Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Bad

Little stressed this week as I discovered a little too late that my thyroid script was expired. The ole "3 refills out of...." with the "until 10.24.14" on the other side of the bottle where I didn't see it. Whoops!

I've been scrambling to get more pills but due to the fact that I don't want to see the doctor that prescribed them I've got myself in a bit of a pickle. Add to the anxiety over "scary doctor lady" that I'm pregnant and don't want to screw up my body chemistry with too many missed doses and I'm a little hair-brained at the moment.

Thankfully I was able to get an appointment with the ND (a lady that I actually like) this Friday and hopefully will be able to get more meds then. Even though I like my ND I was struck with some anxiety over seeing her again, namely because I'm nearly 6 months pregnant and haven't updated her. Whoops?

I guess it slipped my mind, or it wasn't a priority or (actually) I have been harboring some shame and have been avoiding the interaction.

Why shame? Probably because I saw this woman while I was at my worst in the throws of bipolar depression and pretty dang crazy and a bit of me feels guilty for even being pregnant, like I'm not qualified. It's been over 8 months since I've been in to the ND's office and a lot has changed. Mainly, I'm pregnant, but also I'm doing my own thing, managing my health and not needing to go to the doctors' every other week! It's awesome. But I still feel ashamed that I'm pregnant when I was so sick and dysfunctional not so long ago....

My darling husband said something very sweet while reassuring me that I wasn't "one of those people that shouldn't ever have kids." He said, "You're not one of those people who shouldn't have kids, you're one of those people that needs to have kids because you have goodness to share. You mind may be a troubled mind but it's a beautiful mind too."

The hubby was kind enough to remind me that it doesn't matter what others think and that most of the mean thoughts I'm afraid others' are thinking are just my thoughts about myself. I weakly mentioned maybe my low self-esteem has affected my ability to validate my decision to become a parent and he agreed that I need to "go your own way," promptly cuing up Fleetwood Mac to make his point.

He also emphasized that I've made a lot of progress. Sure, I still have episodes but I'm coping much better, rebounding much quicker, and not succumbing to as many as I have in the past. I'm also off of all psychoactive drugs, the only scripts I take right now are thyroid and folic acid. I haven't lost all my "depression weight" but I have been eating better and exercising more, taking my Vitamin D and the prenatals. I'm not a health nut but doing pretty well.

It's difficult for me to feel good about myself and where I am. I constantly look for what needs to be improved or where I'm falling short, but when I really try I can see that I've made a lot of positive changes and that I'm not in the same place that I was. I am healthier and I am allowed to decide when I want to have children, and the hubster and I made the decision and we're happy with it. Doesn't matter a lick what anyone else thinks!

So, I will navigate this speed bump with the extra stress of shame and anxiety, hoping that on the other side I'll have a little more self-assurance and pride than I when I hit the bump to begin with! I'm going to try and maintain some pride and self-love while combating that shame during my appointment Friday... Guess we'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

In other news, I'm becoming more frustrated with the cloud of negativity that seems to surround pregnancy. Maybe it's just the women I'm around or the current culture? Either way it seems like a lot of criticism, fear, and pity-not a pleasant cocktail. I've been trying to find positive birth stories and influences but it seems the best medicine is avoiding media and uncensored input (not that that helps deflect the years of memories and associations in my brain). Mindfulness and enjoying the present helps, focusing on my baby's movements and how well this pregnancy has gone so far, just being joyous and grateful seems like a bit of non-violent protest!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


We've declared our babymoon a success, though I must say we took things a lot slower than we anticipated, mostly due to me coming down with a cold shortly after arriving in Canmore :/ Despite traveling with masses of tissues and phlegm we managed to see most of the things we planned for and found some fabulous dining (my taste buds weren't totally defunct).

Our favorite food spots included Trough and OEB with the Trailhead Cafe in Lake Louise a surprising lunch success. Trough and OEB were straight up, best of the best, making it on the list of our favorite food spots ever. The hubster enjoyed a brew at Grizzly Paw but we didn't eat out all that much (well, we've discovered Canadian A&W to be vastly superior to the American version). Instead we managed to eat quite a few meals at the condo and save some cash, which was nice and worked out well with my low energy/food motivation.

