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Reasons My Child Makes Me SMH

1. If I walk past his shut door on my tiptoes in the evening or night, his little head will pop right up as he cries out, wanting to play or wanting me to sit beside him whilst he deliberately does NOT sleep. However, if I need him to wake in the morning, I can walk in his room loudly, open his blinds (which are really loud), take out his binkie, and talk to him and NOTHING. He barely stirs.

2. If I need to shower after the hubs leaves for work (which is often as I am also not a morning person), he will stay in the bathroom with me, like a good boy. However, he is adamant about me leaving the shower doors open, allowing all the heat to escape. As I quickly try and clean the oatmeal from my hair, he puts everything he can get his grubby little hands on into the shower with me: his step-stool, his potty, my towel (which was dry), various toys, anything he can manage to pull out of the cupboards (which are supposed to be child proofed)… And we have one of those teeny little ‘European’ showers, in which I would not be able to fit were I to gain five pounds.

3. He needs to have ALL doors and cupboards shut at all times. So, if I want to get in the fridge, for example, I have to be lightening quick and already know exactly where whatever it is I want to eat is, because I have about 1.2 seconds to get it out before he slams my poor hand inside the fridge, screaming at me for daring to disturb his well-ordered universe. It should be noted that usually when I’m getting something out of the fridge or cupboards, it’s because he’s yelling at me that he’s hungry.

To be continued…

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Parental Visit

playing with beads in his new sensory table/bins

playing with beads in his new sensory table/bins

My parents have been here visiting for the past two weeks. They literally arrived the morning I took my pregnancy test. My husband told me not to tell anyone. Ha! Has he met me? We decided only to tell our immediate families, with strict instructions for my mother, who happily told all and sundry last time. I believe she was just walking down the road proclaiming to the world that she is going to be a grandmother, though she claims that she only told close friends.

They were here for less than a minute before I said something. My mom brought me a bottle of GABA, which I had said I wanted to take to help me sleep but couldn’t because I was breastfeeding. She excitedly gave it to me, saying that now that I’d stopped breastfeeding, I could take it. I just stared at her, thinking of how to respond. She knew.

In the end, I would have had to say something regardless, even had we not decided to tell; it would have been obvious had I been that nauseated constantly without reason. Of course, the day they left, I started to feel better. Such is life, as my grandmother used to say (Note: anything my grandmother used to say needs to be imagined in the accent of a Jewish New Yorker).

What did we do during their visit? Everything. Correction: THEY did everything, I did absolutely nothing. It was amazing. My mother cleaned the house (repeatedly), took the boy to the park, put him to bed, changed his diapers, etc while my father built a sensory table (pictured above), fixed the bottom drawer of the boy’s dresser, and bought and put together a kitchen, table, chairs and bookshelf (including weather-proofing). He, of course, also took the boy to the park and ran around playing football with him. I watched My Kitchen Rules (all-time best cooking show ever), Lark Rise to Candleford (best BBC series), slept, ate and took a couple of baths. Best Vacation Ever. Oh, wait… It was supposed to be their vacation…

I’ve now just finished my first prenatal yoga session. I bought a double DVD (pre/postnatal yoga) when I first got pregnant with the boy and, of course, never even opened it. So, I’m already doing way better this time around. Go, me.

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8 1/2 Weeks and Counting (Except When I Forget Completely)

Size: kidney bean

Fun Fact: tail just about gone

Baby Enjoying: swimming around and doing flips – so they tell me, I can’t feel anything

Mommy Enjoying: vinegary foods (marinated artichoke hearts, pickles, coleslaw, sauerkraut, salads, etc…), gardening (who knew pregnancy would be the motivation I needed?), Lark Rise to Candleford: a pregnant girl has to relax after all, so I’m rewatching the ENTIRE series. Sooooo good!

Baby Not Enjoying: the crazy toddler that keeps kicking and hitting him/her and distracting mommy so much that she forgets that he/she exists

Mommy Not Enjoying: this weird obsession/revulsion I seem to have with Subway (only when pregnant), nausea in general (somehow I’d blocked the entire first trimester out of my mind), the crazy toddler that keeps kicking and hitting her belly (and everywhere else) and distracting her so much that she forgets that she’s pregnant

Secret Fears: not being constantly nauseated so I know that everything is ok (I want to have an ultrasound every day), this little baby somehow knowing my desire for a little girl and going away or feeling sad because of it

Grateful For: Prenatal Yoga with Shiva Rea – first day done and feeling totally energized!

