Monday, November 27, 2017

Man, That's Dopamine! (Or Not)

I was cold. So cold. Bone chilling cold. I wanted a blanket but was afraid if I moved it would cause the movement to only chill me further. I didn't want just one blanket. I wanted a pile of blankets. I felt like nothing could penetrate the icy air around me. I was frozen. I looked into the flames hoping their bright colors could offer reprieve from the soul-sucking frigid hell I found myself in.

Instantly I realized there was no pile of blankets deep enough.  No blazing fire high enough to melt the iceberg I was naked and alone on. There was only darkness to comfort me and it was not comforting. No one knew or cared. The loneliness only made it feel more heavy. I knew the air  temperature was way above freezing. I knew I was not going to die. I also knew I could not get away from or temper the coldness because the coldness was in me. No matter how close I sat to the fire, nothing changed. No matter how hard I stared at the leaping flames I could not channel the warmth to my body.

I was hopeless and paralyzed. Like when you wake up the morning after a loved one's funeral. It's raining. The baby and you slept poorly. Shane is gone to work already and it will be time to get everyone up soon. Then you remember the previous day's events and why you feel so awful. And you also  remember you are out of coffee and the fire is out. Why even get out of bed? But you know you have to.

Then suddenly, the baby starts gulping and I realize there really was nothing wrong. I just having a let down. Along with the Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER) that had been accompanying the let downs  the past few weeks. It only lasts a few seconds, but feels like lifetimes, and then suddenly the fire makes its  presence felt. The clothes on my body are insulating and cozy. I realize my coffee is still hot, Shane is on his way home soon and picking up dinner. My chubby baby is cuddly and safe in my arms, getting all the nourishment he needs, and all is right with the world.

But those seconds were quite a trip. I wondered where the next nursing would take me. I know it will not be pleasant. After awhile it becomes  like licking  a 9volt. I  know it is coming but it still gets me every time. I read up on the science explaining the strange phenomena and it makes perfect sense. Of course I would chose a short, though severe,  drop in dopamine over not feeding my baby. It helped to know that is short-lived and not an indication anything is really wrong. Mildly unpleasant. A curiosity. But nothing bad. But it was also completely foreign to me and nothing I had ever heard of or experienced.

The other odd bit was it only happened with Malachi.  I though by #5 I'd seen it all. But no. First the D-MER and then the needing to be sewn up with Fiona. Malachi's tongue tie. I'm sure there is a lot more I have not experienced and maybe never will. I was ready and felt I could handle the freaky nursing instances just fine when Fiona came along. But nothing happened. Well, not nothing. She just barfed  abundantly.  Not just after nursing. All day long. It is so true every pregnancy, delivery, and baby are different. I guess I was glad I got to experience all the different pieces. I'm not sure I could have understood many of them without having lived it myself. Just my learning style I guess.

I am thankful for all the experiences, pregnancies, births, and babies thus far. If it is just thus far. As of now I am still in menopause. No one knows when/if it is forever. I still have our baby seat in the garage. I did give it away once but after a few months it came back, sans base. Don't know what that means. I tried to sell it for a few dollars this summer, but there were no takers. No one wants a car seat without a base, I guess. I've been reluctant to get rid of all the baby clothes. Not true. Actually,  I did give away all the boy clothes, with the car seat that came back. And some of the girl clothes. But I guess I had a ton because there are still boxes taking up space in my closet. and the garage.

I'm not sure why all this history is coming up in my mind now. But it did so I thought I might as well carpe diem and get it written down.

Next time I'll update the post HSCT progress and regress. More progress than regress and absolutely no regrets. And no, that's not just the dopamine talking.