Swirling Hot Mess of Emotions

My heart is just so bursting full…of everything.  Love, gratitude, depression, exhaustion, sadness, grief, body image issues, joy.

My mood swings are controlling me.  I feel like my whole life is out of control, and rightly so…because was it ever within my control to begin with?  Like when my son was born, this out of control feeling lit a fire under my usually only moderately crazy OCD tendencies.  I go nuke if something goes missing.  I clean even when I’m supposed to be doing something else.  I try and control the things in my house because I can’t control any. thing. else.

Being alone with my two kids often terrifies me.

The things my body is capable of continue to astound me.

Breastfeeding is a beast.  I’m having PTSD flashbacks around what it was like to breastfeed my son two years ago.  I hate how my entire outlook on life depends on how well our last breastfeeding session went. And they are hit or miss.  At least she’s latching better than my son did and I am very thankful to report that, for whatever reason, I am actually making more milk than I did after my first pregnancy.  Huzzzzzzah.

I hate talking to lactation consultants. They mean well, but man they hit me squarely on my breastfeeding shame trigger. On one hand, it’s my fault that I can’t feed my kid. The simplest thing ever, just feeding her so she doesn’t die. I’m not doing the right position, or I’m not making enough milk, or I’m not pumping enough, not getting enough sleep.  Take your pick.  On the other, it’s her behavior that’s getting in the way because she pushes and claws and bites and thrashes around and screams.  And I resent her for it. Damnit. Either way, horrible mother. And in suggesting I try something different, like massage the breast, use a hot compress, nipple shield, football hold, pump, pump, PUMP – the lactation consultants just seem to highlight the fact that IT’S NOT WORKING and somehow it’s all my fault. You see the spiral.

In order to get through days without falling apart, I’ve had to work hard to disconnect myself from my feelings. It feels so yucky to just numb out like that, but the alternative is to burst into tears while listening to a voice in my head that is wailing, “It’s noon and we just finished breakfast! We can’t do this! How are we supposed to be able to get outside today? Or brush your teeth? Or put on pants?!”

Instead, I have to force myself to listen to the other voice, the emotionally sterile voice saying, “Hey. Now we need to feed the baby. Your toddler can wait to eat, but she’s screaming. Go on now, first things first.”  It’s a constant struggle, but it works.  And some days are easier than others.

When I look back, I realize that 2015 was the year when nothing happened.  I know I blogged about how it was the year a grew into being a mom, and I am so glad that I had that time with my son.  That year, we didn’t change marital status.  We didn’t move.  We didn’t change jobs.  We didn’t get pregnant or have any babies.  Things were stable and boring.  Yay for boring!

My hope is that 2017 is like that, too.  I’d like the time and space to develop a routine with my kids, a relationship with my daughter, and a new relationship with myself as a mom of two.  As for 2016…that was the year when things got progressively harder.  I got pregnant, I got tired, then I got huge and tired.  I slowed down while my toddler sped the fuck up.  I had daily pain for a while and I could barely bend over to pick up things my toddler had dropped…or thrown.  We still managed to have a lot of fun in 2016, though.  We went camping and (barely) survived.  I applied for a job I didn’t end up taking, but it was nice to put on professional clothes again.  We took our son trick-or-treating and he loved it.  We took him to the snow and had mixed results.  We took a trip to California and had fun seeing family.  We took our first family road trip and D danced at his first wedding.  We successfully became DAYTIME POTTY TRAINED, people!  We went to the zoo and hunted for Easter eggs and went on a train and picked strawberries and saw a parade and ate ice cream and played in the water features and went to the planetarium and went to the pumpkin patch and toured a cheese factory.  Whew.

I’m glad I just typed all of that out because, according to that list, 2016 wasn’t all that bad.  We were a family!  We really got to enjoy my son being a fun age.  My hope for 2017 is that things just get better from here on out.

Even though my current days are often dark, I can totally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Part of it is because I’ve been through this once before.  I know a little better what to expect, and we’ve already adjusted how we’re dealing with raising a newborn since the first time.  Another part is that I’m done making babies.  This is it; this is my family, and it’s beautiful!  I’ve gotten everything I’ve ever wanted, and I feel so amazingly (hashtag) blessed, as cliche as that sounds.  But it’s true.

And with that, this blog post has come full circle.  It’s a swirling hot mess of emotions: welcome to my life.  My beautiful, imperfect, perfect life.

