Life Lately

A week after my miscarriage I decided to write about the experience.  At the time I felt like I needed to put all my thoughts and feelings out there to fully process it all.  And then my dog stepped on the keyboard and erased half of it.

So it happened.  It’s over.  It makes me extra terrified to ever get pregnant again and I’m still too emotionally exhausted to rewrite it.

Meanwhile the weather here has finally decided to act like it’s fall so I’m enjoying doing fall stuff with my hubs and baby.  Kiddo enjoyed the apple orchard two weeks ago, football with daddy last weekend, a family photo shoot tomorrow and hopefully soon we’ll go pick out our pumpkins.

Life May Never Be The Same

One night when I was about seven months pregnant I was driving home from work listening to some sad country song about cancer and started contemplating mortality.  By the time I got home I was bawling.  I started thinking about what if my grandpa, who means the world to me, doesn’t get to meet my baby?

His health has been declining for years.  He has a tumor on his spine and it has really limited his mobility and quality of life.  I just had the worst feeling that I wouldn’t have all too much longer with him.  Luckily he has gotten to spend some time with Theodore.  Not nearly as much as I’d like since we live two hours away but it was a huge relief that they got to meet and that I have pictures of them together.

Theodore might not remember him when he gets older but I know I will talk about him and to have pictures of them together is something I will cherish forever.  Grandpa’s health has never really got better but it hadn’t really been getting worse either so I hadn’t thought about it much these last few months.

Then this Monday afternoon I got a text from my mom during the middle of the day saying “Call me when you get a chance.”  Seemingly innocent enough but I knew something was wrong.  My mom is a workaholic so the chances of her texting me in the middle of the day just so talk are slim to none.

My grandpa, one of my very favorite people in the world, was taken to the hospital Sunday.  After spending most of the day in the hospital with dangerously low blood pressure they decided exploratory surgery would be necessary if he had any chance of making it.  As it turned out part of his colon had died which made him incredibly sick.  They removed the dead portion and gave him a colostomy.  But because his blood pressure was so low his kidneys stopped functioning, requiring him to have daily dialysis.  He may also have liver and brain damage.

So the three of us went to visit him in the hospital on Tuesday but he was on a ventilator and heavily sedated.  I did get to say hi to him really quickly when they lightened the sedation for a small period of time but I don’t know if he really understood me or even if he knew who was speaking to him.

The chances of him ever coming home now seem very small.  Hopefully he will make it out of the hospital and into an assisted living facility but I don’t see him ever coming home to my grandma.  Thinking about life without my grandpa is a horrible thing but I can’t image being my grandma, possibly facing the loss of her love of 60 years.  At the very least their lives will be drastically different from here on out.  I love them both so much and my world would be so different without them.

The Great Purge Has Begun

This week I started going through my closet because it was packed full of clothes, at least 80% of which either don’t fit, haven’t been stylish for a long time, or are stained.  We had an issue with our washing machine awhile back and tons of our clothes ended up with stains.  Some of them eventually washed out after many washings but there were a few pieces I have held onto for years and hopefully threw into the washer on occasion only to be disappointed when they came out still stained.

I love being a mom but my life is different now.  I simply don’t have the time to stand in front of my closet for 20 minutes each morning looking through tons of clothes that just don’t work for me anymore.  My little boy is a pretty good sleeper but he also has a good internal alarm clock which usually gets him about about 20 minutes before I would otherwise wake him each day.  Since I’m now getting ready with a baby crying for my attention it’s time to do something about my mess of a closet!  I’ve already purged about half the items that need to go, the rest I will hopefully get to this weekend.

But now the hard part begins.  I have to rebuild my closet on a very limited budget now that baby boy is eating up all our discretionary income (and then some!).  I have tried rebuilding my wardrobe in the past but stores have such a terrible selection of plus sized clothing and I get super overwhelmed with choices online so I usually just give up after a few days of not being able to decided.

I did find three shirts this week which I am excited about (two of them are below).  I think I’m also going to try some leggings or jeggings for the first time.  Well the first time since I was about seven which is the last time leggings were cool!  Haha.

