Monday, October 31, 2005

this morning I went to therapy. I guess I felt too safe, or something. I left my body twice, and it was pretty bad. I had almost forgotten it was october... but it is, and I'm almost through it. The seasons are so different here than where I grew up, it's easy to forget.

I'm so embarassed by what happened this morning that I don't know how I'll go back next week. Small comfort, but at least I didn't come out of it screaming.

don't touch me
I wasn't there
it wasn't me...
just someone who looked like me, thought like me, bruised like me
why did the sun keep coming up in the morning?
why didn't the ground swallow me whole and bury my secrets?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Last night dinner was a great success. The food was good and the company was better. KittyCat didn't wake up until the end of the meal. I feel so blessed by that, by the chance to have an entire sit down meal without feeling rushed at all.

I'm practicing my breathing techniques again. Both to help with the relaxing and to (hopefully) cut down on the insomnia and panic attacks. And the lack of centeredness in my life. It's almost a year now since I found out I was pregnant. It is six months since my baby was born. Sometimes I can barely believe that it happened at all-- which is sad especially when I'm damp from baby drool and there are smudges of dried formula on my glasses.

Was it easier to accept my life before? As flawed as I am, I can know that everyone is equally flawed. I don't feel that my life is so much better in many ways, but when I'm holding that baby something deep inside my heart melts. She is the center of my world. This is what my mother felt when I was an infant. This is what other women must feel all the time, when they hold their babies and realize that, oh my F-ing God, this is a real person and she came from my body. She came from my husband and me. The universe must be insane to give us a child. She's just too perfect.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

When my husband told me that he was going to take the KittyCat all day today so that I could rest, and get some of my own stuff done, I mentally shrugged and 'meh, I'll believe that he can do it when it happens'. This morning, about two hours into it, he came in and woke me up and told me that I had to take her. Then he goes out for a smoke...

He needs more sleep. Recently he changed his carpool arrangements, so that he now leaves two hours earlier than before. This, supposedly, was to make life easier. But now he's sleepdeprived again, already irritable because of cutting back on the smoking, and such things do not for patience with a fussy baby make.

He's being stubborn about this. And now, to complete the day, he is back in bed, asleep. If he had stayed in bed until a reasonable time this morning, before getting all worked up, there would not be this need. On the other hand, maybe it's not Saturday yet? Maybe my day of rest has not, officially, begun? I can cope with that. I got to lay around in bed until 7 this morning (minus the hours of 4-5:15, when I was soothing the fussy KittyCat).

Hey, on the bright side, the lemonade I made yesterday really took off after sitting and steeping all night in the fridge. It's YUMMY. I had to add more sugar, but it's still some of the best I've had in a long time. Maybe it's the lack of chemicals? There's something to be said about that...

Friday, October 28, 2005

My fingers are prunes. They've been chopped and squeezing and juicing lemons, and celery, for about an hour now. Right now I'm taking a break, cause I want to get off my feet and drink some water for the first time this morning.... No, that's not a good thing. I'd like to get as much done as possible so that I can hopefully take the night off without guilt.

The kitchen smells awfully good, though. Fresh lemons, fresh celery. It smells like produce, and not like old milk residue. Yesterday it smelled like bread. I could get used to this, with a little effort. I really hope that the meds work. I really want to get some of my strength and energy back. I am tired of being an invalid. It seems that I've been one for the past year, ever since I got pregnant and my blood pressure started going up, and all my hormones going out of their skull.

Last night I got out to the Farmer's Market down on Central Ave, and I picked up some fresh veggies. The lemons were an impulse. I need to get the vitamins, though, and isn't it better to get them fresh? I made lemonade with half of them. Not sure yet about the other half; I may just juice them down and freeze for later. My hands smell so good right now, after this morning's work, that I may put off mincing the onions until tomorrow. Why mess with such a good smell?

Coming to realize that I REALLY LIKE fresh citrus smells...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I've got to be nuts.

I woke up at 5 this morning with KittyCat, and did the normal early morning routine. We cuddled, grinned, giggled, smiled a lot, made funny faces at each other- oh, and we changed her diaper, fed her first bottle, burped... You know, the normal stuff.

