Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grateful

So I've been working long days.  Trying to expand the Photography business (we have our first remote Photographer, in Hawaii even!), trying to bring back Bubba's Bears, Texas style.  (go big or go home! That was Alex's motto).

It's such rewarding work!  I have a few heart moms who are willing already to bring bears to their local hospitals and so many friends who have once again jumped on the bandwagon without hesitation to help our cause.  Including one wonderful lady who has offered to re-create Bubba's Bears in Canada!  Canada has always been an issue for us due to the cost of shipping bears across the border, problem solved now!

I never cease to be amazed at the generosity of people.  It seems that people in this world really DO want to help others, they just don't know where to start.

This is so healing for me and I love it even though it's an amazing mountain of work.  Balancing the bears/RAOK as well as the Photography business is a juggling act, but I know that as the Photography business grows it will allow us so much more funding for the other stuff!  We are a big wierd, most business owners think of fancy cars and financial comfort, us? We think of all of the money we can give away! lol

We never were normal I guess!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My focus for today...

Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.

Monday, December 27, 2010

May all your holidays be...... hey, stop calling your sister a dummy!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!  Our first Christmas in Texas was nice and quiet, we were able to "be" with our families back home via skype.  What a wonderful invention!  My first attempt at cooking a holiday meal was good, minus the burnt dinner rolls.  Oooops!


The kids.... er... their MOM is so ready to go back to school! Even though that means I have to go back to work too.  They are in full on fight like ya hate each other mode and it doesn't help that it's been really cold so they just want to stay in the house and commence the fighting.  Oh well, no complaints.  At least they are healthy enough to fight, eh?  Look for the bright side Kat, look for the bright side!


Since I'm only working part-time at the daycare I registered to be a "listed" daycare provider here in Texas.  Here you can't do any childcare out of your home without being either listed, registered, or licensed.  Each with their own requirements, so I made sure I got that done.  


Working full steam ahead on the Photography expansion.  So far we have quite a few probable photographers!  I'm pretty excited about the opportunity grow this and expand our random acts of kindness (you might remember we put most of our income from this into that in Alex's memory).


In January we are focusing on providing warmth for the homeless here in the Austin area.  It's kind of a shock the first time you drive around Austin, in comparison with Northern wisconsin, there are so many homeless.  Stop at any light near an overpass and you will see them with their signs.  It's been very cold here and so we are going to try to provide as many as we can with warm socks, blankets, coats, hats, and mittens.  In the summer since it gets so hot we will be striving to distribute bottles of water.  


The Austin area has some great resources for the homeless, which is wonderful.  But anything we can do helps!  


Anyway.  World war 3 has broken out in the living room again (by now i'm sure it should be world war 187992342) so I'm going to figure out something that will entertain them for a while!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Photography and ROAK- Texas edition!

So I mentioned yesterday that we had brought our Photography business to Texas.  We have also made some changes to it's structure in an effort to expand our mission both in the sense of affordable on-site photography and to support our ongoing Random acts of kindness in memory of Alex campaign.

Please take a minute to see our new and improved site www.kcephotography.com  we also have a facebook page that you can get to from the main page of the site and would love for you to join us there!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oh the changes- Hello from Texas!!

I know it's been so long since I've blogged!  We have had many big changes going on in our lives that I am very excited to tell you about!


Remember when we were talking about moving to Texas?  We finally did it!  3 little ole weeks ago.  Craig and I came down here the middle of November and decided hey, let's just do it! 13 days later we were in a moving truck traveling down the interstate on our way to our new life.  


I have to say we couldn't have made a better decisions.  I have since been able to go completely off my anti-depressants and am weaning off my anti-anxiety medications.  My photography business has taken on a new life here, including branching out to teach our craft to aspiring photographers around the United states!  We are very excited about that.  


I also took a part time job at a crunchy, earthy, farm preschool in the infant room.  The people I work with are people that I could have never found in NW Wisconsin they walk similar paths to mine and follow the same basic principals when it comes to children and earth and life.  Nate gets to go to farm school free while I work starting the first of the year, he's SO excited about that!  


All in all I have finally found the home I've been searching for, for so long.  I feel so content in Central Texas, a serenity I never had in Wisconsin and I look forward to making a great life here.  


Sadly Austin decided to stay in Wisconsin and live with my mother.  We miss him terribly but at 17 years old respect his wishes.  He promises to visit over the summer!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I have my life back

Yeah so I suck at blogging lately.  But I'm thinking that may actually be a good thing.  You see for so long I relied on this blog as my outlet, my friend when I felIt I had none.  I could just let my fingers fly and let the tears stream and let the pain take shape in the text box and then put it away for a while.


I don't need to do that anymore.

I have some very wonderful friends who I can turn to when I need to laugh or cry or vent or worry.  One friend in particular is amazing at giving the right advice even when I want to do the wrong thing.  I wish I could say that I do the same for her but maybe that will come in time.  

I have another friend who hit her bottom recently.  Who spiraled down until she was but an empty shell of herself and she didn't recognize herself let alone what she needed to do.  She is now making baby steps in the right direction and I'm seeing the battle that I have overcome.  I WAS where she is.  Maybe circumstances are not the same and the outlet was not the same but I have been in that place of absolute confusion and misery and hopelessness and I have overcome it.  I HAVE!

Yes I take medication to help sustain this place where I am right now, but I got here myself.  And it feels absolutely amazing.

So dear blog, I love you and I miss you and I hope to continue to write in you when I feel inspired, but I don't need you anymore... I have my life back.

Friday, August 20, 2010

frazzled

Just took a Klonopin, figured while I wait for it to kick in i'd blog a little and clear my head.  That sounds great, but really I have nothing to say.  Just a million things floating around my brain irritating me.

I have a client that is being very demanding even though she got more than she paid for to start with, Craig is going through some crazy med reaction that is really difficult on both of us....The prozac still makes me sleep way more than any normal person should which means I don't get as much done in my waking hours as I plan to.  Just a bit frustrated.

Thankfully I have found an unlikely friend this summer who has been just what I needed.  She calms me when I'm riled up instead of fueling the fire which I really need.  We have a blast doing nothing at all, and she's become a great addition to my life.

I'm taking baby steps.  Some days they feel like gigantic steps and other days they feel like tiny shuffles and some days I hit bumps and backslide a little, but I think all in all I'm doing much better.  The anger isn't there all the time like it was, the panic isn't a constant presence either.  I like it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A whole lotta ...

So my blog publishes to Facebook.  I have it set up that way to keep those who are FB friends in the loop without them having to come all the way over here to mom of many.  Funny thing is, FB doesn't publish my blog posts til like a week later. lol how dumb.  So if you are reading this on FB, it may or may not be current news.

Let's see.  So in some exciting,crazy, wtfareyouthinking news today is my first day back at school.  I am a Bachelors of Science-Photography major at the Art institute of Pittsburgh online devision.  How insane.  Photography has always been my passion so I'm very excited to learn the ins and outs.  I'm thinking maybe photojournalism in my future, wouldn't that be fun?  I love portraiture too though so we'll see.  I'll be in school a while, plenty of time to figure it out.

In other crazy news, we have expanded our family by 2.  No, not human babies.  Furbabies.  Ostara is a 4 month old kitty and Bella is a 2 year old purebred German Shepherd.  After quite an adjustment period they are both fitting in nicely.  Bella is very protective of us and loves the whole family already.














