Last night I had a dream.  This dreams stands out to me because ever since starting Lunesta more than a month ago, I haven’t been able to recall any of my dreams the following morning.  I sleep and I sleep deeply.  But last night was different.  As I slept deeply, my mind wandered and delved into my imagination.  I dreamt and when I woke up, I remembered everything.

Last night I had a dream.  This dream’s name, I call Hope.  Hope was a baby, a newborn, that was mine.  She joined Jimmy, Sophia and I.  There was no birth in my dream, it just started with me holding her.  A smile on my face, fear in my head.  I chose in the dream to name her Hope, not because of all the hopes and dreams I had for her but purely on the fact that I “hoped” I would not suffer from Postpartum Depression and Anxiety again. 

Baby Hope.  I looked at her and saw the same blue eyes Sophia has, dark blue like the depths of the ocean with lighter flecks.  Unlike Sophia whose hair was dark brown at birth, Baby Hope was born with dirty blonde hair with red highlights.  So precious, so innocent.  I cradled her until my dream fast-forwarded a bit.

In the next flash, I was in a huge house, more like an English Manor than a Mansion with room after room.  Some had doors closed.  Other rooms were huge and felt like they were dominating me.  I was running through these rooms, my breath short, head filled with a thousand thoughts.  I could not, for the life of me, find my children!

Room after room I was shouting for Sophia and Baby Hope.  I ran into a few familiar faces from my life, but they didn’t know where they were.  When I finally reached Sophia, as I embraced her, I kept asking her, “Where is Hope?” Her response, “Mommy, check the crib over there.  She should be sleeping.”  When I went over to the crib, sure enough Baby Hope was in there sleeping. 

At this point, I had more of an OOBE (Out Of Body Experience) in my dream where I was now looking down on myself.  How could I as a mother not know where my children were?!  Now I was watching myself as I become overly flustered trying to find Baby Hope again because it was time to feed her.  Again, I was running, room after room, searching for her, telling everyone it was time for her to get fed.  Only I can feed her, breast is best.  The me that was watching all this like a movie noticed it right away… once again I was falling down the rabbit hole of Postpartum Anxiety.  She started to shout at me, “You need to calm down, you know what will happen next!” But like anyone shouting at a TV screen, I, like the actors, couldn’t hear her.  Postpartum Depression would surely be joining me.

Last night I had a dream.  I had a beautiful newborn baby girl with oceanic blue eyes like her older sister and strawberry blonde hair.  Last night, I lost her in a house full of rooms.  Last night I lost myself to a disease I had before

Baby Envy…

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“Aw, what an adorable newborn baby.  Love the name.  Just want to pinch those cheeks and cuddle with it.”

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“Look, so-and-so is pregnant!  Awesome!  Congrats on baby #3!”

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Everyday.  Everyday I scroll through hundreds of posts and see an abundant amount of my friends getting pregnant with their next child or giving birth.  I am truly happy for them.  I wish nothing but the best for them.  But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I am also jealous and envious of them.

Another baby to hold.  So many years I’ve longed for that.  So many years I wanted another “Snoodlebug” to cuddle up on my chest and coo.  The sweet powdery baby smell, even along with the explosive poopy diapers and spit ups.  So many years.  It was never a question of fertility that held my husband and I back… it was the question of mentality.

I barely survived my daughter’s infancy.  Riddled by week three with severe Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, I became delusional, irritated, sad, angry, vomitus, and most importantly I feared my baby.  This little buddle of 7 pounds and she scared me.  I was afraid to be around her but loved her so much that my brain planned on ways to leave so she would get what I thought at the time was “a better life.”  By week 5 postpartum, I had become so possessed I was admitted into the short term psych ward at our local hospital.

Mental Illness, my mentality, always comes into play with me for almost everything and ruins dreams of mine, but I have to embrace it.  That doesn’t mean my ovaries do not dance a little when I see a sonogram or newborn baby image.  In fact they have an all out dance party.  By the time my oldest and dearest friend had her first child and I met that fun loving little baby in NYC a few years ago, my ovaries were conducting a full on Zumba Fitness class.  He was such a cute and good baby.  I was drawn to him.  I wanted another child.

My rave-attending ovaries tried to convince my husband we should have another baby that very evening.  Oh, they tried for days, weeks, months, but he wouldn’t budge.  He would not relive those 12 days alone with a newborn and now a school-aged child if I were admitted again.  Foolish me, it couldn’t happen again.  My alpha personality wouldn’t let it. 

