Today’s Wellness Wednesday message is brought to you by ‘take your own freakin’ advice for once you douche’.
So yesterday we had our check-ups; me with my obs for the very last time. I was legitimately sad that I wouldn’t be seeing him again. I love my obs, he’s a sarcastic son of a gun and we’d trade stories from the front line.
I love him, but not enough to have another baby. DONE. SO SO SO DONE.
Mr. OT also had his 6 week check-up, with the amazing paediatrician that we fell in love with when Miss DP was in special care and diagnosed with a ventricle septal defect. He’s amazeballs. We switched to him after having a paed who would give me panic attacks if I saw her in the corridor of the hospital. It was the right move.
I was expecting to be in and out of his office in a jiffy, with him lavishing praise on the gorgeous little creature sitting in the capsule before us.
I forgot that he’s actually a specialist and it’s written into their medical oath to be at least 30 minutes late for each appointment.
So 30 minutes later I expected to be out of there in a jiffy with a clean bill of health for Mr. OT. Which we did. Kind of. The doc checked him over, and I mentioned that the little guy sometimes seems like he’s shivering- his little jaw quivers, even when it’s 31 degrees. So the doc looked at him further.
“Ahhh yes, looks like he has clonus”
Say what? I give him a half puzzled, half panicked look, while trying to remain cool and calm. No one wants to hear their kid has something. Unless it’s a ticket to MENSA.
Doc proceeded to explain in a very patchwork fashion what clonus was (I think hiding all the gory details for my benefit), but was quick to add that he was sure everything would be fine and Mr. OT would grow out of it. He also added “I know you’re going to look this up when you get home, but I’m pretty confident he’ll be fine”. He knows me too well.
I’m in the thick of newborn life again. And while I am LOVING being at home (I’d love to say not being at work, but I’m still doing two of my three jobs from home. Yes, yes I am insane), I do find these early weeks of newborn life are a bit like Groundhog Day. Same shit, different day. Get up, feed (well in our case, attempt to feed. The only time this kid cries is when he sees a boob coming at his face. The only boy on Earth to not want to be near boobs. I get they’re a bit used buddy, but shit, at least be polite and humour me), deal with bodily excretions, make goofball faces and get deadpan looks in return, play on the playmat (that’s me, he just sits there staring at me like I’m a dick), rush around madly doing the washing, cooking, cleaning and other kid wrangling while the baby is asleep. Rinse and repeat.
I keep saying it, but it’s been hectic lately. I can’t imagine why though….
When I say hectic, it’s not like it’s insane, but just that around-the-clock nature and needing to be a regular feeding station for little OT seems to suck the day away before I’ve even realised. Oh that and having to go to bed super early like a toddler to try and deal with overnight feeds- it’s cut my day down, as I’ve always been a night owl with my work and productivity.
So I need to say sorry I haven’t been around much! I was thinking I’d be all over this stuff third time around and I’d be getting posts out like nobody’s business. Because babies only eat and sleep, right? Riiiight? Well, they kinda do, but the eating sessions can take up to an hour round these parts with all the fussing and mucking about and general boob dysfunction. Yep, it’s happened again. Third time’s a charm. But we’ve got a groove cracking now, which is much better than the cracked state of my nips early in the piece. They’re like seriously scarred.
Anyways, hopefully I’ll get back on track soon. But in the meantime, I thought I’d tell the tale of Mr. OT’s arrival. Probably more self-serving than anything else. I love me a birth story. I love them even more when it’s not me pushing out a watermelon from my nether regions. Do you like birth stories? Are you all voyeuristic like me? There’s a good chance that I’m just a total creep. I’m ok with that.
Can you imagine living each and every day having to lug a giant weight chained to you? It might be sitting on your shoulders, making it impossible to stand properly. Or sitting on your chest, making it impossible to breathe clearly. Or maybe chained to your leg, making it impossible to move. It’d suck balls, right? Well often that’s what it feels like each and every day for people dealing with mental health issues.
Only we can’t see those heavy burdens that they carry. They look like they’re walking fine, talking fine. They might smile and chat, laugh and hug. But those heavy weights are there, and they can be suffocating.
Isn’t it funny that in 2015 we’re still so in the dark about many things? Many simple, basic things. One of those things is mental health. We’ve come so far, but yet still so far away from a cohesive understanding, and decent support for mental health issues. We still think of it as some weird, taboo thing, something many try to sweep under the rug, or discount as ‘not really being a thing’.
Following last week’s vomit of sadness at watching my biggest little lady wander around a party trying to find some acceptance, I put on my big girl pants (AKA ate my body weight in ice cream and chocolate and cuddled her to within an inch of her life) and looked at what we could actually do to turn things around for me her.