We really enjoyed Cave and Basin but the Banff museum was closed for renovations. The scenic drives around Tunnel Mountain and the Icefields Parkway were awesome (a low-flying eagle may have scared the bejeezus outta the hubster at one point) and the mountains blew our minds. They are beyond big up there, as are the ravens (another bird that the hubster was not enthused by-but I sure did!).

The hubster found the teddy bear he wanted for baby in Banff and I found a cute board book with adorable bear illustrations. Otherwise we sent some postcards and snagged some Kinder eggs while the getting was good but opted out of most souvenirs.

Broke in our new camera (we may still be getting the hang of it) and managed to do the Peyto Lake/Bow Summit hike (I was wheezing, I tell ya what), toodle around the Marsh Loop at Cave and Basin, and walk around Lake Louise a bit but not a full trail journey. Between the congestion and general fatigue I was experiencing things were pretty laid back. It was pretty chilly for us too so viewing sites from the warmth of the rental car was a natural alternative!

We found the golden larches I so wanted to see and learned a lot at the Ammolite Factory tour, even saw some new species for us at the zoo in Calgary. All in all, it was a lovely trip with amazing views, only a few hiccups and a lot of pleasant surprises. The hubster seems to be coming down the cold I had during our stay and I unfortunately barfed on two of our three flights but the good definitely outweighed the bodily fluids.

On a side note, we got rather wrapped up with the Canadian news of the week. Sadly our trip coincided with two horrible attacks; our anniversary involved a hit-and-run of two Canadian soldiers and then a couple days later the shooting at Ottawa. Being American we are a bit desensitized to that sort of violence but the fact that it was on Canadian soil really struck us and it was fascinating watching the news coverage and how CTV handled things as opposed to how American news handles such occurrences. I was very happy to see many of the guest speakers and hosts refrain from sensationalizing too much (it still happened but was kept pretty well in check) and focus on positives and national pride more than fear and reactionary statements. Stay classy, Canada.

In other news, I am shocked at how long my hair is! And how pregnant I'm looking.... Starting to sink in! And here is photographic evidence with a lovely grimace...

I'm not a huge fan of head colds or creepy Halloween decorations. It's a double whammy grimace.

Friday, October 17, 2014


This afternoon the hubster was being a little evasive and this is how it went....

"I might need to go run an errand later." He said, avoiding eye contact.

"Like what?" I asked.

"Well, I might need coffee."

"You're outta coffee in the house? What about instant?"

"I'm out."

"You're out of instant!? Did you throw the container away?" (I use instant in recipes and wanted to keep the jar)

"No, no no. It's not coffee."


"It's-um-anniversary related." (Referring to buying an anniversary card before we leave for our pre-trip trip tomorrow)

"Oh shit, can I come?" (I had forgotten as well)

Mind you, all this took place while I was sitting on the toilet peeing and he was washing he hands in the bathroom sink beside me. We started laughing to so hard we cried. Our 2nd anniversary and it's come to this!

We leave Monday flight-wise but we are leaving home base tomorrow to spend a couple nights with my parents and to settle the pets there for the week-so anniversary errand time is running short. Adding insult to injury, I make about 40 cards for other people every year but never make my husband's anniversary card (not just wedding, any cards really). So here I am, a card mistress caught without a card!

Life's little jokes...



Lately I've been thinking a lot about how we each have our own journey to make. Often our paths parallel or intersection people around us but we're never truly sharing the same experience, the same path. To each our own.

That sounds simple enough but it gets complicated when those closest to you find themselves on rocky sections of their path. If you're like me the urge to help and to fix the situation is overwhelming. Almost like a sneeze I'm overcome with the impulse to plot a detour or give them tools to ease their journey but it's not really my place.

I've tried to help others along their journeys before and it rarely helps anyone, only causes stress for all involved. Pressure, grief, invalidation, disappointment, frustration for all involved. Very rarely have I been able to truly help someone and I think the reason is that very rarely people actually ask for help-it's thrust upon them.

