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Posts Tagged ‘BJD’

As a young girl, I share a room with my sister.  I was 15 months younger and relied heavily upon her for my feelings of security and comfort.  It was such a dependency that if she woke in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I would wake and cry until she returned.

Once I hit college, I began to appreciate time alone.  It wasn’t that I wanted to be alone all the time, it was simply that I began to recognise the simplicity in solitude.

A friend recently commented to me that she thinks there is some correlation with my father’s death, my pregnancy with Bubba Joe and my depression.  My response to her was duh!  (with a bit of eye rolling)

But that got me thinking.

I miss my dad horribly.  I have talked about that.  But what I think fail to realize is that my dad is dead.  Dead and gone.  Long gone and buried.

Now that might sound harsh or cruel, but it’s the truth.

I watched him die.  I held his hand.  I listened to his heart fail (I often listened to my dad’s heart, especially after he had open-heart).  I know in my head that my father is gone.

But in my heart …

and then I got pregnant with Bubba Joe.

While my family as I knew it was falling apart, my family was growing.

I still don’t know how to process it all.  And sometimes, I think it’s okay to not process, but to just keep going.

And when you are pregnant, and then that pregnancy gets complicated quickly, forcing real life and death decisions, there is no time to process in the here and now.  Just like that Sunday evening when I realized it was the last time I would see my dad alive.  There was no time to process what it all meant, or how tomorrow would feel like.  I could only get the doctors and nurses and send BJD to pick up my mom and call my brother to tell him to stop fighting with his wife and get here because dad was dying.

And then my beautiful little boy was born … six weeks early.

My world crashed.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was the beginning of the crash.

Since then, we moved over the great big blue … no, I say we moved but the truth is we ran away.  I ran away from everything in hopes I could leave it all behind.

But it is now catching up with me.

And I feel so damned alone.

Alone not in that good solitude kind of way.  I just feel lonely in that empty, nothing is fulfilling in my life kind of way.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my family.  Bubba Joe is one of the coolest kids I have ever met.  He’s strong and sensitive, caring and bold, and incredibly creative.  Giant Baby (who just turned 1 btw) is strong-willed and sensitive, observant and curious and intrigued by everything.

And BJD – well, he is the man I have always wanted.  He makes everything in my life worthwhile.

So why is it that I feel so damned lonely?

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Time is flying

and I’m learning to knit.

A few quick(ish) updates:

  • I am doing okay PPD-wise.  My household help’s last day was more than 2 weeks ago.  Last week (the last week of September) was quite rough.  It was the 4 year anniversary of my dad’s death.  He died on the 25th and was buried on the 30th.  October 1st is always a breath of fresh air.
  • Bubba Joe is loving preschool.  And we recently cut his hair – super short in a real boy cut.  We’ll let it grow again though – I miss his curls.
  • Little Girl is full of teeth (8) and has many rolls.  She’s amazing.  “Our” lullaby is You Are My Sunshine – and she really is.
  • BJD came home on Friday with flowers.  And we didn’t even … well, you know.  He said it was just because.  And I think it really was!

So let me try to upload some pics for you to enjoy!!!

Oh yeah, my knitting is coming along.  I’ve mastered the art of frogging (aka ripping out stitches).  And I’ve learned that I am not ready to knit a sweater (a big duh! moment – ask me how I know).  So right now, I’m working on 2 scarfs – if you’re on ravelry you can keep up with my knitting there!!

Okay.  I tried uploading pics and for whatever reason it’s way slow.  I promise to upload some … soon.

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How’s that for a title?

So Little Girl is almost 6 months old.  She’s an eating champ.  In case you are wondering, she’s still nursing (my BP meds are working).  She’s pretty picky too about whether she wants milk or food – and heaven help us if we try to give her the wrong thing!

I’m pretty sure she’ll be moving on to table foods soon.  She keeps trying to eat what we eat.

Here’s some pictures of her in her newest most favorite toy (the second pic shows her wearing an amber necklace to help with her teething.  Oh yeah, did I tell you that she’s already cut her two bottom teeth and more are coming?).

And then there’s some pics of Bubba Joe and Little Girl.

