You again, old friend?

For real. Manic. Right now. Yesterday, I was anxiety ridden and spent WAY too much money, even to be considered a “spree” and today I uprooted and replanted about 200 irises. Why does spring always sneak up on me? I love/hate this part of being bipolar.

The pros definitely outweigh the cons on most days, but the past 48 hours have been a whirlwind of social anxiety, going in TJ for pillows and coming out $300 poorer in addition to 5 other similar binge purchases and flying dirt and flower bulbs. The good news is I bought a lot of really useful stuff not just things to blow money on and I have a LOT  of work to get done this week.  I was sort of dreading the upcoming task of making about 400 soaps in the next 3 days, but now I’m actually looking forward to the task. It’ll keep me busy and productive, when otherwise I could completely derail.

So let’s play a game. I’ll describe in detail portions of what has been going on inside my head, and you smile and nod all while backing away slowly. Ready? Go!

Yesterday morning, I woke up too late for church and felt incredibly guilty about it.  Like ridiculously guilty. Thoughts about what everyone was saying about my absence, even though logically I know most people don’t give two shits, went racing rampantly through my head. I read about 4 chapters of my breastfeeding book for my ProDoula certification, about twice as much as I usually read in one sitting, and then I got a shower.

Chris, Ava, and I were going to Jonesboro for our monthly shopping trip for random shit like dog & cat food, and we were going to go to the Art Society meeting at two. So during our 37 mile drive time I have decided that I need to go to Ulta to get shampoo, conditioner, and a new giant bottle of Living Proof’s no frizz nourishing styling cream. All daily use, necessity stuff. Then I remember I am almost out of my Nars Orgasm blush, which is all I use in the spring, so I had better pick that up, too. Wait. I have reward points at Sephora, better go there for the blush and styling cream. So Ulta is our first stop in town.

I walk in Ulta and immediately start feeling overstimulated. Shit. Better get in and get out. They moved my shampoo and the bottle is now considerably smaller for the same price, and they only have one bottle of my conditioner, which throws me off because I came in for two. Fine, fuck it. I can deal with this and come back later for the second bottle.  I make my way through the hair dye section and think hurriedly that I am going to need a touch up soon, ooohhhhh this one’s on sale! No! I did not come in here for hair dye.  Money is tight. I need to stick to the game plan. I spy the Living Proof section out of the corner of my eye, and grab the biggest bottle available for purchase. I head to the check out and remember I’m low on eye brow pencil and I have training this upcoming weekend so I should pick one up just in case, no biggie, it’s like $12.  I get to the check out and the girl in front of me is checking out and setting up her rewards card. I survey her choices, all pretty good quality, so I’m impressed when she tells the clerk her birth year is 2003. This kid is 13 years old. Thirteen. And she just dropped $60 cash like it was nothing. All of the sudden, I realize in about 12 years, I’m going to have to double budget for cosmetics. Fear creeps in as I think about Ava being old enough to wear quality make up.  No covergirl for any daughter of mine! It took me 34 years, but I finally found the perfectly matching foundation shade. I won’t let Ava suffer through life with a make up line. Ok. It’s my turn. I compliment the clerk on her hair color and notice her lashes. Shit! Lashes. I ordered some natural looking ones from makeup geek and forgot to order glue. I ask where the falsies glue is, she directs me, but I can’t see so she walks me over…too many choices, and she’s waiting on me to make a decision. Fuck. Umm, what do you use? I ask her, she grabs her selections talks me through her pitch about it not being too wet and yet still sticky enough. Ok, fine. Sold. We check out. $90 later, I exit the store having only planned on spending about $25. Not bad for me and Ulta. My husband is less than impressed. But whatever, I needed all this shit.

Next, on to Sephora. I have Chris look up the 100 point perks as we are driving across the street.  Ok, there’s anew glam glow mask, I’m totally cashing in my points. I already bought the Living Proof at Ulta, so all I need is a Nars Orgasm blush. Shit! I should have waited on the Living Proof because I have points saved up here, oh well, too late. Ok. Walk in, try to not be a magpie and get distracted by every shimmery sparkly thing in the store. I ask an associate where the Nars display is, and of course, I’ve walked right past it. Great. She thinks I’m an idiot. Ok. Blush. Orgasm, where the fuck is orgasm? Why is it not in the row of blushes…I know damn well they still make it, it has a cult followi…oh there it is, cult classics. How clever. Ooohhhhh, Super Orgasm is just as peachy pink with a touch more shimmer…illuminating is so in right now.  Yep, better get Super Orgasm instead. Ok, time to check out and cash in my points. I have the salesgirl look up my rewards card, she mentions nothing about my point balance or cashing them in. I judge her and think she must not be a very good salesperson. So I bring up the possibility of cashing in my points, to which she replies, “Sure! You can get anything inside this little box.” Yay! I’m excited…wait. There’s no glam glow firming anything, just two shitty moisturizers and some eye make up remover. I’m a bit crushed. I really wanted that firming mask. I glaze over and tell her I’ll just keep saving my points. Disheartened, even with my new more shimmery blush, and a perfume sample, I head back to the car. $33. Good job. I stayed on budget.