It’s felt nice doing something for myself for once.  I’m kind of sick of being “that mom” running around in sweat pants with greasy hair.  I wouldn’t trade Theodore for anything in the world but I’m definitely experiencing whole new levels of exhaustion.

This Time Last Year…

A couple weekends ago we went to a party to celebrate the 1st birthday of my first and only nephew.  When he was born last year I was in a very bad place. We had lost our first pregnancy, a baby that would have been due 10 days before my nephew’s due date.  I was sad, upset, angry, and probably mostly disappointed that even though I’m the oldest child and got married and tried to start a family first, my brother beat me to it.  Not only that, but at that point, I really had no idea if we were ever going to have a baby.

I recently came across this blog post that I wrote last year but in the midst of my grieving, never published.  Here were my thoughts following meeting my nephew for the first time:

At approximately 1:00 AM on Friday the 13th my nephew was born.  This is the first time I am becoming an aunt and I was apprehensive about going to see my younger brother’s first child.  I’ll be honest, I went mostly because it was expected of me and because I would never want to do anything to ruin one of the most important days in my brother’s life.

But I can’t pretend it didn’t hurt to watch my sister in law’s belly grow big while we struggle to start our family.  It was frustrating that it only took them two months and it took us eight.  It was heartbreaking that our first pregnancy ended abruptly only one week before they announced their healthy baby on the way.

It’s so hard not to let personal tragedies color your experiences.  But I honestly don’t know how to describe the calmness that came over me when holding my perfect, adorable, healthy baby nephew.  Gazing at that tiny face…  I expected to feel sadness or longing but instead I felt happy, proud even.  At that point in time the perfectness of that tiny little human was all I could ask for.

I’m pretty excited to get going actively trying to conceive again for the first time in six months but I’ve reconsidered how badly I need to have a child of my own.  For the better part of the last few years I’ve wanting nothing more than motherhood.  I still want that tiny creature that has much husband’s gorgeous blue eyes but if he or she never comes along I think it is something I will be able to deal with.

About a year and half ago, before we were even trying to get pregnant, my husband and I discussed how far we would be willing to go with fertility treatments.  At that time, when I still thought it would be easy to get pregnant, I was so certain that I would not ever go so far as IVF or any injectable treatments.  Not that I judge anyone else that would choose those things I just didn’t think a baby could out weigh the possible adverse health effects.

I never really finished my thought there…I feel like I was going to express my concern over the long-term health consequences associated with the use of Clomid which was responsible for both of my BFPs (which resulted in three little fertilized eggies but only one live birth).

As it turns out I was right to be concerned about Clomid, I develop massive cysts on my ovaries with Clomid, which resulted in one ovary being removed.  But my kiddo is worth it.  Worth all the pain from surgery.  Worth all the mood swings and fights.  Worth all the uncertainty in our life we dealt with during our battle with infertility. And he would have been worth the debt, had we needed to continue with other treatments.

Our Maybe Baby: Nutrition & Diabetes

Taking Control of my Health

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Two  and a half years ago I went to the doctor after years of just not feeling well.  I wasn’t exactly sick but I was constantly tired no matter how much I sleep I got the night before.  After eating  I wouldn’t feel like doing anything.  I felt sluggish and generally unwell but not necessarily sick.  I suppose most people would go to the doctor at this point but it took me several years of living like this before I gave up and went to the doctor.

There are a couple reasons it took years to get me into a physician’s office.  To begin with, nothing major appeared to be wrong with me besides being tired often.  I attributed a lot of my problems to being over-weight and living an under-active lifestyle.  I also had a series of low paying jobs that had terrible insurance and the thought of spending most of the little money I made visiting a doctor made me just about as ill.

But life started looking up for me.  I moved to a new city and got a new job with pretty awesome insurance.  So I made an appointment for a yearly physical and talked over my concerns with my primary care physician.  After a few blood tests I had my answer.  Diabetes Type 2.

