Archive for November, 2009

Note to Self

note to self: if you work for the church, have a bunch of friends from said church’s most conservative college, and play organ for church every weekend – do NOT join groups on facebook titled: LEATHER HUNKS and Leather Daddy. Okay. I get that you’re no longer trying to hide in the closet, as evidenced by the groups you joined called “Gay Christian Network” and “Christianity and Homosexuality”, but really, do you want a link to LEATHER HUNKS on your facebook page?! Everyone can see the groups you join, so think about these things before clicking “join group” next time you’re checking out… things like that, please.

Second note to self: whatever you do… don’t let curiosity get the better of you and click on the link to the group LEATHER HUNKS just to see if it really is what you think it is.

It is.

Trust me.

My eyes burn and my head hurts now.

Caffeine as Birth Control?

Well, seems to work for me anyway. Every month since July we have “tried” at least once in my most fertile window and nothing. Nada. No baby to be expected next year. I keep looking at my coffee cup accusingly. Of course, when I had given up all caffeine and actually did get pregnant, none of that healthy living did me any good, now did it?

Eh, I don’t know. Part of me thinks there might be something else going on, especially with these really bad cramps I get at random times during the month. Probably 3 or 4 times a month, not when I’m bleeding and not when I’m ovulating, I’ll be woke up in the middle of the night with terrible cramps. Maybe today I’ll call up the midwife and ask her about it. But then, she does kind of have a history with me of brushing off some things as normal when they aren’t. She forgets what kind of pain I can handle.

Anyway, I have a hard time really describing what kind of journey this has been for me. The ups, the downs, the spinning around and around on where I’m at and where I want to go has been insane at times.

My desire for another baby has grown exponentially since losing one. This one was so different. There was no question left in the back of my mind that maybe I’d made it up, that maybe the faint line was really just a mistake and there was no baby at all. No, this one was SO real. And wanted. No freaking out and wondering how on earth I was going to survive. Just hope, and excitement.

I wonder if God thinks 3 is all I can handle. He’d probably be right if that’s what He thought. I wonder if I’m too old, if my eggs are all dried up or deformed. I wonder if I’m supposed to ‘let go and let God’ take charge of our family planning. Is that what we should do? And live in limbo for the next 20 years? Sounds exhausting. Should we choose to end the possibilities, get out of limbo and embrace what we have already?

At this point, if we did manage to have another boy, J would be 7 years older. How insane is that?! How did this gap happen?

My sanity should really be questioned right about now. Think about it. I have 3 gorgeous children, I LOVE that I get to sleep all the way through the night, I am losing weight, I FEEL good in my skin like I haven’t in YEARS. And I’m enjoying the fact that when my husband touches me I don’t feel like he should go jump in a lake because I can’t stand yet another person crawling all over me and demanding their needs be filled. I actually like sex again and have some sort of libido now that I’m not pregnant, nursing, or sleep deprived. It’s good.

Why do I keep hoping I get pregnant, then? The plan always was for 4 or 5 kids for me. But not this spacing, and not in my 30’s.

If I could just feel this good AND have a baby, you know, skip the pregnancy part and the wacky hormones and the sleepless nights, I’d be all over it with no hesitations! But that isn’t how it works and I know it. Part of me feels guilty for wanting to put the whole family through that ringer of mommy being half crazed, impatient, tired, cranky, etc., etc., etc. Of course, we all knew it would come back around to guilt somehow, didn’t we?

Well I think that as I have tried to be helpful to S I have been able to not feel so mean-spirited towards her. It’s not totally gone, but not nearly to the point it was before! lol. I’m no longer obsessing about what idiotic move she’s going to make next, which is good.

Moving on, then.

I am really glad to feel like I am starting to find a niche for myself out there in the real world again. I thought for so long that I’d never feel like myself again, that the Mommy hat would be the only one I’d be able to wear for the next decade or so. It feels good to find that I can still actually DO some things I used to, like write, and take pictures. My brain DOES still work!

I’ve taken pictures before and had them displayed and published and what not, but the writing thing is totally different. I’ve ALWAYS written, just never publicly. It feels scary. In the night, after I’ve posted a new blog post, I almost always wake up and ponder what is going through the minds of my readers. I feel like I’m naked in a crowd. I typically do get some really great feedback from people, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering if I’m making a fool of myself anyway.

