Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: The Year in Review

It's hard to remember where I was last year, because this year has changed so much. We started out the year in such turmoil, I could never imagine that the year would end on such a happy note. We started out 2012 in an apartment with a roommate that was terrible, with a tenuous financial relationship. Matt was still, after six years, with the grocery store job he'd gotten in high school, barely making more than minimum wage when the store was asking more and more responsibility of him. I was watching an apartment full of children that I adored, but we were on the verge of losing two of those kids as they were moving and we had no clue how we were going to be okay in the face of that. Meanwhile, we were planning a wedding that was looking more and more like it would never be the dream wedding I wanted, and I was privately reflecting on fertility and trying to find the words to broach the question, "Can I even have children?" with Matt, figuring out how to find out the answers when we had no spare money and no medical insurance for me, and what a difficult answer might bring us.

And the year went on, and we found ourselves somehow thrown upon the waves. Sure enough, those kids did move, but at the very same time a friend mentioned his sister had two kids and desperately needed day care for them, so I was able to fill the spot and we could pay our bills. Matt went back to school, I started a business that ultimately failed but allowed me to get in touch with a woman whose husband had connections and could put Matt's name out in the medical field. Our apartment situation got even more full of drama and uncertain, but we were able to get away from that terrible apartment and the terrible roommate and move in with a really awesome couple who was renting out their room just as that connection paid off and Matt was hired to actually use the nursing license he's had for five years. As he began getting paid a living wage, I was able to stop watching children without it completely ruining our lives, he was in a position where we could get and afford health insurance.

And then I found out I was pregnant. Late July was the most intense moment of the year, for sure. Getting pregnant was the last thing I thought would happen in 2012, because let's face it. We're told our whole lives that we should be so careful with sex because pregnancy can happen so easily. It should be effortless to do it on purpose, right? Sure enough, I watched as one friend got pregnant twice while on birth control. Babies were springing up all around me, and it seemed like many of them from people who had been actively trying to prevent pregnancy. So why, after four years of irresponsible behavior and not really preventing, was I left without a child, caring for other people's children. It hurt, even though I tried my best in early 2012 to tell myself that possible infertility was likely the best thing for us because it didn't seem like we would ever be financially stable, even though I was doing well in school and Matt was starting to take the first steps to change where he was as well.

It was kind of a pathetic form of denial, really. It just felt easier to tell myself that our home was not one for children than to accept the fact that this thing I'd always wanted - motherhood - was never going to happen. But then it did, and with it came the next hurdle of making sure it didn't slip away. The stress of all of the medical facts against me, my own doubt over my body's capability to do what it should do, and the depression I've had since childhood started to build and my first trimester should have been so happy, so joyful, but it was so hard instead. We take that and we add it to the fact that I felt like a complete douchebag for being pregnant in the house of a woman who expressed to me she was having trouble conceiving and had experienced a loss, and feeling on the evil side of that unfairness.

I didn't feel the joy that I think I should have. My doctors could sense it too. "Is the pregnancy wanted?" I was asked with concern from each of the providers I saw. My dad asked me. Friends asked me. I asked me, and I felt awful for it. So I started therapy because I knew that more than anything in the world, this baby was wanted, but I didn't feel it was deserved. I still struggle with that flood of worthlessness and guilt.

Eventually, it got better, to the point where now we're at the end of 2012, and the last 11 weeks of my pregnancy. I feel joy and excitement the way I think I should be, I feel more attached to the baby within than I did a few months ago. Maybe that was just a way to protect myself, in case the doctors I saw a few years ago were right and I wasn't able to carry a baby to viability without miscarrying, in case I woke up and it was all just a dream anyway and we were still in a crappy apartment with crappy jobs and no hope in sight. We're standing at the curb to cross the street to 2013, moving into a townhouse with enough room for all three of us, the first time we'll be without roommates, financially able to provide for a child and pay the bills, the last year in my bachelor's degree to go for me, taking the steps into a life I had hoped for at the end of 2011, 2010, etc. but had never really thought it would be here so soon.

So now I guess I need to choose my resolutions, because that's what everyone does today.

First, I want to take more steps to ensure that my husband is aware of how proud of him I am. Second, I want to read more, because I feel that the quiet time I've spent with books has drastically reduced in the last few years. I spend too much time on the internet. I think I only read one new book in 2012. D: The shame! Third, I have a goal of keeping my A1C numbers under 7, taking better care of my blood sugar than I have the last few years. Finally, I want to get to the point where I can wean off my anti-depressants. I want to get to a point where I feel like I deserve to be joyful about the good things that are coming around, and shed these feelings of worthlessness that I can understand as irrational. Most of the items on this list are focused on taking care of me, and my mental health, and I think it's the best thing I can do for myself and my family in the coming year.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Quiet Love

I am very in love with my husband, though we've fought hard to get here. Our relationship didn't have the easiest of starts. We met online, tried a long distance relationship by spending hours and hours talking late into the night. He took a cross country trip to spend a week with me, and it was wonderful. Of course it was wonderful, we were two people in love who were finally able to be together in person. The week didn't last long enough, and we decided that I would move from Oklahoma to Virginia to be with him. Five months later, I was transplanted.

And I promptly discovered all the tiny habits and details that I hadn't been exposed to or noticed during the week long visit. I didn't know about his terrible cleaning habits, the way he would become obsessed with something and the way our personalities would clash. You see, I am a person who for the most part prefers silence, but at times feels a driving need for conversation, to explore a thought, and to listen to someone else talk. My husband is someone who for the most part will talk about whatever is on his mind, and at times goes quiet and contemplative. These times never seem to match up quite right.

In those first two years that I lived with him, it was rough. We would fight as any couple does, but it all seemed so much heavier. Maybe it was because we had gone from "friends with sometimes risque phone conversations" to live-in partners and that is quite the large step, and maybe it was because I was suddenly 1400 miles from the safety of knowing where I was, having a job, having a family, and having a feeling that if things went south I could just leave. Every fight seemed to be a big deal, every tension was a deal breaker.

But somehow, the fights would ebb quickly, the problems and the struggles were overwhelmed by the sheer happiness and comfort that we brought each other. While there were times I threatened that it was over, set ultimatums, threw a large bottle of glue at him, there were more times when he would hold me during my struggles with depression, stayed at my side no matter how shitty of a human being I seemed to be, and genuinely understood and supported me in a way that no one else ever had. And we talked, and argued, and made up, and eventually something clicked and we both started to change in ways that I think made us even better for each other.

Monday night is New Years Eve. Five years ago, I spent it on the phone with him, playing Puzzle Pirates while we chatted, he exhausted from having come home from work and needing to go back in relatively early the next morning, and I getting drunker on cheap champagne as the minutes ticked by. I remember we talked about resolutions, as every one does on New Years, and I wondered, as I always do, what I would be doing on a New Years Eve five years from then.

I was sure, in love and happy at that moment, that I would be married to Matt, that he would be my first kiss of the New Year, and I hoped that in five years time that our little family would be even more than just he and I. And I sit here tonight, flipping through pictures of us in October of 2011, and what do you know, I was right.

We haven't had a perfect love story, and but what a story it has been. We're both still doing our best, and I'm snuggled here, thinking of my fantastic husband and the baby that is rolling and squirming away in my stomach, and oh my, oh my, I do believe I like our love the best.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Comforts

The heavy depression of the weekend appears to have subsided, and I'm starting to feel more grounded. I went out and picked up a couple of craft projects that I want to complete before we move, and I'm hoping that having that focus will further help to keep these unreasonable feelings at bay. I did find myself completely content at one point this morning when I woke up, stretched and Lorelai was already awake and moving around. I cherish those movements, the quiet way that she seems to remind me of the good things that await us.

We had a great Christmas dinner with my in-laws, and even indulging in some harvest cake with whipped cream, my sugar was under where it was supposed to be after dinner. Huzzah!

For Christmas, my in-laws gave us some gift cards, winter coats, and the usual little items like socks, hats, ketchup, ha ha. They also got us the changing table that matches the crib we got, and it's waiting out in the garage with the crib for when we move in two weeks. The night was hilarious as they got an RC helicopter that's controlled through an iPhone app, and Matt and his dad took turns trying to get it to fly around the living room. At first it wouldn't come up off the ground until Matt put it into expert mode to unlock the throttle, and got it to go across the room and turn back before it zoomed upwards into the ceiling. It ran out of battery life and needed to be charged right after that, and we relaxed and chatted, watched a bit of Top Gear, and then needed to cut out so I could make sure that my team assignment for class had been turned in. Happily, it had, and I got to snuggle up to Matt to go to sleep.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Double the flavor, double the fun

This morning I went a little overboard on my carbs for breakfast. I had a bowl of oatmeal with a banana sliced into it. If I had to guess, it was about 40 g of carbs. Within fifteen minutes of finishing breakfast, I felt the effects of a blood sugar spike, a light nagging headache. I probably should regret it, but nope.

