My body is broken.

PCOS and weaning a toddler

by Veronica on January 20, 2014

in My body is broken.

A little while ago I went through the process of night weaning Evelyn, teaching her how to fall asleep with a bottle and without me. It was going well – swimmingly in fact, until Evelyn realised I am at my weakest at 4am.

Beating her little fists on the side of the cot, she refused to lay back down and sleep at 4am, demanding a breastfeed and spitting angrily if I tried to give her a bottle.

We added back in a 4am breastfeed, at which point I would usually bring Eve back to bed with me, because it was easy.

But, she’s like most toddlers. You give an inch, they take a mile. And then they take the mile and run even further with it, until no one has any miles left and they’re all tangled up and unable to walk because of the mile wrapped around their legs.

Needless to say, it’s not working anymore.

Last night Eve woke up at midnight, and screaming, demanded to be taken to my bed for a breastfeed. I refused. She screamed, fussed, wailed, complained, slept, screamed, repeat. At 2am I breastfed her and put her back in her cot. At 3am she was screaming again.

I gave up and brought her back in to bed with me.

The thing is though, it isn’t working for me anymore. She’s not interested in breastfeeding during the day at all anymore, and I am too tired to keep nursing overnight.

I think this means we’re weaning entirely.

I’m ready for it. I’m ready to wear proper bras that fit me decently, I’m ready.

Mostly I’m ready to have some sort of hormonal cycle back. And I know, I’ll be bitching about it before the month is out, but you see, I’ve got PCOS and I can FEEL that it’s flared up. I should have had a period back 6-8 months ago. If I concentrate, I can feel my stupid ovaries doing stupid things in my stupid reproductive system.

Fertility is a tricky thing, and I’m glad to not be having to think about it anymore. For those wondering, my husband had a vasectomy when Eve was four months old and it has been the best decision we made.

I’m glad to be done with babies. I’m glad to almost be done with breastfeeding.

I want my body back to myself. Is that too much to ask?

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It started when I realised that I didn’t want to do anything except read. I stopped writing. I started shouting. Taking care of the baby felt like something someone else was doing; like an animatron I went through the movements, but there were cloudy panes of glass between me and everything else.

My anxiety got worse and I was checking every five minutes to make sure everyone was still breathing. Under these conditions, having a vivid imagination is a curse, not a blessing and I imagined a thousand ways in which my life could get irreparably fucked up.

I was pacing the floor with the baby tucked under my chin and I cried.

and cried

and cried

and I couldn’t stop.

And I couldn’t stop the next day, or the next, or the next.

I fantasised about running away. I didn’t want to do this anymore; be here anymore. Whose idea was it to have children, let alone three of them? It’s very easy to suffocate under the needs of others and I was drowning.

Last week, I confessed to my husband that I thought I probably had postnatal depression and that I definitely needed help. Yesterday, I saw my doctor and came home with a script for antidepressants and a small speck of hope that maybe, this would all be okay again.

It’s an interesting thing, depression. It sucks you down into the black hole, a quagmire of hopelessness and hate. The Bloggess declares that depression lies and I held onto that through the weekend, and didn’t leave, or throw coffee cups at my husband, because she’s right, depression lies and I do love this family of mine, more than words can say.

In hindsight, I probably had PND after both of my older children. I remember pacing the floor with a sleepless screaming Amy and sobbing into her head until we were both covered in snot and angst, just wanting it to be over, to be done. I remember the resentment that built up because my husband got to leave the house for work, and then got to sleep eight hours straight while I had this soul sucking black hole of need attached to my breast constantly.

Obviously things improved, and I didn’t kill Nathan, or leave, because at the end of the day, I love him.

After Isaac was born, I was too deep into the cancer journey we were on to put my own needs first. Then my grandmother died and everything went to hell and grief was killing me, but surely, it was just grief?

Hindsight is a beautiful thing.

I didn’t want to write this post. I just wanted to crawl back under my rock with a book and a packet of antidepressants and emerge in a few weeks, like a butterfly, fixed and okay again. I didn’t want to talk about it, or have it open for discussion. But life isn’t like that and depression lies.

I spent the last six months bouncing from crisis to crisis, watching my baby like she was going to die at any moment. It will fuck your head up, waiting for blood tests to tell you if your baby has a fatal disease. I was running on so much adrenaline that when it deserted me, I felt bereft and dead inside. Surely panic is a normal state of being?


Depression is a bastard thing that sneaks up on you while you’re busy with other things, until one day you look around and wonder where your happiness went.

Today might not be better than yesterday, but I’m working to make sure it doesn’t get worse.

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I’m not dead!

by Veronica on July 12, 2012

in My body is broken.

You know that ‘flu that’s going around? Yes. Turns out that it IS as bad as they say it is. Probably worse if you find yourself bridging the gaps between “high risk groups” (pregnant woman, pre-existing lung condition, compromised immune system, etc etc).

