Let it begin

Or so I thought…
I woke at 12:30am to pee.  I usually wake 2-4 times a night to see.  I went back to sleep but felt cramps and low back pain that weren’t allowing me to rest comfortably.  I ccouldn’t really fall back asleep, and thought I was feeling a minor contraction like pain in my cervix area.

At 1:30am I was still laying in bed, and thought I felt a tiny, tiny wetness.  At 1:45am I got up and walked around, feeling simply horrible.  Trying to breathe and relax.  I used the sink to lean on and a gush of fluid was released. I soaked it into pad and bagged it up.  Then I got into shower, just in case this was the real deal.

I was already exhausted from my little running ordeal the days before, plus I had a headache that wouldn’t go away, and I was so so tired of being pregnant.

At 2:20am there were still no contractions, so I waited 40 more minutes, and then decided to wake Jeff up.  Rather than wake the kids and our friends for something that may take hours I decided to head to labor and delivery myself and have them test the fluid to be certain.  My water broke with both boys, so it wasn’t out of the question that it happened with this pregnancy.  I left around 3:30am.

by 4am, the pad had tested positive and I advised Jeff.  I was so nervous and scared of labor starting and the eminent pain that would be involved.  My body was so tired, my head was killing me, and I had been in pain for long that I was super sensitive to everything.

The OB came in to do a speculum exam around 4:30am, one where she checks for amniotic fluid near the cervix, and checks any progress I have made.  She tested 2 strips and both were negative for fluid.  She was perplexed since the original one was positive.  And decided to take a look under the microscope to be certain.  At 5am, she confirmed that I had pee’ed my pants, and that the slides were negative for amniotic fluid.

Needless to say, I was super embarrassed!  I have never pee’d my pants and felt so silly!  But, I think i was wanting to be in labor so badly that I wasn’t paying attention to my body the way I should.

In any case, I went home exhausted and defeated.

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Dense

Sometimes I am so dense and unaware…especially when it comes to my own health and discomfort.
I have been thinking that the last several months worth of pelvic pain and pressure were the result of the baby and a casualty of being hugely pregnant.  I even went so far in my head to assume that because I was older and on my 3rd kid that my body was just worn out (partially true…).  When, in fact, this is classic pelvic girdle pain

Today, I finally realized that the cramps and my inability to walk, get out of the car quickly, put my pants on easily, bend down, climb the stairs, or get up from a sitting position – that this was not a normal part of being pregnant.  Neither is the pain I have been feeling in my groin.

Today, the pain is so bad that I can barely walk.  Each step causes me to wince and grimace.  While at the park today, Spencer feel off a high area, did a mid air flip and landed on his head and back on the ground.  I witnessed the entire fall, and was close enough that I decided to attempt to run over so I could comfort him quicker.  That was a noble idea–but a huge mistake.  He is OK, and not hurt seriously, luckily.  But, I am in tremendous pain. 

I hope that some rest this evening remedies my woes.  Tomorrow’s agenda is to research how to make the waiting game easier, and my birth as comfortable as it can be. 

4.2.13. 9:30pm

Princesses and Rainbows

We had the luxury of spending the weekend at my best friends house for their son’s 1st birthday party.  On the eve before the party my boys and their daughter were all playing dress up.

It is known around our house that my younger boy loves princesses, and both of my boys love dressing up.  So when he came out of the bedroom head to toe in pink ruffles and heals it was no surprise to me.

The crown, the dress, tutu skirt, and shoes were adorable.  But, the sword was out of place.  So, I asked him what his plan was with the sword.  He matter-of-factly responded with, “Mom, it’s not a sword” and then as if exasperated at having to explain such a simple concept to me, goes on to say “it’s a magic wand!”

Taken slightly aback, but not wanting to be bested by my 3 year old, I go on to ask my question again… “Son, what is your plan for your WAND?”  With a wave of the wand, and flick of the wrist he explains “It’s for making rainbows!!!” and then struts off to do just that.  Leaving the room to explode in shocked and adoring laughter. 

At that moment, I could not love anyone more.  I simply adore that boy. 

Success or failure?

Since giving birth to Spencer (11-2009), I haven’t been using a formal birth control method.  We have prevented pregnancy using condoms and other means.  And, then last year, we decided to try for another baby-it didn’t take much trying.  We had sex once, and viola-I was pregnant.  In the months between Spencer’s birth and now, I started to experience menstrual migraines.  The migraines did not occur every cycle, mostly every 3rd or 4th cycle.  But, when they occurred, it was always on the morning before my period.  I typically would wake with one.  They are debilitating.  I can not function.  I usually end up vomiting.  Hubby is forced to stay home from work.  


