Friday, October 3, 2008

I surrender

There is a prescription for Zoloft waiting for me at the pharmacy.

After having been up all night again, the morning was rough.

He was screaming through his bottle, I was exhausted and frustrated and just couldn't take it.

Yesterday's Oprah episode really spoke to me.

Something had to give.

I don't think I have PPD. I think it's exhaustion induced. But either way- it's depression.

I have a lot of shame about it, I'll be honest. I feel like a failure.

We struggled for so many years, through surgeries and miscarriages and then pre-e and months in the NICU. And here I am- the answer to my prayers finally answered and I'm completely overwhelmed.

Yes, yes, I know you'll all reassure me that it's normal. Because you're all wonderful. I have conversations with 2 moms of older children today who did make me feel somewhat better.

But the shame is still there.

Here is this perfect angel. This amazing soul that has fought through so much. He spent six month in my belly being accosted by a noisy Doppler checking him, then was ripped from my womb early and spent the next 3 months being tortured. Tubes down his throat, needles in his arms & legs, lights and noises constant. Then surgery brought cuts and bruises all over. Tubes down his throat again. A tube was put into his stomach.

It drains and leaks almost constantly. He has rubber probes strapped to his chest at all times. His stomach betrays him in spite of the surgery- burning acid up his throat, up into his nose.. gagging and choking him.

But still he soldiers on. Feisty, they say. The nice way of saying cranky. I'd be cranky, too.. I AM cranky, too.. and I haven't been through half as much as him.

In spite of all of this, his occupation therapist says he's "wonderful" "excellent" "better than just about any preemie she's ever seen." Months of torture and still he likes to look at people, make eye contact, turn his head to follow interesting things. In spite of the constant negative oral stimulation, he still likes to eat and to nurse.

He's far more resilient than me.

And in spite of knowing all of this, of living all of this, I find myself frustrated- angry even- when he won't stop crying.

ANGRY. At a 5 pound helpless infant that I love more than life itself.

"ROBBIE COX!" I said loudly, nearly yelling this morning. "STOP CRYING!"

And he did. Surprised, I think, by my stern voice. It only lasted a moment, but he was surprised. Something new he shouldn't learn yet. A frustrated mom.

I tried to sing my nonsense song to him, bouncing him around hoping to soothe him, but really just going through the exhausted motions. I was rougher than I should have been. Not soothing at all. I wasn't hurting him, of course. But I wasn't helping either.

He finally finished his bottle and fell asleep.

I cried.

One thing was abundantly clear. Robbie deserves a better mother. One who isn't too tired to sing nonsense songs and pat him incessantly if that's what he wants. One who hears him wake up and thinks "YAY! My amazing son is awake! We can play now." Not "Crap. I'm so tired. I wish he'd go back to sleep."

I called the doctor's office. They weren't open yet, so I waited.

I called my dad hoping to pass the time. He asked if I'd slept. I told him no. Then I told him the truth- I was waiting for the doctor's office to open because I needed help. I wasn't dealing well.

He didn't laugh this time. Instead he offered to come watch Robbie in the morning so I could sleep. I agreed.

I fell asleep before the doctor's office could open.

I dreamed that Robbie was crying and I couldn't get to him. I woke up in a panic but he was fine.

I called the doctor's office immediately and left a message.

They called me back and agreed. They want to see me in a few weeks to make sure things are improving.

I emailed David at work and told him that we needed to talk. I need help.

He agreed.

Tonight when he got home, I proposed that he gets an hour when he gets home from work to relax, but then I get 3 hours and at least 1 feeding "Off." And he agreed.

You can tell he doesn't quite understand. He just knows that I'm not functioning well. And he's willing to work it out with me. That's all I ask.

So.. pray for patience for me.

Pray for the drugs to work and for my support system to not only support, but for me to be able to accept it.

