Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sit back and unwind

I feel so much more like my true self in summer. I'm not one of those people who has SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder... I don't get depressed in fall and winter. In fact, October, November and December are my favorite months of the year! It is just that I feel free in the spring and summer. Free from being who I think I am supposed to be. Free from who I think others think I should be. Free from economic concerns. Free from drowning responsibilities. Free to pursue light-hearted activities. My laziness lifts in the spring and I feel inspired to find my passions again, the ones I left behind with the 70 degree temperatures last year. One of my greatest joys is reading. I don't enjoy anything more than reading a book ... and really just about any book will do. Fiction, non-fiction, biographies, poetry, literary classics, mysteries ... I don't care. It just needs to be well-written. I don't like books that are over-run with descriptive words, phrases, and paragraphs. Too many adjectives and adverbs make me start to twitch. Nature descriptions really irritate me if they run over a couple of sentences. And, I could do without romance novels. Anyhoo, spring and summer bring out the starved bookworm in me. I tend to watch too much television in the winter months, cuddled on the couch in sweats and fat fluffy socks. Once I begin reading again, I feel like my true self.

Another true love of mine is clothing. Not designer clothing or labels. I couldn't care less about that. What I love is a good sundress. A simple, romantic sundress. They are feminine, comfortable, flowing, and they can hide several fat flaws. Also, a good pair of non-binding shoes, like flip flops or sandals. The kind of shoes you can wiggle your toes in and kick off outside on the sidewalk or the minute you get home in the evenings. No bending over required. I adore sundresses and flat sandals. And that is about all anyone will ever see me wear in the spring and summer because I feel like the real tried-and-true Amy in those clothes. I'm pretty sure no one has seen me in a pair of shorts for the last twelve years. Maybe longer. I only sleep in shorts. Also, since I gave birth to my fabulous little man, my body no longer agrees with most of my old clothes. So, in the winter months, all I wore was sweats and pajamas. I couldn't fit into anything else. But now, oh yes now, I can wear my roomy sundresses and feel like myself again! Hallelujah!

So, this summer, I am going to sit back and unwind, relax. Read a lot. Take walks outside in my sundresses and flip-flops. Feels good to have me back again. Until next winter, "Welcome back, Amy!"

Sunday, April 19, 2009


When I went into labor in the wee hour of 4:15 am on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008, I had already been awake for nineteen hours. I had lain awake all night trying to will my contractions to start. I closed my eyes and visualized myself going into labor, repeating, "I am having contractions" aloud in my empty bedroom, over and over again. I had anxiety about not knowing when the baby was coming. I was tired of being pregnant and my due date had arrived. Therefore, I was awake when I felt the first slight twinge in my belly. Five minutes later, another one. And then another one. I couldn't believe it! I had willed myself into labor on my due date (I was re-thinking that decision later...)! I woke up my husband, who was of course sleeping soundly, told him I was in labor and we began timing my contractions. Five minutes, eight minutes, three minutes...kind of all over the place, but we took showers and went to the hospital anyway around 7 am.

By 10 am, I had dilated to 3 cm and the pain was pretty intense. I had now been awake 24 hours. I wanted to kill my husband because he kept falling asleep in the chair next to me with his head against the wall instead of holding my hand through the contractions. I understood he was tired, but come on! Did he not think I was tired too with no possibility of sleep anytime soon? I was beginning to feel very alone in my suffering. He was supposed to suffer with me! Not fall asleep! My family and my doula had not yet arrived and I was still in the big room with all the other pregnant women in pain - I believe they call it the holding area, or cell, as I like to call it - waiting for someone to take me to a private room. The nurse finally arrived to take us and as we are walking down the hallway to my room, we hear a blood-curtling scream coming from one of the other patient rooms. And when I say blood-curtling, I mean it was a murderer-is-pulling-out-your-guts-while-you-are-awake-and-cutting-you-into-tiny-little-pieces kind of scream. It was the most terrifying sound I have ever heard and would put horror movie screams to shame. Not exactly what I needed to hear right before giving birth. A group of people were standing at the nursery window, staring at one of the little gems, when they heard the scream as well. One of them looked at me as I waddled by and said, "That's not what you want to hear!" and my husband said, "She doesn't have to worry...she's getting an epidural." ... Okay, you know how in the movies, when someone says something is or isn't going to happen, it is usually foreshadowing, telling the audience that actually the opposite is or isn't going to happen? Well, in my lifetime movie, the line my husband threw out was big-time foreshadowing. Big-time. I, of course, just didn't know it yet.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'd give anything to take my son's nap for him

