Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Try again."

Last week seems like such a blur - that's probably due in part to the heavy meds I've been on, but all in all, I don't feel like I missed too much.  I was able to take several days off from work and I'm really thankful for that.

I broke the news of the miscarriage to Emily on Monday night while she was helping make dinner.  I wanted to wait till she was home for the week to tell her so she'd have all the opportunities for questions and much-needed comfort.

I think having to tell her made things seem much more real.  It's almost like I wasn't allowing myself to feel anything, except when I was alone in my bed, waiting for the medications to sweep me off to sleep each night.  - But that afternoon was different, I gave myself permission to cry in front of her...  and it wasn't really by choice...  It just happened - as soon as I started telling her the results of the final ultrasound, I choked up and it all came out.

She just stood there, staring at me.  I saw genuine concern in her face and tears began to well up in her big brown eyes, but she didn't cry.  She just maintained eye contact, and nodded her head in response to the things I said.

I assured her that I was okay.  - That it wasn't because of anything I did or anyone did to me.  - That sometimes these things happen.  I told her it was okay to be sad and that she could ask as many questions as she needed to.  - I told her the doctor said we needed to wait a couple of months and then we could try again.  - And to that she asked, "But will you try again, Mommy?"  - How does she do that?  She knows me so well, it's scary.

It's no secret that I've been very unsure about the whole having another baby thing.  I've been so wishy-washy.  Even after I found out I was pregnant again there were days I was super happy and excited about it.  - And then there were days where I wondered if it was such a great idea after all.

This was the first time in my life where the fact that I was late getting my period wasn't an "Oh, shit" moment.  I'm a grown, responsible adult.  I've managed to raise one amazing child already.  I'm happily married.  My husband has always wanted children.  We have a roof over our heads.  - And we are both gainfully employed.  It all adds up in the positive, right?  I mean, that's a Grade A spawning situation, right?  - But there I was second-guessing every little thing.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's just me.  Am I non-committal about the things most women my age aren't non-committal about?

With all the complications I had with this pregnancy from the get-go, I can honestly say I was half expecting this outcome.  I had been mentally preparing myself for this loss since my last spotting episode about 3 weeks prior.  Even the morning before I went for my last ultrasound, I told a friend that I wouldn't be completely devastated or surprised if I miscarried.

After my ultrasound, I knew the bad news even before my doctor came to deliver it.  I watched the tech take measurements and scan for the heartbeat several times, unsuccessfully.  I recognized how my doctor assessed my demeanor and emotional state when he entered.  - Despite the news, I managed to remain pretty well-composed as we discussed the pros & cons of having a D&C procedure and our options in regards to spawning post-surgery.  I didn't allow myself to cry until I was in my car, calling my husband on the phone. 

There it was.  No more baby.  The heartbreak was real and much deeper than I could have ever imagined.  - And surprisingly, I was devastated despite my earlier proclamation to my friend.

When you're the one trying to process all of this, it's easy to believe that you'll be the only one affected.  But as soon as I heard Alan's voice, I quickly realized how wrong I was.  My heart was breaking not only for me and the loss of the baby, but for Alan and Emily too.

My only regret is that I didn't realize how much I really wanted that baby until my choice in the matter was completely taken away from me.  I wish I had been more present and less worrisome.

Emily has handled everything like the champ that she is.  She sporadically asks me questions when it's just her and I - and if she thinks of a question when Alan is around, she politely shoos him away.

As of now, our intention is to try again.  - Like I said before, I am giving myself all of next year to indulge in the idea of becoming a parent all over again.  - If it happens, it happens.  - If it doesn't, hey, at least we tried and we still have one amazing daughter to keep us plenty occupied.

We're going to take our time healing from this heartbreak.  - Start living healthier and trying to be more active.  - Get through the holidays.  - And we'll probably officially start trying again in February or March.

In the meantime, I'll try to keep reminding myself of this:  "If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again... try again." 

Monday, June 11, 2012

"How's it gonna be..."

