Archive for the ‘Orthodoxy’ Category

Pause

There have been good days. There have been bad days. The bad days have been really really bad. I’m struggling with burnout. Hubster gone 17 hours a day just sucks. I think I’m seeing signs of my depression history creeping back. At least I know what to look out for. In some ways, it feels like delayed post partum depression.

It used to be when Seedling cried I had these mommy instincts to want to soothe her. Now I feel rage and frustration mounting. I’ve yelled at her. Yelled at a 6 month old. Completely stupid. I’ve had to put her down in a safe spot and walk away for fear I would accidentally hurt her.

This is not what I pictured when I pictured being a parent.

I mean, I knew it wouldn’t be all sunshine and roses, but this RAGE is unexpected. Since I can’t unleash at Seedling it tends to come out at Hubster. So take bad mom and add on a heap of bad wife.

Sure, there is lots going on. The travel to California, the move, and somewhere along the way Seedling became a rolling machine and so I’m having to take into account baby proofing now.

I think the idea of her autonomy is scaring me. It used to be she would stay put. But she’s becoming her own person, and while that is great and important, beautiful and normal, it is also scary. Scary as I watch my friends (who are great parents) struggle with battles of wills with their three year olds, these little people who have their own alien senses of logic that don’t make any sense to our adult logic.

I’ve been stress eating. I can literally see the weight gain in the last month when I look in a mirror. I’m scared for myself, for my health, feeling completely out of control. I can eat a full meal and ten minutes later my brain is saying “you’re hungry! Eat! EAT! EEEAAATTT!!!” I’m worried about being healthy to be around and active with my daughter, worried that my food addiction will mess up her own food associations, worried that if I can’t get my weight down I won’t have a shot at more kids (I highly suspect weight played a big part of my infertility)

Add to the cupcake of rage, the icing of eating addiction, and the cherry on top of it all? Hubster got laid off work on Friday. Turns out the plant has some budget issues and had to shut down until they confirmed some funding stuff. Taking us from a single income family to a no-income family. Thanks be to God we still have a little money left in his trust account. The silver lining is he gets time with Seedling. I will get a little (much needed!) help around here. He also now has time to job hunt. (He hated his job but between work and school there really wasn’t time to job hunt effectively)

About the only thing that helps is taking the time to pray. I love that in Orthodoxy there are prayers for everything. Morning, afternoon, evening, meals, prayers just because I am having a rough moment. I just need to actually make/take the time to pray. Because when I do, it makes a huge difference in the feelings of anxiety, depression, rage…

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy!

Midnight Mumblings

Oh it’s been so long *sigh*.

– Last weekend Seedling was baptized into the Eastern Orthodox Church. It was so beautiful and moving, and I am so excited to share pictures with you all!

– Seedling is going through a growth spurt… Or something. Her sleep rhythm is all out of whack, she has been heart-breakingly cranky… Spending most of her time in the Ergo, frequent small-snack feedings. We are running on low, broken sleep. I’m just hoping we are on the upslope and on our way out of it…

– Hubster found a job! We are very excited to be able to pay our bills… But admittedly it comes with mixed emotions. With him being in school full time, he misses plenty, but he’s been able to spend time with Seedling in the morning. So far he has been having “Father-Daughter” day when I work on Saturdays. See, with Hubster covering Saturdays and my mom watching Seedling on Fridays, I only have to pay for daycare one day a week. Let me break down the math for you:
Daycare 1 day a week $200 a month.
Gas for a month about $160 a month.
My paycheck for a month about $400 a month.
So… Not a lot of wiggle if I have to pay for another day of daycare. But Hubsters new job? Full time, mornings Monday through Saturday. Which means I’m trying to figure out who will watch Seedling on Saturdays… I have some short term options with friends and family but nothing that will work long term… Also that means Hubster will go back to being home for about 5 or 6 hours. It breaks my heart he will miss out on time with Seedling. But also really overwhelming to think it will be back on me to take care of Seedling. I have gotten used to having Hubster be able to give me the occasional helping hand. I think back to when Seedling was first born and Hubster was working and going to school…. That was so hard. But I wasn’t working then. Now I’m working on top of it. It feels like too much. But I can’t just quit… What if Hubsters job doesn’t work out? We need me to have something to fall back on… It’s all just very complicated. I’m not explaining it very well. Low on sleep. Highly emotional. My daughter is fussing and needs some snuggles, so I’ll unpack it all, more, better, later.

All that matters is that I have a daughter to snuggle. The rest will work itself out. Right? Right.