It makes me think of the song, “Breathe” with these lyrics:

“2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to

But you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
So cradle your head in your hands.
and breathe, just breathe ”

And reminds me of a girl in college who would wear a bikini to go to the secluded bank of a river to catch some sun and STILL be paranoid that she was really a fat girl who couldn’t/shouldn’t wear a bikini, even though she barely weighed 100 lbs. Something about that scenario is wrong – twisted perceptions can be tricky! Look at S – she thinks she is perfect in every way and capable of being as good at or better at something than anyone else in the world. Really. It’s amazing!

While I don’t want to have her attitude of perfection achieved in herself, I don’t want to have talents that I don’t put to use because I am not sure I’m good enough to matter. Every. Single. Time. I write a new post I have to call my mother and my best friend to reassure myself I actually wrote something that made sense or made them laugh. Yikes. That must be annoying as all get out. I will try to do better on that one!!!

And try to stop worrying so much. I AM a good writer.

Baby J

A look back at J:

So there I was, laying in bed, trying to get some rest, excited that my mom was flying in the next day to be here for the birth, when.. “pop!” … I instantly realized it had been a very bad mistake for me to procrastinate on putting the waterproof mattress pad down under the sheet. I just, you know, never thought it would happen to me!

We called the midwife and let her know what was going on, then called my mom, whose flight wasn’t scheduled to leave for another 13 hours or so. From the west coast. With two connections. She was kind of panicked.

I settled in for a considerably less than restful night of timing the contractions and writing down when they came on a little notepad next to the bed. In the morning, about when the sun came up, the contractions stalled out and we called the midwife again, who suggested we shut the phone off and get some sleep as long as we could. I napped here and there, but not much. Too excited! Little did I know!!! They picked up again 2 hours later and we got ready for the real stuff to begin.

In the afternoon we finally plugged the phone back in to call the other family members who wanted to be there, and somewhere in between the phone rang! It was a by now VERY panicked mom who was somewhere in the middle of nowhere about 20 miles from our house, upset and lost.

“My mom is WHERE?!” Apparently she had hopped an earlier flight, assisted by wonderful women who understood completely at all check in counters along the way, rented a car when she got to the airport early and couldn’t get a hold of us, and started driving.. “that way” towards our house! She’d only been here once before. It’s amazing what having your child in labor with her first child will drive you to do. Okay, bad pun, sorry Mom!

Of course, things were much better once Mom was there. Everyone else began arriving too, and by dinner time we were all ready to get down to business. Except me. Things were getting painful! I walked up the stairs. I walked down the stairs. I then repeated that a few times. I walked and walked and grew very discouraged at the lack of progress. “Oh, look! You’re a 4!!” … “Bite Me!” … Okay, that’s what I wanted to say, but didn’t. Instead I think I just cried. They say I was funny and cracking jokes during this time, but I really don’t remember. Mostly what I remember is all the mean, nasty things I WANTED to say, but didn’t. Except the one time the midwife told me, for the 100th time, “Ride the wave, just Ride the Wave, dear.” and I told her through gritted teeth, “I Want. To GET. OFFffff. THE. RIDE. now.” Seeing as how that was said in the middle of a strong contraction in which I could hardly breathe, I think she caught my drift.

Somewhere about that time my clothes started to feel like they were choking me and I soon became convinced they were trying to kill me and had to go. All I could think was, “Get them OFF me before I BURN them off!!!” No one argued. The midwives’ eyes got big, my best friend giggled, my husband went to his happy place in the ‘zone’, my mom gathered all the sheets and table cloths in the house and covered every window and door, and my mother in law retreated to the corner of the living room where she prayed. Still not sure if she prayed for the safety of the delivery or my soul. Ah, well. I’m sure both needed praying for right then.

So, pretty much everything from there starts to blur together for the next 8 hours. 8 MORE HOURS! lol. There are some startlingly clear moments, like eating some warm, comforting potato soup – and then throwing it up violently several times.

Or like when the house was dark and quiet and everyone perched around the house in chairs and beds and slept. Except me. I laid on the bed set up in the living room and tried to rest in between contractions that teetered on the edge of overwhelming me. In those moments I would stare at this certain wrinkle in the sheet that covered the big window. In our Lamaze classes they’d talk about having a “focal point” and I used to laugh. A focal point? What on earth good would that do?! They showed some picture of a beach in Hawaii and suggested finding something similar to focus on. “Pshaw! Who needs a beach in Hawaii when I’ve got me a wrinkle to stare at?”, I thought to myself when I found that, indeed, a focal point can be VERY useful.

A few weeks after J was born I wrote my whole birth story out for posterity’s sake. The midwife asked for permission to use it in her New Parents handout. I wondered if she were trying to scare people out of having children. My story was written in such dark and foreboding tones it almost seems gothic.

