A Small Warning

While Simon and I are doing this to keep our friends/family/acquaintences in the know and so that we can remember the experience - we know that a great many people forget the insane emotions that go through them at a time like this. They remember joy, nervousness and excitement but tend to forget things like annoyance, anger and exhaustion. This is also a little bit of an experiment for us as well as (hopefully) a bit of reality for someone else out there who wants a bit of a real play-by-play of the emotional rollercoaster of childbirth and parenting. ...granted, I know that my experience is only one...but hey...still worth trying.

That said, not all of this blog is going to be happy and shiny. There will be some real, raw emotions here and we're going to express them pretty openly. We hope that this doesn't make anyone feel as if we're in any way unhappy about the birth of our son or that we're somehow not excited or don't love him. For us, this is the reality of things that people don't really talk about or express. I think that is extremely important to remember.

We may use foul language. ...you're warned.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

When Is A Word A Word?

I've been wondering this for a while now. Xander started saying "dada" when he was a mere 7 months old. It made his father light up but I didn't count it as a word because it seemed to be simple babbling.

When, at 9 months old he started saying "mama", I completely discounted it as well, nice as it made me feel. However, when he was scared by a vacuum or got water in his eyes or nose in the bath, "MAMA!" was what he would yell. After this, I wasn't sure.

When we are holding him and he drops a toy - or something similar happens - we say "Uh oh!". I did not even pay that much attention to how often we say it until he started saying it back. Again, I discounted it as simple mimicking. Then I noticed that whenever he drops a toy or someone else does, he looks up at them and says "uh oh". ...clearly he has associated it with accidents. Is this his first real word? So I started wondering - when are the sounds he makes a word?

Was "dada" his first word despite him probably only babbling it?

Was that simple title "mama" his first word?

Was his first real word "uh oh"? ...or does that sound even count as a word at all?

When he decided that the cats were called "ah..T" (soft ah, slight pause, hard T) at 8 months, was that a word?

It's a tricky question!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning and there's no one I can talk to. I mean, there are people I could talk to but no one who wants to hear anything I have to say. ...and I get that. After a while, hearing about someone's problems becomes tedious. ...unfortunately, it leaves me with a powerful urge to scream at the top of my lungs just to get the tension out - because I've got no other way.

I don't feel a bond with Xander. I don't feel like he's mine, I don't feel love for him most of the time and he annoys me most of the time. I know that bonding takes time...especially when you were separated for a time after birth, but sometimes i just feel like I'm drowning.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


My obstetrician doesn't think that I have post natal depression.

My previous GP doesn't think that I seem "that bad".

My new GP says I don't look depressed.

...so if I don't have post natal depression, what's wrong with me? If I'm even a little late with my antidepressants, I go totally psycho. I get mean - cruel...even to Xander. I'll tell him that I hate him, that he's ugly and stupid...that I wish he'd disappear or die. When I feel fine again, I hate myself for the things I say to him. I hate myself at the time, but I hate everyone else even more.

I'm at a loss for what to do. Even right now, I've taken my medications and I feel like my skin is on fire, like I'm going to jump right out of it. I also feel like everything is horrible. ...I've made an appointment with my therapist but the earliest she can see me is in 2 weeks. A lot can happen in 2 weeks. ...so what am I to do?

Monday, October 11, 2010

I just got poo-ed on

While changing a nappy. Apparently this is the most amusing thing my wife has seen all day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Taco Bell

While I was pregnant, I had constant cravings for Taco Bell. ...and it was bad. I probably would have done just about anything for a Crunchwrap. Why? ...who the Hell knows. Pregnancy cravings are funny that way.

(this is not a joke)
Most nights, I would dream about Taco Bell. In every dream, I'd get in my car and get ready to go to Taco Bell. I'd be all excited because I was finally getting to have it. Every night, I would wake up right before getting my food. This pissed me off.

I thought it would end when I had the kid...and it did...but not without a final goodbye.

One night...right after having Xander, I had a dream about Taco Bell. I was getting in my car to go to Taco Bell. In my dream I said to myself, "No more dreams about having Taco Bell! Now that I've had the kid, I get to have it for real and satisfy that craving!"...only to wake up again without Taco Bell. That's some cruel shit right there....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Concerns and milestones

Xander is one month old today.

