Friday, October 26, 2012

Meltdown City

(This entry brought to you by my wavering confidence and perpetual sadness.)

Imagine being upset. Then multiply that feeling by the biggest number your mind can comprehend. And that's where I'm at right now.

It has to do with my situation with my husband, so I'm not going to go into it. But it breaks into the situation with the baby, because of custody/visitation issues. This baby isn't even born yet. I don't ever want to be separated from him. When you love someone like I love this baby, that just doesn't seem to be a feasible option. I have this image of myself standing at my front door watching my husband drive away with our child, and I cant take it. I can't take that image. I love my son more than breath, more than poetry, more than myself. I feel him move almost constantly within me. I can't imagine him being separated from me when he is still so young and helpless. I can't take it...I can't take it.

It's times like these that I find myself actually calling out to God, begging for help. This baby needs me to be strong, but you can only be struck so many times before you can't bear the weight anymore and you fall. I am so close to the end. But I am so close to falling.

I don't believe I'm being overdramatic. Most people that think that will probably never have to be separated from their child in this way. I can't come to terms with it. Obviously I think of nothing else. It shouldn't be a luxury to be able to kiss your baby every morning, every night. But for me it seems that that is the case. I won't be able to do that. Some mornings he won't see me smiling at him. God...why is this happening?

I'm back to crying almost every morning.

Sometimes I hear words that were spoken to me just echo in my mind. Sometimes my own thoughts bounce off of the walls of my skull until their repetition nearly kills me.

I just want a normal life with my baby.

I can't believe the faith I had in something so fragile.

I was told it looks like the baby dropped a little. That means the time is fast approaching. It could be as soon as a month from now, I will be en route to the hospital.

I am sitting in the back of my office building right now. Getting some air. Thinking. Surrounded by yellow and red leaves. Feeling them rain down on top of me.

I think now I shouldn't have been honest. I should have continued on as we were, both of us keeping secrets.

But I'm not like that. Anyone who even passes by this blog can probably see that.

I want to know people. I want people to know me.

Today is my husband's birthday. I want to crawl into a hole and disappear. Our anniversary is in less than 2 weeks. I will feel even worse on that day.

I am so terrified of the rest of my life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Poems

I have a lot on my mind and also I really haven't been feeling well. I need some time to rest and think. So in the meantime, I thought I'd share a few poems I've written about my baby, being pregnant, and the like, in chronological order of their composition date (all of which remain unrevised, mind you).  Also, my apologies for the random change in font throughout the entry.  the formatting is not cooperating.
 
-I think there were more in between, but "December" is definitely the first poem I wrote after discovering I was pregnant, and for some reason my biggest fear was that I would somehow have to help my little one find happiness in what could be such an awful, awful world.
 
I have since realized that I am so in love with him that I don't think I could show him anything other than happiness.
 
December
 
I keep thinking
about December,
about explaining
the strings of lights
hung from windows—
& the cold, & that it
won’t always be cold.


-This next poem was written the night I had my first sonogram. A very basic poem, not exactly how I'd like it to sound, but sometimes things are too real to write about. (This poem, as well as "December," were part of my 30 in 30 this past year, so I had to get something out in order to meet my quota.)


April 23, 2012
 
Today was the first day I saw you & heard you.
It’s funny how love can spur so many other things:
so much more furious over a bus colliding
into me as I sat helpless in my car;
when I hear a new song I like, I feel hopeful that
you will find delicious new things to discover.
 
I’m hoping when you are old enough
to take a walk at sunset, you will.
& when you smell something in the sweet
mid-summer air that you hadn’t noticed before,
you will finally understand.I’m hoping that the fireflies
will still ignite the brush like Christmas lights,
& seeing them will make you feel perfect and small.


-Next is another 30 in 30 poem.


Know
 
When you ask me,
“How will I know?”
I will tell you this:
In northern California
the shooting stars are never-
ending. When you notice one,
tell your lover about it.
There is only one reaction
that you should accept:
his genuine wonder, &
insistence upon staring at the sky
until he sees one himself.


