Monday, April 20, 2015

If I Were a UFC Fighter

Since having Cooper I've thought a lot about working to change my body. Making it what I want it to be...or at the very least doing some planks and leg lifts to get rid of the new little pooch before we go to the beach. But if I could wave a magic wand or be granted a wish, I would look like Ronda Rousey. A bad chick that could break someone in half. I mentioned in my 10 Things To Know About Me post that in my wildest dreams I'm a UFC fighter. I've got this all figured out.

I would need an intimidating nickname to go with my intimidating physique.
The nickname that I would absolutely want more than anything is already taken. Thanks, Miesha Cupcake Tate.
Anyway, the one I finally decided on is Alyssa Tiny Tornado Whitt. Perfect, right?!
Some others I considered were:
Alyssa Smoke Wagon Whitt
Lethal Alyssa Whitt
Spitfire Alyssa Whitt
Alyssa The Lioness Whitt (Already taken.)
Alyssa Dixie Chicken Whitt
Alyssa Alabama Slammer Whitt
Alyssa Avalanche Whitt

I would wear a bright pink top and black board shorts and be sponsored by Dunkin Donuts. I would HAVE to find something else to do with my hair besides corn rows. Girlfriend doesn't have the right head shape for that. My intro music without a doubt would be Shipping Up To Boston by Dropkick Murphys. That song just makes me want to go to a bar and pick a fight.

I’d like to point out that other than sparring matches in karate when I was a kid, I’ve NEVER actually been in a fight. Always wanted to though. You know, just to see what would happen.  Please excuse me while I go buy a couple of ten pound weights.  Gotta start somewhere right?

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

I Was the Kind of Kid Who...

I was the kind of kid who named every pet she ever had after Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

I was the kind of kid who just assumed she would never get married but would instead live in a house with seventeen cats.

I was the kind of kid who started and ended every day of her life with a glass of NesQuik.

I was the kind of kid who would have worn a used trash bag if it had Limited Too written across the front.

I was the kind of kid who cried the entire first week of school through second grade.

I was the kind of kid who brushed her teeth with water only for as long as she could get away with it because she disliked toothpaste so much.

I was the kind of kid who owned more than one Barbie sweatshirt.

I was the kind of kid who wanted more than anything to be one of the pretty girls.

I was the kind of kid who didn’t have an athletic bone in her body but attended the Young Authors Conference every single year.

I was the kind of kid who faked sick more times than she could count because she hated school so much.

I was the kind of kid who wore long nightgowns and pretended they were evening dresses.

I was the kind of kid who wanted to go to Space Camp.
The Daily Tay

Please excuse me while I google to see if anyone makes anything similar to that neon purple pleather jacket I had from Limited Too.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Postpartum Depression and Me

Hannah Mink Photography
From the time their babies are born, new mothers start posting their most precious moments on Instagram. It looks like they have perfect babies and perfect, happy feelings all the time. It’s sunshine and rainbows. And that might really be their truth. Who am I to say it’s not? But sometimes the truth isn’t that pretty and this was mine:

I don’t think I ever got the simple “baby blues”. The sad feeling that happens a few days after birth and ends shortly thereafter. I didn’t really have time to get them. The first couple of weeks were spent learning how to keep my new bundle alive, physically recovering, trying to figure out this thing they call breast feeding, and sleeping whenever possible. It was such a surreal time.

A few weeks in I started to feel…off.

I noticed that I was crying very easily. I cried over everything. I cried over every commercial or song that had anything to do with babies. I cried when Kaylen left to go back to school on Mondays even knowing she would come back on Fridays. I cried thinking about crying. I wasn’t eating. I was never hungry. It would be two or three o’clock when I’d realize that I hadn’t ate anything all day. And it wasn’t because I was worried about what I ate or worried about losing the baby weight. That wasn’t it at all. I just didn’t ever think about eating. We had stopped breastfeeding around the one month mark when we realized he was responding better to formula than me (which hurt my heart) and I developed mastitis. I was crushed. It was something I had always thought we would do long term.

I started to feel like I was barely making through each day and wondering where my all-consuming, euphoric, want to hold my baby every second of the day, I was born for this, how did I ever live without him feelings were. I knew I loved Cooper. I loved him the second I saw him. But I felt like my feelings for him weren’t as deep as they should be because I got so frustrated sometimes my hands would shake with anger when I tried to put his pacifier in his mouth to make him stop crying.

When I started to scare myself was one Saturday when Mom was keeping him to give me a break, and even though I didn’t say it out loud, I didn’t want her to bring him back. The guilt was overwhelming.

