Friday, September 04, 2009

Control Issues.

For weeks now I've been feeling like absolute shite. I'm recovering from the birth, but I've felt like I'd hit a wall and was going no farther. A couple weeks ago, Alaskaboy noticed that despite my use of Breathe Right strips, (which I'd discovered thanks to my dad) I was still having disturbed sleep.

Yes, yes, I know I'm the mother of a young baby plus also needing to go to the bathroom a lot thanks to the surgery, but this was something different. The slight sleep apnea that I started having during the latter stages of my pregnancy has not gone away like I'd assumed. In fact, Alaskaboy and I figured out it's the main reason I've been so exhausted. I mean, months later still falling asleep on the toilet and couch? Without even realising I've fallen asleep? Total body exhaustion.

It's taken me a few trial and errors, but I've figured out a way to get better quality sleep, without hopefully having to get a CPAP machine: Different, higher pillows for my head, one under my arm like a teddy bear to take some of the weight off my chest and throat, and of course the nasal strips. It's amazing the difference it makes having fewer episodes per sleep session.

After reading up on helpful hints etc, I got stuck on one particular point all of the data agreed upon: Losing weight. I've been debating with myself ever since about going to buy some scales. Some days I'm resolute that I'll be getting them, other days the thought of bringing them into the house nauseates me. Finally, last weekend I decided that I would purchase them.

Funnily enough, I've come up with a new excuse every day since as to why I don't get to the shops before they close. It's too hot to go out; I'm too tired; I was tending Kiddlywink all day, etc etc etc. Today, after watching Disfigured over the course of a few baby feedings, it hit me that I'd actually related more to the anorexic character in the film than the overweight ones. During a big sob session, it also shed light on why I hadn't gone out and bought those scales.

Why?

Control.

Now that I'm getting a little more quality sleep, I have the energy to feel what I'm feeling, rather than losing it all in the sleep-deprived haze. And what I'm feeling is; that I feel like I've lost control of my life. Well, I've lost my illusion of control anyway.

The birth wasn't as I wanted it, neither was the immediate aftermath. So many things I thought would happen a certain way, almost seemed to go out of their way to happen the opposite. I feel robbed and cheated and let down. But I haven't had the energy, due to the sleep deprivation, to actually feel them. If that makes sense?

I have no problem with my appearance, it's pretty much the same as it's always been, with the addition of a few more stretch marks and slightly floppier and looser bits. They'll tone up in time eventually. But will the numbness go away? Will the incontinence? Will the sleep apnea? It's my body and yet it's not.

With my body clock having to follow Kiddlywink's waking patterns, on top of all those other issues I just mentioned, I'm feeling like I have lost control of myself and my life. And the “lose 10% body weight to beat the apnea” instruction from those websites began to sing its seductive song.

Deep down I knew all along exactly who'd be in control though. The scales. Before long they'd be dictating my moods and giving me the bragging rights of just how many kilos I'd lost. And thus I was flirting with dieting thinking again and it's shocked the shit outta me. Why do I need the scales to tell me when I've lost the magic 10%? What if the apnea doesn't go away after losing 10%? What if it goes away before that?

Instead of bewailing my weight and the state of my house...I have to take the sure fire clue my messy house has been giving me and declutter the state of my mind instead. Focus on what's really the problem, instead of what's merely one of the symptoms. By this I mean, my house is acceptably messy for the situation I'm in. The actual symptom is my focus on getting my house “perfectly” clean and because it's not I can beat myself up about what a bad housewife I am. Thus taking away the heat from my real problems. Hey, I'm managing to get most of the dishes done every night, as well as cleaning and sterilising baby girl's stuff.

Let me say that again. I wash most of the dishes, sometimes all of them, every single night! Something I couldn't even manage while getting excellent sleep without a baby! So it's definitely not the housework that's the real issue, now is it?

I don't need scales to tell me I'm getting healthier...when my sleep apnea disappears, it'll have disappeared. No number on the scale will make it disappear. So why bother getting a scale to measure those totally useless numbers?

What will make it disappear is giving my body time to recover completely from the pregnancy and surgery. Giving myself time to recover my fitness and muscle tone. I'll know when I start regaining more health than I already have, because not only will I sleep better, but my energy levels plus my clothes will tell me so.

I don't need scales to regain control. What I do need is to allow myself to work through the disappointments, hurts, fears and grief that has come over the past few months. Work through them instead of hanging on to them like I have been. The control I do need to have won't be found by weighing myself. What I need to do is what I've done in the past: Allow the outflow of emotions in a safe and constructive way rather than trying to control them by corralling them behind an impenetrable wall of numbers.

That, and getting more good quality sleep. Speaking of... ZzzZZzz

1 Nibbles:

Denise said...

After having my son, I felt like I had to do everything right away- baby announcements, thank yous, laundry, and so on. I killed myself. I didn't allow myself to enjoy my baby and to enjoy my time at home with my baby. At the same time though, I still didn't do what my body needed. Now that you have a baby, it is a matter of finding that time for yourself---that includes time for managing a diet---and I don't mean diet as in counting calories. It takes time to meal plan and just think about eating better. I found it very difficult to just put Aiden in a stroller and go for a walk. You will get there---that's my point. A lot has changed in your life, and you can only take one day at a time and learn how to incorporate your needs back into it while still making the day work with all the schedules you know have!

You can do it! It is hard, but all new moms have to do it. And please heal from your birth experience...we all have this idea in our heads of how it is going to go- I know I sure did and I didn't enjoy most of mine due to lack of doctors and bedside manner.

You have a lot going on...BUT...you will make it work