Grumpy Day turned peaceful…

What do you do when you wake up feeling like crap and have a 10 month old waiting for you to get on with the day?

Today I woke up and just felt awful. Physically. Mentally. And guess what? My daughter woke up in the same state. I didn’t think we slept poorly last night, but obviously someone didn’t send that memo to my body.

So, with the urgings of Sunshine, I dragged my ass out of bed. The rest of the morning continued on in a grumpy fashion. I was totally out of it with little energy… often on the verge of tears, and I could not decipher why Sunshine didn’t want to eat breakfast, wanted to be held, then would squirm to get out of my arms…. then promptly get mad because I set her down. Sigh. Within fifteen minutes after waking she started showing signs that she was ready for a nap. Yet, that nap would not happen at home. Even wrapped up in a sling and carried around she refused to nap. Oh, Lord. Help me! I thought.

So, while refusing to nap, but so obviously needing it, I decided on the only proper recourse I had. I needed to get said grumpy kid in the car to go somewhere. Didn’t matter where, just somewhere. She tends to be content in the car. I decided, with the news that there were new clouded leopard cubs at the zoo, that we should venture out there and thus walk around and get some fresh air. With a destination in place… Sunshine was asleep before we left our driveway.

Once at the zoo, she was still asleep, so I sat and read a book until she woke up. After we went for a walk and visited the animals and had a fun time. She slept on the way home as well. Now, she is in a right happy state…. while I am still dragging my ass. Well, at least one of us is content. If only I could sleep walk or perhaps watch Sleeping Beauty and live vicariously thru those efforts?

Even though we had a tough start, we are peaceful right now. I will take that peace and roll with it. We have Pride and Prejudice (BBC version) going on in the back ground while I race (crawl) around on the floor and Sunshine chasing me. I will hold on to this moment… relish it. Enjoy it. And pray for some better sleep when I get home from choir tonight! Until then, I will find ways to giggle!

Manic Monday: Power of Sleep

This Monday I dedicate this post to myself. For almost 10 months I have had severe sleep deprivation, but have hung on, clung to, and gripped for dear life to my sanity so that I may be a better mother to my daughter, and continue to nurse her. Almost 10 months! I didn’t know if I would be able to be a good  parent for a few days or few months while on medications, let alone off of them in order to nurse. I am doing pretty well. While I am not able to dedicate as much time to blogging as I would like, I can at least focus on some good things every once in awhile.

My Life Today

Over the years I have learned more about the restorative powers of sleep. What is more important is how bad sleep, or lack of sleep, would cause me to cycle more.

This is different for everyone, with or without a mental illness. Being an ultradian cycler (swinging back and forth from happy to sad several times a day) lack of sleep would either send me into depression or my hypermania would become worse and my cycling would speed up to swinging several times an hour. An exhausting way to live. Often my medications compacted or made side effects worse.

What is important to note is that hypermania often induced insomnia. Can we call it a vicious circle? So sleep medications were given regularly. Usually an antipsychotic. My anxiety shoots sky high if I didn’t get good sleep. I believe this is still true… if I don’t get sleep than I tend to worry. Sometimes worrying about the fact I didn’t get good sleep. (Stupid, I know. But I had to perseverate on something, right?) In the past, I would be unable to get out of bed let alone the house. It was scary and detrimental to my ability to work.
So, to say sleep is important is really too simple. There are many studies sighting the effects of lack of sleep on mental illness, or mental illness effecting lack of sleep.  Either way, it is important to note that my lack of sleep has reduced me to blethering idiot and crying fits at times.  Compound this with bordering on post partum psychosis. In fact, lack of sleep might be the root cause of post partum psychosis. I thought I would provide some information regarding this issue, in case anyone would be interested in learning more.

Sleep Loss and PostPartum Psychosis “It is argued that sleep loss resulting from the interaction of various putative causal factors may be the final common pathway in the development of psychosis in susceptible women. Clinical significance of these findings, including strategies to prevent postpartum psychosis, are discussed and suggestions are made for future research directions.” Sharma, V. and Mazmanian, D. (2003), Sleep loss and postpartum psychosis. Bipolar Disorders, 5: 98–105. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-5618.2003.00015.x

Canadian Medical Association Journal “The only possible exception is puerperal psychosis, which emerges much more often in women with a personal or family history of a bipolar affective disorder than in women without, a finding that probably explains the reluctance of some researchers to recognize puerperal psychotic episodes as distinct from psychotic episodes at other times.” G E Robinson, D E Stewart, CMAJ. 1986 January 1; 134(1): 31–37.

Healthy Sleep

About.com- Bipolar and Sleep Disorders

Sleep Medicine Reviews

General Psychiatry Archives

It’s Raining Caterpillars!

Today was a Beautiful day in the PAC NW.  Sunshine and I went out to appreciate the beauty at NW TREK.

