Monday, June 30, 2008

Population of Normal, Down One

Being a postpartum mom is completely exhausting, and not for the reasons you think.

I love getting up with my son in the night, especially since he only requires it of me once or twice. That is not why I'm tired.

I love taking naps in the daytime if I do find myself bushwacked, as my hubby is home and that is always an option for me. Again, not why I'm tired.

I love sending my older kids into the toy room when they come traipsing in in the morning to watch a "show." They keep themselves occupied and dad and I continue to snooze away until Austin needs us. So no, that is not why I am tired.

I am tired because it turns out that I am a completely hormonal whack job who likes to torment herself in the night.

Case in point: a few nights ago, as Brad and I riled up Austin for his now customary 8-10 pm "awake time," we started watching The Fugitive. A great, great movie and one that I have seen a number of times. I. Know. How. It. Ends. And I know that it's just a movie. But on this night, in this hormonally charged brain, I let it run a little too wild. The beginning of the movie freaked me out and I found myself getting all worked up over the one-armed man. I worked myself into such a lather that when Brad and I finally went to bed, I asked him to tell me a story so that I would stop thinking about it.

It didn't work.

I laid awake for quite some time, thinking of the one-armed man who was on his way to my house to murder us all in our sleep. (Except for me, I would be awake waiting for him and thus get to witness the killing of my entire family.) How I hate it when I'm psychotic.

Can you say prescription for Xanax three times fast?

I managed to fall asleep after awhile, but when I woke up to feed Austin, I found myself right back in the throes of a fight scene, but dear Harrison was no where around to protect me. Then the house noises started in and I kept peering into the night to wait for the one-armed man. After finishing with Austin and checking the kids in their rooms, as well as making a trip downstairs to make sure all was well, I finally retired to bed. And shockingly, the one-armed man never made his appearance.

Fast forward to the next day where I noticed a rash on my legs as I got out of the shower. Now, a normal person would think something along the lines of heat rash, since it's 100+ degrees out and maybe an allergic reaction to the new lotion I'm using. But no, not me.

Now I'm convinced I have leukemia. And I lay awake at night drafting letters to my kids for them to read on their wedding days since I will be DEAD.

Party of one for padded room? Check. Me. In.

What's weird about all of this is that I'm usually such an upbeat, positive person. And I still feel that way throughout the day. But at night, when I'm awake with sweet Austin and completely in awe of just how good my life is, I create ways to make the other shoe drop. Like I don't deserve this life or the good things that have come to me. Can someone get Freud on the line? I'm sure he could solve this lickety-split.

Luckily, the rational side of me knows that this is all hogwash and that I am indeed fine and right on track for a postpartum mama. I don't really think that someone is coming to kill me and my family and I know that my health is intact. Logically, I know that. But in the middle of the night, psychosis creeps in and I start making Britney look like my mature younger sibling.

In the meantime, it's exhausting. Exhausting to be so classically senile, exhausting to waste all this energy on bad things and morbid thoughts, exhausting to be in my head. I'm more than ready for the great hormonal flood of 2008 to come screaming through my body and wash away all this craziness, because while crazy and I might do okay as distant cousins, we don't do well all buddy-buddy like this.


Megan said...

I've SOOOO been there. My postpardum psychosis is also attended by irrational anger towards those whom I love the most--joy!
best wishes for the hormones to level out--SOON
p.s. watch the bachelorette at night instead of harrison

Anonymous said...

Don't you wish you could get Tom Cruise on the line. He could explain to you that there is no such thing as post partum depression. OK, so he's wrong. But I still like Tom. You can't hate a guy for being wrong once in a while.

Hang in there. This too shall pass.


Ms. Kristen said...

The last comment made me laugh out loud! I hate Tom Cruise, after his thoughts about Depression!
You know my feelings about postpardom......I HAVE BEEN THERE! I hate it! I hope you slip out of it soon!
I promise no one arm man will get ya! I love that your husband would tell you a story to help you forget!
Do you need some yummy cinnamon rolls, soon?

PRP said...

Geez, does this sound like postpartum depression? I hadn't even thought that far because I swear I feel great. Honestly. I just have some irrational thoughts in the wee hours....:)

Don't send the psych team in yet. I promise I'm doing fine!

Heather said...

Ha ha! This was hilarious, only because I'll be there in a few short months.

Sara said...

Karen, I love reading your posts and I feel your pain. I have had to stop watching all Law & Order shows because I sit and think about the show and what I would do in that situation until I am completely caught up in this make believe world of horror. No midnight scary movies for me sorry.

tharker said...

