Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Don't Touch the Door!

Am I the only one who sometimes wishes I could slip into a sleep-coma for a couple of days?  Just until everything blows over?  No?

Today the Kiddo locked me out of the house for the second time in about 6 months.  The last time my neighbor helped me pry the screen off the only unlocked window in the house and I had to crawl in through the kitchen window.  I decided that the extra key I previously only left with them when I leave town should stay with them permanently from then on.  You know, just in case I am faced with the possibility of having to break a window in order to get to my child again.  Then I gave Kiddo a serious talking to about NEVER TOUCHING THE DOOR when Mommy is outside and you are inside.  She seemed to really take it to heart.  So imagine my surprise when it happened AGAIN today. 

The irony of it all is just too cruel.  I dropped my car off for repairs this morning and left with the loaner car (A rather boat-like Buick that my granny would love).  I realized shortly after leaving that I had left my house key on the keychain at the dealership.  I decided that since I am moving in a week anyway, I might as well round up my spare keys.  I stopped at my mom's and grabbed that key.  Then I stopped at my neighbors to get theirs.  "There," I thought to myself.  "Now that's all done and out of the way."  I had that sense of accomplishment you get when you cross something off your to-do list.  Tonight I was talking to my brother on the phone and stepped outside to call the dogs inside.  A giggling little girl shrieks something about not wanting to let the dogs in and slams the door.  I don't get to the door fast enough and I hear the lock turn.  AAAH!  I have never given her a tutorial on how to lock/unlock the door so she just turns shit without understanding what it does.  Are you supposed to teach your 5 year old how to do that?  I've always just told her not to touch the door.  I guess in the new place we'll be having a little teaching moment regarding the doors.

Since I was now locked out and knew I had no backup keys to save me, I was forced to scale my way into a slightly open bedroom window.  Needless to say, I was immensely irritated and the Kiddo was sent to bed.  Poor little thing was really sad since she really hates when I'm upset with her and I was upset.  It's pretty scary when you feel like you CAN'T get to your child.  When I managed to resolve the situation without breaking a window, my fear turned to anger pretty quickly.  I wouldn't blame her if she was wishing she had locked the windows too the whole time I was yelling at her.  She curled up in a miserable little ball beside me in bed after that and sniffled until she fell asleep.  My baby.  Big enough to lock me out of the house.  

The car needs a lot of money's worth of repairs.  Part of me is grateful that at least I have the loaner car (I insisted on it when I made the appointment) and that thank goodness for once we don't have to scramble to come up with the money.  For many years we've had to scramble to come up with the money.  So there's that.  The pregnant hormonal part of me wants to scream though.  It's always something, isn't it?  We are  trying to shop for a new car so that our vehicle situation will be greatly improved.  My car (the one that is being repaired) will then become Jerry's commuter car.  Promising, but car shopping is only adding to the pile of crap I'm trying to juggle right now.

Moving is just this big disaster right now.  Not the packing part.  The notices that have to be given for all the utilities.  The final negotiations with the buyer.  What a mess.  And the packing part isn't fun either.

Some of my family relationships are also really in shambles right now.  I've always had a really rough relationship with my dad and it's all sort of coming to a peak where I feel like I can't be a part of the relationship anymore.  I feel like I have to take a step back until I can reconcile the father I always wished my dad would be and the father I actually have.  Because there's quite the difference between them.  Some of it stems from childhood, but truthfully most of it is from the last few years.  The way he manages to just NEVER GET IT when it comes to Matthew.  I need to stop wishing he will suddenly change and understand me and be more compassionate.  He just isn't.  And he never will be.  I could live with the disappointment for myself, but now it's starting to involve the Kiddo and Jerry and other family members.  I would like to find the time to write a post about this specifically in order to organize my thoughts a little.  I plan to write him a letter but I want it to be well-thought out and not bogged down by little things that I should let go.  Key issues only.

Hopefully tomorrow I can come up with something a bit more cheerful.  I am expecting a large shipment of maternity clothes and my doppler so it might be a good day.  I've just been feeling exhausted and really stressed and anxious the last few days.  Above my baseline, I mean.  A potent combination of moving and school admission stuff and cars and a seriously increasing level of pregnancy terror.  Ugh.  All my posts shall heretofore be titled "Ugh."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Feeling a Bit Overwhelmed (or 14 Weeks)

I had a strong desire to title this post "Ugh." but I'm not sure I haven't already used it.  Anyway, I'm going for eloquence, I guess, and avoiding the urge. I feel like this post could be split into more than one but since I keep letting nearly a week pass without posting, I've got a bit of a blogging build-up.  So once again, I will exercise my right to brain-dump all over my own blog. 

