Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t end up going to the hospital. I know I wanted to at times but I had a vague idea that my body was going through some sort of panic disorder and I knew there wouldn’t be that much that could be done. Yes, they probably could have given me something to calm me down but the thought of taking any medication actually sent my body into a frenzy all over again, though I was still taking my thyroid medication. So I stayed in bed for close to two days, dealing with the shock waves pulsing through me. I never knew what would trigger the panic attacks. Sometimes it was a loud noise, sometimes it was the way the light filtered through the window, sometimes it was a simple thought. Every night the going down of the sun triggered one. I would find myself feeling hopeful and positive one moment and the next I would feel warmth spreading through my body, fear seeping into my emotions and a heart racing in anticipation of some sort of supposed doom.

I called the doctor who had prescribed the medication and told her what had happened. She didn’t seem very concerned or informative. I asked her how long the medication would take to flush from my system and she told me 6 days. I decided I could survive that long and that once the medication flushed out of my system, everything would be normal again.

For 6 days I waited. The third day after the interaction, my husband went back to school. I was terrified of being alone with the children. What if it happened again? Could I even make a phone call this time? As the door closed I could feel myself starting to lose control. It knew it was battle of mind over matter, but I was new to fighting it and my bodies responses were so strong. I started shaking. I paced nervously around the room, my arms and legs trembling.

“I’m ok, there’s nothing wrong, I can do this.”

As the terror welled up in my throat I willed it to dissipate and I set to work. Distraction was what I needed. Everything I did seemed so new because now it was with such purpose. Unloading the dishes was done with forced vigor and a smile. I wanted to believe things would be ok, I hoped that acting the part might make it so. The whole day was a fight to control my body, to not get swept away by my emotions, to tell myself that though I felt one way, it wasn’t a reality. It was triumphant to make it through without calling my husband to come home. But then after he came home and as night fell it became too much. As the sun went down I could feel my body reacting once again as it had done every time darkness fell the past 3 nights. The warmth, the spasming of every muscle in my body that no positive thought could control. I lay on the bed writhing in agony as my body spasmed and twitched, heat rushing through my limbs in waves, praying for it to end soon. Eventually it did and I tried to sleep, although hoping for peace in sleep was even beyond my expectations at this point.
I had barely slept at all in the past 3 days. I was beyond tired but my mind would not shut down. I would find myself drifting off and if my mind took hold of a thought for too long the panic would set in. I made due the night previous with a half conscious sleep, my body trying to slip into panic the entire time. I found that if I let a multitude of thoughts simply rush through my mind and not focus on any of them, I was ok. But I was on the brink of a full attack the entire time. That third night after my first day alone, sleep would not come at all.

I was angry, I was exhausted, I was scared and I was beaten. So I did the only thing that came to mind, I asked for another priesthood blessing. This time another brother from our church came over and assisted. The peace I felt was instantaneous, my body relaxed and soon I knew I was ready for sleep. And sleep, unmarred by nightmares or panic for the first time in three days, came to me. I needed as much undisturbed sleep as I could get for the battle to come…

To be continued…
I never thought a baby girl would be that much different from a baby boy. Well, excepting anatomy of course. But I’ve changed my mind since having one - we women are doomed from the start.

An initial emotion may be one of sadness or frustration, but she doesn’t let it stay at that. No, she goes for added volume just to be extra clear about what she’s feeling. She’s finally learned that throwing her body backwards and hitting her head on the floor when she’s mad does more harm than good - now she kicks her legs wildly instead. Or if she’s in my arms she kicks and flails and hyperventilates as well. It’s quite a display. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I want to cry and sometimes I want to cuddle her and say, “Yeah, some days I just want to throw myself on the floor and kick and scream and hyperventilate too.”

She’s like an over filled water balloon. Always on the verge of bursting. She’s not even a teenager yet! But the drama can only last so long and then it’s back to that 4 toothed grin that makes me melt. It’s back to the toddling/stumbling around the house while babbling that never fails to make me smile. Back to the intense concentration of trying to fit a square block into a round hole. The drama comes and goes but there’s always an Angel underneath that I can’t seem to get enough of.
 The types of events I imagined when I thought of interacting with my own children, before I had them, don’t come close to most of the events that have actually happened since they’ve arrived. My day dreams never involved such vast amounts of urine. In fact, they never involved urine at all. But now that I’ve got two boys, that’s a lot of what our interactions are about. Questions like, “Who sprinkled on the floor?” and “Who forgot to flush the toilet?” are asked frequently. I pretty much clean pee off the toilet and floor every day, once even off the top of the toilet, but yesterdays urine happening tops them all. Oh yes, are you ready for this?

Hubby, Ethan and Caleb were playing a game of Go Fish while I was busy getting Vanessa ready for her afternoon nap. After she drank her milk I laid her down in her crib and went into the kitchen to load the dishes. I could hear her softly whining and knew she was almost asleep. That ’s when Ethan leapt up announcing that he had to poop (yeah we’re working on getting him to stop announcing these things). No sooner had he entered the hall bathroom than Caleb leapt up announcing that he had to pee. I told him he would have to wait until his brother was finished. We have a bathroom in our bedroom but going in there when Vanessa is still awake and then leaving will throw her into a frenzy.

Caleb walked into the hallway and in a matter of seconds I heard his voice saying, “Mommy, I have to pee bad!” I recognized the urgency and knew I had to do something. I ran into the bathroom to find Ethan sitting on the toilet and Caleb with his pants around his ankles, holding himself and dancing. Thinking fast I told Ethan to scoot up just a bit so Caleb could pee into the toilet behind him. But I was too late. Caleb simply couldn’t hold it anymore. Suddenly pee was spraying in three different directions through Caleb fingers as he was still trying to “hold” it in. He was peeing on Ethan's butt, the floor and the counter top simultaneously.

Ethan jumped up screaming, I was screaming and shielding my face from the spray and pushing Caleb toward the toilet. None to soon he finished but barely any of it got in the toilet. I just stood stunned for a moment as I looked at my two bare bottomed boys. Both with pants around their ankles. Both soaked in urine. I moaned a bit as I took a sloshing step backward, but then I started laughing out loud as everything replayed in my head and the boys joined in. It was the strangest family bonding moment we’ve ever had. Boys!