Things That Happened Lately

Dear Diary,

Original title, huh? Oh I know. I know. But hey, guess what? Someone is in therapy. And that someone is me. *sigh. It took a LOT of coaxing for me to go. I really don’t enjoy sitting and hearing about the things that are wrong with me. I get it, I mean, I have to identify the problem before getting a solution. But the “intake” process is killer. I sit and hash and re-hash, and re-hash all of the things in my life that have gone wrong. Sounds dramatic, and sometimes it feels that way. Mostly it’s just draining. But,…it’s going to get better. I’m going to start a specialized therapy in October and for now I’m doing one-on-one therapy. Eventually, I’ll be doing both simultaneously. Sheesh it’s taken awhile to get here, but I’ve gotten to the point now where I’m tired of being this unhappy, snappy version of myself. I want to get back to the more happy, energetic person I used to be. My new therapist is very sweet. The first time I went, I was so nervous. It’s an intimidating thought to meet someone and then 5 minutes later, you’re expected to start delving into your deepest, darkest secrets. Of course, they work you up to it, but you get the point. I had eaten in the car on the way to the appointment and was in a hurry so as not to be late. I sat in the waiting area feeling chilly. I thought, “Normally I’d be miserable and cold, but pregnant me LOVES this.” I looked down at my shifting belly and noticed enough crumbs to get an ant colony through the winter. I self-consciously brushed them off and looked up in time to see my therapist walk in. She looked about how I imagined her. She wore soothing pastel colors, modest heels and her hair neatly pulled back into a bun. I wondered why it seemed that all therapists dressed this way. I sat on her couch and raised my eyebrows and forced a polite smile to mask my nervousness. “I’m getting worse and worse at pretending to be ‘ok’ when I’m not.” I mused. She began talking and asking me questions and I politely answered all of them and tried to seem as engaging and friendly as possible. “This didn’t use to require so much effort.” I thought. And I was right. Social situations didn’t use to carry the amount of anxiety for me that they do now. There are few people I can be around and feel at ease. And when I say few, I mean I can count them on one hand, not including my husband and kids. It’s sad really. I used to be so much more outgoing. Sometimes I wonder if this is just the “new me”, if I am now that person who dreads social situations and feels insanely awkward all the time. I sat there wondering this as I continued to answer her questions. My scalp felt uncommonly itchy, but I felt it would be improper to keep scratching at it, so I picked at the hangnail on my thumb and tried to ignore the itch, all while smiling and doing my best to answer her prying questions. Then she asked about Tim. Suddenly it took no effort to smile, I felt more relaxed and I excitedly told her about our “story” and our life together. She smiled in turn and sounded pleased that Tim wasn’t a source of stress or anxiety in my life. I’m very blessed. We didn’t cover everything she wanted to cover in that session so she had me back for an “Intake Part 2” session as she called it. We went over my issues with food, my issues with body image, my issues dealing with stress, and a lot more. And we still didn’t get through everything she wanted to get through. So I’m going back for “Intake Part 3.” It truly is an exhausting, draining thing and I’m happy for when we can be done peeling back all the layers and start working on the problem. She told me to keep a “Stress Log.” For the next week until our next meeting. Basically, I have to write down my various stressors throughout the day, and give them a rating of 0-10 with 10 being “panic attack” inducing stress. Since I got home, I have been keeping track of my stresses. Here are the ones just from about 5:30pm till now…

1.) Lilly hit Matthew with a helmet and he got a bloody nose. Stress level 6. This bothered me, because she knows better and because Matthew gets bloody noses easily and for a LONG time. So I made a note to myself not to lose my cool as I strode across the house with Matthew to help him clean up. I sat there rubbing his back as he held over the tub and waited for the bleeding to stop. I let Tim deal with Lilly.

2.) Matthew was a broken record…again. Stress level 4. So we went to Target to get some school supplies for Jadon & Lilly. We walked in and I told each kid to grab a basket. I figured this would be fun for them. We went back to the school section and I’ve got their lists on my phone and I’m trying to go about this in a quick and organized fashion and all I hear is Matthew over and over, “Mommy, where’s my school ‘surprise’? Where’s my school ‘surprise’?” I tried really hard to keep my cool and remind him to be patient. But he wasn’t getting the memo. He isn’t going to school this year, but I figured I’d get him some new crayons so he wouldn’t feel left out of the fun. But seriously, the WHOLE time… “Where’s my school ‘surprise’ mom?” *sigh

3.) Lilly had to go potty in Target. Stress level 7.  Okay, so I make all my kids go before we leave the house to go anywhere. They all cycle through the bathroom and I remind them, “Okay, you guys have gone potty, now we’re going shopping. No more going potty till we get home.” Generally they do fine. If we are out for long periods of time, then we take potty breaks and everything is fine. But then there are times… times when I swear to you, Lilly has the bladder the size of a hummingbird’s. And she doesn’t tell you right away when she needs to go, she waits until it’s practically an emergency. And seriously, I cannot handle this. I don’t know why. But no phrase stresses me out more than, “Mommy, I need to go potty.” I freak the heck out. I said, “Seriously Beibs? You JUST went at the house! Can you hold it?” She looked at me like a puppy and began dancing around. I groaned and handed off the stuff we were carrying to Tim and dragged her to the bathroom. Then we left the bathroom and met up with Tim and the boys a few feet away from the checkout lines. …Cue the next stressor…

