke up at 2am. I was still feeding her at 3:30 when someone knocked on our door. I thought it was next door but then it got louder. I went to the door, baby in my arms, and the person tried opening it. It was locked of course. Freaked out I asked who it was. A guy in a red coat said "Gunner". *Note: Who calls himself "Gunner"? Really?* I said I didn't know who he was. He said " of course you do". I said that I didn't know who the hell he was and that I didn't ring him up- that he had the wrong apartment. I went to go get R to deal with it and by the time we got back to the door "Gunner" was gone.

I went back to the couch to continue feeding my daughter. I started shaking. R sat with me until I was better and then went back to bed. The next feeding was his.

Tomorrow I'll be talking to our rental office to let them know what happened. Had I had our security number handy (the company has changed a couple times since we moved in), I would have called last night. I also lock my door at all times. I hate being paranoid but I have a baby to think about.

So I'm locked in my apartment and emotionally not quite stable. There's a good combo.

Lucky for me, the weather has been sunny and dry this last week and for the new few (I think). That means I can get out for walks. Fresh air and exercise helps.

All is not lost. I may have PPD but at least I know it. That means I can do something about it. Just need to have a place to start...