We decided that after the miscarriage that we were going to be done having kids.  2 adorable boys was enough for us.  I was trying my hardest to accept this.  I quit doing Stroller Strides, I started to give away all my baby gear and clothes.  I felt satisfied and happy.  I was doing my best to live each day and appreciate my family.  


The migraines coupled with my attempt to put my childbearing years behind me… I decided to get a Mirena IUD.  From memory, I never had migraines until I was unprotected by birth control. My logic was that the birth control hormones were helpful. I had an IUD after I had Elliott and loved it.  I had always had great luck with Depo Provera.  Though, all of the research indicates that birth control often causes the migraines–I read that to indicate birth control PILLS.  I was going to take my chances.


Man O’man the IUD insertion was painful.  She didn’t need to do anything special to insert the IUD since it was the last day of my period.  Apparently, during your menstrual cycle, your cervix is open slightly making the IUD insertion easier.  My cervix DID NOT like the sneak attack.  I cramped for 6 solid weeks, and had a ton of spotting.  Having the IUD was wonderful. I felt balanced and happy for the first time in a LONG time.  I loved the hormones that it supplied.  I gave me exactly what I needed to feel normal again.


Then one day, around 8 weeks ago, I decided I was ready to start trying again.  I gently broached the topic with my hubby.  He was luke warm about the idea.  I explained more about how I was feeling–the ‘incomplete’ feeling, the longing for another child, the way I see our family in 10 years, etc..  And he agreed!  I got the IUD out the next day.  It was the most expensive experiment ever ($1300 for the IUD and insertion).  


This is our first month trying.  And, since I am not getting any younger (I will be 38 next month!), I have been going crazy neurotic with ovulation tests.  I have done all of the ‘right’ things this month.  We will see what happens–though it is not in my nature to be patient.  Somehow, when the pregnancy test is negative, it feels like I have failed in some way.  Let’s hope we succeed.  

The upcoming birthday festivities

Spencer’s first birthday is coming up in a few short weeks.  He shares a birthday with my best friends daughter, in addition to having a birthday near Thanksgiving (and once in a blue moon–on) most years.  So, planning his birthdays will be tough for a few years.

For Elliott, we have always chosen to have his birthday’s in our home town.  He has a summer birthday and occasionally his conflicts with the 4th of July holiday, but all in all it is simpler (for planning purposes) than contending with a major holiday like Thanksgiving.  
All of our respective family live in the same county.  Plus, Grandma was always more than willing to allow us to have the parties at her house.  They have a huge kid friendly yard and a pool with a water slide.  Elliott being our oldest (and at the time–only) child–parties were a pretty big affair.  Now that we have a second child–they seem less of a priority.  I now understand why subsequent children get the shaft.
The killer part for me is always the guest list.  Having the party in San Diego this year makes it a bit easier.  And in the same breathe infinitely more difficult  There is always the question of who to invite.  I don’t want to leave anyone off the list lest I insult someone, but I also don’t want to burden anyone with an invite if it’s going to be drag.  Do I invite all my home town friends?  Do I invite Elliott’s friends (who subsequently are my friends as well)?  Do I invite my friends who have kids?  How are we going to fit and feed all those folks into our house?  Since his birthday is in the winter–there is no telling if the skies will be cooperative or not.  
Then, there is the family factor.  If I have the party in our home town I can be assured that my family will attend.  It will be uncomfortable for everyone to be in the same room with one another–but they will do it in the name of my adorable son.  But, the fact that this year I have taken a stand and chose to have the event in San Diego sets my heart up for disappointment.  The last time I remember my Mom coming to San Diego was when Elliott was 2 weeks old.  My sister hasn’t been to visit me in more years than that.  And my Aunt’s last visit was my wedding–5 years ago.  In their defense, they are busy and traveling costs money.  I understand all of that.  But, it is still disappointing for me–it is only a 3 hour drive. One that I make 6-7 times every year with my kids in tow.  
Irrationally, I admit, I always position their love for me and my kids up against the excuse of not enough money and/or time–and my kids and I always lose.  Or so, it feels.  Now, I know that nothing is that simple or black and white.  But, it doesn’t change the fact that I still feel let down and disappointed.  Keeping in mind the whole time, of course, that the party is for my son and not for me.
The invitation was sent.  The only thing left to do is wait, and hope that I don’t feel disappointed when all is said and done.  