-I believe this next one is pretty self-explanatory, written about my husband, myself, and my son; our little family.


Derailed
 
i
 
It’s about time I wrote this;
I think it all the time
but you would not know.
I feel I must be a child still, the way
My memories of you
stay so vivid & green,
like I somehow have so much
room to hold them—
nothing else filling the wrinkles
& space, nothing.
 
I remember knowing & not
knowing & so plainly
knowing, knowing, knowing.
 
How about the day in the autumn chill,
our arms around my waist as you
looked helplessly up at me—
how I wished I could have skipped
through calendars & ended up with you,
minus the things that happened in between.
Sometimes the strongest kind of hate
is when it is cemented with love;
sometimes you cannot imagine.
I could not imagine.
 
All we know are moments
here & there, your hand reaching
for mine in the car, moments
when I knew I would never find a way
to show you that I don’t just love you.
 
 
ii
 
 
I worried this past weekend when our son
moved very little within me, my focus
the absence of his quivering comfort,
the image I can’t get out of my
head of his fingers touching his
perfect nose. But this morning I thought
of only you, & almost in response,
he squirmed to the rhythm of my heartache,
a desperate need to break free & find you
himself. I love him for this, for being so much
wiser than both of us, for knowing things
we are too old to know anymore.
 
 
iii
 
I lose you over & over when I wake
every day to the silence of your absence.
 
 
You know this feeling too: the desperation
of your hands tied behind your back.
How you pray for the rope to come undone,
so your fingers can speak what your mouth
never could, everywhere & forever on her skin.
 
 
I feel this now; inadequate words for everything
that needs to be said. But I am captured by your eyes,
by the smell of you when I need it most, by the trembling
flicker of life growing within my body. So soon we will
meet him & I will ask him how he knew all the things
we didn’t, & with a scream & cry he will tell us everything
we need to know:
 
love can still exist even when you shake
someone to their center, when their world
comes crashing down dangerously, when
you remove them from the warm, safe,
haven of a womb & show how cold, loud,
& painful life can be. This is breathing.
 
I want your hands on my hands on his hands.
I want your arms around my arms around his arms.
I want your kiss on my skin on his skin.
 
This is breathing.


-And finally, ::sigh::. This might be the saddest of them all. Only because sometimes, loving someone so much is the saddest thing in the world. And I know I will cry when I can finally kiss my son.


Expecting


i can't exist without knowing you anymore, your fingers learning how to curl and toes stretching against the inside of my skin.  i won't let them wash their hands of me anymore; i will let them know the bitter. I can't believe in this as terrible, because of you, because of you being ours, because there is something beyond the things i know and don't know, that makes knowledge not matter anymore. your eyes blinking for the first time under flourescent light and i will wish it could be sunlight.


fear has an appetite. i know you alone, but would no matter what; the ocean never meets the sand without washing some of it away. that is what happened to me: i was washed away. my hair keeps growing and i have little desire to cut it. it is a map of where i've been, a random curl represents my feet, backtracking over him. this is because of the things i miss, the very, very little things, like his particular warmth. (our chemistry never worked like a textbook, we mixed chemicals sure to erupt and they did.) all outbursts settle; you will emerge on the earth as a new element, essential and unable to be broken down.


when i look in the mirror, i can barely see past the surface stains on my skin, scarred and made tougher through healing. i will write a song in which you come to meet us both, and even our tremendous pain will be swallowed by your tiny arms.
 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hope

Some good stuff:
 
Last Thursday the people in my office threw me a baby shower at the Hilton. They, just like everyone that came to my other shower, found so many baby things that say things about "mommy" and not "daddy." I thought that was cute.
 
I went for my first prenatal massage this weekend. First of all, it was amazing. Especially since I don't have a "partner" (as my stupid pregnancy app on my phone calls it, which got me so angry again this past weekend I yelled at my phone and told it to go 'suck a dick') to help with any pain management.
 
