Suddenly It’s Scarier

Like a lot of Kiwis last night, I woke up at 12.02am. The house was groaning, creaking and rattling, but quietly. I could hear the water in Sheldon’s tank sloshing around and his ornaments hitting the glass almost rhythmically. I lay in bed, watching the wardrobe door swing back and forth while I was jolted around in bed.

I’ve lain in bed throughout countless earthquakes over the last five years in multiple different houses and for the most part they were followed by a rush of adrenaline, a quick check of Facebook and Geonet to satisfy my curiosity, followed by drifting off back to sleep.

Last night was different.

Last nights quake lasted for ages, over two minutes, but it felt like much longer. I actually didn’t think it was going to stop for a while. It hit at the end of a stressful week when I’d lost my shit several times so I was exhausted. And this time, there was a bassinet at the end of the bed containing a tiny human who relies on me for everything.

I was petrified.

While the quake was going on I woke Zombie up. I was freaking out and needed to not be alone. I thought I was trying to get out of bed to check on Bubble, but looking back I’m pretty sure I was frozen in place, getting more and more fearful with each shake. After the quake finally ended, I checked on Bubble who was sound asleep, blissfully unaware that anything had happened. Zombie went back to sleep, I checked up on family and friends then spent the next three hours in a constant state of alert.

Facebook was going nuts and after the tsunami warnings popped and I saw some friends posting statuses about being evacuated from their houses, I let Anxiety that we would also need to evacuate, despite the fact that our house was well into the safe zone.

I wanted to wake Zombie again. I knew he would be able to calm me down, but I also didn’t want to wake him, so I didn’t, spending the rest of the night tossing and turning, drifting in and out of sleep and getting up to check on Bubble every time I couldn’t hear him breathing.

The quake was centered about an hour or so away from Christchurch near Hanmer Springs and Cheviot. It was upgraded and downgraded a few times, but finally settled at 7.5 at a depth of 15km. It was felt over the entire country and caused wide spread damage to areas on both islands. By 2.10pm, 14 hours later, there had been 382 aftershocks.

I’m not saying that I’ve never been scared during an earthquake before, but not like this. All I could think about was my son and what might happen to him. He was safe, there was nothing that could fall on him and Zombie and I were right there, but these are things I am only realizing now. In the heat of the moment I was paralyzed in fear and that scares me.

I was very lucky. I had no damage, I was unhurt, I got to stay in my house and I knew that my friends and family were safe relatively quickly because of Facebooks Safety Check, which I think is such an excellent feature for these types of events. 

But today I learned that no matter the level of danger, it is so much scarier for me now that I’m a mother and I’m guessing that fear will never go away.

Smiles and Sunshine

Katie

It’s A Bad Week, Not A bad Life

As the title of this post suggests, it hasn’t been a good week. The whole family has been sick, even wee Bubble which has given me sleepless nights even though he handled it like a champ and so many things have gone wrong or turned bad to the point where I began to question almost every aspect of my life. In the heat of several moments I seriously considered giving up and starting over.

I was probably being a bit of a drama queen with my reactions but sometimes I think we need to just lose our shit and have a tantrum, even if it’s just to silently fume or slam doors to release pent up stress. I know I’ve been stressed for weeks and maybe last week wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d gotten that under control, but instead as soon as things went wrong it flipped me over the edge.

I was so angry after one event that I yelled at the wall. I’ve never been that angry before and while yelling at an empty house wasn’t going to fix anything, it did make me feel better. Better enough to function at least.

Exhausted but still smiling

I’m still not 100% mentally or physically. I seem to have a nasty cold that just won’t go away and when I think about the events of the week I get really worked up, or worse, glum. But it’s not the end of the world. I’ll get up tomorrow and get on with my life and in time I’ll look back on this week and take it for what it was. The week that it all got too much, but I didn’t give up.
Smiles and Sunshine

Katie

Back To Work

My first week back at work is done and dusted and it was weird. It was strange being back after four months although in some ways it was like I’d never left and in others I felt like the new person being trained as I was sitting next to the person who had covered me being shown what had changed and working together to get me back into the swing of it.

I didn’t cry as much as I expected. On Monday and Tuesday Bubble stayed with Mum, which was good. Everyone needs their mother at certain points in their lives and Monday was one of those days for me. She was right there when I broke down when I had to leave. We also lost Libby, our family dog of 17 years that day so we got to be there for each other for that and Bubs was a good distraction for Mum at that hard time.

Work itself was pretty good. My workmate who had been covering me did a great job. The person who had been hired to cover me ended up quitting, leaving a huge mess when he left, but the workmate who stepped up made sure it was all tidied up for my return. He worked ridiculous hours so that I didn’t have to and for that I was very grateful. It meant I wasn’t stuck at work all week and could rush home to my family which was exactly what I wanted.

On Wednesday and Thursday Bubble started daycare. Zombie and I decided to put him in In-home care instead of preschool. I just felt preschool would be too dramatic a change. But it was the first time bubs had been left with a non family member and I found myself teary and distracted the whole of Wednesday and some of Thursday. I did not get a lot of work done.

But Friday was the worst. Zombie doesn’t work Fridays so they are now known as Daddy Baby Day. Zombie has been looking forward to this but I never realized how much harder it would be for me knowing that my boys were out and about having fun without me. I finally appreciated how awful Zombie felt the first few days after Bubs was born when he had to go home without us from the hospital.

5am wake up calls to express milk then get ready for work before waking up Bubble, feeding and getting him ready for the day, dropping him at daycare then going to work, coming home and still having to eat, express, prepare for the next day, look after Bubs and unwind… It was so much more tiring than I expected. Zombie was great helping out and we were also lucky enough to have our meals donated to us by families through a new Facebook initiative called Meals For Mum which meant one less thing to do but there was more than one day where I was still on the go after 9pm.

I’ve said this a lot this year but I have never been so tired. I keep discovering new levels of tired and each time I feel like I couldn’t get any tireder, but apparently I can. I severely hope that there isn’t more tired than this to come.

I’d like to say that there was time to relax on the weekend, but there wasn’t.  Bubs has been rather clingy this weekend. He’s usually very placid and good at entertaining himself when we need to do things or want to have a sit down but this weekend the only place he wants to be in our arms. It’s lovely, especially since I don’t get to see him much, but the crazy thing is it’s also exhausting. Zombie and I have been taking turns just so each of us gets at least a little break.

When I do get a chance to relax, I feel like I should be doing something productive. The house is an absolute pigsty (we’re still unpacking from the move… Slowly), all the day to day things still need doing and the garden and lawns are quickly getting out of hand. The only thing that isn’t getting neglected is Bubble. I actually wish someone would come over and clean my house, despite being embarrassed by the mess.

It’s not all bad. Since having a routine I haven’t had a hint of depression. I’m not saying it’s gone, maybe I’m just too busy, but it’s nice to be able to say that the only times I was upset this week were when I was missing Bubble. I had no listless periods either. It was nice. 

I also had a wonderful reception when I returned to work. Everyone was happy to see me back and made sure I knew it. Something about being appreciated definitely makes me feel good about myself. 

I’m not sure if it’s going to get easier now, but what I do know is I’ll get better at it and hopefully be less tired. It’s an adjustment, but no matter how tired and cranky I get, I wouldn’t trade Bubble for anything in the world.
Smiles and Sunshine

Katie