Thursday, February 21, 2013

If you've never heard of ICLW (International Comment Leaving Week) you can read more about it here.  I'll be going around, leaving comments on lots of blogs this week and usually, my blog gets a big boost in traffic as well.

There's not much going on on the baby making front in our lives right now, which is actually kind of nice after over 5 years of the majority of our sex happening in the hopes of a baby. I'll admit it's taking me a little longer than I'd hoped to try and transition back to sex for fun but I'm getting there. It's an entire change in mindset and I'm just trying to give myself space to make the change in thinking. I'm still having more pain (presumably from the endo) than I'd ever had before the surgery but unfortunately I'm kind of getting used to it. I am enjoying a month without ridiculous progeseterone symptoms to plague me. I'll likely start early next week and my boobs don't hurt at all which is pretty glorious. I'm researching what my options might be for pain control and may be doing a round of something, preferably anything but Lupron, in the near-ish future. I'm hoping that by taking baby making off the table all together, it will really help me for real put it aside for a while because it's always still kind of "there" in waiting.

I have worked as a birth doula for the last 6ish years, on and off mostly as my schedule allowed for being on-call. I graduated nursing school in May of 2012 and have been fighting with the state board over licensing ever since. I recently started an apprenticeship with a few different local midwives and it's making my schedule that much more hectic. Right now it's all worked out so far, but it kind of feels like only a matter of time before I miss a birth due to scheduling. I recently quit my nanny job where I've worked for over 3 years and am really, really not looking forward to breaking up with a 4 and a half year old. There will be tears. It just wasn't fair to them for me to always be on call and possibly having to miss work. They are very understanding but it didn't make it any easier. I started working part time at a natural parenting retail store that is co-owned by one of the midwives I'm working with and I've really loved it so far. I'm looking forward to all our big changes.

We had plans to move into an RV this April when our lease ran out but then Matt lost his job unexpectedly and we had to start using out "savings" to just pay our current bills. I'm making some money still by taking a doula client every month but that won't get us by for long. When our lease runs out, we'll still be moving but now it looks like it will be to a small apartment where we'll be able to save just about as much money. We have some big debts that we need to start paying off and I'd like to eventually put some money back to build on some land our friends recently purchased.

Right now, my little mantra has been that if my body isn't going to give me a baby, then it's going to do a million other amazing things for me. I've found a place of peace and for the first time in almost a decade, I really feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. (And of course, the running joke in our household is that we're going to move from our 3 bedroom home into a small, studio-ish apartment or RV, take on all this extra responsibility, and then I'll end up spontaneously pregnant with triplets or something.)