Secondly, when the woman was finished, she said to me, "Whatever you are doing, KEEP DOING IT. I specialize in prenatal massages so I give a lot of them, and you are in AMAZING shape." Then she left the room, allowed me to dress and gather my things, and when she was waiting outside for me with water, she asked me if I had a minute. She apparently teaches other massage therapists who are learning to administer prenatal massages. She asked if I would be willing to be the "client" for her class and I would get a free 90-minute massage. She would be performing the massage, and 4 other woman would watch so that they can learn the proper way to drape and help turn a pregnant client. And she said if I agree to it she will also give me a free postnatal massage. I am so into it; I'm asking my boss for off today for the day she needs me for. Hey, like I said last entry, pregnancy makes you lose all shame. Besides, I have nothing to be ashamed of. To top it off, I can use it to help me relax and ease some of the pain I've been having, and considering my situation, if something is free, I shouldn't pass it up.
 
I have no problem with strangers watch me get a massage. Just like on the day I give birth I will have no problem with however many doctors/nurses/interns come strolling into my room and see the goods. I'm just not like that. It's my body and I'm pretty okay with it, and all these people are used to seeing a wide variety of bodies. But I'll tell you what is making me a little nervous: my next regular check up is a basic appointment. It's with a doctor I haven't met yet in the practice but they're just going over the belly to do a sonogram to check on the baby's progress. This doctor only had earlier appointments so my husband (who has been coming to the appointments as of late) will not be able to make it. But during the appointment after that one, they will be doing a full exam so I will have to be undressed completely, and I am nervous about my husband being there.
 
We haven't been together in months, and I'm not sure what has happened on his end since then. He's barely seen me at all since we've split, let alone completely exposed and with a giant pregnant belly. It's just...not a comfortable situation for me. I have to figure out how I'm going to handle that situation.
 
I spent this weekend at my sister's again. It may be the last time I do. This coming weekend I have a party to go to, so I'll probably just stay home and rest for the remainder of it. And after this past weekend, it's seeming more and more like this party might be my last big outing before the baby comes. I have been searching high and low for a dress to wear, and going into this weekend I still hadn't found anything. So I needed to go out and find one, and I also had a few things I needed to pick up for the nursery. After shopping for just the afternoon (with stopping between almost every store to sit for at least a good 10 minutes) my legs were balloons. I think that's it for me. No more going out...just work, the doctor, and maybe dinner with a friend here and there, just so I don't go completely insane.
 
But I did find a very cute dress and cute slip-on wedges which will be great because I can't reach my feet so it's very difficult to put on shoes.
 
I just feel like my whole world keeps morphing from week to week. Some weeks I stay good enough that the sadness is actually kept at bay. But then I have weeks like last week, and what it already feels like this week is going to be, in which I overwhelm myself. I think of random things, too, not the big stuff. Not my wedding, or any other moments I would have other shared with others, but the quiet moments. Dinnertime. My own tears I've shed over the years. Sunday morning walks with Chester (our dog). The time he grabbed my hand in the car. The evening I spent looking out over the harbor just wondering where he was.
 
How I don't want to be alone with our baby.
 
And I am allowed to admit these things, and shouldn't feel ashamed for feeling them.
 
Don't let anyone outside your situation tell you how you should feel. Advice is one thing, but no one knows all the intricate twists and turns of your mind. No one knows the intricacies of a marriage, either. Marriage is a messy, messy thing. And the "little things"...well, quite often they are what do you in.
 
Despite everything, I still believe that it's best to be honest, in that even if the truth hurts, it's only possible to build something real atop a solid foundation of truth. And I'd rather have something real and beautifully flawed than any kind of lie.
 
“There is no formula to relationships.” - Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom. I like this. Because you know what? I don't care that you have the husband and the house and what you think is the perfect family. I don't care that another one has the success and the freedom and the time to explore that I don't. Because I wouldn't be happy with any of it anyway if it weren't achieved on my own terms, and balanced in my own life. Things fell apart for me the past few months, but that doesn't happen overnight. Prior to it all, things were far from perfect. So just because I seemingly had it together, I most certainly did not.
 
And what do I have now? A beautiful son I'm soon to meet. My family. My friends. My writing. Health. Memories.
 
Hope.