While we need to let our cherubs sort this stuff out for themselves sometimes, we’ve also got to be able to skill them up to handle it. Create a little bag of friendship tricks if you will. And given the main trick in my bag is wine as a social lubricant, I’m thinking I might need to go and revisit some ideas to help her out a bit better.
I think sometimes we feel like this stuff should just organically ‘happen’. Like a flower that just blooms all by itself in the sun. Or a rainbow unicorn that flies through the air. No? You don’t see them in the air? Shit. Could be just me sorry.
My first born cherub is all things sugar and spice. Truly. Not even biased. She has always been that little lass who sees the best in everything and everyone, she loves every.single.person that she meets. She will run up to people she’s met once and embrace them with the most loving, warm cuddle. She loves to be snuggled and takes such good care of others around her. Sure, she can be whingy, whiny and catty at times, but generally, she’s this warm bundle of love and is one of the happiest, most positive kids I’ve ever met. How she came from me is anyone’s guess.
The flip side to having such an emotionally attuned and soft child is seeing how others treat her. She never wants to upset anyone, and so often won’t stand up for herself. She’ll go with the flow, and do what others want to keep the peace, or to be included. One of my biggest fears for her starting school was handing her over to life- giving her over to the harsh realities of many a girl squabble and not being there to help her put the smack down on.
Yesterday I saw firsthand some of the things my lass is being subjected to. And man, that’s hard to take.
I recently received this email* and felt compelled to respond.
Dear Dr. Sash,
I recently returned from a conference, feeling pumped and oddly much calmer and less shouty than usual, having had my very first time away from my cherubs. My husband on the other hand was just about in the foetal position, having dealt with 2 days of incessant whinging, whining and fighting. Strange coincidence, no? Anyways, upon my return it came to light that my youngest cherub decided to help herself to a five-finger discount of a pink bracelet whilst walking through the shops on the way to get some lunch. She had a little handbag with her, and by the time my husband had even become aware of what happened, they were home where she was unloading her loot. Sheesh. The kid is 3 and a half for crying out loud. Is this normal, or is this the beginning of a Winona Ryder-esque klepto life?
Feeling more shouty already Mum.
*NB This email may or may not have been written by me. To me. The cherub may or may not have been my firecracker Miss SP.
Well, feeling more shouty already Mum, I can understand your pain. Hashtag facepalm. Stealing is an issue that can crop up with kids from time to time, and often as parents we get a bit panicked about it all.
One thing we need to factor in is their age, when working out the best plan of attack. Little ones who are uhhhh, let’s say about 3.5 years old like exhibit A above, often are still in that phase where their little brains are all about ‘gimme gimme gimme’. It’s lack of impulse control at its best. They want, they take. There’s no conception of the higher moral ground of taking something that’s not theirs, or understanding there has to be a financial exchange. They are starting to get the idea that you can’t take other people’s stuff- but things in a shop can seem like fair game to them. No one is holding it, it’s just sitting there, right?
Children. They’re adorable. They’re cherubic. They’re hilarious. And sometimes they can be total shits. Let’s just put it out there. I love my darlings with the fire of a thousand suns. I’ll defend them like the Mama lion I am if anyone wrongs them. But I know they’re not total angels either. And I know they can do stuff that just annoys the crap out of others.
It’s been a long day. I’m madly rushing trying to tidy the house, do the washing, unpack from work, get all the things done. And there’s this little noise buzzing around. It’s incessant. At first I brush it off, thinking I can block it out, there’s just too many things to do today. But it continues. Louder and louder it seemingly gets. Like that pesky mosquito that comes buzzing by your ear. You want to ignore it, but that sound is so grating and ick, instead you want to spend your time trying to squash the crap out of the mosquito.
This sound is much louder than any mosquito though. And it drags on. And on. And ON. I’m trying to give myself a pep talk to rise above it all.
“Ignore it lady. Shake it off. But not Taylor Swift style. Damn, now I have that shit song stuck in my head….”
But it gets louder. It’s following me everywhere I go. Not even a bit of Tay Tay can get me out of this one.
“Muuuuuuuuuuuuum. I waaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnt thhhhhhhhhhe bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuue onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnne. Itsnotfaiiiiiiiiiiiiiir”
Whining. From that little cherub that you spawned. That seemingly gorgeous face and angelic eyes spewing forth this painful, grating monologue of angst. Over nothing. From the wrong coloured plate, to siblings getting first turn, to not having the right shoes, to having to brush teeth (JUST BRUSH THEM FOR FUCKS SAKE. YOU WILL THANK ME ONE DAY).
It’s a killer, right?
I try really hard to move past whining. And I know what ‘the books’ say to do. But it can be really tough some days.