I'm down one pound since last week's weigh in.  So I'm still at 193.

I had a series of doctors appointments over the course of 2 weeks and for the most part all my labs came back fairly normal.  There were a few things my doctor said we would watch over the next few months, but also said if I get my diet and exercise habits in order those things should remedy themselves.

I am officially off all medications - excluding Zyrtec for my ridiculous allergies.  I stopped taking my anti-depressant (Celexa) about 2 months ago and seem to be doing fine emotionally -- at least for now.  My doctor mentioned there is a new medication out that has none of the side effects that concern me most and since I've tried so many other anti-depressants over the course of my adult life, if we -- as in my family -- started to notice signs of depression creeping back in it would be a good fit for me.  I also opted to take Melatonin to help me sleep instead of a sleep-aid and that seems to be helping with my erratic sleep schedule.

Last Wednesday I had to have a minor out-patient surgical procedure to have my IUD removed.  Typically, surgery isn't necessary to have them removed, however, my device had traveled a bit into my cervical canal.  The procedure wasn't too horrible.  They gave me local anesthesia so I didn't feel too much.  - Though I've been quite crampy since - today being no exception.

I almost called to cancel the removal 3 times that morning.  I think I was more scared of the fact that I am now able to get pregnant than of the procedure itself.

I don't get it.  I have no idea what I'm so afraid of.  I'm in the ideal situation to add to my family.  I have a husband who is a wonderful husband and step-dad to my daughter and who will no doubt be a great father to his own child.  I have a sweet, intuitive daughter who will be an amazing big sister.  We have a home and we both are gainfully employed.  All situations are right for spawning.

- So why then am I so freaking scared?  What's got me so completely spooked?  -- I don't exactly know nor can I put my finger specifically on just one thing.

I worry about:  - My business.  - My family's finances and overall security.  - The strain a new baby can put on a new marriage.  - Providing for a baby.  - Being that girl who has 2 kids from 2 different dads. (Have I been watching too much Maury?)

I've been so pensive over the last few days -- trying to pinpoint where all this anxiety is coming from.

I think deep down I'm still so pessimistic when it comes to what I believe about relationships and commitment.  I was programmed from a very young age by my own mother to always be prepared for the bottom to fallout of whatever seemingly perfect relationship I put myself into.  It's hard to undo that kind of thinking.  - Especially if you personally haven't experienced anything different in your own life experiences.  I have always had a very difficult time seeing me with one person for the rest of my life -- not because I have any desire to leave -- but rather I have this unrealistic expectation that he will ultimately leave me alone in the end.  There are no 100% guarantees in life or in love and that scares me to death.

Wanting to get married to Alan really was a big thing for me.  I honestly didn't see myself finding someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with in my cards - especially after the horrible breakup of 2009.  - And Alan often jokes that we got married so quickly because he didn't want to give me the chance to run away -- sometimes I can't help but wonder how much truth to that there really is. 

So to consider bringing another child into this world is an even BIGGER thing for me...  and actually acting upon it by ceasing all forms of birth control is HUGE - super-duper-ridiculous huge. Three years ago, I would have hysterically laughed in your face had you told me I would be planning to have another child.  It just wasn't something I wanted to do again at all. 
Even now, I'm unsure.  The idea of it is nice.  I really would love to have a little boy to dork out with since Emily is sooooo super girly.  But the reality is that I'm just so unsure and so scared of the unknown.

Ideally -- with me being the over-planner that I am -- I'd like to wait till the end of the year to even start thinking about actively trying.  I'd like to get a few more things around our house completed.  I'd also like get my body to a healthier state so I can house a growing fetus and remain fairly active throughout the pregnancy -- that was something I didn't do with Emily and I remember regretting it after she came.

Once my cycles regulate, I know I will be frantically tracking them like a mad woman.  - But I figured the longer the IUD stayed in, the more excuses as to why we should wait for a more "convenient time" I would make - and let's be completely honest here -- there is no good time to have a baby.  -- Time is of the essence and I am no spring chicken anymore. 