Then while she was happily playing on the floor at my feet, I decided to do the baking. So now I've got two loaves of bread finishing the bake process in the oven, and smelling YUMMY and making me a little bit hungry, and I'll grant you that this is an excellant way to start a gray and overcast drizzly day. But still. I'm exhausted, and still a little bit loopy from all the news meds that are running around my body saying "Who are you? Who are you? Are you what I'm here to replace? Go on, out of here, here's the pink slip and don't let the door smack you in the ass on the way out."

Hey, I haven't gotten sick to my stomach yet today. That's an improvement.

Today we're going to story hour at the library. It's going to be the KittyCat's second time there, and I hope that today she spends less time with her face pressed into my boobs trying to hide. I'm looking forward to it. To not feeling so isolated, like I'm the only mom in the world that sits at home in her pjs until noon because I feel too crappy to get dressed and I've got to save all my strength for playing with the baby. Who is the light of my life, and who makes getting out of bed this week worth it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

don't speak
I must not show the fear in my heart
when my Sailor leaves
I must not show my distress in the light of day where others can see it
Stiff upper lip, and all that
don't speak
of the fear that wakes me in the middle of the night
dreaming of him in cold waters
dreaming of a knock on my door
tell him I love him
I wait for him
Standing on the widow's walk staring out to sea
I can no longer see his ship
even as his face fades from my mind's eye
I'm holding his voice in my heart
When I cry he tells me that I'm silly
that I know that I'm being silly
that I know he will return to me
don't speak
of the nights when the sun has set
and I crawl into bed
and bury my face in his pillow, crying
loneliness swallows me
though it shuts out fear it buries me in grief of another sort
don't speak, because there's no words at all that can say it
I prepare for the next WestPac, and I school my thoughts to patience
I school my mind and my heart to serenity and calm
I am a sailor's wife, and I know the truth in an old saying
If you love someone, you have to let them go
right, then. Fibromyalgia and (possibly) IBS. I can deal with this. Where did I put my magic wand and my SuperMom cape? So I'm now on more medication, and after Thanksgiving I get to go in and get my insides scoped.

I want to be perfectly clear on this; my insides are not a staging ground for the re-enactment of the Continental Railroad joining. Despite being given one camera down my throat and the other one up my ass. This is so not fun. It wouldn't be fun even had I not had the certain acts of sexual abuse in the past. Thank God for sedation, and for doctors willing to use it, and hoping that I'll find someone SAFE to take me back and forth from this thing. While I don't expect to freak out, I also didn't expect to have hysterical flashbacks to my childhood in the delivery/operating room either. It's a good thing that procedure wasn't a voluntary thing, because I would have called it off.

They don't let you call off a baby... not at that stage. No matter how scared or frightened you are. Note: not that I'm not absolutely thrilled to be a Mommy, or that I didn't want that baby to be born every step of the pregnancy. I just had doubts about my ability to be a Good Mommy, and the normal set of fears, and when a delivery happens that fast and that suddenly without a chance to mentally adjust it's pretty terrifying.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Doc says that I'm hurting like this because of fibromyalgia. I tell my Boy this, and he says "ah. That's what they call it when they don't have a clue why it hurts." But at least it's recognized as real this time... That's a good thing.

I got an amazing amount done around the house this morning before I had to leave for the daily rounds. Baked. Cooked. Did dishes and cleaned the kitchen and bathroom. Even though my body hurts, I was able to get up and (slowly) do normal Suzy Homemaker stuff. Tired now, though. It's worth it.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

my legs have turned to lead
hands ache, shoulders hurt, my eyes throb from a dull pain
now that my body has betrayed me
too young to be this old
where are my gray hairs, where are my years?
winter used to be a fine thing
fun in the snow and the cold
now I'm huddled in the chair, unable to move without pain
I pray for warm skies to return
for the sun to bake these bones back together again
melt the pain away
let me be

Friday, October 21, 2005

It's gray and cloudy and I hurt from my neck to my heels. At least I don't have a headache on top of it all... I'm going to try to go into my doctor again next week and see what they say. I'm tired of being told that it's all in my head, because I'm too young to hurt this badly. What the fuck do they know about how badly I'm hurting? I'm the one living in this body.

