threefunnyvoices

Life, How To's, and Other Various Ramblings

The Darkest Shades of “Baby Blues” November 10, 2013

Today, I was cruising through the Scary Mommy site and came across a post about a mom who was telling her postpartum story. As I read it, I realized that she and I had a lot in common and I realized that if she and I had so much in common, maybe one of you out there may have faced or are facing the same thing. So, this is my brave:

 

First, I need to give a brief back story. I promise to keep it very brief. When I was 19 weeks pregnant, my baby and I lost his father. It was an accident based on stupidity and (as I eventually learned) was ruled incorrectly by the police. I spent the next couple of months trying to deal with his “suicide” until I learned that it was an accidental fall. It was traumatic, no matter how you looked at it.

 

Somewhere, in the days following the accident, someone made me go to the doctor to make sure everything was ok with the baby. I remember laying on the table, waiting to hear a heartbeat and it took them FOREVER to find one, but they did and things were ok. They got me some medication to fight the nausea so that I would be able to at least try to eat something and immediately got me into therapy. When I say immediately, I mean I had my first session before we even had the funeral. My therapist was wonderful and I kept her for two months after I had my son.

 

During all of this, I lived with a family member and while I was exhausted, I seemed to be doing ok. My therapist had no need to worry about any kind of postpartum other than the usual hormonal shifts that occur after having a baby. Life seemed ok and I found a little apartment for my baby and I and moved in quickly.

 

We lived out in the boonies. No one was going to know that the house was out there, and if they did, there was no way they were coming to the house undetected. We had a huge long, winding lane to our house and it seemed that someone was always awake. I was safe as I could be, and so was my baby. However, as the days went by, I started to get weird.

 

I would stay up through a large portion of the night. I would check on my son every 15-20 minutes, even though he was usually asleep beside me or even on me. I started to worry about silly little things that never seemed to bother me before. I would bawl at diaper commercials (yes…seriously…I remember the commercial well and if I were to see it today, I may burst into tears just because) and seemed to be preparing for the worst. I didn’t get any kind of real quality sleep until my sons daytime naps because I felt better during the day.

 

I remember, one day, my sister and I were leaving the house and we drove by a cop. I was certain that someone had called them on me and they were headed to my house to try to find a reason to take my child from me…even though I knew that there was nothing wrong. It wasn’t just a little paranoia. I had trouble breathing, broke into a sweat and wanted to turn around and go home and lock the doors and pull the blinds. My sister was able to calm me down a bit and told me I was freaking out because I needed to sleep. “Maybe she’s right” I thought.

 

Things like this happened several more times before my next doctors appointment. I hated feeling that way and I ended up staying home as much as possible. When I went for my next appointment, I filled out their little postpartum depression survey and passed with flying colors. I tried to tell the PA about what was happening and was told that it was totally normal and that things would get back to normal shortly.

 

The days went by and it was more of the same. We left the house only when we absolutely had to and I always preferred to have someone with me. This, however, was totally unrealistic and I found myself alone with my son a majority of the time. When he was awake, everything seemed to be absolutely fine. He was a perfect distraction and so long as we were home, life was good…for a while.

 

I started getting really nervous when I had to leave him alone while I went to the bathroom. I was sure something was going to happen to him. This progressed into complete meltdowns while I was showering, which I would only do when he was asleep for the night. Before I would get into the shower, I had to close all the curtains, lock all the windows and doors and sometimes I would pull his crib as close as I could to the bathroom door. (Our bathroom was right off of our shared bedroom) While I was showering, after going through the lockdown process, I was SURE I heard people in my apartment. I would rush and get out in under three minutes. I would first check the baby and then go through the house and make sure that no one had gotten in somehow.

 

I called my doctor and they had me come into the office. I explained to her what had happened and was once again told that it was “normal” and that I was likely “dealing with the trauma” of losing my husband (he wasn’t) and “learning my new mommy instincts”. They wrote me a prescription for Zoloft and sent me on my way. Somewhere in my gut I knew this wasn’t normal, but I wanted there to be a resolution so badly that I went along with it.