Nothing will make you feel more like a monster than admitting to yourself that you really don’t want your own baby in the house. Even typing that makes me want to punch myself. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER THINKS THAT?! What kind of mother thinks she might really be ok if someone else took care of her baby for a week, a month, forever?? These feelings and questions were all I thought about. What if I never fell naturally into motherhood? What if I wasn’t cut out to be a mom? Was this actual regret I was feeling? That was probably the worst question of all. Of course I couldn’t actually verbalize this to anyone. I mean, good heavens. What would Chris think of me? Would it scare him to death? Would he be afraid I was going to hurt Cooper? Would he hate me or think he picked the wrong woman to marry and have kids with? It felt like things would never get better and I would feel this way forever. I had wanted Cooper. I PRAYED for this. And now he was here and I should be happy but I was falling apart. I was so ashamed.

The only words I could form about it were to my mother through tears: “What is wrong with me?”

I finally hit critical mass Sunday night of week six. My parents had Cooper at their house and I was sitting on the couch drowning in my thoughts, holding back tears and Chris asked what was wrong. I lost it. I ended up curled up in a ball in his lap sobbing. I had my postpartum checkup scheduled for Thursday but at Chris's insistence I called the next morning and asked to be seen immediately. Talking to my doctor, a woman with three kids, made me feel better. She said with her first she was so severely depressed her mother moved in for six weeks because she physically couldn’t care for her son. She said when she was awake with him in the middle of the night she would make a list in her head of people she might could give her baby to. What?? You mean I’m NOT the only woman in the world that feels this way?? This might even be semi-normal?

She prescribed me some medicine and I swear I felt like a new person within a few days. Tom Cruise was off his rocker when he said postpartum depression isn’t real and there’s no need for anti-depressants. It’s VERY real. It’s just not something I ever thought I would have to deal with. That’s a side of birth that no one prepares you for. You hear that it’s the best thing ever. That you’ll forget the pain because you’ll be so overwhelmed with love. You’ll wonder how you ever lived a day without your baby. No one tells you that you might actually be depressed after your little love makes his or her entrance into the world. And they definitely don’t tell you how debilitating it can be.

I feel that since going on medicine I’ve been a better mother to Cooper. I think they were just what I needed. I’m not so quick to get stressed out. I hate to drop him off at daycare in the morning and I look forward to picking him up when I leave work. I love spending time just he and I and I'm captivated by every little move and noise he makes. I’m enjoying him. My doctor said even though now, eleven years later, she thinks her oldest son is the most fabulous thing on earth, it took her six months to like her baby and a year to grow to love him. She also said her son will NEVER know she at one point had any of these feelings toward him, and I don’t think I want Cooper to know either. So if in a few years when Cooper starts to read this post magically disappears you’ll know why.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

A Word From Gus: Well This Sucks [Thoughts on the New Addition]

Gustifson Garfield here. You can call me Gus.

Sometime around the middle of January I sensed a disturbance in the force. The humans left home one night…and didn’t return. Didn’t return that night anyway. Then they didn’t come home the next day either. Or the next. Three days later they finally returned…
…and I kind of wish they hadn’t.

They came home toting a tiny screaming machine that they like to call Cooper. I call it a nuisance. After a couple of weeks I realized that “Cooper” was actually going to keep living with us. I also realized that Dixie and I have been thoroughly knocked down the attention totem pole. Gone are the evenings of lounging on the couch between the parentals being worshipped and adored. Now nights are spent watching them hold the little monster while he sleeps, makes noise, and eats. Yes. They feed him in their arms. Mother never fed ME in her arms… Also gone are nights spent sleeping on the bed. We’ve been banned from the bedroom and heaven help if we set foot in “Cooper’s” room. Once Mom caught Dixie sitting in the gliding chair in this room. As cats we’re not really afraid of death. We have nine lives after all. But at that moment I’m fairly positive Mother was ready to relinquish Dixie of one of hers.

Seriously. Almost all of their time is taken up with It. If they’re not feeding him, they’re playing with him. If they’re not playing with him, they’re washing his bottles. If they’re not washing his bottles, they’re wiping his butt. They wipe his butt for pity’s sake!

Oh! And if ALL of that wasn’t enough. The icing on the top of this miserable cake? A few days after the new addition came home, they TOOK THE BED OFF THE FRAME. One of our favorite hiding spots was under this bed. No more. No more hiding under the bed. No more clawing the bed frame. Not that it matters since we’re no longer allowed in the room with the bed anyway! GAH!!

This whole thing just sucks.

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