6.10.12

WHERE DO I FEEL JOY?

When you have a baby with health concerns, most of the concern for your own health flies right out of the window. At around 2 months old, Lauren got really bad reflux and I spent much of each day crying along with her. One morning Matt and I were sitting at breakfast and I told him that I felt like I had lost my joy. I didn't want to leave the house, I didn't want to see my friends, and I didn't want to deal with Lauren. That really scared me because I knew that I loved her but I just couldn't feel it. The next day I went to the doctor and I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. Baby Zantac helped Lauren with her reflux and I also went on medication. I changed the way that my day went so that during Lauren's first nap I would spend time reading, praying and doing devotions. By the time that Lauren went into the hospital I was almost off of my medication.

Needless to say, I never made it off of my medication. During Lauren's time in the ICU I had to increase my medication to be able to function emotionally. On the days that I would try to take the medication down I would spend a ridiculous amount of time crying. It took me a few times to realize that, for now, I have to be okay with taking medication. Lauren's medication helps her heart get better and mine helps me be a better mom.

I've been seeing a therapist to help me deal with the trauma, panic, anxiety and further depression that Lauren's hospitalization brought on. While I was talking with her about watching Lauren as her heart stopped and they were doing CPR, I tumbled into a bout of hysterical crying. She taught me to focus on where I was feeling the sadness, to picture it with physical characteristics such as size, shape and colour. At first I thought that was crazy (ironic) but to view the sadness as a thing allowed me to get away from it and calm myself down.

My homework has been to also try to focus on where I feel my joy and give it its own physical characteristics. Over the past few weeks, as I've watched Lauren make gains every day in her development and spend so much time smiling and exploring, I've figured out that I feel my joy behind my ears. It might be a strange place to feel joy except that when I smile really big, my ears pull back too. I'm pretty sure that when Dopey (as in one of the seven dwarves) feels extreme happiness, his ears do the same thing so I don't really know if that is the most flattering place for me to feel my joy. Either way, flattering or not, I love every minute of joy that I feel.


2 comments:

  1. Amanda, Thank you for your honesty and vunerability. I've been praying for you as you recover from all you've been through. I too take medications to function at the best I can be. One doctor said to me that if I needed the chemical insulin because my body wouldn't make it, I wouldn't think twice. It's the same with these medications. My body can't make the right chemical balance. It's helped me be ok with the meds I take. I'm glad you're getting help too. May God bless and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you. Angela

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  2. Been browsing your blog... it's all SO familiar! My son is now 1 year post ALCAPA repair. He didn't have adhesions but was on ECMO and spent a month in the hospital. I'd love to be in contact with you. I've met so many other ALCAPA moms on facebook and it's so nice to have a support system that is familiar with what you've gone through!! I will say - the more I talk to people... the more I find out vomiting is typical. Trey was terrible. He came home on a feeding tube and the puking was insane. Never really found much of a reason for it though. Reflux meds helped a bit but a year out he still has some issues. He just had a horrible episode of throwing up last night. Wonderful. Anyhow, I have a blog too on our journey... it is at http://treyheart.blogspot.com. My email addy is [email protected]

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