Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Eyes Are Melting!!!

Yet here I am still facing a computer screen. D'oh.

I've been watching too much video media and scrolling too much news feed crap the past week. It really feels like my brains are liquefying and my eyes are gonna jelly and melt out of my face!

That being said, my mindlessness has garnered a few laughs and one in particular I thought was relevant and shareworthy; this video got me teary after a good smirk and giggle to boot.

I think all the pending motherhood pressure burbled up after viewing this video... I was just discussing the "baby industrial complex" with my mom while she was up for a visit and shopping for baby things. I've tried to focus on the "essentials" and not the trendy "must-haves" but so much exposure to marketing and consumption have worn on me. I feel pressure to have everything just right and know what I'm doing before I'm even out the gate!

All the consumer pressure is just part of the larger parenthood rat race, which I was reminded of at the baby shower with people gushing advice and success stories about their baby ventures. It felt nice to have people talk to me but it didn't take very long for me to recognize that it was more about them than offering real support or help. The facade of sisterhood was present but the stink of insecurity and compensation tainted the conversation. I couldn't help but feel sorry for them and their eternal struggle to be good enough even as my own war torn esteem flared with anxiety! Genuine concern and conversation is such a rare beast, isn't it?

Thankfully the hubster and my mom and this video have been very helpful in reminding me that I'm just fine being the mother I am going to be with whatever accouterments I happen to favor in whatever style I happen to adopt.

I think it's about time for another conscious "turtling" and withdrawal to focus on what's really important; turning off the search engine, unplugging and being okay in my skin for a while without all the outside input.

Ahh. Kinda nice to set aside the weight of all that pressure. As the hubby would say, "We just gotta feed 'em, diaper 'em, love 'em, and keep 'em alive!" Basics. Sponsored by Common Sense and Ancestors Without Superstores ;)

In other news, excited for the Super Bowl tomorrow but afraid of a nail biter-could be a stressful game! Go Hawks!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Busy Busy Busy

Saturday was our baby shower so last week was last minute errands and then the trek south. Thankfully we were pretty prepared with a plan of attack and lists of supplies to be purchased right before the shower but it was still tiring. 

I had my usual pre and post event anxiety (with the post event fallout being worse, as usual) but overall I think things went really well. We had exactly 24 people which meant exactly 6 tables for BUNCO which was exactly what we had prepped for! We got RSVPs from many people but there was still an element of mystery so I was very surprised when our estimate was right on. 

Our Costco food plan went over well and the party went pretty smoothly. We had a great time playing BUNCO and while I'm not a huge fan of opening gifts playing gift bingo seemed to help distract from the awkwardness. 

I think the gifts were a huge source of anxiety for me. Before the shower I was worried about getting what we need for baby and after the shower I was worried about getting what we need. Ha! Lots of cute stuff of course but not a single pack of diapers and only one pack of wipes! My mom and the hubster reassured me that our baby will be taken care of and on a rational level I understand that but the pre-birth anxiety, hormonally crazed, control freak Hannah level resists all convincing.

That said we brought home our first box of Costco diapers and wipes last night :) The wittle diapers are so wittle! I told the hubster he had to check them out and he pulled one out and said, "They're so cute. They're so fucking cute." Haha He also insisted on getting the "Frozen" themed baby wipes. That's my man! Kinda funny since we watched the movie once and weren't that into it, but Disney is Disney.

In other shower-related news my sister wasn't able to attend but gave me a call and heads up and even sent a little card saying she wished she could be there and wishing us love. I would've enjoyed having her but it worked out so perfectly with who showed up and her giving me notice leaves me very un-bothered :)

On the other hand, my "best friend" did not show and did not give notice despite having texted me the night before the shower. I'll admit I wasn't at my finest communication-wise since it was past 8:30 and I was playing a game with the fam but it was one of those conversations (as much as texting is a conversation) that goes on for half an hour without saying anything at all. I was annoyed enough by that but then to realize she blew me off after talking about being there for so many months doesn't sit well with me. 

Funnily enough I didn't even notice her absence until my mother-in-law or somebody at the shower asked about her. Whoops. I guess we've grown more distant than I initially thought! Ever since that doomed visit in October and the subsequent realization that I put out too much without getting enough back I've been withdrawing my commitment to our relationship. I still feel guilt pangs but I think I have a case and it seems like a natural development. Our lives are diverging and have been for some time. It's scary to release one of the only friends I consider myself to have but I try to remember that there is opportunity for new friendships in the future, I just can't see them yet.

In other news, I'm on to weekly midwife appointments and feeling more preggers than ever. Just when I think the belly can't grow any rounder it does and new stretch marks pop up or existing ones seem to expand like they're in a carnival funhouse mirror! I've been feeling zings and zangs in my pelvis and baby's putting more and more pressure on my bladder. Rolling out of bed keeps getting more complicated too.