 

 

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A Look Inside My Pregnant Head – A stream of consciousness

Hey everyone amazing news we actually closed on a house last week can you believe it we’re HOMEOWNERS

and not a moment too soon.

cuz immediately following getting our keys we went to the Oregon coast for the weekend to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and I can’t believe this year has gone by so freaking fast omg but the decision to go to the beach/coast was an amazing one because I am DYING IN THIS HEAT and we have to wait before we can get help to move into the new AIR CONDITIONED house which means this baby had better STAY PUT so I can labor in the house not only does it have AC, but it also has a soaking tub and a shower WITH SEATS it’s like it was made for pregnant ladies

fast forward to now where we’re moving small things everyday and waiting for the big move on Saturday and omg it’s HOT and I feel crappy that I can’t physically help pack and I have zero energy and maybe I’ll just put a few books in this box but oh I can’t do too much because what if I trigger the labor to start NOT BEFORE SATURDAY

maybe I should sit down I AM NOT MOODY SHUT THE FUCK UP

my hips hurt and I am hungry again

I am so BLESSED and I can’t believe everything is falling into place right in the nick of time and I am SO EXCITED and I still can’t believe that I am going to have a little human soon and a house this kinda makes me a real grown up now and oh crap now I’m crying

again.

that seems to happen more often these days

my feet are swelling up again maybe I should sit down and eat something WHERE IS MY FAVORITE MUG is it packed already WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY LIFE

no labor til after Saturday Little Duck you stay in there til after Saturday

time for a nap.

Riding the Moody Train

I think it’s time to admit it – this pregnancy has turned a corner.

I’ve been getting a little moody.

Usually, I love the heat.  I am a California girl, and I had been living in the central valley for the past 5 years.  I’m now realizing that what made living there in the heat even remotely bearable was that AC was pretty standard in both public and private dwellings – overused, even –  and because I wasn’t pregnant with an exothermic squid.

Recently, it got warmer here in Oregon than it was in my homeland, which doesn’t happen very often.  And we don’t have AC in our box-filled second story oven.  Result: I get a little moody, drenched in sweat, and exhausted from doing exactly nothing.

I’m starting to not see the point of clothing.  Or having to get up to use the bathroom.

The heat has also been causing my normally dainty hands and feet to swell like Johnsonville brats in a beer bath on the 4th of July.  In Hell.

I’ve taken to soaking my feet in ice water while doing nothing.  It helps on days that end in killmenow.

Speaking of beer baths, there’s this random cooking show that comes on TV in the middle of my day spent waiting for death, and today they were concocting delicious-looking cocktails paired with mouthwatering, listeria-laden deli meats with a side of E Coli-infused hollandiase sauce.  I wanted to punch someone and then put the entire contents of the show in my mouth.

In an attempt to stay alive, I’ve been trying to waddle down to our complex’s pool when it’s empty or nearly empty, which is never.  The water isn’t heated, but it’s still not cold enough.  Maybe next time I’ll bring down a tray of ice cubes to add to the mix.

I must say, being submerged in water feels pretty damn nice.  It actually reminds me of what it must feel like to be in the womb – all safe and suspended and weightless.  You’d better count your blessings while you can, Little Duck.  Cuz if being expelled from my uterus is anything like me having to heave my now heavier-than-ever body out of the pool, you’re in for some hard times, my friend.

I vote for staying in that pool until my due date.  It would definitely solve a number of my current issues.

Trying to sleep has been fun.  If by fun, you mean setting my feet on fire, mashing my calves in an electric mixer, and pounding a mallet on my bladder.  Either that, or by shoving bamboo under my rapidly-growing fingernails.  Either one.  You know.

The most interesting part is trying to turn my Moby Dick body over in the middle of the night without a) waking my husband, and b) falling out of bed.  The process is quite simple, actually.  Step one: wake up for the 1000th time to a full bladder, which isn’t really full, it’s just being squeezed down to the size of a raisin.  Shove my arms against the mattress in an attempt to right myself.  Try again if needed.  And a third time.  Waddle to bathroom, trip over the cat in the dark.  Pee – in the toilet this time.  Waddle back.  Gently lower myself into bed onto the side of my body whose hip burns the least.  Decide this side still hurts like a motherfucker (this word has gained new meaning since getting pregnant, btw), and begin the classic 8-point turn while holding up my belly with one hand, lest its dense weight slosh over before the rest of my abdomen, causing severe pain and discomfort.  Lastly, gently punch unborn baby back into a reasonable position that chokes my liver, rather than my bladder.  It’s not like I am using it, anyway (the liver, I mean).

So yeah, I’ve been having to waddle for quite some time.  I get it now, you guys.  My muscles are being stretched in ways they should only be stretched by Gomez Addams during foreplay.

And I know pregnant ladies complain about not being able to see their feet, and I suppose I get that.  My abdomen has never stuck out quite this far before, even after eating a few burritos.  But you know what concerns me more?  I haven’t been able to establish a visual with my ladygarden for far too long.  I mean, I can sense her, I know she’s there – but how is she?  I can’t tend to her anymore (because god knows I am not even going to attempt to approach with anything sharp with the aid of a mirror – everything being backwards and objects larger than they appear…), and that makes me sad.  She’s about to go through her biggest performance to date and she won’t even look her best (leading up to it, anyway).

