Is about a million bloody miles away from our house.
How I’m Feeling Right Now
ARGH! Can I just have a gigantic whinge please? OK. As of today, we have ALL been ill consistently and without a break for 14 sodding weeks. 14. I am not exaggerating. I am currently hacking and wheezing my way through my THIRD chest infection (complete with flu like symptoms) and am enjoying the many and varied psychedelic effects of my third round of antibiotics. Lily is over her ear infection (and her recent fever) but is still partially deaf and snotty. Finn has just finished his second round of antibiotics (for his chest infection) and, as yet, has not caught this latest bug. Michael went away to Brisbane for work on Monday and by Monday afternoon I was in the grip of this latest delight. So over it. So not fun caring for two children, one of whom refuses to sleep for more than 20 minute stretches during the day, when all you want to do is take enough panadol to floor a rhino, and sleep. Hah! Fat chance of any of that!
Oh I do love my boy. His smiles light up my life and when he chuckles, ye Gods, it doth melt my foolish heart. Still, the little beggar makes me cross and shouty when he cries (and cries and cries and cries and cries) and nothing I do makes it better. Not picking him up, not putting him down, (heaven forbid I do that), not lying down, not sitting up in his chair, not his dummy and, drum roll please, often not even the beloved boobie. He is, at the moment and probably due to everyone’s prolonged illnesses and mummies antibiotics, a grumpy little fecker!
In truth, it’s sheer slog at the moment and not much of the joy of the newborn or anything else for that matter. Beanie is still in her oppositional and defiant stage and increasingly I am resorting to threats and time outs, neither of which are much fun for either of us, to get her to do ANYTHING. Still, I can see that our power struggles are only going to get worse unless I change my approach. I just don’t have the energy to do it right now. Not with a sick baby and a sick mummy and absolutely no energy for anything.
If anyone has any natural remedies for viral and bacterial infections that might help us plump up our immunity and get past this, then please share. I am open to anything that might help and stop us passing it back and forth between us.
Yesterday was the worst. I started to feel increasingly ill in the afternoon and I think the antibiotics are having a very strange effect on me. I felt faint and all jittery inside, so I rang my mother-in-law and she came and cooked us a roast and took Lily off my hands, so that I could just cope with Finn. I am blessed indeed to have such a fantastic supportive family of in-laws and I was grateful for the break. However, leading up to Nanna taking Beanie to hers for the night, Beanie and i just had fight after fight after fight. When she finally left, she was subdued and I was beside myself with grief and guilt. All the hugs in the world don’t feel enough after one of our spats. And I hate myself for being so easy to anger, so irritable and so impatient with my beautiful girl. When they left I broke down in tears and felt worse than I have in quite a long time. I felt PND low and seriously anxious. I phoned my mother-in-law and asked her to call me when they got home, so that I would know Beanie was safe. Always when I hit this low, I am convinced that the Gods will punish me for my many mothering sins by taking her away from me and I am anxiety ridden until she is returned to me. It’s made worse by the fact that I am occasionally intuitive/precognitive in my feelings about things and events, so I never know if I’m feeling so crazy because I am, in fact, crazy or because something bad is going to happen.
I know. It’s not healthy. It’s not even particularly sane. But it is possible and it is because of that possibility that the fear is able to get in. The thought of losing her is… well, in all honesty, there aren’t words adequate enough to describe how it makes me feel. So I did the only thing that makes me feel better at times like these. I called my hubble. He has this way of calming me down, of making me feel less like a basket-case and of making my head less frenetic and punishing. I don’t envy him his task. I am not the easiest of people at the best of times, (and I do wish I was more sunny of personality but intense and feeling and anxious is the best I got, sorry), and this is certainly not the best of times. Anyway, he talked to me until it got a little quieter in there and then I slept as much as my wee boy would let me and felt slightly better this morning.
I live in fear of the PND returning in all it’s repugnant fulsomeness. I was only just freeing myself from it’s frozen grasp when I got pregnant with Finn. Now, I am watching myself and yes, there are signs. There is the anger and frustration that I am all too familiar with. Those bitter, twisted emotions that take all the colour from my life and mar the bond I have with my children. I am awash with that. Yet, I still find joy in the moments in-between and I take comfort from that. I see the soft-hearted, empathetic nature of my girl and delight (and suffer) in it, even as I see how easily it will be for those she loves to break that bright heart of hers. I see how brightly she shines with intellect and wisdom far, far beyond her years. I am awed by her spirit, her humour and her ability to make me laugh with her funny comments and actions.
And my little man? Well, it’s all about the gummy grins and the little chubby thighs. And, of course, those rare chuckles that are making more of an appearance as days go by. I watch as he grows bigger and stronger by the day, despite all the sickness that has plagued his young life so far, and I delight in his daily accomplishments. Bringing his hands to his mouth, trying to swallow his entire fist, filling his nappy with great gusto and reaching out and grasping things with more ability every day. He almost rolled over today and I clapped with joy. It never gets old. It simply reminds me of how Lily did these things too, how precious they are and how quickly these times are over. I don’t want to miss a thing. I don’t want to look back, as I often do at footage of Beanie as a youngster, and only be able to remember the anger, the grief and the guilt and all the mistakes I made. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to revel in these moments. I don’t want to be that mother again. I want and need for something to change. And it has to be me. And I am trying. I have been trying. So hard and for so long. And yet here I am again. I am trying to remind myself that my ‘word’ for this year is ‘Compassion’, and show some to myself.
How I long to come and write something that is jolly and bright and humourous and full of hope. I can do it. I have done it, but it all seems rather far away right now. I am sure much of it is illness but then there is a lesson in that too it would seem. Asthma after 15 years is certainly something to think about. As are three chest infections in three months. Guess where the seat of grief is in the body? Yup – lungs.
Anyway, the hubby is back late tomorrow night, so I’ll hopefully be able to spend Saturday and Sunday recuperating and being gathered up into his long, warm arms for a much needed hug. This is the longest apart we have been since we met. And as someone who has spent only one week as a single mum to two kids, can I just say that I have nothing but utter respect for single parent families. I can’t imagine how hard it was for my mum to raise the four of us alone as she did or for my sister to do it with six, one of whom is autistic. And on nothing. I send out a big hug to all those women (and men) who are doing this alone for whatever reason. It takes a lot of heart and a lot of courage to raise children but it’s so much harder when you have no-one with whom to share the joys and the sorrows, or to just get a cuddle from at the end of the very long day. So take one, over cyber-space, from me. Cos I get it.
I need to go now. I need to sleep if I can. I only came to empty my head and my heart for a while. To make sense of the fragments all swirling madly about and to connect, if only anonymously, with those of similar heart.
May all the things that lay us low tonight, be gone by morning.