My after-breakfast check came out to 155 (8.6). Now I'm relaxing, as best I can. This morning I was woken up by Braxton Hicks contractions so I've been taking it easy, knocking back water, and it's starting to subside. Lorelai is very active, so I've been singing to her while we wait for Matt to get home.

The next few days will be relatively busy. Today we're going to my in-laws for Christmas dinner and presents, then tomorrow Matt works in the morning and we'll spend the evening at his aunt's house for the family get together. He works Wednesday, but has off Thursday and we've got a date night planned. We're going to see Hotel Translyvania at the Byrd and eat sweet potato fries at Burger King. Ha ha. Aren't we a fancy bunch?

Hopefullly December will sweep itself out the door quickly and quietly. On the 2nd I have a Centering appointment and on the 4th we have an ultrasound to check up on Miss Lorelai's measurements. On the 8th we move.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Today we went out and bought two more diaper covers for our stash, and came home to a package on the doorstep. I was in a crafting swap where the aim was to craft for each other's children. I made her son a crocheted shark zippered bag, stuffed with lots of little goodies, some constellation embroidered canvases that I'd seen on her pinterest, and sent along some locally made candies from For the Love of Chocolate as a treat for her. By the way, never embroidering canvas again, my fingertips were raw for a full day afterward. Ha ha. Hopefully she loved them, though.

The package she sent me completely put me to shame, though. I'm completely blown away by her thoughtfulness and generosity. <3 She sent a painted plaque, painted photo frames, a framed Dr. Seuss/Dr. Who mashup picture she printed out, and a pair of little felt booties that are really completely adorable.

TARDIS plaque

The frame is painted in metallic blue!
I put pictures of my sisters and brother in the frames so that Lorelai can be watched over by her aunts and uncle. :3

Aren't these too precious?

The painting she did on the frames and in the background of the TARDIS has glitter! So ridiculously pretty.
 I've been really stressed lately. I think it's mostly because I'm so deeply anticipating moving and it feels like time is moving too slow for me. I get frustrated and irritated when I'm looking forward to something and it seems like time is just dragging on. I'm really happy that my best friend and maybe my sister are going to be coming to Virginia to spend time with me when Lorelai is born. Having my spirits lifted by being able to see Jenn again when I haven't seen her in fucking YEARS will do wonders to help me not fret and gripe in the days before the birth.


Is it bad that I'm seriously looking forward to all the laundry I'm going to get to do when we move? That's honestly not even sarcastic. I've been eyeing the box of cloth diaper covers/prefolds/all in ones that I have:
and the clothes that we were given or have bought:
and it all is going to need to be pre-washed/prepped/washed the first time before I put it away. The clothes will need to be sorted and larger sizes put away in the closet. I need to get bins that I can label with the different sizes. Squee!!
These are the two new diaper covers we grabbed today, along with the comic books I picked up for myself. I'm kind of in love with the hippos one. Especially one little hippo with a little rubber ducky friend. <3

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Digital Nesting

The apartments that we are moving into have an online interactive floorplan. I've been playing and playing and I think I have things how I want to put them when we move in. We'll have both mine and Matt's desks in the living room by the patio, and that will leave me enough room in our bedroom to put my little sewing table and sewing machine in the corner by the window by our dresser. :)

The desire to nest has been hitting me hard. I really can't wait until we're in the apartment so I can start doing all the washing of the clothes, diaper, putting up pictures, decorating, working on craft projects, omg I am getting so excited just thinking about it.

Why yes, I am a dork. Thank you for noticing.

Monday, December 17, 2012

So placenta, it's come to this.

Possibly because I've been complaining about women with gestational diabetes, my own placental insulin resistance seems to have kicked in. My sugar has been running high, and today I'm having some headaches come and go with it. It's finally time to up my insulin dosage, so tomorrow I'll try upping it by 2 units and see where that gets us.

On Wednesday we have the hospital tour at MCV and on Friday the world is supposed to end. If that doesn't work out then next week we have Christmas,  and in two weeks after that it's moving day.

I focused on all the exciting plans for the next four weeks today in therapy, as the center closes down over Christmas break and my therapist won't be back until the 14th. I do have an emergency number to another therapist in case I have a crisis while she's gone, but I don't anticipate it happening. We've looked at the progress I've made in the last few months and there is a noticeable improvement in the way that I have been able to cope with stressful situations.

I'm mostly hopeful and anticipatory for Wednesday right now. I'm trying to get together all the questions that I need to ask on the hospital tour. Does anyone have any ideas for me?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Green Eyed Monsters

Many of the women due in the same month as I am are taking their Glucose Tolerance Tests now. Two or three of the women in my Centering group have had theirs. I would be scheduled for one in the coming weeks but hey, already have the beetus. And as there are failures, some women are joining the ranks of the diabetic. It all culminates in a feeling like I want to lock these women away in the closet and never have to see their faces again, and I think it's just jealousy, plain and simple.

It's the complaining that I can't stand, mostly. Complaining that they have to watch what they eat or else they'll have to go on insulin (boo hoo, cry me a river that you don't have to do the injections right now. My lord, what a terrible world you live in.) They complain that they're 28-30 weeks along and say things like "ugh, I have to restrict what I eat for 12 weeks!?" Congratulations, you have three months of frustration and struggles ahead with food and your blood sugar. For women who are diabetic all on their own, it's for life. You have that baby, you can go back to grabbing chips and candy bars, pasta and potatoes. Yes, how awful to be forced by your doctor to prick your finger four times a day and eat healthy and count carbs for three months. That sort of a life is just terrrrrrrrible. Oh wait. That's my life.

It might not make me feel so bitter if it weren't for the fact that well, I feel very alone in this still. Matt doesn't need to take medication to eat, or watch what he eats, or be constantly aware of whereabouts his body chemistry is, and therefore he doesn't. I wouldn't expect him to, really. Although it would be nice if he was more aware of what he was eating, how much, etc. Even if he just kept a carb count and not restricted it to nutritional guidelines, it might be easier, but then again who knows? It might not. I might still feel alone because I'm the one that can't go for a long walk without being asked what my blood sugar is afterwards or if I ate a snack. I'm the one that can't eat potatoes or Ramen. I'm the one whose dietary needs means that we eat far less pasta, rolls, and only get certain kinds of bread.

Today Matt brought up his worries about Lorelai becoming diabetic. "We'll have to watch her blood sugar and be careful with what she eats," he fretted. I thought he meant right after the birth because I had mentioned a few days ago that children born to diabetics might have low blood sugar directly after birth. He said no, he meant overall because she was going to be genetically disposed to being diabetic.

So I guess it's not just me that worries that I've gifted my child with a time bomb that means that one day she's going to be the one that has to sit and deal with feelings that food is an unfortunate, tedious necessity, and be questioned about if she can do certain things or eat certain things, and if she ever has a child she may be at higher risk for GD, or she might have diabetes when she gets pregnant.

And I feel guilty for that, even though I'm not sure why, because I've been trying so hard to make sure that both she and I are as healthy as possible. But you can't argue with bad genetics.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Innocent Obsessions

I've been consumed lately with looking for ideas for toddler birthday parties. It started when a blog I followed posted dreamy Instagrammed images of her 2 year old's birthday party. I started browsing Instagram, Pinterest,, and blogs, daydreaming and planning, deconstructing, reconstructing, and generally being excited for plans of the future.

Today I asked Matt if he thought having an outdoor birthday party for Lorelai's first birthday sounded fun, and tried to start a conversation for ideas to have it. The park, perhaps, or the local playground? Rather than play along, he scoffed. "That's a long ways off. And looking back, my parents never really planned anything big. They got a cake, got together some friends, and I was happy."

What a buzzkill.

But I don't think there's any harm in dreaming and thinking on things like this, especially considering that a year ago I honestly didn't believe that Matt and I would have a biological family that was more than just the two of us. I never thought I could have this, the rolling and push in my stomach of a baby stretching and moving as she grows, or a reason to wonder what we would do for a first birthday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Anxiety and decisions

My work history has been a colorful one, and one filled with stressful jobs. I suppose that when you're in a line of work that is not what you want or dream or aspire it to be, it would be stressful. Right out of high school, I worked with the elderly in nursing homes. I've driven 18-wheelers, stocked shelves at Target, in high school and when I needed to pick up cash quick I've worked fast food joints and grocery stores. Driving trucks really felt like what I wanted to do forever and ever and the best job in the entire world but it didn't work out when I was diagnosed with diabetes. It wouldn't have worked forever anyway, because I met Matt, fell in love, and a life on the road is not one that's the best for a relationship. Especially considering that the open road is not where Matt was heading or wanted to head.