Chris and Ava are waiting in the car. I need to get gas and get my car washed. We head to Kroger. Hooray! I have 20 cents off, better save some of those for the trip to Fayetteville. I use ten and get $22 worth of gas, more than it has cost lately, but still cheap for an SUV.  We head to the car wash. Shit! Why are there so damn many selections? Now I have to read all this shit and make yet another decision. I choose the $12 wash because it includes vacuuming the interior, and as the mother of a toddler I have crunched up goldfish all over my floorboard. Oh, what a glamorous life I lead now.  I laugh a little. Chris asks what’s funny, and I say “nothing, is Ava asleep?” I was really hoping she was asleep. Car washes have freaked her out recently. She isn’t. Fucking beautiful. Screaming child for the next 5 consecutive minutes or so. Where do I go to get the vacuuming done? After a minute of driving around, I find it. There’s a line. We have to be at the Art Society meeting in 15 minutes. I ask the guy how long, and he rambles on about still having 10 or so minutes on the truck in front of me. I must have grimaced unknowingly because he senses I can’t wait and goes to get another employee. Fantastic! Small favors from the universe! She vacuums out my car while we wait inside.  I look at business cards and critique each one silently. I find one very clean and classic looking realtor’s card. I take it for reference when designing my own.  Ava’s playing with the toys, which is great except they’re public toys and probably haven’t been bleached in well, ever. Germaphobia kicks in, and I pick her up just in time to see the girl walking away from my car. “That was fast!” I think and head outside. Chris tells me the meeting is not at the convocation center, instead it is at the public library. Great. We have a VERY vocal one year old, and we are going to a goddamned shush factory. I let Chris drive because I now have no idea where we are going.  I get in the back seat. She missed two crunched up goldfish. Oh well, at least she was speedy. Shit, maybe I should have tipped her.

We pull up to one side of the library and I don’t see a door. I think how it’s “just like my husband” to park the farthest away from a door so he can smoke.  Doesn’t he know I’m trying to quit? I’ve asked him not to smoke around me…I ask him where the door is, he mentions it around the other side.  I get combative, telling him I will be carrying two large bags and a squirmy toddler and in no uncertain terms he had better get me as close to the fucking door as he can.  He curses me, calls me lazy and drives around the building.  Shut up you just wanted to…”Hey, I’m going to smoke before I go in”, of course you are.  Bye.  We get in the library and I have no idea where to go.  Oh there’s a cousin in law! I’ll bet he knows. He does. Success.  Shit.  This room is round and has no windows.  I immediately tense up, feeling people swarming all around me. A cousin in warm chatting me…I’m panicking.  I take a deep breath.  Ugh…there he is, cigarette cloud and all.  Ok.  Just stick with Chris.  I get Ava a cookie and some ginger ale.  We sit down.  I am literally buzzing with anxiety.  So Taylor is going to sing?  Great.  I have a very vocal one year old at a performance in hushed round room with no windows.  My life is ending.  Ava has chocolate on her fingers, and now on my shirt.  Fanfreakingtastic.  She’s squirmy and I know she working herself up.  Taylor says something about phones, I dig mine out of my black hole of a purse and put it on silent.  Music starts…Ava starts talking…I’m trying to crawl out of my own skin.  I stand up with Ava and walk her around hoping it will hush her.  Great, another fucking song…

Speeches and awards and pictures later, I am begging Chris to leave.  He knows something is wrong so he doesn’t protest too much.  We head to Sam’s to get dog food.  I leave Chris and a now sleeping Ava in the car as I run in…2 bags of dog food, cat litter, baking soda and fruit.  Alright, short enough list.  I can manage this.

I walk in to boxes of hydrangeas…I think of gardening which always calms my nerves and grab 4 boxes.  $12 a box. An extra $48 bucks for some peace of mind…I’ll take it.  Get the dog food aisle.  SHIT!  That lady from Church who’s name I can never remember.  We talk about her kids birthday party, which we had missed the day before because Ava was currently residing on Meltdown Mountain at the time, and I told her how we had her present at the house.  She throws in a “We missed you this morning, too” for good measure, and I wince.  The guilt is back.  Ughhhhh….Wrap up small talk and get the shit on the list.  I gather up all items, and head to the checkout without incident.  And she’s there, again.  We small talk some more.  I think of how our little town is just built on the art of small talk…

I walk out of Sam’s feeling washed with guilt and a bit of hostility.  She just couldn’t let it pass…whatever. I won’t be at church next week either because of Doula training…I just let it go. Arrange all items in back of SUV without waking the baby.  Winning.

OK, on to PetCo for stupid $40 cat food.  How did I get so lucky as to have three cats whom will all throw up anything less than fancy holistic food?  Chris hates the dogs, I hate the cats, thus is life.  I can’t find the cat food…finally locate it on and end cap marked CLEARANCE $19.99, I immediately panic.  Are they going to stop carrying this fancy ass food?  We JUST got the cats switched over to the lamb and rice recipe.  God damn it! Ok, deep breath, head to the checkout.  3,000 people in line, only one lane open.  I think of Sophie’s Choice…nope.  I have to get this cat food.  I wait in the forever abounding line, and think of what else I need to do…my turn.  I ask why the food is on clearance, fearing the worst, and I am given an around the bush way of  cnvfffdfrldffzoonfirmation. “But you can still order it, through the store, to save on shipping”.  Great. Then am told I can’t place order on the phone, I have to drive 37 miles to place the order on their ipad, and then wait 5 days for it to come in, and drive back to pick it up.  An extra 168 miles of driving for cats I dislike.  FANTASTIC.

Time for TJ Maxx now. We need pillows for our spare room.  I’m tired of my parents having to lug theirs up to our house every other weekend.  And should my in laws actually ever make it to my house, I’m sure that’s a creature comfort they would expect.  Ok $20 for pillows.  In and out.  Wait.  Shoe clearance…I need rain boots.  Hooray, they have two pairs in my ginormous size ten! I get the more basic, black ones…more versatile than shiny navy.  I scoop them up and head back to bedding.  Pillows, pillows…I really like that Tahari quilt for the spare room.  But it doesn’t come with shams.  Ah hell, it’s $49.99, I can use the pillowcases.  Next aisle over, and bam!  There are the matching shams.  I’m convinced it’s a sign from God, and happily add them to my handful.  Wait…why am I getting a new quilt for the spare room, but not for our bed.  That we actually sleep in every day.  King, king , king…Oh. That Tommy Bahama set is gorgeous…and it comes with shams.  I just can’t pass that up.  On my way out I spot two dresses that I simply adore, but talk myself out of because, really, this trip isn’t about me, it’s about getting stuff for my family, for our home, not for me.  $298 dollars later, and I’m out the door.

Chris needs new flip flops.  He runs in Old Navy and grabs them pretty quickly.  He says he likes the quilt, so I don’t feel as bad about my binge purchasing as I had a few minutes ago.  I am validated.

Tobacco store.  Chris needs a pipe, and tobacco and rolling papers .  20 minutes later, I’m still waiting in the car and I think “doesn’t he know how hard this is for me?” And I’m staring at an ad for an e-cigarette…as soon as he gets in the car I get out and go purchase a disposable e-cigarette. This will help me get through without the nasty taste and smell. I pleased as I take my first drag of non-offending nicotine.

Last stop, on to Hays.  It just opened and Chris needs new jeans.  We walk up to a 70% off sidewalk sale.  I grab a pair of Silver jeans, as does Chris and a few shirts for both of us, and we make our way to the kids section where we get Ava 2 new shirts and a pair of blue jean shorts.  Spending money on Ava is never consequential…it feels good.  We go inside…I am on sensory overload.  There is SO much to look at, touch, fantasize about.  There are buy 3, get 1 free stickers on some Mud Pie displays, so I start looking there.  I find 3 shirts, a pair of shorts and 2 dresses.  Chris and Ava have wandered to the other side of the store, so I actually have time to shop for myself for a change.  I relish in that feeling.  We have been so broke for so long, it would be nice to have some new things and not to have to ask my parents to pay for it.  I find myself in shoes looking Uggs Slippers.  They’re 35% off, so that’s basically free.  If they have the cheapest ones in my size I’ll get them.  My house shoes are worn bare.  I send the sales girl to the back with 2 options, she comes back with neither, but with 3 other options, (of course the more expensive ones) and I try them on…nope.  They don’t fit correctly enough for that kind of money. I send her away, feeling in control of myself.  I notice the yellowbox flip flops and grab a pair that happen to match one of the outfits I had assembled earlier.  They are squishy, like a good worn in yoga mat.  They make me feel happy…and make me miss yoga, and Little Rock.  I will get them for good measure.  They are on sale, anyway.  I wander through the bathing suits and begrudgingly think of how I will need a postpartum bathing suit.  My body looks nothing like it did two years ago and I mourn the change.  I find myself in workout clothes…Jesus, it costs like $135 for one North Face running set…I feel guilty and put it back on the rack.

I’ve managed to stumble into Chris who tells me he has found a river hat he likes and how how he had found a pair of flip flops he likes better than the Old Navy ones.  They don’t have the hat in his size, so I encourage him to get the flip flops…we can always take the other ones back, or not.  He deserves two pairs of flip flops…he works his ass off.  He also says he found a pair of flops for Ava.  He careens me over to the cutest REEF display I have ever seen in my life.  I think back to Hawaii and how Reef’s were practically all I wore for 5 years.  We have to get them…Ava picks between three pairs.  Hooray! She picked the one’s I liked best.  Shopping with my family is so much fun!  We go to a fitting room to try all of our stuff on.

Chris loves one of the dresses I picked out.  I try the jeans on first…they are skinny cut, nevermind.  I put them away.  I try on an assortment of outfits for my husband, who is also trying on clothes and we select 4 pieces since I can get one free.  We agree on purchases, we are having fun.  I am happy as a clam.  On the way out of the dressing room I grab a necklace, since Ava just broke my diamond one, and a headband.  We check out.  I was expecting under 200 for sure…nope.  $338.  It’s a good thing I got paid yesterday.  Wait, how was it so much when so much should have been free? OH, it’s the cheapest thing you buy, so we saved a whopping $16.  Big fucking deal. I swipe my card feeling cheated.

We continue on to dinner and then back to Manila.  I think of the totals and bet “we” have come close to spending my entire check in one day.  Great.  Overwhelming feelings of guilt rush in.  Once home, I immediately start washing everything, knowing if I don’t I’ll wake up with buyer’s remorse and take everything non essential back.  I don’t want to take these things back…I need them now.   I take my meds, nurse Ava, check my email and fall asleep.

I’m awake 3 hours before usual.  What in holy hell is going on?  SHIT.  I spent all of our money before paying bills yesterday.  HOLY SHIT.   It’s ok, we will get our taxes back soon and Chris just settled some cases.  Everything will be ok.  Ugh…

My father in law decided to not come in town, as per usual. Chris has moved his schedule around twice for nothing. I ask him if he can plant my cherry trees that I bought 6 months ago on clearance, since they are blooming. He agrees.  Today is going to be a good day…But first, I need him to dig up all those daffodils and fill in the holes in the driveway edging with them.  Two hours pass and not one tree in in the ground.  I’ve read 3 chapters of my breastfeeding book. I get impatient and go outside to see if I can hurry things up.  Ava and I play in the dirt and sunshine.  Chris finishes moving about half of the daffodils, dandelions, daffodils (why can’t I remember that) and declares he is done for the day.  Not one tree in the ground.  I get irritated and start laying out my newly purchased hydrangeas.  We don’t see eye to eye on where they should go and why, so I say fuck it, and start digging up Irises that I want moved to line the back side of the driveway.  I need Chris to pull out these 3 tree saplings…

Chain and truck and pulling of rootballs later, I am ALMOST happy.  If I could just get this project done tonight I would feel so much better.  I explain to Chris that I need him to replace the bulb on our lawn light, because I will surely be planting while he and Ava eat dinner.  Chris reluctantly replaces aforementioned bulb and I can FEEL his hesitation. He decides to till up the ground for me, so I won’t be outside after dark. He’s rushing me. I need this time to work out everything…I start placing irises in a row, and pulling the trenches dirt back over the bulbs.  Chris says something about lining the bulbs up, since I have uprooted nearly two hundred. He starts lying them in the trench ahead of me and I work hurriedly to catch up.  Damn it, no! I need this. His rushing is making me anxious and making things worse. I explain that and have him pull all the prior placed irises out of the trench.  I finish planting the irises  and then see more I forgot to move. I dig them up and dig new holes with the shovel to complete my driveway edging.  I am finally pleased. I see the laid out hydrangeas and think “if only I could get those in the ground tonight” and pace for several minutes until I decide it’s something best left for tomorrow morning.

I come inside to find a very muddy and happy Ava in the bath tub. I’m glad she likes digging in the dirt as much as I do.  I’m talking to Chris about the irises when it hits me, “I’m manic” I said out loud. We go over my usual manic behaviors: spending money like its water, grandiose multitasking and never ending projects…check, check and check.  Fuck.  So, here I am again.  Typing for three hours what it’s like to be in my brain for 48 hours of mania.

I hope that if you’ve made it this far you can see how crazy my crazy gets.  I imagine it’s how a drug addict feels when they are high, if they could just get the NEXT high, they would be happy.  Such is my life, if I could only get, buy, own, plant, do something else, I would be happy.

I plan on using these next few days of mania to crank out 80 lbs of soap and finish my breastfeeding book so I’m at least harnessing the crazy in for productive purposes.  I know all too soon there will come the crash where I can’t even get out of bed for weeks, so I try to take full advantage of the mania before the depression kicks in.

So yeah, there’s your glimpse into the manic mind…it only gets more scrambled from this point.  So if you see me, please be a little extra kind. I’m working through some major shit right now.

XoXo-

April

 

 

La Vie Boheim

I’ve been bi-polar since I was fourteen. That’s 20 years of being “crazy”. For most of my teens, twenties and early thirties, my medication was either not properly managed or I just wasn’t taking it, which meant I was manic a lot.  It also meant I was depressed and unable to function a lot. There were obvious patterns in my behavior and life that attested to that fact. Two rushed marriages, changing jobs frequently (about once a year, other than bar tending, which I always fell back on) and maintaining crazy hours (there’s the bar tending again, lol) which only further exacerbated my condition. 

Tonight, I had to do something I haven’t had to do in a long time. I had to write a letter of intent.  I had to sit down, and try to explain why I want to be a doula. I had to try to remember my erratic work history (my hard drive crashed, bye-bye resume!). I did a horrible job of trying to explain how the day of Ava’s birth impacted me, how grateful I was to my support staff (I’m looking at you, Tashanita Mitchell), and how I wanted to share the wonderous experiences that I’ve had with others. I fell short. I didn’t explain myself well. I have an interview tomorrow. Hopefully, I will make up for my lackluster performance tonight.

 But there’s something else, I completely omitted the fact that I am bipolar from that letter. And now, I’m regretting it. At the time, I thought it was best to just explain my condition in person, explain that I’m on meds that are working now, and that I’m eager to try to re-enter the workplace again. It’s been three years since I’ve had a job. Three years since I last went down the rabbit hole, and slowly crawled myself out of it. But I’m feeling strong now.  I don’t feel as though life has its foot on my neck anymore. And I’m proud of that. I feel like had I written about being bipolar and actually living with it, instead of suffering from it, I might have better explained all those changes in jobs, in schools, in life. 

A big part of me held back that information out of fear of judgement. When most people hear someone is bipolar they immediately run in the other direction. I didn’t want to let my prospective employer judge me before she met me. I didn’t want to enter the room with assumptions already made, and my future already determined. Truth be told, I am proud of the progress I have made in the last three years. Being pregnant changed me, I finally felt still. Raising Ava has taught me more about compassion than anything else in my life. I have learned more, watching her little face and listening to her sounds than I ever learned in my formal education. I’m re-reading my college textbook from Developmental Psychology and actually becoming engrossed in it, rather than just memorizing it.  I am so excited to take this postpartum doula certification class in March. In fact, I wish I knew how to afford the Labor doula class too, but that’s just not possible right now, as it’s an addional $575 and I’m already begging people to help me pay for the postpartum class. 

I feel this deep need to help people again. I miss the rush of making someone else’s life better. And I feel like I can do this in a healthy way (read: not the stressful, panic inducing car sales way) by becoming a doula. I feel like it would suit my life, and let me be ever present in Ava and any future offspring’s lives without compromising a career (traditionally with standards set by non-caregivivers).  I feel as though being part of this community, with ideals based upon wellbeing and centered around women and children will do my soul well. I’ve been looking for a way to be purposeful again, and I feel as though I may have found it. 

