Monday, April 26, 2010

Picking up the pieces.

Over the weekend, I thought about how I would put into words after the birth of our son, how I felt, how it affected R and the rest of the family. This is the result.

James was born on Feb. 5th, 2009. R stayed at grandma and grandpa’s house during the hospital stay and didn’t sleep much. She did get to come up and see her brother on the 6th. He was in one of those “bassinet” and kind of fussing. She started talking to him and he turned to see who it was and got quiet. They have a very, very close bond that runs deeper than words could explain. Even now, he knows to start looking for her in the afternoon and won’t take his afternoon nap until she is home.

We stayed with K and G for about a month and I know that it was difficult for them but thankful that it gave me time to heal both emotionally and physically. I honestly don’t remember a whole lot. I do remember some friends of mine coming over. Several people brought food over but didn’t really visit because J got a bug the last day that we were at the hospital. Eventually, the staying at K and G’s got to be tooo much for R and I so we went back home and boy was I in for a very pleasant surprise! Some of the lady’s from church got together and wanted to do something for us so, they asked G if they could go over to our house and clean it up before we went home. The minute we went into the house, R exclaimed “WOW!!!” over and over again in each of our rooms. Another member of the church came over and cleaned the carpets for free and said it was the least that he could do to help. Another couple for church came up to me after services one Sunday and asked if they could do our yard (mowing, edging, etc). This year, the couple asked if they could do it again this year (and we live on half an acre so it’s a lot of work). I have been sooo blessed to be where I am now and surrounded by a congregation that is willing to go out of their way to help (not only me) but several others that really need it. It is both humbling and a wake up call to show how God does care for his children in good and bad times.

Eventually, I was able to get off of the pain meds but was starting to feel like a zombie emotionally. It was like I was a shell of a mom but very empty on the inside so, I slowly started to wean myself off of the psych meds. I knew that I couldn’t function and tend to the needs of my children when I couldn’t feel anything myself and I knew that (at some point in time), R would hit reality and I needed to be working on all 6 cylinders.

I eventually got off the psych meds and thought I was doing ok. I didn’t feel like climbing the walls anymore or feeling anxious. I did have a hard time sleeping because the mental pictures of finding Donovan on the floor would come back. I also felt like I was being covered with a blanket of sadness but I thought that was normal. It wasn’t a constant feeling because there was also the joys of being a new mom and me also knew that lack of sleep played a part of that so it seemed normal to me. However, R started asking me several times a day “Mommy, are you ok? Mommy, are you happy?”

This was my wake up call. A little 5 yr old girl saw more than I did and it affected her deeply. The one thing I didn’t want to do was make her worried and even though I kept telling her that I was happy and that I was ok, she kept asking every day (several times a day). One day, I got my relief in a way I didn’t expect. I finally decided to go see our chiropractor because I was having problems laying on my right side and having a lot of pain in my right hip. Initially, the pain had started when I was carrying J so I thought it would eventually go away once he was born. It didn’t. I found out why. Apparently, my right hip had rotated and needed to be straightened up (ouch!).
I had gone to the chiropractor before when I was pregnant with R and several times after that so I had a pretty good relationship with her and she knew her medical stuff! She told me (after a few visits to get my hip back in place) that she also had something called neurotherapy (EEG feedback) and that she thought it would help me a great deal emotionally. She gave the website and a DVD to watch so that way, I would know more about it. Went home, read the website and watched the DVD and very thankful that I did. You know that verse that says (and I’m paraphrasing here), God will never allow you to have more than you can handle but always have an open window? Well, this was my open window.
I went in for the neurotherapy session (which lasted for about 20 minutes). Dr. Walden had electrodes placed in certain places on my head and asked me if I was really scared (duh! Scared silly!). She turned the lights off and I heard was the sound of the ocean and every once in a while, a pining sound. The one thing I had to do was keep my eyes closed. All of the mental pictures that I had had (and still do) in my head of Donovan on the floor, his casket, the funeral, and the grave came crashing in. One at a time but then a mental picture of J or R or sunsets, or the beach or something calming would come into focus and ease the horrible pictures of death. My brain was being trained to balance itself out with out the use of drugs and it worked! It was like a HUGE burden of sadness, and heaviness of heart had been lifted off from me and I finally felt like I could breathe again and am happy about life and everything that I had been blessed with. I also cried like I did at Donovan’s funeral (which is something that I hadn’t done since Dec ’08 and this was like March ’09). The session was intense in a way but very much necessary. I found out that this was also used for soldiers who came back from war who were dealing with post traumatic stress disorder (which is what I had).

My family and friends noticed the change that day (especially R) and that calmed her a lot. Mentally, I made myself a promise that anytime I would start feeling depressed to the point that I was crying non stop, not taking care of myself, or starting to just not care about anything, that I would do something about it. No 5 yr old should ever feel stressed because their mom can’t get her act together. The next week, I went back for a full 30 min session and felt like a human again. Things that I had not realized that I was no longer doing (or enjoy doing), I was starting to enjoy things again. Sometimes, it is not easy to admit to yourself when you need help and then getting up and doing it. Many times, we are our own worst critic but sometimes it’s for a good reason. The challenge is what are we going to do about it. I have two young ones that are constantly looking to me to see how to live their lives and if I become complacent and constantly do a self pity party, it’s teaching them how to handle what ever situations may come up. Over the past year and half, I have had a total of 4 neurotherapy sessions (each 30 min long). The other two times was at Christmas and the other was when J turned 1.
More to follow……

No comments:

Post a Comment