Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hormonal Imbalance

What's with hormones, anyway? Why do they have to- Okay, I have to stop myself already.
First I must explain that my hormones seem to have afflicted me with a post-partum onset of something akin to Turret's syndrome. Seriously. When I am frustrated I find myself searching for something to call out, and it's usually something obscene. Luckily I quell this inclination. It is especially difficult when I am nursing. I am still at that stage of nursing that hurts like the fiery pits of hell when Fiona first latches on. (Boy, she can latch. I tell her she's a natural. There's been no learning curve there.) For the first couple/few minutes I throw my head back as the f-word shouts loudly in my mind. To keep from yelling out I usually have to clench my teeth and emit something of a moan until the sting abates. This is accompanied with a thrashing of my feet as I try to distract myself from the pain. So you can see, from the inappropriate sporadic obscenities that I suppress under guttural moans, to the trashing and seizing of my feet and legs, I suffer from some sort of post-partum Turret's syndrome. It should be noted that under normal circumstances I am not inclined to obscenities, other than 'hell' and 'damn', which I have never considered to be obscene.
As is the case in many other circumstances, I feel the Lord has blessed me to spare me more than I can bear during this time. Since I struggle with depression under the best of circumstances, post-partum depression added on top of that seems like it would be the tipping point for me. Thus, I have never suffered with an excess of depression following the births of my children. I do however, feel the typical surge of hormones that comes with it. So far I have felt it bubbling up around me, softly and slowly. I don't know whether or not this is wise, but I have continually been suppressing that bubbling up to avoid giving it licence or control. Since I know it is fueled by hormones, and the influence of those hormones is finite, I am merely trying to wait it out. I figure if I ignore the nagging feelings long enough, the post- partum period will end and I can resume life as usual, trying to manage my usual feelings of depression and inadequacy.
Another thing that I hate about these hormonal disturbances is that I cannot describe the feelings they cause. Being accustomed to feelings of depression, I can usually articulate those feelings pretty well. These hormonal imbalances however, only leave me ill at ease and sensitive but unable to tell you why. The best way I can describe it is this: it is as though the plates of my life all shift a few degrees to the left so that they lay unsettled and out of place. Nothing fits where it used to, nothing is in the right place, everything is unsettled. I just don't feel like I fit anywhere. It's all wrong.That does not adequately describe the unease or sensitivity or inadequacy of these feelings, but it touches on it better than any other way I have found.
But like I said, I know that this part of my emotions is finite and not to be trusted so I have not yet allowed myself to give it heed. I am hoping it starts to pass soon so I don't have to expend so much energy pushing it under the surface. Likewise I hope that those around me and all I encounter continue to be kind and understanding towards me so as not to upset that delicate facade of peace until it restored in actuality, whenever that may be.

9 comments:

michelle said...

I understand those feelings all too well. The un-ease, the sensitivity, all of it so seemingly unexplained and beyond your control. (I will never forget my surges of rage after I had Eva, I've never experienced anything like it and it was quite frightening.)

I hope it all passes quickly!

Susan said...

I'm so sorry that you are having these feelings.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I suggest that you read Michelle's latest post on some of her Conference thoughts.

I love you and will continue what I can do for you.

Jill said...

Your description of the painful nursing process brought back flashbacks of my experience with Whitney. Oh my goodness! I remember doing exactly the same thing you described and had to bite my lip for fear of releasing a string of words little Landon did not need to hear. The good thing is that stage of life is long forgotten.

Have you talked to your doctor about your current state of mind? Is there something else that can be done? I love your honesty and hope that you will continue to post your thoughts and feelings as you go through this phase.

Denise said...

Your description also brought back almost a physical pain for me, too, as I remembered what those initial pains were like when the baby first starts to nurse. YEOWWW! It got worse for me with each child.

I'm sorry you are feeling poorly, but you sure have a knack for description, i.e., "plates of my life." Thanks for sharing.

Laurie said...

I clicked over from Jill's...and given that you are experiencing the cuss-word inducing, toe-curling pain that I have experienced so extensively with nursing, I thought I'd leave a sympathetic comment. I know that nursing pain that is so bad it's all you can do not to run from the room crying and screaming when it's time to nurse again. Finally on my 3rd baby this time I tried out a shield (previously I couldn't understand how they worked). Placing the shield over the nipple provided a barrier that made it so the baby wasn't sucking directly on the extremely tender nipple even though it was still being pulled hard. This took the edge off and made it barable. With my third baby, now 3 1/2 months, I would use the shield on and off as needed, oftentimes on until the first several weeks were over. Lactation consultants will often discourage their use in case they mess with the baby's latch or reduce supply. Regardless of all the lactation ideas, I found that with a solid latcher, I had no loss of supply, that baby still knew how to latch without it, and it saved me from torn up nipples that would otherwise become repeatedly infected and miserable. Worked for my sister too. We have extreme nursing sensitivities. You might try a shield from the hospital lactation store. Even Target sells them.

For what it's worth, there are those of us who feel/felt (literally) your pain. Good luck!

rmt said...

I hope you're feeling better!

I remember all too well being in horrible pain when I nursed Daniel. I hope that passes quickly, too. Good luck.

Melissa Marilyn said...

I appreciate your honesty and love your defined writing style. Hopefully, by penning your feelings, you can feel some emotional relief as well. By the way-she is beautiful!

Hannah said...

Ah the swearing stage, I know you are on the downhill slope, but still...

I am sorry you are in such a state and remember those stages of rage and unease all too well. It is amazing what we go through again and again, only having time and new moments to dull the postpartum period. You are strong.

Tasha said...

I am familiar with the turrets.

I hope it evens out for you soon. While I am nursing I continue to feel a little (or a lot) raw, sensitive and jumpy.

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