The google spiral

I have to say, anxiety and google do not mix.

I’ve always had a bit of anxiety.  When I was a kid, it was more of a social anxiety.  As I’ve aged, I’ve learned techniques to deal with social anxiety.  But as I learn to deal with one type of anxiety, another one rears it’s ugly head.  After social anxiety came choosing a career path anxiety, after that came living on my own anxiety, etc. etc. so and so on.

Lately, as I’m settled in my job and my personal life, a new anxiety has popped up.  Anxiety of strange medical conditions.

Let me preface this by saying I am the person who has weird things happen to them – whether personally or medically.

Just as an example, I have a rare food allergy – it’s a dietary nickel allergy.  Yes, I am very allergic to the metal nickel and can not wear jewelry, watches, etc with nickel in it.  And that has turned into a food allergy.  Nickel is a natural compound found in the soil, and so it is absorbed by food that grows in the soil.  Those foods with a naturally high nickel content cause me to have an allergic reaction.  It’s crazy – it’s rare – and I have it.

So when you have a kid, your anxiety naturally raises for the health and wellbeing of your child.  Add that on to an already anxiety-prone personality, and things can get a little out of control.

I’ve been spending a ton of time googling things that I’m worried about with my son.  I won’t go into specifics, because it’s just a worry of mine.  No medical professional has said anything about it – and when I talk to others they don’t agree with me.  So most likely (and hopefully) it’s just my anxious mind.

The other day, I was “multi-tasking” as many people do.  I was cooking some food for my son for the week – which is a lot of boiling frozen veggies – while googling away on the topic of my concern.  While in the throws of my vicious google circle – a plastic slotted spoon had fallen into the flame on my gas stove.  And I was so caught up in my obsession that I didn’t notice until most of the spoon had melted away on the stove, the pot, the pot lid, etc.

I had a mini-breakdown as I was taking all the melted plastic covered kitchen supplies outside to get the fumes/smell out of my home.  I called my husband and lost it.  Not my finest moment at all.

So since then I’ve sworn off google for this topic.  Because really – is google going to help me solve this problem (if it is one)?  Is google going to prevent this from being a problem (if it is?)  No.  Is google going to make me miss out on some precious moments with my son?  Is google going to make my life more chaotic than it needs to be?  Yes.

So from now on, Google is off limits for topics that can send me into a worry-spiral.  It is to be used for research for work, shopping, email and fun items only!

 

A good start

Right now the little boy is lying in his crib playing with his feet.  I love that view on the monitor!  He’s so happy and content – and flexible!!

After not working out a bit last week, I was determined to start the week of on a better foot.  Well, Monday didn’t happen but it rarely does.  I have a ton of work tasks to do on Monday so really I think of Tuesday as the start of my week.

Tuesday did happen.  Boy did it happen.  I went to my normal group exercise class even though I had a ton on my mind and didn’t really want to go.  But lying in bed Tuesday morning, asking God to give me strength and guidance for the day ahead, for some reason a vision of me doing the speed skater exercise popped into my head.  I don’t know why – but I took that as a sign from at least my subconscious that I need to go exercise that day.  (And no, we did not do any speed skaters)

My mind wandered the whole class – my body was going, but my mind was elsewhere.  And I think that made me work out harder than I normally would have.  Because boy oh boy are my muscles sore today!

So with my mind a little bit clearer today after a 2 hour phone call to my Mom, I decided to do some yoga stretching.  And my muscles did not want to move!  But it was good for them – even as I sit here envying my son’s flexibility I’m happy I went.  While I’m no where near as flexible as I was pre-pregnancy, my muscles are much happier now than they were before.

So all in all a good start to the week.  (Besides the mind clutter that I can’t stop from freaking me out!)

A mother’s instincts

I always, always have thought my mother was overprotective.  I remember as an adult, her wanting to talk to my employer about some difficulties I was having with the company.  I actually had to work pretty hard to stop her from doing it too.

I was in my mid-20’s, and she wanted to talk to my boss.  Yep, that’s my Mom.  Wanting to make sure everything was perfect for her daughter.  Of course, I saw it as being controlling and over-protective.

And then I became a mother.  Really, from the day I found out I was pregnant, all I wanted to do was protect this little baby.  I wanted to make sure he had the best of the best.  I would scour google to see if certain foods were ok to eat during pregnancy.  My gut was wrenching for weeks after I found out that my beloved Chic-fila  lemonade was not pasteurized and posed a small, yet possible risk of listeria to harm my unborn son.  Everything I did was to protect him.

And then he was born and those protection instincts became even stronger.  All I want is for him to be happy and healthy.  I follow him around the house, just a step behind, ready to grab him if he falls while walking.  I cook homemade organic food for him to eat while grabbing processed food for myself.  His needs come before mine.  His safety is my number one priority – and his happiness is my second.

