motherhood: defeated.

Today, I feel defeated. Today, I hid in a bathroom and cried. Today, I gave up.

PJ had her monthly check-in with her psychiatrist. We turned in her teachers report to her. Although we didn’t read the report, we know what it said based on the meeting we had with her and school psychologist late last month.

PJ has an exceptionally short attention span. PJ does not sit still. PJ likes to scream. PJ does not answer to her name. PJ doesn’t get tired. PJ is overly affectionate. 

These things we know. These are things we’ve known her whole life. When we started trying to get help for her last year these things were still issues. These were issues we had with her at daycare. And we were working with a speech therapist at the time. But we haven’t seen her since December 2016.

We’ve been having trouble finding therapists who are willing to work with PJ because of the language barrier. Last year she barely said more than 10 words in Spanish, however since she started at her new school her Spanish has flourished. But we still want a therapist that UNDERSTANDS English in case they need it to reach her when she’s stubborn or hyper. (Not charging us USD$300.00 a month and asking us to pay their vacation days whether or not those are days they would normally see PJ would be great too).

After the psychiatrist read the report, she put it down and very frankly said, “Well, after reading this my professional opinion is you should medicate her. Start her off on a very small dose and see where we go from there. Have you thought about that?” And while my response may have taken .04 seconds to come out of my mouth, in my head a whole week passed. Yes, my husband and I had talked about what would we do should anyone suggest medicating her. We always said no but at that very moment PJ was throwing the mother of all tantrums because she wanted to play with some party favor lost at the bottom of the diaper bag, and I hesitated because in that moment I would’ve done ANYTHING to get her to calm down for thirty seconds.

“No, we don’t feel comfortable giving her medication. She’s only three.”

And her very short response was, “You’re here for a reason and this is my professional opinion. It’s up to you whether you take it or leave it.” At that point PJ was sprawled out on the floor kicking and screaming. I could feel my blood start to overheat and I wanted out of there as soon as possible.

While leaving the doctors office I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Are we really at that point? Is she really THAT hyper and uncontrollable? Am I really that weak that I thought, for a moment, that we definitely should medicate her? Could NOT giving her the medication hurt her? WHAT DO I DO?

I couldn’t help but look down at my tiny person and want to cry. I love her so much and want to make the best decision for her but don’t know where to begin. I plan on getting a second opinion soon. I reached out to the occupational therapist who evaluated her back in February to see if she could give me some direction in finding new therapists. I’m meeting with her pediatrician next week to see what she says as well.

We have another check up in six weeks to let her know what we’ve decided on…we’ll see what happens from here to then. I just hope I can make an educated decision for my daughter.

If any of you have had any experience in dealing with Risperidone please feel free to share it with me. 
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Grumpy baby, grumpy momma.

The past few days have been rough on our little family.

Sunday morning the family decided to head to la Feria Tristan Narvaja in Montevideo to look at some antiques while my aunt is in town. We had fun, walked around, saw some cool stuff, but decided to head home after about an hour. Paloma was being fussy and I could tell she just wanted to be home.

When I sat her in the car I noticed she had some green eye boogers but thought nothing of it, she must be tired. But when we stopped at the grocery store on my way home I noticed that there were more boogers than when I put her in. My aunt made comment that Carlos had spent the drive home wiping off the liquid and that I should take her to the emergency room to get it checked out.

PJ had been increasingly fussy and scratching at her eyes, so I decided it would be a good idea. We took her to the emergency room in town and the doctor diagnosed her with conjunctivitis, aka pink eye. He prescribed some antibiotic drops and told us we caught it in time. Seeing how it was Sunday there was only one pharmacy in town open.

The pharmacist spent about fifteen minutes looking for the drops but said they ran out and wouldn’t get anything in until Wednesday and to come back then. I know I must’ve given the man the look of death when he said, “Or go somewhere else.” I knew what this meant. I had to go to Montevideo, have PJ seen by an emergency room doctor at our hospital to get the same prescription and then head home. It was 6:30pm at this point so I went home, fed PJ, gave her a bath and changed her into comfortable clothes.

As always, our emergency room wait time was short. I’m pretty sure we were only there for half an hour. Much different than anything I’ve experienced in the States. The doctor did a quick exam, saw the pus-like liquid, checked PJs lungs, and gave us the prescription for the eye drops. Carlos ran to the pharmacy to grab the prescription and off we went. Two drops in each eye every six hours until tonight. Then it’s one drop in each eye every eight hours until Sunday. Wipe the eye with gauze and chamomile tea in between each dose. No big deal, right?

I didn’t realize how HARD it would be to get my kid to be okay with me touching her eyelids. Then there’s the part of dropping liquid, that may or may not burn, onto her eyeball. It’s been tough to say the least. But she has shown a bunch of progress. The eye cleared up almost immediately, she still scratches at it every now and then but at least it’s not leaking.

Today was awful. She has been exceptionally cranky, screaming and yelling at me. Wanting nothing but to be in front of the TV and eating crackers. She’s been punching and biting me for no reason. And I know this comes with the territory of motherhood. I know that toddlers are cranky little humans with lots of attitude. But somedays I’m just not up for it. I love her with every fiber of my being but today was one of those days where I wanted to be anything but her mom.

My parents ended up taking care of her for dinner and noticed that she kept tugging at her ears (and now is when we cue the mom guilt). I started touching her ears and noticed she would wince every time I even put my hands near that side of her head. I gave her some Tylenol before going to sleep and plan on taking her back to the emergency room in the morning to get her ears looked at.