Overall, it's more of the same. The only thing that I've been worried about is weight and diet. The hubster and I are exhausted and my mood swings have been throwing him for a loop so our usually mild bickering has become more toxic and frustrating. Thankfully we are conscious of the issue and trying to work through it but it's got me stressing and concerned and bombarded with comfort food impulses. I only ate one corndog and half a pint of Ben & Jerry's this week but considering how well I've been eating that is definitely a sign of the times! 

I suppose it's only natural to feel at the end of your rope when you've made it this far into a pregnancy. We're both ready to be done, even if we're not quite sure what we're getting into once the baby is out!

Oh, in other-other news the pets will be getting a round of flea treatments and the house will be worked over before we take all the pets in for more worm treatments. We thought we nipped it in the bud but now the vet tech is thinking we have tapeworm not roundworm (so what was the point of the fecal sample testing, may I ask?) and they all have to go in for a shot of some kind. We don't have a flaming flea problem, the pets don't even seem that itchy, but it's been such a mild winter, who knows? I haven't seen any but then again, they are fleas.

Here's a pic from this weekend with my pumpkin :)


Monday, January 19, 2015

Slow, Fat Day

Did a lot of laundry today and ran some errands this afternoon but the majority of my day was spent lying around. I didn't have much motivation for anything else. I did enjoy the movie I watched, "What a Way to Go!" with Shirley MacLaine and a bunch of other stars, and I didn't find myself in too bad a mental landscape-so all is decent.

Feeling really BIG today. Baby is bearing down low when I'm standing or walking and a can feel zings through nerves around my bladder and pelvis throughout the day. It's getting old fast. I'm freaking out a little that baby is exploding (growth wise) in there and that I'm going to have some mammoth child with walrus rolls. I know I didn't quadruple in size overnight but today it sure felt like it.

We watched the Hawks game yesterday and are still stunned. So much drama. I said to the hubbo, "After a game like that waiting for this baby is gonna be nuthin!" My mom mentioned going south for the Super Bowl since a family friend is a Pats fan but the more I'm waddling about the more I'm thinking of limiting trips outta town til baby comes. We have a trip south this weekend for the shower, so we'll see how that treats me.

Still coping with some anxiety and running thoughts but framing it as a late pregnancy symptom seems to help me keep from freaking out too bad. The hubster is being helpful too as we navigate some tumultuous territory. 

Yesterday he was playing fetch with the dog and the bone hit a door near me and startled me. In my tightly wound, over emotional state the crash of a bone on door proved to be too much and I started blubbering tears. The hubster was a little befuddled (understandable) but within a few seconds fell into a comforting back rub/semi-hug while murmuring that I was okay and safe. 

Just the week before last I was bemoaning moving to weekly midwifery appointments and now I feel like they're more than called for. Between feeling like baby is growing like the Hulk and all the emotions I think the weekly check-ins will be helpful and reassuring.

In other news I had a little giggle this morning when I found a kitchen label turned around:


Apparently someone replaced all my spoons with snoods! Things might be getting a bit hairy in the kitchen ;)

Oh yeah, speaking of which, I did barf this morning. Not in the kitchen, just a "hairy" situation.

I choked on my own spit while lying around and all the convulsing got the barf ball rolling. Unfortunately the barf was quicker than I was today and I missed the toilet a bit trying to aim from a standing position. It was only bran flakes but it was sure a pain in the ass trying to get all the bits out from little crevices in the toilet. Somehow I splooshed right at the crack of the lid mechanism.... Not exactly how one would prefer to cap a barf off!

Friday, January 16, 2015

What a Wednesday

Wednesday was the first "bad day" I've had in a long time, and yes by "bad day" I mean depressive/episodic.

I've been having a hard time sleeping lately (shocker) so I've been sleeping in til about 9:30 am pretty regularly but Wednesday I didn't get out of bed until 11:00 am. There may have been a bowl of cereal in there somewhere to tide me over, but the point is I was dragging like I haven't dragged in a long time.

Of course, just lying in bed for longer wasn't the real bad part, it was the scary thoughts that made it an episode. I felt so isolated and sad and hopeless. There wasn't true suicidal ideation, no plans or such, but I did visualize myself dead and alone in the apartment. It was scary. I think the worst part of it all was the fear that the thoughts would get worse, that I would descend into further darkness or that this mood was just the beginning of a postpartum issue or larger depressive episode.

Thankfully I was able to talk to the hubster about it that day and I think we did a good job refocusing on getting through the day and not buying into the fear. He also made a good point that it's a really great thing that I've made it so long without really bad days and that I noticed this. Me being so hard on myself, "but I was doing so well for so long" etc., isn't the best but acknowledging that I've been doing better is a good step.