Recently I gave my sister advice about supplements and lifestyle changes for mental health and I found myself swamped with feelings of frustration and disappointment. She wasn't asking me for advice because she was ready to change or truly wants to help herself feel better, she was asking because my mother had pressured her to do so. I knew that it didn't matter what I said, without my sister making the decision to improve her life no advice could help her, and it made me sad.

There is unfortunate pattern in my family that seems to enable mood disorders. Not only do we overall lack the skills to live a healthy lifestyle conducive to our mental health, those lifestyles prompt cyclical breakdowns. Instead of coping with the root of the issue my family seems to bury the issue until these breakdowns crop up and then respond with a characteristic "rescue response" instead of addressing the harmful patterns.

This happened once again with my sister this week. She didn't take care of herself, was driven to a breakdown and my mother drove across the state to perform her classic rescue. It seems to have gotten my sister in with a college counselor and addressing her overloaded schedule but it strikes me as a bandage and not a turning point. This crushes me.

I hate to see my sister struggle over and over. I hate to see my mother struggle over and over. My brother and father seem to have established routines to maintain their health and it makes me wonder about the differences in the sexes as well as the female heritage of my family and patterns of self-punishing behavior.

On a similar note, my best friend's journey remains rocky and a sister-in-law seems to be wayward. Seeing these people struggling to find their happiness haunts me with sadness. I fight the urge to help and fix but ultimately realize that their journeys are their own and solely their responsibility.

Having been lost on my own rough trail before I recognize the self-defeating patterns but maintain hope for the ultimate turning point when they decide to take care of themselves. Sadly some will go their entire lives without committing to this self guardianship and will maintain their patterns of sadness and breakdowns for the rest of their lives. I hope that this won't be true for those I love, but I recognize that it's not my burden to carry. I have my own journey to manage, my own commitment to honor and my own changes to make.

Some people's journeys are more winding than others, so while it breaks my heart to see those around me in pain I am at least grateful that I have found the light in my own life and am walking in brighter days. I still have a ways to go but I finally feel like I'm on the right path and with a heart light with anticipation any terrain can be traversed.

In other news I've been listening to a birth webinar conference all week and it's been giving me a lots of ideas and "ah-ha!" moments about pregnancy and birth. I hope to have another full post about those ponderings soon.

The cats and dog are getting another round of wormer right before we take off for the babymoon (time flies!) and we've got a busy few weeks ahead of us. I've started doing ornaments again and thankfully my pace has picked up and I'm feeling comfortable again. I do have to be careful about sitting for too long or my pelvic pain flares up and I have to be mindful about bringing good snacks and drinking lots of water while I work so it'll be an interesting year.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fruit Salad Weekend or Straight Up Rotten Fruit?

Weeks ago my best friend and I were texting/emailing and figuring out when I could pop down for a sleepover and some girl time (she recently moved to OR, south of Portland). We had decided this weekend would work for both of us and it would be my last chance before ornament season really kicks up so we made tentative plans. 

All seemed well. I don't think I'd seen my bestie since last year or at least several months so there were some nerves about meeting again but for the most part I was excited. Then I texted just this week to confirm the plan and she dropped a bombshell. 

She's got a live-in boyfriend. 

Totally made my gut flip and put me out of my comfort zone. I had the impulse to pull up stakes on the plan and evac but decided it was more important for me to see her than to take the comfortable route. I did however shorten the trip from 2 nights to an overnight. Little did I know I would appreciate that decision to no end!

This is how my trip went.

Friday morning I woke up and scrambled to get food, shower, and pack an overnight bag. I managed to take the dog out for a break and get my stuff (including a big pile of pillows) in the car and hit the road just after 9:30 am. By 11:00 am I was in Olympia enjoying a pitstop with my dad. The lunch break and short walk downtown was a big help for my building hip pain. 

Took about 2 1/2 hours from Olympia and I was pretty sore and hungry by the time I arrived, but I got to my bestie's apartment right around 3:00 pm. We went into the apartment and I nervously awaited introduction to the new boyfriend. How'd that go? Well, we gals walked in chatting and she said something like, "Oh yeah, this is Hannah!" and I'm not sure if he looked but I certainly did get any eye contact and he didn't get up from the couch or turn down the blaring Netflix program on the TV. Overall, I was beyond not impressed. I was so sad for my friend and disappointed. 