I’m not making any calls on how tomorrow’s interview will go, but I’m asking for your thoughtfulness and your prayers tonight. Please keep me in your hearts tomorrow.  I’m taking a pretty big leap and could use all the help I can get. Thanks in advance! 

-April

Mein kampf mit dem Stillen

So you know how you can only be in a relationship for so long until you start wishing that the grass on the other side wasn’t looking quite as green as it seems? Well, I’m there. After six months, I’ve reached a place in my relationship with breast-feeding that I’m looking longingly at other routes. I have so many reasons to keep breast-feeding and it makes my reasons for not seem so petty. I know in the long run it’s what’s best for Ava. She’ll have a better immunity, be smarter and have a higher IQ, and there are even studies that show that she could be more compassionate and have greater socialization skills. My reasons for wanting to quit are pretty selfish. My boobs hurt. Ava is starting to bite down. She’s also really gotten into pinching,  which is apparently great fun for her back hurts like hell for me. I’m tired of my wardrobe revolving around the question “Can I breast-feeding this?”.  A girl can only own so many surplice, blouson, or wraparound maxi dresses before her inner fashionista dies. And I’m ready to start my new diet which includes supplements that I can’t take while I’m breast-feeding. So I’m just sitting here with all this extra baby weight on me still staring at these bottles and formula. I need some advice. I need words of wisdom. I need opinions that aren’t my own. So please weigh in on this for me, I’d really appreciate it.  

Oh hello, mental illness! I didn’t see you standing there.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything, and a lot has changed. My daughter, Ava Elizabeth was born on December 3rd, 2014 via the easiest labor ever. I didn’t get my Gatorade or chocolate chip cookies like I wanted, lol. I did get pintocin and my mom was there for the whole shebang. Since her birth, Ava has been the easiest, most chill baby ever.  I mean, seriously, we have had two tough days.  I do know how lucky I am.  She sleeps through the night, is breastfeeding like a champ, and is hitting all of her milestones early! I haven’t had any post-partum depression, and my anxiety has been manageable.  I have, however, had some manic days lately.

My mania always rears its head in the Spring. I don’t know why, but it’s like clockwork. Two years ago, I planted the entire lawn and garden section of two Lowes stores in my yards. That was obvious, not only to everyone around me, but even I was like “oh shit!” by the time I was finished. God only knows how much money I spent landscaping this place, and how many hours I spent digging in the dirt. Chris made me come in at midnight one night, I was that “in the zone”.  Times like that, when I’m being productive and I feel high from all the crazy, it’s hard for me to take my meds. I feel so good, and I’m knocking out so much shit it’s, well, insane.  I love that feeling. It’s addictive. But then come the days when I can’t even get out of the bed, and I realize my great days before were actually my sickness.

  The bad days are easy to spot.  It’s those high days that sneak up on me, and subsequently bite me in the ass. I just realized tonight that I’ve been manic for almost a week. It started out, as it usually does, with an excessive shopping trip.  $400 at SAMs later, and I could feed an army. At least this time I bought something useful.  In that shopping trip, I bought a huge bag of lemons. Once I was home I started in on Pinterest, pinning every lemon recipe known to man.  Yesterday, I started making everything I pinned. after the citrus dessert frenzy,  I made a bunch of soap, and put the baby to bed. I laid here for hours, not sleeping. My mind was racing. I finally passed out once I started seeing double. 

  Ava and I slept until almost noon.  Another red flag that I missed, frankly, because sleeping is uncharacteristic for me while I’m manic. Then I got the call that Squirrel Soaps was officially in Etsyfest, which was in two days. This is where my mania kicks in for good uses.  220 bars of soap later, I was prepared and ready to go but exhausted.  Having my life come in waves like this, It’s almost certain that I’ll see a pattern. Some days it hits me like a ton of bricks, and others it sneaks in the back door. 

17 weeks and counting…

10371757_10203827559351014_550165643664430635_nSo fast forward a bit from my last post, and guess what?  You were all right.  I’ve started feeling this pregnancy and not just feeling sick.  Hallelujah!  If you follow me on Facebook, then you know that I have been reading a lot of pregnancy books.  I’m doing this for two reasons. 1. I find it fascinating all the changes that my body is going through, growing this little alien and 2. It seriously has taken the place of my Xanax.  Freaking out?  Read a book.  Worried about labor?  Read a book.  Got heartburn so bad you could be mistaken for a fire-breathing dragon?  Take your ass to Wal-Mart at 1 am for some peppermint Tums. Reading will do you no good here.  At least I’m learning.

