Friday, October 31, 2008

Meandering Thoughts About Depression.

Every time there is a woman going through depression, I am reminded of my struggle. I think there is some part of mental illness, even Post Partum Depression, that is like an addiction: you have to be aware of it for the rest of your life. It is always a part of you. And you can look back at parts of your life before the diagnoses and see glimpses of it then. It is completely enmeshed with your identity.

Jason can see parts of his addictive nature in everything…his obsession with our budget, his hunt for new foods to try, his tendency to take something and run with it to the extreme.

He can look back at his days as a carver in his early teens, his need for attention, his penchant for doing crazy things to get an adrenaline rush.

I look at my adolescence and remember feeling out of place. Out of my skin. Like I wasn’t really a part of the acceptable world. I constantly strove to make better grades, to be the smartest, since I wasn’t the prettiest or the most clever. I had to be the smart one. I constantly escaped into books and movies and a rich imagination. If I couldn’t be the best at something, like math or 4H or heck, even cleaning my room, I gave up. Sure, there was the standard parental pressure of the 80’s and 90’s on the oldest child to be successful, but my parents were generally supportive. And loved me unconditionally. Possibly even more than that, since they tried for 7 years before they had me. There was just something that misfired in my brain and told me I wasn’t good enough.

I didn’t realize this was an abnormal feeling until diagnosed with PPD. And my therapy sessions revealed that perhaps PPD was more of a trigger, that this clinical depression was lying dormant for MUCH longer. And it made SO much sense. And I was relieved.

But like I said, it is a lifelong struggle. Like Jason has moments when he craves meth so badly that he can taste it, I sometimes long to crawl into my bed and roll around in my sadness. I have to fight my natural instinct, to indulge in my misery, and instead embrace happiness. Not all the time, of course, but there are definite moments.

We both fight these urges, for our girl. She is the one who made us a family. Who forced us to be grown-ups, to pull ourselves up and make ourselves better. She is the light of our lives, and easily the best thing either of us has done. She is the reason I take the little white pill every day, the reason Jason says no.

And we watch. We look for little signs. Does her love for fast rides and daredevil tactics predict a life of searching for the next high? Does the shaking rage when she doesn’t get her way indicate a misfiring synapse? Did she get the wrong number in the Roulette wheel? I mean, she has a mother who is clinically depressed, a father who is a drug addict, she was born on Smoker’s New Year…Is there any hope?

Then I look at her. I watch her hug the dogs, and sing Jingle Bells (the Bing Crosby version), and tell me, “Good night, darling, I love you,” because darling is the term of endearment I use most for her. I hug her, hold her tight, tell her everyday she is beautiful and I love her. And I know that no matter what happens…we will be ok.

She will be ok.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bring on the Peppermint!

No Diabetes!

I was thrilled and surprised. After 3 weeks of being given the run-around and being stuck like a pin cushion, I can safely eat the truffles hidden in my desk.

Like most things, though, something good came out of this whole debacle: Jason was been cooking healthy food.

This may not seem like much of an accomplishment, but this is a man who insists grease is more beneficial than vitamins. Who had a 3 day argument with me over whether it was cruel to give our daughter soy milk. Who believes vegetables should be covered in Velveeta.

We have been making gradual changes for over a year…changing our breads and pastas to whole wheat…banishing high fructose corn syrup…trading products for organic versions (have you tried the all-natural Cheetos? NO ORANGE DUST = AWESOME.)

But this…

Jason didn’t know anything about diabetes when we were told I was a candidate. He did some research, and became TERRIFIED. (Dads should Google even less than moms.) He began to fear for the health of his wife and second daughter. He was an emotional mess.

So, he did what he does, what I love him for. He grabbed the freakin’ bull by the horns.

He researched and found Asian food was the best cuisine for people with sugar problems, and has incredible health benefits. He found the best types of veggies to use, the oyster and sesame and soy and chili sauces he would need. He invested in a wok and found the best way to use peanut oil.

He learned how to cook TOFU.

This is something we are continuing though the tests were negative. He has embraced this lifestyle, and we are running with it. Not to say we still won’t be indulging in the rich, caloric food Jason excels at. In fact, one of the benefits of the healthy food is the allowance to continue his Quest to Perfect All Desserts.

We have so much more energy. Our bodies feel less creaky and decrepit. And our girl, who refuses to eat with anything but chopsticks now, who devours tofu and broccoli and carrots, who eats more in one sitting of ‘Chinee Foot’ than she would in an entire day before, will reap the benefits as well.

So this bump turned out to be a ramp after all.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Original Adorable Girl.

or, 'Look what I found! '

When Vi was first born, we had this HORRIBLE digital camera we got for fifty dollars. New. But it enabled us to capture a few grainy moments in time with our beloved firstborn.

Then. The computer crashed. With all of my pictures.

I was crushed.

But through the magic of 'websites I uploaded photos to and then promptly forgot about', I have regained some of these lovelies.

Bask in the glory with me. You know you want to!

my violet in a basket

i can still feel her delightful infanty-ness in my arms when i look at this one.

ok, a little devilish. but still my lovely.

i am DYING of the cuteness.

plop. am now dead.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Baby Carli is a big girl.

While we were in the ultrasound last week, Jason kept commenting on how…squished she seemed. How she didn’t seem to have nearly as much room to move around as Violet did. We didn’t think much of it until the midwife said later, “Yeah, that’s a big baby.”

She is measuring at least 1 lb; they would have expected her to be just over half a pound.

So, I have spent this week trying to get tested for gestational diabetes. I have been to the midwives’ office every day this week, only to be thwarted. Monday is when she told me, but I didn’t have enough time to take the test that day. Tuesday, they were closed. Wednesday, I arrived too late to be tested. Finally, this morning at 7:30, they drew my blood.

The results won’t be back for a couple of days.

Really, in the scheme of things, this is a minor complication. Since our diet mainly consists of whole wheat pastas and lean meats, vegetables and organic snacks, I wouldn’t have to change much in the way of food. I have been getting the recommended daily exercise. I have been instinctively doing what the diabetes websites recommend, including protein in the morning and snacks every couple of hours.

I suppose, really, I shouldn’t be stressed about this. A few minor changes, like cutting out the toasted marshmallow lattes and the occasional peppermint ice cream, will rectify the situation.

Its just…another complication. This road to my girl has been rough. I thought, looking at her beautiful little self on the ultrasound monitor, that we were in for smooth sailing.

It could be nothing. The tests could come back negative.

Just another bump in the road.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Bebe Ninja

The day I found out your name, there was snow on the mountains. I could see the peaks covered as I drove to the appointment. Though you won’t grow up here, I like knowing that there was something majestic to see the day we met.

My Carli Jay.

My second princess.

Your father and I are both over the moon for you. We can’t wait to hold you, touch you, play with you, stare at you. Your big sister, who calls you Baby Carti, insists you come out NOW, although we really prefer you to stay in there and bake a bit longer.

You, second little girl, are the one we prayed for. Thank you for completing our family.