If it happens, it happens and we will deal the best way we know how.

But for now, all I can do is take it one day at a time.  - Pray for peace and clarity often.  - Breathe and have faith that God knows exactly what He's doing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"It's been one week."

Current weight: 193.7 (Down 3.3lbs)

Week one of my weight loss endeavor has proved to be manageable for the most part. - Yes, I did have a few moments of weakness where I had to fight off the urge for chocolate but I was able to fight through them and remain faithful to my diet plan.

The weekend proved to be an unplanned "cheat weekend." - Sunday wasn't originally planned as a cheat day, but seeing how we were celebrating Alan's Grandmother's 91st birthday, I felt cheating on my diet was only natural - especially since birthday cake is involved.

Despite the weekend's "diet adultery," I managed to lose 3 pounds in just 10 days as a result of only tweaking my diet.

In the first 7 days of this fitness & weight loss challenge, I quickly realized getting healthy is truly a commitment of your TIME.

Last week was tough for me to make time to exercise. - Between Emmy being home (and still in school) & my working 11 days straight - I didn't have much time (or energy) to exercise as much as I felt I needed to. - Since I couldn't workout, I knew I really needed to commit to eating healthy. - And to my surprise, it worked! - So now I'm even more motivated and am looking forward to taking full advantage of having my kid-free mornings all to myself to dedicate to working out! - I'm excited to see what next week's numbers will look like!

I've already accepted the fact that eating healthier will require more frequent trips to the grocery to acquire fresh produce. Consequently, I'm am going to attempt to incorporate weekly trips to the grocery on Sundays rather than my customary bi-weekly trips - again, making time to get there on a weekly basis is going to take discipline on my part - especially since Sundays are usually my only day off.

I also realized that packing healthier snaking options (and lunches) have made me factor extra time into my "getting ready" morning routine - . I am an avid snacker. I snack all the time - especially in the car. Because so much of my time is spent in my car commuting to one of my umpteen jobs, I often eat on the go. In my situation, I know that committing to pack healthy & filling snacks is definitely THE biggest key to breaking some unhealthy habits I've developed over the past few years.

In other health related news, I had the first of many doctors appointments to come last Thursday. I expressed my concerns about my weight to my doctor and how I felt they were directly related to my health issues that I've been experiencing as of late. - Chronic pain, chronic fatigue & an overall constant feeling of crumminess.

She ordered extensive bloodwork. I am scheduled for 3 other tests & procedures for June 4th & 5th.

I also have 2 appointments next week - the first being with my gynecologist and the 2nd with a new holistic doctor a client of mine referred me to out in Brentwood.

I'm hoping between the 3 doctors, I will get some definitive answers and a set game plan to get myself back on track.

Fingers & toes crossed! I will keep everyone posted and please keep the prayers coming!

- Posted using BlogPress from my über-cool iPad!

Friday, May 4, 2012

"I was difficult to reach, but you picked me."

- Between Emily being fever-stricken since Sunday and my having a knockout bout with my own health issues; it's definitely made for an interesting week.

Luckily, I already had Monday through Wednesday booked out on my calendar for some much-needed R&R.

- Rest - Yes. - Relaxation - Umm, yeah, not so much.

With all the downtime I had this week, I caught myself taking notice of just how nice life is without the stress of trying to stick to a strict schedule.

I'm that annoying OCD person who has a running "To Do" list and an intense Google calendar to keep me organized at all times.

So with this virus, Emily slept a lot... And I mean A LOT... which is really out of the ordinary for her. - Even when she had the flu she was still up bouncing around, so seeing her sleep till 1pm for 3 days straight was very scary for me. But I let her sleep, meanwhile, I took full advantage of the quiet time and scheduled her doctor appointments for late in the afternoon.