A lot has changed over the past few weeks, including my shape.  I am officially showing and no longer looking like I just had a major bout with Twinkies.  As distended as I am, it’s better than just looking fat.  I’ll take a baby belly over a beer gut any day. Other things that are new, we heard the baby’s heartbeat.  A heartbeat of 155!  That little thing was ticking!  If you’re into old wives tales, this might let you know that we could be having a girl.  Heart rates above 140 are usually attributed to females.  But. that could also be a crock of shit and I could just have a really excited Henry growing inside of me right now. Also, we got back the VERY good news that the kiddo doesn’t have any chromosomal abnormalities, which is awesome.  I really wasn’t looking forward to an abortion, so it’s a major relief for me.   Think what you will of that last statement.  Go ahead, judge me.  I am not prepared financially, physically, or emotionally to raise a child with chromosomal issues.  I know that. Now you do, too.  Moving on…

Things I’ve figured out that I am neurotic about and absolutely do not want to deal with as a pregnant lady/giver of life/mother of the decade…episiotomies.  Seriously, if I thought perineal massage would actually help I would be elbows deep in EVOO.  Pitocin- is this just the nice name for devil juice that makes contractions even worse than originally advertised.  Lochia.  In all seriousness, how did I make it to 32 years of age without knowing that you BLEED and I mean heavy bleeding, for 8 weeks postpartum.  Just the thought of not being able to use a tampon and having to sit on a nasty ass pad for 56 days is enough to make me sick.  I can’t even imagine.  Ugh.  The next few things have me questioning my ability as a mother at all.  Like, what if I throw up on my child?  Really.  The umbilical STUMP.  Just by calling it a stump already incites my gag reflex.  So this half-crusty, half-squishy THING is going to be dangling off of my kid’s stomach for approximately 2 weeks. And I have to wash it, and keep it dry, and not let it gross me out every time I look at my precious bambino.  Baby teeth.  Literally anyone that knows me knows how terrified I am of small teeth.  It’s completely irrational, and makes almost about as much sense as my heart-attack inducing fear of tangled hangers.  Mommy dearest, anyone?  But really, they are destined to wiggle and bleed and hang on by a meaty little string and I hate them.  I’m seriously afraid I might throat punch my child the first time he or she shows me a loose bottom tooth.  What the hell is wrong with me? LOL

All those perfectly sensical fears aside, I am starting to form a birth plan…like that’s ever gone the way a woman wanted it to.  So far I only have a few major points figured out and most of them make me out to be an asshole.

1.  I do not want to be induced under any for-seeable and medically forgivable instance.  I know I don’t really have that much control over this, but just feeling like I can say no to longer labor and pitocin makes me feel better, ok?

2. I do not want an episiotomy if AT ALL possible.  Literally, I would rather let ‘er rip than deal with the healing process of being cut hole to hole.  Again, not much I can do about this one, but I’m a control freak and just having it on my list makes me feel better.

3.  And this is the mother of all asshole moves.  I don’t want my mother in the same room with me while I’m pushing.  She’s a great lady, and she always means very well, and does everything she can to take care of me.  So why don’t I want her around?  Because I am a cunt when I am in pain.  Emotionally or physically.  I have this nasty habit of wanting to share the misery and make everyone around me feel like shit when I feel like shit, so I say mean things, or just act like a complete brat.  And my mom, God love her, is usually the closest in proximity when I start spewing.  Under no circumstances do I want to hurt my mother’s feelings on the day she becomes “Nanny Cheryl”.  It should be a miraculous day for her, not spent wondering why the hell she gave me life in the first place.  So I’ve decided to remove her from my line of fire. This is going to hurt her feelings.  I know it will. but it will save me and her some major heartache in the long run, so I’m banishing her for her own good.

4.  I want three simple things in the room with me.  Gatorade, chocolate chip cookies, and my husband.  I hate water.  I dread having to drink the crap on a daily basis. So only the looming threat of ice chips could seem worse.  I want my red drank and orange drank along for the ride.  Now the seriousness of my hatefulness  when uncomfortable is only magnified by hunger.  So, in preparation for the pushing, I’m going to need a little snack.  And just because my mother can’t be in the room doesn’t mean I want to go without her fresh baked goodies on the big day. As for my husband, the way I see it, he contributed to this little fiasco so he deserves to see how ugly it’s really going to be.