And then there’s the fire truck that Bubba Joe has earned by doing his “chores” for the last few weeks.  He has to put his dirty clothing in the laundry basket, brush his teeth, put his toys away (only in the living room though, not in his room), and clear his dirty dishes from the table.  This thing not only has a siren capable of sounding like either one from the States or from Europe, the ladder can go up and down and it can squirt water. (Ask me how I know … go on, ask me.)  Of course, BJD had to build a fire station for the truck – per the insistence of Bubba Joe.  So there the guys are, painting it (notice the painting on the windows – that’s a few weeks old).

And lastly, there’s a picture of some vodka BJD brought back from his recent trip to Minsk.  It went well.  Looks like he may be travelling there more often, getting a good chance to polish up his russian.  (Did you know that he was born in Siberia, emigrated when he was 17 with his family to Germany then moved to the States 8 years ago to marry me? Oh yeah, happy 8th anniverary to me this week!)

I can’t figure out how to insert just one or two pics and then write some more and then insert other pics.  Anyone know how to do that in wordpress?

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After admitting to myself, BJD and I talked.  And we both agree that it is time to get some help.  One of the nice things about being here in Germany is their social system.  Yes, everyone has insurance, no it is not free (we pay 15% of BJD’s salary to have coverage).

In order to get true help (i.e. to get insurance to provide household assistance as they did when I was on bedrest), I needed a diagnosis.  My regular hausartzt was not enough.  I had to see a neurologist/psychiatrist.  Yup, they’re one in the same here.

My appointment was today.   5pm.

We go in, having left the kids with oma and opa and are told there is approximately a 30 minute wait.  (I truly love when they know they are running late and give us the option to go run errands/grab a bit to eat/whatever.)  We decided to just stay and wait.

And as we’re sitting there, I feel myself surrounded by  crazies.

I know, I know.  It’s awfully judgemental of me, a woman with postpartum depression, stating that I’m in a room full of crazies, but seriously, I was in a shrink’s waiting room.  And more than that, in a waiting room preparing to speak with a medical professional who may or may not be nice, helpful, sympathetic or worse yet, have such a strong dialect that I can’t communicate.

Needless to say, I had myself pretty worked up and at one point asked BJD what we were doing there.  He reminded me that in order for him to return back to the office (and no longer work from home), I needed help.  To get help required a diagnosis.  To get a diagnosis meant waiting.

Now I’m not normally a patient person in the best of situations.  But admitting to myself that I needed help was destroying pieces of me more and more and the longer I sat there, I started wondering if *I* too, were in fact crazy.  I mean, what on earth were these people doing here, if they weren’t somehow “messed up in head”.  See.  There I am, being judgemental again.

They call me in.  Approximately 1/2 hour after my appointment (love it even more when their predictions are correct). And they tell me to wait in the hallway.  Ahh, the joys of thinking you’re going in to only go to yet another room to wait.

But it wasn’t long.

Then the doc called me in.

I was surprised.

He was great.

He took his time listening.  And asked questions to make sure he understood what I was saying.  (BTW – no dialect.  He spoke high german which was great!) He even knew what preeclampsia was and was surprised that I had it twice.  Surprised simply because it’s not common to have it the first time and well, twice is truly something.

When I told him that most of my problems center around my feelings of guilt and my inability to find my footing, he immediately explained that the guilt is depression.

Dude.  He got me.

We talked more.

He was incredibly empathetic.  And moreso when I explained about my dad dieing just before Bubba Joe was conceived – the dichotomy of life and death.

So I’m getting help.

And I’m not being judged.

I will continue on my low-dose zo lo f t.

BJD will contact our insurance tomorrow to find out about household help.  It has some other name for now, but it’s basically the same thing.

He will also contact Caritas again – they are a religious non-profit who does these kinds of things … helping those who need help.

And the last option of course is to go away on a mother-child cure – a few weeks away, just me and the kids, to heal and find my footing.  I tried this when we first moved but insurance denied it.  (I was still fighting PPD when we moved.)  Since that time, the german government has said that insurance is not allowed to deny the mother-child cure when prescribed by a doctor, as mine originally was.

So now there is a plan.

I liked the doctor.

I still feel odd  writing about it.  But I guess to be an advocate for postpartum depression I need to come to terms with it – and part of coming to terms is discussing it.

I wish I didn’t feel so well, crazy, as though I am being judged.  But I think this is all part of the hormonal imbalance.

