Friday, August 26, 2005

Are You Always At Home During the Day?

Today I finally was able to coordinate, get myself together, to have one of the contractors come over to give me an estimate on putting in a paver patio. The owner of the company came with his 'designer', so I'm guessing this is going to be a bit too pricey for us at this time. At any rate, as they are leaving the designer asked if I was always home during the day. Now he seemed like a very nice man, but I am sensitive to my SAHM status lately, and wanted to tell him, "Hey, buddy. I DO leave the house once in a while!" I mean what the F***! People still do see the SAHM as literally a mom who STAYS at home. I can't just stay at home; I go nuts.

I've been telling Jeff that I seriously need to go back to work. There was even a job opening at my old school. Jeff told me to do what I needed to do. Problem is, how do you find daycare, a GOOD daycare, in just two weeks time. You don't. I also believe I made a commitment to these children, and I must honor that. However, I believe a part-time job would be the best. Just how do you find a part-time job you love, that pays you enough to warrant working? I don't know. In my next life I'm coming back as a man!

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Special Day

Happy birthday, Mom. I miss you and love you.

Friday, August 19, 2005

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What It Means To Me

I know that I am a traditional person, but there are some things I just cannot accept. I believe that a child should call an adult by their last name, i.e. Mrs. Smith. I am not happy with Mrs. Bev, but it is certainly better than a two-year old referring to me simply as Bev. The other day at tumbling, a friend of mine helped Steve while I was feeding the baby. When I walked over there, I told Steve to say thank you to 'Mrs. Smith'. She said, "Oh, no. He can call me Jane." I said I just couldn't have him do that; I could compromise with Mrs. Jane, but that was it. It's the same thing in our neighborhood. We are kind-of stuck with having Steve call our neighbors Mr. Rick or Mrs. Jill, because everyone else had kids before we did and that's what they decided on. Another unfortunate thing about infertility. I would rather him call them by their last names, but I feel the precendent has already been set. I just think it's a sign of respect to address an adult by their last name, thus making the difference between speaking to an adult and speaking to another child. I just do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

And the Journey Continues.....

