Suddenly

We all grow up with people saying, either to you or about someone else, “Oh, when she gets older and her metabolism slows down, she will balloon up,” or “Just wait until you are older and your body changes.” When you hear these phrases, though, most young people think it will be a slow change. Something you don’t really notice because it happens over time.
Ha! Let me tell you, some of these changes seem to happen overnight. You go to bed one night, and the next day, its like POOF! The change happens.
Lets get personal here for a minute. Any guys reading this might want to close the window now, since we are talking periods.
For the last year and a half, I would bleed for 3 to 3 1/2 weeks, and I’m not talking a light spotting either, but a heavy bleeding. Then, four months ago, I started. So I went to the store and purchased the four boxes of sanitary products I usually use for a period. Three days pass with my normal heavy bleeding. The fourth day after work I go to change the cup, since they can be worn for 12 hours without leakage, so it lasts all day during work. It is empty!
I think, ok, this happens occasionally, I will go a day without bleeding during the 3 weeks, nothing abnormal for me about that. The next day, still no blood. A week goes by and it is starting to sink it. Did I really just have the shortest period of my life?
It has been this way for the last four months! I gotta say, this is one change I am ok with!

Jealousy

In general, I consider myself to not be a very jealous person. But, in this case, I just can’t help myself, and I think the issue is starting to effect my mental health.
Social media can be a wonderful thing at times, but at other times, it can be a disaster. I have been staying away from a friend’s facebook page because I feel myself slipping into depression and it is nothing against this friend, its not her fault, just as the issue is not my fault. I am working on letting go of the guilt and sadness the issue has caused. It’s a slow process, and I have to take it day-by-day.
What am I jealous of, you ask? I see all these beautiful families with multiple children and it pains me. I also see a mother who is celebrating the “last firsts” as she goes through the milestones of her last child’s first year.
I never got to celebrate and cherish those moments of knowing those were the last firsts. With Mini, I cherished the moments as the first firsts. The last-firsts are bittersweet for a mother, and celebrating them is a milestone for a mother, in many ways.
Mini’s firsts were bittersweet for us for other reasons, but we did not get to celebrate the “last firsts” with him because we planned on more children. My body, on the other hand, did not agree. Well meaning people continue to mention that we should be happy and thankful we have Mini and that he is our miracle child. Yes, he is, and we are very thankful for him and that he was born healthy, despite the complications that led to his birth, but those thoughts do nothing to help, they, in fact, make the mental state of a mother worse. We know how blessed we are to have been able to have Mini, we do not need constant reminders from well meaning people.
Those reminders are just reminders of what we do not have, the children we spent countless nights wishing for, planning for. Cowboy’s little Irish Princess, Mamma’s tiny dancer. The countless negative pregnancy tests, the tears and fears.
The sentiments are reminders of the heartbreak of yet another miscarriage. Most of all, the well meaning expressions of semi-sympathy are reminders of our girls. Of the two children we buried. The loss no mother should ever have to face.
People often ask how I can go on. They ask if one ever gets over the pain of that loss. To answer, I think Rose Kennedy said it best, “It has been said that time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind protecting its sanity covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens but it is never gone.”
Back to the original point of this post, though. How does one get over the jealousy and celebrate another’s “last firsts” as a friend? How does one get over the feeling of being robbed of their life’s dream? How does one sit back and be happy for peers who are just starting to build their families, or who are expanding their families, when one dies a little inside with every pregnancy announcement? How does one get back those bittersweet missed moments? Is it polite to tell the well-meaning friends that their sentiments reminding us of the blessing Mini is, or to be thankful for the child who survived do not help? That those thoughts imply that we are not thankful and do not realize how blessed we are to have Mini? Will I ever be able to look at or hold an infant and not see my daughters and feel that heartache?
“You know, when I would see that stuff on the news, I would shut it off because it was just too horrible to think, but I would always think, ‘how do they wake up every day?’ I mean, how do they…how do they breathe, honey? But you do wake up. And for just a second, you forget. And then, oh, you remember. And it’s like getting that call again and again, every time. You don’t get to stop waking up. You have to keep on being a parent even though you don’t have a child anymore.” ~Carol, Glee Season 5, Episode 3, “The Quarterback”

Weakness

I had a moment of weakness yesterday. During a break at work, I emailed myself an entry to post when I got home. My paranoia was in high gear and I was feeling down on myself.
Stuff at work was stressful and I was not feeling good about the situation and the way things looked. I felt like i was being passed over, again, looking at things through the eyes of a paranoid person. I don’t know why I have this paranoia, but I do. Years of being bullied maybe, who knows.
So the situation wasn’t a good one and I was just feeling down. I worked out the situation in my mind and realized that what I interpreted as something was not what i assumed.
Perhaps I will post the entry I emailed myself, as a reminder of how I can interpret things one way when they are really another.

