I feel like I ought to write a little update as I’ve been away a little while. It’s been a busy couple of months, but sort of quiet at the same time. I feel like every day has been a battle, a competition between the me that is capable and functioning, and the black hole I’m trying not to fall into.
Wow, that sounds so miserable. It’s not as bad as it sounds, I don’t think. I don’t feel down all of the time. Most of the days are great. I feel fine. Happy. Satisfied. Even like a supermum sometimes! On these days I cannot relate at all to the other me. It’s like there are two of us.Then there are the other days, where the world feels so heavy and I can’t carry it. I want to quit. Take a day out. Go back to bed. But that isn’t a possibility. Two small people rely solely on me during the long days when Trevor is at work. I battle on, put a brave face on and out we go.
The return of the migraines is what triggered all of this, I think. I thought I’d left them behind in the time before I was a parent. I was so relieved to be free of the pain that haunted my twenties.
I’m back on a low dose of amitriptyline to prevent them, and it’s helping. They still creep through occasionally, but not so often and not so intensely. I was walking around every day with that weird pre-migraine foggy feeling, knowing the pain would hit soon. That’s stopped. Most days I can’t see the flashes of light or the blurry edges that signal the beginning of the pain to come.
I haven’t yet talked to the doctor about the physical pain. I’ve been in denial, trying to blame it on recovering from pregnancy and childbirth.
Deep down I know it’s not that. I know it was there before I had kids. I’m sure carrying and birthing my little ones has made things worse, but it definitely wasn’t the start.
Right now I’ve got such a sore neck that I can barely move it, accompanied by achey shoulders and upper back, and a sharp shooting pain behind my right ear. My left knee is throbbing, and hurts like crazy when I get up from sitting on the floor. My feet are achey and throbbing too. It can’t be normal. This can’t be how everybody is. There has to be something wrong with me.
It’s not new. It’s worse than ever but it isn’t new. I’ve always had random pain. Pain in joints and muscles I’ve not particularly used. Weird throbbing that happens in odd places, like a thumb, or just one toe, or my wrists.
I’ve never ever talked about it. I don’t know why. Because I’m afraid of being weird, I guess. Or at least I was, before I had kids. I’m not so afraid of being unusual anymore. There are bigger worries. Like being a good mum.
So I’ll see a GP. But I don’t feel positive that I’ll be listened to or understood. We’ll see. I’ll try to see the same doctor I talked about my migraines with. She seemed nice. Kind and understanding. She spent ages working out what I could safely take while breastfeeding, when I was scared she’d just tell me to stop.
In other, unrelated, news, Astrid is now 4 months old. How did that happen? She’s so chubby and jolly, and has a smile for everybody. I had no idea there was an Astrid-shaped hole in our family but it’s clear now that there was. She’s just slotted right in and it’s like she was always here.
Iris turns two next month. She’s such a wonder. I still watch her play and can’t believe that she’s mine. I made her. She’s such a little person now. She holds conversations and speaks in full sentences, and learnt most of the colours from a book about a cat that she chose from the library. She loves to kick balls, to dance, to run as fast as she can. She adores art, especially the messy kind, and becomes so engaged in creating her creations.
The big two seem so grown up. They seem unfazed by the arrival of yet another baby, and I’m so proud of them. I’ve been finding being a stepparent so hard lately. Not because of them. Not because of what they do or how they are. They’re great kids. It’s just so exhausting to go from being a tired parent of two to an exhausted parent of four at the weekends. They want to do fun stuff all weekend from start to finish, and I’m totally with them. I want the weekends to be crammed with fun too, but I’m so very tired.
I have so much more I want to say. A hundred things in my head that need putting into words. But not today. Today I need to shake it all off because we’re heading to the beach. The sun is shining and the kids are all smiling. Let’s do this.