I’m sorry, my dear friend.  You’re on your own now.  I’ll see you on the other side.

Psychos, I’ll leave you with a memento of happier times before The Fall.  This was taken several weeks ago when my list of ailments was considerably shorter.

AAF_0250

 

Mood Swings from the Jungle

I’m generally pretty moody in the morning.

And by moody, I mean that it can really go either way – I can be the sweetest sparkle cuddle-monster, or I can be a murderous bloodthirsty jungle panther.  And so far, pregnancy has only widened the gap between these two extremes.

What causes the pendulum to swing, you ask?

Sometimes it’s the direction of the wind, like Mary Poppins’ menstrual cycle.  Other times it’s if the planets are in alignment or if our pantry is sufficiently stocked with poptarts.

Brian gets up for work considerably earlier than I do, considering the work I do now – creating life – I’m so freaking good at, I can do it in my sleep, thankyouverymuch.  He has two alarms: one quiet, melodic one and one so loud and jarring that it wakes the dead.  I’ve grown to hate them both.

Since moving to Oregon and living under Stompasaurus Sex, I’ve taken to wearing earplugs while I sleep.  Sleep is very, very important to me.  I love sleep, and it usually loves me…except when one (or both) of the dreamwreckers named Stompasaurus and Pregnancy get in the way.

So, having said all this, every night is a crapshoot concerning how well I’ll sleep and whether I’ll end up awake when Brian gets up for work in the morning.  And even then, if I end up awake, there is no telling what mood I’ll be in.

Picture the scene from this morning:  Both of Brian’s alarms had gone off.  The second one had successfully summoned several demons from the depths of Hell, and as a result, I was awake.  Because I was awake, I had to go pee.  Naturally.  I got up slowly and made sure I had my bearings, partly because it was still dark, partly because my center of gravity is constantly changing and I am in danger of tipping over even when I am sitting down, and partly because I was wearing earplugs and can’t hear danger.  I was also wearing this really cute zebra print onesie that I can barely still fit into, and the night before I had pranced around saying I was a pregnant zebra and made fierce growling noises.

“You know zebras don’t growl,” Brian had commented when I demanded he pay attention to me.

“Have you ever seen a pregnant zebra?!  I’m sure they have plenty to growl about, if they feel anything like I do.  RAWR!”  Was my reply.

Back to the morning.

Brian, ever the survivalist, says he never expects me to be friendly in the morning, just to be safe. “So I’m always wary when you come near me,” he explained, “Like I’m being approached by a wild animal, and I’m the human with poor night vision.”

So I shuffle back from the bathroom, and decide to help get Brian out of bed, lest he fall asleep again, miss work, and is unable to support his wife and unborn baby zebra.  I decide that the best way to do this is to hit him on the head.  Once he got up, I lunged closer to him, and he froze.  I went in for a warm, cuddly wordless hug that only a deaf, half-asleep, pregnant zebra can give, and then fell back into bed exhausted.

Brian backed away slowly and shut the door behind him, having survived another morning.

Mood swings and naked babies

Hey Folks.

It’s been so long since my last post, that I really feel like I just need to post something for the sake of posting.  I’ve started to compose posts in my head only to have them fade from memory after a few hours.

The truth is, I haven’t been feeling the best.  I’ve been moody, I’ve had less energy than usual, I’ve been stressed.  I’ve had some extra responsibilities at work that I don’t normally have.  January was a very busy month in terms of wedding planning – a lot of appointments, some of which were fun, but they all take time away from normal routine and activities.  And…I am turning 30 this Sunday and then on Monday is my 10 year cancer-free anniversary.

I should feel happy, right?  I have tons to feel happy about.  I have a job that I like.  I am planning a wedding.  I have my health.  But I really just want to get in bed and pull the covers over my head.

The worst part for me, as a therapist, is that I don’t fully understand these mood swings.  I am a person who needs to know why, and I’ll ruminate until I figure it out or go crazy, whichever comes first (usually the latter).

But I totally get that I can sit in front of a client and understand what’s going on with ve.  It’s a hell of a lot harder to see with the same perspective into one’s self.

And maybe I don’t really need to know why, even though I have some good ideas.

I’m getting married, which means I am looking forward to starting a family.  After getting rid of the cancer issue, the lingering unknown was my fertility status.  I don’t have the luxury of getting to assume I’ll be able to have kids when the time comes.  Of course I don’t want to freak out until I have to, but the possibility of infertility saddens me probably more than anything in my entire life.

Needless to say, I feel extremely fragile and vulnerable right now and I am trying not to let my rapidly shifting emotions get in the way of me celebrating my birthday (which I hate is so close to Valentine’s Day, btw…impossible to get dinner reservations for an event that is far more important than a naked baby playing with sharp objects).

And now I’m off in search of some donuts.

Thanks for listening, bloggyworld.