Even if crazy is spending a little too much time with you, it sure makes for some good reading!

And for the and Britney have NOTHING in common.

Sweet dreams my dear!

Kelly said...

Well at least your psychosis hasn't hampered your ability to write material that makes me laugh so hard I have to explain to Nicholas why I have tears in my eyes.

Watch a little Comedy Central and slap on some hydrocortisone'll be fine in no time!

Lack of sleep and hormones can be a tricky combination, GS is right--this too shall pass.

Michele said...

I seem to recall a BEAR/camping incident that was somewhat similar. And, I don't think that a symptom of Leukemia is a rash-maybe you have scabies or something:) more mild. I love your craziness and you are not alone. I am not pregnant and I do that to myself on occasion...completely normal-or we're both wack jobs!

debsters said...

It's all completely normal. Your thoughts are a combination of exhaustion (and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better) and a motherly, overwhelming need to protect your family. The one armed man just happened to be who was on your mind that night, but anything scary would have done it. The responsibility I always feel when my family expands is overwhelming. Here I am sounding like I know what I'm talking about and of course I probably don't, but you're doing great.

Sarah said...

The way you wrote this post totally cracked me up. I've had similar thoughts, and fretted over things in the middle of the night until I couldn't sleep. After Morgan was born I went through a bad patch where I felt extremely guilty about not spending as much time with Kendle and would go to bed crying about it. Totally NOT like me. Good news is it does get better, and something funny to read or watch before bed always helps.

Jan said...

When I had gone 11 yrs. in between having children, I really had forgotten those lonely long nights.
It made me feel so out of control.

We love you Karen. I hope the readjustment of your bodies hormornes passes quickly for you.

I'll kick Tom for you.

lindsay>boo said...

So curious about the bear/camping incident. And what is scabies actually? Is it like rabies? Do we have to take you out to the back and put you out of your misery like Old Yeller?

Ok, I always have crazy thoughts after I've watched a suspenseful movie. I don't think you have to check into the funny farm for that one.

I do know what you mean though about being in awe of how great your life is and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think it has to do with the fact that some of the people around us have been delivered some really hard trials lately. I know when I hear of other people's "stuff" I just feel so much compassion for them and their situation and I think, "how did I get so lucky because I'm doing well." Again, all totally normal and I don't think we'll have to call Megan's mom for an intervention.

Hang in there!

Michele said...

Scabies is a parasite that causes a rash, teated with a cream-no big deal...much better than leukemia and shooting is not warranted. The bear incident happened last summer when Karen was camping with us(I think she wrote a post about it) and kept herself up all night worried about a bear attacking her and her family. I was in an RV dealing with mice. I couldn't sleep because I kept thinking they were going to crawl on me and my child. Anyway, Karen, you probably have a rash from the sun. Please don't stay up all night thinking you have scabies. I was only kidding (which I'm sure you know). Also, you can't live life worrying about what may happen to you. When things happen, if they do, you aren't sitting in bed expecting it. My mom always said, don't worry about things you don't have control over. love you, m

Jacob & Annette Rose said...

Well psychotic or not you are still freakin HILARIOUS! I am laughing like a loonatic right now, only because I can totally relate. I think of stuff like that way to often, post partum or not, it makes my husband crazy! I have to sing the alphabet or I Am A Child of God, after watching super intense shows at night. (That usually puts me to sleep in no time!) Good luck!

Movie Queen said...

"It was not me, it was the one-armed man!"

After I had Payson I sat sobbing hysterically as I sorted through my baby clothes (to see what was gender-neutral enough to use on a boy) thinking that I was the biggest traitor to Macy for having another baby. I seriously thought I was a horrible mother to her for having another baby. Yeah, post-partum hormones are the best!

And Tom Cruise and his "psychiatry is a pseudo-science" both need to be kicked in the head.

Nancie said...

you are so funny. i did the same thing with my kids. when the sun went down i stayed awake crying in the night.

crazy freaking hormones!

Washington Rimmasch Family said...

Um, Yeah I am feeling your pain. The only diffrence is there is no way in this world Karl would tell me a story to calm me down.Way to go Brad. so, instead I drown my freakishness in icewater and laundry. Yeah sad sad sad. I hate sleeping in milk soaked
,peed and possibley pooed on sheets thanks to late night changes and feedings.(uh yeah I felt the need to clarify just incase you thought I was the one doing the pooing and such.See freak thoughts I tell ya) So, me and laundry have becaome real tight latley.Good luck I'm thinking of ya:)

polka dots said...

So hearing you on this!