I had a very good day today. Very good.
Lately I have been having extremely vivid dreams, which I was warned can be a side effect of St John's Wort, one of the anti-anxiety supplements I am taking. I had a dream that my cousin Sara had a midwife attended home birth in a motel, and had a baby girl. So weird. Especially since she is finished having babies, and had her births attended by a midwife in the hospital, and certainly nowhere near any motels. Though I had just finished reading Pushed, where in order to access midwifery care some women have to travel long distances to meet with a midwife, and sometimes even give birth in motels or friends' homes in order to be close enough that their midwife can be there to help them deliver their babies. Still. So weird.
Then I had a dream the other night that my ex boyfriend was trying to murder me with a shovel. This is HYSTERICALLY funny to me in retrospect, but in my dream I was SO AFRAID, and it was SO REAL, and I felt SO POWERLESS, and the dream was long. It went on and on, and I was still alive, but barely escaping over and over and over and over. It sucked.
Then I had some dreams where my kids were in danger. And that's when it stopped being funny. Not because dreams about your kids being in danger are awful--which they are. But because this became very very familiar. Last year in the worst weeks of my post partum anxiety, I had several dreams every night that my children were in danger, sometimes dying, sometimes already dead, and I just cannot go back there. I will break apart into a million tiny pieces, it cannot happen.
So I cut my dose of that supplement in half [ironically, one of the side effects of St John's Wort is anxiety], and I want to do some serious writing down of my thoughts/feelings so I can get a handle on this before it spirals out of control again.
The reason why I prefaced with this story is that last night, I had no vivid/tragic/death filled dreams. I don't remember what I dreamt last night, thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus.
I got up and showered, walked Ayden to school, got there on time, walked back, put the other kids in the car, and smelled poop. So I unloaded Riley from the car, carried him upstairs, unzipped MY jacket and took it off because I could tell this was going to be THAT MESSY, unzipped Riley's snowsuit, unhooked his overalls, unsnapped his onesie, and my hands were already covered in poop. POONAMI. In a disposable diaper. Which I RARELY use, but this morning had no plastic diaper covers that were clean and was worried about him getting cold if his clothes got soggy with a double cloth diaper (which works fabulously btw, if you do cloth diapers and run out of covers--double diaper and it holds the pee away from the clothes almost as well as the plastic pants). Mistake. It was on every piece of clothing, including the socks, save the snowsuit. Thank GOD it wasn't on the snowsuit.
So I clean up from that and how do I feel? I'm laughing. And I shrug. And I don't feel anxious at all, despite the fact that I was late to meet a friend and being late for things is a huge anxiety trigger for me! My friend called and I told her the story and she laughed and then went and bought me a coffee, and met me a little later than we planned. We went for a very nice walk/hike and had a very nice chat.
I then took Matthew straight to school and took a wailing, heartbroken baby home (he wants to go to kindergarten SO BADLY), picked up Matthew's backpack and snack, and drove it back to the school with the same wailing, heartbroken baby, and I didn't feel anxious at all, despite the fact that I tend to feel tremendously guilty when my kids cry, and anxious when I have to do anything out of the routine like drop kids' backpacks off after they have already started school.
I got home and breastfed the heartbroken baby to sleep, and had an hour to myself.
(though, as my friend recently pointed out, no matter how many breaks you get as a mom, it never seems to be enough and when you go back to them, your kids make you feel just as tired as if there was no break, so what is the POINT?)
I woke the baby up at 2:00, walked to pick the big boys up from school, enjoyed the snow and the walk and the kids and thinking about Christmas. When we got home, we made banana bread together, all four of us. Something I hate about public school as opposed to homeschooling is how much time it eats up. I miss my kids when they are at school. I miss Ayden all day. And then he comes home and I'm tired and have to make dinner and clean up and put them to bed, and the next thing you know it's the next day and off he goes again. So I was very happy to spend time WITH him and Matthew today, doing fun stuff like going for a walk with Matthew and Riley and my friend and her daughter, and making banana chocolate chip loaf with all three of them after school. It takes effort to keep attachment based parenting going when your kids go to school full time. Today I did quite well at it.
I made dinner, and we ate, and I drew a huge bubble bath and all three kids were in there at the same time, splashing and farting and screaming with laughter and getting the bathroom disgustingly wet. We're redoing it anyways, so who cares? Then we read stories and Matthew was asleep by 7:30, Riley protested his normal bedtime routine of putting himself to sleep in his crib so I stayed by his bed giving bum pats until he drifted off around 8:00, and then Ayden and I read until 9:00. We finished his current Harry Potter book (number 5? 6? I'm not sure...it was over 850 pages long though, and he read the vast majority of it to himself).
And then. AND THEN! I had earned myself a reward. So I ate chocolate chip banana loaf and drank tea and rewatched The Business of Being Born. And I feel VERY SATISFIED. Today, I felt calm all day. I did good parenting. And I got my birth crack. What could be better than this?
...and I found another doula client...