This is about me.

I start school on Thursday. Well, school is a stretch. It’s really 6, 6 hour long workshops that take place every other Thursday until December.

I’m starting to feel really excited, less anxious about it. I’m finally doing something for myself and I think this is going to be the best thing for me.

I haven’t been doing that great lately. Emotionally, mentally, physically even. And after much consulting with friends and therapists, and a change in my meds with my doctor, I finally feel like I’m, slowly, becoming myself again. I’ve been feeling like I felt felt in those first few weeks after Max was born. Hopeless, depressed, and that feeling of feeling like a stranger in your own home, sobbing all day in front of your child. All big fat red flags that told me I needed help. So I got it.

I think the biggest thing that’s going to help me though? This class. What this class is going to lead me to, a fulfilling job. I need to be doing something fulfilling, something that makes me feel good and worthwhile. Now, this is not to say that being a mother isn’t great, and I don’t want to be doing it. But it’s not enough, or it’s too much. Does that make sense? Probably not. It’s too much being Erin the Mom and not enough being just Erin.

I know it probably sounds like I’m an ungrateful mother, but I’m not at all. I love my kid so damn much, my heart actually aches, and my eyes are welling up as I type this because I feel like I couldn’t love anything as much as I do him. But in the last 18 months I’ve lost myself. I’m Erin the Mom. Max’s Mom. I have sacrificed everything for Max and to be a stay at home mom but it just isn’t working anymore. So I’m changing that. I’m taking my life back, for me. I’m doing something that makes me happy, that makes me feel fulfilled.

The irony of all of this is the job I will be doing is essentially playing mom to someone else. A postpartum doula is someone who cares for mother and baby in those first few weeks after birth. Basically I will be mothering the new mother, caring for her baby, and educating the family on baby care, breastfeeding, and providing emotional support for mom. You can read more about postpartum doulas here. This job means a lot to me and I finally feel like I’ve found my place. Photography was always my passion and I always thought that’s what I’d end up doing. It was for a while and I still do it for fun. But this makes me feel like I have a purpose (besides being a mother and wife). I know I’m going to be great at this, and I’ve never felt like that before, even about photography.

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Up and Down

I turned in my application to the Birthingway College of Midwifery today.  But for some reason I feel pretty blah about it.  There was no rush of excitement or happiness that came over me, just a slight feeling of panic.  Like Oh shit, I’m actually doing this.

I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that since I fully weaned off the Zoloft on Friday, I haven’t been feeling great.  In fact, I’ve been feeling so crappy that I saw a doctor on Tuesday and I am now on Wellbutrin.

It was the right time to get off the Zoloft to rid myself of certain side effects, but I’m not ready to be on my own, so to speak.  There are too many big real life stressors swirling around right now and I need to be on my A game for me and for my family.

Since Tuesday I’ve been feeling pretty up and down, having highs and lows.  The fact that I also got a prescription for prednisone doesn’t help that (Prednisone can make you feel a little crazy.  Because I need more crazy in my life right now, clearly).  I got prednisone because my eczema is raging all over my face and my face is essentially falling off.  I look like an alligator with scales and blisters and it is downright awful.  The eczema is also attacking my right hand which I can’t fully stretch open or close because my skin is so dry and cracked, it’s just too painful.  The eczema tends to breakout along with emotional breakdowns, so hooray for that!  Because every girl who is already feeling shitty about life needs to look like a scale-y blistered reptile right?  Since seeing the doctor my face is clearing up quite nicely (THANK THE GODS), but my hand.  It’s a mess.

Now if I could only get a pill to fix all the other things….I’m going to give myself a couple of weeks to start feeling “normal” again (But seriously, I don’t even know what my normal is anymore.) because that’s when the new meds should kick in.  Until then, bear with me on this seemingly never ending pity party.

Losing it

Well, now is the time I want to scream and run far far away.  Everything is happening at once and I’m trying reallyreallyreally hard to handle it without flipping out but I’m just about at the end of my rope.

The boy won’t nap, Rob surprised me with having to work today, the in-laws moved out this morning but are still going to be sleeping here through the weekend because their new bed won’t be ready until after the weekend.  And I have to throw a party inside (of course it would pour all fucking weekend) where there are still boxes and piles of crap strewn about the house.

I had a vision of how perfect this weekend would be, and it’s all getting rained on.  Literally.

I keep thinking about how a year ago this very moment I was in the midst of labor and it makes me so sad.  And I don’t want to be sad, and I don’t want to feel this way.  I should be happy and grateful that I have what I have, and I am but things aren’t always perfect.  In fact things are rarely perfect, and lately things have been kind of shitty.  I know it’ll get better, but I just hate that I feel this way for Max’s first birthday.  Not that he’ll remember or anything.  I need to do something to get out of this funk.  I don’t know what, but it needs to happen now.

This is the shitshow.