 

Then the night came that I saw myself. I had gone through the lock down routine. The nervousness and paranoia had gotten to the point where I would get cold…like, into the depths of my soul…and I would shiver. I moved my son to the bathroom door and I started the shower. In that time, I had a vision of my son’s paternal grandmother coming and watching us, learning our routine, and waiting until the time was right where she would pounce and take my child while I was in the shower. I was not going to allow that to happen, so I grabbed a butcher knife and got into the shower. I saw myself, standing there, holding a knife with one hand and trying to wash up with the other, all the while forming different plans to make sure that she didn’t get out of our house.

 

The woman lived several hours away and did not have a vehicle. There was no way this was possible….but that was not what took control of my mind and emotions. A complete paranoia took over my life. I would jokingly call it “postpartum psychosis” because I never knew there was such a thing. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until a few years later that I had heard the term and when I did, I FREAKED OUT! I was furious that I had gone through this, that I had said something to my doctor and that it was never even considered…and was labeled as “normal”.

 

I don’t know when it stopped happening for me. I just know that it did. I had a few friends and family members that I could call at any time of the day or night and just ramble. I think that’s what did it for me; knowing that I had someone out there that would hear me. I don’t remember how much of that time I shared or in what detail. I just know that I would talk and I didn’t feel like I was alone or that I was cracking under the pressure of my new life.

 

I no longer take armed showers. I no longer fear my son’s paternal family. I do still worry about something happening to my son, but not in any extreme sense. I worry about him like any mom would worry about her child. We sleep with our windows and doors locked but that just makes sense. I still have my incredible network of friends that I could call at any time and they would be there for me, just like they were in those darker hours.

 

That is my truth…that is my brave.

PPD and all related illnesses are SO real. They are not something that you should just have to accept and wait out. If you are experiencing any form of postpartum, reach out and make your voice heard. Do not stop until you get the help you feel you need. It is out there for you, don’t let anyone stop you from getting it. You are worth it and so is your family. You will make it through, but you need someone by your side. You need someone you can trust, someone who can help calm you down and help you regain your focus. They are out there.

 

Here are some websites that I found that I wish I had known about when I was going through my experience. They are full of useful information and have links to other great places.

 

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/ppd.html

http://www.postpartum.net/

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/

http://www.melaniesbattle.org/about.html

https://www.facebook.com/beyondpostpartum

 

Remember to hang in there, to ask for help and that sometimes we can just go moment to moment, hour to hour…eventually it will get better. Call on your network of people and let them help you.

 

Peace and Blessings to all of you

~C

 

 

 

 

Ice Cream Dough July 24, 2013

As previously mentioned in other posts, it is hotter than hot here. Maybe it is because we are freshly relocated and this is our first summer below the Mason Dixon…but I personally think it’s just HOT.  It’s so bad that the other day I asked my little one to come outside with me and he ran excitedly to the door, stopped short of crossing the threshold and then he said “Mama…it’s too hot! I’m going to color!”. This is coming from the child who lives to be outside.  Unfortunately part of the conditions for living in the complex we live in is no swimming pools or hoses. This is not cool…literally or figuratively.

Now I am faced with finding things to keep him occupied inside…and have a limited budget for new products at the moment. Can you say “challenging”?  I set to scouring Pinterest for new ideas and I found this one .

How could it possibly be as cool as it seems? Well, trust me when I say that it is! We are just cleaning up from 90 minutes of hardcore playtime.

Since I have this need to eyeball most measurements when it comes to things like this, I know I didn’t make it exactly right but we came darn close. And the best part is that it cost me less than a $1.

We dumped approximately 1 ½ cups of cornstarch into a mixing bowl. Then I took all the conditioner samples I have laying around the house. I figured out which ones would smell similar and took to squeezing 9 little packages into the cornstarch. I started to mix it and instead of coming together as a dough, it was mealy. I added  water about a teaspoon at a time until it started to come together as a dough. Once it got to the consistency I liked, I divided it into three equal(ish) balls and placed them in their own little containers.  Then I added about half a pack each of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Flavor Packets. They worked GREAT! Added a nice color and even made the dough smell like something other than conditioner.