Bella and Hailey.
















Ostara


In other news Shaylin had her yearly x-rays for her scoliosis and does not yet need a brace!  It's been so nice to hear that year after year, I hope our luck holds out with it.

I am doing great on my meds.  We have increased my anti-depressant dose and as such i'm needing less and less klonopin, which I love because the klonopin makes me so groggy.  I need a half a klonopin to sleep and pop a half a one in extremely stressfull situations but I have gone from using it around the clock to being on an "as needed" basis, which is ideal.

The kids go back to school on the first and everyone is VERY ready!!!  Poor Nate is going to have a hard time with being the only one not to go to school I'm afraid,  but hopefully we can fill his days with activities and keep him so busy he doesn't care.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

wow

So, here's a bit of tmi.  For the first time in many years I started birth control yesterday.  Not because we wouldn't welcome another child with open arms, that will never be the case I don't think.  But because the medications I am on to get ME right can seriousely harm a developing baby.  Any baby that comes into our family deserves A: to be as healthy as he or she can be and B: have a mother who has her issues under control.  nuff said.


So my midwife gave me the bill you hear about on tv, Seasonique or whatever it's called.  Hello 4 periods a year! I can handle that!  In the past the pill (as well as pregnancy) has kicked up my depression so we may have to play some more with my Prozac dose but I'm on a mission to find ME again and I think I'm taking the right steps to do it, and facing some of my fears in the process.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tell me what I ever saw in that guy?

So if you've been reading for a while you might remember me mentioning that my son is not my husband's biological father.  Austin saw his father regularly until age 14 when one weekend he wanted to spend time with his friends instead of going to his dads, his dad threw a baby fit and has not initiated contact since.  I have made contact a few times trying to help things but the ex just wants me to fix it for him, and well I can't do that.  It's so bad that when Austin's great grandmother passed away last year we were not notified, I found out on the internet on a google search 6 months later.  There hasn't been so much as a phone call on his birthday since.


Anyway, so now almost 3 years later (next month) Austin texted his dad a couple weeks ago from my phone asking for his hunting gear that he had received as a Christmas gift the year before all of this broke loose, no response.  So today Austin texted him again, again asking for his hunting gear for this hunting season.  His father's response?


No, because I don't trust you and I don't trust your mother and you need God in your lives to give you peace.


No, I need some supernatural power to keep me from strangling him is more like it.  What an idiot.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sorry!

That new rag curls post is coming I promise.  I'm attempting my first ever video post on it and well, so far my files and blogger aren't playing nice so I might have to upload to youtube or something and go from there?  I dunno but I'll take another crack at it tomorrow.  Today was spent editing pics from a shoot I did on sunday. I'm very fortunate  to get to photograph such beautiful people!  If you want to see some of my work head on over to http://dkphotochetek.com 

Not having a good day today mentally.  How is it possible to still be having almost a constant anxiety attack on Prozac AND Klonopin today?  UGH, I was starting to like feeling normal.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Depression gone, anxiety front and center.

I have so much to catch up on in this blog, it's been a busy couple of months.  But I wanted to update on my mental health since that's been kind of at the forefront of things lately and as of the last time I wrote back in May.


I finally got to in and see my new Psychiatrist the beginning of June.  After telling him my history and my symptoms he diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety disorder and chronic depression.  He prescribed 40 mg/day of Prozac ( a med that's helped me before) and I made an appointment for 6 weeks later.


The Prozac immediately took the depression away.  I know people say it's suppose to take time with that drug but for me it's always been very fast acting, maybe I'm extra sensitive to it.  For a couple of weeks I felt downright euphoric, the world was a great place and despite losing my job and being forced to drop out of school (i'll go into that more in the next post) I was able to function and carry on with my day and even feel great about it.  I made a new friend who has been a great resource to me in finding out who I want to be and I was able to feel my self esteem creeping up.


Then I started having panic attacks again.  And my OCD kicked up to a degree that had my scraping my floors with a spatula in an effort to get every tiny speck of anything off of them.  I didn't want to get out of bed and face the day, not because of depression but because of the anxiety that was starting to become at a level I had rarely seen before.  


So I was counting down the days until my next visit with the shrink and it finally came yesterday.  I told him everything that was going on and he nodded that it didn't surprise him.  He explained that Prozac helps depression at low doses and anxiety at high doses, but you can't jump into a high dose, we have to work up.  He also speculated that although the anxiety is my main problem the depression was serving as kind of a buffer for it, actually helping to keep it in check or at a lower level.  So in starting the Prozac we got rid of the depression which allowed the anxiety/OCD to completely take over uninhibited. 


So he prescribed me a benzodiazepine called Klonopin to keep the anxiety in check while we slowly climb the dose of Prozac to a level that it will do that itself.  


Now taking Benzo's is scary.  Klonopin is one of the strongest and longest lasting of them.  I am medicated with them around the clock, taking pills 12 hours apart.  I am taking a very low dose of 1mg per day with the option to go up to 2mg per day if I feel I need it.  The problem is, Benzo's are EXTREMELY addictive and withdrawal has been likened to the withdrawal experienced by heroin users.  It can kill you.  These things terrify me but so does living with this anxiety. I can't do it anymore.


So far it's nice.  When I first take it I feel kind of loopy and after an hour that fades away to this completely and totally relaxed state.  Not a worry in the world.  My restless leg syndrome is gone for the first time in my life and my mind and body feel at peace.  I'm quite certain this is why these drugs are abused the way they are.  I did notice that when it gets close to time to take my next pill I get agitated, even a bit angry.  But within minutes of taking that pill I start to feel much better.  


Is it a crutch? probably.  But it's nice, for the first time in my life not to be so high strung.  So anxious, so worried, so debilitated.  It's nice to just be.  It's nice to finally admit to myself wholeheartedly that I have a problem that can be fixed, and allow my doctor to fix it.  It's nice to not have to be in control and be ok with that.


Bliss

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Always learning

Just as I finished this post blogger decided to eat it and then it autosaved immediately after.  Lovely.  Here I go again!


Forgive the pics, they are from my cell phone.























So with Nate's kidney issues there are a lot of unknowns.  We do know he has kidney disease, we do know he has a concentrating defect, we do know he wastes sodium.  We do know that for now he is able to maintain his electrolyte balances on a daily basis by eating a lot of salt, drinking a minimum of a gallon of fluid a day, and peeing constantly.  What we don't know is his prognosis, or how delicate the balance is with all of it, or how big a bump in the road must be to throw the whole thing off.

Turns out, not very big.






















Nate got over a liter of fluid during his dental procedure yesterday and we took him home an hour after they were done.  Unfortunately he didn't do well through the day.  Wouldn't wake up for more than a few minutes, wouldn't drink, and hadn't gone to the bathroom since 9pm the night before.  A call to the Pediatrician was met with a stern "Bring him to the ER immediately".  





















We spent 5 hours in the ER, a good portion of that digging in his arms to try to find a decent vein (his veins are horrid when he's NOT dehydrated) Dumping fluids in to rehydrate him and praying his kidneys hadn't taken a catastrophic hit.  Thankfully they didn't and he is now well hydrated and doing well.  

Lesson learned, any procedure that requires NPO will be inpatient for him from here on out.  




Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A mommy must worry.