So after driving was shut down, I was working in a day care, and then as a babysitter and found that I really and truly enjoyed working with children. From there, my options began to bloom. I could go into the day care field, as a teacher, get certifications with working with those age groups, or as an administrator and run my own facility. I could run a home day care, or teach. While preschool children were a delight and I loved working with toddlers, I really felt that teaching was the way to go. So I finally went back to school for a college degree, with my eye on teaching. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that science classes in middle school had always been my favorite, brought me a ton of delight, and I wanted to bring the same wonder and excitement to other kids. Besides, I genuinely liked middle schoolers. Preteens are so special, because they have big hearts and imaginations, and yet they are entering puberty, poised on that transition into adulthood that is their teenage years. They're funny in how they are both still so goofy and yet so serious, so dramatic, so full of life. I set my sights on that.

When I found out that getting a science degree would benefit me most in teaching older children because I could specialize and qualify better as an instructor, I realized that I would not be getting the student teaching experience that I would if I remained an education major. Worried that my classroom experience would be minimal and my first years as a teacher would suffer because of it, I decided to substitute, and here we are, having substituted three classes in the past few weeks.

I already blogged about my first day subbing but early in the next week I took a job in a middle school science class. How perfect, I thought! It was terrible. The kids were at best disrespectful. At worst, they were tiny terrors. Well, I say tiny. Many of the children were as tall or taller than I was. Now I know why my mom was always so offput when she had to lecture me while looking up at me. I left the school that day and walked home instead of taking Matt's offer of a ride. I said it was because the day was beautiful (it was) and the school was near to our house (it was) but I used the time to have a good ugly cry alone.

And then I was scared to take another job because maybe subbing wasn't for me, or maybe it was subbing inner city public schools, or maybe did this mean that I was never going to be an effective teacher and I was kidding myself? My self esteem took a big hit that day, and even more of one when the responses I got from friends about the hard day was "You just have to be firm and show the kids who is boss." In that classroom, I was firm. I called security, I sent kids to the office. I split up problem groups, I said "no" when I knew the requests were unreasonable, and I was unwaveringly firm in the things I expected. I even raised my voice a few times, not that it ever did any good.

I spent a week staring at sub job lists and not doing anything, and then I went in and talked in therapy about my awful day and my fears and anxiety over taking another job. And my therapist is great and talked a lot about how having a bad experience early on in something might keep me from ever having a good experience. Her advice seemed to be pointing to thinking that I should try again, and if it's awful, it's awful and that's okay to decide that it's not for me. So I took another job today. It was an elementary art class.

To say it was awful is somehow a strange understatement. I had four groups of kids for 45 minutes each. The first group was 2nd graders, and they weren't awful. There were a couple of problems but for the most part they acted just how I would expect seven year olds in the morning to act. They were terrible at cleaning up after themselves, and there were some problems sharing, but goodness, if I didn't expect that, I'd be crazy. They left and in came my pre-k class which started out well, and slowly progressed into madness. I told myself that they were just spirited, and prepared for the 3rd graders I was supposed to have. They ended up not coming, and I saw a note saying they had a field trip this week. I cherished the break, my blood sugar was dropping, and had lunch.

After lunch, I was set for first graders. And there is where my day, with only two groups left, utterly degraded in front of me. The boys in the class were violent, one girl continued to wander the room trying to get into the supplies that she and I both knew she was not allowed to touch. She tried to sneak paint onto paintbrushes and paint on the floor when she thought I wasn't looking. She tried to abscond with the sharp scissors meant for the older classes, and while I was trying to keep her out of those things and sitting down to the activities that was prepared for them, two groups of boys kept getting into altercations that were getting steadily worse. One boy kept pushing and shoving other students and then trying to sneak out of the classroom. Another boy was getting angry and grabbing classmates and throwing them to the ground, hard. I sat them in the time out area so I could call the office. I explained the situation and asked if I needed to send the boys up to the office. They told me they would send someone. That someone never came.

When the second boy got up and started throwing trash cans and chairs at me, I tried calling the office again, as well as their teacher. No answer from either. When he came at me and tried to deck me in the stomach, I caught his hand and went down on one knee while holding his fists at his side. He looked so angry so I tried to talk with him. He was completely unresponsive. I tried to call his parents because I was still getting no answer from the office, the teacher, and because the art room is in the basement, I couldn't call for help from a nearby teacher. The only teachers in the basement with me were the music teacher. From the echoes of the cacophony next door I knew that I would not be heard. The P.E. teacher didn't have a class right then and the gym was empty. I was utterly alone. Not one single child in that room was behaving well enough for me to feel I could send them to the office for help without them ditching. At one point the first young man I had problems with did indeed manage to slip out of the class and disappear for 20 minutes.

I was in tears by the time their teacher came. The anxiety had risen to a level that I was exhausted, completely out of patience, miserable, and cramping. I was stressed out and having Braxton Hicks, which just seemed to make everything so very awful. As the 1st graders left, the kindergarteners, my last group, were coming in. Their teacher assured me that they were a very good class.

However, as the hour progressed, they too got into fights. Splitting them up did no good, although they weren't nearly as violent and out of control as the group before them. I managed to get them to line up at the door, albeit a bit early, to wait for their teacher. When she arrived, I explained their behavior. She said they had been much worse than normal all day, and she thought it was because it was so close to Christmas break. The boy in that class that had been the one causing the most fights, unresponsive to me, and generally causing havok was a new student. "I've called his parents several times," the teacher confided in me, with a very unamused look on her face. "He's only been here for three. hours."

The teacher took her kids out and I cleaned up the art room. I got upstairs at 2:47 and found the office locked, I managed to get the attention of someone in there and they said that I wouldn't be allowed to sign out and leave until 2:55 when my shift should be over. Not really knowing what to do, I went into the auditorium to wait with teachers who were watching students who were being picked up by parents and family members to go home. At one point, someone said, "Are you the art sub?" and I said yes. They said, "You're supposed to be on the bus ramp to help control kids." How was I supposed to know? No one told me anything this morning, or this afternoon. There were no instructions about that from the teacher, only about her lesson plans.

I came home and took a nap. The sub line has called with job offers 6 times. I haven't answered, and I have no intentions of answering. Oh. Make that 7 times. Still not answering. I'm not sure I will take another job before winter break, and to tell the truth, I'm not sure I'll take another job after that either.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


A good friend of ours gave us a bin of baby clothes once we knew the sex of the baby, and I sorted and folded and they're waiting in a laundry basket for us to move into the new place so I can get them washed and put up. We got a call from my mother in law the other day after she and my FIL had visited family out of state that they had a trunk of baby clothes, bedding, bottles, and toys from one of Matt's cousins. We assured them we had a bin for storage and came over to look at it. My mother in law said, "I don't think your bin will be big enough." Well, we've got 2 20 gallon bins to use, so I thought she might have thought I was talking about one of the little baskets we were using in shelving units in our last apartment. Oh my. No, there is way too much for the bins we have.

Bags and bags of clothes, two full large shopping bags of bottles and nipples, a bottle dryer, a huge bag of bedding, and a bag of toys. I am going to need to send one hell of a thank you card to Matt's cousin! And for the most part, the clothes were all really cute. There was only one thing I really didn't like, which was a sweatshirt with glittery text on it. I am not a fan of glitter text. Ha ha. But I guess my mother in law also gave her a heads up on our gender-don't-mean-a-thang-here-are-the-things-we-think-are-cute attitude because there was a ton of dinosaur and elephant stuff in there. :3 So cute! The bedding set is farm animal, which won't really work in our Dr. Who nursery, so my MIL is going to keep it at her house for the crib that the end up getting for the baby there.

I'm already floored by the generosity of friends and family, and I don't think we'll have to buy any clothes for the first year of Lorelai's life, ha ha. I know my sister is already going through the clothes left over from my niece and as my mother in law said, "You're going to buried alive in clothes at the baby shower." Ha ha.

Since I may not really know a lot of the people at the shower, I asked my MIL if she'd make sure to jot down who was there, who brought what, and send me addresses so I could make sure everyone was thanked properly.

And as for today, there's only 100 days left until my due date. I hope time flies from here on out, though I have a feeling it might go by a little too fast for my taste once we get into the apartment and I'm so busy trying to get everything ready for our Baby Blastocyst!

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Today I was supposed to meet up with some other pregnant ladies due in March at the IKEA in Woodbridge, Virginia. I ended up sleeping in this morning and wound up at IKEA later than I thought I would be. The WiFi I picked up from a McDonald's wasn't going fast enough on my phone to load facebook so I caved and bought a month of data so I could try and get in touch with my fellow preggos and meet up. Only facebook wouldn't load on the network either. So I wandered around IKEA alone, thought about asking a few ladies who looked like they MIGHT be pregnant if they were in fact the people I was supposed to meet up with, chickened out, ate some Swedish meatballs and toast to keep my sugar from crashing and went shopping alone.

