When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. Isaiah 43:2

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Estrogen, Heart Palpitations, Caffeine, Anxiety and Exhaustion

But first, some photos from the last few weeks... Kya studies the flag...
Our living room...

Fall rain brings out the crazy in the kids...

Cross-eyed chubby cheeked Addie Grace... :)

Kya likes to take pictures of us...

The title says it all when it comes to my physiology and psychology the past three months since giving birth.
1. Estrogen-NONE. After I had Addie, I am convinced that all things estrogen-related died in me. This included, in my opinion, the addition of heart palpitations and a strange out of body, not attached to anything kind of feeling. The cardiologist did not think my heart issues had anything to do with estrogen or birth...but HELLO, they started immediately after giving birth and everything I've read about menopausal women and low estrogen says it can manifest as heart palpitations. (No, I am not menopausal YET, you jokesters.)
2. Heart palpitations feel like a strange awareness that the rhythm of your heart, heretofore unnoticed and pleasantly so, is off...the dub of the lub-dub is dubbing all wrong--and sometimes it dubs at the same time as the lub, making a strong BEAT that makes you want to sit down fast. I was pretty sure in the middle of these episodes I was going to die...leaving four kids and a husband to live a life of certain doom...it feels like a lump in your throat and a little bit of a sick feeling...maybe because it causes anxiety...which causes more palpitations. For me, it's a vicious cycle. Oh, and for me, the caffeine deprivation DID NOT HELP!!! It made me palpitate all the more. Strangely, this would happen MOST when I was sitting or lying down.
3. Caffeine...never in my wildest dreams did I think the doctor would tell me to stop drinking caffeine. When those words met my ears, it was as though the strength drained from my body...no caffeine? This cannot be serious. Do you M.D. people understand that having four children and moving into a new home, and having a colicky newborn REQUIRES caffeine?

I thought I had it all together until that moment...

4. Anxiety: I always have heightened anxiety after giving birth. For about three months, it causes me to periodically sleep on the floor between the kids' rooms and my own, so certain am I that a serial killer or kidnapper will come in the night and harm the kids.

It makes me want to lock and deadbolt and chain and alarm every opening in our house.
It causes me to check my baby's breathing...over and over and over again.

It makes me look at my husband in disbelief when he suggests a weekend away.

It heightens all rational fears and worries until sometimes they are unbearably irrational.

It causes me to be certain the latest episode of CSI is going to manifest in my living room.

Sometimes, I think my own special issues should be called postpartem preparedness--because I spend all my time preparing for the worst possible scenario and then preparing again...who has three first aid kits in their minivan just in case? ME. Because I know someone is going to have a puncture wound in the eye as soon as we get to the PARK!

Oh the park...don't even get me started...

I am thankful to know that my God is bigger than all that and His plan is for us to prosper. If I didn't have that on which to hang my anxiety-ridden hat, I would be paralyzed.

When my babies are three months old, like clockwork, the anxiety lifts and the first aid kits and Rambo-proofed door locks are abandoned. Phew!

5. Exhaustion: Where are you? It is a miracle to me that I have stayed up until midnight or 1:00 AM every night, awakening typically at 4:00 AM, every night since we moved, and I am still functioning...not high-level functioning mind you...but, I am doing OK. The few weeks without caffeine were tough. But, I now have a little daily caffeine and it is getting me by nicely.

We get dressed and do our hair every day (I say "we" because I am the sole person responsible for five peoples' hair in this house--it's a BIG responsibility--have you seen Addie's hair?).

We venture out regularly. I put makeup on and I am finding my husband to be very wonderfully HOT again (a sign the estrogen has returned! Hooray!)

The house is looking pretty darn good (because I stay up at night and undo what has been done to it during the day.)
The heart palpitations have lessened significantly.

Addie is three months old, but the past three months are absent to some extent. I'm not sure where they went. The fog is really lifting now and I feel sad that I missed her babyhood.

I feel sad that the last baby we'll have was lost in the middle of moving and fogginess. I feel regret that I have not been able to fully experience the sights and smells of newborn mommyhood...but I'm ready to tackle it again.

I'm ready to breathe in and out the happenings of my family, our farm, our friends, and our life.

Look out everyone! I'm back! Just a little less caffeinated.


Kelly said...

Bless your heart! I am amazed at your positive attitude in the midst of so much change! Wow! Your new home is beautiful and 3 months is still so new... enjoy her now that you can settle in a little:-)

Lynette said...

Tara, I so admire you! You are such a Godly woman with such a good attitude. Love your house, did you get new living room furniture? It looks great!

Jill Iversen said...

You're right about the menopausal lack of estrogen thing. I am not quite there but at 47 see changes headed that way. I can relate with the caffiene thing, too. Enjoy your youth. I am enjoying my middle age. Cause by now I see it ALL goes faster and faster the longer you are on this wonderful ride.