Friday, February 15, 2013

I feel like I've got way too much to say and no where near enough time to say it. Here's to hoping bullet points help me out again.
  • Last week, Matt lost his job (and his car broke down immediately after). It was a little bit of a shock but thankfully, since we had put back money to buy a cheap RV, we will make it through. It means that we're dipping into that money to pay our bills for the coming month instead of buying an RV but we'll survive. We're going to look for a cheap little apartment close to downtown which shouldn't be too hard to find in this little college town. I'm looking for more bohemian broken up house rather than cookie cutter student apartments but we'll manage either way. 
  • I started my 5th, yes FIFTH, part time job today, working at our local natural parenting store. I meant to quit my nanny job this last week but it's such a hard decision to make since I love that sweet kiddo so much. So right now I watch him twice a week, waitress one day a week, got my doula work, my midwifery apprenticeship, and then now this retail job. It's always interesting to say the least. I think I'm really going to enjoy working there and I look forward to learning a lot more about cloth diapering. I really like all of the people that work there too which is always helpful!
  • And on that whole birthy front, I've been insanely busy. Last Friday, I spent 7am-9pm at one preterm birth, raced with my hazards on to another birth to meet my back up and finally got home around 3am, only to find guests in all my beds and my husband asleep on the couch. I slept for about 2 hours in my little papasan chair then went and ran a 4k (in a pretty delusional state.) I then went to a doula connection meeting, came home & showered, drove an hour and a half to see my dad and his new wife (whom he's been with for 12 years haha!), and came home and crashed. Woke up, waited tables, got a little homework done and then headed off to another preterm birth (this time an apprenticeship person instead of a doula client - and I'd never met her!) I spent the night at the hospital on Sunday night, came home for about 2 hours Monday morning to shower, then went back up there for the labor and birth. I ended up spending the night with that couple's toddler daughter at their apartment on Monday night and then Tuesday morning had prenatals and a full day before work. It's just been a whirlwind and my head is still kind of spinning. 3 births in 4 days left my brain feeling quite mushy and only today am I feeling a little bit more normal.
  • School is kicking my butt just trying to keep up with discussion board posts amidst all my other obligations. I'm planning a launch even for an up and coming non-profit organization created to support breastfeeding education, especially in local businesses, increasing their knowledge of state laws, how to treat and support breastfeeding moms, etc... which is in just a few weeks and is taking up a big chunk of my time too. And I'm supposed to have written an article for another blogger on natural birth and breastfeeding stuff but I haven't done it yet. It's on my to-do list for tomorrow though (and I have a new cute little notepad for my to-do lists.)
  • I'm still dealing with lots of pain, likely from the endo, and I just got my genetic results back from 23& It showed that I am homozygous positive for one of the MTHFR genes and a few other genetic mutations that screw with folate and b12 regulation. The way it was all described to me also describes a lot of my battles with mental illness since two of the mutations have strong ties to dopamine production and regulation causing extremes in mood. It's all really interesting and I'm thankful that I'm not a carrier for any scary diseases. It pretty much confirms that I should not be eating gluten but I feel like it's going to be such a hard lifestyle move to make that I'm trying to procrastinate til we move in April. Like maybe then I can just leave all the gluten behind. I'm hoping that might help with my pain as well. I've decided if I can't get a handle on the pain by July, if I have to deal with my birthday in pain, then I'll resort to pharmaceutical solutions and really put this whole baby making thing on the back burner. I mean, it's not a focus right now but part of me knows it's still a possibility which is something.
So yeah, life is pretty damn insane right now. And I have to admit, part of me is really loving it. It hasn't all been sunshine and baby rainbows though. Like when Matt and I got into a huge fight right when I was having to leave for that birth on Sunday. We fought on and off through messenger all night long and when I had a chance to run home I tried to smooth it over (at least temporarily) with some sultry bedroom moves but that barely lasted until I could make it home that evening. When I got home, it all blew up in my face, forcing me to take responsibility for my shitty decisions (which is never fun) and suck up my pride. We finally cried it out and it feels like we've put it behind us, though sometimes I glance over and see it just underneath his surface. Sometimes I'm not a very good person but I realize now that it can take a bit of effort not to get oneself into situations that test that. I'm going to do better. I have to.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A few days before I was set to ovulate last month, I had an abdominal massage with a local midwife/herbalist/all around amazing lady. I had read up on it and felt like I knew what to expect. I was hopeful that because I really liked this lady, it wouldn't be so weird to have someone rubbing all over my stomach, which is by far the part of my body that gets touched the least. I'm no where near the weight I'd like to be so my stomach is kind of my big source of shame. I just wanted to share my experience with you all.  She started off at my feet, doing some reflexology which felt amazing and helped me to get really relaxed. Then she worked her way up my body to my head, keeping that continuous level of touch throughout the entire massage, so that I always had at least a hand on me. She did some cranio-sacral work with my head, also incredibly relaxing, and did something with my ears that made my lady bits aware that something was going on. As she worked her way to my stomach and lower abdomen, I was starting to feel more and more uncomfortable. Once she really starting working on things down there, I started to feel really crampy. She does a lot of energy work and there was actually a point, when she had her hand in the small of my back and her other hand on where you would imagine my uterus to be, that I thought she was burning me. It was so incredibly intense. I tried to focus on everything loosening up and being open to a pregnancy. She later told me that she had a lot of images of a deep, dark cave and that it was her job to clean out the cobwebs. She also said she felt that it was a very guarded area for me and that I carried around some heavy things in my heart. I had to go to work afterwards and the entire drive there is kind of blurry. I was just in this haze of relaxation. I felt amazing, full of life.

I'd hoped it would have made for a less painful period but that was most certainly not the case. This month was just as bad as last month and I have had a few minutes of intermittent cramps throughout the day to let me know my uterus is still pissed off at me. I've started having some pain with sex, which was one of my biggest fears with finding out I had endometriosis, and I've not been real honest about it in the bedroom. I just suck it up and get through, which is not quite the carefree, passionate sex I'd hoped to have in our "off" time. Due to this most recent development, I've been seriously considering rethinking my stance on the Lupron. Does anyone out there have any recommendations about any alternatives, perhaps a birth control of some sort? I just can't deal with this pain during sex (and freaking running too!) Just gotta do some serious research on options.

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