Thursday, 14 August 2014

I keep thinking I'm going to do a short post for you guys... I keep lying to myself and you

Yesterday, I posted this on my fb page...
Despite the pain, I have had a great day today. Kevin is off, Ella's NICU follow up appt went great. Got stuff accomplished, I feel good, etc. Went to regular doctor appt and now being admitted. Where did the day go wrong? I just want to cry right now. And I want my mom :( And a burger, because ya know, they don't let you eat in here and I've been here for a while. Oh, and they have Frozen on loop - >( feeling bitter at The Baby Place at Celebration Hospital.

It was more as a lighthearted attempt at both cheering myself up and keeping my family and friends [that want to know] informed. I've had a VERY difficult past few days, both pain-filled and emotionally wrought. This pregnancy, which happens to be my last, has taken it's hardest toll on me. We jokingly blame Kevin and say "It's all your fault" - because if you cannot interject a little bit of levity in life, you are truly missing out. There is no one out there who can say to me that life does not come without obstacles... or heartache... or angst... or hell, even just the occasional speedbump. Some friends and family posted support and well-intentioned words of encouragement. And somehow or another a fistfight almost occurred.

There is also not ONE PERSON that can say to me that I don't value, treasure, consider myself grateful or blessed for ALL that I have. I don't bemoan the fact that I don't make 6 figures a year (or maybe I do on days when I'd really just like to lay down on snuggle with my little ones) but normally, no, you won't hear me complaining about having a job to do or a job to go to. Or having rent to pay, or anything of that sort. Because I'm grateful that I have a family, and a job, and a house to live in and even when I take my children to the doctor - I'm grateful that, for the most part, I have relatively healthy children, and the ability to take care of them when I need to. I count every blessing we have. And I don't focus on what we don't have. I've taken my daughter to countries where she can see firsthand how much more we are blessed than others, and shown her how to give back... even in the littlest way, so that we can better appreciate every. single. thing. we. have. 


So now that we've got that out in the open. For clarification. I am not complaining. I am reaching out. I have said time and again, if my posts bother you, or if you feel compelled to roll your eyes because you feel I'm complaining, I ask you simply to either not read, ya know- scroll down your page til you see a picture of cats drinking coffee or something- or delete me from your friend's list. Because I cannot honestly EVER REMEMBER seeing someone in pain or need and telling them that I don't want to hear it.

This pregnancy has been so pain-filled ... yes, PAIN-FILLED, not discomfort, not cramping... PAIN. I have struggled with literally throwing up around the clock (that's about 24-28 times a day) and when I wasn't full-fledged vomiting, I was dry heaving. When that wasn't happening, I was getting more and more needles as they pumped my body full of fluids so that baby and I would continue to survive. Every 15-18 hours, I inject a small needle and catheter like tube into my now VERY pregnant belly, where I am infused with anti-nausea medication (because it doesn't just go away in the 1st trimester like some people seem to think). And since I haven't always been in the best shape, heck, let's face it, I've been overweight for some time... AND I never properly healed from my c-section with Ella - I have zero muscle tone in my lower abdomen. The baby and everything else is now pressing on my pelvic bone, and according to the doctor, may very well have fractured it. HOW DOES THAT SOUND FOR FUN? If that's not a stunning endorsement for this is the last baby, I've never heard one louder (or better).

So more about me. Because this is my blog, and since I can't afford to go to the therapist right now, and she so kindly emailed me off the books, this is how I cope.  I, personally, have struggled with depression - and have internalized it as much as possible. Being in pain is such an enabler for depression. I truly think it is. For one, when you hurt, it feels like nothing will make things better. You take medications, and they are a temporary relief to your pain... but you know you'll be miserable again when the meds wear off. You are constantly struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

This Sunday, August 10th - was the FIRST time I ever recalled just wishing I didn't wake up. I'm not talking wishing I could roll over and go back to sleep. Or wishing that it was not the day before Monday. I'm talking, I wished myself out of existence. I was disappointed that I had to cope with the pain and misery for even one more day. I wished it more than I loved my family, friends... and more importantly, I wished I was not here more than I loved myself. It's a hard point to come to when you realize the pain is THAT GREAT (although, personally I think "great" is a horrible word to describe that feeling) that your very own existence seems inconsequential compared to the pain you are in. And then Robin Williams passed away, and it was such an echo of my sentiment. Because normally, I'm a happy go lucky, cheer people on type of person. And I ran out of "think of the blessings" and hit the IDGAF stage. And I guess, some people just aren't used to that from me. It's ok. When your turn comes, you're entitled to it. And if you say out loud how you feel... I certainly am not one to judge.