Dude. This hat?

Dude. This hat?

This was super special because 1) Sunshine slept a lot last night, and so did her mom. (SWEEETTT!)  2) Sunshine was happy despite the teething wars.  3) It was just peaceful and wonderful!!

Mt. Rainier, Bison, and lake at NW Trek

So, today I am sharing the pics of our adventures. It was lovely!  Plus, it was raining caterpillars!  How cool was that?!  Actually, not so cool. Some of these caterpillars were a little creepy.  I distinctly remember, as a child, getting bitten by a caterpillar that looked like these.  So, I chose NOT to pick them up.  My pictures aren’t the greatest.

Kitty!

So, while we saw bison, big kitties, bears, and woofs, with all the beautiful falls colors…. well, we just enjoyed our day.  I hope that you have had a beautiful day, and found something to smile at, giggle about, and hug!

Calipiter

Spiney Calipiter!

The Slow Grrrr…. of Progress…

She’s at it again, folks.  She has found her voice, and is using it.  What is funny is that Sunshine is growling at us for all sorts of things, then will go high-pitch-super-sonic sounding for new discoveries, when the turtle on her exersaucer looks at her funny, or when she gets super excited in the jumperoo. I am starting to wonder, “Are my ears bleeding?” Much to the detriment of the cat and dog, Sunshine has totally found interest in them. I believe the cats tail, or the dogs ears will be what prompts her to start crawling/walking/running.

Sunshine helping Daddy

Sunshine Helping Daddy

We have been struggling with her sleep as of late.  Trying to make sure she gets down for at least 2 naps, or a nap totaling at least 2.5 hours (like that ever happens).  Sunshine tends to take lots of 15 minute naps. She sleeps so much better at night if she gets good naps. If she rolls over and peeks to see that I am not there, she will then wake up completely.  However, if I am lying next to her, she is fine to peer under her eyelashes a bit to see I am still there, and snuggles back to sleep.  Doesn’t always happen, mind you. She is a glorious kid and is growing so quickly.  She has hit that “I’m distracted by EVERYTHING” process where it now takes me 3x as long to breastfeed her.  “Oh! Look. Squirrel!!!”  “Oh! Something shiny!” Also, at only five months she is fully entrenched into stranger anxiety. Although this is not supposed to occur for a few more months, as always, Sunshine has her own schedule.

So, I have been adopting a few more of the AP (attachment parenting) techniques in working with Sunshine.  She is happier if she is touching me in some way. Even if she is just holding on to a finger, or leaning on me.  Happy. As. A. Clam.  If I put her down to do something, not so happy.  Wakes up and finds I’m not there, full out terror.  So, in order for her to feel more secure and to let go at her own pace and not develop more anxiety (Lord knows she gets enough of that from me) then I will carry her around, and lay next to her when she sleeps.  We have been having her sleep in bed with us, because when she is not in our room she has night terrors.

Now, we thought of using the bassinet in her pac n’ play for her to sleep in next to my side of the bed. Then transition this away and around in the room as she gets more comfortable.  Last night was the first night, and let me tell you… I am tired, and she is going down for a nap soon!  We will see how this goes, how we will both learn.  Again, as always, Sunshine will create her own schedule and when and how she will get comfortable sleeping without us will be up to her.  The more confidence I give in her ability to choose that decision and not force my own decision on her will ultimately help her have confidence in her own choices down the line.

Sigh…More lack of sleep. With the arrival of new adventures and activities with Sunshine, it seems the remaining portion of my thyroid has not joined in the fun. This leads to less energy, not feeling well, and these terrible headaches that won’t go away and have been leading to more migraines. With the migraines, Sunshine and I just huddle up in bed for the better part of the day.  I am only writing on my blog when I can.  I am getting about 2-3 posts a week, depending on energy, time, and when Sunshine lets me. I am also writing on MU (Motherhood Uncovered) with a few other awesome ladies. For some reason the quality of my posts for that site are so much better than this one.  Perhaps this is the site where I publish what I can with the time I have, and for MU I have time to check the quality before it goes out?  So I guess this blog is the unrated “me” published musings of a new mommy, whereas the other site is a little more tame?  I will continue to write as my energy and Sunshine allows me. Hopefully in the coming weeks things will be resolved and I’ll get back to our regular posting schedule.

With that-  hugs and don’t forget to giggle!

Weirdest. Dream. Ever

Dream Symbols Website

Dream Symbols Website

So, I have to credit this post to Chantanee.  My favorite Thai restaurant that we went to yesterday, in which I ate Garlic Crispy Chicken (a.k.a. King’s Favorite Chicken)  and I was sick for the rest of night for some reason, and then proceeded to have the weirdest, fubard dreams, ever. Note: The last time we went to Chantanee, I was pregnant and had the same dish. Came home not feeling so well again. Have realized the pregnancy has done something to my ability to handle garlic. ‘No garlic for you!’