In addition to the scary thoughts I totally lost my appetite. It was really hard to eat enough Wednesday and I found myself feeling faint and sick. The hubbo reassured me baby would be fine, one or two days of not eating enough isn't going to ruin anything, but I felt guilty. Like I said, I'd been doing so well for so long having a rough day seemed like an immense failure.

Thursday things were still a little sticky but I definitely took a different approach to the day and got myself moving. I made it to the grocery store and got pulled pork going in the CrockPot, even did some cleaning. Still had problems with no appetite but ate better overall.

Today I still feel like I'm recovering a bit but definitely on an upswing. It's tough balancing pregnancy exhaustion with needing to keep busy to ward off the depressive slide, all while trying to avoid punitive over-activity like cleaning to the point of delirium (one of my long standing, sneaky self-harming habits).

So, it's been a bit of a roller coaster week but I think I'm making it through and I'm glad for that.

In other news, Iroh seems to have some signs of worms clinging to his ass fur again. *JOY* I've been trying to pay attention to his activity and get a stool sample for the vet but haven't caught him in the act yet. So not excited for "Worms Part Deux." The other animals seem fine, I'm just a little sick of pet maintenance at the moment!

I've been trying to slowly clean the house as part of baby preparations but it seems like I barely make any progress. Just trying to keep up with laundry and vacuuming and the kitchen on a day-to-day basis and the "oh gawd I can't stand for another second, I gotta lay down" tiredness or aches makes special projects seem like pie in the sky goals. My mom said she'd come up and help me clean after the shower so I'm banking on that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Feelin' Real Pregnant

It's difficult for me to make statements sometimes, such as judgements about my status, even though I may be an authority. I think it has to do with my self-esteem issues and years of abdicating authority, but by golly I feel pretty compelled to say I'm feelin' pretty durn preggers.

Immediately my mind rallies against this statement with thoughts like, "it's only going to get worse" or "you think you're pregnant now, just wait a few weeks." Any and all undermining comments that a real life bitch would volley in my direction, I seem to take care of myself.

Yes, I know that while I may be experiencing late pregnancy now the symptoms will only continue to escalate up until birth but that doesn't negate my current experience does it? For so long I've suppressed my feelings and opinions because of the awareness that I "don't have that much to complain about" or "other people have it far worse" but that's really just a invalidating bad habit.... right?

It's complicated and I'm still mulling over these thoughts (it's all pretty convoluted in my brain) but I think the right direction is owning my experience and sharing my thoughts and feelings regardless of the minimizing impulse I feel. So here goes....

I'm pretty sure this baby is migrating south. The past couple weeks have involved increasing pressure on my bladder (and more potty breaks) and a "zingy" sensation in my pubic region. I think it's referred to as "lightning crotch" in some circles and is caused by baby hitting certain nerves as he/she lowers further into my pelvis.

My cowboy-monkey waddle is getting more dramatic after longer periods of sitting or lying down. I'm sure I still waddle when I've been standing for a while but those first few minutes after sitting on the couch for a bit feel extra-crazy. Like sumo-stance/waddle/pubic bone explosion crazy.

I've also noticed that my once-a-day fiber supplementation is no longer cutting it. Not exactly joyous news but I've upped my fiber intake and it seems to be helping. On a similar note, I seem to be able to eat more-for a while I thought my portion capacity was limited and now I seem to have more room for food and am able to breathe more deeply (double yay!).

Not exactly a sign of baby moving down but of the end drawing near may be some anxiety of late, very specific anxiety focused on the hubby.

His work routine involves waking up shortly after 5 AM to get to work by 6 AM and lately I've been waking up, anxiously listening to him leave and then tossing and turning for hours trying to get back to sleep. More and more often I find myself haunted in these early hours by a fear or anxiety that he won't come home or simply dwelling on the fact that he's left. My rational mind can't make sense of it, it's simply a strong emotional blip on my mornings of late. I thought it would go away after last week (his first week back at work after the holiday break) but I guess not.

Well, that's a picture of pregnant Hannah at the moment. Oh! I should also mention my current pregnancy food fad... The hubbo and I got a joint birthday present from his parents (a panini press/griddle thing) and I took the opportunity to make one of my favorite sandwiches from Panera (one of my first jobs was at a Panera).

It's called a Sierra Turkey and is normally a cold sandwich but I like them grilled. Asiago bread, turkey, spring greens, red onions, and a spicy chipotle mayo. I've made quite a few at home now and have been adding a bit of cayenne to the mayo for extra kick (this baby sure loves spicy). Ahhh. Makes pregnant Hannah a happy pregnant Hannah :)

In other news, I've been trying to cut back on the sweets and super refined stuff in an attempt not to produce an overly chubby baby. At my last appointment the midwives said baby seems to be on the "high side of normal" size and cautioned against ice cream every night or lots of white, refined foods (not that I've been on a sweets bender just a little surge over the holidays). No news there but a little difficult lately since I've been craving comfort foods and they aren't exactly the highly nutritious variety!

