Wednesday, December 19, 2012

26 Acts

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, I have been struggling with what I can do.  I don't have the money to drive to CT and bear witness or help keep those pesky WBC jerks out of there.  I can't donate.  I can write.  But everyone and their mother is writing.  Social media is full of well-written tributes and thoughts.  Sure, I could add my $.02, but really, others have already said it better.  I am really struggling.  

P and I wore white and green in honor of the school on Monday.  My sister and dad put together an ornament for us, which I posted and then got liked by the Sandy Hook Memorial Page.  But this seems trivial.  

I read about an idea.  #26Acts.  Dedicate 26 kind acts to the memory of the 20 children and 6 teachers/faculty at the school.  You don't need to advertise them.  You don't need to post anything.  Just do it.  And know in your heart that you are doing something small that maybe someone else will pay forward.  

So I started being conscious of doing these small things.  So far there has been a lot of letting people out into traffic at rush hour when no one else will, LOL.  But it doesn't matter what.  And as I would do something, and I'm really just at the very beginning of this tribute, I realized these are things I do EVERY DAY.  

I'm not doing something out of the ordinary for me.  I do little things all the time.  And I'm proud of myself for it.  I just never realized what I'm doing.  I counted 3 in a quick trip to the grocery store.  I hope that I'm able to pass this on to my son.  The ability to not be in such a hurry that you can't do something nice for someone, even something that maybe seems insignificant.  

Maybe this is what we all need to be doing.  Maybe this is what is wrong with our country.  Too many people in a hurry to ACHIEVE and SUCCEED and EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF (hey, didn't you see A Beautiful Mind?  That guy disproved that theory, yo!).  Maybe if we slow down, all of us.  Or enough of us to show others that we can spare 3 seconds to let the guy parking next to you know that his headlight is out, the extra couple minutes in line to let someone obviously in a hurry go before you in the line at the grocery store.  Or whatever.  

I want to be that person who makes a big difference.  Who comes up with an idea that brings light into people's lives, and actually manage to make it happen.  Maybe I will, maybe I won't.  But I absolutely can make someone's day just a smidge better.  And then maybe they will make someone else's day a smidge better.  

So while I dedicate 26 acts of kindness to the beautiful souls lost in CT last week, I hope that I continue to be me, to do these little things.  Maybe paying it forward can really work.  Because we definitely need some change in our country.  And maybe that change is a little bit of love and kindness.

Will you join in?  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Defining Moments

My parents used to say when we were kids that we didn't have moments in our life.  The kind of moments that alter your reality, the world's reality.  They remembered MLK, John F Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy being assassinated.  Woodstock.  The Vietnam War.

I wasn't really all that sure it was a bad thing that we didn't have those moments in our generation.

Defining Moments.

But you know what?  I remember the Challenger exploding.

I remember distinctly where I was when I found out the Columbine Shooting had happened.

I remember the VA Tech shooting.

You can be sure as hell that I remember where I was for 9/11.

Today, unfortunately, has become another of those moments.  And honestly, I haven't been as glued to the tv like I was today since 9/11.

Today in Newtown, CT 20 children and a handful of teachers lost their lives in an incident that has left me drowning in grief and anger and anxiety.  And thankfulness.  I hugged my son so hard he squirmed away.  Hubby went out and bought me oodles of chocolate that my stomach has been too upset to eat.  Too upset from hours of crying.

There are so many issues at hand.  So many things people are up in arms (poor choice of words, granted) about.  But all I can think is that it could have been prevented.  And I could write oodles on that.  But this is not the time to get on my soapbox, though it works quite well as a distraction.

But for now...no.

I've snuggled my boy.  I have a candle lit for those families.  My heart will now always have a part of it that broke today.  That cannot process entirely the senselessness of a thing like this.  That does not want to wake up tomorrow to a world in which today happened.

I am sending peace, as much as I can muster, to Newtown, CT.  To the families affected by the horrors of this morning.  And I am hoping for some peace in my own heart.

Be with those you love.  Hug them a little closer.  And send some love to NE tonight.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

Haven't done this in ages, and I know the host is different, so I'm not linking, just using the title.  I simply have a bunch of small things to talk about!
  • P has learned mimicry.  It is hysterical.  Last week when I was sick I was using a bowl to heave over.  Luckily not anything was really coming up.  P came over, leaned over the bowl, and made throw up sounds.  Oy.  The other day I came out of the bathroom sneezing loudly like I do.  30 seconds later, P is, you guessed it, imitating it.  Ditto goes when I dissolve into a sobbing mess (3 or 4 times a day).  Same with laughter. Seeing and hearing his rendition of my various bodily functions is hysterical.  We are in trouble with this one.
  • Night Terrors make me so sad for P.  And generally means I sleep for crap as he is in bed with us then, tossing and turning.  But waking up next to him is nice :-)
  • I can feel Grasshopper :-)  Yup, this early.  For about a week now, though I wasn't certain until yesterday when there was a definite reaction to iced tea.  Apparently baby loves it.
  • I am going to make salt dough santa hand ornaments tomorrow.  I am inordinately excited about this.  Is it a mom thing?
  • Forgetting my meds at night is a BAD THING involving dizziness, exhaustion, and vomit. 
  • Another person has mentioned to me the possibility of writing a book.  This is an overwhelming thought to me.  But my ever-spinning brain came up with a title.  Parenthood and Mental Illness: When the Stork Flies Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  Teehee.
  • Incredibly glad for Medical Assistance. However, I'm driving about 10 miles to see a chiropractor. This may not seem like far, but it takes at least half an hour because of traffic and lights. And I can't find a dentist within 20 miles.  Fact: I currently live in a very upper-middle class area.  Which means while you can get the assistance, you can't always find someone who takes it.  This is INCREDIBLY frustrating.  Both Hubby and I desperately need to see a dentist.  I am not driving to Philly for one, however.  Definite glitch in the system.
  • There were a couple more small things, but I am braindead (see bullet point about forgetting meds) and have to get P up in 10 minutes to make the hike to the chiro.  He'd better be good.
Happy Friday everyone!  If this whole ornament thing works I'll post pics!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

13w - 2nd Trimester, Y'all!

Today was my first "pregnancy timeline goal."  Reaching the 2nd trimester.  I feel like last pregnancy flew by but this one is taking its sweet time.  I "popped" over the weekend.  I feel like I look more pregnant and less bloated/full.


How far along: 13w0d - Grasshopper is the size of a peach - 2.9" crl. Can you believe she's forming vocal cords and teeth?!  And even though she's still teeny, she already has fingerprints.  Her intestines are moving from the umbilical cord to their more permanent place, in her tummy.

Total Weight Gain: Holding steady at about 10lbs gain. Oy.

Maternity clothes: Yes, especially pants.  OMG, so happy to have inherited a stack of pants that fit and are comfortable.

Sleep: Back to sleeping like the dead, but not needing to nap every day.  Progress!

Movement: Every now and then I feel something that doesn't feel like anything else I can recognize.  But hello, 13w?  Probably not.  Also found out last week that my placenta is anterior, so that may make it more difficult.

Cravings/Aversions: Cravings: Keeping it bland over here (except for spicy CA rolls.  Nom nom nom!)  NO MEAT, no coffee.  Veggie stuff and cereal and koolaid for the win.

Sex: If you saw my post the other day, you know how this is going.  Sigh.

Symptoms: Boobs - I no longer have any sort of bra that fits.  I give up.  Nipples are so sensitive it's insane.  Extremely thirsty.  Food aversions.  Round ligament stretching.  Still occasional nausea, generally triggered by food.

What I miss: Honestly, klonopin.  I have weaned down to just one med which is L2 for breastfeeding.  But it's harder to keep myself under control.

What I look forward to: Another brief scan this week, and one again on Christmas Eve :-)  Movement.

Moods: I've been angry as of late, due to frustration regarding our living situation, finances, etc.  So ready for some change.

Milestones: 2nd trimester!  Woot!  (Some apps say I still have another week.  F them, LOL.)

Medical Concerns: Waiting to see what my placenta does so that I know whether I have any sort of a shot at trying for a VBAC.  It could be quite some time before I know this.  Still, going to make some phone calls because will most likely need to change OBs.

Weekly Wisdom: If Hubby wants meat, Hubby cooks meat.  And eats it in another room.  After lighting candles to destroy the meat stench.

