Right now I’m struggling…
I think it’s a lot of things compounding in on one another without the chance to really digest any of it, resulting in something not unlike post traumatic stress disorder….
1-Our visit to the PICU to see the doctor who saved Elanor’s life. On one hand it was amazing and I was so happy and proud to share how far my little girl has come since the day they first met her…in organ failure near death. But on the other….I’ve been flashing back to those days a lot. Elanor’s room was the second from the entrance to the PICU and it was impossible for me not to see it, not to remember when that room was my whole universe. Not to remember what it was like to sit by my daughter’s side, reading aloud from a dr. seuss book or some other kid’s book wondering if she’d ever get taken off the ventilator, wondering when or if a doctor would promise me that we could start thinking about Christmas, about her first birthday. I remember vividly finding out about her stroke, crying near hysteria with fear that it would ruin her life-kill her potential. Looking at her and seeing a stranger instead of my turtle. I remember that far more vividly than I do the relief in my heart the first time she cried out weakly after they removed the ventilator, or the joy when she made her “turtle face” at us and we saw our daughter and not a stranger in her face.
2-A friend’s husband recently was in the ICU. She reads this blog and I want her to know that I wouldn’t have wanted not to know, and that I think of her constantly even though I haven’t been able to bring myself to write on his carepage or to email her. But hearing about a loved one in the ICU, knowing in my soul how awful it is, what life in the ICU (even if my experiences were in the PICU and hers are in the adult ICU) is like just makes my heart ache.
3-A letter I received a day before the story broke on the news.
“Over the past six months, 18 mothers and 19 newborns have become sick with a dangerous bacterial infection soon after being released from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, triggering a state investigation that uncovered serious problems with the hospital’s infection control practices.”
I don’t know if what happened with Elanor is part of this. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know if this is finally something I can point a finger at and say “THIS…THIS is why my daughter almost died, you fucking assholes”
All the peace I had found with the idea that I would never know why my daughter became so ill, all the progress I’d made coming to terms with what had happened, all of my ability to look at things from the “but she’s so much better now” perspective…are gone.
4-The move. Upheaval, change, the absence of my “safe” spaces that I go to when overwhelmed are not there. And we’ve been moving stuff every night, so my back has been hurting like hell.
5-Staying with my in-laws. See #4 for why. Add in the fact that I feel like a visitor in their home and mix well with the fact that we are raising Elanor very differently from the way that they raised Ravi, add in a number of comments from my MIL which could very well just be commentary but which I am taking as criticism (“When are you bathing her?” “After the move; babies only need a bath once a week or so” “I bathed Ravi every day”) and stir.
6-Ravi and I have been sleeping apart since Monday night. His bed at his parents is a double, and the baby refuses to sleep in the pack n play so she needs to be in bed with us–all 3 won’t fit in full, so I’ve been in the guest room with Elanor. Oh, and the bed is hard as a rock, so with the back pain from moving crap I’ve been sleeping even more poorly than I would have with just R’s absence. When Ravi and I lose out on couple time, our communication begins to deteriorate, which in turns makes me feel like I’ve lost my support network (even though of course, he’s not my only source of support, although when I’m depressed I tend to forget about the rest of it).
7-I haven’t been great about taking my Zoloft. With the change in schedule and the loss of routine, I haven’t remembered my Zoloft every day. Which, of course, impacts my mental health and my ability to cope.
So, all of that in a two week period or so….with the last 4 in the last week….and I’ve regressed. I’ve lost all the progress I’ve made in coping with Elanor’s illness/recovery/whatever.
I’ve actually regressed back to the point where I’m terrified of being apart from her. Because I am *convinced* that something bad is going to happen. That I’ll wake up and she’ll have died of SIDS during the night….I’m waking up 10-15 times a night and the first few seconds are always a panic until I touch her and feel the rise and fall of her chest. That she’ll become dehydrated and we’ll have to take her to the ER and she won’t come out this time. That she will die.
I’m not okay.
I confessed all of this to Ravi tonight. At a hotel…in the room he’d offered to get us when I made a point of saying that I was thinking of sleeping at our old apartment, even though there are no pillows or sheets. Just to get away. Just to be in a safe space. The hotel room we’re staying in until Sunday. Where we have a King bed…where all three of us can sleep together.
I know things will get better.
After Monday, we’ll be in our own space again. We’ll be back in our bed, with Elanor’s crib against my side of the bed. It will be forever until we’re unpacked and babyproofed and all of that, but it will be our space. That we can just be ourselves in.
After Monday’s big move, I’m going to get in touch with the Infectious Diseases people who treated Elanor at MGH and ask if this could possibly be part of the BI outbreak. And if so, what do I do?
Next Wednesday I see my therapist and I’ll talk to her about all of this. I certainly thought about calling her today, but trying to squeeze in a visit would only make me more stressed, so I decided against it.
In the meantime…I’m struggling.