I saw on Pinterest where someone was using the Bekväm spice racks as book shelves. I much prefer book shelves for toddlers to have the front cover facing forward rather than the spine. I feel it's much easier for little hands to take and replace specific books with confidence as well as spot the books quickly. So I went looking for the racks, but alas at our IKEA they don't carry them and I can only order them online anyway. Blah.

I did pick up a couple of things for the nursery. I picked up the Lekplats play mat for $15
And the Rotera tea light lantern for $4.
I'm going to put an LED tealight in the lantern and put it on a shelf over the crib. The TARDIS has a light on the top in a lanternesque box so I wanted to get a lantern for nursery decor for a while and this seemed perfect. Plus, it looks like it will throw little stars out onto the ceiling when the tealight is lit inside.

So I spent about $20 at IKEA today, which was probably about the same amount as I spent in gas to get up there. Oh well. It was also overwhelming inside the store. I don't know if it's because I went on a Saturday afternoon that it was so packed or what, but I think if I ever need anything from IKEA, I'll be ordering online. I was experiencing major sensory overload with all the people there. Although there were some amazing ideas in the model rooms.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Strike a Pose

We had our ultrasound today to get the rest of the measurements we needed from our anatomy scan and everything looks great. The tech managed to get this profile shot for me and I don't know but from what I can see it looks like Lorelai will have her dad's nose. :D I'm just hoping that she won't have his terrible nosebleeds.

After the ultrasound, we went and picked up the Christmas present we're giving my in-laws and came home and I made tacos for lunch. I cut Matt's hair and we've enjoyed a mostly quiet day since then. I like quiet days.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fight like Jackie Chan

This has been a pretty stressful week, all told. I'm noticing that it's affecting me in behaviors that are normally ones that I display off of medication when it's harder for me to cope. Mostly I get irritable and start picking fights with Matt. Not exactly the best behavior, and I'm working on it with therapy so that when I (hopefully!) am able to come off of medication and regulate my anxiety and depression myself, I won't be like this. Last night was especially bad, and we went to bed frustrated because he couldn't see why I was mad at him, and I couldn't see how he couldn't see that he was a braying jackass.

It started with a friend of ours losing her father on Thanksgiving Day. The mood was really pulled down, because we were grieving for our friend. After the craziness of Black Friday had subsided, we hadn't really heard from her until she invited us to the memorial service. Sometime before then, we realized quickly that for the first time, we hadn't been working together well for our budget.

When I moved in with him 4 years ago, Matt and I got a joint bank account. And a lot of our friends called us crazy, because we were really just getting serious in dating, and they knew plenty of married couples who fought over finances enough to need to keep their money separate. How could we possibly make this work? Well, it worked out pretty great, actually, We've never argued about money. We've always made decisions together about what to spend, even very small amounts, and it's worked well for us.

Until the last few months, apparently.

We've both been making purchases, myself on baby things, Matt on grabbing fast food before and after work, without really checking to see what each other has been doing. And somehow it turned into a situation where I assumed we were fine when in fact we were not fine. So we overdrafted the checking account by a few dollars, and Matt's been driving back and forth to work more lately and didn't account for the gas, and we came close to going over our limit on the credit card. Well fantastic.

Then I ran out of insulin. HURHURHUR.

So we fought, for the first time in our entire relationship, about money. And it was awful. We borrowed what we needed for my insulin and to get us through on gas, we thought. Until we'd underestimated how far the drive to our friend's dad's memorial service was, and Matt got called in for an extra shift to his job that has a very long commute, and suddenly we were just shy of him being able to go get his paycheck and get to the bank and a gas station afterwards. Faaaaaaaantastic. So we had to borrow another ten dollars. And we fought some more, and I've been feeling completely and irrationally mean, like my worst day without medication.

It doesn't help that I also have been feeling a little neglected in the love department, but it just seems that lately I can't stand Matt's FACE. I just want to punch him repeatedly every time I see him. I think I just need to get out and away from him, and the only time I've been out of the house has been in high stress situations (substituting). Going to my prenatal appointment alone yesterday helped a little, until later in the evening.

We are taking proactive steps to ensure that this does not happen again, especially since we're getting into the home stretch. In two (or three?) weeks, I'll be in the third trimester. How weird is that feeling? Ha ha. But I've set up a budget tracker on Excel, and told Matt that I needed a copy of every paycheck and receipt, even for the tiniest purchases, from now on. We aren't just some couple of young college kids that can get by on Ramen and the hopes and dreams of our car's gas tanks anymore. Lorelai is coming and we really need to step up our game and be *gasp* adults.

And I'm sure it'll be better for our marriage if I'm not karate chopping my husband in the face just because I don't like the way his nose is pointy.

Monday, December 3, 2012

You take my breath awwaaaaayyyyyy....

I'm not sure if it's because I'm carrying to the inside (Apparently. I sure as hell don't look 6 months pregnant to anyone) but for the last couple of days I've been having trouble breathing. It's not enough to make me worry, but it is enough to be annoying as all fuck. At first it was just when I was laying down on my back, which I expected because at some point the uterus/baby/placenta/etc become heavy enough to cut off an artery that returns blood from your legs to your heart and it can cause shortness of breath. So I've just been adjusting my position, trying to stay off my back. But last night I was having trouble keeping up with my friend John while we were walking, coming short of breath in bursts. I figured it's just because I'm starting to waddle a little bit and working to keep up was a bit of a work out. I'm out of shape anyway, so who cares, right?

But today I've been feeling a little short of breath when sitting up, standing, walking from the bedroom to the bathroom, and this morning when Matt and I got a little frisky, I almost passed out on him. Ha ha. That probably would not have been very conducive to the mood, just me blacking out and collapsing. Although it would have been hilarious.

I have a centering/prenatal appointment on Wednesday, so I'll be mentioning it to the doctor then, but hopefully it doesn't get any worse before then.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Before yesterday, it had been 20 years since I was last in a 4th grade classroom. On Wednesday morning I got in touch with the Human Resources office for the city public school system and found that my paperwork had gone through, I'd been hired, and could enter myself into the substitute teacher system. Enthusiastically, I set myself up and went to look to see what was available for the rest of the week. At the time, there were two assignments listed. One was for a 4th grade classroom not terribly far from where we live, and the other was for a special education class, both for the next day. I didn't feel confident tackling special ed my very first day, so I signed up for the 4th grade.

"How bad can 4th graders be?" I asked myself, blithely forgetting the fact that I got into the most trouble ever in 4th grade, eventually being suspended in February that year. I didn't know much about the school system, or the neighborhood it was in. I was incredibly nervous, but it was mostly an excited kind of nervous. I did ardently hope that I would get into the classroom to find that there had been no instructions left and I'd basically been thrown to the wolves.

When I arrived in the school office, I was told that the teacher I was subbing for had a planning day, so he was in the classroom at the moment. Fantastic, I thought! I'd get a chance to talk with the teacher, get tips, information on the kids, and more information on their daily schedule and curriculum. The teacher was great, I thought he was fantastic, enthusiastic, and easy to talk to. I let him know that it was my first day subbing, and that's when the first bad sign showed up. He paused, his smile faltering before showing up again. He asked, "Well, have you done any orientation or student teaching before?" Nope. Sorry dude, you've got someone completely green here.

So he sat me down and told me that he would try and check in on the class as much as possible, as would the principal, and some of the behavioral counselors for the kids. Uh oh. The demographics of my classroom: 22 boys (no girls), all of which either had an IEP for behavioral conditions, behavioral counselors or some combination thereof. "More of them need counseling than they have, but if their parents don't have insurance or Medicaid and they can't afford it, the kids go without." He said with a frown. He showed me a stack of papers, saying it was the permission slips from their last field trip two weeks ago. He hung on to them because with many of the parents, their phone numbers would change so often that it was hard to keep track of which numbers would work if you needed to call one. Uh oh. He gave me tips on who to keep apart, which students would fight, including two boys whose parents were feuding and who often brought the fights to school. Uh oh.

About half of the class was in and out all day, going either with counselors, tutors, or to the other classroom. There was another sub there for those kids. Apparently the two small classes of boys with behavior problems mixed in and out to try and help them to work in larger groups as well. I felt the kids were behind so much in the curriculum. I'd brought the 4th grade Brain Age with me to have something fun to do with the kids to fill up space during transitions and when we were waiting for them to be dismissed, but I never pulled it out because I felt that they were behind too much. There were a few children who worked well and ahead of the others, but every lesson was like pulling teeth. And as a substitute, the kids didn't respond to me well.

