Friday, October 21, 2011

One year, health update, and painting pumpkins with caution.

ONE YEAR already!?

I can't believe our little guy will be ONE year old in just TWELVE days!!

This time last year I was hoping to get through church obligations before having him. (A children's recital/program of all the songs I'd taught them that year, mixed with lines they each had memorized about what they had learned. It would've been no big deal if there had been less than 120 of them, all trying to sit still in our chapel for an hour!) My last day of on campus classes would have been tomorrow (Oct. 22nd) with online ones continuing until December. I have no idea how I passed all my classes that semester.

Just to reminisce, here is a link to Nathan's birth story. I have a really hard time reading it without anxiety settling in...luckily there haven't been any recent flashbacks to stop me in my tracks!

Health Update

I can't believe this year has gone by so fast, but I also can't believe I'm still struggling with everything. I have a friend whose baby was life flighted to a hospital a couple hours away from them the day after she was born, where she was for 12 days! I have another friend whose baby was born with a terminal condition. Why am I still struggling about what happened to my perfectly healthy baby and me almost 12 months ago!? I guess I'll never know, but I'm sure I need this experience for something.

I love the definition of trauma that my counselor has ingrained in my memory: Trauma is a normal reaction to an abnormal event. That was probably the most comforting thing to hear. It makes me feel like there's hope! I long to be normal and just blend in. I always have. I've never been a trendsetter or individualistic in any way. I love just blending in and letting other people stand out. 

I have also been learning that my personality, including what I just mentioned, is very prone to anxiety issues. Now that I know that it is easy to recognize issues I've had with anxiety in the past. 

I just found out from a doctor that my anti-anxiety medication did something to me that is pretty common: it induced constant anxiety. At first I thought I was more level-headed and was able to think clearer than before. (Like when I wrote that last post.) Then the real effects hit. I had adrenaline going in my chest ALLLL the time, no matter what I was doing. It was ridiculous! It still happens a lot, but I'm learning techniques of what to do to help the anxious feelings subside.

One other thing that I've been giving a lot of thought to is having another baby. Now that Nathan is almost one, he's really not very babyish anymore. However, it is not time for us to have another baby. We know that. We'll follow the inspiration we've received for our family. I also know myself well enough to know that these feelings of longing to become a mom again won't go away until we have our last baby. Being a wife and mom are all I've ever wanted to be. They are both the best jobs I've ever had, and the best jobs I will ever have! They are who I am now, and I only want to keep doing this, ya know?

Enter desires for another tiny person.

And, because most of my anxiety involves over thinking things, enter 219385 thoughts of my current little guy and future little ones that will join him.

Now I'm rambling. 

Painting pumpkins...with caution, of course!

Most of my child dev. classes this week and last have focused on children's temperaments. There are three:
1) Flexible 
(the "easy" child who is willing to try anything)
2) Feisty 
(the wild and outgoing child who will jump head first into everything)
3) Fearful 
(the cautious child who is slow to warm up)

You can probably guess where Nathan is in these three. He is fearful beyond any doubt. He cries when we walk past vacuums in stores. Yup, they don't even have to be ON. He's scared of any foliage, including grass (and the wreath on our front door), anything fluffy, including most stuffed animals, and most toys that are "too noisy". However, toys that HE does something to activate seem to be fine. Whatever. Oh, and cows. The list goes on. Here we are, painting pumpkins. We got the cheapest washable paint we could find, three pumpkins, and got started! 

Mitch had just come back from hunting and had bought a new tarp for the occasion. So we decided to paint on it, of course. It was too chilly to do it outside, and we knew Nathan man would obviously do best in just a diaper. He was hilarious! 

I gave him the baby pumpkin on the way home, to hold in his lap (he loves to hold things while in his car seat), in hopes that he wouldn't be afraid of it. He wasn't! Success! However, after I painted a smiley face on my pumpkin he was petrified of it, and kept trying to crawl his paint-covered body off the tarp and onto the carpet. Nuh uh! That is RENTED carpet! Sorry, kiddo, but you're going to have to deal with this.

Sorry, these pictures aren't edited, but I don't think any of you care :o) 

(Captions fall below the pictures)
Exploring the pumpkins...not scared yet!

As if the paints really had a chance of staying on that paper plate! Luckily our kitchen is small enough that our tarp covered it, without even unfolding it all the way!

Getting took him awhile to want to paint it, but after some coaxing from mom, and feeling how cool the paint was on his fingers, he was in!

Yumm. Check out that diaper. Finally, a diaper grosser on the outside than on the inside!  Yay for sensory exploration!

He looks thrilled, I know. Haha another fun side effect of the medication I was on? I lost 15 lbs in a month. Not good! At least I don't look stressed out. That's a rarity these days!

Soul patch :o)

Pumpkin family! Mitch was our "designated clean person", so we left him in charge of photos and getting Nathan's bath stuff out, since the other two of us were covered in paint. Needless to say, his pumpkin didn't get a face, but will get a sweet carved one later. PS--see that face on my pumpkin? That's what scared him. Wimp!

Aww, good job, buddy :o)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

side effects...and an upcoming first birthday!

Zoloft is great for many things. Like helping to clear my head and let me focus on what really needs attention.

Other than that, it's been disastrous to me. I have not been myself. Poor Mitch has really been on the chopping block lately, for no apparent reason. I'm getting a little glimpse at how much he must really love me...he is so patient when I want to explode at him leaving his socks on the floor, dishes in the sink, or other tiny, random things that I normally wouldn't care about. 

I used to be really laid-back. I am taking this medication more for the anti-anxiety effects than the anti-depression, so I expected to be very level-headed. I have to admit, I'm less sidetracked, but I'm also very critical these days. Of everything and everyone. I apologize to anyone who's been around me lately :o)

Another horribly unpleasant side effect is (shhh!) constipation. (Did I really just write that word on a public blog? Am I really about to talk about it? ...Yes, yes I am. Uncomfortable? Click the red X in the corner...)

I went to the health center on campus a couple days ago with heaviness and pain in my chest and all through my torso. Yup, I had *obstructions* all the way up through my chest cavity. Awesome. The bad thing? There were no signs pointing to constipation. I was feeling completely normal. Ugh! So, I got strong medication that kicked my trash for the next couple days, causing me to miss classes and not leave the couch (or bathroom) for those entire days...leaving Mitch with all the housework. And a super-critical wife, barking from the couch. Awesome. 

I'm sure I owe him a new gun or xbox game or some other toy for all he's put up with!

Before any of Zoloft's side effects kicked in I was feeling much better in general. I felt like I had worked through almost everything I needed to with postpartum PTSD. My counselor is amazing. My sessions are going remarkably well, and I'm generally feeling at peace with everything. And this was all before the medication set in! A few things still remain, like the feeling that I failed in many ways on Nathan's birth day. But now I have tools to work through them, and a great counselor who's there anytime. So, I'm starting to think I should just get off of the medication. 

The nurse practitioner who prescribed it (at the practice that delivered Nathan) said I might feel like I don't need the medication once it sets in, especially since I was on my way that week to start counseling. The medication wasn't going to be my only help, you know?

The next step? Get a phone appointment with her...I hope this is possible, because I don't necessarily want to pay so much more just to have her tell me I don't need it. The first appointment with her was well worth the cost for the information and explanations she gave me (why the doctor did what he did, etc.), but I don't know that a second one would be!

So yeah, those are my thoughts. I'm still fairly open. And open to opinions, or I wouldn't be writing this :o)

On a lighter note, I am planning Nathan's first birthday! He loves cars and trucks (and is scared of almost everything else), so we're having a "Chuck and Friends" truck party. I have the cake(s) all planned in my head, gifts bought, and the decorations are starting to come to mind. The best part? So far it's coming together SUPER cheap and very cute!! I wish we had room in our complex's clubhouse for all the friends we'd love to invite, but we're blessed to have family that can come, so it's mostly going to be a family party!