giving grief words

“give sorrow words; the grief that doesn’t speak whispers o’er the fraught heart and bids it break”

~Shakespeare (MacBeth, 4.3)

*************

 

I am a planner. A list-maker.

I like order and directions and a roadmap.

I like to chart out all the possibilities and know what is in store.

And then I like to do it right.

I don’t like to let people down.

Disappointment is my biggest fear.

I am a people-pleaser.

I am a “good” girl.  I always did what I was told out of fear of disappointing someone.

These are all things that came out in my therapy session on Thursday.  All things that were stated after I blurted out that I just HATE my stupid medication.

She looked at me and pointed out what I should have known after seeing her for almost a year.

I feel the need to do things “right”.

I DO do things right.

Except having babies.

I don’t do that “right”.

At least not the traditional idea of “right”.

And I have to let myself grieve this.

I hate that my body doesn’t naturally produce the  progesterone that will help me sustain a pregnancy.

I hate that no matter how many babies I give birth to, when asked how many pregnancies, I will always have to add 2 to the number of children I have.

I hate that my body isn’t shaped correctly to birth a baby vaginally.

I hate that my son and I are results of “the miracle of modern medicine.”

I hate that my mind betrayed me.

I hate that I may be on depression and/or anxiety meds for the rest of my child-bearing years…or longer.

I have been telling others that it is ok.  That they are not alone.  That they WILL get through PPD/A, and in the midst of that I have been fighting my own battle.  With grief.

I don’t want this to be me.

I don’t want things to always be hard.

I don’t want to be special or a statistic.

I want to be NORMAL.

I have been quietly struggling with this new reality of mine.

Getting off my meds did not work.  At all.  Even though I so badly wanted it to, and I so furtively believed I could do it.

I was going to be a success story.  Getting off my meds and getting pregnant again was going to be the pretty bow on this ugly story of PPD.

And then I could say, “see?  you just need meds, therapy, and time and then you will be ALL BETTER.”

But I am not “all better.”

Instead, I am back on  my meds.

And I might be for a very, very long time.

I know that nobody is disappointed…except me.

But I count.  That much I have learned in this battle.

What I feel about everything matters.

I have to be able to accept that this is my story.  It’s part of what makes me Katie. It’s not all of me, but it is part of me.

Before I can accept that and be ok with it?  I have to grieve that this plan didn’t work out.

My body refused to do this “right”.

And it will continue to not do it “right” because it has a different way…a chemically altered, surgery-aided way to bring babies into this world.

Once I have given myself appropriate time to mourn my loss?  Only then can I begin to accept that just because I didn’t do this “right”?  I also didn’t do it “wrong”.

Until then, I must give my grief words or it will continue to break my heart.

I will continue to have broken insides. over and over.

And broken insides are not conducive to a happy home for a new baby.

*************

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  Help spread the word and break down the stigma.

a rough start to our journey

It’s been two weeks since I announced publicly that Sluiter Nation is looking to add a new member.

I wish I could say things have been all happy and butterflies since this announcement.  But not so much.

I quit my birth control a few months ago because it was giving me horrible cycles.  And now I have acne like a 13-year old.

But that is manageable.

I got a pretty bad cold a couple weeks ago, but I recovered, and that has nothing to do with this.

Or does it?

I still have the cough.

But it’s not a reasonable cough that is all congested and then I hack it up.

No.  It is a rattle that I can hear and feel, Cort can hear, others can hear, but pretends that it doesn’t exist when I cough.  It just stays put and makes me look like a big cough-faker.

What does this have to do with making a baby?

I’m getting to that.

So I have this cough.

And zits.

And now?  I am starting a new cycle and my OB would like to see me try this pregnancy with no anti-depressants (I am currently on Celexa, for all you note-takers).

We talked about this in August at my last appointment, and I talked about it with my General Practitioner, and I talked about it with my Therapist.

Fear not, it has been discussed.

I know how to wean off the meds safely.

I also know that both my GP and my Therapist are standing at the ready because they would both like to see me on something.

“A healthy mom comes first.  Then a healthy baby can follow.”

But we all understand where the OB is coming from.  Why take meds if you can get by without?  And they all agree that pregnancy hormones could very well “even me out” to where I won’t need them until postpartum again.

And thus began The Wean.

Halved my dose until I was ready to do a half dose every other day.

I am on every other day right now.

People?  This is hard.

So hard.

At first I only had physical side effects that were annoying at best.  I had sort of a fuzzy feeling in my head, headaches, a tightness in my back, and an occasional “buzzing” sound/feeling in my brain.

I still had this cough the whole time.

I continued to taper.

My back got worse and worse.  It’s a pain in my upper back, most the left side, behind my shoulder blade that feels like someone has a knife in my muscle and is twisting.  And while they twist, the muscle rips and simultaneously wraps itself around the knife.