During recess one young man was sitting in the middle of the yard as everyone was lining up, with a look on his face that he had been crying. I went over to him and knelt down, trying to talk to him. He wouldn't tell me why he was upset, who had made him upset, if anyone had made him upset, and only responded to me when I asked, "Do you want to go with me?" He asked where we would go, and I told him we needed to get back to class. He immediately shut down and refused to talk anymore. Eventually I did get him to line up, but he stayed in a poor mood until we got into the classroom and he was kicking desks and chairs. The teacher came to talk to him and he did respond to him much better. I couldn't hear what was going on, but I was quickly distracted by trying to prevent a fight from breaking out between two boys.

Preventing fights and gently (as possible) reminding the boys that we keep our hands to ourselves, not on our neighbors or on their things took up the majority of the day. It was tough, and I felt very ineffectual by the end of it. The teacher encouraged me, told me that it was pretty much a typical day and that some of the boys had been misbehaving all week, that it wasn't me.

But let me focus on the good: There was one boy who was delighted when I showed him he could multiply by 9 using a nifty finger trick I learned in elementary school, one little boy who constantly gave me hugs through the day and a huge missing-tooth smile, and one boy who while I was helping him use lattice squares to multiply large numbers in math, he got frustrated, put down his pencil, crossed his arms and said, "I can't do it, I'm stupid." "But you're doing really well so far," I encouraged with a smile, "I don't think you're stupid at all. Look at how much you got done on your own, that's great!" He jerked his thumb over to a boy he had gotten into a fight with earlier. "He said I was stupid." "Well, why do you care about what other people say? People are always going to say things to try and upset you, but I'm looking at you right now, and I can see that you aren't stupid at all. I think you're really smart and I know you can do this if you focus on you." He smiled and started working again.

The teachers of the school were amazing, and I could see they all cared and believed in these kids, and at the end of the day I'm glad I took that assignment. Being put in a classroom of kids with behavioral problems in an inner city school where most of the kids are living under or just at the poverty line was terrifying but now I see what teachers are up against, and just how much these amazing people care, and just how amazing and how much talent these kids are and have and that they only need someone who is willing to be patient and bring that out of them. Watching the teachers work with the kids made me completely positive that teaching is what I want to do, and I can only hope that when Lorelai gets to school she has teachers who are half as passionate as the ones I worked with yesterday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winning at Therapy

So many sessions back in therapy, I had been talking about my anxieties with my health, especially my health during the first month of pregnancy, and how it would affect the baby. I have a lot of problems with my body, the way it fails me, and my ideas about my fitness to breed. I would be stricken with anxiety attacks that would last hours that I wasn't meant to have children,that my body would inevitably do something to harm Lorelai or that she would be unable to develop correctly because of me. We had talked in therapy about the coming anatomy scan, if good news would alleviate my anxiety, and how I felt I might feel afterwards.

I told the therapist honestly that I felt that a good anatomy scan would alleviate these specific fears but that I felt that my constant anxiety would just redirect itself to the next milestone and that I would stop worrying about the development of organs and possible birth defects and that I would start worrying about making it to the date of viability (24 weeks), and the growth of the baby from there.

To tell the truth, I do sometimes worry about Lorelai's growth. When my sugar is high, I chastise myself that if I'm not more careful, I'll be saddling her with prenatal obesity. I am very hard on myself when it comes to my blood sugar and my health, maybe too hard on myself as I'm learning through therapy. However, one thing I haven't worried about is the 24 week milestone. It comes tomorrow.

So here we are, more or less at viability. And I'm not worried about Lorelai. I do sometimes, in the dark of the night when I feel most anxious, have fleeting thoughts that this is all a dream, that it is impossible for me to make it to the point where we have our little girl home in our arms, and that there is so much longer to go that anything could go wrong. I do fear stillbirth. I greatly fear getting through pregnancy and not through labor, knowing that I am at higher risk for a stillbirth because I am diabetic. But I am trying to focus on the good, on the Christmases to come with our child, on seeing her smile and babble, and having her home.

I'm trying to learn to just trust that things will be okay and that here we are, and we've come too far to fail. It's hard, and I'm still struggling to keep a handle on anxiety, but I've had two of the best weeks I've ever had. One of them was even without medication, during one of the most stressful times of the year for me. I'm taking that as a win.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sweet relief

So it appears that I managed to survive Thanksgiving week. The holidays are always a major point of anxiety and depression for me. Even without the aspect of not having my mom here, I miss my family. We're constantly barraged by messages of family and togetherness and these messages are ramped up around the holidays. It makes me think of my decision to move so far away, and how I'm missing out on spending those moments with my sisters and brother, father, friends, nephew and niece. I want to be able to sit down to dinner with my sister and her kids, have a beer and watch football with my dad, and exhange gifts with my baby sister while we hug and talk about Christmases of our childhood. And while I am welcomed into a fantastic family via my in-laws and Matt, I still spend a lot of time thinking of my mother and how awful that last Christmas that I got to spend with her was, and how the awfulness of it was really my fault.

It's a lot to weigh on my shoulders and the messages of the holiday and the sappy movies and songs just seem to make it so much more. Looking at the first major hit of the season, Thanksgiving, without antidepressants seemed really daunting.

On Wednesday I had gotten a doctor to call in my prescription refill of Prozac. I told her I used the Walmart pharmacy in Mechanicsville. We went up there that evening to pick it up and it hadn't been called in. I tried to call the clinic, but they were already closed by the time I found the number. The next day was Thanksgiving and it looked like it might be Monday before I would be able to get things smoothed out. 

Thanksgiving Matt had to work, so I was going to go with his parents to his aunt's house for their get together. That morning I cried and worried and fretted, and almost begged not to go. I still went, however, though the idea of being surrounded by so many strangers without Matt by my side just seemed like nightmare fuel. At first, it was hard. I found a stool in the corner of the kitchen, out of the way but closeby to Matt's parents. Most of the people I recognized and knew by name were already there, and it wasn't so bad. Then the house began to fill up as families that I didn't know poured into the kitchen, talking, laughing. The world just got so loud. I stayed on my stool, and busied myself with nibbling on cucumbers, counting the number of times I chewed. Eventually as people said their hellos, and then dissippated to the other areas of the house in smaller groups, things got easier. And easier, and easier.

By the time the meal came around, I was able to chat and relax, and I was even a little sad when it was time for us to go. The first hurdle was done and over. At home, as I was alone, it got hard again. Alone in the quiet is when the worst of my thoughts come out and I struggled to keep myself busy and focus on things that would keep my mind away from the dark areas of my thoughts.

The next day on little sleep, Matt and I ventured out for Black Friday shopping. That deserves it's own post, I feel, but it went well enough. I tried to call the clinic again later in the morning, still closed. However, an hour later we got a call from Walgreens saying that I needed to come pick up a prescription today or it would be cancelled. Apparently my doctor had just called it in to the wrong pharmacy. We went up there on our way to Matt's parents house so that he could have some Thanksgiving grub and found that this entire time Walmart hadn't been billing my insurance correctly for my medication. We got my Prozac from Walgreens for free.

I can't even describe how relieved I felt. While  I know that since I went a week and a half without it, I'm likely starting over again and it may be another couple of weeks or more before I get relief from the Prozac, but the doctor attached quite a few refills to this one so I'm happily optimistic that this will not be happening again. Now I need to find out how much the charge for my insulin would be from there and we might just be switching over fully from Walmart.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Return of the Jerk: Black Friday Edition

We found out late in July when we rented this room both that we were expecting and that our landlords and roommates had been trying to conceive and had experienced a miscarriage the year before. My pregnancy has been something I've kept behind the closed doors of the bedroom, trying to keep my voice down in my excitement while on Skype with Jennifer or planning and plotting with Matt. I'm still not really showing, and I don't feel like I look very different, and I've taken care to hide anything pregnancy related from them on Facebook. I really don't want to be a jerk to them, because they are pretty awesome and I honestly don't want to bring any pain to them.

I know what it's like to be surrounded by people all getting pregnant and having babies when it seems like your body just will not do the one thing it was made to do. I've wanted to be a mother for so long now, and as the years with Matt have passed and we've gotten so hopeful and excited every time my period was late only to be disappointed - and oh how my body is so good at disappointing me - my friends and sister kept expanding their families. It would put me in agony with envy, wanting so badly to be among them. The year that it seemed like everyone at Target was spontaneously fertilized was the hardest. I heard the news that my sister was expecting my niece, two friends got pregnant with their due dates within a few days from each other, several random coworkers were pregnant, and then my then-friend working in the fitting room conceived a couple of months later.