I love my son. I mean I L-O-O-O-O-V-E my son. I get teary-eyed when I watch him. I sneak into his room atleast twice a night to stare at him. But, you know, sometimes, I just want to put him outside. I think most mothers do, at one time or another. Want to put their kids outside. Just long enough to regain your sanity. Maybe get to take a shower or read a few pages of a novel or even brush your teeth. Or... to take a nap. Wow, naps are a distant dream... and also a constant pain in the ass. For instance, today my son had trouble falling asleep at his morning and afternoon naps. He fussed for about 45 minutes both times before conking out. I was babysitting my two-year old nephew, MP, today, as I do every Tuesday and Wednesday, and he was also taking his nap. He was asleep and I wanted him to stay that way. But, my 7-month old son, God bless him, was grunting and groaning and talking and screaming and scratching the sides of his pack n' play and refused to get still. He was so loud that I was sure he was going to wake up MP and drive me to an early grave. I began to get more and more and more irritated until I had to let out a silent scream and thought I might have broken some blood vessels in my eyeballs from the strain. I even pulled my hair out straight like I had been electrocuted. I am suprised I didn't end up with a fist full of dry, color-treated hair. I was so frustrated!!!! I wanted to put him outside. I didn't want him to wake up MP and I didn't want to listen to his fussy grunting anymore. Putting him outside was the perfect solution. But since that falls under the category of child neglect, I decided to make him a bottle after 40 minutes of hell and see if that would help lull him to sleep. I storm into the kitchen, ready to punch a hole in something, make the bottle, come back to my niece's room where he is in his pack n' play and ... I find him sound asleep. I made the damn bottle for nothing. Not a quick task at my sister-in-law's house either because she doesn't have hot tap water. The bottle has to be placed in a bowl of hot water from the microwave until it warms the milk. So, I leave the room, relieved that he is finally sleeping, but still way irritated, put the milk in the refrigerator and walk straight into the pantry where I eat six cookies all right in a row. Then I came home and finished off the last bits of two bags of chips and had a glass of chocolate milk. Not a healthy solution to my stress, but it worked in the short-term. Days like today, I love my son to death, but I don't enjoy being a mommy. Thank goodness we get to start over tomorrow.

My stomach hurts for some reason.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Nothing

I think every woman needs to talk about her birth experience, especially if it was a bad one. In my case, a horrible one. Some women need to get it off their chests in order to begin to heal emotionally and mentally. I know that I have needed to for a long time. And there are women who have had worse experiences than mine. Admitting my shortcomings as a mother, my fears as a mother, my experiences so far...well, it starts to break down the anger and make you whole again. So, here begins my next few blogs about the horrors of my birth experience, starting with "The Nothing."

In my last entry, I said that Max is my current purpose for being here on this earth. At this time, in the present moment. But, it wasn't always like that. I didn't really start to feel completely addicted to my son until he was about six months old. It sounds horrible, I know, but it is true nonetheless. It took me about six months to bond with my child. I felt absolutely nothing for him the first time I saw him. Numb. No emotion. I was shocked at the amount of nothingness I felt. Wasn't I supposed to be weeping and ecstatic, seeing this little baby who had been living inside of me for nine long months? Wasn't I supposed to feel blessed and elated? What was wrong with me? I had a c-section, so I was lying on the table, my organs I believe were probably lying on a tray next to me, and my husband brought my son over to me after the nurse did whatever it is that she does to newborn babies. He was healthy and crying, straight from the womb. I saw him. I looked at his scrunched up face. And that was it. I felt nothing. I remember screaming at my husband across the operating room to take pictures. I kept screaming at him over and over again until he finally had to tell me to stop. I didn't realize until months later why I was so desperate to have him capture it. It was because I wasn't capturing any of it. I knew I would later have no memory of any of it because I felt nothing worth remembering. It was like I had attended a big parade but was too short to have a clear view, so I had to have a taller someone take pictures so I could fully enjoy the parade in pictures later. Or something like that. Anyway, that moment began a roller coaster of emotional terror and desperation that lasted a very long time. For the most part, I think I suffered in silence, although my husband would disagree, and I know that my loved ones could tell something was wrong. But I kept most of it to myself because I didn't know who to talk to or even what I would say about it if I did find someone.
I have a headache. I'll have to continue this later. To all you moms out does get better!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Purpose

When I was a teenager, I thought my reason for being on this earth would come to me as an adult ...that I was here for some big purpose, that there was something big I was meant to do and I would find it someday soon. Perhaps that is part of the Leo ego, or just a genuine hope for meaning. I don't know. By my thirties, I had given up on this idea, believing I don't really have a purpose or a profound reason for my existence. That is, until now. Now I know, my purpose at this time in my life, this moment of time, is being a mommy. And I couldn't think of a grander or more impactful purpose than this: