Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Getting ME Back September 20, 2009

So I go through periods of time (short, thankfully) where I feel downhearted. Not completely overwhelmed with depression, but feelings of darkness. The last two weeks have been like that. Sorta.

Last night I either had a dream or I had a moment of lucidity as I tossed back onto my back to keep the snot in my head and not on my pillow. I have a cold. Again.
So I had this moment of seeing myself; not as I am, but as I long to be.

Healthy.

I was fit. I had muscle tone. I had a tan. I was smiling. I had energy. I was full of life.
And, I realized right then and there that the person I was seeing IS me.
And, even though I’m going through this rough patch of feeling like my body has fallen apart, it really is just that… a rough patch. Because I am not comfortable with fat. I do not tolerate unhealthy. I am not lazy nor am I a glutton.

So I am over it. If you see me today, I am over 150 pounds. I feel fat. I feel ugly. I feel like I am barely making it most days because I have no energy and I keep getting sick. I have felt stuck in this yuck for over a year. And. I am SO done feeling this way.

I will breastfeed Jaxon for exactly 4 more months. I have to say that for the first 10 weeks I thought of breastfeeding as a loving sacrifice. After that, I felt extremely happy that I stuck it out because I started to really love it. In fact, I loved it so much that when I had to start feeding my son baby food from a jar I was upset and I cried because he wouldn’t need me at the breast as much. Now that he is 8 months old and I feel like half of a normal human being again, I want to be done. It is now just a convenience for me. I don’t see it necessary emotionally for either of us. It is the greatest form of nutrition for him and that I will never deny. But, emotionally we don’t need it anymore. It feels like I’m just feeding him now. I don’t know how to describe it, really. I guess “routine” is a good word to describe how it feels.

Anyway… I don’t consider nursing my son the reason for my downheartedness. Don’t get me wrong. But, the nursing has kept me in this state of being that I am unhappy with. I can’t take certain meds to feel better, it is taxing my immune system despite what you “experts” say, I am still  fat so the magic breastfeeding-makes-the-weight-melt-off is baloney in my book… and on and on. Because of the extra weight my foot is not healing the way it should. I can’t lose without using my foot. It’s a vicious cycle that is tiring me to the core.

And, before anyone starts  bashing me for eating fast food… find another chick to assault. I am a vegetarian 3/4 of the time. I only consume fish occasionally and my diet is well-rounded with my carbohydrate intake consisting primarily of fiber rich, whole grains and fruits. Save yourself the aggrivation of trying to pinpoint my problem as being anything other than breastfeeding. Pregnancy sucks and robs me of my nutrition and it has become apparant that breastfeeding does the same thing to me. It’s awful.

I didn’t realize until recently that one very important part of my mental well-being is my physical well-being. The two are intricately tied. Since I feel sluggish and I hate the way I look with my fat stomach and fat rear end… I am not healthy emotionally either.

Sure other things work their way into that equation, but the main thing is that I am physically unhealthy. Everything else is just another ingredient.

Awareness.

I am glad I see this now. It is relieving in a sense. I probably have about a year left of being “this” way physically. I am not done nursing Jack until January and, even then, weening is a process.

A woman once told me that it took her 3 years to get her body back after her last child was born. She breastfed too. I hope it doesn’t take 3 years. But, I will do what it takes to get mine back.

Healthy. Vibrant. Strong.
That is me. I am ready.

 

Merry-Go-Round of Life April 2, 2009

One day I got a tattoo.

heidis-tattoo

I lost a baby via miscarriage and wanted a way to memorialize her (him?).
I believe she was a girl and I don’t know why.
Her name would have been Julia.
Julia Lyn Reed
(or Nathan if a boy)

I had nothing left of that tiny baby. After the D&C procedure, I struggled with depression and bouts of rage. I also lost my maternal grandmother just 2 weeks prior to losing my unborn baby. It was a tough season. I was deeply wounded.

I blogged about it often. Just click “All Things Tattoo” in the blue bar at the top to read through some of my struggles with miscarriage, loss, and grief.

Yesterday I was talking to a loved one on the phone. I suggested s/he read the Bible and highlighted a couple of books I thought would be fitting; one in the OT, one in the NT. After hanging up I felt a bit like a hypocrite. I haven’t read my Bible since a few days after Jack was born (FYI : It’s Jack, not Jax! — he is named after my late grandfather who was Jack too). So I meandered into my office and started to pick up my Chronological Bible that I read last year. I hesitated and looked at 2 other Bibles stacked on top of it. One is small, but thick and one is bigger and thinner. They are both NIV. I started to reach for the smaller, thicker one since it was on the top of the stack, but then changed my mind and grabbed the bigger, thinner one. Don’t know why really. I just felt compelled to read that one instead. It was even underneath the other one.