We gathered all of the little plastic ice cream cones we have for the boys kitchen set, various dishes and “Toppings”. After the spread was all set up we went to town. It was a great way to pass the time without any kind of screen in front of us and he thought I was actually letting him play in ice cream. Crazy kid….

~C

 

PS….sorry that the photos are all of smooshed ice cream. It really does ball up nice and look like ice cream but someone in these photos couldn’t let them stay looking pretty. He needed to smash them all. Boys…

 

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Ice cream dough 1

 

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It started out so simple… March 25, 2013

And it became a HUGE mess!

While my boy and I were out at Kids Fest this weekend, we stumbled upon an activity center that had gallon bags full of shaving cream and food coloring. The kid LOVED it and it was simple enough that I knew I could replicate it at home, which is exactly what we did this morning.

It started out simple enough. Gather a few gallon zip seal bags, a can of shaving cream and some food coloring.

I let the kiddos spray the shaving cream into the bags and choose the colors they wanted to use. (Shockingly, they both wanted to use the same colors. Now, had I suggested this, it would have been the beginnings of WWIII, but since they did it on their own, it was the best idea they had all morning!)

After sealing the bags, they set to squishing…

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…and pounding…

and adding more colors.

Then they realized that we could OPEN the bags and play with the stuff inside which meant I better act fast. I stripped them down to their skivvies and plopped them in the tub. Lord above did they have fun. From this point on, it all got a little fuzzy. There was slipping and sliding, giggles, splatters of shaving cream flying and LOVELY artwork being created right before my very eyes. When all was said and done, we ended with this scene…..

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If you ask the kids, it is the best thing they have done EVER and they would like to do it when we get together again tomorrow. MOM on the other hand thinks that this much excitement should be experienced once every few months!

 

~C

 

How to Appear Manic to the ENTIRE WORLD!!! March 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 10:19 pm
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If you haven’t read my post from earlier this evening, this will not make any sense. I will sound like a mom boo-hoo’ing about her sick kid…

Since my last rambling and selfish display, I have had to make a temporary bed for my child, in the bathroom, with the shower on as hot as it can get so I could get some steam action for him. A simple humidifier was not cutting the mustard…and thank God for my medic friend who reminded me of this trick. (Which, subsequently, I learned back in the day while watching Terms of Endearment) For a brief time, the boy slept…soundly…and without struggling to breathe. Then, just like that, it was over.

There is not enough hot tea, Vicks or steam in the world to get this kid to get a nice deep breath. So now I am sitting here hoping and praying that we don’t have to make the 30 minute drive to the closest ER in the middle of the night. I want so badly to make everything ok for him…to hear him sleep without snorting and snarfing for every breath. When he wakes up crying it breaks my heart and there’s not a damn thing I can do. Having a sick kid SUCKS!

Thankfully (?) I have come to the realization that I am not going to sleep again tonight. Accepting it is just necessary at this point. This, however, has allowed me the ability to prop him upright in a bean bag and set up a stock pot on the stove to steam the front half of the apartment. Hopefully this will give him the chance he needs to get some good healing sleep so that tomorrow we don’t have to go through this all again.

In closing, I would like to thank all those parents who over medicated their children and used cold medicine to turn their kids into zombies so that I can sit here tonight, without an option to medicate my boy who would greatly appreciate it. You guys are awesome and deserve Parent of the Decade awards! Bravo!

~C

 

Would You Like a Little Whine With That Sneeze?

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 7:45 pm
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My darling child (whom I love more than the air I breathe and the life I have been given)  has been sick for days now and it has taken its toll on me.

Tonight is the 5th night in a row that he has been down and out. I know he didn’t plan it. I know he is just little and I know that one day I will want him to wake up in the middle of the night and want ME to be the one to take care of him. I am sure there will be nights that I cry because he won’t let me bring him chicken soup or rub his back and kiss his forehead while I take his temperature. But, right now…at this very moment…I have had just about enough of this crap.

