The ride of my lifetime

My life has taken me on many journeys. I left home when I was 14 years old, I have been without a home, I have been through many family changes (multiple step dads, living with my Aunt, parents in jail/prison, family addictions as well as personal), 50 plus moves, an equal amount of boyfriends. High School, college, jobs.

Through it all, I think that I have managed to keep it all together, and can say with some confidence that I turned out to be a fairly well rounded, stable individual. That is until I got pregnant. And now all rhyme and reason is out the window.

I can honestly say that nothing in my life to date compares to the emotional and physical ride that pregnancy has taken me for. From morning sickness and worry, to sleeplessness and fatigue, to insecurity and depression, to anger and resentment. Wee!

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6 month check up

I had my 6 month check up today. Well, actually 25 weeks and 1 day. I met with my new Nurse-Midwife, at UCSD. The appointment took over 2 and 1.2 hours! But, most of it was with the Admin gal who was still trying to learn their new software.

The appointment went well. I have gained too much overall weight, and got the talk again. It makes me feel guilty and like a bad person and mom-to-be. But, I feel pretty good, and all my tests are A-Ok. The baby seems to be doing fine, his heart rate is good and he is growing steadily. I am just hungry all of the time. I see women on the street who look like they haven’t gained a single pound of ‘maternal stores’, and just have a little basketball tummy. This is the maternal version of tits on sticks.

In 3 weeks I go back for the Glucose test, and more blood work. Then I start appointments every 2 weeks, rather than monthly!

Hubby gets worried about the weight gain too. I am sure he doesn’t want a fat wife and baby momma (although he would NEVER say anything like that to me). But, I can tell it bothers him. We have spoken about it several times already today.

My stack graph of emotions

For the last few years, I have been thinking about the idea of emotions and how they work. I observed that many people around me took medication to positively affect their emotional states. I knew that I didn’t want to be that person, however I used to think that perhaps I had some sort of emotional disorder-bipolar or depression, and would end up taking meds to help balance me out.

However, after thinking about it (extensively) and researching it, as well as being around several friends (both close and not) and a family member…experiencing their depression and bi-polar disorder; I concluded that I was normal (whatever that means) and that emotions follow a cycle. Like nature, they are cyclical and I have come to terms with the fact that this emotional cycle of mine is normal too.

What I discovered about myself is this. My emotions are like a stack graph. Think of a historical view of the stock market plotted out on a 2D graph with an X and a Y axis. That is what happens to my feelings. About every 1-1.5 years I will have a bout with depression. The depression period used to be more frequent (every couple of months)-which is why I initially thought I might have a chemical imbalance. But, now a days it is less than once a year.

I have yet to identify what triggers the depression (but my guess is anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed). But, I can tell you that while I am in this depressed phase, I don’t realize that I am depressed. I don’t feel right, and I can tell that I am not myself, but I can not logically say–wow, this must be depression. I feel lonely, angry, isolated, misunderstood. My fuse is extremely short, I have little to no patience for people or their actions, I feel like everyone is ‘out to get me’ and I am negative and bitter. I also lose my self-confidence and question my abilities. I cant look people in the eye, I feel shy and am self conscious. All qualities that I don’t usually feel.

Saturday, I realized that I was in the midst of one of these low phases. I was finally about to talk (I use this term very liberally) to my husband and over the next 24 hours we were able to work out most of the details. I feel totally better, and like I am on the upward journey back to the stable point on the Y axis again. Whoo hoo for me.

It is weird though to look back onto the last week or so, and think about what I was feeling and thinking. It is like I was another person. I also worry that after the baby is born that I might suffer from post-partum depression.

One of the things my hubby suggested is this theory for me:
As a young person and as a teenager, and for a long time after I was only able to handle situations, and was never able to express or manage my feelings. This was due to my manic, unstable upbringing and life experiences. I have always felt free to share the details of my life’s situations, all the while being pretty reserved about feelings.

Then, things began to stabilize, and normal life was discovered. I became more aware of my feelings, but I took a long time to process them and understand them. I thought about them for a long time before I was able to express them (if I ever was able to).

In the last few years I decided that I wanted to be more in touch with my feelings, and to be able to share them more. Hubby was always saying that when you express yourself emotionally that you allow yourself to be vulnerable and people identify with that. So, I started to blog, and share my feelings publicly and as a result-they are becoming easier to identify and easier to recognize. I am forcing/allowing myself to be more forthcoming with my feelings in writing and this is helping me to be more comfortable with my feelings in general.

As a result of this new found freedom with my feelings, my ability to more quickly identify them, and to articulate them-I now want to verbally express them more often…but I am still hesitant to share them out loud. This is pretty new territory for me. I am much better at writing them down, sending them via email, or communicating via mass media using my blog.

So friends, if you are reading this-know that I am trying to become more open, more expressive, and as a result closer emotionally. I hope that this journey is worth it in the end (for all of the work I have put into it!!!) LOL.

Finally **smile**

Weekend Project

This weekends project was to make or buy curtains for our sons room. My girlfriend and I went to the fabric store, in hopes of finding some cute fabric. But we struck out. So, we decided to go to Target and look for pre-made curtains. We didn’t have any luck there either. On our way out, we swung by the baby isle (because these days I can’t go to any store without looking at all the baby items), and I saw package after package of adorable receiving blankets.

