Sunday, January 03, 2016

Learning to breathe again. Or at least planning to try.


Remember me?

You guys, I'm so sorry.  This little blog isn't forgotten, I promise.  It has just been...well, tough, you know?  Part of it has to do with telling Schafer's story.  I spent 38.5 weeks terrified I was going to lose her at any moment.  Remembering my pregnancy with her is really difficult for me - mostly because I spent a lot of it in a state of mourning.  Which, really, makes no sense because she's here and she's awesome.  But, still.  Thinking back to the months that I carried her makes me instantly anxious.  We didn't tell family we were pregnant until we had to, and after that it was really on a need-to-know basis.  So many good friends had no idea we were expecting until after Schafer was born.  There were no showers, no gender reveals (except for immediate family).  I didn't nest or read what was happening this week with baby growing inside of me.  If it wasn't for a few very close friends and family, I'm not sure there would have been a nursery (other than Banner's old one) or anything "just hers" when she came home from the hospital.

This is all very hard for me to admit, because it sounds like I didn't want her.  Like I wasn't excited I was having her.  And nothing could be farther from the truth.  I was just terrified of jinxing the whole thing.  Like if I got too excited or let my guard down - even for an instant - it would all be over.  She would be gone and it would all be my fault...again.

And then they ended up having to take Schafer earlier than anticipated because something really did go wrong.  At first they thought it was another placental abruption, but it ended up being even more rare (or so I'm told).  My amnion separated from my chorion, and it's apparently a miracle they caught it when they did.  Regardless, though, I've never been so scared in my life, but she defied all odds like she had all along and came out screaming mad and perfectly healthy.

I spent the first day and a half of her life in a state of relaxed bliss.  I had my healthy baby girl, and all was right with the world.  I could breathe for the first time in months.  It was glorious.

Annnnnnd then the panic attacks started.

Luckily, they didn't last long and I was able to power through them without medication.  But they were awful while they lasted.  Even today - seven months later - if I think too much about my pregnancy or delivery (much less about my own clotting issues), I can feel another panic attack churning just below the surface.  Clearly, I need to deal with it all and writing seems like a good outlet, but - wow - is that easier said than done.

So, instead, I've been busy with the day-to-day, and - if I'm completely honest - surviving.  I have my two babies and a fabulous husband, and they help keep me going.  But I'd be lying if I said it's been easy.  My job, my dogs, my family's health, the lack of sleep...sometimes it feels like I'm being attacked on all fronts and can't catch a break.  In many ways I'm the happiest, most stressed and (definitely) more exhausted than I've ever been in my life.  I'm not sure I could be anymore thinly spread or closer to crazy.  And yet here I am.

(Yoga.  I definitely need to get back into yoga.  Or meditation.  Or, you know, a nap every now and again.)

That said I know things will get easier.  Time will help dealing with the events of last year less raw and painful.  I'll get more "me" time now that Schafer is (finally sort of if not begrudgingly) accepting some solids, and demanding less milk from her own personal dairy cow.  Our immune systems will get a clue and (theoretically) more than one of us will be healthy at a time for more than an instant.  It will all happen.  Slowly?  Maybe.  And I'll concede that things like the job and three very old dogs may have no "good" resolution in the long run.  But I'm working on it, because - at least for the moment - I'm an exceptionally lucky juggler and all balls are still in the air.

(Knock on wood lest those balls all come crashing down tomorrow.)

(Which is entirely possible because I suck at juggling.)

In the meantime, please don't give up on me.  I need this little corner of the internet more now than ever.

Here's to 2016, deep breaths and dealing with it all one day at a time.  Or at least thinking about it.

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