I’ve started this post about 3 times, but never finish it because something always seems to come up.
It always starts the same way though:
It’s been ____ days since I’ve slept more than 2 hours.
Today it’s been 5.
Why? Because my anxiety issues have returned, and with a vengeance.
Dumplin’ is sleeping well. He still fusses 3-4 times a night to be nursed, but I don’t mind because I’m awake and because I miss him so much. It’s seriously excruciating for me not to have his warm little body snuggled up to mine all night. I know we wanted him to sleep in his crib in his own room because Mochi is coming, because it was often uncomfortable being stuck in a breastfeeding position all night, and so that he could learn to self-soothe, but I miss having him close and smelling his milky face. I love that kid so much that it aches.
DW is also not sleeping, as her body continues to swell and her nerve impingement problems have worsened from just numbness to pain and lack of motor control. Sometimes I open my eyes at night and she is sitting on the edge of the bed shaking her hands out in frustration. She eventually goes downstairs to the living room to watch Netflix because she needs to distract from the pain and discomfort.
So almost nightly, the two of us are awake and doing stuff around the house from 1am-5am. All while Dumplin’ and the dogs are sleeping soundly in their respective beds.
While the insomnia is kinda comical, it’s taking its toll on me. I’m so tired during the day, and so frustrated that I’m kicking my feet and throwing tantrums at night in bed. My mind just won’t shut off, and worries about everything under the sun. At first it was about the Diono Ranier convertible car seat that we bought for Dumplin’ that does not fit into our Subaru Impreza. We both freaked out and decided that we need to buy a minivan or something equivalent in space before Dumplin’ outgrows his car seat (his head is about 1.5 inches from the top). R who blogs at Started In the Belly (and is a totally awesome person) even came over to help us, as she’s a car seat installing whiz, but the only way to get the seat in was with a seat belt install, an angle adjuster, and in the middle seat. While Dumplin’ is ginormous for his age (must be around 21lbs now at 5.5 months), his sitting isn’t where it needs to be for him to ride in the Ranier safely, so bucket seat for a little longer.
The next thing I started obsessing about was Mochi’s impending arrival. I am terrified of the chaos of when Mochi comes, as well as the logistics of who is going to take care of Dumplin’ who is exclusively breastfed while DW is in labour. I had grand day dreams of just being able to babywear Dumplin’ in the L&D room, but the midwives say that the hospital won’t let Dumplin’ be with us until Mochi is born and DW is in recovery. I worry about him being away from me for a long time, and for overnight because DW will recover better at the hospital (no dogs).
I also stress about my workouts- not getting them in, not making enough progress, my ball hockey season starting in a week and a half…. I’m 5.5 months postpartum, workout about 5 days a week, but haven’t lost a single pound since 1 week postpartum. I’m sure that some of my fat has been replaced with muscle, but I still have this poofy fluff above my c-section incision that looks and feels awful. I have days where I’m proud of my progress- my butt is rock solid and has zero pinchable fat, my pecs and shoulders look awesome when I’m lifting, my quads are starting to show a nice sweep… But I’ve always had a flat stomach, and the two rounds of IVF plus pregnancy and the c-section have made some unfavourable changes from my normal. I’ve heard the “it takes 9 months to put it on, 9 months to lose it” blurb, but I have body dismorphia issues to begin with, so couple that with a anxiety disorder and I’m just a mess some days.
No sleep in 5 days + clear signs that anxiety is back + Dumplin’ to take care of + Mochi is coming + regular therapist appointments not helping with this –> time to see the doctor about those meds that I keep avoiding
So today, we cleared our schedule and drove downtown to see my family doctor.
I am starting Cipralex/Lexapro tonight.
Apparently, the meds can cause more anxiety in the initial 2-4 week period, so shit might get realllllly bad before they get better. I’m nervous about it for various reasons:
1. Cipralex will cross into my breastmilk, so Dumplin’ will be getting some SSRI, but I hope that he’s unaffected because he’s so big, and from my own research, a nearly undetectable amount reaches breastmilk.
2. What does this initial anxiety exacerbating period look like? What if I just can’t deal? I’m not suicidal, but what if it pushes me over the edge where I’m not able to cope safely? I’m starting at a 5mg dose for a week, then up to 10mg the next week, and up and up until I reach an effective dose.
3. What if I still can’t sleep- especially if things get worse? I can’t even describe what it feels like to not have slept in 5 days. I’m trying my best to keep it together for Dumplin’, and DW has been struggling with her own discomforts but trying to help me too. I feel like a failure as a mother and as a partner. I feel terrible that I “need” to sleep more than I am- how ridiculous does that sound! I know, I’m not making sense, but these are the thoughts going on in my head. Those damn cogs don’t stop turning at all.
4. Weight gain from the meds. IVF has caused me to gain about 10lbs that I have not been able to shed. I’ve lost all my pregnancy weight (all 40lbs of it), but those 2 rounds of IVF has pushed my body weight baseline up, and I can’t seem to get back to my pre-IVF weight. 10lbs makes a huge difference when you are sprinting and doing shuttle runs like we do in ball hockey. 10lbs makes me so much slower and my recovery more painful. Not to mention (again) my body dismorphia and how more weight will mess with my head even more.
5. I worry that I will feel weird. I generally like being an empath and experiencing all of the feels that life provides. I am afraid that these meds will make me feel like a zombie.
6. I worry that the meds won’t work, and that I’ll be stuck in this hell that exists in my head, forever churning and producing worst case scenarios.
Wish me luck.