Friday, February 1, 2008

ms. moody

I wish I had something thought-provoking or even funny to write about this week, but all I can do is reflect on how &*#% hormonal I've been for the past few days. It's not fun for me, and it's not fun for Steve, and I'm sure it's not much fun for Daniel, either. Even though I try not to let it show when I'm taking care of him, I'm aware of being just a little quicker with the sharp tone of voice if he won't go down for his nap (for example), if he insists on pulling on the beads on the lampshade or pulling all my bottles of foot cream out of the nightstand drawer. As for Steve, well ... I don't like to play out the inner workings of our relationship on this blog, out of respect for him, but let's just say it hasn't been a stellar week for us. He mistakes my moodiness for anger at him, and maybe some of that isn't imagined. I'm holding on to resentments that probably aren't that big but feel big in the heat of it. Little things irritate me. Even if they have nothing to do with him, I end up taking it out on him in, and he's confused, walking on eggshells. I don't know what to do.

Yesterday was awful. I was crying about everything. I had an appointment with a physical therapist, and I'm sure she and her staff wrote me off as a complete basket case. I cried when I had to sign a form saying I'd pay for my treatment even if my insurance didn't cover it. I cried when I tried to make a quick call to the insurance company to double-check on my benefits because they are so ridiculously unhelpful. I cried when filling out the paperwork made me late for my appointment and the therapist told me I'd have to have an "abbreviated" visit because she had another appointment in 20 minutes, as if they think I have nothing better to do with my time than arrange for childcare and drive 20 minutes each way to Maplewood. I cried when the babysitter called in the middle of the appointment and told me Daniel was inconsolable, and I could hear his cries in the background and over the phone when she put him on for me to talk to him. I cried after I got off the phone and the physical therapist said, "Well, you have to take care of yourself, too," as if I had no excuse for being upset about my upset son. I cried when I learned I'd have to come back next week because it meant deciding yet again what to do with Daniel. I cried as I drove back to the babysitter's house because the whole thing had been so stressful, and I don't need this stress. It's not good for me, and it's not good for my immune system. (On the bright side, Daniel did cheer up and was in a pretty good mood when I got back to the babysitter's house. Thanks again, Jennifer.)

Then last night we added up all our expenditures for the month and found we'd gone over budget in almost every category. $150 over budget for groceries, and I thought I'd worked pretty hard trying to stay within our $400 goal. And in drawing up our budget, did we not even think about how we would pay for classes for Daniel, like ECFE and Music Together, which we are taking again this winter? We didn't even factor those in. Surely we are not that strapped for cash — Steve did get a big raise, after all — yet looking at the balance sheet last night made me feel that way. I came away feeling so pissed off and glum, and it sent me into another tailspin, and when Steve went to the gym like he always does on Thursday nights, I wasn't in the mood to try to get Daniel to bed — he fights it so much, and I just didn't have the energy — so we just sat up and watched the new Eli Stone show (but not Lost, which I may try to get on DVD and catch up from the beginning). So Daniel didn't get to sleep until 10:30, and then he was up again at midnight screaming about something he couldn't articulate, and he ended up spending the rest of the night sleeping between us, which he's done for the past week or two, which is fine with me and probably warmer for him.

If it weren't for the fact that I'm pregnant and that these emotional ups and downs (mostly downs) are supposed to be par for the course, and that it's the dead of winter to boot, I'd consider the possibility that some counseling might be in order. God, I hope I start to feel better soon. On the plus side, I've actually been more at peace with the cold weather this week. Even Wednesday, when we left the house on a 13-below morning, I felt OK. It was cold, but it was sunny, and the sky was blue, and that did wonders for my spirit. Just a little sunshine ...


Monkeymama said...

Your post sounds like something I might have written about a month ago. I hate it when I feel like my emotions are out of control - I get so frustrated or upset and know I'm overreacting but can't do anything about it.

It will pass. Steve and Daniel know that too.

We always are on a big budget kick at the start of a new year and so the end of Jan. has me frustrated at where the money goes and worried, but that tends to work out too. I'm dealing with some envy when I hear my new friends here talking about things that are normal expenses to them that we couldn't dream of affording at this point.

Do you like the Sears vaccine book? We got it to prepare for Joseph's shots and I found it to be the clearest I've read on the topic. It's helped me get a better idea of the nuts and bolts of the topic.

You and all my pregnant friends are in my nightly prayers.

Anonymous said...

Foot cream in the nightstand drawer - a trait you've inherited from Mom (like many women, I'm sure).

Interesting to see you use the work "balance sheet;" you probably learned it from Steve. It's an accounting term.

Man, I wish I knew what else to say. I know I've vented lots to you, Em, and your patient, kind responses have always made me feel better. I wish I could say something to return all you've done for me in terms of listening. Yes, your situation sucks. I'm sure the uncertainty of the cancer probably intensifies your pregnancy-related hormonal mood swings.