At the time I was terrified because I really didn’t know much about diabetes at all.  Fortunately, over the next month or so I was able to meet  with a dietitian and a diabetes education counselor and learned a lot more about my condition.  Like the fact that the body essentially turns carbohydrates such as potatoes and bread into sugar so they are just as important to control how much you eat of as cake.

At first I did so well with cutting out soda and fast food.  The first medication that was prescribed to me made me even sicker and didn’t  help control my blood sugar very well.  The next prescription worked very well for me and I became really lax with my diet and started slipping back into my old ways.  Before I got married and started to plan for having a family I didn’t care much what I put into my body.  I wanted cheap, I wanted easy, and that usually meant fast food.  But once we started preparing for conception I really got my life and diet in order.  It wouldn’t be just myself I’d be hurting if I didn’t commit to living a healthier lifestyle.

With dietary changes and medication I was able to lower my blood sugar levels to a 6.0 A1C, which is what the specialist recommended, in just 6 months.  I was so proud of myself and incredibly excited to be cleared by my doctors to start trying to make a baby.  I made additional cuts on alcohol, caffeine, and medications you’re not allowed to take while pregnant (like  Advil).  But after nearly 6 months of trying to conceive without success I find myself slipping back into my old ways when, in reality, it’s probably even more important to have a healthy diet when conception is not coming easy for us.

As a first step of getting back where I need to be I am challenging myself to:

1) Cut out soda again

2) Commit to eating a small breakfast everyday (I usually skip breakfast)

3) Eat more fruits and vegetables

4) Eat smaller portions of the carbohydrates I love

5) Have healthy snacks around (like low-fat string cheese and nuts)

 

I would love to hear how you are overcoming your nutritional/dietary struggles.  Maybe I will even find more inspiration to keep up with my healthy changes 🙂

 

10 Lessons Learned in College

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1.  Making friends will never be easier.  Finding the time to go out for a drink, or a movie, or a game night is so much more complicated when you have a full-time job, a spouse, children, etc.  Plus there are all sorts of clubs and organizations to find people that are interested in the same things you are.

2. Go ahead and take a class or two you “know” you’ll never need.  I took History of Modern Art and thought I would never get any use out of it but it sounded interesting.  I loved the class and I get such a kick out of recognizing a certain work or artist when I see it in the media or at a museum.

3. Those big, bad Greek organizations are actually pretty awesome.  I learned so much from being part of a sorority, and yes, I mean more than just how to play beer pong!  I had tons of leadership opportunities in my sorority and on Panhellenic Council which was great to talk about in my job interviews!  It also taught me it’s important to volunteer my time to worthy causes like raising money for autism research and awareness and to give back by becoming an adviser to my chapter after graduation.

4. Don’t be so judgey.  College is a time to learn and grow and that means people will make mistakes.  You will make mistakes and wouldn’t it be nice if people gave you a break?

5. Don’t be so self-conscious.  Seriously, people don’t pay attention to you nearly as much as you think they do.

6. Go ahead and change your major when you realize you’re never getting a job in that field.  I just got my degree and got out.  I wish I wouldn’t have been too afraid to start over even though I had half my requirements for the major done before I realized the job prospects were super bleak.

7. Get in the habit of writing “thank you” notes.  Not only is it polite, but you will eventually need the skill.  It’s important to send thank you notes for job interviews and gifts for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, etc.

8. That friend that talks crap about everyone, does the same about you when you’re not around.  Guaranteed.

9. Let’s get lunch sometime does NOT mean let’s get lunch sometime.  If you actually wanted to see them you’d make an effort and commit to putting something on the calender.  It’s taken me awhile to learn it’s ok to not keep up with every acquaintance I made.

10. If you’re not happy with yourself you’ll never be happy with anyone else.  It’s so cliche but it’s absolutely true.  If you can’t spend a quiet Friday night at home  by yourself once in awhile and enjoy it you need to work on your life.  And a boyfriend or girlfriend will never make you happy if you’re not content with your life.