Holding my Breath

Friday was a bad day. I am going to have some of those, no matter how much people tell me I'm doing well, and how put together I look, and how much I joke around and laugh.
 
I woke up with terrible pressure in my lower back and pelvic region. As far as I can tell, it was all relatively normal, because once I got myself out of bed and moved around a little bit it eased up. But it was the first time I had that amount of pressure. It's really hard to describe, because it's just pressure, not really pain, but the pressure becomes painful. And I tossed and turned hoping to get a few more minutes of sleep, but it became so unbearable I began to cry. I cried because it's scary to not know what's going on with your body. I cried because I was alone, and I wanted someone to hold me and tell me that they are going to take care of me. I cried because I knew I had to come to work today because the other secretary is out. (Not that I've ever called out sick due to my pregnancy anyway. But it's just the knowledge that I really COULDN'T that was stressing me out.)
 
You know, it's not just the "living with my parents" thing that's a problem. It's the fact that I was (am!) MARRIED. I wanted to be married. I enjoyed being married. But for all intents and purposes now, I'm not married. And I don't know how to do this on my own. And it's not just that I'm on my own now; it's that I don't even have my privacy to cry or be in pain. I'm both alone and yet, I'm never alone. I'm back to being this little girl that no one lets do anything because I'm pregnant, when I used to be the one running the household. It's utterly devastating. There's no other way to put it.
 
There is no one to help me when that back pain comes on. I just want someone to kiss me and tell me it's going to be okay.
 
Especially after my last visit to the doctor on Wednesday. The baby's heartbeat is good, movement is good, my fluid is good...everything is good except the baby only gained 5 oz since my last visit. He's suddenly not growing as he should, when this whole time he was basically exploding in my tummy. Granted, it could be nature naturally slowing things down for the sake of my tiny body. My doctor wasn't even worried enough to send me for a more detailed ultrasound right away. He said in two weeks they will measure again, and if the baby still isn't where they would like him to be, then they will send me. And that it's possible (probable) that the baby is just fine; smaller than average but in a healthy percentile size-wise based on my size.
 
But you never want to be told that they need to "keep an eye" on something. You want to be told that everything looks perfect, that the baby is perfect, perfect perfect.
 
And then I had to go home alone and let my mind wander into devastated depths. No one to talk out my fears with. Instead I just hold my dog. And he is amazing. He's really picked up the slack. Sometimes I will rub his neck and he will put his head down, and rest the top of his head on my belly. And he will stay that way for a long time. That's why when he's not around, I am even more devastated.
 
And sometimes he isn't around, because sometimes he's with my husband. We both rescued him. I picked him out. Fell in love at first sight. I can't give him up. He is the only thing that brought me some semblance of comfort over the past few months. Gave me something else to focus on, and someone to take care of. And to top it all off, he took care of me. There were times when he was off doing his own thing, and if he sensed me crying, he would stop what he was doing, come up to me, and sit with me. At night he starts off the night with me in bed until I'm comfortable and then sleeps beside me on the floor or in a chair right next to the bed. In the mornings sometimes he will jump back on the bed and cuddle with me until we have to get up.
 
And the poor thing has been sick-ish all summer. The vet is telling me it's allergies, and I'm aware it could be, because he is just over 2 years old and may be at the point of developing those adult-onset allergies. But the only way it's manifesting itself is in that he is chewing on all his paws down to the skin. This started immediately following us moving out of the apartment. So I'm convinced it's separation anxiety. And I am devastated that we are causing him to do this. I wish I could describe the extent of my love for him. That I need him.
 
Going through this alone really makes me a little crazy. For instance, I took Chester to the vet yesterday. When we were getting ready to leave the exam room, the vet tech bent over to get Chester's leash for me and hook it onto him, because I was struggling. The vet asked when I was due, and he asked me in this gentle, loving, and sincere way. And it made me want to cry to HIM. And kiss him. And not kiss him in thanks, but make out with him. The fucking vet.
 
Maybe it's not so crazy though. I'm lonely (have you noticed?), and he's a young guy, he told me he has a 1 year old, and he's so good with Chester (which is my current version of somone being good with my son). Isn't that the kind of stuff that's supposed to be what gets me going now? I don't know, maybe it's still crazy.
 