It sucks.

And it’s there constantly.  No medication makes it feel better.

There is also exhaustion.  Sheer exhaustion.

But I continue to taper my antidepressant.

Wednesday was my first day with NO dose.  I was surprised at how Ok my brain felt.

Today?  Everything crashed.

My pain in my back and neck is worse.

I could fall asleep on a dime, I am so damn tired.

My cough is less productive, but the rattling is still present.

And my mind?

Today I had to put my head down on my desk more than twice to control the Raging Bitch Monster that was welling in me.  The very same Monster that took over my brain when I had undiagnosed PPD.

Tears welled in my eyes as I felt an urge to lash out at everyone.

Just like before.  But this time I saw the Monster coming.

Everything today sucked because of this dumb Monster.

And just because I knew what it was, didn’t make it less terrible.  In fact, knowing it was coming and who it was and that just by NOT taking my meds as usual, I had opened a door to let this Beast in?  Pissed me off.

So I am emotional and ragey because of detoxing and I am emotional and ragey because I can see it’s NOT going to be Ok.

Today was hard.

And my back still hurts.

And my cough is still there.

And now my wrist hurts.

I have an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner on Monday.   Things need to be sorted out.

Because this is not a happy way to start our journey toward Sluiter Baby #2.

*************

Tomorrow I will post the first in my three-part series on how I built Sluiter Nation: The Blog including Tips for Blogger, Switching to WP, and all things Social Media in Between.

the right wrong

It’s a mistake to think things can’t get worse because they always can.

The day can be normal, and with a quick, routine glance at the computer, life changes.

I had gotten a brief email earlier stating the minimum:  He had been laid off.  Unexpectedly.

Yes, the company was having some financial troubles, but who wasn’t?

Yes, we were expecting there to be layoffs, but not BOTH salesmen–certainly not someone who went from sweeping the floors in the shop to being the go-to guy for inside sales.

We were in shock.

My mind was reeling with questions and worst case scenarios as I drove home in the autumn sunshine.  The day seemed so happy and light, but I was slowly sinking into my catastrophic thinking.

The next day he was supposed to collect his stuff.

And then apply for unemployment.

Unemployment.

The word felt like sour rusty metal in our mouths.

It was for the rest of the country.  Not us.

Family business meant security.

If anyone was going to lose her job, it was me.  Our district had been making cuts left and right, and I had already held one of those pink slips.

Pink paper is heavier than other colors, and the weight of that slip nearly broke him.

My husband is strong.

I watched him hold himself upright with dry eyes at his dad’s funeral just days after having abdominal surgery.

He had held the pieces of me after I broke from two miscarriages.

In that moment, my steadfast partner lost his sparkle.  He was starting to fade.

From that exact moment that he had to look at me, and not just type out the situation to me, he began to lose something.

I suddenly stepped into a role that was unfamiliar to me.

We will be ok, I heard myself saying.

Even though on the inside I had completely lost my shit.

Even though there was a buzzing behind my eyes of worry and anxiety.

Everything will be fine, babe.  Really.

Sometimes you just say things and hope they are true.

For seventeen months we were blinded by budgets and money scrapping and never saying no to extra opportunities.

And the whole time Eddie was given the gift of a stay at home parent.

He was given his daddy.

It’s a mistake to think that everything is wrong.

Because sometimes the most important things are very, very right.

Mommy Pants, Vis a Vis Markers, and a Basement Project

Getting my Mommy Pants was a nightmare.

People have been telling me since I got married that I would look GREAT in a pair of Mommy Pants, but I was reluctant to get myself a pair.

Yes, I had watched other people wear them—my own mother had a pair that was so perfect for her, I could have sworn she was born in them.  Many of my friends also had the latest, greatest Mommy Pants style, and sometimes I found myself envious of them.  They looked so comfortable, so much fun.  They seemed so “in”.

And then one day in February of 2007, I got a shipping notice that my Mommy Pants would be arriving around Thanksgiving of that year.

Wait.  What?  I hadn’t ordered any Mommy Pants. Or I didn’t think I did.

I was stunned.

Suddenly, I did not want anything to do with Mommy Pants. I wasn’t in the market for them and I certainly didn’t think they fit my style at that time.  They looked great on some people, but not on me.

to read the rest of this post, head over to Mommy Pants, where Cheryl (one of my partner’s in crime at The Red Dress Club) has invited me to share about my Mommy Pants moment.

*************

I am also mocking reviewing Vis a Vis overhead markers over at This Blogger Makes Fun of Stuff.  If you have ever used an overhead, or been witness to one being used?  You really need to weigh in on how I feel about these markers.

*************

Back here in Sluiter Nation?  We are working on our basement.

I don’t have much to say about it except that it sucks and it’s awesome at the same time.