Best moment this week: U/S a week ago.  I was so nervous going in and seeing Grasshopper moving all around was wonderful :-)

13 weeks. Today I look bloated again, but I swear
yesterday it looked more like a bump.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Calling It What It Was

It couldn't have been rape.  Because I had already consented.  We were already in the throws.

It couldn't have been rape.  Because this was someone for whom I deeply cared, and assured me he cared for me.

It couldn't have been rape.  Because there was no FORCE.

It couldn't have been rape.  Because I was there of my own accord.

I have spent 4 months telling myself this.  The fact that I can't let anyone touch me is irrelevant.  The fact that I panic the moment I feel I've lost control.  The fact that the panic is that all encompassing screaming huddled in a corner type of panic.  The fact that I felt guilty for letting him down.  The fact that when I remembered it I nearly crashed the car with my son in it.  These facts didn't matter.  It wasn't rape.

It was emotional disregard.  It was a breach of trust.  It was a misunderstanding.  Whatever it was, it wasn't rape.

And I made progress.  Hell, I even conceived a child a couple months later.  It wasn't rape.

Last night it all came flooding back when I tried to be intimate with Hubby.  When I nearly punched him.  When I screamed, cried, curled in a ball.  Covered myself with a robe because I had to be hidden.  Tried to huddle in a corner.  Felt guilty for letting HIM down now.

You know what?  It was rape.

It was rape.

Maybe now that I can call it what it was I can get the help I need.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hostage

When you become pregnant, or a mother without the pregnancy part, your life is no longer your own.  Neither, it should be mentioned, is your body.  It's like Stockholm Syndrome.  You have become a hostage, but you learn to love, if not immediately then relatively quickly, the being, the bunch of cells, the child, that has taken you hostage.  You are, however, still a hostage, LOL.

Not all captors are created equal.  And I'm wondering how my body will adapt to being hostage to 2 captors.

I have a specific example.  For as long as I can remember, if I am sleeping when P is sleeping, I wake up a few minutes before he does.  Every time.  Even if he awakes in the middle of the night.  I just KNOW.  My body knows.  What happens when captor #2 is here???  The thought baffles.

Back to the not equal thing...

This pregnancy is radically different from P's.  So much so that I was convinced I was losing the baby just a few days ago.  NT scan yesterday, however, showed just the opposite :-)  Grasshopper is ahead of schedule, and quite a wiggle worm.  Gah!  Tangent.  Okay, below, the differences!

  • With P I threw up nonstop for what, 6 months?  This time it's utterly random, and not bad at all.  (Thank goodness!)
  • I can't eat just anything I want anymore.  With P I could handle just about anything.  This time, bring on the bland, and NO MEAT!!!  Bad, bad idea.  No garlic.  No onion.  Oy.  The sweet tooth remains, however.
  • I am EXHAUSTED.  Not like, oh, I need a nap exhausted.  I mean please let me sleep for 24 hours tired.  It's getting better.  But I can't remember a time in my life - maybe when I had mono - when the exhaustion was so complete.  At one point I was zonked 15-16 hours a day.  For real.  Unfortunately my old friend insomnia is here.  God, what a horrid combination.
  • I was a sex fiend last time, some of you may remember.  This time as well...as long as it's me and batteries.  Those who try to touch me beware.  I may punch you.  I don't want to be touched, kissed, hugged...period.  Back off.  This is sacred ground, yo.  Bummer, given the sensitivity of the lady bits!  Maybe I will come around.
These are the big things I can think of.  My body is not my own.  It may never be again.  And I wouldn't change it for the world :-)  I am completely in love with my captors.  They can keep me hostage.  I can deal with it.

Captor #1 in his brand new snow gear from Grandma Sue in our first snow
yesterday.  He waddled like a drunk midget.  

Captor #2 yesterday.  12 weeks and looking good.  6 more days and we are in
the 2nd trimester!  Woot!



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Perspective: Not Your Typical Thanksgiving Post

Yesterday, I fought going to group therapy.  I missed it last Friday due to a lot of crying.  Monday I left after 30 minutes due to uncontrollable sobbing.  It's been an emotional week.  I know hormones play a huge part in this, but I feel as though I'm regressing.  It's also the onslaught of the holidays, which are proving to be difficult as ever this year.  But I put on my big girl panties, and left the house yesterday and went to group.  

It was a struggle for me to not completely lose it during the first session.  After that I chose the next session based on the room it was in (big, with comfy chairs and windows).  It was a good call.  The group itself was "Grief and Loss" - a real pick-me-upper for sure.  We all had stories, from the woman whose girlfriend committed suicide the week she was gone on vacation and the gf's family didn't acknowledge her, so she doesn't even know where she is buried or if she was cremated.  Myself and a friend who had to go through losses with no support from our partners at the time.  You get the idea.

And then...

A young woman who was new yesterday, with a spot slightly to the rear of the circle because of her wheelchair, spoke up.  It was near the end.  Most of us did not know her story.  And she said to the intern (essentially):

How do you suggest dealing with the grief that comes with the knowledge that your illness is terminal.  That the only other person you know of with the disease didn't live past 30.  What do you suggest I do?

Her speech was a bit longer, giving some of her history as an artist, and that she was fighting to continue to create while she could.  That when her hands had given out at one point she painted with her feet.
And more.

We were all silent, and the intern leading the group thanked her for sharing, said she honestly couldn't answer that question, and could she open it up to the group.

I looked over toward this incredible young woman, and a sign on the wall near her caught my attention just then.  The one about "dancing like no one is watching...." that ends with "...live like every day is your last."  And then I spoke.  I have no idea what prompted me to think I am qualified to speak on this type of heavy subject.  Maybe it was that I watched my grandmother fight debilitating disease for most of her life, and certainly all of the time I knew her, never letting it stop her from creating, giving, LIVING.  I don't know.

I told her that given her creativity, she has this amazing opportunity to leave a legacy.  To show others that life doesn't end with a diagnosis.  That her strength could be an inspiration to, for instance, children in hospital.  That she could TEACH the things she has learned, teach others to create.  You get the idea.

And this woman, this amazing woman who is trained in glass blowing, who continues to create in any manner possible despite her limitations, who is facing her own mortality with strength....she THANKED ME.  Me.

All I can think is that I am so incredibly thankful to be able to have the people in my life who are so incredibly inspirational.  For instance...the woman at the clinic who survived a concentration camp.  The woman whose husband disappeared to commit suicide while she was newly pregnant with their youngest child and has fought the battles necessary to keep her family together.  The women (and men) I've met who have fought in the IF trenches for years and years and who have so much strength.

All these people I know with strength like I can only imagine.

If they can survive, if they can stay the course, find the positive...then I can find my inner strength and fight back the fear.

For these friends, I will be forever thankful.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wenesday Whatever

I am a lousy blogger these days.  I am exhausted!  I sleep when P sleeps.  Naps, early bedtime.  Grasshopper is telling me who is boss!

I am 10w1d today.  We got to see Grasshopper last week at our first OB appointment.  Not much was discussed - the usual first appointment bull.  Grasshopper was measuring 5 days ahead with a hb of 147, so all looks well, and given my symptoms, growing still.  Luckily, morning sickness is a random occurrence.  Thank goodness after last time!

One thing that will have to come up is the question of a VBAC.  I really want this to be possible.  Hoping for no complications this time around.  We talked about the plethora of prenatal testing now available, and have decided on the basic NT scan.  They recommend an amnio at my age (I am now of "advanced maternal age
" - how I hate that term!) but I can't see us doing it.

A decision regarding my meds is on hold until later in the pregnancy.  I hate that I have to choose bipolar meds vs. breastfeeding.  We're going to aim for a compromise, I think.  As for weight gain, that prickly issue - I've put on 10+ lbs already.  Ugh.

P is at 19.5 months 31lbs, 31" tall.  He has thinned out so much!  And communication with him is becoming easier and easier.  Sometimes he even listens!  His comprehension grows day by day, and it remains incredible as ever to see.

The holidays are quickly approaching, and I'm dreading this in a bad bad way given the family feud still (quietly) in progress.  Things are quite obviously at a stand still.  I've sent P updates to both my dad and Littlest with absolutely no response, so apparently I've been written off.