"You're next." They would tell me with a laugh. But I wasn't next. Next came a friend (more of an acquaintance than a friend, really) who came to me to talk about watching the baby when she wanted to return to work. During the conversation about my baby-proofing measures, schedule, her questions about what she would need to send every day, and the rates I charged, she kept giving me common knowledge tidbits about pregnancy, patting my knee every so often and reminding me, "Amanda, don't ever get pregnant." "You don't want to be pregnant."

I was floored, because I thought that all of our friends were pretty well aware (and I know that she certainly was) how badly that Matt and I wanted a family of our own. That conversation hurt because I bit my tongue and kept polite and well humored all the while my own doubts were flooding in, telling me that there was nothing to worry about because it was unlikely I would ever have a child of my own. My body has never been cooperative with me, and it just felt that fertility was yet another way in which it was failing.

So today, after carefully crafting a shared world with our roommates in which my pregnancy is not mentioned and I do my best to hide the fact that it exists, we saw them. We had gone to get in on some of the sales on cloth diapers that Franklin Goose was offering for Black Friday, and while were there, I had mentioned that I was interested in baby wearing but was kind of overwhelmed with all the options out there and would like to try some of the different styles of carriers and slings for myself. It seemed like the perfect time since Matt was with me and our day was free, so we could both try a lot of different styles and find what exactly would work for both of us, and likely what wouldn't.

While Matt was being shown how to do the back carry in the mei tei style carrier, he looked across the store and a look of recognition flashed across his face. "Oh hey roomie!" he called, waving and smiling. I looked to where he was looking and there were our roommates, standing at the checkout. Once her eyes saw him, I immediately saw the look of discomfort on her face, and felt like a line had been crossed. It was as if we had broken the fourth wall, and badly, and now this story that we were telling was ruined. And worse, that it was causing pain to someone who doesn't deserve that pain.

And again, I felt like a jerk for being pregnant, for standing there with carriers and holding the fake baby we were using to try them on, and making eye contact. And maybe I shouldn't feel guilt over this. We were in public, we hadn't pushed our way into the privacy of their bedroom with my pregnancy and put it in their faces. But still, somehow I felt that by meeting their gaze and acknowledging that we had a reason to be in a store that sells items for babies and toddlers, that we were the aggressors.

And being The Jerk is never a good feeling. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Always on my mind...

Today as I am getting ready for my Centering appointment, Matt helpfully tells me, "Don't forget to ask about your medicine."

I ran out of Prozac about a week ago, and have been trying ever since to get the refill order faxed to my pharmacy. I left a couple of messages with the receptionist at my clinic, and the pharmacy says they faxed over a refill request to the clinic as well. Nothing. So I've been counting down the days until my appointment today where I can ask in person with someone who will hopefully be able to help about getting that refill order.

Suddenly being off Prozac has torn up my stomach, and I'm only just now getting over that. While I haven't had any big panic attacks, there has been a dramatic upswing in my foul moods (and I'm talking ones caused by nothing, rather than ones with understandable triggers), and a lot of wibbly wobbly timey wimey things happening to my sleep schedule.

Trust me, my dear, I will not forget to ask.

My therapist expressed some concern that this would be the week that I'd have to go without the medication, as the holidays in general are always very hard on me. The week (and Monday's therapy session) were much harder on me so far than normal, but I'm hoping that we can weather the rest of the week with relatively little stress. Hur hur.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Collector's Edition

Yesterday morning I started the 24 hour urine collection. Today we get to go turn it in at the hospital and it has been slightly surreal. I've felt kind of like a weirdo carefully pouring my pee from the nun's cap into the collection jug every time I've gone to the bathroom. Now I get to go to the lab and walk up to the first unsuspecting person in an MCV uniform and say, "Hey, here's my pee! Have a good day!"

Adventures in diabetes!

Also, I'm pretty sure that I didn't drink much water yesterday so hopefully I won't get yelled at for being a bit dehydrated. I'm also hoping that my kidneys aren't actually damaged. I have a small concern for that, considering I'd gone so long without very good control of my blood sugars before. I already have some nerve damage in my extremities because of it. I really don't need kidney damage!

Gaaah all I can think of is Steel Magnolias.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Marriage: You're doing it wrong

Matt doesn't often do things that hurt my feelings. When he does, he has the best of intentions. I want to preface this by saying that I'm pretty sure he was trying to make a joke this morning, but it just came out insulting.

I woke up early and went downstairs to cook breakfast. I made french toast and brought him up a plate of that with a banana. So far a good start to the day, right? I started putting up laundry, feeling further useful when we were goofing around and I made like I was going to knock him over the head with the laundry basket.

"It's a good thing my aim wasn't off and I didn't really hit you in the face," I joked with a smile.

"Even better that you didn't lose your balance and kill me," he said, and then laughed. "That would be a shame.... wouldn't it?"

I chuckled and nodded and then that's when he said it. Matt's famous verbal vomit.

"After all, if I died, you wouldn't be able to get your hands on the paycheck."

I stopped, and turned to him to stare. What? Suddenly all my insecurities over not working came flooding in. We're still waiting to hear back from the school district after I paid for my background testing, and I'd honestly expected it to come back clean and I'd be working by now. It worries me, and I've been feeling pretty useless by not contributing.

It took a couple of minutes of my staring in disbelief at him before he realized what he'd said. "You know," he added lamely, "to pay bills and stuff..."

I'm still mad over it, but I finished laundry, picked up around the room, cooked lunch and didn't even poison his soup. Because I'm a good little wife, but also apparently a gold digger.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Ever Expanding Manda

21 weeks, 4 days and it is officially more uncomfortable to use a belt to hold up my pants than it is a pain in the ass to hoist my pants up every three steps. Breaking out the Bella Band tomorrow.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Yesterday's anatomy scan was both fantastic and terrible, and I've been trying to focus on the good over the bad while I processed alone the things that bothered me.

The good: We have a healthy, rambunctious little girl!

After the ultrasound, we celebrated with lunch, which were delicious burritos from Moes, picked up more prefolds and the first newborn diaper cover which is a robot design from rumparooz. Matt also picked up the mobile for the nursery that we'd been eyeing. The big happiness of seeing our little girl kicking and wiggling away, and the little happiness of oo-ing and aww-ing over the tiny diapers and dreaming of the nursery we'll be building were enough to keep me on Cloud 9 for most of the day despite the bad.

The bad: First off, we were at the doctor's for HOURS. This is really only a mild annoyance, and we had anticipated it being a long visit this time, except that in our rush to get out the door, we forgot to grab the snacks we planned on taking. Hoo boy. Apparently they were doing ultrasounds/care for a lot of pregnant ladies who both are on bedrest at the hospital as well as those coming in from the county jail so it was really busy. We finally got in for the ultrasound 45 minutes past our appointment time.

The wait was killing me! But the ultrasound went well. The tech couldn't get all the measurements that she wanted for the heart so we'll be going back in a month to try again.

By the time we got in to see the doctor, it had been almost three hours since I'd eaten breakfast, so I was hoping it would be a quick visit. My stomach was growling, but the first person to come in and talk with me was a medical student. He looked over my sugars, talked with me. I expressed my concerns that the Prozac dosage I'm on wasn't enough, and that even seeing a therapist I'm having difficulties, and described what the last couple of weeks have been like. He went to talk to the doctor.

When he came back, the doctor was with him, and she talked with me. She was concerned about the low I had, and was pressuring me to back off on my insulin dosage. I really don't want to do that, because I only ever go low when I nap in the mornings and it takes me longer to get to my morning snack or lunch. The days that I'm awake, I don't have a problem and I pointed that out. She said that my after meal sugars could even be as high as 120, but I'd really like to see them around 100. I know I have more wiggle room than I give myself but I want to keep my body on blood sugar levels as close to that of a normal person as possible. Already feeling slightly frustrated, we moved on to the subject of antidepressants.

I had mentioned before that I felt like when I was on antidepressants before, being on a low dosage of Prozac with Wellbutrin on the side worked better than Prozac alone, but that I would be open to trying another dosage of the Prozac to keep things as simple as possible during pregnancy. She said they didn't want to put me on Wellbutrin because they felt it wasn't studied well enough as far as effects to the fetus. I said, okay, I understand completely. Then she started talking about effects of Prozac and how going higher on my dosage might put the baby in danger. She kept putting her hand on my knee and saying things like, "Can't you find other ways to make you happy or less anxious?"

Really? Really? You really and truly think that I haven't thought of that? Oh? Why don't I just be cheerful instead? OH MY GOD! Well, I guess I don't need medication and therapy anymore because I'll just find some other way to MAKE MYSELF HAPPY. I ended up shrinking away, while Matt started talking. Oh Matt.