Confession of an angry Mom

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away I had a problem with anger. I would get angry quick and unexpectedly. I would often over react and yell; many times saying things i regretted or didn’t mean. Yes, I know you are thinking that everyone does this occasionally. And, yes, I agree. But, it would happen to me frequently and the rage associated with it was so unexpected that I deemed it a problem.

I put an end to a few bad relationships, reassessed my self-worth and finished college. After college I sought to eliminate the anger. I bought a book about anger management and realized that anger was a secondary emotion. It was the reaction to feelings about something else. Hmm, for me, at the time, that was enlightening. I also determined that I had what was called sudden anger. I learned some techniques, including blogging as a way to share my feelings and sort out my thoughts. The anger subsided, and I became a calmer, happier person.

However, in the last few months it seems that the anger has crept back into my life. My once rational, calm, reasonable demeanor is now short tempered, hot headed and worse yet…irrational. Arrgghhh.

I have been thinking and analyzing the reasons for my feelings and the cause of my anger. I have come up with this. And like it or not, these are my feelings.

Most of the anger i have been feeling is towards my children. In particular my older child. He is a good, kind kid. But, I realized that I was taking him to seriously. Especially when he would tell me no, or say he didn’t like me, or just outright disobey something I asked him. Uh, hello, he is a 2 year old. Of course he is going to test his boundaries and limits. Especially with his new found confidence from swim lessons.

The thing that made me the most angry was when he would take a toy away from his younger brother or try to hurt him. I soon realized that the reason this made me so angry was because I was erroneously thinking he was doing it maliciously or on purpose. Of course, he is not even 3 years old and doesn’t yet have the ability to be mean like that. Once I was able to wrap my head around that, I stopped reacting so over the top.

I am glad that I took the time to look deeper into my actions and feelings and find a way to communicate with my children in a more effective and productive manner.

Striving for more or never satisfied?

It has been said, by several people including my husband and my best friend, that I am never satisfied.

I never took this as an insult.  In fact, I always approached it as a positive part of my personality.  I think that striving to be better, constantly wanting to improve on what you are, and working and looking towards future goals are all very admirable traits to possess.

I understand however that it isn’t meant as a compliment.  What they are really saying is that I am never happy with what I have and I cant ever be satisfied or appreciate the present.  I am unable to stop, and be thankful.  I can rarely be present because I am too busy looking ahead. I focus on what still needs to be done and not what has already been accomplished.

There are several parts about this situation that are difficult to address. The first is the basic differences in world views.  How do you resolve something so ingrained in your personality with your spouse or loved ones? Being raised with HUGELY different parenting styles we both have traits and characteristics that compliment one another and also challenge one another.

My MIL is a role model for positive behavior.  She has a knack for speaking only positive things, for making the best of each situation and for never vocalizing the negative.   While it is often difficult to know how she really feels about something-it is very enjoyable and pleasant to spend time with her.  My Mother on the other hand, has a special ability to be honest and forthcoming.  She always speaks her mind and you know where you stand with her.  She doesn’t often take things personally and has a tough skin.  Of course, her honesty is one sided, and can often hurt those who are more sensitive than she is.

So when resolving a marital issue–do you ask the other person to change (assuming that a person can change) and moreover is it fair to even ask them to?  Do you accept this as part of their personality or do you work towards a common goal or compromise and if so, how and what?

Is this simply about perspective which can be resolved with a word choice. Is this about manipulating the words to affect the desired result.  When you are comfortable speaking your mind, is it worth taking the few extra moments to pause and think about what you are going to say and how it will perceived; and potentially alter the phrasing.  Or is that compromising your true self to satisfy others who have more fragile personalities.

In disagreements where both sides feel they are justified —  who is ‘right’ and how do you decide?

All of these are subjective, I know.  Each relationship is unique and one can not possibly advise on how to resolve a situation like this for another person.  I realize that I am asking questions that can not be answered by any another except the parties involved.

I also realize that when our words are hurting people we love, regardless of how or why, that we need to alter the phrasing and delivery.

So, what I am asking is that you provide suggestions for how you ‘make the best’ of situations even if they aren’t going as planned.  How do you see and vocalize the positive when the first thing you see is what is wrong, not what is right?  How do you keep your mouth shut when something goes wrong, and look on the bright side?  Is there a way to offer suggestions without sounding like you are criticizing the progress.  For the ladies–how do you power through hormonal periods of your life and still remain positive and upbeat?

I hope that like parenting, if my arsenal is full of suggestions and ideas, then I can be better prepared to handle the pitfalls challenges when they arise.    Being prepared is a good place to start.