Now I understand my mother’s instincts.  I’m pretty sure I would want to make things better for my son when he’s in his mid-20s – and I would offer to do anything I could to make him happy.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Instinct

Mindful Me

I write blog posts for my job.  Sometimes I write one’s that I really want to post on my personal blog.  Today I wrote one on mindfulness, and it really hit home with me.  More than I thought it would.

Usually in the afternoon, after work, I feed my little one, try to get him to take a nap (which is harder than you’d think) and then either finish up some chores or collapse on the couch and watch a little TV.  Today it was relatively easy to get him down for his nap – yay – and after I finished a couple of chores, I collapsed on the couch to watch some TV.  Fifteen minutes later, 35 minutes into his nap, the cries came.  And it’s never a good thing when your little one wakes up crying!

Usually when the little one wakes up crying from a nap, dread hits me as I picture the rest of the day filled with overtired crankiness.  But today, I took a deep breath, went in his room, picked him up and held him in my arms on the rocker, as I normally do to calm him down.  He immediately fell asleep.  And usually I put him down in the crib pretty quickly after he falls asleep.  9 times out of 10 the second “put down” doesn’t work and he immediately wakes up.  So I decided to just hold him and let him sleep in my arms.

I held him and let him sleep in my arms.  I wasn’t thinking about all the things I could be doing.  I wasn’t thinking about anything but holding my baby.  I looked at his sweet little face as he slept, and felt so blessed to have him.  It was such a special moment.  He’s weeks away from turning 1 – and the time has passed by so fast.  I feel like soon he’ll be a teenager and I’ll long for these moments.  I need to treasure them now, even though at times I don’t.

But today I did.  I held him.

 

 

Changes and Dreams

I used to pride myself on being able to handle change well – even craving change.  But these past several months have challenged that thought.

I have had a lot of change.  Like, if you ever take one of those life stressor polls, I’d rate pretty darn high.  I actually just took a quiz (the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory) and scored well above the high rating and they predict I have an 80% chance of having a major health incidence in the next 2 years.  So…um…

Every little change is now effecting me in a negative way.  For instance, our neighbors moved.  We weren’t close.  I knew their names and would wave if we saw each other – but that’s about it.  But now at night, when I’m washing the baby bottles, I look out our kitchen window and don’t see the familiar view of our neighbor sitting on her couch working on her laptop.  And it makes me sad.  I feel out of control.  And I hate that.

34fdff430551605bf91da0528882381f

In order to make myself feel more in control over all these out of my hands changes, I tend to dream about my life in the future.  I don’t dream too far in advance, maybe 6 months to 2 years.  And I’m not unrealistic.  I don’t envision myself winning the lottery or moving to France.  I envision real-life possibilities.  And it helps.  It gives me a sense of calm and control, even if the control is just an illusion.

But I don’t tell anyone my future life visions.  I think it’s because I’ve had goals I’ve shared in the past, and didn’t make them, and felt horrible about myself.  It was embarrassing.  So I stopped voicing my dreams.  Which is sad.  I kind of need to voice these, right?  I mean, how can I make my life more of what I want, and make sure my husband and I are both seeing the same, or close to same, things – unless I share these.

It’s hard to find time to talk seriously with him now.  In depth conversations are a thing of the past.  We now talk about poopy diapers, what we can scrounge out of the fridge for dinner, and our deep desire for more sleep.  Nothing serious.  But that’s my goal for the weekend.  To voice my dreams.  I may have to give a dream disclaimer.  Something along the lines of “is this doesn’t happen, it’s OK.”  Give myself a little out in case I change my mind, lose my way, etc.  Maybe that will make the conversation a little easier.

Once I share them with him, I’ll share them with you.  So stay tuned…

What day is it?

I’m having difficulty remembering what day it is.  Days tend to all blur together – one bleeding into the next.  We actually still have a notebook we keep logging our son’s diaper changes, feedings, naps, etc.  Otherwise we won’t remember.  Parenthood definitely takes away some of your brain power.

So it’s already Wednesday.  Wow.