Pictures?  Ok…

 

first they found mold. black mold. no good, I tell you.

but they put the tub in anyway! Score!

then they ran electrical and plumbing and fixed the mold. win.

then dry wall was hung and a layer of dust fell over the Nation

primer was applied by the fabulous Mr. Sluiter

we bought paint

we painted. that shirt, by the way, has been worn to paint every room in our house.

this will be Eddie's room hopefully within the next year!

that's right...I painted the bathroom orange. BOOM!

This has been the past two weeks here in Sluiter Nation:  a constant state of construction.

Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited that this is finally happening.  We have been saving and saving and planning for six years.  It was time.

But I don’t do well living in a state of limbo.

So I may be hard to live with lately.

Maybe.

*************

I have a new book review and a GIVEAWAY going on at Katie’s Bookcase!  Just in case you weren’t sick of me sending you all over the internets today.

Secret Mommy-hood Confession Saturday

My child is determined to make me look like an idiot.

It all started when he was quite wee.

He would cry and scream and carry on in his colicky way.  I would cry and scream and pull my hair out.

And then we would go out in public or to one of our friend’s houses or to see our family.

And the boy would sleep or coo the entire time.  People would pass his little burrito-ed self around and sniff his head and tickle his toes and he would be the most content thing you ever met.

Everyone would say, “I don’t know what you are talking about!  He is always so GOOD!”

I was sure this was coincidence.  I mean, and infant cannot have a diabolical scheme against his parents, right?

The boy grew and changed. This is when the tantrums and the meltdowns started.   We would say, “no no, Eddie” and he would fling himself to the floor or hit the chair or the cat or us and scream.  Oh did he scream.

We go out?  And he is all smiles and dancing and wonderful.  He is a different child.

This is when I started giving him the side-eye.  I was pretty sure he had an agenda to make the world believe this his parents?  Were lying imbeciles who just liked to complain about how hard parenting is.

This week, he convinced me of his plotting.

Let me preface this by saying last week he hurt his ankle (or foot…hard to tell with a 20 month old) by falling over a friend (yes, he is as graceful as his mother).  It bothered him for less than 24 hours.  The weekend was totally fine.

Tuesday night?  Things got NOT FINE very fast.

All night long Eddie was up clutching his foot (or ankle, who knows).  Every 30-45 minutes he would SCREAM out from his bed, and we would find him holding his foot or waving it in the air at us.

This was a long night.

Somewhere around 4am, I asked Cort if he wanted me to take Eddie to the doctor that day.  I knew he couldn’t take our little man; Wednesday was his first day of his new job.  They tend to frown on people taking off their first day.

We agreed that I should stay home.  This was obviously painful to him and his little foot was warm and a bit swollen.

So I groggily put in for a sub and typed up some last minute lesson plans.

Fast-forward to our appointment later that morning.

Not only does Eddie totally walk into the appointment all cheery (like he really got more sleep than I did?  no.), but he dances…DANCES…around the exam room with the toys.

At this point I feel like his doctor is going to shoo us away with a nice pat on the head for the crazy worried mommy, but no.  She thinks that to be safe, he should have an X-ray done.

So I get Eddie’s socks and shoes back on, we check out at the pediatrician’s office, and head downstairs to take the corridor to the hospital to get the X-rays.

And yes, Eddie runs through the corridor like a crazy person because there is so much space.

I struggle to keep him somewhat not annoying to others in the lobby, then fight with him to stay on my lap in the little check-in room, and then finally let him play with the toys while we wait for the X-ray tech to call us back.

When the tech finally comes for us, Eddie is clearly done with this trip.  He does NOT want to leave the toys.

Enter: meltdown.

I calmly hold his hand and drag guide him to where we need to go.

And of course, the X-ray tech says, “hey, I thought he couldn’t walk on it.”

Yeah, thanks.  That was when he originally hurt it.  Now?  Apparently he is ready for Cabaret.

So they do the X-rays, we get back home, have our lunch and both take naps.

My nap is interrupted by a phone call from the pediatrician’s office.

“X-rays came back normal.  No fractures.”

Just like I figured.  He probably pulled something that was throbbing a bit in the night.  But he is fine now.

And while this conversation is going on?  My students are treating my sub like crap, my monitor at work dies, and my son?

He is sleeping and dreaming of his next plot to make me look like a lying crazy lady.

Click to vote every 24 hours for Sluiter Nation to win the Mom Central grant!

And don’t forget to shop my Thirty-One party! Ends this week! (go to “my events” and shop my party–Katie Sluiter).


“no” is an answer

Oh I believe in miracles…

I believe in a better world…for me and you.

Oh..Oh I believe in miracles…

I believe in a better world…for me and you.*

Dear Lord, please heal Cort’s dad.  Take the cancer away and make him whole.

No.

Dear Lord, please let this bleeding be normal and NOT a miscarriage.