I'm still quite stressed thinking of us in this tiny apartment with a 4th human added, but try my damndest to not think too much about it.  At least not until we can catch up some.  It's a very frustrating situation and with my hormones all willy nilly I get quite riled up.  I worry a lot about me handling a 2nd child.  Especially in this dinky space where I have no space of my own, nowhere to escape.  And I'm having a hard time letting Hubby close - things are pretty dry around here.  I just can't seem to let the stress aside to have couple time. It's a serious struggle.  And it's badly affecting us.  I am at a loss right now.  I really am.  *Sigh*

I am trying to deal with lost paperwork leading to being denied SSDI, Hubby's job requiring an update of our welfare information, playing phone tag with the case manager person.... I am so sick of having to deal with this crap.  I wish I could just WORK like a normal person.

Enough of that, though.  I was in a fairly good mood before opening this to write and play catch up.  Gotta shake it off and salvage the afternoon.  I think that's another reason I haven't written much lately.  I don't want to sound ungrateful, but I just feel like we have so much on our plates that I am going to overload.

Perhaps I will delve more into that soon.  It's not as though my illness and treatment all of a sudden became irrelevant when I became pregnant.  Not so much.

Until then, though, stay warm and safe and happy if you can :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Toddler Tornado

I am trying to figure out how pregnancies survive toddlers.  P seems determined to climb on, step on, fall on, and in all ways possible do damage to my lower abdomen.

I have one word: OWWWWWW.

It is painful and uncomfortable and a bit scary.  But I know it's not really on purpose.  He's just a toddler.  A Toddler Tornado.  If you saw what he can do to a room in under 5 minutes you would understand.  Granted, we have such a small space in which to function (it sends me into a tizzy at least once a week), but seriously. He is nuts.  NUTS.

He throws things at us when we don't cooperate or he doesn't want them and I have bruises, usually on my face, to prove it.  He hits.  He shoves his fingers in my mouth and tries to play with my tongue rings.  He climbs, shoves, pulls the cat's tail with squeals of delight.

I hid the bubbles from him because it's all he wanted to play with 24/7 - "bo bo bo bo?"  He signs more, please, and all done.  He sometimes says juice, ball, chicken, mom, dad, kitty, nan(a), and most commonly and emphatically "NO!"  Oh, and see, as in see?  see?  His version of "I want."

But it's not all terrible twos.  His giggle is infectious.  He is throwing food less and less.  He tries to feed me, which is adorable.  He pretend eats, cooks, talks on the phone (ah-o?), and, to my delight, if we say it's nap or bed time, he picks up his lovey and sippy cup and walks into the bedroom to his crib.  He hugs, he kisses, both on command at sleepy time.  Sometimes on his own just because.  And he waves bye-bye and blows kisses both as a farewell and a thank you.

Speaking of which...he is fiercely independent, but can be very clingy, too.  However, that independent side is hysterical and scary.  On Halloween (and at other times) I would tell him to say "bye bye".  If he particularly liked the look of the house, he would look at me, wave, blow me kisses, and go right inside.  Cheeky little goober!  He does not have, and never has had, anything resembling stranger danger.  Which is mildly scary.  He walks off with complete strangers.  Like I said, cheeky.

I worry that we will not be able to get him, ahem, tamed down a bit by the time Grasshopper comes.  Hitting the baby will NOT be okay, obviously.  We hope to get him a baby doll soon and see if we can't nurture some sort of compassion.  The only thing about babies he cares about right now is that they come in strollers he can push.  Other toddlers he likes, but I've seen him push them, too.  Or hit.  Definitely hoping we can get a handle on his wild side.

He is a joy, he is a terror, he is beautiful, and he is very much his own person.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Grasshopper: 8w3d

Well, I would have posted Tuesday, but there was that storm.  Sandy Interruptus.  We got power back Wednesday evening. We were out of power just under 48 hours, and there are still people in our area without power.  There are trees down everywhere.  But compared to a lot of New Jersey and parts of New York we were so incredibly lucky.  The beach I spent my summers at as a child is basically gone.  My heart aches for everyone who has lost their home, their business...It's really devastating out there.

So, here we go.


How far along: 7w0d - Grasshopper is the size of a raspberry - growing 1mm/day. You can't feel it yet, but she's moving those arms and legs like crazy! Her fingers and toes are now only slightly webbed, and her tail (yes, she had one) is gone. Fun fact: your baby's taste buds are now forming.

Total Weight Gain: No idea. I refuse to get on the scale.

Maternity clothes: Yes.  Did I mention I don't want to get on a scale?  I feel fat and bloated.

Sleep: Pregnancy hormones are starting to win out over the meds.  The dreams are sooo vivid.  And anxiety inducing.  I woke up hitting Hubby the other night crying, "no, no!"

Movement: I don't expect that for 7 more weeks at least.

Cravings/Aversions: Cravings: dying for some California Rolls.  Aversions: meat, coffee

Sex: I refuse to do the deed until we get the go ahead from the OB.  Paranoid, here. Having said that, however, man am I horny!

Symptoms: Still very bloated.  Boobs still sore, especially nipples.  Morning sickness is basically gone (which worries me) but insomnia is here.

What I miss: Nothing :-)

What I look forward to: OB visit and u/s for reassurance, coming up Monday the 5th!  Woohoo!  Movement.

Moods: Happy overall.  Having to really focus on staying calm as had to drop one of my meds right away.  This has all of a sudden become more difficult.

Milestones: Depending on the source, some say that I now have a fetus, not an embryo.

Medical Concerns: On 3 meds, 2 of which are contraindicated for breastfeeding - those are the bipolar specific meds, and in order to breastfeed we will have to wean me off of them and hope all is well.  Not looking forward to that.

Weekly Wisdom: Kind of like having a newborn, I sleep when P does.

Best moment this week: Taking a hot shower after we got our power back!

No belly pic.  No thank you.  I am nearly the weight I was when I had P, so starting out 40lbs heavier than last time.  No urge to show fat tummy until it's an actual bump.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mea Culpa

Last month (it seems like forever ago at this point), when I landed myself back in Horsham, I was upset about my sister's pregnancy (straw, really, that broke the camel's back in that area) as well as my mother's insistence that I be gracious...as though I would be a bitch.  But not just that...

Sister has always done it "right".  And I, well, I am the family fuck up.  Falling well below my "potential" lalala.  So it wasn't just the pregnancy.  It's just my year, the feeling that I have been a huge disappointment to so much of my family.  It's a huge issue for me.  Huge.  And the roots go way back.

At the surface was the pregnancy announcement.  But that was just the tip of the iceberg, really.  Like I said, it's an issue for me.  And it's one I'm working on.

When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately felt terrible for putting my husband, son, family through yet another scare - considering that at the time I had just conceived.  I felt guilty.  Still do, to some extent.  Guilt, failure...yeah, yeah.  So there is more than one issue.

But the thing is...there is NO WAY I could have known that.  There is no way I would ever have considered the possibility.  Hell, I was at the doctor 2 days before I tested, CD36, and they didn't even consider a pregnancy test themselves given our history.  How could I have known?  I couldn't have.

My reaction was based on what I KNEW to be true about my IF, my life, my situation.  And I had already apologized to my family, my husband, my friends, for putting them through that again.

I'm not perfect.  Who is?  I am what I am.  And I am fighting like hell to keep myself on an even keel for this baby.

And let me tell you - while I am able to be on most of my meds for now, I had to stop Klonopin.  Which means I've had to learn very quickly how to control my anxiety.  How to change my focus or drop a subject or whatever in order to be okay.  I stopped caffeine because while it's wake-me-up powers are awesome, even the 1 cup a day I am allowed didn't help the anxiety.  I let Hubby deal with things that would normally drive me crazy.  And I am forcing myself to remember that most of the things that are making me edgy can wait.  They can be handled over time.  The urge to cut?  Still there.  Still VERY MUCH there.  Like I said, I am fighting like hell.

I can't take away the things I've done, the sickness that causes me to react so violently to situations, or a pregnancy that is so incredibly treasured despite its not so great timing in terms of our finances/living situation.  What time is good?  For us?  Ha.

So, no, I can't make the past go away.  But I also can't live in regret.  I can only move forward.  And hope that others do so with me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Grasshopper - 7w0d


WEEKLY UPDATE

How far along: 7w0d - Grasshopper is the size of a blueberry -Baby's brain - both hemisperes! - is growing fast, generating about 100 new cells every minute.  Arms and legs are emerging as joints start to form, and a permanent set of kidney's (baby's third!) is now in place.

Total Weight Gain: No idea. I refuse to get on the scale.

Maternity clothes: Not yet, but due to bloating I am wearing more stretchy clothes than not.

Sleep: I have good meds for now, so I sleep fairly well, but the vivid pregnancy dreams have hit.

Movement: I don't expect that for 8 more weeks at least.