So I mentioned that Nate would be put under to have some cavities fixed, well that day is tomorrow.  I know it's a simple thing, but I also learned with Alex that even simple things can turn very ugly.  I mean really, what are the chances of someone's spleen hemmoraghing during heart surgery?  Yeah.  So of course I'm worried about Nate going under anesthesia tomorrow.



Thankfully our Ped is absolutely wonderful and when I told her I was concerned about Nate being NPO for an extended period of time she said "well, we aren't doing that.  I'll call them and they will move him to first case of the day".  And so they did!  So we get to arrive at the surgical center at 6:30 am and will hopefully be home by noon.  They will give him IV maintenence fluids the whole time to make sure he doesn't dehydrate (a risk with his renal concentrating dysfunction).  


I was a tad bit irritated yesterday when going over his issues with the surgical nurse.  She says "Oh that poor little boy".  Ok, I know you mean well but don't feel sorry for Nathan.  Wait til you meet Nathan, he may have kidney problems, he may be legally blind in one eye but you would NEVER know there was anything different about this kid.  A deep breath and I let it go.  Thank you prozac.


So if you could, send a little thought to whoever it is you pray to that things go smoothly for our little man tomorrow.  I'll be updating on Twitter as we go through the morning so stay tuned!

Ok

So I locked my blog for a bit.  You see, in reading back I realize just how angry and how hurt and how damaged I've been over the past 4 years.  I was angry at people who didn't deserve my wrath, I was angry at situations I didn't know enough about to have the opinion I did, I was pretty much just angry at everything.  And in reading back I was a bit ashamed of this, so I locked up my blog, lest others see what I saw in myself.


But you know what?  That was me.  Was I wrong a lot of the time? yes.  But that's how my anger, my sadness, the hole in my heart manifested itself.  That's how my healing took place.  And maybe the fact that now that I'm getting the right kind of help and I can see this is a big step in the right direction.  


I've never been one to hide, so why should I start now.  This is me, this blog.  You don't have to like it, I don't either, but it's real and it's raw and it's a path I have had to carve out.  Take it or leave it.


There have been a lot of changes in the past weeks I can't wait to update you on so keep watch for more to come!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Time to breathe

I haven't made a post in a few days. Most definitely not because I don't have anything to say, I have plenty to say and as soon as I make sure that what I say is going to be 100% how I really feel and not fed from anger, and as soon as the ripples calm and I know that other people involved are not going to be adversely affected by my words,  I will say it.  Until then all I will say is that what goes around comes around.

On to more important things.  Baseball season is in full swing, our team has played a scrimmage and one game so far and they look to be a pretty balanced team!  We have really been working with Christian on batting and it's paying off.  A couple years ago he got hit with the ball and has been a little ball shy since, he is beginning to overcome that and even though he did take a ball to the thigh last night still got his teammate to home with the next pitch!

We saw a Pediatric dentist for Nathan yesterday.  His local dentist (who we LOVE) had put in 2 of the 3 needed fillings about a month ago, not an easy task since Nate kept freaking out over the Nitrous oxide. Well, one of those fillings fell out.  We tried again on Wednesday to have them redone but he wasn't having any of the nitrous again so we all decided it would be best to take him somewhere they may be able to sedate him better.  So we saw the peds dentist yesterday and he said there is a total of 4 he would like to fix, including taking the filling that's in there out, cleaning it up and putting it back in, but that he was really nervous about sedating Nathan with an oral medication and was nervous about doing it in his office due to Nathan's kidney problems.  I guess the oral sedation is processed by the kidneys.  So he said he would feel MUCH better doing it in the OR with an anesthesiologist where they can limit stress to the kidneys with inhaled sedatives and keep him hydrated with IV fluids.  As scary as it is to have him put under, we completely agree with sparing his kidneys as much stress as possible and as the dentist said "if something is going to go wrong, I'd rather it go wrong there than here".  Agreed.  Not sure yet when that will be, they have to orchestrate schedules and will let us know.

We've been enjoying the warm weather here lately, it's been so warm and sunny.  We just planted our very first vegetable garden and it will be neat to see if anything actually grows, I have a bit of a black thumb i'm afraid!  We've been spending a lot of time on our bikes and a friend and I have been walking/jogging every night in preparation for a 4 mile run/walk in July.  Should be a great summer!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Your god and my god could be friends ya know

I grew up in church.  I was even baptised a Catholic, which might surprise you.  Turns out the Catholic church frowns upon people like my mother, young and unwed mothers who refuse the nuns' demands to sign her newborn over for adoption at birth and well, we didn't stay in the Catholic church long.


Somehow, and I will probably never in my life figure out how, we ended up joining a fundamentalist pentacostal church.  Now would be a good time to pause and say a fat "how the hell...."

Ok so we were very involved in this church, I even attended a year of school there.  When we moved we found a church in the same system as the one we'd left and became even more involved in the church.  We went to sunday school, wednesday night bible studies, and loved when it was our turn to volunteer in the nursery once a month.  As a teen I dove headfirst into the "word of god" and although I was horribly rebellious never missed a night of youth group services.  I even attended a retreat that was very moving, and I remember during it the minister asked every teen there who was carrying a weapon to come and turn it over, no questions asked.... to be free.  I was shocked at how many did.  The whole thing solidified my place in my faith.  In the church and in my faith I found peace, I found kinship with other people who I had something in common with.  I had somewhere to go, somewhere to belong.

Most..... actually come to think of it probably all of the people I know are Christian to some extent.  And by that I mean some attend church religiously (pun intended), some don't but have a bible on the nightstand, some just simply believe and worship in private.   Questioning god just wasn't anything that ever crossed my mind.  It was something people did who were lost.  Such sad souls, roaming the earth aimless and sad for certain.

I'm not christian anymore.   And I'm not sad and aimless or lost.  And that's ok.  

I think my christian friends feel like they have to save me.  I don't know how many times I hear them say they'll pray for me.  And that's ok, as I believe prayer is many things, but at the heart of it, it's a sincere wish for well being, and who am I to argue with that?  

I feel very free since I unlocked the chains that christianity wrapped around me.  Many people say that faith in god freed them, it bound me.  Bound me to fear, rules, conditions, hypocrisy.  At a time when many people would question what life is and what it means, I found myself coming up with more questions than answers, I found contradiction and spite and pain.  I found that nothing I had learned in church made sense anymore.  So I dropped my fears of going to hell and allowed myself to consider that maybe there was something else.  Maybe it wasn't one way and one way only.  Maybe I could find peace, faith even, in something else.

 I consider myself Pagan, a traditionalist I suppose.   I feel drawn to my Irish ancestors.  I married a healer and I'm finding my way.  I answer my children's questions about all religions as best I can and we strive to find their paths as well, whatever that is.  I love that my kids can come and say to me "hey mom, what do you think about this or that" and I now can have a mind open enough to say "maybe that god does exist?  Maybe magic is real and maybe faeries do walk to earth.  Maybe demons are unworldly, maybe they are evil people who continued their ways after death.  What do YOU believe?  Because in that you will find the truth.  That's what faith is.  I love that my faith allows me the freedom to do that, where christianity did not.  I feel like I've gained so much more in opening my mind and my heart to the possibility that there is more to it than what the bible tells us so.  