Yet, I am banging my head now from that statement.  So stupid of me.  When my husband finally agreed to adoption which we both had discussed before, I was elated.  Yes, it wasn’t a baby, but we would have a new person in our lives, a new character in our story.  When we were matched with a toddler, my happiness grew, originating of course, in my ovaries.  “Yay!  We’re going to have a toddler, almost a baby!”.  But when fostering or adopting a child other than an infant, there are many unknowns that you don’t have when having a toddler since infancy.  This adorable little boy had a past, over two years worth, that we didn’t know.  We didn’t know his character, his likes, his dislikes.  We didn’t know him like we knew our daughter.

Once again, I fell quickly into tornado of anxiety.  Rapidly my weight dropped from terrible nausea.  I became very attune to every sound around me and they all scared me.  I stopped sleeping.  I then began to hate myself and the thoughts of running away for my family to have “a better life” returned.  It didn’t stop there.  The mental anguish I was experiencing gave me intrusive thoughts of hurting myself… hurting myself to a point where I wouldn’t feel it anymore.  Ultimately, losing my little boy, for him to get a better life.

This last Depression, I agree with my therapist, is definitely linked to my Postpartum Depression and may or may not be a form of PPD itself.

A year later, I have reached a type of acceptance.  When my ovaries start to dance at the sight of a newborn baby, I am able to tell them to shut up.  I may not be fully happy about it, but I am able to.  I will admit though, as I scroll through my friends images, through the sonograms, newborn photos, baby photos, I am still jealous.  Extremely happy for them, but jealous.

Why?  Why did I suffer so badly?  Why did my initial postpartum experience have to be so bad that it is scarred in my head yet other mothers can just go on having the children I will never have?  Why do they “get off easy”?  Not that I wish them to ever experience what I did.  No woman should have to.  But why?  Why, after imagining my future children for decades was I chosen to experience all this?

Questions I ask myself whenever these pictures pop up in my newsfeed.  But, the answers have changed.  Call it getting older, call it embracing who I am now.  Call it whatever you want.  All those “why’s” have turned into:

 “Screw the ‘why’s’.  You have a great daughter who loves you, who wants to help you get better, who doesn’t blame you for anything that happened.  You have a great supportive husband who is happy with the life you helped him build.  You have tools… tools to help others who experience what you did. You have grown a strength so immeasurable.  You have become wise and learned.”

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“Aw, look at that cute baby, they’ve just learned how to sit up!”

And with only a spark of envy, I am content at just looking at the baby.


I’ve always seen my parents as these immortal beings even though logically I know everyone is dying from the day they are born.  Somehow I never related death to them.  Daily, I read the Obituaries in the paper, lingering on those who are my parents age slightly longer.  “My parents are still alive.  They are healthy.  They’re not old.”  Truth is, my father will be 70 in 2 weeks.  My mother a couple of years behind.

After returning from my business trip last Thursday, I was hit with the reality.  My parents are not immortal superheroes, they are as human as the rest of us and death will one day knock on their door. 

I was at work on Friday and received a text mid afternoon that my father was being admitted to the hospital.  Panic hit me almost instantly.  I could feel the anxiety in my belly rising up.  This can’t be, my father is the epitome of health.  This man probably exercises too much.  My mother continues, they don’t know what happened, just that my father complained of weakness, dizziness, and vision problems on his left side.  Once I read the words “Left Side”, I immediately thought the worst, my dad had a stroke.  All I kept thinking was “Oh my God, I am going to lose him.”  This was quickly followed by, “No, no, I can’t lose him.  I am not ready to lose my parents yet.  I can’t, I just can’t.”

My brain, prone to thinking the worst, was already thinking about seeing my father as an invalid.  A man that is very outgoing, caring and loving.  I immediately wanted to go to the hospital and see him.  My mother had responded not yet, they were still in the ER.  I sat at my desk attempting to do work, but it was no use, Anxiety Girl had returned which left me foggy and unable to focus on anything but my father.  I recounted numerous times as a teenager fighting with him.  Our personas are so similar.  Over and over, I tried to retract the times I told myself I hated him as a teen.  Then I began praying to whatever higher being is among us.

Time ticked by so slow.  I made the decision at 4pm that I was going to straight to the hospital even if my mother had not told me to come.  When I arrived, I focused solely on my father ignoring the fact that a year ago exactly I had admitted myself for Severe Depression and intrusive thoughts.  I entered through the main entrance so I would not be triggered by the sight of the ER.  I gave the desk my father’s name and was told that he was still in the ER.  Putting up blinders, I went straight to the ER and the room they gave me where I found there to be no bed.  I was puzzled.  What happened to my father?!  Where was he?!  A nurse came over and quickly squelched my fears by telling me I just missed him, he was taken for and MRI and would be gone for 45 minutes.  She told me to wait in the main waiting area, so back I went.  I texted my mother and sister and we sat there for an hour.