A little more level headed

Thank you all for the outpouring of support. I can’t tell you all what it means to me!!!!!!!!! I live this community *warm fuzzy*

I will put in another call to LLL today. Yesterday (Sunday) ended up being quite crazy day. We didn’t sleep well, Saturday night, then overslept and rushed out the door to get to church. As this was my first visit back to church since Seedlings birth there was a “Churching” where the priest comes back and says prayers over the newborn in the Narthex (entrance) which was very sweet… After liturgy was over everyone wanted to see the new addition during coffee hour. It was heartwarming to realize how many people have been thinking about us and praying for us ‚̧

Then home to pump and feed Seedling. Yesterday I didn't try to nurse much – I wanted to compare how much I was producing (about 1ounce per breast per feeding for a rough total of 2 ounces) compared to how much Seedling wanted to eat (about 3 to 4 ounces per feeding… Although at one feeding she readily ate 5 ounces!). So now I know I have a deficit of about 2 ounces.

Then to the grocery store… Needed some basic food items and wanted to see what my formula options were. I had been feeding a free sample of Similac but didn't feel very comfortable with a lot of the ingredients… Found an organic formula at the store to try, I just wish it was milk only without soy, but I couldn't find an organic formula that didn't contain soy! (There are a lot of concerns about what soy does to the estrogen levels…) but at least I can pronounce most of the ingredients in this formula so I don't feel as anxious if she is having it as part if her nutrition.

Then back home… Tried to get some napping in, but Seedling had slept all through church and most of the grocery experience, so I only got a little. But, when we gave in to the fact that she was awake and had play time/tummy time, she reached out and grabbed her toy for the first time!!! She has done some reaching before, but this was the first reach-and-grab, and I’m so glad Hubster got to witness it!

The next amazing thing? She slept from 8:30pm to 3am… I didn’t get up to pump after my 9pm pumping, which hurt my boobs and will impact my supply… But after the serious lack of sleep, stress and emotionalism, MAN did it feel good, great, better than sex to get 6 hours of sleep!

I’m a new woman who can handle anything now!

Picture of Seedling with her links she grabbed ūüėÄ

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Christmas in Review, and more Signs and Symptoms!

So far, still pregnant, so Seedling can at least rest easy she will not have her birthday ON Christmas. Although, signs are looking good for sooner rather than later… (More on that later in the post)

We had a lovely Christmas yesterday. Yes, we are Orthodox and that means we sometimes celebrate Holidays on different days but we still celebrate Christmas on the 25th ūüôā there are some Orthodox that follow the “old calendar” and celebrate Christmas in January, but those are churches mostly in Eastern Europe. To learn a little more about that and the “12 Days of Christmas” check out this link: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Days_of_Christmas

But back to our lovely day. Although it didn’t start out so lovely. Hubster threw his back out and literally could not get out of bed. Since I’ve seen him push through some pretty intense pains, it breaks my heart to see him so down. Especially on a important, celebratory Holiday! We made the decision that he should just stay home and I would go to my dads for brunch. I knew my emotions were just a bit on overdrive, feeling bad for Hubster home alone, worried my family would be upset/angry that Hubster wasn’t there, very aware of the humbleness of the gifts I was about to give… My family has always made a big deal out if the holidays, but Christmas seems to bring out the extravagant generosity… And usually means quite a bit of money spent in beautiful, wonderful, thoughtful gifts. We just didn’t have the money to reciprocate in quite the same way and I didn’t want anyone to feel that the smallness of the gifts in any way reflected a minimal love or thought… Anyway, I should have known my family would totally understand that things are tight for us right now. And everyone was very sweet and understanding about Hubster. My stepmom was scatter brained about getting brunch together, but that was the biggest hiccup. It was so wonderful to see my brother and his wife and their kids. The son is 3 and their daughter is 13 months, and this was the first time I got to meet my niece! It was just so great to spend time together, catching up and watching my dad play with his grand kids, watch my brother be a wonderful and fun father, watch my brother and his wife get to spend time together. (With my brother in the military, SIL has to function like a single mom a lot of the time.). Everyone got along without unnecessary family drama, everyone gave a lot of love, and a lot of loving, thoughtful gifts. I wish we could be together more often for moments like that.

Dinner was to be done with my mom. When she heard Hubster was out of commission she offered to pack up the entire dinner and presents and being them to our place. But after talking with Hubster some more we decided we should just go to her place. Since Hubster hadn’t moved most of the day he felt somewhat up to the idea of going out, and with his back out and me so pregnant there would be no one to help my mom carry all that stuff up the three flights of stairs to our apartment!