And how wildly innappropriate is it that I want to do the same to my own doctor, especially when he gently wipes the ultrasound goop off my belly. That's when you know real lonlieness has set in, because that's the extent of physical contact I've had in some time. Granted, he's known for being a bit of a cutie. And years ago, during my first visit with him, he spent a good 10 minutes with me ignoring his other patients and asking me questions about poetry. Now, you want to make me fall in love? Talk to me about [my] poetry. Talk to me about finding something that makes you look forward to waking up everyday. He agreed this was important. Apparently, vaginas make him want to get up in the morning! Well, I'm glad they do. Because I get to be his patient. Besides, and a friend of mine and myself just had a conversation about this, the female OBGYNs seem to be a bit rougher, and the males are just, in general, much more gentle (hence my doctor's sweetly wiping off my tummy, as opposed to one of the women there who just tossed me a towel.) Speaking of, for all the women out there, what do you do with your hands when you are getting a regular gynecological exam performed? I always feel awkward and need to do something with my hands, like at least look at my fingernails or something.
 
Pregnancy makes you lose all shame.
 
Listen. You can be a strong woman and still cry. You can miss your husband and still know that what might be best might not be easy. You can make mistakes and be genuinely sorry for them. You can regret things but still find the time to laugh. You can pray for things to be different. It doesn't make you weak or stupid. You can hurt someone you love. It doesn't mean you don't love them still, more than you know how. It makes you human. Nothing is easy, no one is perfect, and we all travel through different lives, on the same earth, to end up the same.
 
When a massive life change happens to you, you shouldn't also be forced to explain yourself or your situation to anyone. You show me a person that has the right to judge me, and I will let them. Show me someone that has no regrets, someone that has never chosen incorrectly. Show me someone that hasn't chosen perhaps correctly, but still hurt someone in the process. You go out and look, and get back to me when you do.
 
I won't hold my breath.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On the Lighter Side

Just so all my fanatical readers out there know, I may not write much on the weekends, at least for the time being. I usually spend the weekend at my sister's house, for a change of scenery, and to get me out to someplace other than work, laughing, and whatever else. Living some semblance of a life. This probably won't last much longer as my due date continues to get closer and closer and I have more to prepare for in regard to the baby and I am just physically not able to get around as easily.
 
However, this past weekend I went out to my sister's house, and it turned out it was my baby shower on Saturday. It was very beautifully done. None of my husband's family was invited, nor were any friends that are mutual between us; this strictly because I've next to no communication with anyone from my husband's world since we separated. Of course I missed some of them being able to be there. But it just wasn't going to work.
 
My family is on the smaller side, so that kept the party itself pretty small. But I liked it that way. It was intimate, everyone there knew the situation so no one there asked inappropriate questions, or questions at all, and the focus was just on the excitement of a new baby coming, as it should have been.
 
My sister decorated her house so sweetly. She hung baby clothes from clothes pins on lines she strung up around her living room and dining room. She had paper lantern-type things hanging and she made chocolate cupcakes with blue and white icing and lemonade that she dyed blue. She had a table with a picture of me pregnant, and a beautiful little tree lit up and blank cards where people could write wishes for me and the baby and hang them on the tree. She set up a table for people to create their own bib for the baby. She set up a wishing well inside the baby's new bassinet, and a table just for books for the baby.
 
The baby and I made out so well. One of my cousins gave me a great giant basket filled with all the necessities - bath supplies, first aid supplies, bibs, diapers, teething toys...every little thing you can think of that you HAVE to have.
 
He got clothes, blankets, sheets, bottles, a bathtub, car seat and stroller, activity mat, a jumper, a bouncer, a pack and play, toys, a video baby monitor, the bassinet which lights up, vibrates, has wheels for easy maneuvering, has a mobile, that spins and plays music...you can even hook it up to an mp3 player...it was great. One of my favorite things was a CD with lullaby versions of Radiohead songs. I just need a few more random things and my little boy will be set.
 