Went on a walk for the first time in a long time, just me and Fio. It has been so gorgeous the last few days I had to get out there and enjoy the sunshine and blue skies. Fio was a bit of an a-hole, yanking and barking and lunging and generally making me want to tie him to a stop sign and walk off until he calmed down (no I don't actually do that-EVER). By the end of the walk he calmed down quite a bit and we had a memorable moment on the home stretch when a hummingbird hovered above us and chirruped rather noisily and scared Fio. It was pretty funny. That tiny bird sure put that fiesty poodle in his place! Even as we walked away the loud chirps made Fio's ears perk.

Millie and Iroh are doing well though I've noticed Millie is turning into quite the schmoozer. She didn't used to be such a treat hound but lately she's been working the circuit, gunning for the crunchy treats and the wet food. Gonna have to watch her or she'll balloon up! Guess she's not a kitten anymore, they grow up so fast :) Iroh certainly reaps the benefits of her newfound cat-ness haha

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Limping Train?

When trying to encapsulate my status of late I imagined an animated train with a limp in it's roll. At first I thought it was impossible for something with wheels to "limp" but after some thought and Googlin' I'm convinced "limping train" is a just depiction. I'm still chugging along but it ain't smooth rolling.

My schedule has been an interesting mix of lazy days and bursts of activity. Quite often the busy moments wipe me out and I soon find myself perched upon my donut pillow with heating pad at my shoulders and my head lolling between sips of water and glances at a TV screen.

Lately I've been hit by pregnancy fatigue reminiscent of my 1st trimester but not quite as intense. When it strikes, it strikes hard just not as often as those first few months.

Earlier this week the hubby and I decided we'd go to the store. He took the dog for a potty break while I lurched up from the couch. This movement necessitated an immediate detour to the bathroom for my own potty break. I then waddled into the bedroom to change into street clothes.

Before I could select an outfit I felt a wave of tiredness and plopped onto the bed. Next thing ya know I was tucked into a pile of pillows under a hastily drawn swath of blankets. The hubster returned from giving the dog a break and wandered the apartment inquiring, "Hannah?" Eventually he found me, already pre-nap drooling. Sucking back a puddle of spit I let him know "I just need to lie down for a bit." He hit the lights and went back to the living room while I ended up taking an hour-and-a-half long nap.

Also making a return is the vicious hunger cycle of 1st tri. Don't get me wrong, during 2nd tri I would have to plan snacks and eat pretty often but it was easier to push the envelope and wait a bit longer between feedings. Now, there is no forgiving grace period. I wait too long to eat and a wave of nausea crashes down with vengeance. About 3 hours is the limit but sometimes I find myself hunting for food more often like an overzealous cow, grazing with gusto.

I've also had a few "am I gonna barf?" moments but have been able to hold it down for the most part. I did have a biley shower puke the other day because I opted to shower before eating something first thing in the morning. Won't do that again.

Add to all that the loosey goosey pelvis, flaring hemorrhoid, and muscle aches from carrying this ever-growing belly and I'm a delightful bundle of joy!

It wears on me trying to balance everything. All the symptoms, self-care, and eating mean that I can't attack a checklist like I used to and not being "productive" wears on my self-esteem. I'm also contending with late pregnancy anxiety and worrying about my ability to birth and raise a baby (like any mother-to-be) and feeling so rundown is a major confidence killer.

So, I've been a limpin' train. Day by day, hour by hour I'm chugging along at a gimpy jaunt, getting somewhere but not quite in the fashion I'd like. Not that I'm totally bummed out. I realize pregnancy isn't meant to an easy thing and I also realize that I've been doing pretty dang well. I think I've just come to one of those junctions where I have to consciously abandon the expectations and hopes that I once had.

No, I have not and will not glide through pregnancy and birth without a single complaint and that's okay.

No, I have not and will not have a symptom-free, heavenly pregnancy and birth without any discomfort and that's okay.

No, I have not and will not keep up with all my chores and errands and social obligations as I'd like and that's okay.

It hasn't been a cakewalk but I've still loved being pregnant and love carrying Inchy and watching him/her grow. Sure, the hubster and I have had our moments, had to grow ourselves-sometimes through bickering and tears-but we've met every challenge and cherished these special moments together even through the rocky sections. It isn't all pretty and rosy, but I feel blessed and grateful even with all the hardships (which I willingly and promptly admit haven't been all that bad).

With that said I enter the last two months of my pregnancy. Lots of scrambling to get everything ready but with the understanding that I just might need to take a nap at a moment ;)