I won't say I'm "all-better" today. I'm a damned sight better than I was yesterday, sitting in the hospital, watching Frozen on loop (a friend commented, "Frozen on loop?!?!?! You are now in hell in the form of a hospital.") and getting poked and prodded, (which if you're dehydrated - which happens when you get sick all day no matter how much water you drink - makes for repeated attempts and sore arms when they try to get blood) AND still in pain, oh yeah, and you don't get to eat ANYTHING for, at minimum 10 hours, and who doesn't get cranky, irritable and whiny after 10 hours of no food #notthisfatgirl .... I was pretty miserable. Today I am "home" and en route to the perinatologist to make sure baby Paisley is progressing the way she should be since it's almost a given I won't go full term. I did NOT however, wake up wishing I hadn't woken up. My beautiful daughters came in and hugged me, and Ella was kind enough to wipe her snot-dripping nose on my shirt, causing me to immediately throw up (lol?) and Kevin woke up at 5am and checked my blood pressure, and put a frozen cloth on my head that I really don't recall asking for, and my Mom and Dad talked on the phone with me and told me they're rooting for me and we can do this. And I know we can.

To my friend that meant well, but it didn't come across that way, some of this is for you. To my friend (who is also pregnant and going through a miserable pregnancy) thanks for being my wing-woman, please don't bruise your knuckles. To my sister-in-law and other friends who think I'm a better woman sometimes... remember that I'm not. Because instead of standing up for myself, I turned off my phone, put my head back on my uncomfortable hospital bed pillow and cried. Like a wuss. I let it get under my skin. Into my head. Embedded in my heart. And I almost let it get the better of me. Almost. Until later that evening I logged onto fb, and saw the posts. That of the original poster who did not mean to be so harsh, and those of you who so steadfastly stood up for me, or helped me back up. They made me remember I am not alone. Thank you for that.

Monday, 11 August 2014

It's dark in here... enter at your own risk (oh yeah, and it's long)

So as I mentioned in my first post, some of this is to keep friends and family in the loop. Some of this is to keep me...sane. I've been struggling with this sort of depression off and on since I started getting sick with this pregnancy. I guess, if I want to be honest, that it means I've been teetering very closely on that edge, and the pregnancy was just an excuse to topple me over. But I've also been dealt some pretty judgmental blows recently.

There is nothing that can explain the feeling of inadequacy like hearing other people essentially BRAG about something that comes naturally to them... but that you struggle with doing. From friends and family, to co-workers and bosses, and heck, even strangers. It's an age-old process. Millions upon millions of women time and again do it. And here I sit, having a pity party because bringing a new life into this world is not just an effort, but a seemingly impossible task for me.

I've had people tell me, "Well you know, it says that you're only supposed to be nauseous for the 1st trimester." or even "It's not like you have to do anything special, many women get pregnant." And I guess, to a certain extent, it's my own fault, because, well it's one thing to hear it, and another to let it get to me. And it's easy for some to go, "Oh just ignore them" - but it's another thing entirely to do it. I've even had one person say that if I wasn't overweight, none of these problems would occur. And maybe they wouldn't have. But the harsh reality is that I AM overweight. The harsher reality that I neglected to touch base on was that, when I was NOT overweight, I still had difficulty being pregnant. Depression doesn't use logic to weigh out those opinions though. It doesn't put up a flashing sign that says, "HEY! Skinny people have problems getting pregnant too!" or "Healthy women struggle with pregnancy as well." There is no statistic that says only overweight women have stillbirth. There's nothing that says perfectly healthy women have bodies that have unhealthy innards. There's no journal that says if you are 125 lbs. your babies will be full term. So it's easy to lie down and take it. It's easy to let it snowball. And yeah, sometimes I just feel like it's easy, so why not?
"But I'm going to let you in on the darker side of all of this. I may catch heat for it. I'm sure plenty of people have an opinion and will consider me weak, think less of me."
In the more recent weeks, I've been hospitalized a few times for various reasons. None of which are the same, but all equally scary. When they start slinging terms like "transfusions" and "waivers" and "living wills" it's time to put on your big girl panties and realize your pity party at home can get a little complicated. I've hit the stage where I can no longer walk without any extreme amount of pain. Some people would just suck it up, or since the doctor did prescribe pain killers, they'd maybe pop a pill. The thing is, I've never really been good at just "sucking it up" and dealing with the pain. And I've already got a grocery list full of meds, so yeah, I'm hesitant to just start poppin' more pills... prescribed or otherwise. 