I struggled for awhile with whether or not I should have a shower. I ended up not registering anywhere, because I was overwhelmed, alone, and I was afraid people would feel badly about my situation and buy more than they could afford. But my sister amazingly managed to coordinate with people so that I received absolutely no duplicates. I wouldn't have cared anyway; that's what gift receipts are for. I didn't expect all these things; I expected only to get the little things that I could use multiples of anyway. I was overwhelmed with love.
 
Because I live with my mother and spend the weekends with my sister, it was very difficult for them to keep it a surprise. No one spilled the beans; but I did have a feeling going in that Saturday was my shower. We had invited people from my office, but since only one person would have been able to make it, they are actually throwing me their own shower on Thursday. That is also supposed to be a surprise, but I knew it when I saw a mysterious lunch at the Hilton appear on our work calendar.
 
My sister/friends were the ones that convinced me to have a shower. They said that I am excited about the baby, so I should do all the normal things in preparation for the baby, have fun, and celebrate his coming. As time moved on and I knew I needed to as well, I decided to go along with it. I'm happy I did. There is no reason I should have denied myself or my baby such a wonderful day. And let's face it--for practical reasons, the amount of things I received certainly helped me financially because I wouldn't have been able to do it on my own.
 
Now I'm officially at the point that I just can't wait for him to arrive. I just saw a friend of mine whom I just found out is pregnant. She is just starting her second trimester. She asked me if I was scared, about the actual birth. And I told her I guess I was at first, and of course I still think about it, but that you reach a point of such horrendous discomfort that you just can't wait to get the baby out of you.
 
Having a baby is one of the hardest things I'm ever going to do. And it's even harder when it's not happening in the way that I planned. But my son is going to be unique being; a blank canvas, my soulmate. I don't see how that isn't something to be celebrated. That doesn't mean you have to have a baby shower; whatever your unique situation might not allow it. But it does mean that you should do whatever you would otherwise to celebrate baby's arrival. It's not my fault that my situation is not the typical one, but my son is just as much of a blessing to me as he would have been had he been born into a family with a mommy and daddy and big house with a yard.
 
Maybe he is even more of a blessing. Maybe he will save me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I miss the feeling of home.
 
Once you've moved out of your parents house, even if it was your childhood home, and even if your parents try to tell you that you will always be welcome there, it's no longer your home. That's just the nature of things. I spent the vast majority of my life living in the house that I am back in now, but it took all of a month when I moved out for me to feel that when I am back there, I am visiting.
 
It doesn't take very long to develop your own way of doing things, your own routines, your own way of life. I mean to bake a lot this fall, including making homemade dog biscuits, but it's a struggle to even do that because I don't know what baking materials are in my parents' house. I know what I have, packed in the attic, what sized pans and boards, and everything else. But I don't have access to it. Of course I can check what they have, but my point is that it's not the same. I can't just wander into a grocery store and stroll up and down the aisles and shop easily.
 
I miss doing my own grocery shopping, and cooking. I really miss cooking. The other day I offered to make this applesauce recipe that I love, and I was shot down. I don't think maliciously; I think my parents think I should take it easy. But it makes me happy to do things like that, and it makes me sad to never be able to do it.
 
I miss this little red colander I have that I would use to rinse off fruit. I miss my drinking glasses. I miss my pots. Boy, do I miss my pots.
 
I miss my silly comic strips that I had cut out and were all over my fridge. I miss cleaning. I miss having my own bathroom in which I can put everything where I want it. I miss lighting candles. I miss hanging things on my front door for various holidays. I miss having a decently sized bed.
 
Right now I am sleeping on a twin, because that's what the room I'm in allows. But I'm also bigger than I've ever been before. Do you know how uncomfortable that is? At first when I moved back in with my folks, everything was an argument. I didn't want to replace anything of theirs (so that when I do move out, it's as if I was never there; a more seamless transition) so as a compromise I ordered a foam mattress cover for my bed. I think I had to explain 50 times why I needed it. I said, "This isn't my mattress. I picked out my last one myself. It was comfortable to me. This one is different. And to top it off, I'm pregnant. I'm just trying to make myself comfortable enough to sleep through the night." But I consistently felt like I had to express why I bought one. And really, who cares? I paid for it, I'm an adult, and it was only helpful to me.
 
