Monday, November 12, 2007

A post before the baby wakes up

I signed up on one of my boards to do a post a day, and boy do I suck at it. I am teh Loser. Oh well. I forget, sometimes.

So I have been thinking about my kids' birthdays, which are this month and ten days apart. Katie wants to go to the beauty parlor for a hairdo and to get her nails painted. Since I enjoy torture, I will get my eyebrows waxed. Whee! Then she, I, the baby, Miss Meghan and Zoe are all going to a local tea room, full of frilly things and dainty tables, for a girls-only time. I am going to give them both little necklaces. Later, at home, we will eat whatever food she wants and then I will make a cake. I think I saw directions ot make a teapot shaped cake, so I might do that. She wants the Candyland cake I made for Miss Meghan but it was $50 to make that cake because of all the candy, so no. We are strapped as it is, for the rest of the year. Pick another cake, chica.

Jonathan wanted to go to a laser tag place, but now has changed his mind and wants a sleepover. We are going to tell him that he may have a one-person-only sleepover because of the baby. And he asked me months ago if I could make an Omnitrix cake--this little electronic bracelet thing, the watch/face part of the bracelet is round, and three colors. Oh, yes, I can make it, and easily, too. So we will do the cake at home thing, just like with Katie, and he wants a sleepover, so I can provide meal of choice, just like Katie, but I think she is getting more, and I am going nuts trying to think up another activity for him to do. I know he will do video games and movies and pizza or corn dogs and popcorn and stuff for the sleepover. It still seems like she is getting more, but he doesn't want to do a scavenger hunt, and there aren't any movies that he wants to see, and he is not into Build A Bear (which is what Katie wanted to do before she opted for a tea party). I don't know. I will think of something, I guess.

So I have been feeling "off" for a few days. It is hard to explain, but it weighs on me. I hate my house. I hate staring at the same four walls. You might think I am just housebound with a new baby, and that might be a small part of it, but not really. I have a car and can go where & when I need to. Yes it is hard since I have only been nursing for a week, and I cannot do it discreetly in public, so outings must revolve around the baby's feedings. But I can always bring a bottle of expressed milk if I need to be out longer. Stephie is a good baby. She is cute and sweet and doesn't cry much. She likes to sleep and doesn't demand much. I can just stare at her for a long time.

So I don't think my unhappiness is baby-related. We wanted her for over 3 years and are happy she is here, whole and healthy. It doesn't feel like it is about the baby. It is about the house. I don't like it here. I am remote and have few friends. One of my friends is moving next summer and I am dreading it because I will be left alone on this street full of townies with their demon kids.

I am stuck in this house. I have tried for two days to get out of the house and have not succeeded.

Friday I went to my six week check up and got my flu shot. Then we went out to dinner with MIL. We went to the store afterward, looking for a new coat for Katie and the store was closing and they kept announcing it over the loudspeaker, as if we would forget. We left, coatless, because the world as the Wal Mart workers knew it would end, if we didn't leave right.that.minute. Seriously we went in 30 minutes prior to closing and they were already announcing it. I hate that particular store, though. They always make us feel unwelcome.

I told Steve that I have started feeling here how I felt in Maryland-- I am trapped in the house and I dread going back to it. It doesn't help that the last few times we have tried to go out to shop or run errands, we have been rushed, either for stores closing, or to make sure we get home before the kids' bus drops them off, or because the baby needs to eat. I hate feeling so rushed, and it takes the joy right out of shopping for me. It's very frustrating. I told him it didn't matter that I was "only" shopping for groceries, and not getting anything for me. It was the rush factor. Especially rushing home. Ugh.

So what happened yesterday? I can't even remember. Well basically nothing. We didn't go anywhere. I sat in the same spot in my house, on my couch, with my nursing pillow and fed the baby every few hours. I did not do anything. I can't remember what I wore, or what time I woke up.

So today (Sunday) Steve woke me up and said if I wanted to go anywhere, I needed to wake up so we could get out the door and back before the birthday party that Jonathan had to attend. It was 10:30 AM. I had stayed up late with the baby and he did the morning feed so I could sleep in. So let's see, wake up, eat, feed the baby at some point, or pump. Dress and then make sure everyone else is dressed and clean. Then, where should we go? I had nowhere specific in mind. But by the time we got out the door, it would be yet another rush job. 30 minutes, minimum, to get anywhere from our house. Arrive at some as-yet-undecided location, then rush around to rush back home in time for the party. Yay. Isn't that fun? How 'bout no?

So we are going nowhere, at least until after the party's start time. We could drop Jonathan off and go...somewhere. Then we found out that the party was starting at 3, not two. So I was stuck in the house for another damn hour. And by the time the party rolled around, so had the baby's feeding time. Feed her, then it was nearing time-to-start-cooking-dinner time and supposed party ending time. I was going nowhere. Again. WTF?