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PREGNANT

Oh, sweet lord. I don’t even know what to do with myself.

Technically, I suppose my husband and I were trying. Or, at least, we decided that once we got to South Africa (which was awesome, BTW), we’d stop actively not trying. As in, no more condoms. Yay! I didn’t really think that that meant that I’d get pregnant in South Africa. Our first little monkey arrived quite early after only one time of “not not trying” and it took this one two times… I told my husband this morning that after this, he needs to get a vasectomy or something because we are obviously quite fertile.

Beyond the excitement, there is this complete “oh shit” feeling that is many things combined. Here’s a list of all the things that have me slightly concerned:

  • Being tired with a toddler
  • Not being in shape and pregnant (again)
  • Being over 35 (Well, in July)
  • TWO KIDS… WTF?!?!
  • Having to get a car (Possibly.)
  • Having to get a license for said car
  • Money
  • We were set to leave Germany in January; now we’ll have a one month old
  • Giving birth again (NOT fun and I DO remember)
  • My little boy not understanding/feeling left out

That’s all I can think of right now off the top of my head. But, I only found out this morning. I can imagine there will be a lot more to be scared about in future. Of course, on top of that are all the normal fears whilst one is pregnant, the same ones I felt while pregnant with the boy. I suppose, luckily, he keeps me busy enough where I won’t be able to just sit and focus on them.

My mind is a total blur. I keep going into our room and looking at the stick again to make sure. I took a test a few days ago and it was negative, but the pharmacist said that it could have been because I took it at night and it’s more accurate to take the test in the morning. So I bought another test and took it at 5:15 this morning, thinking I’d go back to sleep afterwards. Ha. Only, I did. I remember that about being pregnant – I can sleep anytime, anywhere. It’s the only cure I’ve ever found for my insomnia.

I’m glad to say, though, that I was thinking about the boy having a brother and the thought made me very happy. Not only that, but I was looking at his sweet little head and thinking, two boys would be okay. As you can tell, I’m trying to convince myself I don’t want a girl… But really, I think I would be happy with two boys. I would be disappointed that I didn’t have a girl, but not that I had a boy. If that makes sense. Mostly, I’d be sad about the tutus… I really want to buy some tutus!

 

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Day One

I’m not sure if today really counts as day one, as I’m sitting here as we speak eating Nutella out of the jar (Fun Fact: Did you know Nutella comes from Germany?)… and Nutella, like EVERYTHING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, contains gluten (in the form of soya).

I went to the doctor to check out my bloodwork this morning, which of course, was “fine”. All of my tests are always “fine” and I’m pretty sure my doctor thinks I’m insane. He didn’t say that, but he did say that he didn’t think I had Hashimoto’s. I’ve decided to ignore him and treat myself as naturally as possible, which means gluten free. Sigh. They tell me life goes on, but I don’t believe them yet.

He did allow me to double my dosage of the Levothyroxine so now I’m taking 50mg (or will be starting tomorrow). He says it can’t really hurt me too much as people who are hypothyroid tend to take 100mg a day. So, basically, he said: “You can take the drugs, crazy. Since people with “real problems” take more, you’ll probably be ok…”

What makes this especially hard is the fact that this is what I see EVERYWHERE as I’m walking down the street:

Just imagine how that smells. Now imagine committing to never eat it again. Double sigh. Back to my Nutella.

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One Glorious Week

Those of you that suffer with depression, anxiety, or any of the various energy-sucking diseases that seem to be running rampant nowadays will understand me when I say that I’ve never felt “normal”. Those of you that don’t will quickly respond with: “There’s no such thing as normal”, which is particularly annoying because in this case, there truly is. And now I know for sure because I’ve felt it. For one wonderful week, I was normal.

It occurred around 2 or 3 weeks after I started taking my thyroid medication and took me completely by surprise. We were back home from over a month of holidays – most of that spent in California and the rest in England and as you can imagine, it took all of us, but mostly the boy, quite some time to recover.

Just before we left for our holiday, I had hit a low point. I realized that I’d been unhappy for far too long. That I’d held parts of myself back from my husband for far too long. That I’d been uncomfortable about sex and my past for far too long. That I was sick of constantly thinking about how fat I felt. That my negativity was adversely affecting me, my husband, our relationship and worst of all, my son. Of course, I’d had these moments before, where I’m fed up, or, as I always jokingly say, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”. It’s never very funny, though.

