Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oh What A Week!

So here is the run down of our interesting last week. So starting Monday night I had bad, bad kidney pain. I chalked it up to my hydronephrosis (mine is pregnancy induced so basically the baby is laying on the ureters and so the urine doesn't drain and backs up into the kidneys and causes them to swell and hurt). Only it didn't come and go like usual and was more severe. I tried like 4 baths & a million crazy positions. Nothing did anything to provide an ounce of relief which is unusual. The tylenol I took might as well have been Smarties. I was in tears at times and got no sleep. On Tuesday I felt sick as in lethargic, foggy, nauseous, some kidney pain, etc. I never had a temp over 99 during the day. Then that evening it went to 101.7. I called the after hours OB hotline. She told me to go in. I told her I had a urologist appointment in 2 days and asked if I could wait. She told me I could but to double up on my antibiotics and if I had worsened nausea, chills or vomiting to come in. Well of course that night what happens? Terrible chills & vomiting. The chills were unlike anything I'd had before. I was shaking like I was having a seizure and it woke me up. Silly, half asleep me thought, "Oh my gosh, I don't think you have awareness during a seizure but maybe sometimes you do. Quick, you wouldn't be able to control your muscles so try wiggling your fingers." I was relieved as I realized I could wiggle them. I got in a warm bath and soaked until they subsided some. When I got out I vomited 4 times. Then I felt better. There was that little voice inside reminding me what the doctor said but then there was also my stupidity telling me I now felt better, had a doctor's appointment in in less than 48 hours and was probably just fine & would wake Matt up and spend all night at the hospital for nothing anyway so I should just go back to sleep. 

So Wednesday I woke up still not feeling great but somewhat better. I had chills when I woke up so I dressed for work like it was winter. Several of the kids asked why. I'm sure I looked silly. I had chills similar to the night before but not quite as severe. At least through these I could talk and my teeth weren't chattering so badly. Then I'd sweat profusely to at one point I had great sweat stains on my shirt. I was so hot and miserable by then I didn't even care and took my jacket off revealing my sweating disgustingness to all. I got through most of the day but then the nausea got worse so I left. I came home and napped. When Matt got home I took my temperature and it was 102.7. I called the after hours hotline. Before they called me back my temperature had reached 103.6. I was sure the thermometer was broke so I had Matt try it. His was 96.7. I was still telling myself it was broken and I told the doctor so as well. Again I asked if I could wait for my urology appointment the next day. He said no. I was still convinced I'd go in, determine my thermometer was broken, waste a lot of time and maybe get a shot in my butt and go home. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  

Well from there I found out my heart rate & blood pressure were elevated, my white blood cell count was at 22 which is like double where it should be and my sodium, calcium and potassium were low. They told me it was a kidney infection and then started testing to make sure it hadn't turned into sepsis. To make a long story short regarding tests and all that fun stuff it ended up being sepsis as well. After being told I would be there for 24-48 hours it turned into a week thanks to the sepsis diagnosis. Then that turned into 2 weeks. Finally they decided after a week to send me home on IV antibiotics so that is where we are today. More on that adventure for another post. I'm getting sleepy & I'm really trying to listen to my body more so off to bed I go! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kryptonite Entered The World Today



Today is the day the kryptonite to my obsessive worrying entered the world (A.K.A. my husband, Matt). A whole 4 years prior to me or my anxiety even entering. Even at that point God knew Matt would be VERY necessary to me. He is truly the only one who can shake me from the worst of my moods. Even when I try to fight it somehow he breaks through. It's through humor 98% of the time and usually after I've gotten annoyed or mad at him for making light of what I see to be the world's biggest crisis in the moment (which is typically a simple mole hill & nothing close to the mountain I've made it out to be in my head). He doesn't let my annoyance or anger stop him. He perseveres until I'm smiling or laughing. It's like a comedian who follows you around pestering you until you succumb to smiles and giggles.

He is able to put my thoughts into perspective in a way that shines truth on them. The truth that I'm half way nuts. I look at the person I was 8 years ago when we got together and that girl was more than half way nuts. She was a down right lunatic & totally delusional. Everything was Code Red level. Everything had to be analyzed and re-analyzed over and over again. If she wasn't worrying she felt lost and uncomfortable. Not worrying about family in particular at all seconds of the day brought on extreme amounts of guilt. Why Matt didn't get a glimpse of that and high tail it as far away as possible is beyond me.