I think the favorite story of most is the milk story though. When I first moved in, I went over with my parents how things should be done. I asked what they wanted me to pitch in for, if anything, and one of the items we spoke about was groceries. They wanted to continue with dinner on their own terms, but since I bring my own breakfast and lunch to work anyway, I told them I would buy everything I need in order to continue doing that (which also means I have my own food on hand for snacking as well). Let me preface the rest of this story with the fact that I am to keep my things in the pantry, which limits my space. And every time I do come home with packages I'm asked what it all is, so that I feel like I need to keep my shopping to a minimum. Anyway, my mother insisted they would handle everything else, but I said to her, "Just be aware that I've been drinking a lot of milk. I go through it quickly. You may need to buy more than you're used to when you go shopping." And this wasn't a problem.
 
Except that it was, because they never really bought more milk. I tried to keep my usage down, but one Friday morning before work I finished the last carton. So, during my lunch I went to buy more. I kept it in the fridge in my office until the end of the work day, and then brought it home. When I walked in the door, my father saw the shopping bag and what was in it, and he said, "OH. So you DID buy milk. We were talking about that."
 
I can only laugh. I want to clarify that I'm not angry about this. I just didn't buy the milk on my own at first because they told me not to. But I thought I had made it quite clear that my milk usage was going to make them have to up their stock.
 
I know this is a huge adjustment for them. I hate that I have to do this. It's not fair to them. But I really am trying to make it as painless as possible. Some of my things aren't even being stored there; they are at my sister's and my brother's house. I have two rooms; one for me and one for the baby. But the baby's room was going to be a baby's room anyway, because my parents were always going to be the ones watching him while my husband and I went to work. And the room I am in was a guest room, and so it was and remains a bedroom. So basically, space-wise, I am desperately trying to limit my footprints.
 
Also, I've never asked for anything else from them. They didn't even have to pay for my college. I was the last to move out, but I'm the youngest, and I did it at the youngest age. I never came to them needing money or help in anyway. And like I've said before, I would've gotten myself a studio apartment even, but the baby makes that not such a smart option. I'm asking for help for myself but also for my son, who will be their first grandchild. And I plan on being out again next year. (Ask anyone that knows me well...when I plan on something, it happens.) Granted, my employment situation may delay me a bit, but that's beyond my control. (I'm hoping to get a better-paying job after the baby comes. If only I could start interviewing now...but imagine me walking into an interview ready to explode with a baby? I have no choice right now but to wait it out.)
 
Anyway, I really do hate sounding like I'm complaining. It's just that I need to vent it out somehow. My parents have been a huge help, but they are still my parents and I am still their adult child. You know how it is. I miss the things I used to do around my own house. I miss blasting my music while I straighten up. I miss being able to leave the door open while I shower. I miss staying up late without having to answer to anyone. I miss knowing where everything is when I need it, like batteries or garbage bags.
 
Talk about adjustments...I went from marriage to singledom, pregnancy, and a drastic change in my living situation. I wish there was something that felt like home.
 
So, if you find yourself having to move back in with your parents, regardless of the reason, here is my advice:
 
-Feel free to explain to them that it's a huge adjustment and sacrifice for you as well, but say it once and only once. After that, continually focus on how much of a sacrifice it is for them, how much you appreciate it, and never stop offering to help out in any way you can.
 
-Come up with ground rules from the very beginning. This includes your financial responsibilities, and other responsibilities. Write them down if you think it's necessary. Be sure to stick to the rules. And if for any reason something has to change, even if it's just temporary, ASK them about it. Never demand or tell. Everything should be a two-way discussion.
 
-Clean up after yourself. Always.
 
-If you're going to be out late, or if your schedule is in any way going to be different, tell them. You needn't have to ask for permission, but respect that they might worry if they know you are usually home by a certain time and you don't show up when they would normally be expecting you.
 