So we got into the car and drove over, all of Hubster’s gifts from my dad and brother still in the car. We got to my moms and between her and me we brought in the gifts and helped Hubster to a comfy spot on her couch. We started with cookies and tea and present opening. Much like my dad and brother she totally outdid herself, we really appreciate all the thoughtfulness and generosity with things we greatly wanted and needed. Dinner was delicious and casual, aside from the gun debate my mom and Hubster had… It was very civilized but they both hold to very opposite opinions and all I could think about was someone taking it too far and it blowing up, but it didn’t. (Just a side note… perhaps someday I will write a post about my feelings on guns, but today is not that day. The issue of guns is an emotional one for both sides and I recognize that all any of use want is to feel we and our families are safe. Please don’t turn the comments section into a place to air your opinions at this time). We had pie and eggnog and watched one of the many movies we reviewed, “My Fe.llow Amer.icans” which is a great satire about politics and makes fun of both parties, and seemed particularly timely after the political discussion over dinner.

Came home and was able to consolidate the mountain of gifts for as few trips as possible. (While at my moms she shared what I can only guess was prescription strength ibuprofen with Hubster so he was feeling quite a bit more mobile and was able to help). We fed the pets and went to bed. Last night was another frequent-trip-to-the-bathroom-night. This time with a little light pink “bloody show”. This morning it was a mix of light pink and a little brown. I’ve been continuing to have sporadic Braxton Hicks “uterine aches” but nothing very concrete. So I called up Doula P just to check in. We had a very nice chat and she said not to worry that contractions weren’t really happening. It could still be a while yet but these are all good signs my body is getting ready for labor. (Plus the softer stools I’ve been having). I had planned to run several errands but with the symptoms and the fact that I’m still working to get over a cold she advised me to stay home and try to nap since my sleep is all messed up. I’m in a weird place of being fidgety and restless but also tired so I have yet to be able to nap. Hoping that by typing this all up my brain will stop buzzing and allow me to sleep!

I hope you all had really wonderful holidays with lots of love with people you hold dear!

Time Flies When You Get Through Your To Do List…

Holy cow, another week gone! ¬†To sum up…

Sunday: After all the tragedies on the news, it was so wonderful go to church; to refocus and spend my morning in prayer. ¬†I haven’t spoken on here about the tragedies, and to be honest, I haven’t read anyone’s blogs posts about it. ¬†I’ve taken a hiatus from facebook. ¬†It’s not that I don’t care, it’s all just too heartbreaking and I can’t handle it. ¬†But church was amazing. ¬†A deep breath of fresh air (Well, technically,¬†incensed¬†air, but you know what I mean.) unfortunately Hubster was feeling sick and could not make it. ¬†Then we went to my cousin Blithe’s Christmas party. ¬†It was a small family affair, Blithe and his husband, and Blithe’s brother and sister (all of them are my cousins) and the sister’s boyfriend. ¬†My mom, Hubster and myself. ¬†We don’t get to see my cousins as much as I would like, but we were really close growing up and it’s always good to get to see them and catch up. ¬†And here is the 38 week bump shot from Sunday (in pajamas, it was a last minute thought before bed):

38 weeks

Working is getting more and more interesting. ¬†Monday I had some SERIOUS baby brain. ¬†I give you these 4 examples: (I’m sure there are more, but I’ve forgotten them ūüėČ ¬†)
-Asking a question… only to ask the same question of the same¬†person¬†15 minutes later.
-Highlighting the wrong thing in a chart (Well,¬†technically I highlighted the important part… but I also highlighted everything else. ¬†Oops.)
-Almost forgetting to take my cats home. ¬†(I had taken them in for the day… and I had to remind myself several times since I would sometimes I forget I had pets in the building)
-I left my checkbook out after making a payment on my account – thankfully a vet assistant grabbed it and waved it at me!

Tuesday: ¬†Went and learned how to install the car seat in the morning! ¬†It’s a little crazy to see a car seat in the back of my car… ¬†then errands and KNITTING! ¬†LIKE A FIEND! ¬†HOLY COW HOW WILL I GET IT ALL DONE?!?! *deep cleansing breaths*
And then we went and toured our hospital in the evening.
First of all, here is a picture of our hospital (taken from their brochure)
Hospital Brochure FrontYa.  I know.  What was the architect thinking???