Today, I'm slightly neurotic, but not near the mess I was before. I can sit and watch a television program (well kinda....about 70% of the time). My thoughts aren't constantly intertwined with anxiety and worry. My palms aren't constantly sweating and I don't have a tension headache the majority of my waking hours. I wish I'd known Matt from day 1. It makes me cry to realize how truly miserable I was back then. I want to hug that girl and tell her that life doesn't have to be full of self induced misery and there is more to it if she will just let go for a second and look beyond the fear & anxiety. I was trapped. A prisoner to my emotions and Matt broke me free. Not just him but also the one that sent him, God. Before I even knew I needed help.

I guess it was like the Stockholm Syndrome. I thought my captor, anxiety, was my friend and the key to my success. I thought my anxiety and worry helped make me successful. I was driven. I was goal oriented. Anything less than the highest grade possible on a test was not enough. Anything less than the max amount of college hours on top of working overtime at work wasn't enough. I'd analyze and re-analyze every conversation I had throughout the day to determine what I could have said wrong or what could have been misconstrued and inadvertently hurt someone. I thought those things propelled me to be better. I thought of it as a strength. I knew it didn't feel great but I thought it was a means to an end. I prided myself on being hard working and an overachiever. But I didn't have the energy to really enjoy any pride I felt. It was caught up on the next worry. It's amazing how deceived and confused we can get over time. I was truly lost.

Then in stepped this man who had faced more in his 25 years than most face in a lifetime. Yet he was laid back. He didn't worry. He went with the flow. Nothing seemed to ruffle his feathers. I was shocked he'd survived all he had with this mentality. He seemed like a freak of nature to me! Yet I was drawn to it as it was the one thing I was lacking so much. Like being drawn to a soothing, comforting place. I'm sure he never realized I saw him that way and probably dislikes being described that way (Yes, honey, there was more to it. Such as being hot, hilarious & manly!). My poor wrecked soul thirsted for a presence such as his. Someone to silence my thoughts and my fears. Someone to assure me without even saying a word that I alone was enough and it wasn't about my accomplishments or how hard I pushed myself. I could just "be" with him. That was foreign, awkward and uncomfortable initially. I was used to doing. I couldn't fathom just watching TV. I needed to be studying or cleaning or doing my nails...something....anything...while I did so. I couldn't imagine just laying down to go to sleep. You read your text books that are sprawled out over the bed like a second desk until you nod off on page 175 and get a nice round yellow highlighter stain on your comforter. He forced me to stop. And slowly it wasn't so foreign, awkward and uncomfortable. Suddenly I realized there was more out there and I could still achieve what I wanted without the misery. Imagining my life without him there to push the pause button for me makes me shudder. I'm not sure I would have made it, particularly through the last year. If I had been with someone else through those hardships I think I would have let my emotions propel me right over the edge.

Matt literally saved me. I know God put him here for many other purposes but I know without a fact He designed him with me and my flaws in mind. He balances me in a way no one else has been able to. Our marriage isn't perfect but the One who designed the concept of marriage is so it works. So today I thank God for the man He designed with me in mind. For his heart, his humor, his logical mind and for the perspective, joy, smiles and laughter he brings into my life on a daily basis. I love you, babykins!






Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Birthing Classes With Grandma

Oh birthing classes...where to begin. Truly that haven't been that awful although I felt like the 2nd class was worse than the 1st. I think I had prepared myself well for the first. There is some awkwardness as our teacher is literally about to turn 74 and has 6 GREAT GRANDCHILDREN. To add to it she has a terrible case of what she is calling bronchitis (I was initially sure it was the plague and about the run for me and Addison's life out the door when her first almost lethal coughing fit ensued). Matt and I both thought she might kill over from a coughing fit during the last class. When showing us how to completely relax on the last breath during the breathing exercises she would put her head down and go completely limp while pausing. She sooo looked dead. It was eerie. She is as sweet as can be though and gets down on the floor, gets in the weird poses she tells us to do and has a ton of knowledge. She has been there for over 1,000 something births so I'd say she has a lot to offer. It's also awkward to hear an old lady talk about the body parts involved in birthing a child. This poor girl was sweet enough to be the example on the birthing ball. After getting in a certain position our sweet old lady asked her "Does that make your perineum feel better?" Matt didn't know the term (I later explained) so he didn't realize why the shocked face of the girl and her hurriedly saying "Uh...no." I quickly made a mental note to not volunteer for anything like that. I'm not going to discuss the state of that or any other body part typically covered by clothing.