'It doesn't matter how many years go by, how much therapy I embark on, how much I try to achieve that elusive thing known as perspective, which is supposed to put all past wrongs into their rightful and diminished place, that happy place where all the talk is of lessons learned and inner peace.
No one will ever understand the potency of my memories, which are so solid and vivid that I don't need a psychiatrist to tell me they are driving me crazy. My subconscious has not buried them, my superego has not restrained them. They are front and center, they are going on right now.'
I'm always missing someone or someplace or something, I'm always trying to get back to some imaginary somewhere. My life has been one big longing.
Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel
Yesterday I went to yet another psychiatrist appointment to figure out if this medicine is doing what it is supposed to be doing. Jeff and I could tell that it hasn't been. I mean I am doing better, certainly better than I was two months ago, but yet not good enough. I have taken some comfort in the fact that I am seeing the nurse practitioner and not the doctor. That must mean that I'm not as screwed up as most of his patients, right? So with two kids in tow, I made my way to the doctor's office. I am always surprised at just how normal everything looks at the psychiatrist's office. Prior to becoming a patient, I thought I would see people where the depression and desperation they felt was apparent to all who looked at them. But no, I discovered that some people are just as good as I am at putting up the act of 'I'm fine, really, I'm fine.' I thought as I sat there in the waiting room, with my young children, that everyone would know that 'Hey, that woman is definitely suffering from postpartum depression. Just look at how young that baby is!' Since the nurse was running late, I tried to figure out what everyone else's problems were. I could figure out the elderly peoples' problem, but that was about it. All I know is that the woman sitting next to us looked like she was in a lot of emotional pain, and was looking for some relief that seemed utterly elusive. We are all alike in that way.
After waiting awhile, we were called back and I continued dispensing cookies and goldfish crackers and water so I could actually accomplish what needed to be accomplished at this appointment. I think Steve actually is beginning to love my appointments because it's the only time he gets so many treats. Well, the bottom line is that I need more medicine. The nurse went and got the doctor so he could explain to me that the dose I would be going to was very normal in his practice, and just how the chemicals work and why it is taking me so long to feel the way I am supposed to. I have begun to forget what that is. So there goes my theory of my not being so screwed up I needed to see the doctor. The funny thing is I look completely normal. I can discuss in-depth topics. I can smile and feel joy. Heck, I am just like your neighbors, considering that in fact you like your neighbors. But I don't feel like everyone else. I feel that I am different. I lost my naivete' and I wish I could get it back. All of the people in my playgroup have their moms and no one had to do IVF or IUIs to have their babies. The comments made are from a lack of knowledge, I know, but it gets in my nerves being asked again and again if we are going to try for a girl. Oh, and no one mentions my mom EVER. If you have never lost someone you loved that much, please know that it is okay, even desired, to talk and ask questions about the person's loved one. I mean it's not like we've forgotten what happened. I wake up every morning and think of my mom, and it doesn't always depress me. Quite the opposite, sometimes I laugh because of a certain memory I've had. And if the person does get emotional over the mention of the deceased, by talking to them about it you may actually really help them out of the bad spot they're in that day. But I digress. I just feel so different from other people. Like where do I belong?
As said in the last sentences from 'Prozac Nation', I feel like I'm always trying to get back to a time in my life that was easier, when I was happy, when the words cancer and infertility and postpartum depression never existed in my mind. I try to remember when I was last happy for an extended period of time. Please don't think for a minute that I am not happy with my children and my husband, because I thank God for them every day. I'm just trying to remember that time when I didn't wake up in the morning trying to figure out what kind of a day this was going to be.
I was an incredibly happy child. The first bad thing that ever bothered me was the death of my mother's mother, my grandma Grace. I remember thinking that I couldn't wait until her funeral because I was sure she was going to get out of that casket and everything was going to be to the way it was before. Of course, that didn't happen. And I have never stopped missing my grandmother. And life has never been the same. You know how the mothers of the family are usually the ones who hold the family together, well that's how it was with my grandmother as well as my own mother.
We moved a lot when I was a kid. I did go to the same school K-6, but I began junior high in Southern California. I LOVED it there!!! I never wanted to move back to the mid-west, but we did after the first quarter. Mom was not as estatic as I was about Cally. What still bothers me is that I never even got to say good-bye to my friends. I was on a plane the next day. I had nightmares for years about not being able to say good-bye. My therapist feels that might have been the first time I was heading down the road to depression. Maybe she's right. Who knows?
After my freshman year of high school, we moved again. This time to a very small town. I still continued to see my boyfriend from back home even though I was told I couldn't. My parents made it very clear how they felt about him. Well, I hated this town. It is still awful even today. I am not a small town girl; I'm just not. At any rate, I dated this boyfriend on and off for three years. My senior year things seemed to get better, and my boyfriend and I were back on. Well, my mother's comment of every time J. and I get together trouble happens was definitely true. My whole life was almost ruined. Afterwards, I woke up every day hating myself. I knew this time in was in a deep depression. When I talked with my mom, she told me I had to stop being so hard on myself. And then she took me to the mall. I wished she'd have taken me to a therapist instead. I never did like the shirt I picked out that day. Slowly things got better, though. I started dating a new guy and met new people. I started college the next year and immediately excelled. I was on an academic scholarship, and I maintained the grades to keep it which was good, considering I didn't have the money to pay for the college myself.
College was a good time in my life. I had moved on to new relationships and new experiences. I felt confident and proud. Life was good.
Two months after I graduated, I met Jeff and well, you know how that story ends. I began teaching and loved it. Then six months before our wedding, my mom was diagnosed with cancer and my world was never the same. To me the word cancer was just a synonym for death. Watching my mom through the five years she fought the disease, go through a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and more just sucked the optimism right out of me. And if that didn't, the fact I couldn't get pregnant did. I kept thinking,'Oh, my God, my mom may not live to see my children.' She did live to see Steve, but of course, not Ryan. In Prozac Nation, when she talks about no one ever knowing the potency of her memories, I feel that way. Sometimes a memory of my mom's suffering comes over me and seems to suck the life right out of me. I can't get those memories out of my head, and I know that this contributes greatly to my depression. And I am just so angry that she ever had to go through that pain, this woman who dedicated her lives to helping others. This woman who went to church and sang in the choir, who always seemed to be able to see the bright side of things, who was always there for everyone. The room mother, the field trip volunteer, the brownie leader, the nurse, the mother. They say depression is anger turned inwards, and I tend to agree with this statement. The problem is I don't want to be angry. I want to let it go, not just bury it and pretend it doesn't exist. Jeff says I'm the strong one in this family, and I wonder if that's true. I also feel like the author of Prozac Nation when she wrote, 'My life has been one big longing.' I long for the time when I wasn't angry, when life was good, carefree. I long for the days when afternoons were spent picking plums from the trees, of swimming and four square, and wearing purple shirts because purple was the color that year in third grade. I long for a time when I loved and didn't worry about losing. I long for a time when I took for granted that my parents would always be there. I long for my childhood innocence that was lost. I long for a time when I could hear my mother's laughter. Mainly I long for a time when I was utterly and truly happy, and oblivious to death and cancer and pain.
So as my title line suggests, my journey continues. I will come out of this one day. I will never stop missing my mom of course, but I will come out of this. This drug, this therapy will help me. Until then, I will be the best mother, wife and person I can be. And yes mom, I will try to stop being so hard on myself.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Short Update