Cravings/Aversions: It is ALL about the bland food right now.  And if I crave something, I guarantee that obtaining said food is basically not possible.  And coffee doesn't settle very well at all.

Sex: I refuse to do the deed until we get the go ahead from the OB.  Paranoid, here.

Symptoms: ., bloating, constipation, gas, fatigue, boobs sore and growing.

What I miss: Nothing :-)

What I look forward to: OB visit and u/s for reassurance.  Movement.

Moods: Happy overall.  Having to really focus on staying calm as had to drop one of my meds right away.

Milestones: Coming out to the family and all friends!

Medical Concerns: On 3 meds, 2 of which are contraindicated for breastfeeding - those are the bipolar specific meds, and in order to breastfeed we will have to wean me off of them and hope all is well.  Not looking forward to that.

Weekly Wisdom: Gingerale and orange juice = yum.

Best moment this week: All the love from our friends upon our announcement!

It's odd...I felt nothing resembling pregnant until I tried to go off my meds.  That seemed to kick my pregnancy symptoms into high gear, so now I feel pregnant.  All the same, I will feel much better in a month or so when I hit 2nd trimester.

No belly pic.  No thank you.  I am nearly the weight I was when I had P, so starting out 40lbs heavier than last time.  No urge to show fat tummy until it's an actual bump.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Grasshopper



Recently the universe bitch-slapped me upside the head, Gibbs-style.  It said, "Woman, don't you ever doubt my power again.  Don't stop believing.  I am an uncontrollable force with which to be reckoned.  Bow to me."  

But let me back up a little.

What was it that set me over the edge?  Pregnancy announcement after pregnancy announcement?  Yup.  Facing up to the raw facts of IF again at a time when ALL I wanted was the ability to have a sibling for P, when everything in the world seemed to be against us.  Sadly, friends who I had been pregnant with last time,  even my IF sisters for whom I am so happy, even their announcements were difficult because I ... well, I was fragile and not remotely able to see any of this logically.

IF will always be a bitch.  I hate that bitch.  And I was desperately hating my other silent illness (mental illness) which was putting a rather large monkey wrench in our ability to move forward with Miracle #2.  But at least that was something I could do something to fight.  Some days I lose that battle, but more and more, I am winning.  

But it seems I am winning the other battle as well...because we are in need of this shirt for P (big thanks to my forner cycle buddy Nichole and her Hubby for the shirt!!!):



Yup.  Yeah.  Not kidding.  Grasshopper will be arriving no later than early June 2013.  I am 6w5d today.

The story:  Friday Oct 12 I was starting to wonder if AF was going to arrive this month, and was rather pissed that she was absent, just because it was becoming so hard to know whether to pack tampons or not! I did a little quick research that morning and found that one of my meds could cause dysmenorrhea, so I figured that was it.  But given my inability to give up that sliver of hope, I stopped by the $Store for a couple cheapies on my way to Group.

I even joked in group that I was going to take the tests ha ha.

So, between Group and our walk, I went into the bathroom and peed on one.  And it IMMEDIATELY came up with a very dark second line.  And I said, to myself, "Ummm."  So, I breathlessly told a couple of people on the walk because I was flabbergasted, though mostly what I said was , "What??!"  Yeah, denial.  So I went back to the clinic and peed on the 2nd one.  Same result.  Okay, maybe this is right.  And then drove to RiteAid, bought a double pack of FRERs, and used the bathroom.  And, those both immediately came up with that unmistakeable 2nd line.

Maybe this was real?  Apparently I thought so, because I went off my meds cold turkey that day.





That night was when the sweats and chills started.  And continued.  Along with diarrhea and nausea, but no fever.  Withdrawal it turns out was not going to just happen.  We ended up in the ER Sunday morning, got some fluids in me, a stern admonition to never try that again and go back on the meds for now...and an ultrasound :-)  The doctor practically handed it to us on a plate, having heard our story.  And I was *just* far enough along for the tech to detect a heartbeat.  Yay!  

You know the crazy thing?  My friend over at A Little Bit Of Life tested positive a few weeks ago after almost filling her brand new script of Clomid for their first attempt at #2.  And the same Friday I got a BFP surprise, so did my friend at Venting Vagina - who has twin boys from numerous IVF/FET treatments.  AND a friend on Twitter tested positive as well at our prompting.  LOL.  Something is in the air this fall my dears!!!

I am paranoid this time around. I have seen too much bad.  So this time, we are doing the 12 week bloodwork and NT scan.  Same as last time, not finding out sex, so DON'T ASK!  1st OB appointment is November 5th.  15 days...not that I'm counting or anything o_O.  

Welcome to my uterus, Grasshopper.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Eureka!

I figured it out!  Why I'm not all Chatty Cathy on here these days.

I pay people to listen to me be chatty and let it all hang out.  I am easily the most verbose of the people in  my group.  Plus I get an hour of individual every week.   Why would I want to spend hours and hours every week baring my soul and then come home and type it up?  I don't.

It's the same reason I despise talking on the phone.  I spent years working at jobs that had me on the phone ALL. DAY. LONG.  Thus, I have no urge to use a phone for its intended purpose.

Speaking of intended purpose...

Toddler.  Right?  OMG - I am out of tupperware because I can't find any that matches because P has, shall we say, reorganized the kitchen.  I think he's stashed silverware around the apartment.  With the tupperware.    The crib mobile?  In pieces.  He turns many things into phones (speaking of phones!) - usually none of those things are actually phones.  My favorite thing today was that he has started answering the "phone" like an adult...but in toddler-speak..."Aaah-oooh?"  That means "Hello?"  Yeah.  Stupid adorable.

He said "hug" today, too, followed by an actual hug!  I sense a word influx right around the corner.  But then, he never has been predictable, so who the hell knows.  Certainly not I.

Discipline...y'know what?  Nevermind.  I think that needs a whole post.

Anyway, point of post having been covered, I am off to take meds and pass out.  With perhaps bisquits with butter and honey in the middle....Nomnomnom

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bad Blogger

I'm still here, I promise.

I had a really difficult time transitioning home this time, I think I may have mentioned that last time.  I'm not sure.  Anyway, what it means is that my anxiety was through the roof for a couple of weeks and I was a useless lump of flesh.

And just as I'm starting to get my mojo back, P has started boycotting bedtime.  He will scream for an hour without giving up.  He has decided 10 pm is bedtime.  This is no bueno.  But try telling him that.  We are completely at a loss.  Not a fan of the phase, but oh, well!  He is making so many other leaps!

Real words are sooooo coming.  So close.  He has several regular phrases, but I haven't the foggiest idea what they mean.  He sings along with "Cat In The Hat".  He has added "Naaa" (Nana) to his list of names.  When he is excited about what he is playing with he sings "whoa whoa whoa whoa" over and over again.  It's this sing-song sort of thing.  Also does "Go! Go!"  Among other things.  Nothing super solid, like I said, but soooo close.

My therapy is going well.  And I'm awaiting my case manager assignment.  I really am looking forward to that.  It's like free help to get our shit together.  Kinda.  We sure as hell need it.

Also adjusting to Hubby being home still a bit, but now working.

Really, it's been constant change since I got home, which is part of what has made the transition difficult.

I've been brain dead.  This post isn't even remotely interesting.  I just needed to get something up to try to get myself back into it.

Going to try to get myself back up and blogging really soon!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mom: I heard through the FB grapevine that your breakdown last week was due to a pregnancy announcement.
Me: Well, multiple, but yes.
Mom:  Well, your sister is pregnant.  You can choose to handle it gratiously...

And that's one of the last things I remember.

I remember taking extra pills.  I remember carving into my arm.  I remember downing 2 tumblers of wine. I remember manically cleaning the bathroom.  My best friend had just arrived.  I was banging around.  I got on FB and started deleting all family members of any sort from my friend list since one of them had obviously blabbed.  My husband panicked and called my mother over.  I told Hubby he might as well just take me to Horsham after he said something...no recollection of what it might have been.

My mom tailed me around the apartment.  I told her off repeatedly.  She wouldn't leave me alone.

I packed a bag and insisted I be taken to the hospital.  We went into the crisis center but once they found out I had OD'd again I was moved to the ER.  The next 8 hours or so in the ER are a total blur.  Horsham wouldn't take me until I was coherent.  Apparently I was a horrid patient.  Not entirely surprising.  I was heavily self-medicated, angry, upset...I am a mean, mean drunk when I drink to self-medicate.