Yeah, it did get dark and blurry after that wrinkle thing, but eventually there was a light turned on at the end of the tunnel. Again, sorry for the bad pun there, people! So many moments I didn’t think I could do it, a couple of panicky thoughts of believing I would soon pass out from the pain, and then what? Would my EMT sister in law then go to work and slice me open to save the baby while my RN mother in law helped? At least I had a little reassurance at that thought that the baby would live even if the pain killed me. And that was the important thing. I thought of all the things I wanted to say to people.

“Take care of the baby for me…”, I tried to croak out to R once, but I was too tired to squeeze the air out of me and form words with my mouth. So then I retreated to trying to communicate these things with my eyes. “If I blink twice will she get it?” I wondered. “Hmm.. ah, well, if I die, I die. Guess I should have written my goodbye notes before going into labor.”

At the end I found myself astounded that I had overcome myself, the pain, the fear, everything. Just before dawn on the second day I finally managed to get the job done. And then there he was, in my arms, his little wrinkly face looking up at me from his perch on my chest. He took his first breath, cried his first tiny little cry, and grabbed his Daddy’s thumb.

I looked up at the midwife, standing over the birthing tub and croaked with all the strength left in me, “I AM WOMAN!” Which embarrassing anecdote I had no memory of whatsoever until I watched the video one time. Apparently I was proud of myself! lol.

I’d post a picture or two of the birth, but they are entirely too graphic. And not in a blood-and-guts sort of way, but because, as stated earlier, I get all anti-clothing when I’m in labor. And besides, my husband was wearing this thick flannel shirt and a Carrhart vest over top of it in ALL the PICTURES! Seriously, he looks like he just came in from hunting. Why not a single woman in the house told him to go change outta that getup I’ll never know.

A few years later when that little boy needed to have his heart fixed through an open heart surgery that lowered his body temperature, put him on the heart/lung machine for 6 hours and drew us all to our knees to lift him up before the throne of God, I was immensely thankful for having learned through those long and difficult hours of labor that I WAS strong enough to do what needed to be done, that I was capable of handling this, and that God would provide all that we needed.

Just Need to Vent a Little

I don’t know why this is getting to me so much. I know it’s childish and immature. I know I should just let it go and move on, but I just can’t quite seem to.

There have been so many babies lately. Two of DH’s cousins have had/are about to have a baby, several friends have just announced their pregnancies (5 in a row!) and 3 friends have just given birth within the last month or so.

I would have been 6 months along now and picking out names and buying diapers and feeling little kicks.

It’s not fair.

It has been 12 months since we stopped preventing/sometimes ttc and during that time we’ve gotten pg once and lost that pregnancy at 6 weeks. I know my discouragement about the time and the loss color my feelings in this situation.

I still cry now and then, and while I’m at peace, there is still a part of me that knows the preciousness of what was lost and I still have a cold hand grip my heart with sadness when I think of what should have been.

But lately what really gets me is this one particular friend. She didn’t want a baby. She was on birth control when she got pregnant. She wasn’t thrilled, wasn’t excited, wasn’t ready, and spent the next 9 months complaining.

She didn’t say a word to me when I lost my baby.

After a while I got over it, and toward the end of her pregnancy I tried as best I could to say encouraging words to her.

She began to get really agitated about still being pregnant at about 35 weeks. Because she hated being pregnant. Hated everything about it. She fought hard with her doctors, came up with any and every excuse, and eventually managed to get them to schedule her for an elective c-section, with no medical reason, 5 days before her due date, just so she could finally get that baby out of her body.

For me that was the last straw. The last display of just how ungrateful she was for the ability to be pregnant, to carry a precious baby within her body and give thanks to God for a healthy one at that.

I had no words for her. I couldn’t coo and say things I didn’t mean, like I heard other people saying, like, “Good Job, Mama!” and “what an incredible birth story”. I can’t get over the amount of distaste I have for her attitude toward the entire thing. Sure, I understand that many, many women have c-sections for medical reasons, but hers were not medical. They were personal, and selfish.

She couldn’t just sit back and wait patiently for her precious baby to be ready to come. She couldn’t even bring herself to TRY and go through the process and pain of labor and birth. Why I find this so incredibly vital and important I don’t know. Just because I went through it so should she? I don’t know!

Maybe, maybe, it’s just simply jealousy. Jealousy that she’s holding a baby and I’m not. Indignation that after all that time spent pregnant and despising it the whole time she then took the easy way out? Perhaps.

Yes, I’ll let it go soon, and move on and still be friends with her. I’ll still bite my tongue and hold myself back from saying condescending things to her, but it won’t be easy.