First of all--I'm officially 14 weeks today.  I've been feeling a lot less sick and exhausted the past week or two.  I guess I finally got that 2nd trimester lift I was hoping for.  The down side of feeling better is that the paranoia has really kicked in.  Have you seen these?
Yes, my friend, that is an ultrasound attachment for your smartphone.  It retails for approximately $7300.  Pocket change, right?  There will probably be a bargain-priced version available a month after my last pregnancy.  Alas, that kind of constant reassurance is not available to me.  I had delayed getting a doppler because the constantly feeling like crap is actually a lot more reassuring than it sounds, and as long as I was doing ok I didn't deem it necessary.  But now I'm freaking out a little.  It's still two weeks to my next ultrasound (where I may even find out the sex!) and I can't take the wondering if there's still a baby in there.  So I just reluctantly forked out quite a chunk of change for a doppler.  I was going to rent one again, but since I'm hoping this won't be my last pregnancy and I know I'll want to keep it through the end of this pregnancy I figured I might as well buy.  I'm hoping that it is able to provide the reassurance I seek.  You never know with me.  I know there are those who claim to start feeling movements around 14 weeks (or earlier), but I don't even start to feel little flutters until about 16-18 weeks and nothing truly solid until around 20.  And I just have to say that since bone ossification doesn't even start until around 14 weeks, I'm not sure how much I believe people who claim kicks at 10 weeks.  It's just not evidence-based to me.  But to each their own.  Anyhow.

Today was an aggravating kind of day.  I didn't expect it to be.  It was one of those days where I was on the phone for HOURS trying to sort my life out with no real productivity happening.  My friend and I have decided to branch away from The Nursing School from Hell to complete our bachelor's degrees and we thought it would be fun to choose a new school together.  My other two girls from school aren't ready to jump back into school just yet.  So Kate and I applied together and have been having a heck of a time with this new school's admission process being really disorganized.  I spent an excessive amount of time on the phone between the two schools today trying to figure out where the transcript that I requested 3 weeks ago was because both schools only seem interested in blaming me or each other.  Like I said.  Ugh.  I am up against a serious deadline here because I really really want to start by the end of October and I do not know if that's going to happen right now.

I then proceeded to panic about the fact that I only applied to one RN to BSN program and convince Kate that we should apply to a backup.  Immediately.  Then we filled out our applications together.  Tomorrow we are making the commute up to The Nursing School from Hell to try to get both of our potential BSN programs some fricking transcripts.

Next, it was onto ironing out the details for the sale of my little house.  Moving time is upon us and it's just stuffed full of 30-day notices and projected move out dates and a million little details.  Plus I'm moving to Nowhereville (in case I haven't mentioned it yet) so I'm trying to do some fall shopping for the Kiddo and maternity shopping for myself.  I'm also in the market for a new sofa.  And the car needs a tune-up.  I've barely gotten a start on the packing.  And I want the Kiddo to get to enjoy the perks of living in a city that I know she will be missing in a few months time.  I'm exhausted from just trying to write this list.

Kiddo was pretty much left to her own devices the entire day.  Poor little lady.  I feel like I've missed out on so much quality time with her over the last few years and I really want to soak it all up in the coming months.  I'm wondering how I'm going to manage to do that between being so busy and being the kind of person who has a difficult time just being still.  Five years old is such an awesome, mind-blowing age.  She is just the funnest, cutest, smartest little whipper-snapper ever.  I am just so grateful, so LUCKY to have her and I don't want to miss the whole show.  I hate feeling like I'm not doing right by her.  Today was one of those days. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Are You Blogging For?

I've noticed that as many bloggers come to the end of their blogging road, usually shortly before writing their final goodbye post or unceremoniously abandoning their blog altogether (by the way, that is super frustrating), their posts start to consist of a lot of rambling-out-loud about the point of blogging.  They wonder what they had hoped to get out of having a blog and they wonder if they've achieved it.  Or they realize that they just don't have the time to do the blog justice anymore.  I also commonly see IFers and baby loss mothers who feel like they should stop blogging or at least start a new blog that marks the delineation between being an infertile/grieving-childless parent and being a parent.  I believe this sometimes stems from some subform of guilt because they've finally succeeded where others still have not.  Sensitivity to one's audience, if you will. 

