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.