Tonight when I had my "off time." I had a hard time. I wanted to go to him. I wanted to say "no no.. I have him." but I didn't. The frustration of the morning was fresh. And I knew it would be another long night.

So I napped.

And they survived.

Maybe with some luck, we all will.



Meghan said...

Just wanted to say that this post proves you are a GREAT mom and are doing exactly what Robbie needs...taking care of yourself.

I hope the meds work and things start improving for you. best of luck

Tom & Shannon said...

just keep hanging in there, Trish. i can't wait to see what your posts look like in a few years, when Robbie's out running and playing. What about maybe hiring a babysitter for a few hours a day? i did that all through college and loved it.

Anonymous said...

I have followed your story since Robbie was born...... I can only imagine your struggles. I have 4 grown children and know how difficult being a "single" parent can be. My thoughts are truly with you in all that you have, and will continue to go through. You are a strong and wonderful mother and it will all work out fine. This too shall pass !!
PS The Zoloft may make you a bit more tired at first and could take a couple of weeks for you to really get the "all is good" feeling from it. Hang in there.

Jenn said...

Trish you are a wonderful mom to Robbie. I can't imagine how hard it must be to go without sleep for so long. I really hope your three hour evenings off let you catch up a little. Hang in there girl and let me know if there is anything I can do to help! You are doing a great job with him!!!!

Elizabeth said...

You've done the bravest thing and I am so darned proud of you. Despite the feeling that the meds are a sign of failure - you put Robbie first and are willing to take them to give him the amazing mother that you already are plus less stress.

Hang in there, do what you need to and remember - you are amazing and Robbie got his strength from you. So when you look at your little man who's survived so much - you have been with him all the way.

Newt said...

Oprah strikes again! I'm glad she helped you make some needed changes. This sounds really great. I'm so glad to hear David is committed to a specific care schedule. You've got to take care of you, or you can't give the best of yourself to Robbie.

He's a marvelous baby, and you're an amazing mom.

Anonymous said...

please do not feel like a failure. Studies have shown that lab mice can not survive the sleep deprivation that a new mom goes. Help is a good thing. That is what it is for. You are doing an amazing job. A chant I had with my new born-this too shall pass- and it will and the memories will not be as painful as the present. You are going great.

Lorraine said...

Do whatever you can to make it through this time - and I agree with Meghan, the fact that you are working so hard to find solutions is a testament to what a great parent you've become.

And if my useless-new-father husband can turn out to be the world's most involved and capable dad, then ANYONE can. It just takes time, like anything else. It will get easier and easier for David, and that will make a huge difference for you.

Best wishes, as always!

Heather said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this, but I'm very glad you are asking for help from friends, family and the doctor. This makes you a great mom in itself and YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. I was one step away from where you are when I was on maternity leave. Let your husband help as much as he can with Robbie. When we had our DD and DH went back to work, every night when DH came home, it was his job to help her with her crankies while I made dinner. He learned this reverse cradle hold that only worked for him with his bigger arms than mine. She loved the feel of that on her tummy in the late afternoon (which was her worst time of day) and he'd walk around the house that way for 30 minutes and she'd fall asleep and I'd have dinner ready by then. But I still remember getting so frustrated when I couldn't seem to get her to stop crying. (((Hugs)))

Wishing you lots of luck!

e.b. said...


I just wanted to say hello and let you know I'm thinking of you.

Much love

Spork Fashion said...

The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to realize you need help.

Love you.

kitty said...

You will get through this and it's so awesome and critical for you and Robbie that David is part of this. I hope the zoloft is a tremendous help.
It does get better...eventually.

S said...

Hugs...remember this too shall pass!

Ariella said...

I just talked to my OB today about getting on Zoloft as soon as baby makes it into the world. I am going on it as soon as baby is here because I know I won't be able to do it with out them. I am glad you are getting some help. I can't imagine anyone in your shoes handling it better than you do. You are a wonderful mommy, you just need some help from your hubby. ((((((HUGS)))))))

chipz95 said...

