Sunday, January 27, 2008

Unexplained feelings

All day long, I've had a feeling of....I'm not quite sure what. Nervousness? Panic? Dread? All of the above?

It's like that feeling you get right before a big test or event, that panicky/restless/what-if-things-go-horribly-awry feeling in the pit of your stomach. Like that.

Except there's no reason at all right now for me to feel panicky/nervous/like the other shoe is about to drop.

Hmmm. I hope this is not a bad omen of some sort.

Stay tuned.


kb said...

Breastfeeding hormones make me feel that way, especially right before/during a growth spurt. I don't know if I'm alone.

Hey, it'd be better news than a bad omen, right?

Mary said...

Hi Jane,

I know exactly what you're saying. I've been feeling this as well. I'm in a place of finding out what this is. I know that all is good. I think the challenge for me is not knowing the outcome of what's next in my life. Knowing is a place of safety for me.

A wonderful book was recommended by a friend and I am so enjoying it. It's called I.M. Heart. The book is about awareness of feelings, accepting them and living with them. It shares experiences, tools and strategies to work through them.

As long as I understand them I can live with them.

I hope this helps.

Create a great day.


Zuska said...

Hmmm...could it be a sort of panic attack? I mean, I just read your last few entries and it made ME feel panicky. :) You are going through a rough patch, sounds like. Hang in there.

Jane said...

zuska, I did think panic attack too, initially. It never really progressed from the pit-in-the-stomach feeling, so I'm not sure if it was or wasn't. Thanks, I am hanging in there!

kb, it may in fact be hormonal, since I did end up getting my period today (wow, what a trip! it's been a year and a half and how quickly you forget). But Baby Jane has been growing a lot lately too, so who knows, maybe it is a growth spurt.

Lauri said...

Comment part 1
I apologize in advance for what will be a long comment. When I read your schedule my first thought was "wow – you are amazing". My second thought was "wow – burn out is only a matter of time". When your next posting described panic attack symptoms I began to worry for you. Do not write your feelings off as hormones. Hormones do not cause feelings, they might make them harder to suppress but the feelings are real! What you are experiencing is likely the result of knowing you can not keep this pace up for the next 18 years (even if you do not consciously recognize it). I am going to give you some advice. My credentials for giving advice are simply that I have lived through the phase you are going through twice (my kids are 15 and 12 now).

On the subject of breast feeding and pumping; you do not have to pump that many times a day to keep nursing baby Jane (and what's up with the 11 P.M pumping?). When I went back to work when my second was five months old I managed to pump at work for about a week before I gave it up. I continued to nurse in the mornings and evenings, sending two bottles of formula to the sitters each day (with strict instructions not to feed him a bottle within 2 hours of me picking him up – so he would nurse when I got home ). My milk supply adjusted fine (you might have to pump a bit at first for relief). For me this meant not taking an hour out of my work day for the pumping activities which meant I could be more productive at work and needed to work at home less (and I got a real lunch break too).

Yes, I felt guilty at first for supplementing the mother's milk I believed my baby deserved but I decided both my kids deserved a mother who was not completely off her rocker. At the time I did not realize my guilt was the result of buying into a Motherhood-Image that simply was not attainable. I now see that women are constantly pushed to be super mommy and supper career woman by the list of shoulds society places on us; I should breast feed as long as possible, I should be stimulating my baby every second she is not asleep, I should have a spotless house and bake cookies every week…. the list is endless. And don't think the shoulds will go away when baby Jane is older – there will just be new ones.

Lauri said...

Comment part 2 - again - sorry for the length.
The sad result of buying into the Perfect Mommy Image is that many women live with a tremendous amount of guilt, or end up giving up their career because they simply can't keep up and they mistakenly believe that being everything all the time to their children is paramount (and don't think giving up your career helps much – the bar for stay at home mommys just gets put higher). Another by-product of this image is that many women choose not to have children because they see they can not meet such high standards. For a detailed critic on our current attitudes to Mothering I highly recommend reading Perfect Madness Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety by Judith Warner (2001).

Here is my list of shoulds for long term survival of career + family + sanity (I once read you could only keep two of the three – I still fight to have all three).
• Re-evaluate your schedule every few weeks looking for things that could be done easier, less often or not at all.
• When evaluating the items on your schedule think – is this something I really need/want to do or is it someone else's should?
• Help baby Jane learn to entertain herself (maybe she already does – I just cringed at the idea you and Mr. Jane take turns eating). Dinner time would be a good time to start this - find a way to coral baby Jane near by with some activities (a kitchen cupboard full of items she can not hurt herself with works great). As soon as possible get her in a high chair and give her finger foods so she can eat with Mommy and Daddy (but not in your plates).
• Re-evaluate child and home duties to make sure they are reasonably and fairly divided. It is great the Mr. Jane contributes – but you are up and hour before him, then you get him up, and then you are dropping of at daycare (maybe Mr. Jane picks up – that was not clear). Will Mr. Jane be able to get up when you are away? Then he can do it when you are there. Trust me, every 5 minutes counts.
• Consider the advice you get – and ignore whatever does not ring true to you (including this if need be).

I still have panic attacks from time to time and I struggle regularly with the shoulds (this year I finally gave myself permission to not be at every one of my son's hockey games). The treadmill will always be there – just try to keep it running at a pace you can handle over the distance (you wouldn't try to sprint for an entire marathone). Hopefully you can keep us updated, but don't feel bad if Blogging ends up being one of the shoulds that drops down the list.

Jane said...

Lauri, thanks for the tips. To be honest, pumping is actually more like a mini-break for me during work and at night; I usually use those times to catch up on reading that I otherwise wouldn't do. (The late-night pumping is so that I can keep up w/ Baby Jane's milk requirements; I don't pump quite enough to meet them during the day, so the extra pumping right before I go to bed helps me keep up and also keep a bit ahead.)