The good news was I was going home and home is where my therapists are. I don’t mean that I have multiple head doctors (though I have), I mean all my alternative therapy peeps, or my “hippie doctors”. I have my acupuncturist, my chiropractor, my cranial sacral therapist, my homeopath and many more. Best of all, my mother had made a few appointments for me with someone new – a musculo-skeletal therapist (basically, a glorified massage therapist). Apparently, this woman had some sort of psychic abilities. And despite the fact that I really dislike people with my name, I decided to give it a go.

The moment I walked into her room, I could tell she wanted to say something and was holding back, unsure of what my reaction would be, as we’d never met. It took her about 5 minutes to say it. Basically, she told me that my whole body was so stressed out trying to protect my soft little innards, that she wasn’t sure she’d even be able to work on me. Then she asked me what the sex thing was about, if I’d been molested, abused, what. I admit I was taken aback. In all my years (and years and years) of therapy (both “real” and with all my various hippie doctors), I’ve never talked about my issues with sex. In fact, until I met my husband, I’d never really even let my mind go there. But as we talked, I realized that yes, I do have major issues… but more on that later. I’m talking about the good stuff now.

Anyway, suffice it to say, I was impressed. Not only did we talk about the sex thing, but she confronted me about my negativity. She told me that if I treated my child the way that I treat myself, he would be taken away from me. She said that if I don’t make a change, it is going to destroy my marriage. I knew she was right. I was sobbing: scared and yet somehow lighter from the realization.

I haven’t really dealt with that yet. I’m still pretty negative. I still think about how fat I am practically every second of every day. I still am far too judgmental of myself and my husband (the poor man). BUT, another important thing that she said was that if I get on a proper dose of thyroid medication, most of this stuff will sort of take care of itself, or at least be that much easier for me to deal with. That was the biggest thing she told me, that I have Hashimoto’s Disease – I’m still figuring out what that means. Worst thing? I should go gluten free. Best thing? It’s an answer. An answer to everything.

I started taking the medication after being properly diagnosed by a “real” doctor. Of course, I started on the lowest dosage and then waited until I got home to Germany to deal with all the testing and figuring out my proper dosage with my doctor here (mostly because it’s free). I didn’t notice anything for about three weeks, though it was hard to say because I was on holiday, then we were traveling, then I had jetlag (and the boy will grab at ANY excuse not to sleep), etc etc. So basically, I had no clue how I felt. Then it hit me. One day, I woke up early, having already been woken up about three times in the night by a crying baby who just wants to play, and felt fine. Even in my best days, I’ve never just felt okay in the morning. Even if I sleep for 10 hours. Even if I wake up to no alarm. Even if I’m brought french toast in bed. I despise mornings (and judging from my experience of them, they feel the same way about me).

Imagine my shock when I wake up at 6:30 and just pop out of bed. Oh what a beautiful morning, and all that jazz. But it doesn’t stop there. I go for a run. In the rain. I eat healthy all day – without even thinking about it! Just because it feels good. This continues all week. I run three times. I do my 30 Day Shred video three times. I am gluten and sugar free all week. I am on my phone less and playing with my son more. I happily ignore little comments my husband makes that mean nothing, but would normally make me cry and cause a fight. On Saturday morning, after going out the night before and drinking a bit, I wake up and a single negative thought flits into my head, the guilty one that I always have when I sleep in, or go out, or drink… Or do anything, really (guilt and I are real close). And here’s where it gets real – I ignore it. I acknowledge that I’ve had the thought. I accept it. I sigh. I let it go. AND I STILL FEEL HAPPY.

This is something therapists, my mom, my friends, everyone has been telling me to do my entire life. When therapists say “just look at the thought and let it go”, I always nodded my head, thinking, what the hell are they talking about? I just didn’t understand how. I couldn’t fathom having any sort of control over thoughts like that. And then it just happened. All by itself.

Glorious.

But, like anything too good to be true, the week came to an end and, it turns out, I am not on the proper dosage of my thyroid medication because I came down again. And it hasn’t been good since. But now I have a goal. And even better, I know it’s doable. I know I can be normal.

Boy am I grateful for that glorified massage therapist.