I noticed it had a paper bookmark in it and laid it on my kitchen table under Jack’s bouncer seat. I got interrupted several times before picking it up again. I opened to the page that was bookmarked. Psalms. I remember before we moved to this house I was working on reading the Psalms. I was trying to do my own little personal Bible study. Once we started the move, all was forgotten.

The Psalms I opened to were written by David. They all start out with him agonizing over something and crying out to God. They all end with him praising God regardless of his trial. They are hard Psalms for me to read because it is obvious that David was in agony. However, I am always hit by the fact that he ends these cries to God with praises for God despite his painful and stressful circumstances. He praised God no matter what.

Praise. There is a sacrifice of praise. Praising God through pain is the hardest thing I think I have ever done. I had a million “why” questions. A billion. Why did He let that baby die? Why, God, why? But my faith strengthened and my prayer life grew by leaps and bounds and my blog took off and I kept praising God despite the deep pain I was in. The pit. The lowest. Sadness. Agony. Despair. Yet, praises for the One who created me. Praises mixed with questions, but never did I doubt Him. Never did I turn my back on Him. Ever.

I noticed the paper bookmark was smooth and shiny. I took a closer look and realized it was folded. Jack made a little noise and his bouncer seat jiggled. I smiled as I opened the paper.

And there it was… a folded up, slick piece of paper with three ultrasound images of my Angel Baby.

Beneath my son’s bouncer seat sat my Bible. Inside that Bible was a page marked to Psalms written by David at one of the worst times in his life. That page was marked with three ultrasound pictures of my unborn baby who died and is undoubtedly in Heaven with the God of grace and mercy.

I do have the only pictures of that baby after all. I have them.
And I also have a tattoo. A story. A triumph. A new son.

A new son.
Jaxon would not be here if I hadn’t lost the other baby.
He was conceived 4 months after my loss.

New life. Renewed hope. The love of the Father raining down on His daughter.

And still there’s the promise.
Eternal life.

Someday I’ll see my unborn baby in Heaven. And then we will never be separated again.
Ever.

Sometimes there really is a happy ending.
Thank you Lord for the storms. Thank you Lord for the sun.
Thank you Lord for the Son… and for the son.

I love you! Amen.

 

Help! May 12, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 1:07 pm
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A person who I sort-of know e-mailed me with an urgent note to call her. I know her from my last class at IRCC. We sat next to each other. That is the extent of our relationship — a class, a semester, at school. 

Anyway, I called her, but her phone had been disconnected. So I e-mailed her, “tried to call you but your phone isn’t working”. Long story short — she e-mailed me back with, “my husband tried to commit suicide…900mg of methamphetamine…in hospital…might be diagnosed with bipolar disorder”. Homey Heck No!! That is NOT the response I thought I would get.

So why “help!” in the title? Because I am flat out clueless on this one. I asked her if she was ok and if she needs anything. I don’t know what else. It took me about 5 minutes of hands positioned on the keyboard and mind racing with blank expression on my face to come up with that much.

When people shock me with their realities, I don’t know what to say or do or say or do. I get all knotted up inside and for those moments in my life I am rather speechless. My mind goes, “say something…but what…I don’t know but it better be good…say something…blank, blank, blank, fuzzzzzz”. While my brain is short-circuiting my face is all shocked expression and blinking eyes and that’s about it. I go frozen all over in about -2 seconds.

What would you do in this situation? Remember, I hardly know her.

Click on “comments” and give me the advice of the century. Please!

Thanks!

 

A Foolish Moment April 1, 2008

So the last post was a complete lie. All in the innocent fun of AF Day humor. But this post is completely true. All in the name of humbleness.

I am taking off my pride. And – it – ain’t – easy – folks.

I am a fool. I have done something foolish. Nevermind the reason behind it. Even if I could justify it in anyone’s mind, it was wrong.

I became wrath.

Two days ago it was suggested in an offhand ‘meant nothing’ sort of way that I cover my Memorial Tattoo for my sister’s upcoming wedding – either with make-up or a shawl. It was not suggested by her (the bride). It was by another one of my sisters. I guess my sister (the bride) asked her (the one who is not the bride) to see if she could find something to cover her (the bride’s) own tattoo that is at the base of her neck so it won’t show during the wedding. Her fiancee isn’t such a tattoo enthusiast and thinks they are tacky — a common feeling among many people in our society.

To say I flipped out is very much an understatement.