I'm finally free.  Last year I stood in a Catholic church ad became a "god" mother to a little boy I love dearly.  I love that I was able to see into their faith without judgement and offer my promise to them, take me as I am.  That's what I'm about now.  No judgements, no regrets.  I make mistakes, not sins.  The results of my actions teach me the ways, not an otherworldly punishment.  I'm not afraid to die anymore, and I'm not afraid to make the mistakes people do.

Maybe the christian god is real.  Maybe he was a father who lost his son, who was killed by humans and that's why he allows the suffering of the earth, to punish those who caused his deepest pain.  I would certainly understand that.  I would understand being horribly angry at those you entrusted with your most precious, your child.  I would understand that better than most I figure, since I found myself many times being angry at god for taking MY son.  So yeah, that would make sense to me.  He giveth and he taketh away.  

Maybe that's why I choose not to believe in this god.  Because to choose to believe in him would be to come "face to face" with someone who could have saved my son and chose not to.  I choose not to live in pain like that.  To believe in god would make that someone's fault.  And that knife cuts too deep, the anger that bubbles to the surface like battery acid on my skin wells up.  And I don't want to live that way.

I'm far more at peace with the realization that these things just happen.  Without rhyme or reason.  Live and let live, respect and love all.  Even those who believe differently than I do.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Insensitivity 101, required class for doctors

5 years ago I switched my, er, womanly care from an OB to a Midwife.  I have loved that the group of midwives I see is very supportive and caring.  When I miscarried in 2008 I walked into my 2 week post miscarriage check up determined to brush it off like I was ok, my midwife saw right through it and got me talking and allowing myself to be hurt over our loss.

This time when I miscarried the midwives suggested I see an OB/GYN.  Since it was my second miscarriage in a row, with 2 years without a pregnancy between they wanted to be sure there wasn't something that was going on, and realistically, miscarriage isn't a midwives forte, healthy normal pregnancy and birth is.

So I made an appointment with one of the OB doctors at the same clinic.  That appointment was today.  I was hopeful that she may have some suggestions, or maybe she would just tell me things I already knew.  But at the very least I didn't expect the insensitivity I got.

When the doctor walked into the room she sat down with her computer, barely making eye contact and typing away.  Finally she looked up at me with a big smile and said...

"Well,  you should consider yourself very fortunate.  You've had 6 kids"

"seven..." I mumbled without even thinking, shocked at what she just said.

"Seven...." she repeated and went back to typing on her computer.

"Well" she started again.  "What I mean is.  You are very lucky, you had 7 pregnancies without a miscarriage, most people don't have that kind of luck"

Ok.  I'm not going to cry.  I'm going to pretend this woman didn't just minimize my losses and pretend she didn't just try to make me feel guilty and unreasonable for wanting the children i've lost and mourning them.

"So, you had a miscarriage in 08" she says and I nod.  "So why did you wait until now to come in?"

My mouth opened to say something and then snapped back shut.  I looked at her quizzically for a minute.  This woman really had NO idea of anything.  She hadn't bothered to even glance at my chart before walking in that door, nor at the referral for that matter.

"umm.  Well because this last miscarriage was 2 in a row and well I am worried something might be wrong with me.  My cycles are getting shorter and shorter and I have this pain in my left ovary through my whole cycle"

"Pain in your ovary during your period" She says as she types away.

"No, pain in my ovary during the entire cycle" I corrected.

"So, pain the whole month??"  Yes.

More typing.

So when was your last menstrual period and how long was that cycle?  It started March 19th and that was the last one I had, my cycles had been running about 23 days the last 6 months or so.

"March 19th was almost 2 months ago.  So, you're pregnant right now?"

*sigh*.  "No ma'am, I had a miscarriage 3 weeks ago, that's why I'm here.

"oh.  Well tell me about that then."

"Well, I got a positive pregnancy test on what was day 28 of my cycle, which was 4 days late for me.  The next day I took another test under the same conditions and the test was a bit lighter, so I think things were already on the downward slope... I started bleeding 5 days later"

"So, what cycle day did you start bleeding" She asks, and I answer 33.

"Well it is possible you weren't pregnant, that your periods are just changing back to a more normal cycle.  33 days is still quite normal" She says.

"But I felt pregnant and the 2 pregnancy tests said......"

"Those things are wrong all the time, and sometimes women read them wrong and sometimes when a woman WANTS to be pregnant she manifests symptoms of a pregnancy.  I've seen women with big huge bellies who weren't pregnant at all, they just thought they were.  So, stranger things have happened. " she cuts me off.

Ok really? 2 false positives? Not even light lines, nice DARK lines? Come ON I think I know what a positive pregnancy test is.

I'm not gonna cry.  I'm not gonna cry.  Now not only should I be ashamed of myself for wanting another healthy child, but that child, in her opinion, was fake anyway.  I'm NOT gonna cry.

She asks if I'm taking any medications.  "no, but after my miscarriage I started taking these... it seems they can help regulate the female hormones if that's an issue, and it's suppose to lengthen the luteal phase and mine's really short so I thought maybe that was my problem" I handed her the bottle of the herb Vitex.

She looks at the bottle.  "Well, this isn't going to help anything, but it won't hurt you so if you want to take it you can."

Well thanks for her expert opinion on herbs then.

So, she says. " I want to do some blood work.  Maybe you have a clotting problem, does anyone in your family have blood clots, on Coumadin? "    No.  " Oh, well I want to check it anyway because that might be the problem.  But I don't think you HAVE a problem, I think 2 miscarriages is nothing and you are fine. "

"Could it be a progesterone issue? I mean I'm just wondering since I'm in my 30's.  I ask.

"If you were 40 maybe, but you aren't 40 you are too young for that.  But if you REALLY want to know we can do a progesterone test on day 21 of your cycle.  But you are going to have to go home and think about that because insurance won't pay for it"

Ok. I say.  "So I just call up here then on day 21?"

"Well yes, but like I said, you'll have to pay for that yourself you know."

Ok. That's fine.

"Insurance won't cover it, it's out of pocket.  Cash that day"

OOOOOOk, I'm starting to get it now.  SHE thinks I'm some unwed girl who has 7 kids by 7 different daddies and am wanting to pad my welfare check with babies.

Yeah, that's fine I say.  No problem I'll pay for it.

So do you want birth control? She asks.  "Mirena is a really good iud" she says handing me the little display.  "ummm no, actually" I say.

"Ok, because IUD's are really good, they are low hormone if that's a problem for you and they prevent pregnancy for 5 years so you don't have to worry about this again."

"no thanks."

"Are you here looking for fertility treatments??"  She asks.

"No.  Just if I get pregnant, I'd like to keep them.  That's all"  I say

"Well how many more kids do you plan on  having?"  She asks

I don't know I say as I stand up to leave.

"Well, if you decide you want some birth control, I suggest the IUD" she says again.

Thank you for your time.

I made it across the clinic to the lab waiting area before the tears started despite trying to hold them back. Most of the time things don't bother me like this, I'm proud of my children and our decision to have as many as we are blessed with.  But when I go somewhere worried and asking for help.... I didn't expect to be made to feel like that.  This woman had made her mind up before she even started talking to me, the minute she saw the number of kids I have on my chart.  She did no exam, made no more mention of my constant ovary pain, nothing.  She assumed I was in there looking for fertility drugs to have more welfare babies and nothing I was going to say would have changed her mind.

