Friday, August 30, 2013

I've Had A Baby, Shout "Hooray"!!!

I'm 37.  I'll be 38 toward the end of this year.  I have just given birth to my eighth child.  He was huge.  They were all "big" but he was huge.  12 pounds and 1 oz (1.5 to be exact) and 24 inches long.  Him coming out of me was traumatic...and dramatic (that's a story for a different day/different post).  My body doesn't really want to recover and my mental capacities are quickly diminishing with each passing day.  In a nutshell, I'm a basket case (is basket case one word? hyphenated? what in the heck does it mean?).

I suddenly have severe ADD, or ADHD or lost-my-mind-where-did-I-put-it-I-need-(a)-cookie(s) syndrome. I guess it's not suddenly - it's been coming on for weeks.  Make that years.  I have always gotten some form of postpartum depression so it's not a shock but it doesn't really make it that much easier.  A little, but not enough to keep it from swallowing me.

My husband has been helping out by doing all of the grocery shopping (let me repeat that ... ALL the grocery shopping) for many months now.  I have mixed emotions about that but, again, that's a story for a different day/post.  He feels a great need for our school-aged children to have something in their lunch bag besides a crappy self-made bologna or peanut butter sandwich and a whole peeled carrot (I'm a total cheapskate when it comes to school lunches AND I force them to make their own lunches.  Sorry, it's called independence and the whole carrot is their choice.  They are fully capable of making carrot sticks - you know the predecessor to the baby carrot.).  So he has gotten into the routine of buying them cheap sandwich-style cookies (you know, like Oreo's but not as crunchy) and Cheese-its.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not opposed to sticking a cookie in their lunch when they're available (I've even been known to bake a few on my good days) but I don't feed them treats every day for lunch when they're home so I don't feel an obligation to do so when they are at school.  Interestingly enough,...I think it's HEALTHIER that way.

I've got to pull myself off the school-lunch track because that is not the purpose of this post...


I will probably gain 20 pounds just from sandwich cookies.  I'd probably eat less if they were too big to pop in my mouth whole (wishful thinking) but I go from the sink to the laundry room and my left arm shoots straight up and my hand dives into the plastic and comes out with 3 cookies...(plus one 'cause three are gone before I have time to acknowledge them).  Then I've got one in my mouth and I'm feeling the endorphins pumping through my veins and I keep walking to the laundry room and maybe even remember why I'm there once I enter.  Maybe.  Maybe I've forgotten and I need to return to the fridge area to jog my memory.

My dear husband gathered the family together a week and a half ago on a Monday evening and used a pamphlet on postpartum mental health to explain to our dear children ranging in ages from 14 down to 16 mo (not including the littlest one) how Mommy will be different for a while.  "Depression, anxiety, fatigue, loneliness...CHANGE IN APPETITE," these are some of the symptoms that he listed off and discussed with the kiddos while I sat next to him feeling  I didn't add much to the discussion.  We've been here before- after all, this is not my first postpartum experience.  So, why the insistence on having cookies on the fridge? We ALL know better!  Even (most of) me.

I have sane moments.  "I'm going to eat more healthfully for myself and my baby."  Green protein smoothie for breakfast, snacking on raw almonds and Greek yogurt sweetened with banana and wild blueberries, turkey roll-up stuffed with lettuce for lunch, stir-fry chock full of fresh veggies for dinner (because the whole family needs to be healthier, too. Right?)  Reality - sandwich cookies for breakfast followed by a quart of apple cider vinegar water because I feel guilty and I really need to get my bowels moving after a week of gut corking comfort/convenience food, sandwich for lunch (with creme filling, right?)...maybe more than one, followed by a green smoothie because I feel guilty for eating so many cookies, then for dinner I'll prepare something great (after all I cleaned the kitchen while powered by crunchy-creamy fuel!) while snacking on sandwich cookies to help me keep my focus and energy.  I'll eat a generous portion of dinner (x2) because I've already failed to the point of no-return and at least this is "real" food (it's probably tator-tot casserole).  It's a sad existence, a downward trend but by writing about it maybe
I'm "owning" it and maybe, just maybe the creative release will act as an antidote to the poison I have been repeatedly injecting myself with (figuratively speaking, of course).

Yesterday my 6-year-old boy came into the house from school, overheard me admit to a friend on the phone that I'd eaten all the lunch treats and fell completely apart to the point of crying himself to sleep on the couch.  So my dear husband went to the store last night and bought a lovely carton of sandwich cookies.  Thankfully it's Friday.  The school lunch sandwich cookie crisis won't happen for 3 more days...

My mom keeps giving me gas...