Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hanging in there

Hello, incredibly neglected blog readers.

I'm still here. 

I'm still having a lot of anxiety, a lot of intrusive thoughts.  I've spent a lot of time crying lately.

It's so stupid because I want this baby so much (we tried for a year!), and I love my family, and I'm so, so lucky...  I don't know why I'm ruining it for myself. 

It is what it is.  It is not in my control.  I don't choose this.

I'm spending a lot of time reading about anxiety, particularly anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum.  I'm spending a lot of time doing breathing exercises.  I'm doing housework, because when the house is a mess, the anxiety gets worse (in the form of "I'm a terrible mother, look at this house!  What a failure I am!" etc.). 

It's weird that at my most-crazy, my house is cleaner than ever, isn't it?  I've made my bed every morning for over three weeks - I didn't ever do that before.  (Part of it is because our bedroom is downstairs now, but still.)

I've realized that I was probably misdiagnosed last time - I think it has always been anxiety.  I don't think it was ever classic postpartum depression.  I could go into the reasons why, but to mentally tally them up so I could list them would be hard right now, so I won't.  But I think this is the same as what happened when I was pregnant with Mary Grace.  And it must just be part of how I do pregnancy.  With Claire, I could focus it on her because I had ICP and there was a risk that she could die - so I had an appropriate outlet for my anxiety (not to mention 100 mg a day of Zoloft!).  Now, because this pregnancy is healthy (and I'm so grateful that it is!) I don't have that appropriate channel or outlet.  And as we get closer to the point at which it all went wrong with Claire (32 weeks) the anxiety gets worse.  I'm waiting for the ICP shoe to drop, or the preeclampsia shoe to drop, and it's maddening.

I'm not sleeping well, or resting well during the day.  I'm taking the kids out a lot less.  Most afternoons we stay close to home.  Thank goodness they have friends in the neighborhood, so they aren't completely bored out of their skulls.  I'm going to try to take them to get new shoes this afternoon.  We'll see.

The midwife and I are meeting every two weeks, now, in light of what's going on.  She gave me her cell phone number today.  I told her I'd try really hard not to call her at 3 am to ask stupid questions.  She's so great, though, she probably wouldn't mind if I did.

This is temporary.  I just have to keep breathing for the next 3 months, and then the first 6 months after the baby comes, and after that things will be fine again.  I know they will.  Things got fine again after Mary Grace was born, and I never thought they would.  They'll be fine again by next summer, next fall at the latest.  This is just a season.  I'm managing it all so much better this time than I did when I had Mary Grace.  I'm not being stubborn like I was then, when I refused to admit that I was struggling.  I'm getting help to manage it.  I'm leaning on BJ, and on my family and my friends.  I'm learning new ways to cope with intrusive thoughts.  I'm being proactive, and not waiting until I'm at my wit's end to react. 

I'm doing everything I can. 

I've only gained 5 pounds (at 26 weeks!).  I'm measuring one week ahead (27 cm).  My blood pressure is fine.  I did the glucose tolerance test today (yuck!) and we drew a liver panel, too, to check on the ICP.  I've got another blood draw tomorrow for bile salts, but for that one I need to fast, so we couldn't do them all at once.  The baby, thank goodness, is healthy and strong, his or her heart rate was 140 today in spite of the massive dose of glucose.  Everything would be going perfectly if I could just get out of my own head.


mwiesjahn said...

YAY! Strong and healthy Gozer! Can't wait to meet that baby. I was thinking that if you want to send me a list I'll do your Christmas shopping or you can buy it all online and I'll wrap it for you! Let me know how I can help. Love ya sis.

Heidi said...

Hang in there sweetie! By this time next year, it will all be a fading memory.

Heather said...

"If you could only get out of your owhn head"? Stop that. This is an illness, a chemical imbalance causing thoughts you don't want and would not have if you could choose. This is an illness, regardless of what your criminal profiler person says. This is an illness and you can't stop it. You CAN find ways to remind yourself that these thoughts don't belong to the real you, and you ARE, and I am PROUD of you.

PPD often carries symptoms of anxiety and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder along with the depression. You weren't necessarily misdiagnosed, but you may have received treatment that didn't fit your symptoms as well as it could have. I will say that "I'm a terrible mother" is not anxiety talking, it's depression. "What will people think when they realize I've been hiding what a terrible mother I am" is anxiety mixed with depression.

And it's still an ILLNESS, so quit beating up on yourself. Would you gripe at your immune system for letting a virus get through? Would it be any help if you did?

Just sayin'.

Momo Fali said...

I wish I lived near you so I could just BE there for you. I think you are more aware than you were before and also that causes anxiety, don't forget that knowledge is power. I wouldn't have my son if my daughter hadn't been born early. You know the warning signs and know what to watch for. When the worst is THE WORST, then tell yourself to make it through the next minute. Then say it again, over and over, until it's the next day.

Aunt Ann said...

I have been concerned and was happy to see your post today. Take care

Aunt Ann said...

I have had to type this 3 times!.. Glad to see your post today and that all is well with your baby. Take one day at a time.

Michelle said...

I can't imagine trying to go through all the normal pregnancy hormones and issuse and then adding anxiety atop that and then adding potential huge medical issues atop that. I love that you're blogging about this, as so many people simply hide with it. There is no shame to it, and I'm so glad to see that you are focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. I have my fingers crossed for you on all ends - and the clean house? Ohhhh I am SO with you on that one. Clean house = good person, right?

Carmen said...

HUGS from a perfect stranger.

I have to say that I had two normal, healthy pregnancies and I still thought life was shitty hell after the birth of both my kids... and I didn't meet any definition of PPD. It's hard, really damn hard and especially when you're dealing with hormonally induced PPD/anxiety/whatever. My BFF had horrid depression after her third child and waited a year, yes YEAR to get on medication. She is back to her normal self again, but she should have gotten help MUCH sooner so I APPLAUD you for being so proactive. You are doing your best through the most difficult stage of a woman's natural life.

Like I said before, HUGS!