I stared at the wall. Like I do every day, from my perch on the couch where I feed the baby. I stared at the striped curtains which look stupid. Who has striped and solid curtains in the same room? I am not an interior designer, and it shows. I hate those curtains. Steve asked what the matter was and I told him I was bored out my skull.

I went and put the baby in her bed and laid down in mine. If I was going to be bored to tears or bored to sleep, I could do it in my own bed. I cried. I slept. I woke up five hours later. Steve fed the kids. He also went out and got a paper. He fed the baby while I slept. I woke up and he went to sleep, and I have been awake ever since. I am waiting for the baby to wake up and eat, and then I'll go to bed. Yesterday I went to bed after 4 AM. Today should be about the same. I can see the baby stirring but I want her to wake up fully so it doesn't take forever to feed her. When she is sleepy it can take a while to make her eat.

So what will happen tomorrow? Who knows. But I didn't think I was going anywhere today. When I woke up and saw the time, and thought about what it would take to get us out the door, I just knew I wasn't going anywhere. It's not even about coordinating the effort to physically get out the door, it is the rushing. It is not worth all the get up and go, to rush to a destination, do whatever needs doing, and rush home. Why bother? It takes the fun out of shopping as well.

So I am stuck in the house that I cannot stand, because there is no point in leaving, because I won't enjoy wherever it is I am rushing to. This sucks.

And because I can't stand the house, why bother taking care of it? A piece of siding fell off during a storm. I stil haven't called the landlord to have it reaffixed. I have been meaning to either trim the shrubs in my mulch boxes, or hire a crew to do it for me, but I can't work up the give-a-damn to do either. I want to clean up the yard before winter hits, but not enough to do it. Does that make sense?

I could go on about the house, but I will just make myself feel like crap and I don't need that. I was thinking about my six week check, and they did a depression screening, asking some rather stupid and very broad questions. I even told Steve, they didn't ask the right questions. Who asks a new mother if they are tired? Or if they have trouble concentrating? Insert eyeroll here. Let's see, the baby wakes up round the clock to eat, but no, I'm not tired at all. And trouble concentrating? I couldn't remember my phone number the other day.

I really think their questions should be more specific. I feel like crap but I know if I need help, all I have to do is ask. But if I were some other woman and passed the depression screening, I woudn't understand why I feel the way I do. Because if I answered no to all their questions, I'm not depressed, right?

Well I passed their screening but I have no doubt that I am a little depressed. Do they (the doctors)have a clue? No. Not only because it predates my pregnancy, but also because they asked the wrong questions. Do I want to hurt myself or others? No. Am I tired? Yes. Do I have trouble concentrating? Yes, when I am sleep deprived. Do I feel like a failure to myself or others? I answered no, because I didn't, that day.

But I had some serious self-worth issues after the baby was born. I had screwed up again--my body rejects my babies too early and here I had given birth to a baby who had to stay in the hospital because my body didn't grow her well enough. Then I couldn't fed her, which was a huge, confusing blow. I was able to make milk but my breasts and her little mouth just couldn't meet in the middle. I think if I had a supply problem I would have lost it. But overall I felt that my body had betrayed me and it made me sad.

They should ask better questions, such as, "Are you disinterested in activities that you normally enjoy?" Or, in plainer language, "Do you just not give a damn?"

"Is getting dressed not worth the effort since you're not going anywhere anyway?"

"Do your days seem to stretch in front of you, an endless haze of the same boring crap?"

"Are you doing the bare minimum just to function?"

"Do you dread the phone ringng because it means you have to answer the phone and you want people just to leave you alone?"

See, I confuse myself. I want out of the house, yet stay in it. I want to be left alone, yet I do NOT want to feel lonely. I don't have a problem taking care of my kids, but I can't remember the last time I washed my hair. And I didn't get dressed today. I can't remember what I wore yesterday so I don't know if I got dressed. But my kids are clean, dressed, fed, play outdoors, go to bed on time, do well in school, and the baby doesn't go to school, but she's a bright-eyed girl.

I don't think I have full-blown PPD. I don't think I have PPD at all, because to me it implies blame on the baby, and she is not the source of my unhappiness. I blame the house. I think I have had mild depression that predated this pregnancy, stemmed from my infertility, and comes and goes. Sometimes I am fine. I get up, get dressed, do my daily routine, care for my kids, and have productive days. Most days are like that. Just not lately.

OK well I need to help the baby wake up and eat. She likes her swing too much. Don't worry y'all. I am fine. I just don't like my house.

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