I have been hearing Pastor Mike talk from time to time about matters of the heart. He has said a few times about how we know what is in our hearts during the moments when we are pressed the most. What comes out in those times is something we need to really pay attention to. It’s important. I know this and I believe him. However, I thought my heart was just fine all things considered. Yes, I am a sinner. But I thought I had changed enough inside that the mountains of dirt that were there when I first believed were down to small little ant hills by now. Sure I have bad thoughts at times, but I thought I was doing pretty darn good at keeping a lid on it and dealing with it through prayer — giving it to God so-to-speak. Not that I thought I am perfect — not at all. But I didn’t think I was this bad.

Two days ago all that changed.

Wrath. Wrath is defined as strong, stern, or fierce anger; deeply resentful indignation; ire. That is what became of me when I read the e-mail that merely suggested I consider covering my exposed tattoo. I cried, I yelled, I cursed, I slammed things, I freaked out. Wrath. Complete wrath.

I prayed. I prayed for God to fix this. I prayed that He would do something. I didn’t think He would take her side. Never did I think He would come after me. I sincerely thought I was perfectly justified in what I did. My reaction seemed completely understandable considering the reason behind the tattoo. And this sister of mine knows how important that tattoo is to me. She reads my blog. She got the phone call the day I was crying off and on a few weeks before we moved.

Let me explain it like this — the tattoo is the ONLY thing I have left of that baby. That’s it. I did not take it lightly when I decided that’s what I wanted to do. It is not a tattoo that I got after a drunken night of partying. It’s not a permanent reminder of my crazy early adulthood. It is a representation of a baby that I loved and had hopes and dreams for. That baby already had a name, depending on its gender. And now I don’t even know its gender. The tattoo is a representation of a tiny human blessing and answer to heartfelt prayers. And, it represents heartache and loss and suffering. It represents love and sacrifice.

So for someone to ask me to cover it up for any reason whatsoever is like being stabbed in the heart over and over and over again.

But I doubt she had any idea. I believe she had no intention of causing the pain that she did.

And I thought I had healed more than that.

And I thought I was nicer than that.

And I thought I was more righteous than that.

And I thought

I thought

And now I think I behaved like a fool. I believe my mouth portrayed the condition of my heart. I have behaved like a hypocrite. I have disappointed God. I have done so many wrong things.

And I am ashamed.

 

Tattoo March 26, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 7:28 am
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Since yesterday at 7:00 there have been 42 hits just on my Angel Baby Forever Tattoo post. Sheesh!

On one hand I’m all like “WhooHooo!!”. On the other hand it literally breaks my heart to pieces. Every day I get an amazing amount of internet traffic because of my experiences with miscarriage and getting a memorial tattoo.

So here is an update:

I am still recovering. The past few days I’ve been talking with my husband and two of my friends about taking an anti-depressant. I am seriously considering it. My next step is to talk with my doctor. She told me to give it two months since my last appointment so I have a month to go. I also think I need to wait until this semester is over to see if that is a cause of my anxiety or not. I think it was during the move, but I am back to enjoying it (except for the stupid book I’m having to read — hate it — but I am pretty sure I am back to loving school again). And I am a borderline “A” student. So, as I said before, if I pull a “B” I’ll be very pleased.

I still miss my baby. I still think about it. However, the moments of crying spells seem to be over. I have accepted what happened. I still fear getting pregnant again. It’s a double-edged sword though, because I also want another baby very much. I can wait though. I can. It used to be, when we were talking about getting pregnant, I would be so anxious to jump the gun and start baby dancing every other day. Not this time. I thought, initially, I’d wait until right after my sister’s wedding (it’s in June) and then we’d try immediately. Now I think I want to wait until Jeremy is closer to 3 years old (Bree will be 4 1/2). Of course, as we all know, God may have other plans so we leave it up to Him if He wants to bless us in the meantime. If not, we will probably wait another year to start trying.

We have chats about it. I pray about it. I ask God to kiss that baby for me and to tell it that its mommy loves it so very much. I look even more forward to Christ’s return so we can all be together. But I am healing and have healed and I am sure, even though I will never forget, I will recover fully.

My kids like to rub lotion on my tattoo after I shower. It’s adorable. I still hope they never get tattooed (for some reason), but I want them to be very accepting of anyone who is different than them.

Thank you for reading my posts, esp those of you who share my story. And I am so incredibly sorry for your losses. Heaven is going to be one amazing family reunion, huh?

I can’t wait!

 

I Am Tougher Than This February 21, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 9:47 pm
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You lucky bloggers are about to watch me bleed. Raw, real, revealing. Right here on WordPress. Go get your popcorn and your soda. It’s about to get dramatic around here.