I'm so glad David is finally stepping up to the plate and that your dad is going to help tomorrow! Go Trish! I think the hardest thing to say is, "I need some help here," but it's the best thing to say for your health and happiness.

Seriously, if there's anything I can do to help out, I'm just a quick drive away.

Take care!

AngelsAmid said...

You inspire me really. You've been through so much and it's been so hard. You're a great Mom. Just a tired one! I hear this time is hard but I keep believing what people say to me "it will get better" Hang in there (hugs)

Anonymous said...

You will do anything, absolutely ANYTHING, for Robbie, because you love him. That's a given.

Now you are realizing you must do the same for yourself. And you must let David and your dad and your MIL help - becaus ethey love you. Good for you, Trish.

I am extremely confident that you will emerge from this stronger than ever. And that's pretty formidable, woman. Loads of love to you all.

- HH/Julie

Anonymous said...

You are a great mom and you know how I know. Because you are asked for and are getting help. So many women (myself included) suffer with the newborn phase and don't ask for help.

I hope the zoloft gives you the relief that you need and so deserve.

I am not a SAHM, but sister was and the routine that her and her husband worked out was that on Sunday-Thursday night she would wake up with the baby and then on Friday and Saturday nights her husband would wake up with the baby so she could sleep. I know that it could be hard with breastfeeding, but maybe something to think about for the future.


Stacie said...

Oh, Trish. You are so hard on yourself. But, I do understand why. You know, I think the shame is more common that you would guess with us IF moms. When things are tough, we feel guilty because this was what we wanted and worked so long for! We should be grateful and happy and...

Life, however, isn't like that. I've learned that through my journey.

Parenting is hard. It doesn't get any easier because we wanted it so badly. I think it is even harder because we had the opportunity to romaniticize everything so much in our heads.

You are doing what is best for you and for Robbie. Zoloft should help take the edge off. Maybe David will start to man up and help out more around the house. If he doesn't volunteer it, demand it. I have often told my husband that I am "on break" and will just go to our bedroom to veg out. The first time I did it, Is.aac was shocked. Now, he asks if I need time to myself. At first, I had a hard time leaving the boys with my husband. Now, not so much. It gets easier after the first few times--for all of you.

Hugs to you, Trish. You are doing a VERY good job in a VERY tough situation. RObbie is lucky to have you.


Kim said...

I am so proud of you for doing what you need to do to take care of you. Don't be ashamed at all, you made an excellent decision and hopefully you'll see that soon yourself.

I was going to e-mail you my phone number just in case you *ever* needed to talk (about ANYTHING). But I can't find an e-mail button on your blog. So if you'd like it, just drop me an e-mail. I know that you don't *really* know me, but sometimes that can be the best kind of ear. I just want you to have plenty of resources to exhaust when you're feeling stressed so that you can continue being Super Mommy to Robbie (because really, you totally are).

Marley said...

You are so brave to post this.
Thank you for being so real and open. You're an amazing Mom and Robbie is a very lucky little boy.

Me said...

Some babies cry a lot. A LOT. And mothers of those babies are pushed to the brink of insanity. And they wonder what they did wrong and why their having so much more trouble adjusting to parenthood than so many others. But the truth is there's nothing wrong with them. It's just that their babies cry a lot.

This too shall pass.

Rachel said...

I am so glad that you decided to get some help. I am sure that this is the best thing for you and Robbie and your husband, and I'm sure that Robbie will be proud of your decisions in the future.

wanttobeamom said...

I'm praying for you. I really think that the plan for some medical help, some "me time," and some more sleep will do some wonders for you, especially the extra sleep... I agree that you are already a great mom for taking the steps you need to get help.

Please try to let your plan "work" even though it is difficult sometimes.

Take Care!

Chili said...

You're doing a wonderful thing for Robbie by taking care of yourself. I hope things start to turn around for you soon. :)