Sometimes, when I've just vented to you and you write back with something comical, I laugh about it even years later.

- Susanne

Anonymous said...

Hi Emilie,

Sorry to hear that you've had a few crappy days. We've all been there, so don't judge yourself too harshly!

If your physical therapy appointment is on Tuesday or Wednesday next week, I can babysit Daniel. Let me know.

Take care,


Jo on the go said...

Oh, yeah, cut yourself some slack! I can't imagine how you're dealing with everything you're dealing with right now and haven't completely gone over the edge of the looney bin. You deserve to be pissed off and moody sometimes, and having a crying jag or five isn't the end of the world. Those physical therapy people need to lighten up.
Maybe if Steve is off tomorrow, he and Daniel should have some boy time and you should RELAX. Soak in the tub, read a book, do your nails, etc.
Feel better!

LutherLiz said...

I'm sorry that you've been feeling out of sorts and hormonal lately. I know that your family and friends understand that much of that is because of all the crazy hormones and stresses of a one year old.

I'd be happy to come over next week if I'm free and babysit Daniel while you go to physical therapy. Let me know if you need me! And it will get better. It will get warmer and in just a few months you'll meet a beautiful miracle baby boy which will make a few bad weeks look like a distant memory.

Kelley said...

Hi, there! You don't know me..I'm a friend of Liz's and I link over to read your blog from hers. Not sure why I regularly read blogs of people I don't know...but it's fun! And Daniel's adorable.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I've been there, too (along with everyone else, I'm sure). One of my closest friends used to cry at almost every OB visit because the parking garage was just too much stress. And when I was maybe 8 months pregnant with my now-22 month old, I went to see another (extremely nice) OB for a much-needed and very useful second opinion. I cried through the whole appointment, and when I left she sent me home with all sorts of post-partum depression literature, a psych referral(!), and a stern admonition NOT TO IGNORE my obviously severe depression! I was like, wait, don't you see pregnant women every day? Should my reaction seem NORMAL to you?!

The psychiatrist she referred me to was booked, so I just ignored it and continued to cry for most of the rest of the pregnancy. It cleared up as soon as Eryn was born, of course, and as luck would have it, I didn't suffer from any PPD. Beyond the usual parental exhaustion and hormonal rollercoaster, that is! Anyway, I know you know that it will go away, and you certainly have more on your plate than I did, but I thought it might make you feel better to think about people you don't even know who felt much the same.

Best wishes, Kelley

Missy said...

I'm sorry to hear you are having a rough few days. I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to be at your PT appointment and get that phone call. Is there any chance you can switch to a place closer to home - and that maybe is more patient and understanding? There are a lot of PT places right in my suburb (I've tried a few) so you might have some luck... Hang in there, it will get easier!

Emilie said...

Thanks for your nice words, everyone, and for the offers to babysit. Steve is going to watch Daniel for next week's appointment, so we're set for the moment. Daniel, for some reason, has been having some trouble being left with a babysitter. He had done OK in the past, but lately he's been getting more upset about it. We'll see how it goes.

Kelley, thanks for writing! I recognize your name (and Eryn's) from Liz's blog, and I think I've peeked in at yours, too. (Didn't you move to Portland recently? It's my hometown!)

Sarah, I think the new Sears book is interesting, too - particularly the information about aluminum and suggestions for a schedule that cuts down on the amount of aluminum received in any one visit. I'm not sure I agree completely with his suggested vaccination schedules, but I'm really glad he advocates each family making decisions for themselves and not blindly following the CDC's schedule (which I think was put together to make sure all babies get as many shots as possible in their early years when they're still going to well-baby visits). I have a real problem with the one-size-fits-all approach, and I think Sears appreciates that different families have different comfort levels with how they vaccinate their kids.

Ahuva Batya said...

I'm so sorry, Em. I can only imagine what your hormones are putting you through right now. Just remember how much you all love each other and even when it seems grim and like you (or anyone else) can't tolerate it, they love you and they will be there to help you through this down. This too shall pass. (HUGS)

Ellen said...

Hi Em, I hope you're feeling better today. I wish I could be there to help. I would be pissed too if someone used the word "abbreviated" on me. You can't help the way you feel and don't be hard on yourself for it, but your anxiety is definitely telling you something. I think the best medicine is to take a day off and refresh yourself. Leave child with daddy and do something that makes you feel good. Get a manicure, browse a book store, visit the museum, see a movie, buy something cute for summer, get together with some friends for a good laugh or just take a long nap or bath. Or some or all of the above! Whatever would work for you. If the feelings are pressing, it may help to modify things a little bit and maybe schedule regualar periods of alone time, at least until the baby is born. Even if it's just for a few hours one night a week after Steve gets home or every Saturday morning to get reenergized. Just little sister's unsolicited advice!