Dont get your hopes up yet

As you all know, I lost my job 2 weeks ago. I spent the first couple of days pretty reflective and depressed. I decided not to search for a job until the new year. I wanted to spend the holidays relaxing with my family. I was feeling dejected and was questioning my self worth.

As a result of these feelings, after only a couple of days I created an account with Monster.com, updated my Linkedin Profile, and filed for unemployment. I also started looking for jobs on Craigslist. I found THE perfect position for my skill set–as a software administrator for a mortgage banking software! How much more perfect could my timing be! I immediately emailed my resume and a cover letter, and the next day the IT director replied requesting an interview. We scheduled the interview for the following Monday, 9am. I knew I wouldn’t be unemployed for long! I started to feel less loser like, and more like the over confident person I pretend to be.

Monday morning, I got up, showered, shaved all areas that hair grows unwanted, blew my hair dry, got all dolled up in my interview clothes, and checked my email. I had a feeling.

Good thing I trust my intuition these days. The IT director emailed and said this: I had to make some changes in my schedule and cannot meet with you this morning. I will follow up with some alternate options. Thanks.

I replied and said that I was leaving for the holiday weekend later that day, and would return on the following Monday should he wish to schedule an in person interview for then. Otherwise, I would be happy to do a preliminary phone interview. No response.

I sent a follow up email over the weekend asking if we could reschedule our meeting. He replied and said this: Unfortunately, It was announced that BIG Mortgage Bank would be winding down its operations effective 12/24. Thanks.

Bummer for everyone.

Response to Shame

In my previous post, I included a link to a blog I stumbled on by accident. However, I wonder how much of life is accidental and how much is fate or destiny or whatever you want to call it (lets leave the likes of divine intervention out of this). I don’t know the answer to the fate question, but I do wonder about it.

Anyway, I have been really thinking about the post. I have been wondering why people who are molested, raped, or sexually abused feel ashamed of what happened to them. I was thinking about how being abused shouldn’t be a source of shame or embarrassment. But, how often it is. How most crimes like this go unreported and the victims never see justice or closure (not that closure is even possible). It really got me thinking, but more than that it got me feeling.

So, I wanted to free myself from feeling shameful or embarrassed (thanks Grace!). A little side note though: I don’t want to talk about this with anyone. I am posting it here to free myself from it. But, unless I bring it up, I don’t want to talk about it. I have effectively put this behind me, but want to acknowledge that it happened.

I was sexually abused by my step brother when I was 4 years old. It was a brief period of time, and most of it I hardly remember. But, I do remember enough to know that it happened. My sister told my Mom about it a while later, and I remember my Mom asking me what happened. I was flooded with feelings that couldn’t be expressed and words that had no way of being vocalized. After all, I was only 4; it would be impossible to express what I felt or thought at that age. Almost 30 years later I can remember feeling powerless and afraid to be alone with my step brother. Yet, I can hardly express my feelings now–I just don’t have the words.

My Mom left this husband, but not because of the abuse. I don’t think she knew about the abuse until after she left anyway. We spoke of it that one time, and neither her nor I spoke of it again.

I often wonder what sort of effect something like this has on peoples lives. I don’t honestly think you can know the answer to this, since life has an innumerable number of variables. But, I look at my life and wonder how things may have been different for me if this event had not occur ed. I don’t spend much time thinking about it, since there is no way to change to the past. But, I do feel saddened by the fact that it happened. I feels like I was robbed of a piece of my childhood, of my innocence. Something was taken from me during that time, something that can never be replaced or given back.

Just like all of the books say–now that I am a Mother, I have been thinking about my childhood and my youthful experiences in more depth. I am often in awe at the fact that my Mother was able to raise 2 girls essentially on her own. My Mom didn’t attend college, but was a highly intelligent woman (I will explain the use of the past tense word ‘was’ later). She has an amazing vocabulary, has a razor sharp wit and tongue, and has never been afraid to express or stand up for herself. On the other side of the coin, it kills me to think that someone who was so intelligent could allow herself to get involved with man after destructive man, marriage after marriage. How could someone who appears so self assured need a man like my Mom does. It is difficult to not place blame when I think about all of the fucked up things that have happened in my life under the tutelage of my mother (many of them while she was under the influence). And, just when I am filled with resentment and bitterness–I remember that she did the very best she could. I hope that every decision that she made was out of love, and not selfishness. I long to believe that she always put us first when a difficult choice was needed. Many days I doubt it, and that forces a irremovable wedge between us. But, some days I can forgive her and I love her more than myself.

So, there you have another tid-bit of my history. All of the pieces that make up my life and make me who I am today. Are you glad or sad you know?