Craig wanted to go back and raise hell, but I just wanted to get out of there to do what any self respecting woman would do, wipe my tears away, get my blood drawn for a test I most certainly don't need, and go shoe shopping.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why the public school system doesn't work

When kids are babies we are always told by our Pediatricians, our mothers, our friends that "they will do things at their own pace".  Some kids will crawl at 6 months, some wait until 10.  Some will be walking at 8 months, some won't toddle until well into their second year.  Some, like my daughter Hailey will be speaking full coherent sentences by their first birthday, and some are just sputtering their first mama's and bye bye's.  And everyone will tell you that's ok.  Even child development experts will calm your fears by telling you that sometimes when a small child is working hard mastering a skill, such as speaking, their large motor skills will seem to lag behind for a while.  And that's ok too.

So why suddenly when these kids become school age is it suddenly crucial that they all learn the same things at the same rate?

I got a letter home recently from a teacher who works with my 1st grader Jacksen.  She was strongly recommending we enroll Jacksen in a remedial summer reading class, as his reading skills aren't up to snuff.  She included a graph that showed where Jacksen should be and where he was, his line is a smidge lower than the other line.

His primary teacher says he's doing well this school year and should have no problems in 2nd grade (this teacher and I share a lot of the same opinions on education it seems), but this other teacher is very concerned and didn't hesitate to point out in conference in front of Jacksen how he was lagging behind and "the gap is widening".  Well according to the chart I got in the mail the gap has stayed the same, but whatever.

The more I think about this the more irritated I get.  Jacksen is a kid who does VERY well in school despite the fact that he has Sensory Integration dysfunction.  Put it this way, we didn't know if he would EVER attend public school a few short years ago and now he is 100% mainstreamed with zero interventions.  He does get frustrated very easily, he does get overwhelmed and agitated more quickly than other children.

Now am I simply defending a child who really, for all intents and purposes shouldn't even be doing the things he's doing but he is and goddamnit I'm happy about that?  Sure.  I call Jacksen my little poster child for Autism intervention, we worked VERY hard to give him every chance to beat this, and he is doing better than I ever dreamed.

But there's something more than that ruffling my feathers.  Jacksen LOVES to read.  He reads all the time and for the Accelerated reader program often chooses 3-4th grade level books (and passes the exams I might add).  He enjoys getting sucked into a book and learning something new and reading to Nathan.

So yeah, I have a problem with this.  How would any of us feel if there was something we enjoyed and someone (especially someone who is suppose to know a lot about it) says we aren't too good at that.  Would we have a lot of confidence to keep doing it?  If I told you tomorrow you weren't that great at your job, would you want to return to it tomorrow?  Some of us would, some of us would take it as a personal challenge and take a "no one is gonna tell me I'm not good enough" attitude.  But some of us wouldn't, some of us would feel like WE weren't good enough, and it doesn't take much to make children feel that way.

It's not the recommendation for the remedial class.  I think EVERYONE can benefit from extra help with anything.  It's the fact that these kids are put in little good enough or not good enough boxes.  We don't consider that a child who enjoys reading and does it often will become better at it in spite of what we do, we don't consider that sometimes enjoying something and feeling confident about something is the most important step in becoming better at it.  And we most definitely don't consider that none of these children became good at walking, talking, or riding a bike at the same exact age.

No, we sit across a table from a 7 year old and tell them they aren't good enough.  And then wonder why they suddenly don't want to read the books they had been enjoying before.  Wonder why he says "I don't want to go to that summer school class, I'm just stupid anyway".  Because this is the way it's done.

We could learn a lot from toddlers.  Instead we are too busy trying to teach them things they will learn anyway, but we never will.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Patience is a virtue and i don't believe in virtues!

You all never fail to ground me when my emotion takes over and I'm off on a tangent,  you're definitely right, calling the doctor would be the next logical thing to do.  I guess I'm just frustrated.  It's very hard to have lost a child to a broken organ and then to find out another one is broken too.  I guess the problem is for me is that with Alex everything happened so fast all the time, my head would spin.  I would finally wrap my head around something and something else would be thrown at me.  I would often call Dr D the pink paper pusher because it seemed everytime I turned around he had a consent form in my face for another procedure.  


So being use to things moving so fast it's very difficult for me to accept when they aren't.  There are all these unknowns with Nathan, will he need a transplant? When?  Will we be able to keep his sodium in check with diet alone as he gets older?  How will I make sure he gets the opportunity to douse his school lunch in salt so he gets enough?  What will people say to him?  Everything is an unknown and I'm not use to this and I don't like it.  

I need to learn some patience.... how do you do that?

Mother's day

Mother's day was wonderful.  I am so blessed by the beautiful people I was somehow granted permission to bring into this world and parent.

They let me sleep in today and I took full advantage (partly because I knew I had to work tonight!). Got up and Craig had made french toast for lunch, yum.  We decided to go into town shopping and finally bought the beta fish I've been wanting to put in a neat glass container I got at the auction a couple weekends ago.  Hailey picked him out and the little kids decided to name him Rocky.

We went out for tacos and Nate kept saying "where's broccoli" over and over again.  I couldn't figure out why the heck he would think of broccoli at a taco place until one of the kids said "He's talking about the fish!" Broccoli (which Nate pronounces Bocky" and Rocky do sound a lot alike!  So now we are calling the fish broccoli.

Bought the seeds to plant my first garden.  I'm nervous.  I have killed every single houseplant that has been given to me.  I even killed a cactus once.  A couple of years ago I actually succeeded in keeping 2 (of the 4 I bought) hostas alive outside so I figured well, maybe a veggie garden is do-able.  If anything actually grows i'll probably fall over.  I wanted to put the garden in this weekend but with the snowfall (!!) on Friday I figured it may be a titch too cold yet.

Wish me, my poor garden, and poor little broccoli fish (never been great at keeping them alive either) luck!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The kidney is connected to the....

So, I think in my lapse in blogging I didn't post the latest with Nate's health.  If you are a newer reader and don't know about Nate's Kidney problems, I invite you to brush up on the Dr's appointment that threw us for a loop HERE.  Prior to that Nate had developed Excessive thirst and urination (Polydipsia and Polyuria respectively) and went through tests to rule out various common problems with these symptoms.

So in March our 6th month recheck came up.  We repeated the ultrasound, repeated labs, and saw Dr. H.  Sadly instead of getting a BETTER idea as to what his problem is, we got a worse idea.

In good but shocking news his kidney size caught up to near normal!  However his urine still doesn't concentrate and the polyuria/polydipsia haven't resolved.  Dr H basically said that we are undoubtedly dealing with SOME primary renal disease, but he hasn't a CLUE what it is.  And that means we don't have a clue what his prognosis is at this point.  He said he was going to petition our insurance to let him do genetic testing since he's almost certain with my family history of having a grandmother with renal disease, myself having renal disease that there's some genetic link here, and if he can find it maybe he can figure Nathan out.  He was also going to consult some Dr in Michigan who is doing a study on disease of the cilia (tiny hairs in various organs that help things flow) and see what he thought.  Apparently he still thinks that somehow Nate's kidney and eye problems are related.

Well friends.  That was two months ago.  And I haven't heard a word from him since.