I went to the doctor today. I went with butterflies in my stomach. I didn’t know what would happen. I had “issues” I barely explained in another post. Female issues. Guys, you won’t understand this part so feel free to skim to the next paragraph. Since Tuesday of last week (the day I flipped out and cried all day), I have been having some very big symptoms of early pregnancy. I won’t give you all the gory details, but I’ll say that they are definite signs associated with the first trimester. Being that I was just pregnant 2 1/2 months ago, I figured myself an expert on early pregnancy. It’s hard to remember after 2 years pass. But when it’s been such a short time frame, you don’t forget much. This was a surprise to me because (a) we weren’t trying and (b) my cycle didn’t seem to allow for me to be ovulating at the time we did the deed(s).

However, I am not pregnant. I took a pregnancy test at the doc’s office this morning. Negative.

First of all, no pity party. I am not upset that I am not pregnant (we weren’t trying). Truthfully, it is not a good time for me to be pregnant. It’s insane right now and Rich’s work schedule is about to get infinitely worse starting yesterday. Remember when I complained about getting no breaks? Well, forget the thought of it because in 2008 I have got to suck it up. No breaks. None. No point in complaining. It’s the sacrifice we’ll make in order for Rich’s company to take off. It’s life and it won’t last forever.

What makes me overwhelmingly upset, though, is that my body has tricked me. What is this crap? Why do I have to suffer a miscarriage, think I’m pregnant again, then suffer early pregnancy symptoms for no reason? That’s unfair! I feel like a chicken who is being plucked one painful feather at a time. Something has got to give. Please. Seriously. Who can I take this up with because I am slowly sinking. I can’t tread water like this. I’m exhausted. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

QUICK NOTE: Ok – nobody goes off thinking I’m suicidal here. I am not and my marriage is fine and my kids are fine. No rash judgments on your part. I am using this blog to vent and organize my thoughts and emotions. Nobody takes this wrong. I am the type of person who does not suffer quietly. I am very open because it suits me.

I am at a point in my life where I have no more to give. I am running on fumes, if you know what I mean. No more gas. The tank is empty.

So in light of this, some things are about to change.

First of all, to avoid ending up on anti-depressant drugs I am vowing to take great care of myself. My exercise routine will resume (I stopped b/c I thought I was pregnant). My low carb diet will resume (again I stopped b/c…).

Second of all, I am no longer available to volunteer. Think full spectrum here. If you want me for something look away and look away fast because the answer is no. Until I am out of the radar of my doctor with the prescription pad no more volunteering. I am spread too thin and apparently I am not cut out for this.

Third, I will do what I enjoy like having dinner parties and fun gatherings at my house. However, I will not put myself or my family out by breaking my neck to be sure every single inch of my house is sparkling clean. I promise it will be as clean as I can make it with two energetic toddlers and a husband who is working 100 hours a week. Beyond that you’ll just have to overlook it or come visit 10 years from now when, like I said before, I have TIME to clean.

Fourth (and most important), I need all the prayers you can send to the Lord on my behalf. If you can think it, you can pray it. I try to leave what to pray for up to the person praying because I believe the Holy Spirit will lead you. He, after-all, knows exactly what I need.

My doctor wants to reevaluate me in 2 months. If there is no change, or a continued downward spiral, I will be given the “anti-depressant” drug of choice. I know it’s up to me to take it. But, truthfully, if I’m still in this mode by then I will probably walk in her office with my hand held out begging for mercy. I cannot function like this. My husband and children deserve better than this. I want my joy back. I want my happiness back.

I thought I was tougher than this. Turns out I’m not. That hurts my pride and then some.

Pray.

PS: If you are a close friend of mine, don’t be hurt that I didn’t tell you. This is the 4th time since Rich and I have been married that I was convinced I was pregnant. The other three times I told everyone then had to go back and untell them. That is no fun. And please understand that when I am pregnant again I probably won’t tell you until the pregnancy has been well-established and all early tests have been done with positive results.

 

Delete February 12, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 2:19 pm
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I deleted the last post because it was stupid. Totally stupid. Who really cares?

I am having SUCH a bad day today. Crying for no reason. Ticked off at everything.

I just want to go away for a little while. I need a break. Like yesterday! I am always on the job. Know what my breaks are? School. When most people get a break they watch TV or go ride a bike or drink a beer. I go to school, study, do homework, read and read and read. That is not a break folks!

I think I am still upset over losing my baby. I think it is really weighing heavily on me lately. Cry, sob, cry, sob. I am a mess today. Angry. Hurt.

I might be ovulating. I don’t want to be ovulating. Every time I ovulate I think about the baby. Every period I am angry again. Every little thing about my fertility makes me so stinking MAD AS HECK right now.

Cry, sob, cry — try to suck it up. Then get mad. Cry.