Dinner tonight is slow-roasted chicken, spaghetti with broccoli and alfredo sauce, and homemade bread. Later I'm going to cook down the bones and make a large pot of soup for the freezer. I love my crockpot, and the feeling that I'm turning slowly into someone that my PennDutch foremothers would approve of. Even if I don't save my aluminum foil and reuse my bread bags.

KittyCat's not feeling well tonight, she's been all snuggly and clingy and prone to loud crankiness at odd moments since last night. Hopefully she'll start feeling better soon.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

While wasting time on the Net this week I stumbled over some very odd super-conservative sites. While I may not agree with their philosophy I certainly embrace some of the points made. For instance, I take great pride in baking good bread and cooking for my family. Also in being thrifty and managing our resources well. Squirreling away pennies here and there in an effort to build a little nestegg, so that when the tight times come again I can deal better- that I won't worry how to afford things that my family needs. When our pockets and accounts are empty and I have to tell my husband this, I feel like such a failure. I can only see that getting worse when KittyCat gets older and starts asking for things.

Today's errand out of the house was to pick up her meds and drop off my current batch of preemie blankets at the NICU. It felt very good to be able to give something back at last, after they gave me so much support and help when we needed it. They're still helping. I still pop in to see the social worker there every couple of weeks, and I appreciate that ability... She deserves a raise.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Orders, orders anyone? Ham and cheese on a bagel?

The Boy brought up his orders again this morning. He might want to possibly crossrate. Maybe. To IT. Which will be A-school again (unfortunately, nothing like the A-team), in Great Lakes, or as it's better known in the winter: The Great Frozen North. Just kidding. Although I hear that it's brutal to go through boot camp up there at that time of year. IT School is 6 months. Not that long, right? Unless you're the one being left behind.

I thought about that later on this morning, after I was home again and curled up in the blankets while KittyCat slept in her crib, exhausted from being up every three hours all night. If he successfully cross-rates, he's going to be leaving home in Spring '06 for the deployment of about 6 months. Home for about a month or so, when he returns stateside. Then immediately gone again for 6 months. Then who knows, when he gets his next set of orders and we can either stay put here in Paradise or pack out and move wherever the needs of the service take us. I want to support his career, but...

It's an awfully big 'But'.

There are times, when he's away, that I go into a little mourning. I'm a widow, only I'm not, because he's not dead, he's just not there for a bit and I've got to handle the household in his absence. I've learned to do that. Now it's gotten infinately more complicated, because now KittyCat's on the scene. When he's gone I'll be able to take over running the show, and raising the KittyCat, and all will be well. When he comes back, how am I going transfer the reins back smoothly? How can I make him feel like he's never been cut out of the parenting process? It sucks, but this is our home. This is the life I agreed to when I married him and we had this child.

I pray for patience and for faith and for strength to accept whatever the next year holds with a steady hand and a clear heart.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Sharing is our friend. Today I realized that, once again, I need to learn to keep my hands off when the Boy is taking care of the KittyCat. It's not fair to either of us. It's insulting to him. Like, I don't trust him. When it's really myself that I don't trust.

She's got baby hemmorhoids right now. And it's painful for her, and for me watching her, and what can I do to help that won't hurt her more? Baby stool softeners, and apple juice in her bottle, and lots of holding.

It's a sobering thought that sometimes the only thing I can do to make it better is to hold her. There's a moment when every child learns that their parents aren't perfect- there's another moment when you learn that despite all your intentions Mommy can't fix some things- I'd give my right arm to be able to, but I can't.

Another day in paradise, and this one is tinged with the coming chill of winter.

Friday, October 14, 2005

My husband asked me yesterday where I wanted to go. It seems that next spring he can start looking for his next set of orders, which will take effect in another year. Okay. I told him that my only stipulation is that we're near to reasonably adequate medical facilities. In other words, Diego Garcia is right out...