We have been bringing Nate to an ophthamologist in Minnesota for his eye care and I think we'll be taking his kidney care over there as well at this point.  However it's been a battle each time to beg our insurance to pay, since these docs are out of network.  At this point with the eyes we know he will need surgery probably around the end of the year, and we will probably end up paying for that out of pocket.  Can we pay for extensive renal care out of pocket too?  2016 can't come soon enough people.  I don't care what side of the healthcare debate you are on, have a kid who is chronically ill and then talk to me eh?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

what's next?

I wish I could have an idea, follow through, and then be happy with the outcome.  Here I find myself a few short months away from graduating college, which I have worked really hard at and I'm already thinking about what's next?  I want to pursue midwifery but am I too old to commit to that much schooling?  I'm trying to tell myself to just get through graduation, get a job and see where it leads but I've always got to be thinking of what happens next.  Not sure why that is, I'm never content!

Things are at a boiling point with Hailey at school.  She and a girl she's been back and forth with all year got into a physical fight yesterday.  And again today the girl came into the bathroom and if someone hadn't stepped in would have probably escalated to violence again.  Combine that with the teacher who seems to enjoy humiliating 8th graders, the principal and administrator who don't do a whole lot about it, the police department that doesn't want to be bothered.......... well, I'm frustrated.  We are just counting down the days until school is out, next year she will move onto high school which will be MUCH better as the principal there is much better at what he does.  Tomorrow Hailey and I are going to talk to the guidance counselor and see if maybe a meeting with this girl to talk things down may be something we could do.  Let's hope so!

Anyway, not much to report I guess.  I'm on my off work stretch which means catching up on sleep and housework, not too exciting!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Inspiration

I know a lady who is everything I have always wished I could be.  She's proud, she's humble and she doesn't let anything stand in her way.  She gives with all of her heart to every person who needs it yet loves her family fiercely.  And she's given up so much for what she believes in.

I have sat back and watched her for many years.  The way she seemed to handle everything with ease, the way she seemed to have the midas touch.  And wished I could do the same.

Why can't I?

My gears are turning folks.  I think maybe the stars aligned to allow me the freedom to do what I need to do.  I think I have some thinking to do.  I may be onto a big adventure.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

bullies

If you've read this blog for any length of time you know we've struggled with my daughter and school.  I will admit that my daughter is her mother's child.  She's hard headed, strong willed, opinionated and passionate.  I love that about her.  I raised her to think outside the box and to question authority and to challenge what you are told as fact.  Because of this, my daughter often gets herself into a bit of trouble.  She doesn't yet have enough control over her emotions, and at 14 years old definitely doesn't possess the maturity to always say what she needs to say in a productive way. She is very blunt and calls it as she sees it.  That filter that most people have, the one that allows us to roll our eyes AFTER we've turned away, the filter that keeps our mouth closed tight and makes us bite our tongue when what we would really like to do is tell someone just how idiotic they are.  That filter?  My daughter doesn't yet have one.

Now, she comes by this quite honestly.  I have been known to storm in, guns blazing, kicking ass and taking names and asking questions later.  Especially when it involves my children.  Ya just don't mess with mama bear's cubs.

Anyway, because of my daughters passion she gets herself in trouble.  She's often in the midst of whatever drama is going around and even I am frequently unsure and have to ask who we are hating on this week because it's surely different.  She has that one best friend of course, through thick and thin (although I sometimes think this friend makes things worse!).

I usually do my best to let the middle school drama play itself out.  Unless it starts getting out of hand these kids will usually figure things out on their own, and quite honestly, by the time you interfered they will most likely be the best of friends already when just a minute ago they wanted to kill each other.  It's part of growing up, it's part of learning skills we need in adulthood.

But I have a problem with adults who are bullies.  A big problem.

Hailey has a teacher this year who meets this criteria.  She makes frequent snide, off the cuff remarks and to listen to her talk, seems to be right on the same maturity level of the 14 year olds she teachers.  I've always thought this, but paid her no attention because I didn't really need to.  Hailey dealt with her fine on her own, although they butted heads from time to time it never really got too crazy.

Until now.

Hailey joined track again this year.  You might remember last year how I was beaming with pride as my daughter finished the 800 a half a lap ahead of any of her competitors.  Hailey really has a gift for running, and track gives her pride.  Every year her behavior improves, her grades improve, her self esteem improves.  It's great to have her so focused on something.

Well this year she has a new coach.  One who pretty strictly adheres to the athletic code.  You see, Hailey isn't a great student.  She just isn't.  She can bust her ass all day and pull a C if she's lucky.  She has an IEP but if you know anything about our school district you know they are a joke here.  She's hard to teach, I know, I've done it when we homeschooled.

Well her coach decided that he would allow the "passing or sit out" rule to be waived IF Hailey's teachers said she was showing improvement week to week.  We were thrilled about this and Hailey took it on wholeheartedly.  She even brought her English grade to an A!!!!

However Science and History are a struggle.  Even kids who are honor roll students all their lives get tripped up with this science class, so it's no surprise she's failing.  She's also failing history, which she has with the above mentioned teacher.

Well, this past monday Hailey came home upset because this teacher told her she would not be allowing her to run in the track meet.  This was MONDAY.  Basically this teacher wasn't even interested in allowing Hailey to try, she had made her mind up and sure enough, despite Hailey turning in every assignment all week, she refused to sign off on Friday so Hailey did not get to run in the track meet.

Hailey's confidence is broken.  She decided not to attend track practice today and chose instead to work on some homework with her friend.  Although I'm thrilled, I"m sad. She's writing track off.  This teacher has continued to bully her with snide comments such as today when someone commented that Hailey's hair looked different this teacher said "maybe she finally washed it".  That kind of statement has no place coming from a teacher.

The mom in me wants to go and show her what it feels like to be bullied.  But certainly someone whose target is children has very little self esteem themself and because of that I should feel sorry for her. I did however email the principal and told him this will NOT be tolerated.  I'm not sure how far to go with it as Hailey is already afraid the teacher will retaliate against her because of anything I do.  Where is the fine line between teaching your child to respect others and allowing them to stand up for themselves?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jobless

So, come July 1st I will be jobless.  After almost 2 years working in Registration at the hospital.  In January I went from 2 hrs per week float shifts to 30 hours per week overnights.  I can't say overnights has been especially pleasant.  In fact it has taken a toll on me, my family, my schoolwork.  But I still planned to continue until August when I hoped I could just move into another job with the same clinic that owns our hospital.

Until I realized that my Externship, which takes place from July 6-August 27th isn't one day a week as I thought.  This externship requires me to put in 180 hours in 7 weeks.

I immediately went into full blown panic mode.  I may work 10 hours less a week than most people who work full time, but give the fact that my shifts are 10 hour overnight shifts, given the fact that I have six kids, given the fact that my health both physically and emotionally aren't the best due to the stress of it..... well, this is not going to work!

So my husband and I decided the only option would be for me to leave my job (hopefully I'll be able to stay on pool status!) and concentrate on finishing school.  I have some PTO I will get when I leave, and we have some money we've been saving and Craig's child support is finished as of May 11th and my ex is now paying his again so....... we'll be ok.  We'll be better off than we were when I was a SAHM actually but when you get use to having extra money, well it's hard to give that up!

But I have to take care of me first.

And I hate nights.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I've lost my muchiness.

If you haven't seen the new Alice in Wonderland yet you MUST MUST MUST see it.

There are two quotes I absolutely love in that movie.