But I'm going to let you in on the darker side of all of this. I may catch heat for it. I'm sure plenty of people have an opinion and will consider me weak, think less of me. And you know what? I'm okay with that. I'm tired of internalizing it. People ask me how I feel? And all I can think is... I feel like $h!t. You asked. But instead I smile, and try to lessen the degree of pain I'm in by saying something inane, like - "One day at a time" or "Almost there" anything other than what I really feel. They don't really want to know anyways. Most people just expect me to say fine and go about my day. So I do.

I woke up on Sunday with the most intense pain I've ever dealt with. I'm talking - worse than the post c-section, worse than when I broke my arm as a kid and never said anything to my dad because I didn't want to get in trouble because I went down the slide face first, worse than literally slamming my hand in the car door and hearing my pinky break. Yeah, THAT kind of pain. I closed my eyes and leaned my head back against my pillow, felt the tears leak out, and realized that I was DISAPPOINTED that I woke up. I just wanted the pain to go away. 

You have to understand, that of everything I have to be grateful for in life, it's my wonderful husband and my two beautiful daughters. It's my mom, dad, brother and all the other family members in my life that just... give me meaning. I treasure family more than anything in the world. So when the pain is SO GREAT that the only relief I can look forward to is the thought of never waking up, and NEVER seeing any of that again - I realize that I've come to an impasse. It's difficult to admit that I would be so willing to give up EVERYTHING that I hold near and dear and treasure the most. Even to myself. 

I'm sure the first thing you're all screaming is GO SEE A SHRINK! No offense to those in that profession - seriously - but I don't put a lot of faith in seeing a shrink right now, unless you're going to take the pain away. It's the pain that drives me to this. I'm not on self-destruct mode. I don't go out drinking, or do any type of drugs to numb the pain. I'm not intentionally harming myself. I'm living. One. Day. At. A. Time. I'm crying myself to sleep. As silently as possible, so I don't wake up Kevin, because he has to go to work in the morning, after he drops Laurel off to camp, and gets Ella ready for the day. As I sit upright, because I can't physically lie down without intensifying the pain. I wake up approximately 14 times throughout the night. Which essentially means I don't sleep. And judging by the permanent purple smudges on my eyes that look like I've invested in permanent plum eye shadow - I'm guessing that I DON'T sleep. I spend all day trying to get "comfortable" in bed. And this is just the "physical" aspect of pain.
 I'm living. One. Day. At. A. Time. I'm crying myself to sleep.
As silently as possible...
The "emotional" side is just as intense, and sometimes worse. I sit in bed and volley between having faith and not. I mean, who really lets you live in this much pain? Or what have I done wrong in a past life to deserve it? But also, there's the loneliness. When my family comes home from their respective places, and they all convene in the living room... I sit in my room and cry some more. It's a self-imposed prison. I jokingly refer to my 1-2 hours of walking around as my "time-out" or "prison break"  for good behavior. You have NOTHING but time on your hands to sit and think about things. 

Oh sure, everyone says just relax and enjoy it! Or some have even suggested getting away from my family because they must be the cause of my stress. I want to tell these people that they have no clue. In the nicest way possible, you have no clue. When our household income is literally sliced in two with no notice, but the bills remain the same. Or when you want to do something as simple as get the oil changed, but can't really afford to do that, but you're afraid to let one of the only working vehicles you have go to pot. Or knowing full well that the laundry will continue to pile up, or the dishes will eventually need washing, despite the fact that it hurts to stand for more than a 10 minute stint. Or, and this is the pity party part... knowing that only 1 or 2 people will stop out to say hello and give you a friendly face, an adult to talk to, a little news from the outside world. Because for some, the discomfort is greater than the friendship. And you have to live with that. And you get to THINK about that. Because, in all honesty, what else is there to do?