I made it 3 weeks exactly.  21 days.  21 days in normal life.  I spent a week "on the inside" this time.  I suppose I have more stories to tell.  Though I'm finding it a more difficult transition this time.  Today was my 3rd full day home.  It took me this long to get on here and post at least this much.  I promise - I PROMISE - that I will tell you more.

Until then, hug the ones you love.  Count your blessings.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

18 Months

I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone!  Wasn't I JUST peeing on Mama every time she tried to change my diaper?  Or learning to drag myself across the floor to get to something?

It's been a big month for me!  I started walking all on my own!  (Mama says it's about bloody time!)  I liked holding Mama's hand to walk for ages, but then Mama got sick and was away for a while and I had to give in and do it myself.

While she was gone I also started signing please - no one but Mama understood my signals, so I had to figure out a way to tell Daddy, Nana, and Grandpa what I wanted.  My new way to do that is to use the "more sign" with my right hand and use it to point at what I want and say "see?".  All.  Day.  Long.  And oh, boy do I like to come up with imaginative ways to say "no!"  I also started signing "all done" for meals, but sometimes, just for kicks, I throw my uneaten food on the floor.  Haha on them!

Mama and Daddy don't like it much, but when I don't get what I want I scream and cry and roll around on the floor.  It's gotta work one of these times, right?

They call me Destructo Boy.  I don't really understand why.  Isn't it normal to dump all toy buckets, legos, kitchen implements, etc onto the floor and move them around the house?  It's funny as heck when Mama can't find a measuring cup.  Teehee.

Mama calls me Dennis The Menace. I have no fear. I have a big scrape on my arm, scratches on my face and head...nothing stops me. Mama is convinced there will be an emergency room trip any day now.

Speaking of doctors...Daddy was finally able to get me in for my 15 month appointment - 2 months late.  The nurse gave me some shots (yuck!) and told Daddy I weigh 30lbs and am 32" tall.  That's half as tall as Mama is!  I am such a BIG BOY!!\

Speaking of Mama, she shaved her head!  What is up with that?  Now I have longer hair than she does!

Below you'll see some of what I've been up to this month!

That's me and CJ destroying Mama's living room.

We finger painted for the first time!  Okay, I spread paint all over myself
and then Mama threw me in the pool.

We went to a park for the first time since I learned to
walk!  It was awesome!!!!

See?  That's my new friend Triceratops.

And then I climbed.  Holy moly, a wheel that I can spin to my heart's content!
Mama tried to leave, said bye bye and everything.  I waved bye and blew her
kisses.  I know where my loyalties lie.
Sorry this photo is so dark, but it was dark when Mama
took it.  Because I'm so cool that I wear my sunglasses
at night.  And drool milk.

Told you she shaved her head.  Crazy lady.

She never learns.  DO NOT LET ME FEED MYSELF
YOGURT.  

For that matter, don't let me out of the bathroom after
bath time without a diaper on.  Because good luck getting me
to hold still once you let me go.  HAHAHAHAHA.

So here I am, 18 months old.  A year and a half.  Mama can't quite believe it either.
 


Monday, September 17, 2012

How?

For the last week I have been deeply immersed in a depression.  With a few manic episodes, but mostly, depression.  And angry.  I have been angry.  

There have been several pregnancy announcements - I've now been lapped twice by some friends.  Twice.  Even hearing the news from my IF sisters has brought out the ugly green dragon.  It seems as though the forces, my inner demons, are stacked against us.

We haven't paid embryo storage for the year.  Even if we had, we sure as hell don't have another $6k for an FET.  Who knows when we will.  I am now 35...AMA is for sure creeping up on me.  Adding to my already high chances for a high risk pregnancy.  

Drugs.  We would have to guinea pig me again so that I can be on medications safe for baby.  IF we get so lucky to get that far. 

Hey, you know what would help?  Employment.  A place of our own.  

So what about Foster ?  We still don't have our own place - we can't even apply without that.  And though I can't find the information, a former friend looked into it and with regard to mental illness, one must be med free for x number of years, no hospitilaztions.  Ummmm.  Really?  

Are our family building days done?  Can I handle another child with how cuckoo I am?  And if that is the case, how can I find peace with that?  Does that come with a decision, a decision to donate the embies, to focus on everything else?  

I am so ANGRY about it all.  The anger of IF has raged it's head again, along with the anger regarding my mental health.  

It often feels as though there is a scream in my throat, blocking out all the rest of the thoughts I want to try to get out.  And this doesn't even cover the rest of my fucked up little life.

And I don't want to hear, "At least you got to have P."  No shit, sherlock.  I adore that goofball toddler.  There is no other feeling in the world that can come close to the love of my child.  But I feel incomplete.  We feel incomplete.  Lost, incomplete, floundering, angry.  

I just want to scream.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Off The Wagon

Last night I reached my limit again.  Last straw.  2 pregnancy announcements in 2 days.  It sent me over the edge in a week that has me realizing we really, truly may never have the opportunity to try for a sibling for P. Not just because of our financial situation, but because of this fucking mental illness.

I'm screwed.  We're screwed.  Because I am broken.

I cried for an hour on the bathroom floor, cut my arm pretty badly, and took way too much medication.  I had made it just over 3 weeks.  And just completely lost it.  And then I shaved my head.  So, I am bald.

My mother is pissed that J has stayed here a couple days. "We are not a halfway house."  They don't realize he has places to go but needed time away.  So now I have to kick him out.

All I want is to crawl in bed and stay there.

On top of it, I have to fight the fucking insurance company for one of my medications.

Yesterday was not such a good day.  And I definitely feel like shit today in the aftermath.  Maybe I'm not okay to be out in the general public.  Maybe I should just go back to Horsham.  But then I'm giving up.  I can't give up.  Hubby needs me.  P needs me.

I have just shut down.  I'm in that place where the pain is so great that it's hard to remember that there are reasons for me to be alive and happy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shades of Grey


I will be removing the ability to have anonymous comments left.  It feels to me that if I put my life out there for everyone to see and you have something to say about it, you can have the ovaries to leave your name.  I don't hold back.  And perhaps you haven't read past posts.  Perhaps you are commenting on just ONE post in my life.  This comment was left on my last post:
Perhaps if you focused on your husband and beautiful baby your life would be simpler. If nothing else your child deserves this and ad his mother you owe it to him. Just my opinion not that you ask for it.
I'm not sure why I feel the need to respond to it except that it made me incredibly angry.  It felt like it came from a position of NOT knowing the history, the past, WHO I AM.

My "lifestyle", polyamory, does not affect my son.  He loves the other people in my life.  He is being raised by a village.  And when my husband was out of state, they were indispensible to me. The treatement I am going through, my time in the hospital, being a guinea pig for all these fucking medicines, fighting with welfare, medicaid - ALL OF IT is so that I CAN be the mom my son deserves.

I am focused on nothing but my family.  My family definition just happens to be different than others.  Denying a large part of who I am to focus only on Hubby and P would be anything but simple.  It would drive me over the edge.

When I OD'd, I didn't take pills that would kill me.  I took pills that would let me escape the thoughts in my head telling me that my son, my husband are better off without me.  And it was a cry for help.  And I got it.  I had already been doing some treatment, but obviously IT WASN'T WORKING. The thought of my son growing up either without me or with a mother who is severely unstable is what drives me.  That can't be.  I'm so grateful that he is too young to really notice the mood swings.  He notices my absences, my distancing myself sometimes, but these are times he won't remember.  Thank Gaia for that!

Everything I do now is to fight for my family, fight for ME because if I can't function, I'm no good to them.  It's not selfish, it's self care.  Is it better for me to stay home glued to the couch crying all day and not interacting with my very active son or better that I'm doing things that help stabilize me so I CAN play with him, show him how the world works, let him explore and discover and be a happy child?  I'm going with the latter option.

All I want is to feel healthy for my family, to no longer be a burden, to help our family continue to grow.  And everything I do is geared toward that even if it doesn't seem like it.

So step into my shoes.  Fuck that, step into my HEAD, and then write what you wrote again.  Nothing is black and white.  There are many shades of grey.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Contemplation

Some of my posts this past week have triggered interesting responses.

One of them was about what Hubby thinks of me writing about the other lovers in my life.  Well, he doesn't read my blog.  He isn't stupid. I'm sure he knows when I'm seeing someone, but as long as I am a happy camper, so is he.  He has specifically said he doesn't want me to change.