"You've lost your muchiness.  You used to be much muchier" -The Mad Hatter

And

"you're downright bonkers.  But all the best people are"- Alice's dad

None of us are perfect.  Nobody fits inside a neat little package and is stamped with a quality control sticker.  And that's completely ok.  Society puts so much pressure on us.  I remember when my daughter was in kindergarten and a little girl in her grade wasn't eating lunch because she was "fat".  I remember just recently my daughter telling me she wanted to lift weights because she was too skinny.  My response?  Says WHO?  Who gets to decide what is too much or too little of anything.  What makes YOU perfect might be something completely different than what makes the next person perfect.  All I really know is that I'm happiest, and as close to perfect as can be when I'm honest with who I am.  You know what?  I'm a tiny bit chubby.  I've got freckles and should have had braces on my teeth and I had 3 moles removed from my face that have left raised scars.  And I fight with depression and anxiety and you know, may just be downright bonkers.  But that's me.  And that makes me happy.

From now on, I'm going to be much muchier :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Beltane



























Today is Beltane. The Pagan holiday that celebrates fertility.
This holiday, at this time of the year speaks to me. You see, out of my 9 pregnancies? 6 of them were conceived in the spring, 3 of them passed on to the other side in the spring.
This Beltane is bittersweet due to recent events. Fate made it possible for my husband and I to both have it off work. We plan to construct a Maypole for the kids to dance around and to light our first backyard fire with some friends, kick back with some "smushmallows" and Corona's and reflect on the beauty that surrounds us, because with 18 pregnancies between the two families? Celebrating fertility only seems proper.
Happy Beltane to all my friends, no matter what your religious affiliation. Oh, and if any of you were wondering where the idea of the Easter bunny came from?........ you only have to think of Beltane and what bunnies do best my friend.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Baseball season begins again!


























I love late spring.  One of our favorite things to do this time of year is park our butts on cold hard bleachers twice a week and watch Christian's little league games.  We bring snacks, we buy snacks, we take our turn selling snacks in the concession booth but mostly we get loud and rowdy cheering for our boys.  This will be Christian's 3rd year playing and Jacksen is looking forward to being able to join in a couple years.

Go Bulldogs!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Auschwitz

So for some reason last night I spent too much time on the internet looking at photos and reading stories of survivors of the death camps.



And as I was looking at the pictures I paid extra attention to the faces of the parents of the many children in the photos. The children looked as children do, a bit afraid but confident. Children have this sense that their parents will protect them, will take care of them. In looking at the photos of these children I feel a sense of peace, these children had no idea what was happening to them until it was far too late. By the time they realized something bad was going on the gas was in their lungs and they were losing consciousness. But the parents, although for the most part they didn't exactly know their fate, they had a good idea that either way, it wouldn't be good.

As they stepped, fell, or were shoved off the train cars at the unloading docks and sorted into a group that would either be the workers (mostly the men and young women) and those who would instantly die (older women and children) they had to know that whatever their fate, it would be difficult. There was no peace. Many of these people had come from "ghetto's", places where people lived sometimes hundreds to a building the size of an outhouse or an underground hole. They weren't, for the most part, taken from the lovely upper-middle class houses they once knew, their lives had been painful and hard for quite some time.

Looking at pictures of the "sorted" as they stood in lines, or huddled in groups I had the same response as most people. Those poor people.

What would it have been like as a mother to have your child ripped from your arms, knowing in your heart of hearts you would never see him again?

What would it be like for a father to tell his children to jump from a moving train in hopes of a chance, to see them shot to death as they fell to the ground?

What would it have been like watching your child starve to death, or sweat from typhoid in front of your eyes?

What would it have been like to walk carrying your cooing infant into the gas chamber?

I thought of my children, all of them. And I couldn't fathom it. And then looking through the pictures on various sites I caught the eye of a mother as she looked at the camera with her child in her frail arms and I realized.....

I HAVE done it. I have handed my child over to strangers unknowing if they would be able to help, or ultimately hurt him because doing so was they only chance he had.

I have set my newborn down on a bed and watched them cart him off to the operating room where they would stop his heart.

I have watched my child waste away because he was so fluid overloaded his tissues couldn't even take a tiny bit of parenteral nutrition.

I have wiped the sweat from my son's brow as he struggled desperately to live, smoothed the creases in his forehead from the pain that stayed long after he fell into a drug induced sleep, rubbed the dents out of his edematous back where the soft lambs fur blanket he slept on pushed into him.

And I have walked away from my son, knowing it would be the last time I would ever see him.

I'm not any different than those mothers in those photos that my heart bleeds for, the difference is? I had to live to feel the pain it caused. And although I have no trouble acknowledging and validating their pain I haven't allowed myself to validate my own.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's my name again?
















So my teenage daughter thinks it's hilarious that my ring tone is tik-tok by k$sha (yeah, I even put the dollar sign, I'm THAT cool) and that my most comfy outfit consists of some kick ass looking jeans, a tank and an Aeropostale tiny tee with my blue Aero hoodie, with flip flops. I'm just very fortunate that I'm not a size zero like she is or she'd probably steal my clothes.

This blog post has nothing to do with that.

This post comes from the realization that I am SO glad I'm blogging again. I feel so good getting my thoughts into print and so liberated that I can just open this page, put my fingers to the keyboard and type whatever it is flies out of them. I finally have a place where I can be me, uncensored. ME, the girl who even at 33 loves Aeropostale and Vanity, who even when she's crying her eyes out can dig deep and find the humor in absolutely anything, and I do mean anything. ME, the chick who had some bad shit happen to her and is finally standing up and saying "NO, I'm not ok". JUST ME. That girl that I use to know so long ago, whoever she is.

I like her. And I like it here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Silliness


So, some things do make me immensely happy. Like my family, my kids, photography, and my Mac. If you ever have the opportunity to spend an afternoon playing with photo booth on a mac computer with your kids you'll never laugh so much in your life, I promise. Here's a few from some of mine and Nate's photo shoots!



































































































Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tears and fears

So today I am sitting at home on a rainy afternoon watching Harry Potter movies. For some reason since the miscarriage I have been very dizzy and thanks to some wonderful co-workers was able to take last night and tonight off work, good thing since I probably shouldn't be driving with the world spinning at random times.


Anyway. Someone asked me if I've ever thought of medication for the depression. I have used medication before actually. I was on Prozac for a while which did really well for me until one day I realized something both amusing and startling, an intended effect of the drug I'm sure but one that made me realize it's limitations.

I was unable to cry.

In a situation where a normal person would have shed tears I was unable to do so. I was unable to feel anything with a deep enough feeling to actually show emotion. While this allowed me to take some control back when I felt like I had lost it, it was not a good long term solution to my depression and so I went off the medication and regained my ability to feel and to cry and process.

I need to feel. Even though it was 4 years ago that my son died I still do need to feel that loss. Because it's not going anywhere. Even if I were able to stuff it deep down in a place where I didn't have to see it, it would still be there waiting for me to deal with it. Ignoring it isn't going to make it go away and it's not going to help me get through it. So I choose not to medicate.

I do have an appointment set up with a Psychologist in June to discuss some of these things and discuss my options. Mostly my anxiety is what is difficult to get a handle on and what I think I need the most help with. I think that when I'm feeling the most depressed it is actually a side effect sometimes of the anxiety, the anxiety makes me unable to sleep, eat, or focus and that makes everything else in my life slide until it gets overwhelming.