He was trying to help, but he kept saying things like, "Well, I've been working more, and when I'm home then I'm there to make her happy." and as far as my insulin went, "It makes sense to me that her sugars would be low after sleeping because the body burns more sugar asleep than when it does when you're just sitting there not doing anything and that's pretty much what she does when she's awake."

I was horrified. No No No No No NO NO! First of all, my husband makes me feel very happy. But his presence doesn't detract from my depression. My depression is not a symptom of boredom of lack of amusement or loneliness. Secondly, all I do is sit around all day!? I'm a student in college. I study, I write papers, I keep the house clean, I read, I go for walks, I cook, I am not just sitting in bed eating bon bons and watching soap operas!

Feeling thoroughly attacked, and exhausted, the doctors left the room to get my papers for so I could make my next appointment and the dietician poked her head in. Apparently from the first time I saw her, no one recorded that in the computer so she was down to see me. By this time, I was starving and starting to feel the first symptoms of a low blood sugar. It was just a little shakiness, and feeling cold. I told the dietician that honestly, I didn't think I needed to see her and that I really just wanted to leave so I could eat lunch. It had been almost four hours since breakfast at this point, and my breakfasts tend to be small and I was ravenous.

At that point, apparently everyone lost their shit. I had the dietician, the doctor, the social worker and Matt all telling me that I needed to eat crackers, asking if I wanted a snack, etc. I felt bullied. I said as calmly as I could that I just really wanted to get out of there so we could get lunch. I told Matt that I knew my body and that my sugar didn't feel too low, I wasn't dizzy, I just felt like we should grab lunch as soon as possible.

By the time everyone let me leave, they'd given me a cereal bar, as well as instructions from the doctor to go to the lab and get a jug so I could do a 24 hour urine collection "to see how damaged your kidneys are from the diabetes" (really doc, you couldn't find some other way to word that?) and I was just mentally exhausted. The happy high from the ultrasound had been utterly smashed.

I cried on the way to the lab, pulled it together long enough to get the jug and a nun's cap, and then cried on the way to the car. Matt got mad at me on the way to the car, because as I was trying to explain why I was so upset, he felt like I was attacking HIM. So in the middle of the hospital, he stopped and started yelling at me. Fantastic.

I felt ganged up on, treated like I was stupid or a child, felt like the doctor had pulled the "you don't want to hurt your baby, do you?" card on me, and generally awful. It took a lot to take the day back from the sudden cloud that had covered everything.

After the doctor, we drove into Mechanicsville to the pharmacy because I needed a refill on Prozac, as well as more insulin. Walmart has changed which generic insulin they carry (AGAIN) so I need my doctor to change the prescription for my insulin so that insurance will cover it. We went ahead and bought a vial out of pocket because I can't just go without it.

I'm apparently also out of refills on my Prozac which no one caught, so they had to fax the doctor to get the refill order for that. So we went all that way for essentially nothing. I also forgot to get more prenatals. I have a few days more of prenatals and Prozac. I'll be calling today to check on the status of my prescriptions to see if they're ready, and if not call up to the clinic myself. Just more frustration yesterday to add to everything.

But happily it's over and I'm trying to put it behind me. At least I have my little Lori to keep me company and make me feel better every time she lets me know she's there.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sorry, all out of fucks today

I missed my Centering appointment today. I couldn't sleep last night, and ended up passing out early this morning, waking up just before I would realistically need to be getting to the hospital, so I called up and said I was having car trouble. Now, my car has been acting odd when it's really cold lately, but I didn't even bother going out to check. I just stayed in bed. It took a great deal of effort to get myself to take my insulin and go downstairs to eat, and then I just went back to sleep. I couldn't bring myself to eat lunch, until my sugar dropped low later in the afternoon. Even then, I didn't have much motivation to eat anything.

This lasting feeling and the fact that it's keeping me from doing things I need to do (like homework) means that I will likely be asking for a higher dosage of antidepressants on Friday when I see the doctor. But I'm not completely convinced that the problem is a chemical one, that I'm just not on a high enough dosage.

I think the problem is that I'm just simply out of fucks to give.

Don't get me wrong, the reason why I eventually got up and ate, and the reason why I'm forcing myself to work on that paper for class now is fully because of the baby. I do care about my unborn child, but that seems to be the only motivation that gets me to do anything lately. If it doesn't harm the baby, I tend to just let it go without a care. I don't like feeling this way, but it just seems easier to sleep, away from my anxious thoughts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

5 days

Five days until the anatomy scan. I'm hoping this week will prove busy enough to keep my anxiety from rising too much. Monday I have the final items for GISHWHES to collect for my team, a therapy session, and a paper to write. Tuesday I'll be voting, and doing my reading for the next week of class. Wednesday means more reading, and my Centering meeting. Thursday will be devoted to rest, video games, and a little homework. The ultrasound and my prenatal appointment is scheduled for the morning on Friday.

I'm just going to try and take a cue from my goldfish and Dory and just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Depression: The Musical

Last night, the Braxton Hicks I've been feeling turned suddenly quite painful, although it wasn't so bad that I was really too worried. That is, until I began to feel waves of nausea along with them. It was bad enough that I couldn't sleep, and instead just tried to be as quiet as I could while Matt slept and surfed the internet. Matt ended up waking and tried to initiate sexy-time, during which a contraction/nausea came strong, I ended up in a panic attack, and in the middle of crying I blurted out, "I want to go to the doctor."

Matt took me to the hospital immediately, and from the E.R. we were escorted to labor and delivery. I felt silly, mainly because I wasn't having any bleeding or evidence my waters had broken. But I couldn't get out of my head every story about pre-term labor or miscarriage that I'd read where the woman had been having contractions and they'd been brushed off as Braxton Hicks and then when things turned south and shit hit the fan, there was always the same sentence in the story. "These contractions felt different. They hurt."

The nurse looked for the baby's heartbeat on the Doppler, and it took a couple of minutes to find. While there was only silence and static, I fretted and panicked, but eventually she did find the heartbeat. I wanted to cry with relief when she did, but Blasto managed to make me feel better instantly by kicking the Doppler. "Par for the course," Matt commented with a smile.

They hooked me up to a contraction monitor and brought me water and a specimen cup so I could try and pee. They said that they wanted to check for a UTI because that might explain the upturn in contraction pain and nausea. I ended up being clear. I had a cervix check, where the doctor said I was still tightly closed. Everything is fine. The final decision by the doctors is that I'm likely just having Braxton Hicks with an onset of round ligament pain at the same time, which is upping the intensity. They gave me a checklist of what to look for to know things are bad enough to come back into the hospital.

I feel dumb for keeping Matt awake and wasting everyone's time. The doctor gently suggested that I might want to work on my anxiety with a counselor. When I mentioned I'm seeing a therapist she patted my shoulder and said, "Good." So I feel dumb and crazy at the same time.

Since we got home, all I want to do is sleep and cry. Everything is fine! Why do I feel like this? Maybe this is an indication that I need to up my Prozac dosage. Or maybe it's just an indication that I probably shouldn't skip a week with my therapist again. I don't know.

I think I've got Matt freaked out. He's been handling me with kid gloves, it seems, and kept waking me up this evening to see if I would eat. I feel almost like he's walking on eggshells around me, and I don't like it. But the only thing I can think to do about it is to just go back to sleep. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Braxton Hicks are full of dicks

For the last couple of days I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions, just mildly. I've read that they can be brought on by dehydration so I've been trying to keep myself even more hydrated. Consequently, my bladder is often more full than normal. So I woke up at 4 am the other night feeling decidedly damp. On top of this, I was contracting, and because I've been having some digestive issues lately, it felt more strongly than usual. For a moment, half asleep, I thought I was miscarrying. The wetness between my legs felt like waking up to a heavy menstrual flow, and add in the cramps and I promptly lost my shit. I scurried to the bathroom, relieved when I saw that I wasn't bleeding. The only thing I can think of is that maybe I wet myself a little in my sleep? Or maybe the natural pregnancy discharge was heavier? Ugh, pregnancy, why are you so gross?

That moment of panic where I thought I was losing the baby has stayed with me, abiding ever since. I feel a pit in my stomach when the Braxton Hicks come back, I feel nauseous and sick all the time. I've felt really distant from Matt since it happened, too, but I can't bring myself to talk about it out loud. I just have this mounting feeling of doom that gets worse every day. I can't help but feel like bad things are going to happen on Wednesday when I have my next Centering meeting, that there won't be a heartbeat on the Doppler. I feel like Friday we'll be looking at a scan of a dead child instead of a happy, kicking baby. Even though I feel movement every day. In fact, even now I feel Blastocyst kicking away in there. Why can't I shake this? I feel so dumb and angry with myself that I'm worrying for what is likely no reason at all.