To top that though last week she was telling us that sexual activities will help speed labor along if stalled and to just tell the nurses we need privacy and they'll know what we mean and give it to us. Uh...no, for several very obvious reasons. A) She's almost as old as my Grandmother & talking about such things. B) The thought of giving birth in a room where others have gotten freaky kind of bothers me. I don't want the place where my child enters the world to be a room in which strangers have done the nasty. I want it to be clean and innocent. C) Who is in the mood while in labor? Maybe nymphos or people with strange fetishes? That's all I can figure.

A couple things I have learned. First of all, they waste no time showing videos of other women giving birth. It was still better than I expected as I had steeled myself for this. Secondly, when they tell Matt to give counter pressure he interprets that as shoving his hands clear through my body. He's going to have to realize his strength prior to D-Day or I'm going to need pain meds for that alone. Thirdly, these weird stances you are supposed to do with your partner is hilarious and terribly awkward and not the least bit helpful when you are an entire foot shorter than your husband. I may have to flag down someone my size and pay them to help out in the midst of it all. If not I fear we will both fall and end up needing more medical attention than required when we started the exercises. Lastly, breathing exercises are impossible with Matt as they end up in laughing fits for me.

Week 4 is like a mock run of labor. I'm planning on telling her I"ll have an epidural and just laying there pretending to sleep while Matt massages my shoulders and tends to my every need. I have a feeling she won't buy it though nor will Matt perform in such a manner. Everyone cross their fingers for me!

Monday, March 31, 2014

33 Weeks (A.K.A. Over 4/5 Of The Way There!)

33 Weeks (A.K.A. Over 4/5 Of The Way There!) 



Baby is the size of a: Pineapple (Holy free-holy!)

Maternity clothes? Oh ya! 

Stretch marks? Thankfully not yet although I had a scare when I awoke to find what I thought were the world's most bizarre stretch marks that appeared overnight. Turns out it was wrinkles from my shirt. 

Sleep: Better than it was thankfully! I still wake up 2-3 times a night but at least there is sleep in there. I'll take it. 

Best moment this week: Realizing we have less than 50 days til her due date! 

Movement: Yup, it's getting stronger and Matt can now feel her. She starts squirming about 9pm. Looks like she will be a night owl like her parents. 

Miss anything: Sleeping on my stomach and waking up with my hips not hurting

Food cravings? Not really

Anything make you queasy or sick? Not too much anymore. Some mild nausea when my stomach is empty but that is an easy remedy. When I wake up in the middle of the night I'm nauseous usually. 

Labor signs: Nope, thankfully not

Symptoms: My hips and inner thighs hurt as if I have done 576 squats. Apparently just lugging myself around is a work out these days. Some mild nausea now & then and leg cramps at night. 

Belly button in or out? In still & hoping it stays that way. It kind of freaks me out when belly buttons pop out. 

Wedding rings on or off? On still

Happy or moody most of the time? Getting happier although I have my moments 

Looking forward to? Putting the finishing touches on the nursery

Monday, March 24, 2014

I Wish I Were A Sociopath

Sometimes I envy sociopaths. Oh to live a life with no empathy. It sounds glorious sometimes. Like such a relief. To just live life looking out for number one, never concerned with others, never sharing in other's heartaches or pain. It kind of sounds like a vacation. Sometimes I feel like I got far too high of a dose of that bittersweet thing called empathy. A lethal dose that is sure to kill me someday. Likely of a broken heart if not something stress induced. It's probably all my fault as many times as I have prayed to be broken for what breaks the Lord's heart or to have eyes to see what He sees. Oh be careful what you pray for! Lately I have felt so broken for so many around me and the worst part of it is the hopelessness that accompanies it. I think my own hardship is easier to bear as I have some semblance, albeit false, of control. I'm tired of looking at situations in which I am unable to fix for people who I care about.

