I suppose a trigger warning is needed, so if you are in a bad place, click away.
Cleo as an octopus
The State of My Mind. It all started as my maternity leave wound down and I had to get back to working and prepping for that stupid audit. I won't go into the details about it all, but it stressed me out. I could not stop thinking about all the things the company needed (and really, lets be honest, still needs) to do. We passed the audit (thank god) and I had a small breather before I had to pretty much overhaul much of our health and safety program for the legislation change. The audit was in January, the legislation change was in April. I had about 6 pages of to-do lists taped up all over my "office" area. Once again, I could not stop thinking about all the things that needed to be done. Add to that an irresponsible supervisor who expected me to be his personal secretary (ugh) and a bunch of fuckwits (in their 60s-70s) who bully the shit out of each other and then come bitching to me about it (with bosses who won't do shit about the situation because they don't think they should have to, because adults should behave like adults- to which I call bullshit, since when do adults actually behave like adults??)...ugh, here I go, digressing....anyway, I started to dream about quitting that job. So I did. I waited until after harvest, after I went out of town with the Moose and the Bubs (during which time I received annoying emails from work expecting me to do something about this other situation- yeah, ain't happening), and after the boss got back from his holiday. Then I quit.
It was a bit stressful because money was starting to get tight, but we were finally able to access an investment and a few months ago we paid of the mortgage and we are in a much better position now. We still have to be a little careful, since we are living off of only one income, but things are a lot less tight now.
And I am still on the payroll, still giving advise to the boss's wife (who took over my job), still giving advise to a client, and still expected to help out a bit. I am mostly ok with this, because I will choose how much of my time and sanity to give. As far as I am concerned, I am done, really. People may pick my poor disorganized brain, but I am not putting in the effort.
Anyway, quitting felt good. It felt brilliant actually. BUT. My brain didn't stop. It replaced work with other things. Things like what if the car went off the road into the river? How would I get Bubs out of the backseat and her carseat, how would I break the window, get the Moose out, etc etc. I am terrified of drowning or being trapped under water (yes I can swim, no I don't enjoy being under the water though). It got to the point where some days washing my face in the shower would just about leave me choking. And it isn't just that situation. We are expecting a major earthquake here sometime in the next 50 years or so (a magnitude 8) and the longer it takes to happen the worse it will be. I am still working on building up our supplies, working out our strategies, etc. I think this is useful and something I need to do, but not something I need to lie awake about all night freaking out about. Especially when instead of thinking of a list of first aid supplies our kit should have, I am busy trying to figure out if Bub's cot can handle the ceiling coming down on it.
The state of the world was also affecting me. Trump and Brexit and driver-less cars and drones and more sleepless nights. I've unfollowed many people on facebook to limit my exposure to some of the vitriol. There is a ban on current events as a topic with my parents (who thankfully aren't Trump supporters- but that is only because they don't like his personality) after I had to explain to my mother why god doesn't belong in public schools and the whole perceived "ban on Christmas" business. My mother raised us outside of the church and to not be religious, as an interesting side note. This is all very sad to me, and very stressful, and I honestly believe that the world our children will inherit is a worse one than the one we grew up in. Boo.
I have had some issues with anxiety in the past. Usually it comes to the surface once a year and I spend a few hours having an actual panic attack (or my version of one, complete with twitchy eyes, a racing pulse, speech of 500 words per minute and an inability to sit still). I burn it off and am usually ok. Other things, like public speaking or that sort I can just use visualization and breathing techniques to work my way through it, and I over-prepare (or occasionally under-prepare just for something different). This I couldn't cope with though. I would lay awake, waiting for Bubs to wake up so I could pull her into bed with me and cuddle her and maybe get a few hours of sleep. During the day I would find myself nearly paralyzed and unable to do much of anything except attend to Bubs needs.
I spoke with my doctor about this (while there for another reason) and she pretty much just told me to google cognitive behavior therapies. Thanks, doc. Maybe I should lose some weight too, since that is obviously the cause of all ills (d'ya hear the sarcasm?). Doctor aside, I decided to try this first. I don't want to go to therapy, and I am just the kind of analytical enough to give it a go. Mostly, most of the time, this is working for me. I am feeling much better now. I can sleep. I can function. Maybe more daylight and warmer weather have helped too, but I feel much more alive and human now.
The State of the Bubs. Right now she is picking through her dinner with the help of a bic pen, but hey, she may actually eat some of it so she can keep the damn pen. She is a fussy fussy eater. And getting molars, which doesn't help. I could bang on and on about this, but she is growing (at 16 months she is still the size of some of the 12 month-er's we meet) and the doc isn't concerned.
She is sleeping in her cot now. At least until the middle of the night when she wakes up and I bring her into bed with the us. Some nights, maybe one in three, she sleeps the whole night. This is such an improvement. And mostly due to the warming weather. She hates blankets with the fire of a thousand suns and kicks them off, gets cold and wakes up (despite the panel heater in her room). Our house is cold. Most NZ houses are cold. Such is life. I hope she can learn to love the blankets though.
Still waiting for her to start using words. She talks alot, but in her own language. She is quite good at getting her point across anyway, and she understands a lot more than it appears, but still nothing. She will "mamamamama" and "dadadada" but not necessarily meaning mama and dada. Since she is quite happy to babble along I am not worried yet. She will start in her own time (and she gets a 2 month lee-way for milestones).
She is the cutest thing ever, and when not teething she is wonderfully delightful. She does have tantrums like nothing else when she doesn't get her own way/isn't allowed to eat catfood/dirt/play with electrical outlets, etc. When she is teething the tantrums come damn near constant. I am sure this is all normal. What I have a problem with are the tantrums around my cooking. Anytime I try to prepare a meal (if the Moose isn't home especially) she clings to my legs, tries to push me out of the kitchen and screams at me. I ignore her, or try to distract her with a toy or tv (the one time of day I turn it on in desperate hopes that she will actually sit down and let me cook!). Sometimes this works, sometimes she screams at me for half an hour +. This has been going on for months and is driving me a wee bit mental. I am hoping it is a phase and soon it will end.
