Achievement Unlocked: First Trimester

It's not always good weather when the stork comes.

Hello, all!

So, there’s a reason I’ve not been around for months. A Very Good Reason. Which is actually a number of very good reasons piled together into one general Good Reason, which can be summed up thusly: I’m pregnant with our third child.

Having just bumped over the end of the first trimester milestone, I now feel this is reasonable to share with the Internet At Large, though most people in our circle of family and friends know by now.

Aside from that announcement, I’ve had no time, energy, motivation, or interest in or for blogging since late June, perhaps (in case you haven’t noticed, ha). I was physically miserable for months: quite literally lying in bed or flopped in a puddle on the couch for the vast majority of hours in a day, barely able to open my eyes at times for the nausea, sickened by just about every smell in the world, and utterly overwhelmed by the task list involved with moving into a much bigger house. Not to mention pretty much incapable of dealing with my two preschoolers for a number of weeks. Friends and family volunteered to come watch them for several hours out of each weekday for a number of weeks; were it not for this, we would not have survived, at least not without toxic dosage levels of TV (I jest, but truly, it would have been horrific).

On top of this I discovered that we had a stomach virus running through the house, which hit me VERY hard and explained a ton of horrible digestive issues… mostly after the fact… and then we got Hand Foot and Mouth Disease for the third time in two years.

We have had, as you might say, a Rough Time.

Starting in about week 12 or so, though, I finally, SUDDENLY began to drastically improve on the physical health front. The nausea wore off quite a bit and my energy levels started to rise again. I was able to take care of the boys myself and handle a few simple house chores on most weekdays. Now that I’m through week 14, I *almost* feel like myself again.

Aside from the drastic mood swings, unpredictable and horrific bouts of depression and severe irritability, perpetual gut-killing anxiety upon waking every morning, constant sentiments of misanthropy directed at myself and my immediate family members, and a soul-crushing reticence to being touched. This following about six weeks of serious depression straight, thanks to the severe health issues and accompanying beliefs of personal utter worthlessness and invalidity.

Aside from that, you know, I’m almost normal.

So, all that to say, this has been (is being) the worst pregnancy I’ve experienced, by far, and yesterday I hit my wit’s end.

I’ve been doing Christian counseling off and on (though it HAS been quite awhile since my last session) for the past several months, and that has been helpful, but it doesn’t really get to the underlying problems I have with trauma and depression and a number of other things and address them. Especially since I know, from the past two pregnancies, that I have at least a tendency to prenatal depression (I tend to get much better after birth but struggle a lot emotionally during pregnancy), I know that given the severity of what I’m encountering this time around, I need some serious, specialized professional help.

So I requested an appointment with a local practice yesterday and hope to hear back from them on Monday. I’m also hoping to connect with some sort of perinatal mental health support group in the area, based on the advice of a friend. And, yes, I’m going to talk to my doctor about medication, which I don’t fundamentally like the idea off, but I have a higher value for doing due diligence and addressing a problem holistically, and I acknowledge that there are many qualified experts out there that know a whole lot more about how to handle this problem than I do, both medically and therapeutically.

So, there you have it: my Life Update of the past few months.

I want to say, too, that I’ve been rather hesitant to say anything on here about the pregnancy because I know several lovely folk here who have struggled with infertility and infant mortality, etc. And I know every birth announcement must, on some level, sting for you; and I don’t want to compound anyone’s pain. I see you and love you, people, and I am sorry for the ache this necessarily causes in your hearts. But I knew it wasn’t something I could fail to bring up for forever… and, if I mentioned anything, I wanted to be frank about how this pregnancy has not been a walk in the park. This just can’t be a “rub my happiness in your face” post because that wouldn’t be at all honest. Yes, I am VERY grateful for this baby; we wanted at least three children and I feel like, Lord willing, we’ll be blessed with a warm bundle soon enough. But this pregnancy has all but totally convinced me that I NEVER want to carry a child again. Ever. So I don’t want anyone to look at me and think, “Oh, lucky her, there’s yet another perfectly blissful expectant mother… it makes me sick!” Because I am so far from anything blissful, content, or happy, it’s wretched. And I know many of you might resent that, too, because dang it, I get to HAVE a BABY–why aren’t I just jumping up and down for joy?!??! Well, I feel sick over that fact every day, too. I hate that I hate pregnancy. I feel like a total traitor of what it means to be a mother on this point. It seems pretty dang ungrateful to me, too, and I feel ashamed.

