Well, Here I am admitting this is life and I've failed at it for quite a while but I'm somehow getting life back in order, finding my footing and I have a million and 10 thoughts, ideas, experiences that need to be shared so here it is! I'll try to not overstimulate and dump it all in one post! I'd rather thin it out and have some direction, purpose, reason for each posting!
Leaving off from the last blog I had revealed that Ted and I are expecting our first child! We found out on July 3rd of 2011 and it came as a complete and total shock to both Ted and I! After trying for the most of 9 years with no positive results I had begun to resign that it just wasn't in the cards for me to be a mother! Maybe it wasn't in God's plan! When thinking about that I'd break down and ball because as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a mommy, to love a child the way I know a child deserves to be loved, to give the best life possible and to watch them grow up happy, healthy, and safe!!
When I got the two VERY clear pink lines on the First Response test after putting it off for as long as possible, because who was I kidding...I NEVER get a positive test, why would I now? I freaked out, double, triple checked, screamed for my husband who thought I was hurt so he came barreling down the stairs. He comes into the bathroom and I was standing as far away from the counter as I could possibly get (why I don't know) and asked him to look at the test saying"What is that?". He did, picked it up, turned around and smiled! "We're pregnant?" I said um YEA, read it again, as if this is going to change the outcome right? 6 tests later all of them positive it started to sink in that I was in fact pregnant! I know how it happens but how does it happen for me, when I'm told it would probably never happen because of PCOS, hormone issues, being super morbidly obese, and the fact that I had never ovulated and my uterus had developed a lining far to thick to safely harbor an implanted egg?
Weight loss was our last option before heading into series of drugs and medical interventions to achieve this dream we've wanted for SO long!! I had weight loss surgery for a few specific reasons.
1. To be healthy~ I wanted off the two blood pressure medications that still couldn't keep my blood pressure from being dangerously high. I wanted to be able to breath/sleep without dying! My husband and my friends have told me MANY times I snore VERY loudly and I stop breathing when I sleep which led to a sleep apnea diagnosis. I have suffered from GERD for a VERY long time and was on a high dose of a medication to treat it that wasn't affective at all!
I wanted to walk without a cane, bathe myself properly, clean myself properly and just be healthy for once in my life!!
2. Have Kids~ I wanted to be healthy enough and have my body respond and function like it should in order for this to happen! All the times in my life I should've ended up with a baby, I haven't and I could never understand why. My weight, pcos, hormone imbalance all kept that dream far far away from me! Reading the research and talking to people who have had weight loss surgery and similar problems with getting pregnant going on to have healthy, full term pregnancies when the odds all told them it wouldn't happen!! Maybe it would help me too!
3. I was a ticking time bomb! ~ Not realizing just how sick I was and finally getting it that I wasn't far from an early grave if I didn't do something NOW!!
It was never so much about being skinny or weighing xxx or fitting into xxx size! Where I was it was more about my health and getting healthy enough to possibly get pregnant and be as healthy as I could be for baby and myself!!
After talking to my Surgeon he gave me clearance to go ahead and start trying to get pregnant. We put it off for Ted's surgery in April and needed to make sure we were both able to really enjoy this journey instead of making it a chore!
We made some transitions, moved into a smaller place to better live within our means so we could best prepare for baby. Ted got a promotion at work which has really been a blessing! His new district manager adores him and instead of transferring him into the same position at a different store like he had wanted, she decided she wanted him to stay where he's at but give him more because he's been an amazing asset to the company for the last 6 yrs and she felt he deserved the change! Sometimes I'm amazed at God's timing and how he lets things happen that make NO sense to us! In October Ted ended up in the ER with right side pain and had to have his gallbladder removed. It was inflamed, infected and full of stones so after 3 days in the hospital and a week at home recovering he finally got back on his feet. We lost vacation time we had planned to use when the baby gets here but we'll work something out!
OK, OK.....now about baby!! It's been a very scary, up and down pregnancy that's kept us on our toes! My last blog was written just after we found out and as I write this I'm 31 weeks with less than 8 weeks to go! At 8 weeks we went to our first appointments and got an ultrasound and right away you see this lil blob and in the center a flicker which was an amazing thing to see! She turns on the speakers and this strong, amazing rhythm is something you never get over, something that never gets old!
I was sent to a High Risk Maternal Fetal specialist because of a blood clot I had just after my Gastric Bypass surgery and because of my mental health status and the medications I'd been taking for chronic pain.
Had to have blood work done and was told that I have a rare blood clotting abnormality in my genetics that could be fatal for me or baby. This scared me because my younger sister lost twins at 26 weeks because of a blood clotting issue. My Dr. assured me that with extra folic acid and blood thinner injections late in pregnancy and after birth would keep both baby and I safe!
At 12 weeks I had some bleeding which put me in the ER and I was given a Rogham shot because my O- blood type and got another at 28 weeks! They did an ultrasound and baby was fine and VERY active earning it the nickname "monkey"
We're having a Boy and naming him John Lewis after my father John and Ted's grandfather Lewis! He wasn't shy about showing up he was in fact a boy! Ted is completely in love with his lil boy! He's very involved and over the moon excited about becoming a daddy! His face lights up when he hears his heartbeat, sees ultrasound pictures and feels him move! He talks to my belly a lot and recently the baby has started responding! When Ted talks to him, he starts moving like crazy. We're starting to prepare our space for his arrival. We put it off for a while because we wanted to be sure we were going to be OK in case something were to happen.
In regards to my mental health issues, it's been surprisingly well! There was a lot of uncertainty about how pregnancy would affect my bipolar, anxiety, depression, PTSD and how I would respond to not being on medications that manage these issues. I see my therapist once a week who's been such a great asset in helping me cope with the ups and downs.