I thought it was funny. Truth is, I'm a bit nervous about declaring any sort of preference about the move. I don't want to leave this area, necessarily, but I also want a bit of a change. I'm finally over my biggest move-based anxiety, which is: how am I going to find a job in the new place, quit my current job, etc. Well, right now I'm a SAHM, and my job is wherever the house is. My wants are so conflicted. Some of them involve not changing at all and getting to put down roots somewhere. Some of them involve going back to the East Coast where all our family is, where at least we'll all be in the same time zone even if we can't see them as frequently. Some of them also involve urging him to just go wherever he feels his career will be best served. Actually go and see the world, in as far as the navy will let him.

Winter's coming. My bones are starting to ache at night, when the damp comes in from the sea and the sun's warmth drowns in the ocean. I still can't sleep. My daughter senses this, and she seems to think that it's now a contest. That if Mommy isn't going to bed and sleeping, that she should stay up and be AWAKE. No napping for her, nosiree Bob! Napping is for pussies. Certainly not for my little KittyCat. I think that's what I'm going to start calling her now. Last night she was curled up in my arms, when I had finally rocked her to sleep, and just about everything below my neck HURT, and I just concentrated all my attention on how perfect and warm she was, and how good she smelled. It made some of the pain go away. At least, I didn't care about it as much. At least I'm not pregnant anymore, and I can actually take something for it, without worrying that I'm going to hurt my KittyCat.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I thought that I had stopped having these moments of intermittant self-blame for my preemie. Apparantly not. Tonight when I was making dinner I got all choked up thinking about her coloboma, and if she's ever going to have sight in that eye, and what I should have done differently during pregnancy to avoid it. To have given her another couple of weeks in utero to keep growing.
Another day in paradise. Another day when I couldn't sleep last night, or the night before, and yet it's easier to be happy cause my baby is all smiles and laughs this morning. She had a good poop, and a good nap between the time when we got home from taking her Daddy to work and sunrise, and now she's in a nice clean pink onesie and playing happily on the floor. So it doesn't matter that I've got a little list of stuff that I WANT TO GET DONE. I'm just going to take it one thing at a time and enjoy watching her play. And periodically I'm going to get down there on the floor and play with her.

I still feel like an episode of National Geographic now and then- we're watching the wild and elusive Bay-Bee, in her natural habit, exploring the world around her... I'm sitting up here in my blind, so that she doesn't spook at the sight of me, and she's completely oblivious to the Mommy. Except for those moments when she turns her head to look at me with a huge smile on her face and I realize that yes, she knows perfectly well that I'm here, and she thinks it's as funny as I do.

Monday, October 10, 2005

lay it down
all the screaming
knotting of worry in my stomach
lay it down
the crying
lay me down
the bleeding
lay it down
give the striving over
and let it go

Saturday, October 08, 2005

It seems that as soon as I get the rest of my shit together, something falls apart. There are any number of reasons for this, including the ever-popular "I'm a crisis junky" explanation. Maybe it's true, that I can't deal with my life if it's going too well. I'm not comfortable with happiness. I don't trust it. If something doesn't go wrong by itself, I've got to create it. Then there's the theory that when my body is in a physically safe environment to deal with past abuse issues, I can finally deal with them. There's not much left that I've left buried, knock on wood, but I've got to be in a really REALLY good and stable place to do it. Maybe that's why the recent bouts of depression and anxiety.

I posted a few days ago about Mother's Little Helpers. I'm almost getting to the point again where I'm going to ask my docs about an anti-anxiety pill to add to my mix. Calm those thoughts that race around in my head. Something to help me allow myself to relax and actually enjoy the peace.

I used to think that if I was ever happy the world would end. Well, I'm pretty damn happy now, and so far I'm not seeing Judgment Day. Now, if I can just figure out why the hell it is so hard to let myself be happy and accept the love of my family and friends...
Moments when I'm glad I'm a Mommy:

When she's just woken up in the morning, had a clean diaper and her first bottle, and when I put her down in the prop'n'play. And her eyes open wide and her face lights up with joy. The same joy that I feel when I hold her sleeping in my arms, and she smells like a Sweet Girl. This is when I believe in God. This is when I believe that my entire life suddenly has a meaning. This is the same sort of serenity I found when I lay on my husband's chest one afternoon and realized that I was perfectly content to stay there for the rest of my life.