I'm not going to lie.  Sometimes I wish I wasn't me.  That I didn't fall for people.  That I didn't draw people in.  That I could love just one person.  That I could believe that there is someone out there who could be that ONE PERSON.  It seems to be possible.  For a lot of people.  Why not for me?

The other thing that came up was, and this was a bit shocking, several comments that what I've written about Horsham, my breakdown, my time inside, my battle with this illness, could become a book.  That I could write a book.  Little ol' me.

That threw me for a loop.  I write it out so that perhaps someone benefits from my experience.  So that I can get it out.  So that I am open and honest about my life.  So that it's out of my head.

Like Anna Nalick writes:
      "If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me, Threatening the life it belongs to"

So that's what I do.  I write it out.  But a book?  I just don't know.  I don't know if I can put the effort in.  I don't know if it would really help anyone or just be drivel.

 It takes a lot to believe that I could really do something as amazing as a book.  Have I got something like that inside me?



Friday, September 7, 2012

Father Time

Just because it feels like time stands still inside, the fact is that the world outside our safe haven continues on.  And the stressors that affect you have not gone anywhere.

The biggest realization of life moving forward was seeing the changes brought about in my son by my NOT being there.  For weeks he had been walking, but only holding my hand.  Let go and down he went.  He just wouldn't do it, much like he wouldn't sign for me.

The first full day Hubby was home P started walking on his own, and all of a sudden would sign "please", "more", "all done".  It nearly killed me.  Why for someone else and not for me?  What did that mean for me?  What did it mean regarding my mothering skills.  I wasn't there.  It hurt.  So badly.

And going home?  I felt so stable before I left Horsham that I was shocked at the fight I had in front of me.  Nothing had been resolved, and that stress was still there.  I wasn't prepared for how hard I would have to fight.

Every time I cook, I am faced with a drawer full of knives.  My niece's birthday party was chock full of beer.  My bottles of meds taunt me.  Just because I was doing better, I was NOT better.  Not remotely.  The fight I have ahead of me is daunting.

Group therapy 3x/week.  One-on-one therapy once a week.  Clothes that need to be washed.  Diapers that need to be washed.  The list goes on.  Back home it's no longer just about me.

Hubby is dealing with some of the difficult things, financial stuff.  He is religiously doing the dishes (I wish I could convey what a miracle this is!).

I speak with T nearly every day.  She gets it. I speak with J 2 or 3 times a day based on the phone times in Horsham.  I can't wait for him to get out.  These people, I need them.  More than I did on the inside.  I mentioned it before.  Who else will understand as much as the people you went through hell with?

As much as I hated the restrictions of Horsham...I miss it.  It is safety.  24/7 support.  Out here...life goes on without consideration for my illness.  Time didn't stand still out here.  And things did not miraculously get better.  Mary Poppins didn't come and snap her fingers and make it all better.

I still have to fight, fight harder than I ever have before.  But I know that.  And that's a good step.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Exotic Neurotic Hotel, Part 4

Monday when Dr. Du came back I said, "Listen, buddy.  This shit isn't working.  What're we going to do about it?"  Okay, maybe I didn't say it like that.  I did let him know how up and down I had been all weekend, to check the note on the charts.  At that point we did the last medication increase he would do while I was there.

That's also the day that my bitching and moaning about no physical activities got heard and the techs put on a walking exercise tape.  The guys were NOT impressed, but certainly enjoyed us bouncing around. Only V and I made it to the end; the others were self-conscious.  But OMG did I feel amazing after we were finished.  And my night was so much better.

The next day they put on a Hip Hop tape, kicked the guys out back to throw the football and basketball around, and we ladies got down.  I was the only one who made it to the end.  Holy shit was I hurting.  But again, wow!  Did I feel good or what!  It was a definite turn around.  Did the walking tape Wednesday, too.  This is when I decided that exercise would be a part of my discharge plan.

One of those days P was able to come visit again...so worth it.  Many of the other patients would come out and watch him through the window.  He brought such a light to the unit.

Those last couple of days also saw me becoming the "mama" of the group.  I was always checking on others, advocating for them.  Making sure they had basic things they needed.  T left one of those days and she was sorely missed.  But I was beginning to feel like ME.  I was sleeping.  I remember thinking on Wednesday, "I feel like ME."  At least I thought I did.  Let's be honest - I no longer am sure who me is.  But I didn't feel manic.

I had found I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz on the tv on demand video station, and it became our theme song.  There were some we played regularly, plus some that Peggy our group therapist had given us.  We had now basically acquired a Psych Ward soundtrack.  And it became so important to many of us.  It's a thin line, she warned us.  Music can be healing or toxic.  Music was something we were holding onto during our free time.  It lifted all our spirits.  It felt so good.  We had found a way to take control of some of our healing, our therapy.  It was awesome.

J and I still spent all of our spare time together, carefully.  I watched people come and go while I was in there.  J even more so.  I'm not gonna lie - it felt like "what am I doing wrong that these other people are already gone and I'm still here?"  But I could FEEL the improvement.  Maybe I was still there because of my ability to help others settle in.

Whatever it was, I was still there.  I got the word that Thursday was go day.  Wednesday night I stayed up as long as I could all fucked up on my medication to see J as long as I could.  Much of my anxiety returned Thursday morning.  Inside, the routine was predictable mostly, real life was somewhere else...but now I was about to head back to the house, the real life that landed me in there in the first place.  It was a Klonopin kind of day.  It was a day of goodbyes.  A day of sadness.  Yes, sadness at leaving the Psych Ward.

I know, that sounds crazy (ha!) but the stability was so important.  The outside world is the scary place once you've settled in there.  But the time for hugs (allowed because I was no longer a patient) and walking out that door holding my toddler's hand came.

And that's when the real battle began.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Exotic Neurotic Hotel, Part 3


Time seems to stand still in Hotel California (you can check in anytime you want but you can never leave!).  The days drag, even when we have group.  We count down time by smoke breaks.  And then there is the weekend.  Nothing to do.  Nothing.  Saturday I arranged for Hubby to bring us a movie and a box of popcorn.

No one really watched.

But J and I sat together and watched and talked a lot.  He and I had grown quite close by this time.  And...he admitted having feelings for me.  And it was mutual.  Who falls for someone in the psych ward????  Turns out it is fairly common.

Think about it - who else can really understand what you are going through except someone in the same position.

Psych ward romances...sneaking a held hand, and back scratch, a hand on a knee.  We were careless - we suck at being surreptitious.  But we speak every day still.  We formed a bond, just like I did with T, that will never be lost.  We all went through something together that our spouses, boyfriends, what have you will never be able to totally understand.

More than anything while I was there I wanted to be held.  Nope, can't do it.  The physical craving was so palpable that it took everything in my power to not curl up into J's arms and say "fuck them" for the 20 seconds it would take for staff to catch us.  I even managed to sneak into his room for a kiss.  The bummer was that it was so fast and so daring and scary that I don't think either of us enjoyed it.

Having your medications overhauled is NO JOKE.  I spent the weekend on a roller coaster of epic proportions.  Around the same time a patient was brought in who had obviously suffered some incredible trauma as she would just break out into screams, crying, "NO, NO, STOP!!!"  And just plain screaming.  Blood curdling screaming.  It set me off soooo badly.  It was a bad night on the ward.  K (young woman who always seems like she's tripping and talks like she has Tourettes) was on a rampage.  The new woman was having panic attack after panic attack, and we had a wrap up that left me a mess.  Curled up in a ball, damn near screaming.  One of my friends, well, 2 of them, wrapped themselves around me and held me so tightly.  To make me feel safe.

It took everything in my power to not just SCREAM.  I remember asking for J.  We aren't supposed to touch, but in this case it was overlooked because it was helping.  They even overlooked J holding my hands (even after we had been reprimanded for "touching") and the nurse finally gave me my Seroquel and a Klonopin.  Once calmed down they took me back to the community room, and I lay down with my head on J's lap (again, overlooked) and fell asleep.  I was so dopey when it was time to go to bed that they had to have 2 people support me to get to bed.

J had become my rock.  We had admitted that there were strong feelings developing.  But we were careless.  And we were reprimanded, his room moved.  But still, we couldn't keep from sitting by each other, talking.  He got me through so many moments I thought I would lose it.

We realized that I "sundown" - evenings are really rough.  J spoke to the staff after my breakdown and made sure to put a note on my chart about the crazy mood swings of the weekend.  The weekend psychiatrist would only note what you told him, but not make changes.  Dr. Du was not pleased that the weekend doc didn't up my meds to help.