But it’s a great hospital, the only one in the area that has giant tubs for water births and several other “progressive” policies like that. ¬†Here are some thoughts from the tour:

Hubster said last night that he is thinks the set up at the hospital is better than the birth center, which I thought was funny – I would have assumed he would have preferred the lake view and homey ambiance of the birth center but he is just like a little kid, so excited by the lights of the big city! (At one point I had to gently pull him away from the window so we could keep up with the rest of the tour group!) So Hubster is totally sold on the change.
My first thought was that the building reminded me of an airport terminal and the rooms (with the oval windows) like being on an airplane… (And I’m not such a great flyer) and even though I work around medical equipment all day I was a little overwhelmed to see it all out and EVERYWHERE in the rooms. On the other hand, I felt like all the staff we met seemed very nice and focused on their work.
This morning I’ve decided to NOT think of the building as resembling anything to do with planes, but to think of it like giving birth in the St.ar Tr.ek universe because, well, that’s the only other thing the building reminds me of. And since Hubster and I are fans of St.ar Tr.ek that makes it all seem a lot more fun. (And I decided that if you REALLY use your imagination, our doctor Dr.B ¬†kind of looks like Sulu…) ¬†The tub room we went into that is meant for water birth was HUGE, someday when we own our own home, I WANT THAT TUB! Even with a whole tour group, part of me really wanted to climb in and take it for a test drive (but don’t worry, I maintained self control!) ūüėÄ ¬†While on the tour we actually passed Dr.B in the hall and Doula P introduced us, but it was just a quick “hello” and then we had to go our separate ways. ¬†I sent out an email last night to my parents explaining the visitor protocols so hopefully there wont be any surprises for them on the day of delivery!

Today I went in and “officially” met Dr.B. ¬†Here are my thoughts:

It went really well, the nurse was super nice and asked if I wanted an internal check, and I figured since I haven’t really had one to go ahead and see what’s going on down there. Cervix is most definitely still closed and baby is still somewhat high. Although I have been having increased cervical mucus… which I know that is pretty normal up to a month before delivery. (Hubster will be bummed by the cervix news, when we got home last night he was so jazzed about the hospital and excited to meet Seedline he was really hoping she would come sooner rather than later.)
Oh, and the Strep B test I had done with Midwife N came back positive but the nurse assured me that an IV wont stop me from being able to get into the tub (hoping and praying one of the two tub rooms is available of course!) so we will just have to keep that in mind as far as how long we can labor at home. ¬†(Once my water breaks I have to be getting an IV of antibiotics to protect the baby from the bacteria of Strep B that is living in my nether regions – it’s fairly harmless to me, and the majority of women have the bacteria, but can pose a serious health risk to Seedling) Hopefully my water takes a while to break so we can get some progress done at home, but we will just have to wait and see!
Dr. B was surprised I have not had any ultrasounds since my 20 week scan, they did a short one today to confirm Seedling is head down (Yay!) but he wants me to go in tomorrow for a more up to date scan, he made several comments about how big he thinks the baby is. Silly doctors, getting all stressed about the size of the baby – as long as we can get her head lined up correctly, that’s all that matters! (I’ve known several small/short women give birth to large 9 and 10lb babies) ¬†But I’m such a sucker to get to see Seedling, I’m excited for more ultrasound fun tomorrow! Next appointment with the doctor is Friday the 28th. ¬†(Ok, admittedly, a little worried about the “big baby” comments that it might change how willing he is to let me try to deliver vaginally… but also just trying to stay focused on not freaking out, staying calm etc etc.)

Ran some errands on my way home (including purchasing a nursing bra – apparently you can’t get a super accurate ¬†fitting for one until 2 weeks after the baby is born and the milk has come in, but I figured getting one would be important for those two weeks, I just tried to get one that wasn’t *too* expensive and felt comfortable.) sent some emails, ate some lunch, typed this monstrosity up and now, to get on with MORE KNITTING!!!!!!! ¬†I’m really worried I wont get it all done in time, Christmas is less than a week away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trying to Live in the Present

Yesterday, as I found myself¬†complaining¬†about how my ankles are starting to swell, and I’m starting to get huge veins popping on my legs, I was suddenly really struck with a very humbling thought.

We have this pregnancy by the grace of God.

There is still no good, scientific explanation why, after 2+ years of infertility due to my body not ovulating, that it should suddenly,¬†sporadically¬†have worked. ¬†Especially when we only had sex once even remotely close to when I must have ovulated. ¬†As much as Hubster and I have had conversations about how many kids we want, future pregnancies, future children… there is NO¬†guarantee¬†I will ever be pregnant again. ¬†This pregnancy is SUCH a blessing.

