Sunday, July 21, 2013

Some SLC firsts

Night number one in the new house: I sat on my bed in my second story bedroom high above the quaint street below. My back nestled into the green pillows, and Sam nursed eagerly. Sun light streamed through the panes of the windows and warmed the skin on my arms. It felt like magic, soft and tingly. Such romantic scenes weren't possible in our gloomy basement apartment. My shoulders slumped in exhaustion and my feet ached from the manual labor of moving, but my spirit soared from joy and negated any physical discomfort. Between the solar energy dancing about my room and the soft infant in my arms, my eyes closed automatically as if savoring a gentle kiss. I opened them again and tried to memorize the unfamiliar silhouette of the Salt Lake valley mountains. Grey clouds rolled down from the north and drizzled light rain on the pavement. I stared down the street at the gabled roofs of my neighbors and felt transported to the stereotyped streets of suburbia England. Whistling the theme song from Harry Potter may have crossed my mind, but instead I serenaded Sam with a vintage tune from a soda commercial.

First shopping trip: After a few days of living in the new house I found myself without the internet I'd been promised. New to the area and with no smart device that could direct me around town, I was housebound until my husband came home with his phone. The refrigerator was empty and echoed when I opened it for a drink of water. The closest grocery store was a Reams a few blocks down the street. Although I'd never been to a Reams I was eager to check out my local options for supermarket excursions. With my Rowbabies safe in the arms of my husband, I ventured out alone so the motherhood fog about my head could clear. My blue car pulled into the Reams parking lot, and I surveyed the building. It was short, small, and old compared to the Orem stores to which I was accustomed. But it had produce and milk so I stepped into the shady lot, locked the car, and hurried inside as a light sprinkling of rain fell from the deep gray clouds. Once inside, the smell of decay weaved its way into my nostrils, and a bearded stranger eyed me grumpily. I was oddly comfortable as the outdated d├ęcor and elderly employees reminded me of the small towns of the Midwest. This was a jewel inside the big city, and as I picked out berries for Andrea's breakfast I felt my mouth pull up into a smile.

First breakdown: Thursday morning began with a slightly feverish toddler who refused to eat breakfast. A hour later she began to complain of some nausea. I sat beside her, with a nursing newborn in one hand and a barf bowl in the other, praying her stomach would hold until I could put Sam down on the floor. When he finished eating I laid him on his play mat and tried to address Andrea's needs. I fought the urge to call my mom. I stopped my fingers from texting my sister. What could they do forty miles away? No, I was alone-- alone in my pseudo-British community just down the street from a small town store. All the charm in the world could not erase the homesickness that was attacking my lungs and constricting my airways. While Andrea and I sat on the couch snuggling away “the pukies” I choked back tears and asked my little child if she would say a prayer with me. We knelt on the floor and through an episode of ugly blubbering I begged Heavenly Father to help my child feel better or give me the strength and ability to properly care for both of needy children. We said amen and the blue eyes of my sweet toddler penetrated my soul as she studied my face. She smiled a crooked grin and hesitantly asked, “You happy now, Mommy?” And leaning on her perfect faith I was.

Friday, July 12, 2013


I wish I had the words to articulate my current feelings about life.  I sometimes try to explain them to various people but as the words exit my mouth I'm already thinking, "No, that's not quite right."  The mounting frustration over the inability to express has caused me to stutter more than I'd like to admit.  I have very few moments of quite reflection and, depending on the intensity of my hormones and the amount of sleep I've had, the mood of the moment varies greatly.

Right after bringing Sam home from the hospital I sat on my bed nursing the newborn.  I stared down at his beautifully fuzzy noggin and sweet, pink cheeks and was sideswiped by a desire to never nurse again.  Apathy filled my chest and I didn't care about the benefits of breast milk or oxytocin or the calories burned.  I just didn't want to be sharing my body with anyone anymore.  Call it claustrophobia or postpartum depression, but whatever it was, it felt like I'd been shocked by a taser.  Stunned and confused, I pulled the thought down for analysis and worried it around until I felt confident enough to discard it.  I kept nursing.  I'm still nursing.

On the second of July Paul was late coming home from work.  I knew that the holiday would mean extra load of auditing duties for him that week, but I found myself annoyed that I had to be home alone with the kids for so many hours.  Unable to get my two week old to nap I spent the afternoon carrying around a crying infant while the two year old begged me for food, affection, and a little peace and quiet.  When Paul walked through the door and spent a whole minute opening the mail before relieving me of the hysterical baby, steam whistled from my ears and the pressure of holding back a snippy comment caused my temples to ache.  Meanwhile, I took that snippy comment and, like a scientist, tested it for rationality and reason.  When the results came back negative for both, I took a deep breath and blew the remaining steam out of my mouth as I forced the ugly thought into my mental trashcan.

Most days I feel this disconnection from my thoughts.  It's as if they are being placed there by some hormone fairy with a twisted sense of humor.  Yet, the amount of effort required to combat these cognitions is almost more than my sleepless self can handle.

Tomorrow is moving day and between packing, crying/attention-starved toddler, hungry and wailing baby, and all of the coordination required to insure appliances, a truck, and helping hands, I think I might have a meltdown.  Wish me luck!