The LA and I are still around. It's just that most of the time we're either caring for a baby, or taking a well-earned break from such duties. The baby is doing magnificently; she's up almost a pound from her birth weight, and well ahead of her developmental milestones. Things have been a little more difficult for the LA and me, though. The reason is a little personal, so it's going behind a link.
We knew I was stressed from the complications of the pregnancy. The back-and-forth to the NICU didn't help either. We brought our Munchkin home on November 5th, and less than a week later, I'd completely lost the ability to cope. On the 10th, I woke up contemplating how I could end my life reliably and painlessly. That was enough for me to put out a call for help, and thankfully our friends responded admirably. However, on the 11th, things were still bad, and I was still feeling very low. I called the mental health crisis hotline, and their advice was to visit the psychiatric emergency department at the county hospital, and request an assessment.
Which is how I wound up involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, for a 72-hour period. For the British readers, this is the rough equivalent of being sectioned. Because of my history with respect to mental health, their assessment was that I needed treatment urgently. Looking back from where I am now, I agree with that assessment. I was, at that point, so depressed and suffering so severely from anxiety that I was not me.
Naturally, this led to me seeing a psychiatrist, and getting prescribed medication. To add to my pile of daily pills (multiple vitamin supplements, a proton pump inhibitor, a serious anti-inflammatory, and a migraine prophylactic) I now have an anti-anxiety medication (one pill three times a day, and be consistent about taking it with or without food) and an anti-depressant (one pill daily at bedtime - which has crept earlier and earlier - because it has a sedative effect as well) to push my pill count on a normal day to 14. My little girl will be able to use her Daddy as a rattle!
Meanwhile, the LA was having a difficult time. She hadn't been expecting me to be taken away from her; she has been staying with her parents, as have I since my return from exile on the 15th. The hospital was a long drive away, too; an hour and a half in cooperative traffic, which is markedly rare in the environs of Sacramento.
Things are definitely on the upswing now, though. I'm feeling much better; the LA is greatly improved; the Munchkin is coping well with being placed in slings and wraps to be close to Mommy while Mommy takes care of things; friends I trust have been alerted and will be keeping a sharp eye on me; and my car has been resurrected, since we discovered on the 11th that its battery had gone flat. I took care of that this afternoon; the old battery couldn't muster even half a volt, and I'm pretty sure I'd have gotten a better reading if I'd stuck the probes into a potato. So I removed the old battery, took it in for recycling (and $15 off a new battery, which is not to be sneezed at) and brought home a replacement.
So, we're tidying at home in preparation for moving back, since I've proven to be sufficiently together to cope with an entire morning as sole caregiver while the LA caught up on sleep. It's been a rocky start, but we're going to make sure our Munchkin has the best we can give her.