Two

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Two anxiety meds, that is. Not kids. I realize that this headline was pretty misleading after yesterday’s post about my only child, but I decided to run with it anyway.

A few months ago, I started noticing little bits of my old anxiety creeping in for a visit. The occasional heart palpitation would catch me off guard. I found myself being incredibly short with my daughter, and sort of withdrawing from her a bit. Definitely not ideal, particularly considering that I’m supposed to be savoring every moment of this time with her before I go back to work. (Another topic for another day.)

I’m also tired constantly—to the point that I can fall asleep pretty much anytime, anywhere. That has NEVER been a thing for me. I am a lifelong insomniac and aside from the first trimester of pregnancy, I’ve never been a napper. Not even when I had a newborn at home and I should have been napping.

Then, things really got crazy. The past week or so, my anxiety has been absolutely crippling. I’m way behind on schoolwork—well beyond any concept of “behind” I’ve had since I went back to school. I’m just completely unable to focus on work. All I want to do is lie in bed and stare at mindless things on my phone.

I booked an appointment with my doctor about a month ago when the little bits of anxiety first caught my attention, and finally saw her this morning. I have seriously been counting the days out of desperation because I knew she’d be able to help. I am so grateful that I have a doctor who gets it. We’re the same age (ish) and she has a one year old at home. She’s totally down to earth, and I honestly think I’d love to be friends with her if only she wasn’t my doctor.

We chatted about what’s been happening, and after all of the options were laid out on the table, I told her that I trust her to make the right choice. She decided to add Wellbutrin to my Zoloft regimen. (She’s also looking into some other issues—running routine bloodwork, and looking into sleep apnea as a possibility.)

So tonight, I’ll start taking Wellbutrin. Let’s hope that within 4-6 weeks I’m feeling like myself again. I’ll let you know.

The Only is Lonely

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The other day, my cousin joined the ranks of people who show up at the hospital with a stomach ache and leave with a 5-and-a-half pound newborn. I truly can’t fathom how that’s even remotely possible based on my own experience with pregnancy, but it seems these things do happen. Frankly, in a family the size of mine, anything is possible.

My cousin’s surprise baby paired with Catch’s cousin’s subsequent announcement of baby number two have left me feeling… Wistful? I think that’s probably the right word for it. All of this family baby news has left me dreaming of something I can’t / won’t / shouldn’t have (for a variety of both practical and impractical reasons) more than I usually do.

The thing is, I love our family of three. It feels just right. Our house is perfectly comfortable for a trio, where it would be downright uncomfortable for a foursome. Our budget is definitely most comfortable with one child. We can afford important things like preschool, family trips, and wine. With a second child, at least one of those things would have to go and I can tell you right now it won’t be my wine.

One child makes it easier to find babysitters. Easier to arrange weekend plans. Easier to divide and conquer when we need to. Easier to have adventures. Easier to be less fussy about schedules and activities. There are so many positives.

I’ll be honest: I don’t love motherhood. I love my daughter more intensely than the light of a thousand suns, but the daily grind of parenthood is not my thing. I am the ultimate antisocial introvert, and frankly, this shit is exhausting. There are SO many people involved in parenting a child. Appointments to coordinate, play dates to make small talk through, idle chit chat at pickup and drop off… and then even when you’re through all of that, you’re rarely ever really alone. I do not excel at this forced socialization, and it wears on me like you wouldn’t believe.

So why on earth would I want to add another child to this mix?

Honestly, I don’t. But I do. But I don’t… and that’s my problem.

I’m afraid that one day years from now, I’ll wake up and realize that not having a second child is the biggest regret of my life. I’m afraid that my daughter will resent us for being left without a designated partner in crime. I’m afraid she’ll be sad that she won’t have an aunt/uncle or cousins to offer her own children. I’m afraid she’ll hate us for not making sacrifices now so that she won’t have to later in life. It doesn’t help that she is constantly telling us that she wants to be a big sister, though I don’t think she understands the level of sharing that will involve.

I think the bigger part of this is that I’m watching my baby girl grow up before my eyes, and I desperately want to stop time. I want a do-over of her infant days far more than I actually want to expand our family, and I need my brain to work harder at convincing my heart that we’re okay right where we are. I will never have a newborn again. My body is thanking me now, and the rest of me will catch up someday.

Visiting

Charlotte and I went to the car wash before school this morning. My car was desperately in need of a wash, but it’s been well over 100 degrees lately, and I had no desire to a) sit outside and wait for someone to wash my car, or b) watch some poor guy wash my car when it’s 105 out. Instead, we hit up the drive through car wash for their early bird special. $7 and my car was reasonably clean and shiny again.

I had a load of stuff to drop off at a kids consignment sale this afternoon, and the drive there would take me past the cemetery where my grandma is buried. I don’t generally go to the cemetery. I find the idea that I’m standing over a loved one’s remains to be kind of unsettling, and I don’t need to be there to feel connected to someone. However, today is her birthday, and I rarely find myself up in this area with time too kill, so I stopped for some flowers.

I parked my car and walked over to the St. Francis statue, silently thanking her for choosing a spot with an easy landmark. When I reached the stone with her name on it, I saw that the flower holder had been covered by grass. I dug around a bit, but I was only equipped with my car keys and they weren’t helping. I gave up once my knees were muddy and there was dirt under my fingernails, and laid a few roses on top of the stone instead.

After I sat for a moment and wished her a happy birthday, I turned to head back to my car. This is the scene I was greeted with:

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Well played, Grandma. Well played.