At this point I think I would be willing to medicate for anxiety if the doctor presented that as an option. If only for a break until I can regroup maybe.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Let me out of the box!

A friend messaged me on Facebook after reading the last couple blog posts. I can always count on her to be right there and honest and she asked me if I was afraid of people in the community judging me, you know looking at me with the sad clown face. Being the poor depressed mom with all those kids.


The truth is. Yes. I am. I remember when Alex died and shortly after attending one of the kids' concerts and feeling like every eye in the entire gym was on me saying "Oh there's the woman whose baby died". Of course none of those people would do the right thing, which would have been to walk up to me and say something, they simply stared like I had somehow grown an extra head and was now something of a novelty.

Now maybe that will happen again. And you know I guess it's ok. It's ok because I need people to know the real me. I need to know the real me. I'm not perfect, and neither are you. We all have skeletons in our closet, I'm letting mine out and it's LIBERATING!

As you might have noticed I took a bit of a haitus from the bloggy world.  I wasn't sure this blog was serving it's purpose anymore, it's purpose being letting me be honest with myself.  In fact, I know it wasn't.  So I took a break, took some time to think about what my writing does for me and what my live might show someone else.  And in re-inventing this blog I did some looking around on the internet. I read about depression, I read about motherhood. I read about lose and love and I read about failure and I read about honesty.


I found a quote that said "The definition of honesty is being what it seems". How simple is that? Being what it seems. It seems so simplistic and real and innocent.

It's hard to be honest with yourself. It's even harder to make yourself accountable for the truth to other people. To put your vulnerable self out there to be scrutinized but everyone you know, and some you don't. It's a scary prospect.

The truth is that as long as I can remember I have struggled with depression. If I had to make an unofficial guess I'd say my mother and my sister also deal with it. And I see it taking my daughter too. And that's why I realized it's time to be honest. For me. For them. For her. It's time to be what I seem. To stop pretending.

The fear takes over. You see, it doesn't matter if you are depressed because someone just died or if you are full on hearing voices and think you are Allah. Mental illness is mental illness. People see mental illness as weakness. Weakness is failure. Failure is bad.

You see. I'm afraid. I'm afraid that someone who knows my children will read my words and tease them, I'm afraid that some people will finally see the real me and not like what they see.

But you know what? Living with depression and fear and anxiety and loss doesn't define me. It does play a large part in who I am and sometimes it has a front in center voice in the things I do. But it doesn't make me a bad mother. It doesn't make me incapable. It doesn't make me ungrateful. And it doesn't make me unfixable. It is something that will always be with me, like it or not. But it's time to start being honest with it, being honest with myself and strip the fear and the facade away so I can be the one in control.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Private

The title to the following, when it was saved on my computer was "Private". It was actually typing in that name that made me realize the problem with it. I knew enough to know I needed to write. Writing has always been an outlet for me. But I've always kept the REAL stuff I write private. My blog sometimes brushed the edges of my true feelings but it was mostly a mask, and when it wasn't a mask it was simply a manifestation of my problem in a different way. I would stand up on my soapbox and take a stance and be proactive and loud about issues because it was easy to do that. Not that I didn't believe in those issues, I still do, but really I was ranting and raving because I was unable to say hey, I'm mad, I'm hurting, and right now I need to yell.

Anyway, the following is something I wrote and because I never intended to share it with anyone I realize how honest it is. This post is the one I always plan to look back on with this blog when I feel like I am covering, when I feel like I am censoring. Because I NEED to be real here. This blog won't be all sadness and pain, because my life most definitely isn't all sadness and pain. But it does need to be real, and this post is going to keep me real. I hope.

~~I need an outlet. I don’t really feel like there’s anyone in my life I can be 100% honest with. I have to keep it together for one reason or another in front of every person I know. I have friends that judge me even when they don’t think they do, Craig hurts as badly as I do and I fear if I started to tumble I’d just take him right along with me. So I have to wake up every morning and pretend nothing is wrong day after day and carry the weight of my burden. Cry tears in private and put ice on my face trying to hide the evidence. The truth is, if anyone had any idea on a daily basis just how close I am to a mental break they would shit. There are days I have to fight with everything I have not to let my head go there because I’m afraid that one time when I actually let it happen, let the pain and the fear and the sadness come out uninhibited……. It won’t stop.



I feel like I’ve had so much taken from me and I don’t know why. Then I look at it from the other light like I know I’m suppose to and know that I am blessed. But does being blessed and grateful for what I have mean that I can’t mourn what I don’t? Is that why I feel like I’m failing if I acknowledge the pain? Because if I am honest with my losses and my pain and my fears I think somehow that means I don’t appreciate the wonderful things I do have? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I fear that someone else will be taken away from me and I will regret allowing myself a minute away from being grateful for them.


I feel so trapped by my pain and my fears and my feelings of failure. Even as I type this and the tears I’m trying desperately to quash stream down my face I’m afraid Craig will wake up and see me crying. I hate it when he sees me cry. I know he wants to help but I can’t open up to him.

It’s just not fair! I wanted this baby, and the one before, and Alex. And I know we don’t always get what we want but my god for most people they want to win the lottery and don’t. me? My children die. WTF? I don’t think I ask for too much. I’m content living paycheck to paycheck. I’m happy with my older cars and my old house that needs constant TLC. I’m not asking for a million dollars or a house on a mountain or wishing impossible things. All I want is for the people I love to be alive and healthy and to be given the wisdom to be able to figure out how to do what’s right for them. Is that too much to ask?


I’m afraid to admit this, really, openly because people assume everytime someone is depressed they are suicidal. I’m not suicidal, the last thing I want is to be away from my family, they are the only thing that brings happiness to my life. I’m the opposite of suicidal. But sometimes it does seem like a nice reprieve to just be able to sleep through the sadness. Sometimes I wish I could somehow be so far under the pain that it couldn’t touch me. When I passed out the day I started bleeding, for a split second I had that feeling as I went down seemingly in slow motion. The feeling that I was unable to care for those few seconds. I was unable to feel fear or pain or anything. And I liked it.

I wanted that baby god damnit. And I don’t care if it was my 8th or my 1st or my 15th it was just as wanted as any of my other children. Knowing he or she was in there made me happy. Made me feel hopeful and joy and excitement. To me having kids isn’t about some status quo, it’s not that it’s what a couple does when they are married. It’s not some 2.2 standard that society imposes. Everyone of my children brings me more joy than I have ever been able to get anywhere else in my life and doubt I ever would be able to. But at the same time every one of them have the ability to destroy me. I give a piece of myself to each baby unconditionally, and sometimes they leave and take it with them. Some might think that it would be wise to stop giving those pieces away, because it’s destroying me little by little. But for me, that immense joy of a new person in my life , a perfect little person created by me and my husband, the moments with your children that literally suck your breath from your chest and you wonder how you would have ever been able to survive without this person in your world, those moments are so important to me that I am willing to put that piece of myself on the ledge that is the question of life and see if it will stay with me or teeter off the edge, gone. And maybe that’s how I’m slowly destroying myself.

Maybe someday I will succeed. Maybe someday I will give all of my pieces away and all of them will be gone and I will find the numbness I felt in the moments before losing consciousness. Maybe then loving them so won’t hurt anymore.