As my 29th week is coming to a close, and week 30 is ahead of me on Sunday… that means I have approximately 10 weeks until this pregnancy is done. ¬†8 to 12 weeks. ¬†That is some crazy small numbers.

Have I appreciated this pregnancy enough?  Have I reveled in it enough?  Have I thanked God enough?

I really have to admit the answer is no. (Especially since my super-intense-tiredness has gotten me out of my usual routine of morning and evening prayers. ¬†It sounds so lame, but I’m just so fuzzy in the head that I forget! ¬†Until later in the afternoon or something.)

I just want to soak up Every Moment.  Every Kick.  Every Feeling.  I want to acknowledge this could very well be a Once.In.A.Lifetime.Experience.

Because for me, pregnancy was not a “means to an end” – if all we really cared about was having a baby, we probably would have looked harder into adoption or surrogacy. ¬†But I wanted the whole package, I wanted to feel my uterus grow¬†and¬†the baby move and as scared as I am, I am also really excited to experience laboring and delivering my baby.

I’m actually feeling kind of sad that the end is coming so quickly. ¬†Don’t get me wrong – I am SO impatient and excited to get to look at my little girl, hold her in my arms and see Hubster snuggle her, watch her grow, laugh and play. ¬†But I’m also just really sad that this time that I have right now is coming to a close. ¬†As much as I really enjoy my job, I kind of hate that I have to go to work and be distracted from this precious experience. ¬†I just want to stay home, focus on the movements in my tummy. ¬†Snuggle the doggies. ¬†Knit like crazy. ¬†Be all home-maker-ly.

As weird as it may sound, there is something… comforting in the fact of knowing that right now, I’m never alone. ¬†I can be driving to work, and this baby will kick, and I’ll smile and know I’ve got someone hanging out with me. ¬†I’ll sing along with the radio and know she’s listening. ¬†In a way, I wonder if it will seem “lonely” when she’s born?

There is a girl at my work, that when I started was really pregnant. ¬†One day I just didn’t see her anymore, and I heard she had had her baby, a boy. ¬†Yesterday I saw her back for the first time, so I asked her how her baby was doing. ¬†Of course, it’s always crazy busy, so it wasn’t a long conversation, but I expressed how quickly her 6 week leave had gone by, and she laughed and said that she had thought of coming back after 3 weeks. ¬†I didn’t say anything, I know that¬†lots of moms have a hard time with the newborn stage. ¬†But I was just flabbergasted. ¬†I’m so worried my 6 weeks is going to fly by and I’m going to be in a major meltdown about having to leave my baby.

But that’s all ahead of me. ¬†Right now, I’m just going to sit back and close my eyes and focus on the little nudges and wiggles inside me.

(And then frantically take a shower, get into scrubs, pack a lunch and book it to work. *sigh*)

Saying Goodbye, and Looking Ahead

Well, Thursday we had lots of snuggles, cuddles, kisses and pictures with Radar. He went peacefully and well loved. Hubster and I took turns comforting each other. Then I went and visited with Suzy for a little bit. It was a good distraction, hearing about her recent visit from her mom and trying to juggle being a mom of two now… Then came home. There were times I was really struck with the loss… Walking in and only seeing two doggy faces greeting me. Grabbing two leashes instead of three to walk the dogs. Only filling 2 bowls instead of 3 for meals. There were times the grief would come, and hit me suddenly. Jagged breathing, fat tears spilling over my eyes, and then just like a wave coming and going just as quickly, I was suddenly able to breath and see through dry eyes. And so I would let those grief waves come as they may. We are getting through this. Everyone has been so kind.
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Then Saturday we had our first baby shower, hosted by our Parish. It was actually in honor of me and three other women. (Another woman pregnant and due in a week, the other two recently gave birth to their babies) It was a great opportunity to get to know some other women in my parish, it was very wonderful.

I know usually this is where someone lists all the gifts they received, but of course when folks are coming to a party for multiple people the gift giving is less individualized. We basically were given several sweet cards with cash, but my hope is that after our next shower, we can look at what we need and get a few most important things. It really is perfect.
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We’re at week 29. According to Hubster’s calculations, we have 78 days to go (plus or minus 14 days…) which feels surprisingly short. I think back to when I found out we were pregnant and it feels like some other lifetime… So much has happened in the last 6 months! I just can’t get over what an unexpected blessing this conception was, or how smoothly the pregnancy has gone. I can’t take credit for any if it, I don’t think there’s anything I did to make this all happen. I’m just so grateful that it has happened.

And, because I forgot to post it previously: the bump shot taken last weekend at 28 weeks, the beginning of the third trimester!

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