5.  I would like my labor to go as follows, early labor comes and I eat my cookies and drink my gatorade.  I get a big fancy epidural that takes away every ounce of even imagined pain. I dilate  without medical assistance.  My water breaks on its own.  I become fully dilated in record time.  I have a pleasant vaginal delivery without interventions from vacuums, or forceps.  My kid is spectacular and aces his/her Apgar scores.

Now, as you can see, this is all very well thought out and carefully planned, so I’m fully expecting my body and my fetus to live up to these standards.  Yeah, right.  I will probably have the most excruciating back labor for 37 hours that will lead to an emergency c-section.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?

I have another doctor’s appointment in 3 weeks, where we get to see our little bugger again.  This is also the most annoying time in my mother’s life, because she knows we COULD find out the sex (just for her) but we aren’t.  It aggravates the crap out of her, which why I think I enjoy it so much. LOL.

In unrelated but still important news, my depression has been nil.  I think staying on my meds regardless of the chance of birth defects was totally worth it.  I feel great, I’m sleeping well, and I’m actually pretty pleasant most of the time.  I don’t see my shrink again for another 2 months, and I’m pretty excited about that.  This is the longest (it will be 6 months total) that I have gone without seeing him, and it’s a big relief to not feel the need to schedule him in every month.

All in all, I can’t complain.  Things are going really well, and I’m feeling really lucky now that the nausea is all gone.  I’m just waiting to feel the flutter of this kiddo moving around.  Then it all becomes really real.  Don’t worry, I’ll let you know as soon as it happens!  Thanks for keeping up with “us”.

 

The Begining of Pregnancy and Being Bi-Polar Questions

So, hey y’all.  My last post about losing weight was posted on the day I got pregnant, so you can guess how well that is going.  LOL.  Needless to say, I’m not on Adipex, or a lot of my other medicines anymore.  The transition to life without anti-anxiety meds (Xanax and Ativan) has been interesting,  I’m trying to lay as low as possible so nothing triggers me, and that is working so far.  Except for the sickness.  That sends me right into a tizzy.  I’m down to taking only 60 mg of Prozac and 120 mg of Geodon daily. Oh, and Zofran and a Pre-Natal vitamin with DHA.  So, my meds are in order for now, and at least that is settled. What’s not settled though is, I think, a bigger deal.

So, I’m pregnant.  That’s great.  It’s what I wanted.  So why am I not thrilled?  Let me back that up.  I’m not upset that I’m pregnant.  Nor am I enthralled.  I just AM.  I don’t know if numb is the best to describe the feeling or just absent of joy?  I just thought that I would instantly feel this connection, this adoration for the fetus, and I don’t.  I don’t feel pregnant aside from the vomiting.  Is that weird?  I wouldn’t say I’m in denial or anything.  It just hasn’t hit home yet, I guess.  Trying to work through this is tough.  The med change certainly doesn’t make me feel better.   I feel like I should feel bad for feeling this way, but I don’t.  I’m not excited about shopping for baby things or maternity wear.  Honestly, I dread the clothes shopping,  My body is something I was unhappy with to start, so this obviously doesn’t help things.  I am worried about how my body will change, and if it will ever be thin again.  Not that that REALLY matters, but you know, it matters.

SO, this is my question.  Am I alone in feeling this way?  Is this disconnect normal until you have a sonogram and then it all becomes real?  I just can’t argue with how this pregnancy is changing my feelings, and not changing them at the same time.  I have an appointment with my shrink soon, and something tells me talking to a middle aged man about this isn’t really going to offer me any transformational advice, lol.  Should I be concerned about this?  Or am I just over-thinking the situation?    Obviously, I want to be a great mother or not one at all, andI am already a bundle of worry.  Please don’t tell me what you think I want to hear.  Tell me the truth.  Should I be concerned, or should I just relax?  Thanks for helping me along this journey.  

221.  That can’t be right.  I have never weighed so much in my life, even when I was “fat” before.  I have tried eating right, working out, changing meds 4 times to stop the weight from packing on, but it has been relentless.  My body is shaped like that of a pregnant woman.  I feel bloated and uncomfortable most days.  I’m changing this. I’m now on Adipex, which I lost 60 pounds with my prior experience..  This time, my goal is to lose 80 pounds.  141 is my goal weight.  But more so than a number, I want my figure back.  Fortunately, I just started modeling again, so rather than in cheesy mirror pics, I will be posting my transition through the art of some serious talent.  I couldn’t be more ready to be “me” again.  Wearing a size 8 rather than a 16.  And most importantly, finding myself again through the curves.  Day 1…10245565_10203378874776877_332836261_n