4.) Jadon counting his money. Stress level 6. So Jadon has been learning about budgeting and part of his budget includes spending. He had been at Target with Tim a few days ago and noticed something in the toy section that caught his eye. He didn’t have his wallet, so Tim said he needed to wait until the next time we came to Target. He had his toy all picked out and was sitting on the ground in the purse section in view of everyone at the checkout loudly counting up the amount Tim estimated he would need to pay for his item. Matthew said he needed to go potty, so Tim, in an effort to help me be less stressed, volunteered to take Matthew. I don’t honestly know which was worse. Taking a 3 year old potty, or standing there watching my 6 year old slowly, loudly counting out coins. I impatiently squatted down and gave him “the answer” and told him how many of each coin he’d need. Not my proudest moment, as I usually like to let my kids figure things out for themselves, but he was being so loud and slow and there was coins all over the floor and two dollar bills just sitting there. It stressed me out. Finally he got the money he needed and slowly, awkwardly collected it and stood back up. I was pretty much stuck down there and between my belly and my back, standing up proved to be both painful and awkward. Although it probably looked hilarious.

 

And well, that’s my list of stresses for the day. Pitiful isn’t it? This stuff never used to stress me out like this. At all. Now, I’m just one big ball of stress. Gah.

 

Moving on,…

So pregnancy. I’m almost done! At 32 weeks, I’m a pluggin’ and a chuggin’ along. I’m anemic, and severely so. So I’m taking iron supplements and hoping for the best. My numbers are on their way back up and I should be fine to safely deliver at home. YAY! I was in L&D about a week ago because Little Miss E’s movements had been uncharacteristically slow and I wanted some peace of mind. I didn’t go in until late at night, probably about 10:30pm. I waddled my way into the Maternity entrance and past the guard and into the triage section. The nurse at the intake station seems remarkably uninterested that I was there at all and dismissed me to go give a urine sample and pointed to the room where I’d be. I waddled away to go use the restroom and upon reaching my room, noticed all the lights were off. I stood there in my pregnant indecisiveness for probably a full minute trying to decide whether or not to turn on the light. Finally, I reached over and flipped a switch, praying it was the light switch. Thankfully it was because the lights came on and nothing beeped, flashed or exploded. There was the customary backless “gown” folded up on the bed. I honestly had no idea what to do. Usually a nurse met me in the room right away and gave me instructions and turn-down service for the less than luxurious bed I’d be doing time in. Instead, I stood in silence and just waited. Then a doctor quickly rushed in and said in a patronizing voice, “Hey kiddo, what brings you in?” I forced a smile and relayed my concerns. He had a smile playing at the corner of his mouth the entire time. “Oh I’m sure baby’s fine, you’re just being paranoid.” he said. I wanted to punch him. Once for the “kiddo” (only 2 people in my life are ever allowed to call me that: my dad and Daddy-O: my father-in-law.) and once for being so rude and condescending. I wanted to tell him he’d obviously never experience that panic when you’re pregnant and you feel like something is wrong with your baby and you have NO way of checking on them yourself. Jerk face. Ugh. He chuckled and shut my file and said they’d put me on the monitor and then he was gone. Didn’t ever see him after that. A nurse came in and was bright and friendly, she hooked up to the monitor and tried for almost 10 minutes to located E’s heartbeat. This freaked me out big time. But she finally found it. It was erratic at first, but then it leveled out and she and I were fine. I was feeling some small contractions and since she hadn’t mentioned them, I asked casually if she’d seen any on the monitor. She said, “Oh yeah, we see those. You just have an irritable uterus.” I’d heard the term before, but this time it made me laugh. I pictured a crotchety old lady as my uterus. “Irritable uterus” just makes it seem alive. It felt weird. Finally, they were satisfied that they’d heard enough on the monitor and were prepared to send me home. I waddled back out to my car, got in, and drove home and crawled into bed.

I’m now at that stage where everything is uncomfortable pretty much all of the time. My hips and really my whole pelvis hurt all the time. Sometimes the pain is debilitating, but mostly, it just makes me walk like a very old woman. My stomach is squashed, my lungs are squashed…and I’m only going to get bigger. But in a little less than 4 weeks, I am cleared to go into labor! I know, I know, I could be pregnant for another 9.5 weeks, but just the reassurance that I could go into labor at any time, will be some relief. The nursery is almost complete! I am still painting the changing table, hopefully I’ll get that done this week or next and be able to put up some photos. Just need a few more things.

 

Well, this blog got away from me and has become much more lengthy. Plus my uterus is “irritated” again, so I’m going to go attempt to sleep. Nighty night!

 

Till Next Time,
Ashley

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