A few months ago, Emmy and Alan made this magnet for our fridge:

- Well, I noticed Wednesday night - after a "later than I would have liked" all-out grocery run, that it had been on the "Funshine Bear" side all week - which, in all honesty, surprised me a little.

I'm not one that handles stress, change or sickness with much grace. If I don't have a grasp on a situation, I freak out and those that live with me are subject to all the "crazy" that I become.

So to see that I hadn't barked at anyone enough to make them flip the mood indicator over to "Grumpy Bear" made me laugh.

After I put Emily back to bed that night, I went to work in my kitchen, washing the produce I had bought and planning meals for the week. - Even though I was completely exhausted myself, I felt really peaceful.

My daughter was resting. My husband was watching the Preds game. I felt completely content in my rinky-dink-busted-up kitchen.

Then for some reason, I started thinking of my past relationships - and more importantly, who I was in those relationships.

- That's when something really powerful occurred to me.

"Tell me something amazing."

That phrase was a staple in my relationship repertoire.

- When something went wrong, I'd say, "Tell me something amazing."

- When I got scared, I'd ask, "Tell me something amazing?"

- When I felt insecure (which was most of the time), I'd demand, "Tell me something amazing!" all the while hoping to hear a sweet compliment... or a profession of love & faithfulness... or both.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the gist.

Not once in the last year and 8 months have I ever said to Alan, "Tell me something amazing."

- And that in itself is something pretty amazing to me.

My life isn't perfect by any means, but God has graciously given me a partner that will weather the storms with me. - And I've found a world of peace in knowing that. <3

- Posted using BlogPress from my über-cool iPad!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Happy Birthday!"

Today is my 33rd birthday.

If I had to choose only one word to describe my life as of late, it would be "Blessed" - no questions about that.

Earlier this week, during my morning commute into one of my many jobs, I reflected a bit on my life over the past 5 years. - The good, the bad and the very, very ugly.

It's no secret that my journey to where I am today was by no means a cake walk. I recall a time in 2008 when I was going on several months of being without a job, stuck on the seemingly never-ending waiting list for Aesthetics school, worrying about how I was going to put food on the table, and ultimately questioning my self-worth each and everyday.

It was only by the grace of God and the generosity of family & friends that got me through. Many of you reached out to help - whether it was providing a place to live, sending monetary gifts, providing me with groceries &/or Kroger gift cards that I used to put gas in my car, or even paying my way on much-needed get-away trips - had it not been for your generosity, I wouldn't have made it. - So from the bottom of my heart, I thank you and hope to someday be able to repay you as well as pay the kindness you showed me forward to someone else in need.

The definition of "Thankful" is:
(1) Pleased and relieved.
(2) Expressing gratitude and relief.

- Yup, that's pretty much me in nutshell.

No matter how I look at it, there's not much that I can't be thankful for these days. - I have a wonderful husband who loves me. - A healthy & happy child. - A roof over our heads. - Groceries in our kitchen. - A car that runs. - Enough money to pay for gas. (Most of the time! Ha!) - And several jobs - all of which I love - that are directly related to my passion for makeup & skincare.

Even in the midst of everything positive, I find that I still struggle to find a balance between my personal time and business. I have a very bad habit of working myself straight into states of exhaustion and illness because I hate turning down work. When it comes to being a freelancer, financial security is NOT one of the many perks of my job. Work equals more money for my family, so naturally I try to accept every gig that I am offered. - And here's the kicker, my other gigs offer me somewhat set hours which means guaranteed money - which ultimately equates to some sense of security.

So I end up working my irregular freelancing schedule around the somewhat regular hours, and in all honesty, that gets a little tricky - making for very long work days and very few valid days off. - No matter how much you love what you do, anyone pulling those kind of hours is bound to have a time for meltdowns, rants and tantrums. Sure, I've considered cutting back on hours or even quitting one or two jobs all together, but ultimately, it boils down to the simple fact that I can't ever forget that horribly scary year that I was unable to find a job. - And now that I have several jobs in addition to all the freelancing work coming in, I have a really tough time saying no just so that I can score a day off to do nothing productive.