If the last paragraph seems a bit judgy, I don't mean it to be.  I really do understand when people decide they are done.  Or when they just don't have the time anymore.  I often feel guilty when it's been a few weeks since I've been able to update.  It's disappointing for the audience, but audiences, after all, can be somewhat fickle.  For instance, now that I am all pregnant again and stuff I sometimes avoid the blogs of other baby loss mamas on days when I feel really anxious about the pregnancy or when I've awoken from another birth defect nightmare that morning (you know the ones).  This happens more with the baby loss mamas who have had very recent losses than the ones who lost babies around the time I did 6 years ago.  The recent loss bloggers can just bring it all screaming back for me some days because their grief is still so fresh and raw to them.  And I'm a baby loss mama!!  Sometimes remembering is a positive experience for me, but when you are 13 weeks pregnant?  Sometimes it isn't.  The sad thing is that the bloggers I avoid on days I feel more sensitive are the ones that could probably use my support the most.  After all, I am 6-plus years away from my loss and in some ways, ways I never would've imagined when Matthew had recently died, my life is better than I ever thought it could be.  I went back to (and finished!) nursing school when I never thought I'd even be able to stomach entering a nursing school or a hospital ever again.  I had my full-term healthy baby girl in a way that was safe and doesn't give me nightmares.  Jerry and I fricking made it.  That by itself seems like a miracle some days, and at the very least it's an accomplishment.  Ever google the statistics for relationships that endure the loss of a child?  The odds were/are not in our favor.  And....we are brave/stupid enough to try again. 

Yes, fellow bloggers, readers can be fickle.  Readers will stop reading your posts because you've annoyed them or stirred some emotion in their psyche that they can't/don't want to deal with right now.  Of course there are really loyal readers too... And I follow many blogs that I am convinced the writers could never do wrong in my eyes.  They seriously couldn't throw a post up on their blogs that annoyed me or made me want to stop reading.  I heart them. 