No.

Dear Lord, I want to be a mom so badly.  Please help my body know what to do.

Not yet.

Dear Lord, please don’t make me go through another miscarriage.  I am too weak.  I can’t do it.

Yes, you can.  And you will.

Dear Lord, please save me from being on the “cut” list for work.

No.

Dear Lord, please help Cort keep his job in these hard times.

No.

Dear Lord, please make these demons leave my head.  Please make me the mom others think I am.  Please help me fix this crazy.

No.  You can’t fix yourself alone.

Why, Lord?  Why us?  We are good people and hard workers.  We try to be like Jesus and love people and give of ourselves.  WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US?

—silence—

Lord, I want to turn my back!  I want to do this alone.  I think you must have lost your “plan” for us somewhere.  You have left us!

Go ahead and try.

Lord, this is our plan…please oh PLEASE let it work.

No.

Lord, I can’t be in charge.  I can’t make anything work right.  Just please handle it for me.  Please let me find someone who will love me for everything I am RIGHT NOW.

Here is Cortney.

Lord, I can’t make things better with Cort’s dad.  He is going to die.  Please let me know what to do to help Cort.

I will strengthen your shoulders and pad your hugs.

Lord, he lost his dad and his appendix and now he is alone in the hospital.  What do I do?

Stay with him.  I’ll be there too.

Lord, I only have one try left.  I can only try once more.  Please bless us with a child this time.

Here is Edward Steven.

Lord, please help me keep my job.  My family needs me to provide.

You will teach Spanish.  You can also teach at the college.

Lord, I can’t change myself.  I need help.

Here is Cortney.  Here is your family.  Here is an internet full of support.  Here are your friends.  Here is your doctor.  Here is Celexa.  Here is a therapist.

Lord, what will we do?  Unemployment runs out in August.

Here is a job for Cortney.

Sometimes the answer is no.

But sometimes?  The answer is yes.

No matter how many times you falter.  He will save some “yes’s” for you.

This week?  He finally said YES to Cort’s job prayers after many, MANY no’s.

We are blessed.

*lyrics from “I believe in miracles” by Pearl Jam

If you also believe in miracles, please pray for our nephew(s)/niece(s) in Ethiopia.  Our siblings were dealt a GIANT “no” this week in their adoption process.  Please read about it here.

Click to vote every 24 hours for Sluiter Nation to win the Mom Central grant!

And don’t forget to shop my Thirty-One party!  Ends this week! (go to “my events” and shop my party–Katie Sluiter).


3010

It was always hot.

I was the only one who thought so.  Everyone who walked in was delighted by the coolness compared to the triple digit temperatures outside.

But I was always sweating.

They even gave me a fan, but that just made me shiver from the sweat that dried on my exhausted body.

The room was more spacious than anyone expected.  We quite easily fit five members of my side of the family along with three of Cort’s in addition to the three of us.

And it still felt big.

But maybe that is because I suddenly felt small.

Even with the throngs of people coming in and out?  I felt that we were shielded somehow.

This was a room for miracles.

(Even if my miracle happened downstairs in a different room.)

I had everything I needed contained in this one room:

A Styrofoam cup full of ice water.

Sleeping pills.

My meals delivered.

My laptop and my phone.

A private bathroom with a much used grab bar.

A doting husband.

A happy baby (yes, I said happy).

In this room…

I slept better and harder than I ever have in my life.

I sniffed my baby’s head for the first time.

I sweated, and pushed, and cried, and shed all inhibitions in exchange for feeling better and having a healthy child.

I trusted completely.

I healed.

This room took care of our needs and made it ok for us to be partitioned and sheltered from the rest of the world.

Life was out there…moving and growing…but in here?  In this room?  Time stood still.

We were a small family:  a mom in her adjustable bed, a dad resting on a small couch, and a son swaddled and asleep on his father’s chest.  In the dark room we watched the Detroit Tigers sweep the Cubs.

We witnessed the departure of the King of Pop.

We absorbed the fall of an Angel.

We marked the exit of a treasured Announcer…all while being disconnected from the world…as a family.

We felt safe and untouchable here.

That is why, as I stood at the window in the first real clothes that I could squeeze into in days with my baby in his first real clothes of his life, I cried.

As my husband took our bags to the truck and prepared to usher his family…not just his wife…to their home, I wept.

This room was were our family had begun.

This was all my son knew of the world.  He was safe. I was safe.

Nothing touched us here.

And so much would once we left room 3010.

psst.  I am over at my friend, Natalie’s blog, Mommy of a Monster and Twins, today too sharing about a Monster Mommy Moment of mine.  Please tell me you can relate to this…it will make me feel so much better!

pssst again…I am trying to win a grant to fund my trip to BlogHer.  If you are on facebook, please click here to vote every day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...