I am happy to report I did good on my workout goal for last week.  I did every workout except for Sunday’s yoga DVD.  It’s probably the one I need to most, but the one I feel least guilty about skipping.  Odd, right?  But there were days I had to force myself to do my 15 minute exercise  – and I did it.  So yay!  Small victory dance.

snoopy_dance_4844

My goal this week is 30 minutes.  Yesterday that didn’t happen.  Yesterday was chaotic.  My sitter didn’t show up and I had an early morning meeting with my boss – so my husband had to stay with the baby.  And from then on, craziness ensued.  You know how when your day starts off crazy, it just stays crazy.  Unexpected trip to the pediatricians office, ridiculously long lines at the grocery store for 11am on a Tuesday, all that happened.  So no, I didn’t workout then.  But I did my 30 minutes on Monday and today, so I’m just picking up where I left off.  No guilt.  Things happen.  No quitting – that’s the more important thing!

stubble

On a totally unrelated note, while I’m happy I’ve started this exercise regime, I still can’t help looking towards next year for me to finally have some happiness.  I don’t know why – I’ve never been a New Year’s person.  January 1 is just the same as December 31st in my book.  But for some reason I feel like all the hurt and stress I have buried deep down in me will disappear with the changing of the year.  It doesn’t work that way, I know.  I just don’t have the time or the means to release it, and it will stay with me until I do.  That’s a scary thought.  But I just have to keep powering on.  When the feelings overcome me, I let them.  I don’t judge myself.  You can’t wish away sadness anymore than you can wish for more money.  So I just feel it.  And hope that one day I won’t be so sad anymore.

moving-on-quotes-and-sayings-for-girls-2

But that’s my update.  Nothing overwhelming.  Just thought I’d throw this out there.

A little progress is better than nothing

I just had to pat myself on the back a little bit.  Three days of doing some working out while my little one napped (or was suppose to be napping).

I have to give you a bit of background information.

This used to be me:img_0497

After a rough pregnancy (all day sickness started at 6 weeks – ended 2 days after I gave birth) and a bad recovery (unplanned C-section, reflux baby requiring round the clock care, etc.), working out has not been in my schedule for over a year now.

Before pregnancy, as I went out to run 3-4 miles before a good 30-45 minute strength training session, I used to look at people who were walking and be jealous.  Part of me hated pushing myself so hard to get a good workout.  Now, by the end of my 30 minute walk, I’m sweating.  I’m that person I used to be jealous of – and I’m completely jealous of the old me.  Grass is always greener, right?

So part of me is a bit down on my current workout.

I’m doing the 21 Day Fix DVDs (no, I’m not a Beachbody rep – but I do enjoy their products).  And I’m not even doing all the DVD – I’m only doing one round of each exercise.  So my workouts are more like 15 minutes.  And yep, I get a little winded, sweaty, and I definitely feel them the next day (even though I’m using little to no weight).  Compared to where I was, I feel like a slug doing such a little workout.

But I have to quit comparing myself to, well, myself.  My body has been through a lot – and made a beautiful, healthy and amazing little boy.  So yeah, it’s going to be a little beat up.  And that’s ok.  Because it will get better.  And I may never be where I was when that picture was taken, and that’s honestly 100% ok with me.  My goal, to be perfectly open, is just to fit into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes.  Not all – but at least a few.

3 days down – 18 more to go, then a habit forms, right?

Lack of independence

I’ve been writing a lot lately, but not publicly.  I have 3 documents saved on my desktop titled Document, Document1 and Document2.  All with thoughts I’m not sure I’d ever share with anyone.

I’ve been going through some major stuff.  Some of it I’m sure is all in my head.  But some of it I know is not.

But there are some things I don’t mind putting out there into the world.  These are the minor things that bug me, but are not causing me to write private, tear-inducing novels that will most likely end up in the trash bin on my computer.  These little annoyances I’m happy to write a blog about 🙂

I was aware that once I became a mother timetables would change.  That I would be living by an infants schedule instead of my own.  But, I didn’t really realize what that meant.  Since I saw Facebook pictures of my friends running 5K races 3 months after their child was born pushing their perfectly adorable babies in jogging strollers, and heard of Mommy groups that meet up weekly at coffee shops and lunch places, I thought it wouldn’t be so bad.  Sure being home by 7pm for bedtime might make going out to eat a rare thing, but that wasn’t so bad.  We didn’t go out to eat that much anyways.

Well, reality comes.

I rarely have time to brush my teeth, let alone put on an acceptable outfit to go for a jog.  In between diaper changes and feedings (the actual feeding takes about 10 minutes – but reflux babies require 30 minutes of sitting up after their bottle – so it’s a 40 minute ordeal at least to feed him), having tummy time and fun time, cleaning bottles, laundry, cleaning up the toys, floor and sheets that end up covered in spit up, and caring for my 15.5 year old dog, there may be some time for me to grab a cracker.  And of course I work from home too – so yeah, there’s no time to jog.

And having a baby with reflux makes public outings very scary.  Because all babies have a little bit of spit up that might dribble on their onesies and may even get Mama’s shirt, but after a quick wipe with a burp cloth, nothing is noticeable.  My kid doesn’t have dainty little spitups.  My kid has monstrous spitups that cover us – he is covered head to toe and so am I, and usually so is the chair or floor beneath us.  And these spit ups come at any time of the day, not just after a meal.  It could be 3 hours post bottle, and here comes the flood.  So going to a coffee shop or lunch place, or even to the grocery store, seems incredibly scary.