I worry about how my mental health and my physical limitations will affect how I am as a mother. I don't handle some simple stressors and I worry about how I'm going to handle the stress of being a first time new mom! Will depression and anxiety affect how I'm able to function and take care of my son? Physically can I cope with the demands parenting will put on my body? Will the pain I'm in constantly and the meds I need to take damage how capable I am or keep me from being the best mother for him? All these things run through my head! As I get further along in my pregnancy, the pain gets worse to the point I can barely walk, sleeping is broken by pain which then triggers panic and depression. It seems my PTSD has surfaced and is triggering a lot of bad dreams, memories, responses to certain things like music, driving, or anything that is in any way associated with a lifetime of trauma, stress, injury!
Something that hit me like a ton of bricks and caught me off guard was this deep longing for a maternal connection and guidance....something I didn't have! My mother wasn't the mother I needed and how do I go to her for maternal guidance when it's been made clear that she wishes she'd never had kids? Our relationship is beyond damaged and I made a choice that as much as I love my mother, I don't deserve the conditional love that comes with being part of her life! She's made the choice and it saddens me that those choices have kept her from having healthy relationships with her kids and now grand kids.
Still, something inside me needed that connection! As I become a mother, I think about the kind of mother I want to be, I'm going to be and how her being or not being a mother will affect how I am with my son! Do I take this new beginning in my life as a step towards trying again to rebuild a relationship with her? Part of me wanted to believe she's made serious changes and was at a different place in her life and had let go of the past and wanted to be a healthy part of her children's and grand children's lives! After an incident with my younger sister it became VERY clear that again whatever changes she had been working towards making meant nothing and she was still hung up on manipulation, control, hurt, guilt.....turning everything into a dramatic "there all against me, everyone wants to hurt me, it's all their fault" circus! No accountability and turning into the victim she's very comfortable with being. It broke my heart because not only did it hurt my sister and her kids but again she refuses to allow herself to be genuinely happy! As I'm considering moving beyond the past, letting go, moving forward so my child and his grandmother can have a relationship I'm saddened that realistically that may never happen!
All this reeling in my mind, I'm flooded with a million thoughts, emotions, fears about what's to come! Doubting my ability to handle being a mother, will my past issues affect the kind of parent I am, will I be a bad mother because I didn't have and don't know what a good mother is like? After talking to some close friends, my therapist, it becomes amazingly CLEAR that I have a choice!! I have a choice to stop the cycle, to be a better parent, to not let my past or the mother I had become my future or the mother I'll be! I get to choose to be a better parent and I don't have to allow the cycles and mistakes that have haunted me all my life become the defining factor in my life! I choose to love my son unconditionally, give him the best of me, encourage him, see the best in him, keep him safe, be proactive in his life and raise him knowing he's smart enough, good enough and no matter what he's worth EVERYTHING!!
She had a choice! She could've chosen to be better, do better for her kids, to let go of the past, break the cycle of dysfunction! She's taught me a lot about what kind of parent I don't want to be and what not to do! Will I be perfect? NO! Will I make many many mistakes? Probably! Will I always make the best choices? Probably not....BUT If I do nothing else right I will try my hardest to make sure my Son knows how much he's loved, wanted, cherished, worth!
I'm overcome by a sense of peace about it! It got pretty bad and I've been really worried, terrified that I'm going to fail as a mother, I'm not good enough to be a good mother, I won't be able to handle it, everything that's wrong with me will be passed on to him.....and all of this really had me doubting myself!
What if I'm not all these things? What if I am a good mother? What if I can give him what he needs to be healthy and happy? What if he changes my life for the better?
WOW, imagine that...me a good mother? With all the negative affirmations I've heard replayed in my mind over and over, I REALLY need to replace those with positive affirmations of truth about who I am as a person, what I've accomplished despite my past and others telling I'd never be good enough at anything!
It's a LOT to process and part of me feels like I'm whining or complaining when I want to share my struggles. I know that those who love me want to help carry these burdens, lighten my emotional load but still part of me feels like I'm intruding or in the way because others have lives, jobs, school, families and their own stuff going on. So, I keep it to myself, share it with my paper journal but I know I need to reach out more! Apparently God thinks I'll be a good mother! It's all very surreal and as we get closer everything I've seen, read, thought, dreamed about is now about to be my reality and that scares me!
I turned 30 on the 16th which brought a little anxiety but not nearly as much as I thought it would! Looking back through pictures of my late teens and throughout my 20s it was VERY clear how unhappy and sick I was! Going into 30 I feel better than I did my entire 20s and the blessings I have in my life now at 30 I wouldn't trade for the world! Finally at a place in my life where I'm happy, healthy and everything that I had hoped my life would be is and I couldn't ask for more! I have a husband who's my best friend, who takes care of me, loves me unconditionally, shows me what I'm worth and reminds me every day how much I mean to him! I couldn't ask for a better father for my son and I know that God brought him to me for a reason! He's going to make an amazing father and will be everything our Son needs and more! I'm a mother about to bring a life into this world! Yea I thought it would've happened by now but who am I to question God's timing? It's happening at the right time! So in the first year of my 30s I'm healthier than ever and I'm blessed with my own little family! Going places and doing things I've never done before! My life has become much richer! It's not about me anymore! I get to share my love, my life with others who deserve all the love I have to give! The realization that I get to choose what my life becomes is a liberating thing! I've been so afraid that I was doomed to be a product of my past, of the cycle that's plagued my family for so long! I choose what I allow to affect my life and how it affects me! We all have a choice and I'm finally seeing that I deserve more and I'm choosing to be happy, to have more than I've settled for!