Christmas was nice. The kids were adorable. Charlotte obviously mostly slept through it, but Robbie had a great time. He was a little frustrated that he had to keep putting toys down to open more presents, but you know.. first world problems!
My mother-in-law and brother-in-law, as well as my dad all joined us in the morning for gift opening and then a big lunch. Everyone had a good time watching Robbie with his stuff and we even managed to genuinely surprise my brother in law (who is a great guy) with his gift (a pack of baseball tickets) which was fun. These days we rarely get to really surprise anyone.
They had also all had Christmas Eve dinner with us (we always do something low-key and casual. This year was taco salad.) and we just hung out and chatted and played with the kids. It was nice.
Unfortunately my brain apparently didn't get the message that I was HAPPY. Each night, a little anxiety rolled in. Friday was pretty minor and only lasted about an hour. Saturday it lasted several hours, but was low level. Sunday was an hour but pretty severe. Last night wasn't too bad.
Today was a doozy. The day started with some confusion with my mother's helper. She didn't come today as I had expected. (We had a miscommunication. She's a fantastic girl and very reliable.) That should be no big deal, but between the change in plans and being worried about her, I spent a good hour this morning just feeling jittery and anxious. I ended up calling my dad and just talking through it.
This afternoon I had my 6 week postpartum check with my OB and then dinner with friends. The doctor's appointment went really well. She wrote for Diflucan for my maybe-thrush, did my PAP, answered a few questions, but mostly we cooed over the kids. Charlotte's middle name actually came from the phlebotomist in the office and she finally got to meet her namesake. It was super fun. (Yes, I know. I'm a freak who has fun at OB appointments.)
Dinner was also fun. It was a couple of preemie mom friends, one of whom lives in Seattle and we had a nice conversation, decent food and excellent ice cream.
Unfortunately towards the end of dinner, I could feel the anxiety trying to creep in. All the way home, I tried to self-talk myself through it. It's just anxiety, it's not real. It's a chemical reaction in the body, nothing is wrong. Everything is fine, it's just a misfiring of something in the brain. Take deep breaths. Relax. Relax. Relax. It didn't work.
I came home, tucked Robbie into bed and then headed for the bathtub. Charlotte was fed and sleeping soundly (way to go, David!) so I was free for a bit. I laid in the tub and tried to read. Usually that's a good way to shut off my brain, but tonight it wasn't working. I couldn't focus on my book and the bath started off too hot and ended up too cold and my brain kept wondering if Charlotte was okay. (even though I could both see and hear her from where I was.) Anxiety is not reasonable. I prayed. I repeated some comforting phrases. It did not work.
I got out and tried to physically shake it off. No go. I went and asked David to come lay with me because I was feeling anxious. My amazing husband just said "uh oh" and hopped up to come help me. He rubbed my back a while but I ended up feeling more tense, not less. I got up and jogged in place, trying to burn the energy off. Sometimes that helps. No luck.
By this time, Charlotte needed to be fed. I tried to focus myself and sat down to nurse her. I asked David to just talk to me. Tell me anything, just distract my brain. David's not really one to blather on but he did just that. And finally I could feel it ease a little. If he'd stop talking, it would creep back up, but eventually is started to ease. Total duration nearly 3 hours.
Three hours is a long time to sweat and shake and feel your heart pound. And that's after the hour or so this morning. It freaking sucks. And I don't know WHY. Yes, today was not a usual day, but most of the time, being about to get out of the house helps, not hurts. So I don't know.
I discussed the anxiety with my doctor today, of course. I told her it had been much better last week, but then bad again this weekend. But still trending upward. She wants me to go back in a month to reevaluate, but call if things get worse. I'm not ready to say I need to call yet, but this isn't a trend I'm enjoying right now.
I was thinking tonight that maybe I should have my thyroid checked. Anxiety can be a symptom of thyroid issues and pregnancy can cause them. It's probably a long shot, but I'm feeling desperate. It's probably "just" hormonal, but I just want something to FIX me. I'm sick of this.
David assures me that I'm being a good mom even when I'm in the midst of the worst of it, but I don't FEEL like one when it's going on. I'm 6.5 weeks postpartum and I really just want to leave behind the worry and stress of pregnancy. I just want to get on with enjoying my children.
So, if you're still up for some praying, I could use a few more. We need more days like last week and NO more like today. And while you're at it, think some good thoughts for my nipple. Hoping this round of Diflucan does the trick.
And so as not to end on a down note, how about a few Christmas pictures?
Note the blue lips of Gentian Violet.
Robbie on his new cell phone.
Grandpa helping open a present.
The classic "picture of you, taking picture of me taking a picture of you."
Hugs for sissy.
Hang on, just let me check my email real quick...
I love you, Charlotte.