I’m sorry.

So I wanted you to see me struggle authentically, and not pretend to be anything else. I’m a pretty poor excuse for a mom, and a pregnant mom, at that. But I also hope you’ll see that I’m not content to stay there. It’s not worth it to wallow in physical or mental dysfunction when there’s help available. When there’s a better status quo that can be achieved.

So I will keep you posted on how my pursuit of that goes… and in the meantime, please pray for me. I need it, too.

–GM

 

I can has time? Also, immigration

Hi friends!

Well. All I can say is I’m sorry I haven’t been writing. I miss it, but I literally haven’t had the time to post. We went on vacation for a week, and we’re also in the process of buying a house and trying to sell our current home. This of course involves packing and moving and cleaning and mounds of paperwork. And I’m also teaching a Poetry Workshop right now, gearing up for another Latin Camp, trying to think about organizing my materials for my classes starting up in the fall… oh yeah, and I’m a full-time SAHM, too. And we’ve got more changes afoot than even all that entails! So… my plate has been just a wee bit full. Just a wee bit.

I have been nominated for some lovely awards and challenges, and I can’t wait to dig in and participate. I’ve got posts in the works for those things, but I just can’t find time to sit down and complete them yet; hopefully, after the move, things will settle down just enough for me to start finishing them. For right now, I just want you to know how much I continue to appreciate the follows, likes, comments, and encouragement! You all are just lovely.

Finally, even though I can’t contribute much of my own material to the important dialogues going on right now, I’d like to share a few things that I’ve read that have been super helpful and informative for me as I process the issue of immigration in America this week–particularly the issues surrounding children. If this isn’t a gritty problem, I’m not sure what is, and I bet all of you feel the same.

So, in an effort to promote bipartisanship, facts-with-less-hype, and a heart for the other less fortunate, here’s what I’ve been reading:

What You Need to Know About Families Separated at the Border – a calm, collected, compassionate, fair, and useful report by Matthew Soerens, the US Director for Church Mobilization for World Relief, a non-profit started after WWII to provide humanitarian aid to refugees. They also published a very helpful infographic, which I’m sharing here and encourage you to share widely as well:

The Immigration Facts on Separated Families

The Making of an Online Moral Crisis – Alexis Madrigal gives a remarkably thorough summary and analysis of all the information (and misinformation) that has exploded over the national consciousness on this issue… and a succinct meditation on how some of the most nightmarish things actually have the power to pull us together, not drive us apart.

Tattoo – a classmate of mine from Mike Pence’s alma mater wrote this account of friendship with an illegal immigrant. If you’ve never met one, please allow Ben to introduce you.

As I think of all it will take to move my babies five minutes across town in the next few weeks, I’m brought up short at the thought of single parents who have moved mountains of terror and death to bring their children to a new home in our country… only to have those children ripped away.

I’m not ashamed of my privilege, but I sure as heck am not going to keep it to myself.

If you live in the U.S., please call and write your congresspeople to help give these children and their parents a taste of the freedoms and safety we enjoy without thinking every day. World Relief has a very easy to use, no-strings-attached petition and email form to help you do just that. Remind our leaders that human rights have no borders, and that the future of these children could impact us all. If we’re that worried about terrorism, let’s not give them a personal reason to hate us.

A 2-year-old seeks asylum with her mother at the border.

(John Moore/Getty Images)

 

–GM

 

Stomach Bug = Couch Noir

Today we lost an entire couch to a stomach bug and my own stupidity. Well, perhaps a few people’s stupidity. Who sews top and bottom cushions right onto a couch so that it’s impossible to clean spills out of the side cracks??!?

Probably the same sort of people who put their tummy-achy four-year-old to lie facedown in the corner of it with no underlying tarp or accompanying puke bucket, that’s who.

That was a definite failure in my career of motherhood so far.

Goodbye, paisley brown puffy couch. You served us well for nearly six years, despite the numerous holes you developed in your upholstery and the copious cat clawings along your backside. You hid every stain so well, saw me through diaper blowouts, baby spit-up, endless hours of nursing, and countless naps. My boys loved flopping on you in a heap and snuggling up to watch their favorite shows or read books together.

Despite how often I complained that you were too large for our living space and really needed a cover, I had no idea how grateful I was for you until my son’s stomach acid irrevocably saturated your innards.

It’s been a good run. We’ll miss you.

It was too dark to take a proper photo... so, couch noir.

This is the underside of my couch.

It is very wet with rain.

–GM