Thankful

If I were so inclined, I would say, in this moment, I am blessed. As I sit here, in my own home, surrounded by the things that are important to me, listening to our pets play, I am thankful.
We don’t have much “stuff” but, what we have we have earned ourselves. The things we have collected over the years are not expensive, they are not fancy, and others my age would probably laugh or think less of us because of the things we choose to surround ourselves with. But, to us and our family, they are the little things that make life good.
We don’t have framed artwork on the walls or breakable collectibles. We do have things that are more our style, though. A stuffy collection, POP figures, lanyards and sports teams. College football things and video games.
We have our pets. The cacophony of birds, the cat’s bell ball toy, and the dog’s squeeky pheasant. Those sounds combined with 8-bit video game sounds and music are the music of our lives. And, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am truly thankful.

The House

We are finally getting the house fully set up the way we want it.
The living room still has a hand me down couch, but it is comfortable and a place to sit, and I am using an old quilt as a cover, so it looks homey, which I love. We ordered a TV center that we need to put together to get the TV, game systems, and cable box all organized. Once we do that, the living room will be set up fully.
The master bedroom is done. We invested in a brand new bed, the first one we have ever had together. It was past due and I have slept so well since we got it all set up. The room is a tranquil oasis for us decorated in our personal spartan style.
The kitchen, the heart of the home, is the way we want it. Lots of open space to move around and cook.
Mini still has to decide how he wants his room decorated as he transitions from little boy into teenager. But that will come in due time.
And the spare bedroom has been taken over by craft stuff. So it is now my sewing room. I love having a space to go where I can turn on my music and start sewing whenever I want.
The house isn’t as large as my sisters all have and it isn’t fancy, but it is ours, and we absolutely love it. Plus we have over an acre of land, which is important to us.

Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge for me is drinking water. I hate it. I can only drink water if it is ice cold. Adding additional flavor doesn’t help, it just tastes like watered down flavor. I need to get into the habit of filling the bottle half way and freezing it before going to bed.
Since water is the only thing allowed in the back room at work, I am not tempted to drink soda at work, instead, I just don’t drink anything, which is dangerous, too, going without a drink for 11 hours a day.
So, I need to get a good water bottle, freeze it half full before going to bed, then fill it the rest of the way before work.
Maybe that is something I need to use the reminders on my phone to help me remember to do, lol.

Winter Bug

Every year at this time, some sort of winter bug goes around. I got hit hard this year. There are some things I wish people realize when they come into work with a contagious bug like this one. Besides infecting customers (and on Wednesday that can be especially bad since Wednesday is Senior Discount day at work). But infecting coworkers is not good either.
When it comes to me getting sick, I wish there were a few things people understand. I am not running from you because I don’t like you, I am not avoiding you because I am a snob, I am not sitting by myself because I am a diva. I am doing it for self preservation.
Here are a few things to remember when I act this way.
I have a heart condition. This heart condition manifests itself in blood pressure issues. When I get sick, even with a cold, my blood pressure spikes. This causes my heart to work harder, causing the deformed valve to leak.
Because of my blood pressure, I can not take 99% of over the counter medications. You can just take DayQuil and be on your way. I can not. DayQuil and other OTC medications cause high blood pressure to go even higher for an extended period of time. This is not good, for above stated reasons. The OTC stuff I can take costs double what the stuff you can take costs and takes twice as long to get rid of the “ick” because it’s not as strong.
I, personally, am susceptible to pneumonia. I have had it 4 of the last 7 years, one year tot he point where I was 12 hours from drowning to death in my own lungs. One more bout with pneumonia and the doctors will no longer be able to put off valve replacement surgery, which is open heart surgery. So I would be out of work as long as it takes to fight the pneumonia plus the length of time needed for the open heart surgery and recovery.
My husband has an auto-immune disorder, so his immune system is compromised. So, if I bring home a bug, chances are, he will get it, too, causing him to miss work as well.
Because of all these factors, yes, I will call out of work when I am sick, and, yes, I will go to the doctor. If a bug settles in my chest, I am especially careful and watchful that it does not stay there long enough to turn into pneumonia. I will blow my nose 70billion times a day, I will cough out whatever gunk is in my lungs, I will do the responsible thing and avoid people as much as possible while sick or while you are sick. It’s not being stuck up or a diva. It’s not being anti-social. It IS self preservation. It IS looking out for myself and my family. It IS in my best interest. If your feelings are hurt because I avoided you, I am not sorry. I need to look out for myself and my health and need to put me first, something I am getting better at doing.