The all over the place feelings of the weekend were so scary.  I hated it.  It took everything I had, my friends had to keep me from completely losing it.  I am so thankful to have been in hospital during the time my meds were rearranged.  Being home would have been a TERRIBLE idea.

Weekends are also boredom central in there.  Maybe one group a day.  As always, counting the minutes to smoke breaks for our 10 minutes of freedom outside in the sun, in our cage.  Nowhere to walk.  We did get some extra time outside while they transferred the new woman to an acute unit because she had us all on edge.  We were so thankful.  The whole time I was there the worst weather we had was a light sprinkle.  So being outside was great.

Sometimes I would lie down on the patio and just watch the clouds.  We had to go outside to attend meals at the Manor House, so I would take my shoes off and walk through the grass up the hill rather than use the stairs.  On the way back I would lie face down in the grass, breathe it in.  Who cares if they looked at me funny.  It helps me.  So I did it.  Any chance I got.  You do what you need to do to help you through your time in there, and then when you have to face real life again.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Exotic Neurotic Hotel, Part 2

My 2nd full day on the G-Unit (aka General Adult Unit [GAU]) was when the fun with drugs began.  My Psychiatrist Dr. Du (love the name!) took one look at my medication list and was quite surprised.  He did a full analysis, questions and all.  It wasn't until I was discharged that I found out his full diagnosis: Panic Disorder with  and Bipolar Mixed Episodes.

And then the fun with meds came.  Here's what I was on when I was admitted:

  • Risperdal .5mg
  • Lamictal 100 mg
  • Zoloft 200 mg
  • Klonopin .5mg prn 2x/day
Bye-bye Risperdal and Lamictal.  Poof.  He wanted to do away with the Zoloft, but I told him it was also being used off-label to control my migraines, so he agreed to keep that one.  Klonopin same.

New meds:
  • Neurontin 100mg 2x/day
  • Seroquel 100mg at bedtime
It was a big change and it made me worse.  Which I basically expected but it was TERRIBLE.  Hubby came that night, and told me that my step-dad had made a comment that he didn't think I should be alone with P when I got out and that "someone" might call CPS because of what I did.  I had a complete meltdown.  Crying uncontrollably, curled up in a ball, gasping for air, nearly screaming.  The nurse gave me my happy drug, and I eventually calmed down, but I was so goddamn ANGRY.  

I don't think I can even explain the level of anger.  How DARE he?  Even now I am simply flabbergasted.  I can barely look at him. But visiting hours ended.  And that's where that group of wonderful people on the G-Unit come in.  I couldn't have made it through the night.  Every night we had Wrap Up where we tell them how we are doing in terms of self harm, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, homicidal thoughts...you get the idea.  My numbers were quite high, and I was crying.  My favorite tech, Herbie, told me I could bow out, but everyone on the ward had seen me lose it, so I spilled my guts.  I think that's when the corner turned for me.  When I decided I had to fight for me, for my family.  

I was still panicking at night according to new roomie, so we upped the meds again.  That night, Friday, is when I was able to see P for about 20 minutes.  What a godsend.  It was so hard to walk away from him when he reached for me when it was time for them to leave.  That's when I started calling and singing him lullabies at night before bed.  

I was fighting for us so hard.  But the meds weren't working.  Not yet.  And we were heading into the weekend with no regular doctor meetings...

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Exotic Neurotic Hotel, Part 1

* I cannot claim credit for the amusing title...my friend J came up with it one day when we were sitting around talking*

I journaled the whole time I was "inside" but I am having a seriously difficult time sharing my experiences there. Pulling straight from the journal would be so chaotic.  My thoughts were racing, still are at most times.  I just remember thinking, as I was dropped off and the hours passed as I was processed admitted, "How did I get here?"  There was one girl in the waiting area who was so talkative and cheerful I had to leave the room and pace the hallways.  She ended up on my unit.  Happiest depressed person I have ever met.  Oy.

The rest of us just sat there in the freezing air conditioning, this blank look on our faces.  For most of us, it was as though we just couldn't fathom how we had landed ourselves in that place on a Tuesday night in late August.  I had my arms wrapped around me tight, battling tears.

I was finally taken to my unit after intake interviews galore, my personals (what little I had with me) being searched, and a couple hours of annoyance and fear.  And what do they put you through when you get to the unit?  A "body map".  Nice way of saying a strip search without the cavity search.  They mark on a diagram all your scars, tats, piercings.  Whilst you stand there in nothing but your chonies.  Welcome to the unit.

I had nothing but my wallet and the clothes on my back that were at this point 2 days old.  It was smoke break shortly after I arrived, but I had none, so one of the techs put a plea out on my behalf, and that's how I met J.  He became my first lifeline, and continued to be one.  We were glued at the hip.  We talk 2-3 times a day, still.  My roomie was leaving the next day and was super sweet, showing me the ropes, making sure I was okay.  It was loud, it was scary, and I had no idea how things worked.  For all I know they told me rules and such, but if they did none of it stuck.

I cried and whimpered and panicked my way through my first night in that place.  Day 2 wasn't much better.  They gave me my usual meds - at 9 am.  I usually take them at night for a reason.  I ended up sleeping much of the day.  J was still giving me smokes, and Hubby was on his way back from Ohio.  He managed to drop off some clothes (no sweaters :-() that night, along with smokes, so I finally felt better not bumming from J.  But Wednesday is a blur.

Meals for those still on precautions (the suicidal folk) are served on the unit.  Getting to go up to the Manor House for meals is a mini-graduation, and it took until the end of my 3rd day.  My meds got completely changed and my mood swings were wild.  I felt so out of control.  But J, T, and R were there every step of the way. They had all been there before.  There is something wonderful about being surrounded by a group of people who all speak your language.  Much like the IF community, we have our own terms, most of which wouldn't be understood outside the psych ward or medical community.

I was lucky.  Hubby came to see me every day, and with the help of the social worker we got permission for P to come see me a couple times.

We took meds on command, ate on command, spoke on the phone only at specific times, attended group on command.  I felt a little Shawshenk.  I couldn't seem to pee the first couple days unless I pretended someone had told me to do it.  For 10 days I peed with either a door open or simply a curtain for a door.

I don't even know how many doctors, nurses, social workers I had to tell "No it WASN'T a suicide attempt."  I felt like saying, listen, I'm a smart cookie.  If I had really been trying I would have taken a lot more than benadryl.  Having said that, however, I really did like my Psychiatrist.  And groups. Many were music related.  Or sort of ice breaker related, but with heavier questions.

The annoyances: can't touch anyone, one smoke at smoke break only (so easy to get around), no going in one another's rooms...my god I swear I felt like a child.  But the routine?  We counted on it.  And when things ran late, boy did we get pissed.  It was the one thing we could count on to get us through our days.

I picked up a coffee addiction there.  They only gave us decaf and let me tell you, decaf lipton tea just wasn't doing it for me, so I actually taught myself to drink coffee.  And I am HOOKED.  It's like I can't stop.  It's part of this process for me.

As the days went by I gradually stabilized and I knew my time was ending.  Which it did.  What I didn't count on was how difficult it would be to maintain that stability once home, despite having a plan and everything, but that's a post for another day.

I wish I could better portray what it felt like in there.  I'm trying.  There are more posts to come.  Thanks for listening if you made it this far.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Flying Over The Cuckoo's Nest

I had been overwhelmed for a long time.  Depressed, anxious.  I kept saying to people, "I can't do this anymore," and bless you all, hearing "You can do it" helped.  But only for a while.  August 20th the knot in the end of my rope slipped apart and I fell.

I didn't want to die.  Well, alright, maybe I did.  But I couldn't leave P.  I self medicated with the intent to have a night of sleep that was not interrupted by night terrors, panic attacks, insomnia.  I just wanted to NOT BE for a while.  I popped 3 of my Klonopin and 8 benadryl on top of the 2 large glasses of wine I'd had.

And then I panicked.  What if I didn't wake up for P the next morning.  What if I couldn't stay awake?  What if I'd overdone it.  I just wanted to sleep.  But the panic won and I went and told my mom what I'd done.

My step-dad took me to the hospital and the rest of the night is a little fuzzy.  IVs, bloodwork, HIV test after nurse pricked herself, confusion.  I was admitted and had a babysitter all night.  I slept on and off.  New babysitter the next morning, a change of rooms, a lot of sleep.  I didn't want to talk to anyone.  My daytime babysitter was uber talkative. I wanted to tell her to shut the fuck up.  Seriously, after overdosing do I look like I want to talk?  Not so much.