Unfortunately, my Friday didn't get any better from that point on. Instead of girl time I found myself in the back of a sedan plummeting down the freeway while the boyfriend drove. Weaving, zooming, braking, and generally being a crazy driver by PNW standards. At one point I saw an SUV's ass looming ahead of us and felt primed for a high speed crash. He veered right at the last moment, narrowly avoiding a collision and changing lanes (if you can call it that) as I felt my breath catch and a well of emotion knot in my  throat. "I'm gonna cry." My motherly instincts kicked in big time. I was terrified for my baby's well being; imagining myself in a broken car on the side of the road telling EMTs that I was pregnant. I began sobbing. 

They tried to find me tissues but there were none. I wiped my flood of tears on the fleece sleeve of my jacket while we waited at a clogged stoplight off the freeway (blissfully stuck in traffic). And where to? The tobacco store so the boyfriend could buy cigars. Thankfully there was a stationery store nearby that the bestie and I could visit. While we wandered the small store I asked if she could drive and made sure that he wasn't going to smoke in the car (at that point, who knew?)

We went on to Walmart for their grocery shopping and I was starting to feel sick from hunger so I sipped a chocolate milk while walking the aisles and bought some trail mix for the ride home. I had a tangelo when we got back to the apartment and enjoyed the enchiladas she made for dinner but generally felt like a 3rd wheel and wondered why I had come at all. The boyfriend impressed me further by asking about my air mattress in order to clarify that he didn't need to help set it up. Classy.

After he went to bed, she and I got to chat a little more and we made plans to go to an outlet mall nearby the next day. 

Cue morning.

I awoke around 8:20 am for a potty break and an apple (baby needed brekkie ASAP) and while I tried to go back to bed I couldn't sleep. Over the next 3 hours I ended up pacing the living room to relieve some pelvic pain and kill some time, trying to be quiet but secretly hoping to "accidentally" wake up my hosts as I tried to find a towel so I could shower (found one in the dryer), microwaving my leftovers from lunch with Dad for a much needed though not quite big enough breakfast, packing down my mattress and even loading the car (I really thought opening and closing the slider would do the trick and wake them up, but no luck), and eventually doodling while considering whether or not I should just leave and go to the outlet mall alone. They finally awoke at 11:30 am just as I was finishing a doodle.

Maybe I should've knocked on the door but I felt really uncomfortable. I had made up my mind to leave by 11:00 am if she hadn't woken up, go to the outlet mall and stop by on my way home, but I was enjoying my doodling and they woke up before I felt compelled to leave. It was so out of character for my friend to be such a lackluster hostess, it felt like this guy had corrupted her. About 2 hours into my morning wait I had the thought, "she just does everything by his book, so she ain't coming out til he wakes up and that's that," and wouldn't ya know it, that's how it went. It feels like my friend has been totally swallowed up by this guy!

Eventually she got her coffee made to go, got dressed and we took off for the mall around noon. I went directly to Arby's for breakfast-er, lunch-as I was getting sick-hungry again and then we stopped by her bank so she could get some checks to pay rent. Once we finally hit the mall it felt like old times (but with my concern over her choice of boyfriend looming in the back of my mind) and I found a cute sweater for the baby and we walked through several other stores. After shopping, I gassed up the car then dropped her off at the apartment. Since it was a quarter to 4:00 pm at that point I said I really needed to get going. I kept the car running and we said our goodbyes and hugged in the parking lot. I opted out of going back to the apartment to say goodbye to the boyfriend. 

The ride home went speedily enough but my pregnant pelvis didn't enjoy the hours of driving and the knot in my shoulder (already inflamed from doing ornaments on Thursday) was causing me grief nearly the entire drive. Around 5:30 pm I stopped for food in Centralia and stretched a bit and I managed to get through the stormy Seattle weather and home around 7:40 pm. There was some nice lightning and impressive rain storms but traffic moved pretty well. I was pretty dang tired. 