I have found a class for Steve to attend one hour, one day a week for $38.oo! That's more my speed. It is at our park district, and he will have to attend this class by himself. Steve has never had any problems separating from me, so I don't anticipate this will be a problem. This class teaches pre-math skills, fine-motor skills, and a letter a week. The focus is more social; having fun. I still feel Steve is not ready for pre-school, so he's not going. I feel this is a good alternative. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

It's Starting Already!

Just for backgrounds sake, Steve's birthday is in the fall. In Illinois, the cut-off for entering kindergarten is September 1st. Most preschool's have their cut-off date as September 1st too. Steve's birthday is after that.

So now that I have told you that, I will tell you the dilemma I have now. Most of the women in my play group, and various toddler classes we attend, have children that will be age 3 by the time preschool starts in the fall. The few who don't are enrolling their children in the 2 1/2's programs that are very few and far between. Now even if I could get in, I do not believe Steve needs 3 years of preschool before going off to kindergarten. I just don't. If I wait until next year to send him, he'll have a good two years of preschool before kindergarten starts. The thing that bugs me is that I feel looked down upon because I have made the decision to keep Steve home another year. I do not believe he will lose out academically or socially by not going this year. Hey, I know the value of education, remember I was a teacher in my former life, but I also know about readiness. A child needs to be ready to learn or attain certain skills before they can do it. Pushing him is not going to make it happen. I just don't believe in that. Parents are talking about how smart their kid is going to be by going, but I don't buy it. And speaking of buying it, we'd end up paying almost $2,000 for the pleasure of having Steve attend preschool. That's for one year, remember he'd have three! I feel like the odd man out, but I have to do what I think is right. Heck, I've got a number for a babysitter. I got it Sunday. Do you think I've called the woman yet? Yah, I've got issues. We'll discuss THOSE another time.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I'm Talking About a Heat Wave

Being that we are in a lovely heat wave, I am searching for things for Steve to do during the day. It stinks for him because we are always inside just like we are in the winter. If we do go out, it's before 9 AM or after 6 PM. So we are bored! So bored that I took him to tumbling TWICE this week; they are oferring a pay for one session get two sessions deal. We are tired of the Elmo sprinkler, Steve isn't very interested in sidewalk chalk, and heck doesn't daytime TV just suck?!

Today my brother, the SAHD, called and asked if we'd like to go to the mall and do a return with him and his three kids. I jumped at the chance for some adult interaction! Then I find out that school starts in three weeks. THREE WEEKS!!! Where did summer go? I feel like we didn't get a summer because we've been inside so much.

But on a sweet note, my son Steve is the best hugger! I get hugs and kisses constantly, many times without even asking. I tell you, when I am feeling down that child can always pick me up. I love you, Stevie!