I can't tell you that writing this out and sharing this will make my hips feel better. Because it won't. I can't say that I'll mentally be a better person for having written this - because I just don't know. I may instantly regret hitting the publish button. But I'm in for a penny at this point. I can't say that I'll be able to walk tomorrow without pain... because, well I'm pretty sure I won't. I can't even tell you that if I wake up in pain tomorrow, I'll feel any differently than I did on Sunday - because I don't know what tomorrow brings. I don't know the extent of the pain I'll be in. I don't know what mindset I'll have. If I went to bed and actually slept. If I was able to lie down on my side instead of propped up vertically all night. I won't know any of this until tomorrow. But MAYBE... just maybe, before YOU judge someone, before you roll your eyes because they sound like they're moaning, before you notice that our yard is overgrown or there's an oilspot in our driveway, or see my husband helping me out to the car each time... maybe you'll realize there's always more. And that it makes people feel less. And when you're down to nil, it doesn't take much more to teeter over that edge.

*On the bright side, officially at 27 weeks. We're talking BABY STEPS with the doctor... so the goal is to get to 30 weeks. Then we make another goal... until we get to where we need to be. Paisley needs to just hang tight and stop trying to make an early appearance.*

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The kinetics of our marriage...

I've discovered there are so few things to help you get through a rough patch in life like having the support and strength of a great partner. I've said it before, and yes, I'll say it again... and again if I have to. I am SO BLESSED to have Kevin as my other half. No, I'm not getting hormonal on all of you. I just wanted people to realize that I not only acknowledge it, but that I constantly tell him THANK YOU. And I'M SORRY and I LOVE YOU. Most of all, I tell him I love him.

Being someone's partner can sometimes be a "thankless" job. You're married, so you expect that support. You expect them to understand your woes, and applaud your achievements. And there are many people who are disappointed and disenchanted with marriage because it doesn't come naturally, and many times emotions are forced. I'm blessed in that I remember to do those things to Kevin... and I'm even more blessed in that he reciprocates!

We are essentially like those metal spheres attached to a string - KINETIC ENERGY SPHERES. They are fascinating, and I could easily be entertained by them. Different wavelengths and speed have the ability to alter the patterns, but the patterns do still exist. One sphere follows the other under they've found a rhythm where both spheres are continually ricocheting off of one another. It's fascinating. And it applies to our lives like no other.

 I constantly tell him THANK YOU. And I'M SORRY and I LOVE YOU. Most of all, I tell him I love you.

But it can be a double-edged sword as well. If there is anything this pregnancy alone has taught me, it's that you can't take your spouse/partner for granted. I am trying SO HARD to do what I can at home. Watching him go to work in the morning, come home and try and start dinner, wash laundry, etc. - Just WATCHING him is exhausting. The scary part is, I KNOW what it's like. I was a single mom before Kevin and I got together. It was all I ever did. EVERYTHING. So when it looks like he's burning both ends of the candle, I have to intercede and remind him that he's no good to me if he burns out. I also have to remind him that I married him to be my partner... not my nurse.

The sad part is, just walking to the mailbox and back thoroughly exhausts me. Washing dishes is easy, but I'm standing. I've fallen asleep standing at the kitchen sink. Walking back inside the house, I am quite literally worn out and have to sit down for a few. The sad part about this is that normally if I sit for more than 5 minutes, I suddenly find myself horizontal and ZZZzZzzz-ing. I don't know why or how he puts up with me, and sometimes I ask myself if I'm worth even HALF the trouble. Sometimes, I ask him (although I don't know what I'd do if he told me an answer I wasn't prepared for) if he thinks I'M worth the trouble.

As I watch him get run-down, and start getting sick - I have to force him to take a breath, go see the doctor, take his meds. It's important that I continue to take care of him as much and as often as he takes care of me. I love our children. But I see them climbing all over him when he just comes home from work, and I want to yell at them to leave Daddy alone. Just for a minute. Let the man catch his breath. And then I realize, I've just told him about 20 things that happened or need done and didn't get done. I'm just as bad as the kids. 

There's no moral to this post. Just a reiteration of I LOVE YOU and a reminder to myself even, to be grateful for what I have. I've done it alone. I've done it with the best partner ever. When those are your options... it's easy to choose. In case I ever take him for granted, someone send me the link to this post. 381xx