Thankfully the hubster was aware of how rough the trip was for me and had hot lasagna waiting for me when I got out of the shower. I was so glad to be home!

All in all, I'm glad I went but really disappointed and sad. At least now I won't feel guilt for not having visited but I will never ride in a car with that guy driving again. I certainly don't think I'll be spending any nights there. 

The transformation in my friend is sad and scary. Instead of a tidy, welcoming home that she usually prepares, her apartment is dirty and reminds me of a college dorm. She claims that her boyfriend is sweet and helpful but he seems antisocial and incredibly unimpressive to me. I am so sad and frustrated that she seems to have wound up with another loser. While the whole experience made me very appreciative of my hubby it made me nervous for the future of my friendship with my bestie and for her future relationships. Oh, and that slice of "afraid for my baby's life" that I'll never forget. 

So. Bad trip. Enjoyed visiting Dad, enjoyed the few hours of girl time I actually achieved with my gal pal, but overall, bad, bad trip. Definitely going to plan future pregnant road trips with more pitstops and stretch breaks and food, been underestimating my body's burden lately. Speaking of which, I am definitely bumpin' out!

Selfie alert!
That's as cute as I get on a lazy, recovery Sunday!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Feeling Motherly, Falling Further in Love

The hubster and I went to have our 20 week ultrasound yesterday and now I find myself daydreaming about meeting baby more and more. Even though the fluctuating black and white images don't paint a literal picture of my baby, just "seeing" baby makes me feel more motherly, possessive, and in love.

Baby was pretty stubborn, laying on his/her front the entire time but the ultrasound tech did a great job and when baby flipped over right at the end of the appointment she snapped this glorious shot!

Everything looks good and baby is measuring in the 56% percentile, so "very average" and right on track.

I was a bit nervous before the appointment but had a really good time and loved sharing the experience with the hubby. I think the starlight ceiling lights in the fancy ultrasound room set the mood. I found myself thinking, "I hope we get to come back to this place next time!"

In other news, my hip pain has been better lately though I'm still not back up to speed. I'm not sure if I'll be able to go on my walks everyday anymore but I'll try to get back into the groove and keep up the yoga within my limitations.

Got the call for ornaments and go in for the first time today. A little nervous because I haven't practiced at all but hoping it comes flooding back to me!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ah! My hip!

Last Thursday I walked to the library and sort of over did it. I wasn't speed walking but the distance of the walk was a bit more than my usual route and I didn't appreciate how loose my pelvis had become. I expected pelvic pain later in pregnancy, once baby engages near my due date, but not at 20 weeks. 

As I've mentioned, I have had some hip issues upon waking which I related to side-lying and being out of alignment but now I have more to consider. Apparently I'm one of those lucky women whose pelvis starts to loosen up earlier in pregnancy (thanks to an amazing hormone called relaxin) and this causes the muscles and ligaments and bones to become out of alignment and often causes aches, pain, and difficulty walking among other things. 

After my long walk on Thursday I found myself hobbling, bending over to try and find a position where the pain in my pubic bone wasn't as bothersome-it was very crone-like. At one point I was doing the dishes and leaning over to put them in the dishwasher was so uncomfortable I started tearing up. I was so frustrated with myself and the sudden limitations to my movement  (and I think the pregnancy hormones helped coax the tears out easy too) I started crying and the hubby rushed into the kitchen to see what was the matter. 

I explained the situation and he encouraged me to call the midwives. I had been tempted to call earlier that day but had dismissed the thought knowing that pelvic girdle pain is just a fact of pregnancy and while the discomfort can be treated it's something I'm just gonna to have to deal with until baby arrives (and, you know me, I err on the side of "suck it up"). I did end up calling the birth center and it did feel good to hear someone tell me I wasn't crazy or alone. The midwife recommended seeing a chiropractor or a physical therapist, which I've yet to look into, but more important to me she reassured me that I was totally normal, that I can still exercise but not to push through the pain and listen to my body. That I can do!