It's a double-edged sword at times. I feel so thankful for the work, but at the same time I get so overwhelmed with the lack of time for anything other than work. However, no matter what I feel at any given stressful moment, I will always end up saying this: - Yes, my schedule makes me crazy at times, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I am SERIOUSLY blessed to be so busy doing what I absolutely LOVE to do! As long as God keeps sending the opportunities my way, I will continue to graciously accept any and all work He provides!

In my recent hours of reflecting, I also came to some pretty powerful revelations about who've I've become over the last 3 years.

Let's just be honest, my 32nd year was the best year by far.

I feel like I have finally achieved some state of real happiness in my life. I suspect a lot of that comes from finally being at peace with who I am. - Oh and I'm sure having too many jobs, rather than none at all, helps with that too! ;)

- That age old saying, "You have to love yourself first before you can love anyone else" has never made so much sense until now. For so much of my life, I didn't like who I was, so I turned to alcohol to mask how I really felt. Pretty much all of my "adult" relationships were negatively effected by my actions while I was under the influence of alcohol. I never made the connection until the infamous breakup of 2009. - But even still, I only cut back on my days of partying, rather than stop all together, thus my self-destructive behavior continued.

It wasn't until Summer 2010, that I would have a major break-through. It wasn't even life-changing per se, but the potential of what could have happened had it not been for pure, dumb luck was what literally sobered me up.

Cliff Notes Version: - Friend's wedding. - Very reluctant to go. - Potential for ex-boyfriend drama. - Heavy drinking. - More drinking. - Leaving. - Driving. - Blacking out. - Waking up the next morning at a friend's house. - Can't find my shoes. - Plethora of missed calls & voicemails from worried friends.

- Bam!

That's when it hit me. I was 31 years old. I had a 5 year old daughter. What would have happened had I gotten a DUI - killed someone - died myself? What effect would that have had on Emily's life?

- Needless to say, my actions the previous night scared me so badly that the next morning I actively made some huge changes.

- I focused my energy into writing/blogging more. - I decided to take a much-needed break from partying and dating. - I set my heart on God and my mind on finishing school.

What happened next was so unexpected. I wasn't looking for any kind of relationship when Alan and I first met. We both went into our first "date" not thinking of it as a date at all. We thought that we were just going to be friends. - Boy, God had some very different plans in store for us!! :)
I can say that my relationship with Alan from start to present has been nothing short of amazing. - It's not perfect by any means. - We argue and fight occasionally, but our fights are never ugly blowouts. - We are a pretty peaceful lot.

I honestly feel I can credit that peacefulness to the fact that we don't drink. -Aside from my having an occasional drink, or glass of wine, I know that my life is much more peaceful without alcohol-binge induced insecurities rearing their ugly heads. - And I'm sure having a husband who I trust completely - and can tell just about anything to without judgement - who adores me regardless - also helps keep the "crazy" to a minimum. :)

- Life is good.

- I have so much to be thankful for.

- I am blessed beyond belief.

- Year 32 was a rockin' year for me - the best by far.

- Hoping to raise the ante with my 33rd year.

-Rumor has it that there is power in 3's. :)

Thank you to my family & friends for all your love and support. I thank God for you everyday!

<3 - The Birthday Girl

- Posted using BlogPress from my über-cool iPad!

Location:Forest Park Rd,Madison,United States

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"A Long December."

So it's a new year.  Twenty-twelve.  It's hard to even fathom that at times.

In retrospect, 2011 was better by leaps and bounds than it's prior few years and I'm so thankful for that.  The tides had finally changed, thus making way for some light to shine in my life.

The year as a whole was better, however, I do admit the holidays were tough, as usual, considering my strained relationship with my family.  Though, I am fortunate to have both former and present in-laws to spend time with and that made the holiday season a whole lot more bearable.  -I suppose family is family, right, no matter what the lines of legality say?  -This was the first year since my ex-husband and I split that we had to do a separate Christmas.  -That was a foreign concept to all of us, I think, after all, our situation isn't typical, and I guess it naturally comes with the territory of getting remarried.