***We took these pictures at the park the other day.  Why can’t every day be like this?

Morocco

I got an email from my mom a couple of days ago.  She’s on a 2 week long vacation in Morocco.  She talked for a long time about visiting Morocco, and she’s finally doing it.  But her going to Morocco has brought up a lot of emotional stuff surrounding my dad.

In 1954 my grandfather (dad’s dad), was sent to Morocco (then a French colony) for work.  My grandmother, uncle and my dad followed.  My grandfather was a Captain in the Air Force, as well as the School Officer liaison for Nouasseur and would later open a school for the Arab workers children.  They lived in Cacablanca, and unlike the other military families they lived in suburban housing.  In 1956 my grandfather was shot and killed by French guards in his car coming home from a night out with my grandmother.

My dad, Curt, and his father, Nelson, at the Roman ruins in Morocco.

My mom wrote about visiting these very ruins and how amazing they were.  When I read that she was there my heart sank.  I have been looking at these childhood photos of my dad’s since she left and the above image stuck with me.  This trip is more than a vacation for her.  It’s seeing a part of my dad’s life that we weren’t a part of.  But it’s good.  It’s like a full circle type of thing, you know?

My dad’s on my mind a lot lately, with my mom in Morocco and Max’s first birthday coming up and him not having the chance to meet and know his grandson.  This is just another one of many waves of sadness I’ll feel.  It’ll go soon, and it’ll come back again, and it hurts a little less and gets a little easier each time.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

I’ve come to the realization that things are going to change.  Yes, I’ve known this for 9+ months but it’s hitting me like a ton of bricks.  Monday night it dawned on me that the days are numbered for Rob and I being alone.  I’m so excited for what’s to come, but I’m going to miss it just being us.  I know our relationship will change and become something more fantastic than we could imagine, but it’s a little bittersweet.

Vintage Rob and Erin, summer 2006.

Rob spent the evening with me last night watching the Blazer game and went into work late because I had a bit of a pregnant lady emotional breakdown.  There are so many mixed emotions I’m feeling right now, and when it all comes up at once it’s pretty ugly.  I have fears of not having the same friendships after the baby comes, and losing touch with people and myself for that matter.  Rob and I talk at great length about how we need to make sure we have time alone-together, and with our friends.  I’ve watched myself slowly drop off the social radar, due to being uncomfortably pregnant, and I don’t want to become a complete shut in.  I know there’s a learning curve to all of this, and we’ll figure it out at some point.

While I have fears, more than anything I’m excited.  The anticipation of going into labor and giving birth and meeting our baby is sucking the life out of me.  I’ve cleaned the house thoroughly, and I don’t know how to distract myself anymore.  I’m actually excited to go into labor and give birth.  But I’m more excited to meet this little creature that’s been squirming around in my belly for the last 39 weeks.  I can’t wait to hold him and see what he looks like, and who he looks like.  I am so excited to see Rob with him.  He is going to be such an amazing dad.

I am so lucky to have Rob.  Even in the midst of my nonsense crying fits he keeps his cool and always makes my feelings justified.  He has been nothing short of amazing throughout this pregnancy.  He does everything from getting me milkshakes at any time I want, making sure I’m comfortable wherever I am, carrying my purse (he insists on doing this), keeping me fed, to driving me to his parent’s house at 11:00 at night to use their deep claw foot tub for a soak while they’re on vacation (only to find out that they’ve had the water shut off for the duration of their trip).  He’s come to every single prenatal appointment with me and held my hand through the uncomfortable things.  He took the Bradley Method classes with me, voluntarily read baby books, and refinished the furniture for the baby’s room.  He’s the most selfless, caring, genuine man I’ve ever known and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world for having married him.

Look at this guy.  How awesome of a dad is he going to be?  GAH!  I can’t wait!

This rush of hormonal craziness was brought about after we got back from seeing the midwife for the 39 week appointment.  Everything is looking fine, no real progress as far dilation.  Baby is settled nicely into my pelvis, which I can definitely feel.  Since Sunday I’ve felt like I’m getting my period.  Really cramp-y, and having somewhat regular contractions.  His heart rate was good, and we even got to see him on ultrasound again.  He’s flipped sides since last appointment.  Usually his back is along my right side, now it’s on the left.  I was worried about getting a cervical check this time around because I didn’t want to be discouraged about how little progress I’ve made.  And I wasn’t upset.  I felt pretty good leaving the appointment, it wasn’t until I got home did I find myself sinking into a downward spiral of boredom and gloominess.

I don’t know how to entertain myself while waiting anymore.  I wish I had a timeline for his arrival.  I mean, something more than knowing he’ll be here within two weeks.  I want him to come on his own time, but it’s really hard to be patient.  Especially when everyone around me is constantly asking “When’s the baby coming?”, “Are you going to have a baby today?”, or telling me when I should be having the baby.  I know you all mean well and want this to happen, but believe me when I say I want this to happen more than you do:)  We’re on his time, and I can only hope that he’ll be here within the next week.

I can’t help but play this song over and over in my head.  David Bowie always makes me feel better.