I've kept a journal since, I don't know, junior high at least.  I don't pick it up and go through it like a photo album or anything, but I still have it.  A few months ago, I spent a bit of time reading back on my 12 and 13-year-old emotions.  Honestly?  It was pretty embarassing.  There was an awkwardness to both the writer and the subjects that I have no desire to relive.  Most of the events are things that I obviously felt were significant enough at the time to warrant a journal entry, but I have no recollection of the events now-- even after reading the entry.
But somehow my preteen diary seems-- even in its embarassing awkwardness-- to convey many of the bigger issues I was struggling with during those years.  Knowing I was forcing myself to fit in with a crowd that I didn't really have anything in common with at all, but not knowing how to be an individual and just be myself without worrying about what everyone else thought (because you will never make them all happy anyway, Younger Reese).  Wondering when I would finally grow some boobs (never, Younger Reese, stop holding your breath.  Well actually, pregnancy will do a fair job of it but they won't be the fun, bouncy, made-for-a-triangle-bikini-top kind.  So yeah.  Just move on.)**.  I do think the memories of the issues and emotions have some importance in my life today, especially as I raise my own little girl.  And a surprising amount of the issues are very much still relevant to my adult life.  Like the negative relationship I have with my father.  Or the roots of my never-good-enough mentality.  Or the way I still often feel like I don't fit in.  Yep, it's all there folks.
I switched to journaling on the computer because I can type faster and with less hand cramping than I can write.  Then I started a blog because there were so many cute ones out there.  I love when I feel as though I've made a connection with a fellow blogger.  It often makes my day to receive a comment.   But the truth is, I don't blog for anyone but myself.  For me, blogging is simply a way of marking time, of keeping track of things I want to remember. To that end, I don't feel like I'm doing a good enough job (A shrink would point out here that I chronically do not feel like I measure up and these feelings may therefore be a result of my unstable emotional self rather than an actual crappy job at blogging). My blog has never had a goal other than a way of writing about the issues I am struggling with and the simple comings and goings of my everday life.  If I wanted total privacy I would stick to journaling, but I've kept my anonymity here as much as I can.  Sometimes during nursing school I felt frustrated that I couldn't just post about whatever crap The Nursing School from Hell was putting us through without giving up my anonymity, but I am glad I didn't do that now.  I want the freedom  to post about whatever I freaking feel like.  Yet, I don't think I am utilizing that freedom.  I don't think that I am managing to convey many of the bigger issues I am dealing with as I inch frighteningly close to 30 and attempt to have another child.  Issues like the negative father relationship, my fears as a mother, or how much I am questioning my spirituality.  Sometimes I wish that I was the author of a blog that was endlessly positive and optimistic, an inspiration to anyone who stumbles across it.  I've read blogs like that and that is awesome (but don't act too perfect or I'll remove the bookmark.  Seriously, I will. I'm fickle like that). It's just not me. 
Inspiring is not the goal here.  This will probably never even be a blog that can be put under a specific label:  mommy blogger, foodie, design enthusiast.  Nope.  Here, I just talk about whatever I feel the need to talk about.  I just want to move a bit more towards talking about the things I struggle with and the things I want to remember.  It's not important to me that I post weekly pregnancy updates (Is it just me, or are those kind of a snore?  I'm too bored to write them anymore.)  It's important that I post about my last days parenting only one child.  It's important that I post about how I struggle with depression sometimes and have so far managed to avoid medication.  I want to continue to post about Matthew and the aftermath of my loss.  I want to talk about my pregnancy fears and my hopes and dreams for my daughter.  I hope that people read.  But if they don't?  Oh well.  And if you are related to me whether by blood or marriage, please leave.  Immediately.  This place is not for you.  It's for me. 
**I can't resist this one.  One entry from when I was 13 recalled me to one humiliating bus ride home when one of the older high school boys grabbed a copy of the junior high yearbook that had been handed out at school that day and started flipping through it, loudly commenting on all the pictures.  When he got to my photo he loudly mispronounced my name and called my picture "ugly" and proceeded to make several other unflattering comments about my appearance. He may or may not have known I was sitting a few rows up.  I assume he probably did.  I ducked way down in my seat and my little friend sitting next to me pretended she hadn't heard.  I was humiliated.  Reading that entry, I wished so badly that I could travel back through time and tell my 13 year old self this:  that in 7 years that same jerk-off from the back of the bus will run into you in a bar (which if you can do math you will realize that I was at illegally.  Yay me!) where he will beg you and then your friends for your phone number.  It will take him nearly a month to talk you into giving it to him because you will recall the bus incident and act extra nasty to him for a while (as he deserves).  He will deny any recollection of the bus incident.  He will tell you that he had a crush on you back when you were in high school, but he was too afraid to approach you then.  You will date him for nearly two years and then YOU will dump HIM.  Don't bother going home and crying.  I'd call that a win. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Twelve Weeks

On Friday I had my first doctor appointment with Small Town MD.  It went very well.  Driving to the appointment, I was absolutely terrified.  I mean, I hadn't heard a heartbeat yet and I really didn't know for sure that things were coming along the way they are supposed to at this point.  I really didn't know for sure that a baby was in there.

Small Town MD was very pleasant and didn't seem too overwhelmed by either my history or my barrage of questions.  He is young and seems somewhat inexperienced.  When I expressed my desire to not deliver in his town, he seemed more than eager to NOT deliver my child :)  The plan of care he recommended was almost exactly what I was envisioning (discussed in the previous post) for this pregnancy.  He didn't act like he was even slightly in a hurry even though I took up much more than the average patient slot.  I was uncomfortable with what was obviously a lower level of experience than my other post-Matthew doctor...but in a small-town pinch I'm hoping he'll do.  I don't know if I mentioned that the perinatologist who delivered my daughter passed away a year after she was born.  He was spectacular and I wouldn't even be considering moving and finding new doctors if he was still an option.  Bummer. 

The plan is for me to get into see the perinatologist that is out-of-network soon so that we can all agree on the plan of care.  So far so good.  

He was very aware of my anxiety and offered an ultrasound.  Which I immediately took him up on.  I kept my eyes closed until I could convince myself to look at the screen.  I said, "Oh my gosh, there's someone in there!" and the tech burst out laughing. 

There was that little heartbeat.  Love.

I just tried to upload the pic but it won't orient correctly to the screen.  Will try again tomorrow.