The crisis center psychiatrist came to visit.  I had met him once before because of my trip to the crisis center.  Case worker.  I don't even know who else.

My choice: agree to be sent to a psychiatric hospital or be forced.  The outcome was the same, so I agreed.  I thought I'd only be in for a few days.  Not so much.  Try 9.

I hit rock bottom.  The bottom of the barrel.  I gave in to the pain, to the voice in my head telling me that I didn't want to be alive.  I cut my arm.  Big angry cuts.

I have never been so low.  So alone.  So scared.  My illness won that night.  I pray I never get that low again.  I want to tell you about my time "on the inside" but that will be another series of posts.

I want to be honest, open.  I overdosed.  I broke.  I hit bottom.  But I'm still here.  I'm alive and kicking.  Weakly kicking, perhaps, but I'm prepared to do the work necessary to get myself stable.

Every day is the first day of my life.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Right To Die

*This is my point of view.  I welcome comments, but please keep them respectful*

My Oma is 87 years old.  She recently had a quadruple bypass with atrial valve replacement surgery.  At 87 years old.

She has been depressed for years, since Opa died over 5 years ago.  She has repeatedly said she is ready to die, and in fact wants to die.  But she was convinced to have this surgery.  She was told over and over how much better she would feel after.

But no one seems to have told her about the recovery period, the pain, the struggles, the depression that comes with it.  I tried.  I tried to explain, but she wouldn't hear it.  She believed that my dad, the doctor's had her best interests at heart.  When asked by doctors if she was depressed, she said "no".  I was at one of these appointments, and I told the doctor the truth.  But none of this mattered.

She even told me she hoped something would go wrong during the surgery.  Part of me thinks she agreed so that she could die.

Post surgery is not going well.  The depression is terrible.  And thus the healing process is terrible.  At one point she was refusing food.  She will not take anti-depressants.

She is 87 years old and ready to die.

Generally speaking, if someone is depressed and suicidal we try to fix that.  But this woman has lived a long, hard life.  And her greatest wish is to die and join her husband.  But there is no way to make that happen, not legally.  And it frustrates the hell out of me.  She should have that right.

I have a friend whose doctor's have told him he most likely has cancer.  He has been in the ER for things that indicate it is progressing.  But he is refusing to get treated because of no insurance.  And because of depression.  Which he will not get treated because of depression as well.  He is ready to die.

My opinion on this differs a bit.  He has 3 children.  He is a single dad.  And he won't tell anyone what is going on.  Again, I believe in a person's right to die, but he isn't even willing to fight for the sake of his kids.  This saddens me.  Had he been through umpteen treatments and was tired and knew it would make no difference that would make sense.  But this...this is simply depression speaking.  I KNOW that.  But I can't force him to do something.  It's his choice.  All I can do is make sure he's made preparations for the children.

Here's the thing.  I get wanting to die.  More than I would like to.  My son is what gets me through.  My son and my friends.  I would probably be dead without you, without him.  But I FIGHT.  The fight is gone out of them.  And with healthcare being what it is, not only are they not allowed to end their lives, my friend can't even get treated.  He doesn't make enough to find individual care, and he makes too much to qualify for medicaid.

I can't make someone fight if they've made up their minds.  I firmly believe if my grandmother wants to die after a long, full life that she should be able to find a way to do that.  I feel that someone who has fought a life threatening illness for ages with no relief in sight should have the right to end their life peacefully instead of painfully.

It hurts me so much to see the pain, to not be able to help (not without going to jail, anyway).  Sometimes it is just time.  Yes, we have the medical technology available to keep a heart beating, but not the soul.

Sometimes it is just time.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What A Difference 2 Years Makes

2 years ago today we transferred 2 of the most gorgeous embryos ever.  I might be biased.  I still wonder what happened to P's brother or sister.  Tangent, sorry.



Of course, we have no idea of knowing which embie is P, but my bet is the lower one.

2 years ago I was amazed at being PUPO.  2 years ago all of my hopes and wishes were riding in those 2 microscopic bundles of cells.  2 years ago + 4 days was the first day I thought I might be actually pregnant.

2 years later...we have this gentleman.  It's rather amazing, isn't it?




Thursday, August 2, 2012

And Then The Hot Sauce Attacked The Floor

Murphy's Law, right?  This is my life, and I can't make this shit up.

Yesterday morning I went into the kitchen to get P's breakfast.  He was not happy that I was not in the room with him and so was crying at the gate. I opened the fridge to get the milk and out jumped a large bottle of hot sauce.  It was on a kamikaze mission.  Consider the floor attacked.

Hot sauce puddle.  I am of course barefoot.  So I picked up the broken glass without moving my feet (why didn't I go get shoes?  Who knows.  I'm an idiot.)  Step OVER the puddle of hot sauce, grab paper towels, turn around, and found one last piece of glass.

With my foot.

A piece of glass easily half an inch wide and 1/4" long.  It was a piece of the bottom and side, so rounded.  Which means easy to pull out.  Let me tell you, the feel of it going into my foot was something I would like to never experience again.  It made me sick to my stomach.

So now P is at screaming stage, and I'm bleeding profusely all over the place.  For whatever reason I decided I needed my mother to clean it up.  Panic or something, I don't know.  She helped me wipe up the blood and put a bandaid on it.  After which I wrapped it in guaze to keep the bandaid on.

Famous last words: "Oh, it's not that bad, you don't need to go to the hospital."

The damn thing kept bleeding all day.  Sort of leaking blood.  And it would not close up.  I tried to stay off of it, but dude, I have a toddler.  I limped on my toes (which by the way, now feel as though I've been wearing high heels just on that foot).

No way am I taking a toddler to the ER with me knowing they are going to hurt me, and I won't be able to keep an eye on him while they stitch me up.  So I search for super glue.  Finally find some, except it's all bloody dried up.  Fail.

Plan B is going to have to be the ER.  My friend Dave mentioned he was thinking of coming down for a couple hours because I'd had a horrendous night the previous day.  Like the worst I've had in a while.  The please let me die variety of a night.  Anywho, my parents agreed to keep an ear out for P after I put him to bed, and Dave took me to the ER.

It's my left foot.  I could have easily taken myself, but ummmm, I just didn't like the sound of stitches by myself.  Which, it turns out, was a good call.

I had the RN, PA, and registration lady in, if you will excuse the cheesiness, stitches.  They liked that the hot sauce attacked the floor.  We had Jack Johnson radio playing, which the PA was grooving to while he tended to my foot.

I always wondered if stitches hurt.  It turns out I didn't find out.  Because he stuck a needle in my foot repeatedly with numbing stuff.  That hurt like a motherfucker.  Poor Dave had to deal with me squeezing his hand REALLY HARD.  I was so incredibly thankful when he was done with the needles.  Keep in mind I have tattoos on the top of my foot.  This was worse.  Left me shaking.

But oh, the numbness.  Yay for numb.  He came back, cleaned it up, and put in 3 stitches.  None of which I felt.  Woohoo!

My first non-surgical stitches ever.  And that's saying a lot
considering how accident prone I am.

I don't know if you can see it, but the local anesthetic turns
your skin white, and it travels, so there were tendrils of it
going up my ankle.  Soooo bizarre.

I spared you the pic of it bleeding while I waited for the stitching part.

Now, these lumpy fuckers are on the bottom of my foot.  The care instructions say things like "Don't bump the stitches.  They could tear open."  Translation: Stay off your foot you moron.  Riiiiiiight.  I have a TODDLER!!!!  And they did not provide crutches.  I have some, but they are in storage in the old 'hood.

We are going to Musikfest Saturday.  Which requires a ton of walking.  Sigh.  Should be interesting.  Oh, and no pool.  For at least 5 days.  Sorry kiddo, Mama can't go in!  Ideally no pool until the stitches come out.  So twice that time.  No flip flops.  REAL SHOES.  In the summer.  I barely wear real shoes in the winter!  *insert pity party here*

You may notice a time stamp on this post.  4 am.  That's because an hour ago I woke up in excruciating pain.  Like can't put any weight on my foot at all for fear of screaming pain.  By some miracle, the Tylenol I took seems to be dulling it a bit.  Thank goodness!  Off to find crutches as soon as P gets breakfast.

Moral of the story, folks:  when your hot sauce attacks the floor on a kamikaze mission, put your shoes on before cleaning up the carnage.