Standing Tall

Mommy & Sleeping Huck
This week I wrote a real live article. Like, for a real live y’know, professional thingy. And I get like, paid. How weird is that?

You know what happened? I procrastinated and procrastinated and procrastinated. And then I put it off. I couldn’t seem to find a hook, a phrase to get me started. I couldn’t find my voice, and if there is one thing I do…it is write with voice. But this marked a new avenue for me. This was real. Not that blogging isn’t. Blogging is very real and I owe it so much!  I take blogging seriously,and I work hard on every guest post or assignment. But this was, dare I say it, a JOB.

My insecurities were running at a crazy warp speed. I can’t write. I’ll never be anything. Why didn’t I learn a real skill? Why didn’t I get a degree? Why can’t I lose the last ten pounds of baby weight? I just worried and worried and worried myself into a hurricane of panic.

A casual conversation with a friend brought out an anecdote that just opened the flood gates for my article. The words flowed far past the allotted amount. I felt sick to my stomach as I sent it off. And held my breath till I had a response. It was good. The response was good!

I couldn’t stop smiling all night. I kept reliving the words leaping off the email telling me I had done well. And I physically stood a little taller. Confidence. I felt it and it felt good. It’s been so long since I was confident, really confident and oh my god it was like a welcoming back good friend. A friend that I’m hoping stays a while.

{Join us at Just Be Enough!}

Just Sitting here on the corner of Awesome and Bombdiggity.

{via Pinterest}

Yup. Today is my birthday and  have decided that in this, my thirtieth (again) year I shall simply be awesome.

Oh, I don’t mean that suddenly my head has exploded with ego…no, no. I am still the same insecure wreck I was last year. My brain is still a constant cycle of negative self talk and anxiety. I’m telling you it is a par-tay up in cabeza de Stephania.

However on this, my thirtieth (again) birthday I declare that this year shall be spent letting GO of at least some of that self doubt. Go Dog GO!

Because listen, I am not a size zero. I am not 6 feet tall. I didn’t turn out to be a super model. But I am pretty blessed. First and foremost; my boys, my babies,are here and healthy and just for reals the bombdiggity. Second: I gots me a hubby who is a good honest man and as an added bonus he makes me laugh till my eyes water. Third: Mumsy is awesome. Forth: we live with my in-laws. I know, not normally a blessing, right? But mine are pretty cool and we get to save money to move (soon we hope) and hey! free babysitting! Fourth: I am blessed to love The Boss’ preschool. Even if he doesn’t right now. Sad panda. Fifth: I am resilient. I beat an eating disorder just before it beat me. I moved across the country away from my home and friends and have slowly made a life for myself.My once much abused body rallied and built not one, but two beautiful babies. I’ve struggled with postpartum anxiety and am winning the war. Sixth: super awesome bombdiggity friends. Dub, WWJD, Miss Katie, and all my others. I am so very lucky. I include you, my ‘make believe in the computer friends’. I am grateful for each and every one of you.

For my birthday I declare that you are awesome too. BTW you look great today! yes, you!

Helter Skelter.

When you have postpartum anxiety, as I do, you can be feeling fine, taking your meds, and using the breathing exercises you’ve been taught and then suddenly its like that scene in JAWS. You know the one where the lovely bikini clad woman is happily swimming along and then is suddenly pulled underwater by some unseen terror. That’s me this week. Apparently the trigger is duh nuh duh nuh {JAWS theme} preschool. The terror is at night, and this time it’s rearing it’s ugly head in my dreams. The dreams, oh the dreams! The nightmares.  I was unprepared for this because my first go around with Postpartum Anxiety I never slept. Ever.  Even if we could get The Boss to sleep, I was unable to rest, watching him like a hawk praying that he would make it through the night, that he would wake in the morning. It was terrifying.

This time I have an equally sweet little baby boy, but Huck? Huck sleeps. Praise sweet baby Jesus. And while he slumbers, making sweet little baby sighs and snores, I’m having nightmares. The dreams involve a circular metal elevator with no walls and a boy falls from it, becoming trapped underneath. Or The Boss being trapped in a covered turnstile almost being crushed ( I manage to free him and then steal an ergo and babywear my 40 lb 3 year-old. I don’t believe we need Freud to interpret this). Last night it involved leaving a small baby behind with a clearly unfit caregiver as The Boss and I walked away in the dark unprotected into danger. Sophie’s Choice. It doesn’t take a CSI team to solve the mystery of where these dreams are coming from or why they’re occurring. The mystery of how to let them go is harder to solve.

I thought I had a real handle on my PPA this time. Once I started having the panic that someone had put Huck in the oven I took quick action. Knowing this wasn’t a normal level of panic made it easy to recognize what was going on and get help. I would hold Huck at night and tell myself over and over ‘He is not in the oven. He is right here and safe” much the same way I would repeat “Max is safe, he is not underwater” a million times a night with The Boss. The only difference this time is knowledge. It only took me from Saturday when I first noticed my symptoms till Monday morning to call my doctor. Last time Max was 18 months old before my doctor asked the magic question and it all poured out.

But I digress.

The dreams…what to do? I wake, sweaty and in a panic; resisting the urge to race into The Boss’s room and scoop him up. That is what’s best for ME, but not what’s best for him. What’s best is for him to rest. Even at 3 sleep is still elusive for my boy, I don’t dare disturb it. He deserves a mom who is confident and never lets on that preschool is terrifying. For mommy, that is. If he were to bring something like that up then I, as mommy, need to reassure and calm him. Even if I am hysterical on the inside.

I am surprised by this panic because I do want him to go to preschool. I adore his teacher. He is more than ready – other than that pesky potty business- he wants friends. He wants to play. I make a silent promise to him every day not to let my worry prevent him from happiness. I will not infect my baby with my issues.

It’s so hard! Especially when he talks non-stop of the roundabout and wanting it to go faster and faster.

Gee. I wonder where those circular metal images in my nightmares came from?

For now breathing in and out and letting my baby go, well that will have to be enough.

That and Zoloft.