In that moment when I woke up and thought I was miscarrying, my world was spinning out of control. I don't know how I managed to get to the bathroom without waking Matt and our roommates up. My brain was screaming at me. I am being decidedly uncool.

I don't want to be my friend today.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A week feels like forever

We have one week left to go until we have our anatomy scan and hopefully will find out the gender of Baby Blastocyst. I'm feeling movement every day, and most days I have at least once where I can feel the movement on the outside of my belly. I tried to get Matt to feel, but I'm not sure he did. He's not even sure, either. Oh well. With the way we snuggle at night, I'm sure he'll be getting kicked soon enough.

Last night I had a panic attack, though it was honestly not that bad. I could breathe through it all, though I couldn't contain my crying. Matt and I went to get intimate, it didn't work well, and I ended up feeling bad. Of course in that moment of body loathing, I had a sudden striking of fear that if my body can't even effectively have sex, and my organs are, let's face it, lazy bastards, how could I possibly expect this pregnancy to end well? I had a sudden feeling of certain doom surrounding the baby's survival, and felt very strongly that my body was going to kill it, even if for no other reason than thinking about this baby makes me so very happy and creating a family with Matt is all I want. And well, looking at the track record of things I get really excited and happy about and then looking forward to see how they end up...

Even this morning, the lingering feeling of pessimism remains. I am at least trying to stay hopeful. At the last Centering meeting we had, the doctor said something to one of the other women that has stayed with me. She's about a month ahead of me, 22 weeks when we had our meeting. She suffered a loss from incompetent cervix before, going into labor and losing her baby at 20 weeks. She admitted that she was most scared of it happening again, despite being monitored and treated this time around, and that she feared holding another dead baby more than anything in the world. He said, "You're only two weeks away from that 24 week milestone. I know you're scared about going into labor early, but you're so close. If you can just make it a week and a half - to that 24 week mark, you're not looking at a dead baby. You're looking at a NICU baby, and that's something to be hopeful about." He then went on to talk more about infant survival rates for premies. So maybe if I can make it one more month, four more weeks, I'll stop having these nightmares, stop having this sudden rushes of fear and doom.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Decorating the nursery.

So far I've bought 3 prints and 2 pillows for Blastocyst's nursery, with plans for another print and a bookshelf that will likely wait until we're actually in the new place.

The prints:

The tattoo style Dr. Who prints were from: Peppermint Tatty Art on Etsy
The Little Prince/Dr. Who mashup is from: The Gorgonist on Etsy

I got adorable pillows of the 10th and 11th Doctors from Heart Felt Design on Etsy

Now for the planned stuff. In one corner, I plan on having a book/reading nook for the kiddo. I anticipate many nights curled up in the chair and reading together. I'm going to buy this print:

From March Stationary on Etsy

And hang it over the following bookshelf, that I found online at Target:

A returning tap

Tonight for the first time, I felt the baby move against my hand. Every other time I've put my fingers against my belly, all I've felt is the rhythmic beat of my own pulse. Tonight there was a bit of movement going on, little flutters of activity. I pressed my fingers against the belly and there it was, the barest soft taps in an erratic pattern returning my touch. It was almost electric. I pulled my hand away in surprise, but happy surprise. It took a few minutes of rooting around but I felt those returning taps again, and then once more before I started crying. Happy tears, of course. I hope this becomes a nightly ritual between us, Blasto, because it was the best.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fantastic pregnancy symptoms

This week I've been having some uterine ligament pain off and on, but it hasn't been too terribly bad until today. I'm pretty sure Blasto was getting in some lucky kicks to my ligaments, because I would feel the faint flutters of movement on the right side of my uterus and then suddenly get hit with this sharp crazy pain. It would only last a few seconds, and was happening every few minutes without much pattern. Thanks Blastocyst! Mommy loves you too. Eventually I guess they managed to move so they weren't kicking that spot anymore because the pain didn't come back. For a little while it was straight up hell though.

I've also had acid reflux all today. I love spicy food, I eat it all the time, I grew up eating it. Very rarely I'll get heartburn from something a bit too spicy, but I can only think of a couple of times in my life that's happened. I have never had acid reflux symptoms of a tight, burning esophagus before. It's been persistant all day. I've avoided acidic food and now it's much less noticible than it was during the day. I'm hoping it goes away soon and never comes back. However, from what I've read it's more common in pregnancy so I might have to chill it on the late night chorizo tacos.

It also seems that pregnancy is exacerbating my insomnia symptoms. The night before last I couldn't sleep at all, and tonight I woke up after about three hours of sleep and couldn't get back. How dumb. Hopefully I manage to doze back off again soon, because this afternoon I have a job interview/orientation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Centering Pregnancy

Centering pregnancy is a program for pregnant women to meet as a group with other women who are due around the same time as they are, talk with midwives, doctors, other birthing professionals, and each other, and keep track of pregnancy together. MCV has been doing the program for the last 5 years. Apparently it's only been available so far to women with normal pregnancies. I'm in one of the first groups for women in high risk pregnancies. Today there were two other women in my group, although the ladies running it are hopeful that we can fill up the group with 8 women in the next couple sessions.

First we took our blood pressures, weight, and I heard the heartbeat. This will happen at each meeting, which is every other Wednesday. Maybe hearing the heartbeat every two weeks instead of having to wait for my once a month prenatal visits will help with my anxiety. Of course Blastocyst was being feisty again and swatting at the Doppler microphone again. Then they settled down and let me hear the heartbeat - nice and strong.

We introduced ourselves and our situations to everyone, and we had to come up with adjectives to put in front of our names that were also alliterations. So in my group I am known as Able Amanda (I was tired and couldn't think of any A adjectives. Huzzah sleep deprivation!), and my fellow preggos are Rocking Rihala and Casual Candice. Ha ha. The dietician came in, and we played a Jeopardy game to go over nutrition facts. I am happy to say that Team A (myself and Rihala) won. Booyah. My obsession with nutrition facts and pregnancy apparently came in handy.

We took a break for some snacks (hallelujah) and then the doctor came in. Apparently each session we'll have a different guest (today was the dietician) and then one of the maternal fetal medicine doctors associated with the high risk clinic that is on duty will come in to talk with us both about the stage of pregnancy we're all more or less in, talk about and answer questions about our specific conditions, and all that good junk. Today's MFM doc was actually the one that oversees my case and the residents that work with me (as MCV is a teaching hospital), and it was good to finally meet the person whose name is on my paperwork and prescriptions.

I actually got some great information on how I could tell if the placenta was starting to have problems early, as it's something that I've been worried about since I'd learned about early placental breakdown in diabetics and the higher chance of stillbirth. 

Next the midwife talked with us, we made a list of rules for our group. I think the main thing we decided was that this would be "preggo time" and partners would only be invited to join the group meetings that are going to be relevant to them. These end up only being two of the meetings, one on December 19 in which we are going to tour the hospital labor and delivery ward and ask questions, and January 30, which will be a birthing class with important information for partners.

I asked the midwife if natural birth would be a possibility for me since my chances for induction were so much higher because of diabetes. She reassured me that plenty of women had natural births under induction, and went on to explain MCV's induction policies. Apparently they try and mimic natural labor as close as possible to induce, even if it means it takes a couple of days. My labor will not be rushed for the convenience of doctors or to empty a room, which is one of the great things about the teaching hospital. MCV in general is very much up to date with the latest research that suggests that a natural vaginal birth with as few interventions as possible leads to the best possible outcome for mother and child.

When you're induced you need to wear a continuous monitor to keep track of the baby's heartbeat, and I was worried I would be confined to bed once the induction happened. However, MCV uses wireless monitors that are completely waterproof so I'll be allowed to walk around, get in the shower or jacuzzi, or any other method of natural pain relief that I need to do to be able to try for the birth I want. The midwife is going to be working with us specifically on pain and relaxation techniques, too. Even if we want an epidural, she pointed out that relaxation is helpful both for mother and baby.

After that, the midwife led us through a full body relaxation technique, not unlike the visualization exercises that I do in shamanism. It was nice, and I think I'm going to start trying to use it when I'm having trouble with insomnia like I was last night.

Our next meeting of Centering is on the 7th, 2 days before my ultrasound and prenatal appointment. :)

The special guest that will be there that time is a prenatal yoga instructor. I'm actually really relieved and happy I went to Centering even though I felt apprehensive about it this morning. It's just the right combination of scientific and granola for me. Ha ha. I think going every two weeks will help me with my anxiety, and help the time pass a little faster. Last night I couldn't stop thinking of holding my baby in my arms, smelling their skin for the first time, snuggling them close to my chest.

I can only hope that I'll be a good mom for Blastocyst.

Also I volunteered to bring the snacks for the next group meeting.