Nine days later and I’m able to get out of bed for a little bit each day and while I’m still exhausted, I haven’t had to lie down on the loungeroom floor on my way to the bathroom (yet) today. Of course the day is only young, but I thought I’d best check in and let you know that despite all odds, I am not dead.

I suspect the only reason that I avoided hospital is that my GP was able to deliver me first prednisone, and then antibiotics when the pred wasn’t doing much more than keeping me breathing. This is the benefit to having a small country town doctor; I didn’t even have to leave my house.

I’m torn between being entirely pissed that I caught this damn flu at all, and being slightly grateful that it happened now, rather than in three weeks, leaving me (hopefully) enough time to recover before this babe is due. Said babe did remarkably well considering how unwell I was and insisted on kicking at all hours of the day and night so that I didn’t need to panic that she’d succumbed to my oxygen deprivation.

Really, that’s about it and I’m a bit ashamed that 260 words has been so bloody exhausting to write.

I’m going back to bed.



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There is a lot of whining in my house this morning. That is to be expected on a Saturday morning – my two spectrum-y children like the routine of school mornings and don’t cope as well when their only job is to watch cartoons and eat breakfast. I’ve already had an argument with Amy about why she needs to put clothes on, rather than spending the day curled in front of the fire wearing underpants, and Isaac, well, I’ve not managed to corral and dress him yet. Luckily the house is mostly warm. Ish.

My husband turns thirty tomorrow, which seems to me to be a rather large milestone in a mans life, but it still took him until yesterday to decide what he wanted to do. Would we go out for lunch? Would we invite his family up here? The vaccilitating between decisions seemed endless.

Being 31 weeks pregnant, I was pushing for everyone to visit here – as nice as it is to have someone cook lunch for me, the sheer exhaustion caused by having to leave the house and be upright wasn’t on my list of fun things to do. Last time I did that I required a few days in bed before I could walk again. My pelvis is not playing nicely and the rest of my joints have joined in the mutiny. August can not come fast enough.

The downside of everyone visiting here of course is that I am the one doing the cooking. Please don’t think that I am complaining, because I’m not. I’m merely mentioning that it’s not yet 10am and I have roast beef slow cooking in the oven (for sandwich and rice paper roll filling – also for our lunch today) and I’ve managed to marinate 2kg of chicken, despite the smallest child clinging to my leg the whole time.

If this keeps up, I’ll be ready for a nap just as everything is cooked.

I didn’t plan things terribly well and it wasn’t until after the beef was in the oven that I realised that I hadn’t had breakfast and now my oven was full of beef, not croissants.

Never mind, I didn’t feel like sharing the croissants with the children anyway.


Slightly unrelated to anything: I’m quoted in The Punch today on Mummybloggers and the criticisms we receive. You want to read it, don’t you? Yes. Yes you do. CLICK HERE.


How have you been Internet? Is there anything planned for you this weekend?


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I went to lie down this afternoon with my son and my book, only to wake up two hours later, kindle akimbo and pelvis screaming at me. I’d call it narcolepsy, but I suspect “pregnancy” is a better diagnosis. I woke up to find that Isaac hadn’t wet himself, that Nathan had cleaned the house and that everything was pretty much perfect. I am inordinately grateful for this.

Ten minutes later as I was sipping a cup of tea to wash down the buckets of panadol I required, Isaac ran up to me, threw his arms around my neck and squeezed tightly, before racing off again.

In contrast, I saw a physio yesterday who reminded me about the importance of good posture, gave me millions of pelvic floor exercises to do, looked a bit stunned when I discussed what joints of mine actually dislocate and sold me a pelvic brace.

It was an interesting appointment, rehashing things I already knew about how to correctly sit at my computer, how to not destroy my vagina forever and how to ease strain on my shoulders.

All of which are perfect in theory, but a little messy in reality. I pointed this out and she responded “It’s about finding the reality within the ideal”.

Which I guess is a perfect description of life, isn’t it?

As much as the ideal version of sitting at a computer looks great, if I sit properly, my blood pressure bottoms out and I either puke, or pass out. Neither are conducive to working, in case you’re interested. And so I write blog posts either lying in bed with a laptop, or with my feet resting up near the mantelpiece. Definitely bad for my posture, but it’s about finding the least bad thing and attempting that.

I keep reminding myself that pregnancy is not forever, that eventually I’ll be allowed to take the good drugs again and that I will have a smooshy new baby as compensation. Sometime in September, I’ll stop wanting to puke all of the time, my joints will stabilise a little bit and my skin will clear up.

Everything is falling apart and yet, it’s all going to be okay. Even if I spend the next three months unable to actually do anything other than write things and lie down, it will get better. Things will ease and I will not remain this unwell for ever.

This is shades of Amy’s pregnancy over again and I survived that, in worse health to start with. I can get through this. Pregnancy is meant to be glowing health and skipping through rainforests, while birds serenade me.

However, I’ve got to get used to the reality, within my ideal.

24 weeks 007

24 weeks.

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