I’ll do my best to keep ya’ll updated.  But don’t be surprised if it takes me a while to come back and update.  It’s a hard process for me.  Hard to come to terms with my own failures and weaknesses.  But to move forward, to become stronger, I must.

So here goes …

one foot …

then the other.

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Before we moved overseas, BJD and I ensured that all legal documents were in place: last will and testament, establishing legal guardianship and living wills. 

We’ve since made the decision to change who we had originally chosen as legal guardian for our children.

In Ohio (don’t know about other states), whoever is written on that piece of paper is pretty much it.  They’re who the parents chose, they’re who the children go to.

We hired an attorney in Ohio to properly file all the paperwork.

In Germany though, it doesn’t work that way. 

Guardianship is established by the courts.  Sure, as parents, we have written out our wishes on a piece of paper, to be updated anually, with both our signatures, dates, pertinent info, etc. for legal guardianship if anything happened to the both of us. 

BUT – and here’s where I get scared/worried/concerned – the courts can override the parents’ decision.  The court (i.e. judge) can determine that the children do not know or have a relationship with the person the parents choose.  And the court can give custody to someone else.

And then, if the child is over the age of 12, well, they have a say too.

We’ve chosen my sister and brother-in-law as legal guardian.  But if anything happened to both BJD and I, they may have a legal battle on their hands.  Our inlaws here could fight for custody.  And the courts could override our wishes.

I knew having an international relationship could be complicated.  I never considered that a court would have the right to determine the best for my child without knowing me or my wishes. 

BJD spoke with an attorney here in Germany yesterday and he confirmed all this too.

… yet another thing to think about as an expat.

Now I have to go back to singing and dancing with Bubba Joe.  Little milchmmaedchen is upstairs, sleeping in her chair, while her daddy (who BTW is completely wrapped around her tiny little finger) is arbeiten (working).

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What dreams may come … (one of my favorite movies BTW)

It’s normal for me to have vivid dreams. Dreams I remember. Dreams that scare the crap out of me. Dreams that inspire.

Add to that all the wonderful pregnancy hormones and the fear of being considered high-risk and well, you’ve got yourself one dreaming gal.

Last night I dreamt about some past, um, well, let’s call them ex-boyfriends. Well, one specifically. I’ve dreamt about him actually often. But maybe that’s because I’ve often wondered what ever became of him – if he became the man he wanted to be (he was known to be a bit of a player back then) and if his family was still together.

In this dream, there we are, both of us with our families. Pretending not to notice the other because of the past (we didn’t exactly end our relationship on the best of terms). And then at one point I walked straight up to him and told him how I had felt about him through the years. It was an open, honest, raw moment. I haven’t had one of those in a dream in quite some time. (In fact, I think the last time I had such a moment was after my dad died and I dreamt he and I were speaking while he was in heaven … I asked him if he could see and hear us, he had to go ask God, who of course said yes. I asked him if he would continue to be able to do so, he had to go ask God again, who again, said yes. Then I had this sensation of falling and boom! I woke up. Very surreal.)

Back to my dream last night.

So I confronted this ex of mine and told him exactly how I had felt about him through the years. I then shared that in spite of the feelings I had, I was so very thankful to be madly in love with my husband and son.

It was strange. I’ve never tried to verbalize feelings for another man other than my husband. But it’s true that I dated before Bubba Joe’s dad. And I had fun doing so. (I also had my heart trampled on quite a few times, but that was all part of the experience.)

I realized then and there just how much I truly love my husband.

I cannot imagine taking a single step in this life without him by my side.

He has seen me at my best. He’s seen me at my worst. But mostly, from day one, he’s seen through all the walls and barriers that I put up, pretending to be someone I’m not.

He’s helped me to see my gentle side as a side that is strong. And that my weaknesses can be improved upon.

He’s held me up when I fell. He’s carried me what I crumbled. He’s been my source of inspiration on so many levels. (and all this for a guy who was raised atheist … not bad, eh?)

So while I have a tendency to wonder what if about so many things in my life, I do not have regrets. Nope, I don’t regret you, my ex, for all those times we spent together. Because without you, I wouldn’t have found my BJD. And without my BJD, I wouldn’t have found me.

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