I couldn’t eat.  I was nauseas, irritable, exhausted, overwhelmed and most of all… I wanted to know if my Daddy was okay.

When we were finally able to see him, my anxiety was lessened as he was acting completely normal.  Talking about how he should be given an award for getting and MRI.  Ordering our favorite sandwich, Chicken Salad, to eat.  I am my father’s daughter.

Once home, I thought about the day’s events.  It became a reality.  I could’ve lost him.  Age is not on his side anymore.  I have to come to terms that one day they will both be gone and that as I hope it is a couple of decades from now, it will happen.  I am not the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman.  We are all human and as humans we are mortal.  I just never thought of my parents as aging.  I saw them the same age that they were when I was little, my daughter’s age, but time doesn’t just stop.  After all, I am older.  I am married and I have a child.  It is obvious they would have to age as well.  I guess I just thought it wouldn’t have approached so quickly.


Update:  My father is home and they found nothing wrong with him… except for maybe his undying love of Chicken Salad Sandwiches 🙂

Deep Breath In…

For the last two weeks, I have been doing really well.  Lunesta has cured my insomnia and now most nights I am tired and dozing before I even take the Lunesta.  I have increased my physical workouts these two weeks to include more than just walking at lunch when the weather decides to be anti-winter, which for this season it has been.  It is honestly nice to be tired due to physical activity then to mental drain.

Therapy has helped me climb out of my Depressive funk.  I am focusing on the positives and trying my hardest to remain in the present moment.  I believe this EMDR therapy is teaching me the act of Mindfulness and because of this, I am remaining content.  I am not super happy but I am not having feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness.  I am somewhere in the middle currently and for now, I am labeling it content.

My anxiety has been low, so low, some nights I thought about not taking my Ativan before bed.  I have been able to fully function… mind, body and soul.  This is truly a euphoric feeling when you’ve felt like pure shit for the last year.

Until yesterday.

There has been massive pressure at work to get a certain new location’s drawings done.  It is a Department wide project meaning all 18 of us on working on it, which in itself causes some of the stress as sometimes we all need to work in the same drawing.  On top of this, I leave for a business trip for another store of mine that is opening this coming Sunday.  But, I forgot to do something which I didn’t know that it was my job to do.  Here I am trying to locate an interior sign installer to install next week.  Nice, right?!  I am giving them so much time.  Thought I had it all set, and then the first installer said no. 

Uh Oh.

On top of this, my most annoying coworker keeps coming in and out of my cube with changes for this Department wide project.  Yippee!  Just pile on the stress.

It’s only 11am.

Cue my Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  An old friend who was on a two week holiday. 

Suddenly I sense my breaths getting short and shallow. 

Oh boy! 

Next I can’t focus.  What the heck was I working on?   Where did I leave off?  Was I going to make a phone call?  Then I am starting not to recognize what is in front of me… what drawing is this?  What is this a drawing of?  And then the nausea, oh the nausea.  Being stuck between being hungry and vomitus at the same time.  I’m can’t move.  Fused in my chair with 1 million thoughts racing through my mind but I can’t focus on any of them.  I can’t even focus on my music that is playing.  It adds more brain confusion, so I turn it off.  Need to walk, need to breath.  Only about noon.  Shit, lunch isn’t for another hour.

I attempt deep breaths.  Focus on my new learnings in Mindfulness.  Remembering the passages in the book my therapist gave me to read.  I can do this without taking an extra Ativan.  I have been prepared with the tools and am finally in the mindset to do this.  Deep breath in, deep breath out.  Has anything changed.  Not yet.

Deep breath in, deep breath out.

I recognize what is on my screen.  Good, something positive.  Still can’t focus too well, but I am breathing better and recognizing things.  I shoot emails to 2 other sign installers and look at the clock.  1pm.  Walk time!

Stepping outside, I am transformed.  Focusing on the clear blue skies and the sun, I am content once again.  All stress and anxiety from before just fades away.  I treasure those 40 minutes of walking.  Breathing in the cool fresh air, breathing out my anxious impurities.  I am rejuvenated… and will not kill my coworker for the day.

Of course it is a new day and guess who has called me over numerous times already for changes and my daughter’s school has been evacuated due to gas odor…

Deep breath in, deep breath out…