The State of the Moose. I should do an entire post on how Bubs makes a better bedfellow (snoring, cold feet, etc), but I am not going to- this is getting long enough and it has taken me 3-4 sessions so far just to get this far. Lets just say marriage is hard enough, and it is even harder with a toddler in the picture. But we are surviving and still happy to be with each other. One quick story- I asked him to watch Bubs for a few minutes while I put some laundry away- she was playing in the doorway and he was a few feet away on the sofa (sliding glass door = our front door). Our bedroom looks out on the veranda a short distance from the door, so I peeked out the window at Bubs. She saw me and came over to see me, so I picked her up through the window and she and I put a few socks away. No sound from the Moose (who was looking at some papers). So I called out "Bubby, where are you? I haven't heard you for a few minutes, what are you up to?" and within 20 seconds the Moose takes up the call, looks up and realizes she is gone. He booked it out the door and was heading down the veranda towards the drive (which we share with two other houses) when we popped out of the window and said "Boo!". He was not impressed, but I think he learned his lesson.
Trigger warning number 2... I am guessing you can guess where this is going so if you want to look away do so now.
The State of the Uterus. I am 18 weeks pregnant today. We got lucky on our second cycle attempt for number 2. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, mostly in regards to what I would say on this blog, what this means, and how I identify myself. I didn't expect this to happen so quickly.
It took us 2 years to get Bubs. 2 years. It took 2 months to get pregnant again. I don't know what this means exactly. I am not infertile (as we proved with Bubs) but I think I am not sub-fertile either. I don't know what I am exactly, but I do know that this blog is no longer appropriate considering the original purpose.
I identify more closely with being a mum to a preemie and a pre-eclampsia survivor than I do with in/sub-fertility, and I have for some time. The 6 weeks in the NICU and the experience with pre-eclampsia have coloured my life far more than the 2 years of TTC. I think blogging here, in the early pre-Bubs days (and during that pregnancy), and even more importantly reading other blogs and interacting with other bloggers has given me an insight that probably most fertile women do not have. I choose my words more carefully when talking to women about babies, TTC, etc and I am careful not to be an obnoxious social media poster (oh, good lord, someone the other day tagged my pregnant cousin with a "tag a pregnant woman who is beautiful" type thing and I felt annoyed on behalf of all women who will see crap like that and find it hurtful). I will be forever understanding of the struggles of so many, and I will do what I can (even though it may be little more than listen and acknowledge) to help (if I could knock you all up, I would) and I will never ever tell anyone to "just relax" or "just adopt" or any of those annoying, ignorant, hurtful things.
I do realize that I cannot wrap cotton wool around everyone, and that my words, actions, or mere existence may cause pain to some. For that I am sorry, but I feel I should give this blog some closure as opposed to simply disappearing from it without a word. My plan is to include one more post- on the conclusion of this pregnancy. I will leave that post up for a few weeks (or longer if I forget) and then I will probably delete this blog. I don't think it will be that helpful for women starting out on their own journeys- I was blogging for such a short time before I got pregnant with Bubs. If I don't delete it, I might just have a one post abridged version of our story. I am still waffling a bit on what to do. I do know that I won't be blogging anymore, here or elsewhere. I just don't have the time, or the words. Sometimes I have ideas, things I want to put out there...but I just can't. Maybe one day in the future. Probably the distant future.
So this isn't quite goodbye for now, or maybe for good (I am still reading blogs and commenting when I get the chance). See you in a few months.
In case anyone is wondering, a few (interesting?) things from this pregnancy (look away if you need to, this is wrapping up this long long post so there is no reason to hang around)
- I have a "good chance" of making it to 34 weeks this time before pre-eclampsia hits me again (personal goal is 36 weeks).
- I lost nearly 10 kg in 6 weeks before getting preggers. With Bubs I also dropped some weight before we conceived her. Don't know if there is something to this. (No, I was not losing weight in any sort of healthy way- extreme calorie counting goes hand in hand with someone attempting to feel in control of something)
- I was breastfeeding up until I was 8 weeks pregnant. I had no burny stabby nips until about a month after Bubs was weaned. A perk to breastfeeding while pregnant I guess? Weaning, by the way, was fine for the first two days, then I felt like I was hit by a truck for about 3 days, then I felt better. No idea. Bubs took to weaning just fine.
- BBT charting was showing that my body kept trying to ovulate and just took a few days to get there, even after the fertile cm disappeared. So every dip in temps resulted in a bonk, even if I thought perhaps ovulation had already happened.
- No puking again, but nausea was pretty rough, and it is still hanging around a few times a week.
- My midwife (same as before) is 6 weeks more pregnant than I am...if I make it to 34 and she goes to 40, we could have our babies at roughly the same time. I find this amusing.
- No bleeding this time (yet) and my blood pressures are on their way down towards mid pregnancy.
- I am on 100mg aspirin and calcium supplements. I have a doc and a midwife.
- One and only beta draw at 12dpo was rather high (500+) and I was freaked out about twins for awhile. No twins, only one Bubs.
- Every beer I have ever had in my life is on display- I look heaps more pregnant than I am but it is all jiggly beer belly. I am still in non-maternity clothes somehow and I have only gained 2kgs (about 5lbs). I don't know how this is possible. *I have been stone cold sober since before conception- part of the calorie cutting. I miss beer.
- I suspect this is actually my uterus getting excited and wanting another chance to try to kill me again.