So I do most of my outings while someone else takes care of the baby.  This someone else is my Mother.  (My husband for some reason is scared of staying alone with the baby.)  So I’m not only on babies schedule, but on her schedule too.  I never have a say in when I get to go anywhere.  I’m told when.  And that makes me feel more like an infant than my son.

I know this is a tiny thing to complain about, but you never know how much you appreciate being able to go out to grab a sandwich when your fridge is empty or go meet a friend for a walk until you can no longer do so.

Independence has always been a big deal to me – and that has been taken away completely.

Who knew?

Signs & Symptoms of Infant GERD

My son was diagnosed with Gastro Esophageal Reflux (GERD) at 6 weeks old.  I felt horrible but relieved at the same time.

He would cry and cry and cry.  Constantly crying.  The only thing that would calm him down was a bottle.  And he would spit up most of what he was eating.  He would eat, spit up, cry, eat, spit up, cry and then finally fall asleep for about 10 minutes and then wake up, cry, eat, spit up, etc.  That was my life.  Babies spit up.  I knew this.  But I was confused because my son seemed to spit up everything he ate.  I read stuff online about spitting up that said that it’s probably less than it looks like and as long as your baby is gaining weight, not to worry.  Well, he was gaining weight, so I tried not to worry.

Since everything I read told me not to worry about my son, I just worried about my sanity.  I couldn’t do anything but try to soothe my crying son, feed him and then clean up his puddles of spit up, and then run to the bathroom while he was able to have a short nap.  There were times I looked at him as he cried and screamed, cried myself and just begged him to calm down.  I felt like the worst mother in the world because no matter what I did, I couldn’t soothe my baby.

I ended up figuring out all the puzzle pieces – though it took more work than I thought.

  1. I finally convinced my husband that I needed help.  And that I needed the help of my mother, who is a pediatric nurse.  This was harder than it should have been – but I’m not here to talk about that.
  2. We finally got the doctors to pay attention by describing more vividly my son’s symptoms.  Spit up and crying is not a red flag for GERD.  This is just normal baby reflux to doctors.  But things like back-arching, constant cluster feeding, neck arching – those are red flag symptoms for GERD.
  3. I finally realized my baby was sick – and I could focus on helping him get better instead of worrying about how good of a mother I was.  Of course I couldn’t soothe him with lullabies and cuddles when his throat was burning.  But I could do my best to make sure he got the right medical care.

And it’s still a journey.  And it will be a journey until finally he outgrows his GERD.  But that’s how baby GERD goes.

I didn’t know

As I went for a walk in the late-morning heat, after my podcast ended, it came.  The guilt.  The sadness.  The need to fight back tears.  This time it worked.  I didn’t cry.  Sometimes it doesn’t and the tears flow.

I have a wonderful life.  I have a great husband.  I have a beautiful baby boy.  But I didn’t know.

I knew that life would change when we became parents.  I knew things would get trickier, stickier and crazier.  But I didn’t know the big change that would come.

I read a lot.  I read professional sites.  I read blogs.  When talking about getting pregnant, actively trying, and being pregnant.  I read.  Asked friends for advice.  I left no stone unturned.  But I still didn’t know.

I knew that babies cried.  I knew that they spit-up.  I even knew that babies got reflux that caused them pain.  But I didn’t know how difficult that could be.

I didn’t know that my baby would spend the first 6 weeks of his life crying, eating and spitting up almost everything that he ate, leaving me exhausted, frustrated and baffled as to what was going on.  And I didn’t know how difficult it would be to find relief for his anguish.

I knew that babies could have head shape issues.  I knew that they could end up in helmets.  But I didn’t know that they would wedge themselves in-utero in such a weird way that would not only lead to a virtually impossible delivery, but a misshaped head that is virtually impossible to fix without interventions.

I didn’t know the guilt.  I knew I would worry.  I knew I would feel pressure.  But I didn’t know I’d feel horrible for “not growing him right”.  I know that’s not true – but the guilt still remains.

And I didn’t know the extent that outside pressures would create chaos in my should-be happy home.

I didn’t know that this would create a perfect storm of emotional upheaval for me.  I never read about babies going from formula to formula, med to med, and still not finding relief for severe reflux.  I never heard of the pain of trying to position your baby in just the right way to best “fix” their head shape problem.  And I never knew that trying to be a good Mom would cause me so much agony, let alone what other issues lie outside my motherhood journey.

So that’s why I’m restarting this blog.  I have a happy life.  I have had some severe struggles and continue to have struggles.  I know that will never end, but if I knew, maybe things could have been a little easier.  So I’m writing this so others may not say “I didn’t know”