These are the moments I have to wrangle every bit of strength and patience I can muster to not lose my cool. And really it has nothing to do with Paloma. She’s a baby; she cries and she’s in pain and she’s allowed to express however she feels. What bothers me is when people, and really I mean my husband, thinks that comforting our child is mom territory and he is exempt from helping. Or when he just lacks total common sense when it comes to PJ being sick. I know that this is a ‘man’ thing, or so I’ve been told, but I just really hate when all of the parenting and nurturing falls on me. I love him but right now I could strangle him.

I’m just having a bad day. Throwing myself a not-so-tiny pity party. I’ll be better tomorrow. I have to be better for PJ.

A break through the clouds.

Keeping Paloma entertained is hard enough when I have tons of different options but with the dead of winter upon us it’s getting harder and harder to keep her entertained. Our days usually consist of emptying out the toy box, placing things back in, emptying it out, screaming, running, and trying to trip me in the kitchen.

You would think that living on a farm PJ would have a sufficient amount of free space but until we fence the houses off from the animals her grass space is pretty limited. The animals poop any and everywhere, the dogs are constantly tripping her and the ground is uneven. I try to take her to the park in town at least once a week but I haven’t been able to do that in awhile. I also get a break during CAIF but July is vacation month in Uruguay so no playgroup until August.

The last week we’ve been dealing with cold rain but today we were blessed with SUN! Sure, the wind was brutal but we had sun making it the perfect day to head to the park for half an hour. Luckily today was Carlos’ day off and I didn’t have anything major on my to-do list for him so we got to go as a family.

Ever since I posted about putting my phone/computer away while enjoying time as a family I’ve been able to really take in the little moments. I notice the small things, the quiet moments. Like when Paloma plays with her Little People and gives them little kisses. Or for instance the hilarious moment we had yesterday at breakfast. I was playing music from the iTunes radio on my iPhone when Maroon 5’s Sugar comes on. Paloma drops what she had in her hand, gave me the dirtiest face and slowly raises her fingers to her ears to cover them. She didn’t move them until I changed the song. I got a stitch on my side from laughing so hard.

Anyway, while at the park I made it a point to take pictures with my DSLR as opposed to using my phone. I knew that if I had my phone out I would be distracted by social media or tempted to play a level of Dots.

I was surprised how Paloma now LOVES to go down the slide by herself. She normally wants us to go down with her or hold her by her waist as she scoots down. But today she was a big girl! It made my heart hurt but simultaneously swell with joy seeing how much she’s grown.

I love days like this. Days where smiles and giggles flow freely.It’s these little moments that I live for. All the tough to get through moments are worth it when I get to experience days like these. My family is my everything.

Climbing the stairs to get on the slide.
Climbing the stairs to get on the slide.
Moments like these melt my heart.
Moments like these melt my heart.

*I wrote this post on Tuesday before we took PJ to the hospital. Didn’t have a chance to post it then.

Sick momma. Sick baby. No ones happy.

In an attempt to spend some quality time with my sister before she leaves for Italy–whole other blogpost–we decided that we would go for a run. This was about four days ago. Since then I have been bedridden due to the exacerbation of a herniated disc and broken vertebrae from my freshman year of college along with intense sciatic pain.

Normally this would be no big deal. My mom and dad would have to help me a little bit more with Paloma but last Thursday she was diagnosed with an ear infection. Sick baby equals an intense case of mommy-itis.

It’s been a rough few days. For those that don’t know me in real life, I don’t like to show that I’m in pain unless it’s totally unbearable. My freshman year of college I broke one of my vertebrae helping my roommate move into our dorm. I spent five weeks in unbearable pain, even asking my roommate help bathe me, until I finally called my parents and asked them to pick me up in Gainesville to go to the hospital in Miami. The doctors in the emergency room thought I had tried to kill myself from all the pain pills I had been popping.

Anyway, the point is that all I wanted to do was sleep to numb the pain but PJ had different plans. At first we cuddled and watched Jake and the Neverland Pirates. But after awhile she wanted to play hide-and-seek. Normally I’m all up to watch Paloma run around the house like a jack rabbit but I physically couldn’t. That led to tears and tantrums, causing my fuse to shorten with each shout. After about two days I LOST IT. I want to get better so I can go back to running, laughing, and snuggling. But with PJ on top of me it was really difficult not to find myself caught in an uncomfortable position.

I started snapping at her and eventually just left in the playpen with the television on just so I could get a few minutes of rest. It was awful and it’s not like I felt good doing it. A part of my soul died with each frustrating moment. She’s only 19 months old. It’s not her fault that she doesn’t understand that mommy isn’t feeling well either. All she knows is that she’s sick and wants her momma around. Reminding myself of that I would find myself holding back tears every time she would reach up and cry, “MAMA! MAMA! sob MAMAMAMAMAMA!” She would get bored of watching tv. She wants to run and be chased, to be tickled and loved. But my parents and sister had their own things going on and would just put the tv on for her to keep her quiet. I would get so frustrated because she needs more stimulation than a tv.

It’s been a rough few days but today I felt better. Paloma had her last dose of antibiotic last night and overall I would say our collective crankiness has begun to subside. She went to CAIF with my sister today and from what I heard chased a boy and finger painted without being coerced. We took a nap together when she came home and grandma made meatloaf for dinner. Tomorrow my sister and I have a lady date planned where we’re going to try out a new (for us) spa in Montevideo along with a sushi buffet. I’ll make sure to post a review of those places.

These rough days have served as a reminder that while my parents may not parent the way I do, they are my support system when raising my daughter. I may spend most of my days taking care of them, but I’m still their baby and they will do whatever they can to take of me. They changed diapers, gave baths, took care of meals, and were overall picking up my slack. I may whine about being in this alone but I know there isn’t anything further than the truth. We’re an “all for one, and one for all” kind of family.