Liar liar pants on fire

My loyal readers, I love you so, and yet I am afraid I have not been entirely honest with you. If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you likely think I am about to finish up my first week back at work. That is not true. As you can see from the below picture, my working lunches continue to involve C-Dub and his sister LB and not my lovely co-workers at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. Let me explain:


Shortly after posting about going back to work, I had a couple of super rough days (no sleep day or night, lots of crying and snot, all-around no fun for anyone near me). So . . . I contacted my boss to push back my start date until after the holidays, changed up my meds (again), and hired a night nanny for the past three nights. Not to jinx anything, but I dare say things are looking up.

I have slept (some) although C-Dub’s cries really do carry and I’ve been too lazy/busy to go buy ear plugs. Still, it’s the best sleep I’ve had since my third trimester, so we are talking six to seven months here people. That’s a lot of shitty sleep.

Sleep deprivation is crazy making. I admit I was crazy in the first place, but mostly in a highly-organized, kind of anxious, sometimes weepy but mostly fun sort of way. These past four months pushed me closer than I have ever felt to for real crazy: questioning myself and everything in my life; wondering whether I could or even wanted to keep going. Not fun stuff to wrestle with anytime, but especially not when you are also trying to meet the daily (and nightly) demands of two newborns.

We still don’t have the sleep thing figured out but some of the pieces are coming together. Basically, LB is the BEST BABY EVER  and can probably sleep through the night if Cal would just shut up already.

Cal, poor little guy, seems to have some sort of tummy issue that makes him hate every formula (and even my milk when I was nursing). He gets all burpy and gassy and just generally so uptight that he howls most of the night.  So, we’ve moved him to the basement (only temporarily and not by himself, of course). I also purchased the most ridiculously expensive formula ever invented that promises to cure all our problems (or at least Cal’s sleep-related ones) in just 48 hours. Unfortunately, there is no money back guarantee that I am aware of because man this shit is expensive.

I think getting the little ones sleeping better will go a long ways towards making me feel better, too. But I know that lack of sleep is not the only issue I need to deal with if this whole mother of three three and under thing is going to not kill me.

First, I am WAY too uptight about basically everything. Things like unexpected guests and being late to appointments and not having enough diapers in the diaper bag can no longer be life-and-death situations. Or, I will die. They just are what they are. Let it go, breathe, and all that crap.

Second, I really really like being in control of my surroundings. Books go in the book place, etc. That would be the OCD talking. Again, this is something I’m going to have to let go of (to the  extent medically possible). Once the twins are on the move, it’s game over in terms of an orderly household so I may as well start giving up, at least a bit, now. Like maybe not making my bed and Henry’s bed every morning. Baby steps, right? (ha, pun, sort of not really but you know what I mean).

Third, I have got to get better at delegating household tasks. Even if I know it’s not going to be done right (i.e., the way I would do it), at least it will be done. Done is enough. It has to be enough. Except when I delegate the grocery shopping and end up with less than half of the goods on the list provided to my designated shopper. That’s not enough.

Basically, it’s a perfectionism thing. I have lived the last 36 years under the false belief that if I just worked hard enough long enough everything could be perfect and then I could be happy. This is a big fat lie. Depression lies (thank you, Jenny Lawson) and so does perfectionism. I’m never going to be perfect and I may only be happy at times, but I will know joy, lots of joy, in large part because of my (unexpectedly) big family.

So here’s the truth: I didn’t go back to work this week because I didn’t feel ready. Not because I didn’t feel perfect, but because I didn’t feel even functional. I’m going to take a few more weeks to get well and to be with my babies. The rest can wait.

P.S. In the course of writing and editing this post, I learned that the super expensive formula does worse than nothing for C-man. Totally colicky all afternoon. What a rip off! Still . . . trying to stay positive. Plus, the hubs agreed to ride it out with him in the basement tonight so not really my problem. Such a good man.





Crazy pills

There’s no question that having three kids age three and under is a recipe for crazy making. However, my predisposition to OCD, anxiety, and depression has made having twins particularly debilitating. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I love them so much I want to attack every tiny piece of dust that dares enter my home, sterilize every toy, nipple or finger that might possibly enter their mouths, and invent some sort of breathable yet germ retaining suit for my three year old to wear at all times. Needless to say, things have been a little rough around here the past three months. Luckily, this isn’t my first rodeo, so when the crazy crying cleaning meanies arrived I knew enough to know I needed help. Lots and lots of help.

With my first son, I honestly didn’t realize how crazy I had become for nearly six months. And then, when I very kind and perceptive friend pointed out that maybe I had become a teeny bit wacko about all things parenting, I was so ashamed. It took me weeks to work up the nerve to tell my husband and then my therapist. I was devastated at the thought of going back on my antidepressants; sure that meant I would have to stop nursing and BREAST IS BEST, RIGHT?! How could I choose my own mental health over THE BREAST!

Thankfully I have an incredibly supportive husband and a great team of mental health professionals who got me back on my meds and made me feel comfortable enough to continue nursing (which I did until my son was one and then stopped immediately and had a big party with lots of booze and burning of nursing tanks).

Fast forward three years to my six week ultra-sound where we meet Baby A and . . . wait for it . . . Baby B. I gasped. I cried. I told my husband we needed a bigger house. And, on the way home in the car, I told him I was no-way-jose going off of my meds for this pregnancy. He agreed that was best, as did my OB.

The pregnancy went well (I mean, I puked every day for eight weeks and there was a cane involved and I had to start working from home at 30 weeks because I couldn’t walk from my parking garage to the building even with said cane for assistant but overall we did great). I carried to 38 weeks. Vaginal birth for both babes. I am a twin baby mama rockstar! And I continued to feel like one right up until three weeks postpartum, when my hormones did a nose dive and suddenly I couldn’t get off the floor. Not even in the bed, I was on the floor.

I told my husband and my mom that day. I called my therapist immediately. We upped my meds that night. Then we upped them some more. And I’m back in therapy.

Of course, I’m nervous about the breastfeeding impact of the meds and am doing everything possible to minimize exposure (BREAST IS BEST!). If it comes down to it though, I will stop nursing. I will stop because getting my shit together enough to be present and engaged in my life is not only important for my twins and my three-year old and my marriage but also for ME. I count, too. And I feel a whole lot better when I take my medication.

I’m also trying something new this time by talking about it, with my friends, my family, and even you, stranger that you are. I think talking helps. Talking about it makes it feel less shameful. It’s not a secret. I’m not broken or bad or failing at parenting or life. It’s just the way things are for me (and for a lot of other moms too).

It is what it is and we do what we can.