Anyway, we had a successful Christmas...  about 5 to be precise.  Emily made out like a spoiled rotten bandit.  -No big surprise there.

About two weeks prior to Christmas, we decided to foster a little Yorkie-Pom mix that stole our hearts immediately.  We named her "Anya" - after a sassy character in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.  -Yes, I realize we are dorks.  -But that's beside the point, our Lab pup, Chloe was happy to have a spunky little friend to horse around with and Emily instantly took to having a perfectly purse-sized dog around.  However, on the Tuesday after Christmas, she got hit by a car and died.  Poor little Emmy, she saw the whole thing happen and she still to this day asks questions about it.  It's so strange how children process death.  Initially, she handled it better than Alan and I did.  But I guess little ones just don't quite understand how to grieve, so her questions are the only way for her to achieve closure on the matter.    

Since Emily was having such a hard time dealing, Alan decided to find us a new furry, four-legged family member on Craigslist the following weekend.  We scored a 4 month old, American bulldog mix.  Though her situation wasn't a typical "rescue" situation, after the first night of having her here, we realized she wasn't well taken care of by her previous owner and have taken on the responsibility of rehabilitating her.  We named her "Carly".  She is CRAZY-hyper and is driving me absolutely bananas, but aside from that, she is a very sweet girl - I think she just needs an extensive amount of attention (and dog training).  She is definitely my husband's dog...  and I have no problem reminding him of that every day.  We're still on the fence about whether or not we're going to keep her for good or not.  All in all, even if we don't keep her for good, it was still a good distraction from Anya's passing for all of us. 

New Year's Eve came and went without any spectacular happenings.  I sometimes feel so old now that I'm married again.  We are quite content in our little, ongoing-renovation-project of a house with our small personal zoo of pets.

I flew out to L.A. on the evening of New Year's Day and spent a week there working at IMTA with a fabulous group from Kentucky.

I didn't opt to visit with any friends while out there this time, however, I did call my sister - who I haven't seen in 12 years.  I was able to have dinner with her family and finally meet my 2 nieces on Monday night.  On Friday, I had lunch with my sister and one of my aunts.  It's strange and sad all at the same time to be blatantly reminded of how disconnected and dysfunctional my family really is.  My aunt wasn't even aware that I had a child.  Oh and my mother does know I got married as she's the one that told my sister.  So even though it was good to see my sister and my aunt, I still left lunch on Friday feeling sad and disconnected and almost like I've somehow become the rebellious black sheep of the family, though I know that title still belongs to my brother.

I feel like I'm being such a downer tonight...  I guess it's because I'm still feeling a bit under the weather.

The home renovations are coming along.  We're almost finished with the back room...  so once we get our living area set up back there, the renovations can really start on the front part of the house.

Alan is still working with his dad...  and it looks like school isn't going to happen for now.

I'm still part-time at The Market and freelancing, freelancing, freelancing.  I already have several brides on the books for the year - it seems everyone I know is getting married this year which is exciting.

I've been tossing around the idea of going back to school for nursing...  or Cosmetology...  I know, two completely different things.  I just haven't convinced myself that I really and truly want to do either of them.  So I guess I'll pray about it for a few months and hopefully by the time next semester starts, I'll have a clear answer.

Emily will turn SEVEN this month!  Crazy.  I can't believe it.  I thank God for her everyday...  even when she's driving me absolutely bonkers.  I know I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't have her.  She is my saving grace.

Well, that's it in a nutshell.

No specific new year's resolutions this year really.

Well, okay, maybe just a few:

- To take more non-work related vacations with my family.  :)

- To continue chasing my dreams and making them happen.

- To continue to be a positive, infectious force - nothing new here on this one, really.  ;)

  - Here's to a happy & prosperous 2012!