So the rest of the weekend was pretty slow going for me as recovery time. Friday we had standing plans and went south to an outlet mall in OR to shop for maternity clothes (the hubster was an awesome shopping buddy, I have to admit) and then carried on to visit my in-laws in the Tri-Cities. I walked slowly, had to be extra careful sitting down and getting up, and even getting in and out of the car was a bit uncomfortable. It was a long day. We didn't get to bed until after midnight and I was achy and hobbly from pelvic pain. I tried to take it easy the rest of the weekend and even Monday I couldn't quite walk at my normal pace. Thankfully today I felt a lot better though I'm very careful not to overdo it again! 

It was an okay visit to my in-laws, though being in pain definitely brought my mood down. I also felt a lot of stress from my mother-in-law and that negativity on top of my bodily aches sapped my patience and made me a little grumpy. I think she was anxious or upset about family stuff and I sponged up the feelings. Normally I might be able to inject some positivity, but this weekend I just kept to myself. It was really nice when we finally made it home (utterly exhausted) and I consciously appreciated the comforts of home, I tend to take those fore granted!

In other news, the cats and dog are being treated for roundworm. Not fun squirting gunk into cats' mouths but Fio took it like a champ. They all get another round in a couple weeks and we're hoping not to have to do this again for a long, long time...

Friday, October 3, 2014

I knew it! I KNEW IT!

I tend to overreact to neighborhood woes; graffiti and trash mean that the neighborhood is slipping into the "slum zone" when it's really just a part of urban living. So when I started getting concerned with the junk around our apartment a part of me ignored the suspicious thoughts and ruled them out as the ravings of a neurotic woman. What are the chances some kids would try to light up a pile of furniture, I mean really?

Well, walking the dog this morning by the piles of furniture abandoned at our complex (and left in piles for months on end by the management) I noticed a box of half-used fireplace matches around the furniture. Perhaps some hoodlums attempting to light up a pile of junk? Eh? Eh? Maybe this crazy gal ain't so crazy!

I've been contemplating calling the city on the complex in regards to the junk and after seeing that today I was pretty well convinced but being the not-so-confident chick that I am I still had doubts. I decided to call the office and see what they had to say about it. I got a canned answer, "We have it on our to-do list but other emergencies have come up and we only have 3 maintenance guys working but we'll investigate those matches, thank you for calling." I am not impressed. Sounds like other people have called, the management has established a routine answer, and the piles will remain.

The other pile.
Pile with matches.

It's not a huge deal, it doesn't directly affect me daily, but I am concerned about the vandalism potential, housing loose animals, kids getting tetanus, that kind of stuff so I'm still considering reporting it to code enforcement. But is that too much? I feel like a tattle. Like I don't have a good enough reason to complain! Or is it just my low self-esteem negating my opinions again?

I've mentioned before how frustrated I am at this complex and this episode builds on that frustration. I feel like it's the complex/management vs. me. Is it just me, or is that wrong? Shouldn't it be a complementary relationship? Maybe it's too much to ask for a positive rental relationship? I don't know and the hubster doesn't care, so I'm stuck in an uncomfortable limbo of self-doubt and angst.

Speaking of uncomfortable.... Pregnancy has thrown me another curve ball and my hip pain has become more than just a morning affair.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but occasionally upon waking my hips would throb and sometimes pop as I turn over. Even turning over in the night was problematic. Well yesterday that pain left the bedroom and followed me through the day and eventually I lost it.

Doing the dishes I was aching and having a hard time bending over and I became frustrated with the pain, next thing you know all the tears I'd been trying to shed the past week came flooding out. I can handle the pain, I just couldn't handle it all day and feeling like I couldn't do anything! The hubster was a little blindsided but afterward told me that I had to call the midwives today even if I have appointment next week. Pain that prevents me from doing my daily activities or affect my bottom line is just too much pain. I knew he had a point but I grew up with a "suck it up, buttercup" approach to pain and nearly always err on the side of "stop complaining and carry on." So I have a message in at the midwives' and we'll just have to wait and see what they say.

In other news, Iroh seems to have worms. So the pet saga continues with more poo and vet drama to come. So delightful!