I'm tired of suffering, of stress, of unspoken sorrow that I sometimes feel is my own. It might be okay if I could share in other's joys like I do their sorrows but I've never gotten close to feeling that emotion to the magnitude as I feel the negative emotions. Maybe if I did it would balance it out. But I don't get that piece of the puzzle. I just get the part that makes me want to cry and scream and worry until I have an ulcer. It's hard to stand there helpless and watch someone you care about sink and know you have nothing to offer and the tears and the sleepless nights and the tension headaches aren't going to benefit them in the least. I don't envy God in the least. To sit there and see all the horrendous things that take place on this earth would be torture. It's more than my heart can take to see the little I see in my little corner of the world. And how many people do I interact with day in and day out whom I have no clue of the terrible struggles they hide? There's no telling.

Sometimes I just want to cover my ears and shut my eyes and put my head in the sand and pretend since all is well in my life right now it must be in everyone else's as well. I don't watch the news for that very purpose. I wish I could change the channel of life to something light hearted and comedic as easily as I can flip off the news which seemingly carries nothing but stories of heartache, destruction and violence. I wish the newsfeed of life held nothing but witty memes and cute baby pictures. Unfortunately that isn't the case.

I am hoping and praying that this little life within me gives me something to come home to daily to focus on that is fun and cute and filled with joy and love. Something to block out the darkness that fills this world. I need a break. I wish I could say this was pregnancy hormones but I've been plagued with this darn thing called empathy for my entire life. When I get to heaven I'm going to ask God why the recipe that made me called for such a large amount of empathy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Adventure of Breastfeeding Class

I've been slacking but will try to catch up. There may or may not be a lot of napping happening at our house right now. I hear that will be a thing of the past and considering it's one of my favorite past times I'm trying to get as much in as humanly possible. After weeks with no sleep due to issues I will have to blog on later it's been a nice change! Thank you Jesus for sleep!

So the topic for today will be the adventure of breastfeeding class. Matt didn't think he needed to go and I was going to give him a free pass out of that one but they stressed that he come. He was a bit confused as to why he had to be there asking if it was for physical support or what? I didn't know but I told him it wouldn't hurt so when I was exhausted, emotional, hormonal and hurting he could remind me what I was supposed to be doing. He was a good sport.

We both braced ourselves for awkwardness. I wasn't sure how this would play out. We aren't necessarily the most mature of people at times. I felt similar to when we had to watch the video on puberty in school. I was oddly fascinated but embarrassed and kind of creeped out to admit it yet also nervous and somewhat dreading it. I felt like nervous giggling was sure erupt at some point throughout the class.  Surprisingly it wasn't too bad. The 50 year old teacher (who we will from here on out refer to as Ms. Go Native) fondling her breasts didn't seem odd to me in the moment. Thank God it wasn't one of those days where I am in a giggly mood. The reason for her nickname is that was her motto and she repeated it numerous times. If she had her way I'd be topless with a naked baby strapped to me for the next 2 years.

Now for the props. No one else, including Matt, seemed to bat an eye at the very odd looking stuffed breast (just one mind you) that unfolded to show the inside of a breast. The nipple was contorted in some terrible way as if it was in the midst of an exorcism. And it had a handle on the back for her to hold it. I wish I had gotten a picture. I kept slipping quick glances at Matt to see his reactions but he was all chill. The glances were super quick for fear I'd catch his eye and start laughing. Luckily he was Mr. Serious.

Everyone else got a normal, adorable doll like you'd find at Wal-Mart. I however was the proud parent of the doll she called toddler sized. It was indeed large and very unisexed looking. It was handmade entirely of stuffing and had a round open mouth with the tongue protruding creepily. I was going to snap a pic of my child but the teacher must have sensed we weren't bonding and took him/her/it away from me before I could. Here everyone was holding these little dolls all perfectly and sweetly and I have this creep of a doll the size of my entire torso in some odd grip. Oh and I forgot to mention my child was very flexible and double jointed so once I got him/her/it in the ideal breastfeeding position I realized an arm and a leg were completely backwards. I'm surprised that alone didn't make me fail the class. I was more preoccupied with determining what sex they were trying for with this doll than I was positioning. It is still yet to be determined what this poor child's gender is. I might have been given a hermaphrodite.