I haven’t slept for more than 45 minutes at any one time since he got sick. My bed is full of kid germs and nose crust…even though I have been changing the sheets daily. My back has permanent indentations where his feet have been pushing against my kidneys while he sleeps in my bed at night. Everywhere I go, I am picking up dirty tissues and popsicle wrappers.  My life revolves around wiping boogies and medication schedules.

Also, I get it that his “nose doesn’t come out” and that every little thing irritates him. I get it that he, like every other male in the world, is whiny and needs waited on hand and foot when he is feeling ill. I get all of these things…

But for the love of God, can I get a break? Can I sleep? Can I NOT pick your boogies off the sleeve of my shirt? Will you PLEASE stop whining…just for an hour so that my brain can learn to recognize other sounds? PLEASE!

Yes, I am whining…Yes, I sound like a wretched mother…Yes, I am too tired to care. Yes, tomorrow is a new day and yes, my patience and tolerance levels will be replenished…but for now…for now….I am going to go pour myself an extra big glass of wine and hopefully drift peacefully off to sleep and say a little prayer along the way that he does the same…for the betterment of everyone we come in contact with!

 

~C

 

The Definition of Insanity February 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 7:53 pm
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Anyone who knows me knows that I spend 1/2 my life pulling my hair out because my son pushes me to the brink of insanity. The child climbs everything (Last night he climbed my chair in the living room and jumped THROUGH the table next to it and did it all before I knew he wasn’t on the floor anymore!) and is in every room, in everything he is not supposed to be, all at the same time. There are days I feel like I should just lay down and die before he can kill me because I am sure that death is imminent and I WILL have control of the last seconds of my life since I can clearly not control anything else. You know that scene in “Mr. Mom” where Michael Keaton’s washing machine goes crazy, his son sets off the smoke detector while making lunch, the baby is zooming around in the walker & eating canned chili and the vacuum cleaner takes on a life of it’s own? I HAVE LIVED THAT!! I know first hand just how badly MK wants to cry, scream and crap his pants while running down the street, never looking back. I am not saying this is an everyday thing, but…

Having said that, I have to ask just what the hell is wrong with me! I decided that I would take on a second little boy, 40 hours a week. This kiddo is the same age as my son and behaves just like him! Somehow, I have deluded myself into believing that this is a good thing for my kid; that somehow it is going to calm him down and distract him from his usual insanity. In the back of my head, however, there is a tiny voice that I am trying my best to ignore and it’s telling me “WOMAN!!! YOU ARE FLIPPIN INSANE!!! RUN!! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!” but here I sit.

I cannot lie. I am semi-excited. WHY!? I have no freakin’ clue! I just am. I remember how much my son loved having the little one I used to take care of  to play with. He was able to tell you that it was time for  the little one to arrive…and he was right. He LOVED having a pal to chum around with…someone to boss around….someone to hug and do things with…someone who thought that poop and boogies were as cool as he did. I am excited to give that to him again…even though it will push me past the brink of insanity and I am sure that somewhere, a little southern paper’s headline will read “Crazy lady, found naked, rolling in a mud puddle while reciting the ABC’s in her best Elmo voice”.

~C

 

A Hug From 1500 Miles Away February 21, 2013

The boy’s Gimah lives 1500 miles away (give or take 500. I haven’t calculated it exactly…but rest assured she lives far away.) and therefore we are always looking for new things that he can make to send to her. I recently stumbled across “Send a Hug” on Pinterest. The ladies at http://www.supermommoments.com came up with this one and we did our own interpretation of it. We think it’s a hit!  (Not to mention SUPER easy to do!)

This would be perfect to do as a yearly gift for a grandparent. It would double nicely as a growth chart that they can hang on to!

Send A Hug

Simply trace your child’s hands. Let them color them in. Measure their “wing span” and then cut a piece of ribbon or string in that length. We adhered the string with a little hot glue, one end of the string on each hand, so that it looks like your little one is coming to give the recipient(s) a hug.

We attached a personalized note on the string with a piece of clear tape.

It was so simple to make and ended up bringing tears to Gimah’s eyes when she opened her care package.

 

~C

 

 
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