All The man asked for this year for Father's Day was to go camping as a family. Those of you that know me may have just blown your drink of milk out of your nose at the thought of me planning a camping trip. Now, I know how to roll with the punches with only minimal meltdowns, so a camping trip I planned. I had only two rules. A toilet that flushed and a one night maximum. I lost on both accounts and began to obsess that one of the kids would fall in the vault toilets. Thank you National Forest Service providers.
Our adventure took us to Mormon Lake. However, due to an earthquake in 1988 which caused a crack in the bottom of the lake and subsequently drained it, Mormon Lake is now more like Mormon Meadows. No matter because with 78 degree weather and giant beautiful pines tress abounding, it was hard not to fall in love with the area. The kids had a blast sword fighting with sticks and making fallen logs into tables and stools to serve pine cone dinners at. The dogs rolled in the dirt and rivaled in hunting down the trail of scents all over the forest floor. And The Man got his chance to commune with nature. Me? I started and finished a book and committed only to a second night if I didn't have to cook another dinner on a two burner camp stove without any utensils. You know because who packs kitchen utensils for camping? That would be people who don't want to burn their fingers off trying to turn hamburgers with a chef's knife. The one thing from the kitchen I remembered to bring.
So a tradition was born. Six humans and two dogs in a tent for one giant adventure every Father's Day. Next year? I'll remember to put kitchen utensils on the list.
a.k.a the Chunk, Chunky Monkey, Yurtle the Turtle, Lilly Lizard
10 weeks old 12.7 lbs 23 1/2 inches Facinated by her hands and feet although, I am not sure she realizes they are attached to her Loves to "talk" with us Can usually be seen sticking her tounge out and is a wee bit stingy with the big gums filled smiles
Look at me all bloggin' twice in a week. Frankly I debated quite a bit on this post. I consumed a half of a bag of Sun Chips just writing the first two lines. Bob Greene taught me that on Oprah. You know, the whole eating so you don't have to feel or deal with your emotions. The bag of chips were delicious and I am ready to continue on. Eh, maybe a Twix bar first. Wait, those are gone, gummie bears it is. Being shareful is so hard.
After each of the kids, I have temporarily lost myself. I didn't know until after Caitlyn, and things spiraled out of control to the point that my marriage nearly fell apart, that I suffered from postpartum depression. I was prescribed a not so insignificant amount of medication and attended counseling for several months to put the pieces back together. It worked, and life went on. After Reagan, I thought I had the necessary tools to handle things and believed I could do it without medication. Then I threw the rice crispy treat at Nathan's head fully intending to knock it off of his shoulders. The next day I called the OB for the medication.
Normally the volcanic rage doesn't begin to boil until after I have the baby. But this go round, I began to feel it at about 28 weeks. I had a conversation with the doctor about it. Nathan cleared his schedule to be at the appointment to be sure all the facts were shared. But it was the holiday season and the doctor said that my desire to ram people with my cart in Target could just be the stress of the holidays. He wanted me to start walking every day to raise my serotonin levels and we decided to revisit the issue at my next appointment. We decided that for us the right decision was to wait until after the baby was born to start medication. However, the decision came with a few known consequences. Nathan took a few pot shots, I recused myself from interaction at great length with most people, and did my best to bite my tongue. Then exactly one hour and twenty four minutes after the baby was born I began the medication.
Some people believe postpartum depression is all in your head, and technically it is. It is an imbalance of the hormones and nero-transmitters in your brain that stabilize your emotions and ability to cope. For me, it is a lack of serotonin. The happy making brain chemical. For some, the opposite of happy would be sad, but I feel rage. Not anger. Rage. I get very irritable at the most minor of issues. Things like the dog licking his lips after he eats, or there being no toilet paper in the bathroom EVERY time I go in there. Yes these things are normally annoying, but during postpartum, they send me over the edge into the screaming rage. I can intellectualize that it is not normal to scream at people about these things, but I can't help it.
I also have a very difficult time making decisions and tend to withdraw from life. A few days after having the baby, before the medication had fully taken effect, I stood in front of the refrigerator sobbing because I couldn't decide what to have for lunch. Nathan decided to take the week off and pulled out the chicken leftovers. There are also several accounts of me staring off into space for extended periods of time, and other things that Nathan hasn't yet talked to me about because I still have difficulty processing things. Even now I will not make any decisions I don't have to regardless of their significance in my life, and no major life decisions will be made in the coming months. You probably won't find me in many large groups of people either since it tends to bring me great anxiety, and I find it extremely overwhelming. But there is good news, I now have the pizza place on speed dial so that I don't have to decide what's for dinner, and I do make a conscious effort to go out and be with my constituency.
So there you have it, the wizard behind the curtain. Normally I'm not this "sharey" with people. Hence the bag of Sun chips. But the theory is that if I talk about it, then the shame of it disapates and I am not left bound in its grip. And instead of feeling powerless, I can bask in the joys of the pretty great life I have.