We measured the blankets, and decided they would make perfect curtains. We bought 3 packages, and got to work at the sewing machine. Well, actually Kristen did all of the sewing. I just came up with the idea and decided which ones to hang. But, between the two of us…we did a great job, and look how CUTE they are! Jeff was even impressed.

Diapering Delimea

I am in the midst of researching diapering options and was shocked by this statement.
Did you know:
Superabsorbent diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, which absorbs up to 100 times its weight in water. Sodium polyacrylate is the same substance that was removed from tampons in 1985 because of its link to toxic shock syndrome. No studies have been done on the long-term effects of this chemical being in contact with a baby’s reproductive organs 24 hours a day for upwards of two years.
Taken from http://www.mothering.com/articles/new_baby/diapers/joy-of-cloth.html

The neighbors

We live in an urban neighborhood. It isn’t city and it sure isn’t a suburb. On one side of our house is another similar type house, and on the other side is a huge apartment building. Well, let me clarify. It used to be an 8 unit apartment building and over the last year has been going through the condo conversion process. It is now 7 condos (most bigger than my house).

All but 2 are sold, and they seem pretty nice. While they are technically Condos…they pay HOA fees, have their own electric and gas meters, and their own garages and parking spots…they are still apartments in my opinion. They don’t have any community outdoor space, no yards, no patios and no community space what-so-ever.

Which brings me to my issue. How can you have a building with no community space and allow dogs? 2 of the 5 tenants have dogs. 3 dogs total, all combined weighing less than my 1 dog. The point is this-where are these dogs going to take a poop? Yup, you guessed it….in the neighbors parkway and yards. I mean where else are these pent up creatures going to poop?

Every morning and night, the neighbors are seen walking these cute little dogs up and down our street so they can crap and pee on my parkway, and the old neighbor lady’s lawn.

I love animals, and I don’t mind the neighbors, or really the poop (most of the time they pick it up). But, what was the condo association thinking allowing pets and not providing a stitch of grass? Would a letter to the association help? Would they offer any sort of explanation for their rules? Would they do anything at all? Am I totally being proprietary about space that isn’t mine either?

What are your thoughts?

Insomnia cubed

I have never really been affected physically by changes in my emotional state. That is to say that my appetite, sleeping patterns, etc. were always pretty stable regardless of what was going on in my personal life (that is not to say that I was not emotionally affected…).

That is, of course, until I got pregnant.

Now…I eat constantly…which is why I have gained almost 20 lbs and still have 15 weeks to go.
I am emotional and sensitive…I over think everything and cant take a joke.
I also don’t sleep with any solidity or consistency. I wake up at least 3-7 times a night, and actually get out of bed 2-4 times. Sometimes, I can’t get back to sleep because my mind is racing or I am having a vivid/disturbing dream. (…why couldn’t I have sex dreams like my friends had?)

All of this is fine, of course because the little being inside of me is growing healthily and steadily. I will lose the weight (eventually), my husband understands that my hormones are in control and not me, and I am not that tired during the day. But, it is getting a little frustrating.

I am also tired of hearing-‘get used to it’ that ‘this is what being a parent feels like’, or that ‘this will help prepare you for motherhood’. First off, during the first 3 months of my motherhood reign I wont have to get up every day and go to work. And secondly, my husband will be able to help with the parenting. Lastly, after my son is born…I hope to gain some semblance of hormonal control over my body (baring postpartum!!!).

But maybe I am living in a fantasy world…and perhaps I am delirious and tired for not getting enough sleep, and eating too much sugar. I am not in a position to decide.

Speaker phone etiquette

I was on a call with my boss in Texas today, and he put me on speaker phone. I assume because he needed his hands to type, or do something else. Good business etiquette would say that when someone puts you on speaker phone, if there are others in the room-they alert you to their presence.

Well, I was having a frustrating morning-too tight of a training schedule, complications with a clients install, and DST effecting other users acceptance of my meetings. And I was sharing the details with him. He asked me to perform a task which I thought was redundant and too time consuming for the limited time I had allotted this AM, so I hesitated and then responded by saying so. He explained his position, and I accepted. I also proceeded to explain my schedule for this morning, and the rest of the day to him so he knew where I was coming from.

Then in the back ground I hear one of the owners pipe up!!! Here I am talking away the to my boss, who i have a more casual relationship with than the owner… sharing things I wouldn’t normally want the owner to know. Grrrr. It made me very frustrated. Not only did it make me feel silly, but angry.

Now, Jeff would say that anger is a secondary emotion and that I need to get to the heart of the anger–to the real emotion.

The real emotion feels like betrayal. My boss wants me to be forthcoming with him, and appreciates the amount of honesty we have. However, if you truly appreciated that you wouldn’t put me in a position to regret being honest with you by allowing the owner to observe our interaction. And then call me after to say you noticed that I was upset when we spoke earlier.

I feel like I have 2 options–confront him about my feelings of betrayal based on the fact that we have a less professional relationship and therefore can be more honest with one another. Or, take our relationship back to a more professional one, removing some of the inherent trust that was present before.

Neither sound good right now. I am going to sit on it for a while, and let it marinate just in case I am acting overly emotional. The last thing i need is to act more the fool. Thoughts or suggestions are welcome.