Despite the odd props and the woman fondling herself to show how to do compressions to get the "cheesecake" out it was really interesting and informative. It's amazing what God has designed the human body to do. I actually thought it went really fast and was kind of disappointed it wasn't longer. Matt liked it too and apparently listened and got some out of it. I know this because for several days after he'd inform me when he saw the dogs giving hunger cues and even practiced some skin on skin with Daisy. She didn't seem to mind. He did get more on board with breastfeeding after the class as well. The teacher said 85% of the success depends on the Dad. So of course I interpreted that as meaning if I can't do it then it's his fault. Yes! This class was a total success!!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lost

I was unprepared for the sense of feeling lost within myself, in my own body. It's funny how I always knew my role was to be a mother. I thought developing into one would be as natural as slipping my hand into a perfectly fitted glove. Turns out this process is slightly unnerving. From day to day I don't recognize myself. I feel like everything on me and within me has changed. Before I can acclimate to one change another comes. An actual butt with a curve and not an indention!?! Not my butt! Thunder thighs complete with cellulite? Well that was foreign from the chicken legs I've known all my life. Waking up one day to suddenly realize my bra is seemingly painted on me. That was strange. My ring slowly getting tighter and tighter. Good grief! Even my fingers haven't gotten away unscathed! We won't even mention my belly. My skin is different. My hair is different. Even my eyesight now sometimes suddenly goes blurry even with contacts. Even my arms which used to have keratosis pilaris (little bumps on the back of my arms) are suddenly smooth and without those. What the crap!?! Not that I'm complaining but why would a pregnancy change that? Even my taste buds. My favorite foods that used to make my mouth water now trigger my gag reflex. Smells that went unnoticed are suddenly an assault to my senses that sets into motion step 1 of nausea. I now waddle and much to my  husband's chagrin my snores can rival that of any lumberjack. I used to pride myself on my sweet, dainty, cute snores (if I ever snored at all).

The only thing so far unchanged (knock on wood) are my feet. I'm sure if they don't grow they will soon swell. For now I can still see them and savor looking at the familiar little things. I don't have pretty feet so it's ironic I look at them lovingly to remind myself I'm still me, in here somewhere. Man, hormones are powerful. It's amazing. Truly amazing. When I look at the reason for all of the changes I'm in awe of how God sets each little thing into motion to create the perfect environment for life. I sometimes forget that when I'm trying to look presentable or standing in front of the mirror.

It's funny how God uses things to teach you. I'd say for as long as I can remember at the top of my long list of issues were body image issues & control issues. Now I get to deal with both at once, at a time when my hormones are at their highest point. It's a pretty awful trifecta! I'm trying to make the best of this and make it a true learning experience but gosh sometimes my hormones and emotions just tell me to bawl my eyes out and grab another powdered donut to take the sting out of it. Like that has solved any problems before!

And I hope no one sees this as complaining. I wouldn't trade this for the world although at times it isn't all sunshine & roses. To complain is not my intent. It is my intent to be real and transparent. I was unprepared for this phase of it all and if I could give someone a head's up or make someone feel less alone I'd like to. One night as I was sad  and crying out to God I said "I feel lost in my own body." Even to me it sounded ridiculous but that was what it was. Who knew I'd have to feel lost to get to the point where my soul is doing what it was designed to do?

And I'll probably never find the me I was before. I'm not that person. I'm now a mother. And even before that I wasn't the person I was before the adoptions nor was I the person I was before the infertility struggles. Each one changed me. It all  happened quickly in a sort of domino effect (we had 2 failed adoptions & a surprise pregnancy in a 4 month span for crying out loud!) so there was no getting used to the changes even emotionally and internally that I had made. I was just trying to keep afloat. I think now that things have slowed down and I've got my defenses down some and began to process the craziness that was our lives for the past year it's like someone turned on the waves on the Wave Pool at White Water Bay. Only they didn't come gradually but just started full force one after the other and I was unprepared and find myself floundering out there. So as usual, time to cling to the only one who can walk on water. The one who always has his hand out to grab me as I find myself sinking. I'll find myself as soon as I find Him & have my hand firmly planted in His.