Those black times, the depression and the long sleepless painful nights; they don't mean shit compared to this. And I'd gladly suffer it all if I can only remember that these moments occur. A second or two of happiness? It's worth a week of insomnia and flashbacks. Just to see my baby smile.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I wish my camera hadn't broken, because she's doing the CUTEST thing right now. She's all sleepy, and for some reason this afternoon she'll fall asleep in a minute in my arms but as soon as I put her down she wakes up and cries to be held again. I just tried setting her down, from a sound sleep, and as soon as my fingers left her one eyelid creaked open and glared at me. Now she's crying at the top of her lungs to be picked up, but I have to pee. And just maybe she'll settle?

Not a chance. While I've got both hands free, I'm going to mix up her evening cocktail (medication in apple juice, actually) and get her dinner ready. Toodles.
in your eyes
I can see eternity
I can the future shining back at me, bright and full of promise
In my dreams I hear you crying again
you don't understand yet
this is a cruel world and cold
full of good intentions
with the best intentions I helped you into this world
I will guard you and protect you
keep you safe against the insincere smiles of strangers
until you're ready to run
I only pray that the stumbles and scrapes that you encounter along the road
are minor and easily fixed
I'd do you a disservice if I kept you in a bubble...

Monday, October 03, 2005

darkness wraps around me
a blanket of comfort against cold
ghost whispers flutter at the windows
tempt me back into the past
I have no time for you
no time for the nightmares that grasp
skeletal fingers reaching back across years
to pull me back into the past
I take a breath
one, another-
clean air here reminds me of the morning
comfort can be found in the dark to hide the secrets
equal comfort can be found in morning's light
which washes away the dreams
I sit alone in the night holding my grief close
my pain tighter
to find that I have no more patience for the past
I have no more time to spend punishing myself for this
a baby stirs in the next room
she knows nothing of my struggles
her pain is not mine, not of my making
yet together we sit in the dark
waiting for sleep to come
for the pain to ease
for the morning
Today could have gone a lot worse. I didn't want to go to therapy this morning, but I went, because going and not wanting to be there is better than not going and not wanting to be there. And there was some stuff on my mind about what happened on Saturday that I felt really crappy about. No, I'm not going to talk about that. I'm worried that if anyone reads it they'll condemn me for it. Suffice it to say that I'm doing well again now, and looking forward to the rest of my busy week.

I need to make a plan for cleaning up around here and stick to it. Maybe by writing down a bunch of stuff in easy steps, and tackling three things a day? I need to get off my ass and act like the housewife that I want to be. This will not happen by itself, I know.

Also, I have a very leaky baby. Just wanted to say that. She has managed to load up twice as many diapers today as normal. This is likely due to her wanting to nibble on every bottle all day, consuming her normal amount over several hours, and fussy every time that somebody tried to put her down to play, or interact with her, or anything else besides holding her little chubby hands around her bottle. Maybe she suspects that tomorrow we're going back to the doctor?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I'm tired again. It seems like this shit just won't end. I will never feel better, I will never stop feeling this level of constant queasy/sick. My bones hurt. There are times I wish I could just take a bath to steam all the aching out, and then curl up in bed and sleep the pain away, like in the old days. But I'm a mommy now, and I can't do that much because my baby needs me to be strong for her. Used to be that I could do the bath/sleep thing every day when I needed it. Not now. I need Mother's Little Helpers. I need the non-addictive non-harmful equivalent. For now, I'll find that in my daughter's smile. That smile will give me the strength I need.
My baby girl is 5 months old now. I'm not ready for this! She's too young to be that old. I haven't been a mother that long! (So, why exactly does it feel like longer?) When I look at her sweet little chubby face, and I see her smiling up at me, I can't help but feel this overwhelming happiness inside. It's a good thing.

Last night I got to go out for an evening by myself. It was wonderful. I had a very good time at a potluck over at church, and there were games afterwards. The only down point was when I thought to myself "this is fun" and then followed that thought with "how will I manage this sort of thing when the Boy's deployed again?"

In the meantime, I've got a special afternoon planned for a family meal and movie, and whether or not we actually get a babysitter lined up for going to see Serenity this weekend doesn't matter as much. Because we've had fun, and spent time together, and it's all good :)