My dream, oddly, went something like this. I was in the hospital (Surprisingly looked a lot like Grey’s Anatomy “Seattle Grace Hospital.” Which is funny cause it doesn’t exist people). I was about to go in for an emergency c-section. (Again, odd because I didn’t look the least bit preggers).  In my dream, I knew I was having a boy, but no one else knew because it was too early to know the sex. Somehow I had my own super intuition thing going on, and was communicating with my fetus! (Why the F! would I be having a c-section then? In my dream I have this awesome narrating discussion with myself wondering about what was occurring).

I was on a cold hard table, and the doctor was placing this purple stuff all over my belly, and making a dotted line where she was going to cut on my lower abdomen.  (Again, totally weird because the doctor looked a lot like my daughter’s pediatrician).  I started to have a panic attack, this is not strange, but quite normal for me really.  I wanted someone there to hold my hand.  I tried calling my husband, who was somewhere in the hospital with our daughter (who looked to be about 3-4 years of age. She is only 5 months old).

So, I put on a hospital gown and headed outside where I could get cell reception. Because obviously, I am about to have a c-section, I have complete use of my legs as they have not numbed me, and while I did call my hubby inside the hospital, him not picking up meant there was no cell service inside.  Whatever.

I called my mother, and poof. She was there. Next thing I know, I am on the cold hard table again, and my tummy is wide open and I can see everything they are doing.  Out comes this little tiny baby boy, and then the shit really hits the fan.  (Warning: some might think I was on drugs from what occurred next. Honestly, I am not sure I didn’t take something last night. Lorazepam does that sort of thing).

My daughter, poof, appears.  She looks like a cross between the little girl who played Matilda, and the scenes of Annie Banks when she was a little girl, from the movie Father of the Bride.  She seems to be all glowy and says, “Mom, I have to save James. I will let you know when it is safe.”  She grabs hold of baby James (which is what we decided we would name our son if we had one) and poof… disappears.

That is when my mother and I are attacked by super villains with super powers.  You know the dude who plays Gambit in the movie Wolverine?  He has gone bad and is trying to take away my daughter and son because for some reason they have super powers.  (How this information just came to me all out of the blue, no idea.  But the dream had a lot of “poofing” so I figure that information was part of that).

Next thing I know, I am running through fields out in the wilderness. A lot like Lord of the Rings, really. I see my husband across the field, and then poof, he looks a lot like Leo from Charmed, and I looked a lot like Piper.  Then, what happens next?  All these blue smurfs emerge from the forest and yell “No, no, no.”  I am now one of those smurfs. In fact, I am Papa Smurf.  (WTF?!)  I shout, “Drop Leo.  They are dark lighters.”  All of a sudden, my hubby, Leo disappears, then reappears about 100 yards back, in the sky and he is expelled out of a black hole type vortex.

Me, as Papa Smurf, says, “Oh no!  He has lost his wings.” And I secretly knew, as all the other smurfs new, that the dark lighters would get him.  But what appears are not dark lighters in the shape of humans, but in the shape of wargs from Lord of the Rings.  (Yeah. Told you this was weird).  To my right, I see Storm, Wolverine, Beast, Wonder Woman, and Superman all fighting bad guys on a pier next to water. (Don’t have any idea where the water came from, let alone super heroes). Next thing I knew I had closed my eyes because I didn’t want to see what happened next.

When I opened my eyes again, still dreaming, I see my daughter and my son, who is now about the age of 2, standing close to each other.  There is this bad guy, who looks like a cross between a Death Eater from Harry Potter, and the bad dude from Extraordinary Gentleman. He is grasping his head like he is in some kind of inner turmoil, or maybe an alien taking over his brain sort of thing.

Next I know I am looking from the eyes of my son, who is communicating without speaking to his sister.  This is what we are saying to each other.  Sunshine: “We should help him.  We could fix all of this if we help.”  Little Brother: “We can’t.  We will change the course of the future.  We can’t alter time.”  Sunshine: “But we could change the future for the better.  We could help him find peace.” Little Brother: “We can’t. We could. But its better if he finds out on his own, Discovers the truth on his own.”

They grasp hands, my daughter who is 4.5 years older than she is right now, with her yet unborn/not-conceived sibling. There is a brilliant, glorious flash and they are gone.

And I wake up.

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Now tell me that’s not some super, weird ass, stuff?!! Where did my mind come up with this crap?  Well, I am saying this now: If ever anyone reads this and decides to make a movie from it without consulting me… I am claiming my rights! I will sue you for it all, baby! Who can combine DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Smurfs, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter/Extraordinary Gentleman, with Grey’s Anatomy?!  Cause this is my brain on drugs, er… medications and garlic. And I am f ‘ing brilliant. Even in my sleep!