He is holding his head up even more than when he was born, hasn't lost that mop of hair, he's more interested in looking at things around him and responds even more to me. He's alert and curious and starting to squeal and coo, it's adorable.

On a completely different note...

I'm very worried. Since he was born I'd had increased anxiety, that was never a question. ..however, in the last two weeks, that anxiety has turned into some serious, SERIOUS depression. With very little warning, I will quite suddenly become deeply depressed. I will hate myself, I will hate Xander and I will close myself off from everyone. While this CAN frequently happen if I've missed a dose of my antidepressant, much of the time it doesn't matter in the least.

Here is a GOOD night...

Last night I had taken both of my antidepressants. I was golden - I was sure that I wouldn't have any problems with depression or anger. I'd be fine. Simon was off at his sleep study and my mother-in-law was in bed. It was about 10pm and I was feeling good.

Around midnight, Xander has been asleep (but periodically quietly fussy) for the last two hours. He is not being troublesome in any way. I am starting to get really irritated with him and anxious that he will do something - anything and that I won't like it. I feel like my skin is on fire and I'm about to burst out of it. I feel agitated and angry for no reason.

Around 1:30am, Xander is now sound asleep and not making a peep (I have been dreaming of this for a week or two, btw). I am now inches from enraged. I'm sitting there thinking angrily at Xander, "You'd better not make any noise, you'd better not make any noise." At the same time I'm having that constant fight or flight blind panic of anxiety attacks. It doesn't help that I'm itchy from my psoriasis (all over), I'm overheated, I have a headache and a crick in my neck. Discomfort seems to exacerbate all bad feelings.

Around 2am I get desperate and take a third antidepressant (I am supposed to take two a day but my doctor has told me that I am on a rather low dose right now). I also do what I can to ease my discomforts so that everything else doesn't feel so bad. I start trying to think of things that will improve my mood.

2:30am - Two things occur to me. Firstly I appear to be most afraid of him fussing and me getting up and tending to him - no idea why - this should not be something to fear. I decide that since he'll be hungry soon, I'll wake him up and feed him before he has a chance to wake up screaming for food. I feed him and then put him in a position I know he likes, the makeshift Moby wrap that my mother-in-law made me in newborn hug hold. The second thing that occurs to me is that I should try smelling him. No joke, smelling him. I know that I find inhaling his scent incredibly calming (I assume because of pheromones) and so give it a shot to see if it calms me down and makes me feel less depressed or angry. It works to a point, calming me enough for me to think clearly.

3am - I finally curl up with him in the reclining glider rocker and manage to get an hour or so of sleep while he sleeps against my chest. It is far better than nothing. The rest of the night until around 8am is spent in this fashion rather successfully.

We knew that postnatal depression was a near certainty...and I am getting help. My psychologist is informed and when I see my obstetrician next Wednesday, my antidepressants will be changed.

People offer me help - offer to take a shift, to take the kid off my hands for a while and it's all very well and good - the problem is that I go from zero to fucking furious sometimes in ten seconds. There's very seldom warning and even when there is, there's certainly not enough to get someone to my house to help.

Right now it's not a problem because my mother-in-law is here and if anything gets too insane, I can just pass him off to her. Simon hasn't gone back to work yet (because of this depression) and I can also pass Xander off to him.

...what do I do when Simon is back at work on Tuesday? What do I do when my mother-in-law goes back home on the 4th?

It really scares me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Things I've Learned

1. Put your infant down for the night before you're tired. Putting them down for the night may take several hours. If you start this process when you're exhausted, you'll only get frustrated and angry. If the kid DOES fall asleep straight away and you're not tired? Sleep anyway. Don't know how to go to sleep when you're not tired? Learn.

2. If your kid is spitting up every 5 minutes, do not change his clothes until he is done unless you really love laundry.

3. It doesn't matter how expensive your couch is, when it gets baby vomit on it, you will simply wipe it with a cloth and worry about it later.

4. Folding babies in half makes them fart.

5. There really is no medication that is going to fix your baby's gas but in desperation you will try them all anyway.

6. Cuddling your baby while they sleep is very pleasant but may very well lead to them refusing to sleep unless held which is extremely annoying.

7. Even after you decide to stop cuddling your baby to sleep, you'll continue to do it because YOU enjoy it.

8. Sleep deprivation can drastically affect breastmilk production.