-The same goes for dinner. If you usually eat dinner with them, and you are not going to be home for dinner, tell them as soon as you know.
 
-Allow them their space for having friends over, just like you would want them to allow you the same thing. I actually asked my parents that if they know they are having visitors ahead of time, to let me know, and then I know to make myself scarce.
 
-If you are out running errands, call them and ask if there is anything they need while you are out.
 
-Keep conversation light. Now is not the time to get into a heated political or religious debate when you can't jet out of there and not talk to them for a few days and let the situation cool down.
 
-If you are having a bad day, let them know gently, even if it's just by saying you aren't feeling well so you need to lay down for awhile. I know my parents get so worked up if they think any one of their kids are upset, that they end up almost making you feel worse.
 
-Make clear your intentions as to when you plan on moving out. In general, plans never work out, but if you keep them up-to-date on what you doing as far as working towards that goal, and any advances or pitfalls you might have along the way, they will appreciate it.
 
-Be aware that you WILL fight, and there will be blow-out arguments in which you will both be wrong and say things you don't mean. This is what happens between adults who are living together. Just be sure to own up to your end of the argument, and not let pride get in the way of smoothing things over. It only makes your life more difficult to live in a situation in which you and everyone else in the household is holding a grudge.
 
-Remind yourself as many times as necessary that this is TEMPORARY, and one day, you will once again be able to walk into your OWN home, kick your shoes off wherever you want to, and let the dishes pile up in the sink.
 
-Be aware that I am full of shit, and I know better than anyone that these things are easier said than done. Moving back with your parents SUCKS. No matter how you look at it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sexy

So, anyone that knows me well (or maybe even just knows me) knows that I'm not the type of person to go on and on about how gorgeous I am.  I rarely feel that way.  I also don't think I'm unattractive either...I would just classify myself as relatively normal.  There are things I like and things I don't like about myself.  Some days I choose to focus on the former and other days the latter.
 
But let me tell you...it is not like that now.  I'm not going to go on and on about how glamorous pregnancy is.  It's really not, at least not most of the time, when you're cramping and in pain and your digestive system becomes a disaster and your ankles swell up and you can't reach the bottom half of your body to perform any routine maintenance so you kinda just let it go, HOWEVER...
 
as far as pregnant ladies go, I think I look rather fantastic.  And I have periodic feelings of fantastic.  And sexiness.  My skin, hair, and nails never looked/felt better.  I haven't had any trouble in my yoga class yet, modifying what I need to, of course, but still feeling strong enough to challenge myself.  My belly is a tight, albeit rapidly growing, ball.  Otherwise, my face, arms, legs, and my beautiful butt have all remained the same.
 
And I am PISSED I don't have anyone to share this with.  The freakiest thing about me right now is that due to how tight my belly is, you can see every last one of my little baby's movements.  But I also find that rather beautiful.  What I wouldn't give for someone else to share in this time with me; to feel a touch, a kiss.  Knowing what my body has been through the past two years or so, how uncertain I was over my ability to get pregnant in the first place, I just think I couldn't look better.  Every bit larger my tummy gets means my baby is getting stronger and healthier.  And that is amazing.  And I want to be told I look amazing.  By a man.
 
Granted, my doctor (a man) told me I looked "great," the last time I saw him, but he meant it as, "You no longer look like you want to kill yourself!  That's great!"  (In the first two months or so of my separation I was an actual disaster.  Like, the definition of disaster.)  But as time moved on, so did I have to.  I know it hasn't been a long time in the grand scheme of things, but the reality is, come December (or possibly sooner!) there will be a new little man in my life that is depending on me, and I had to pull it together.  All the way together.  Not just mostly.  Fully.  To me right now, that is what it means to be a mom to my little one.  To let him know that despite life's ridiculous ups and downs, it's worth being alive and breathing and I wouldn't trade him for anything, not even to have things "go back to the way they were."  That is how I know I'm in love.
 
But I'm still PISSED that I haven't been able to roll around on a bed with someone and be pregnant and beautiful.
 
Another man did tell me I was beautiful, come to think of it.  A sweet guy I went to highschool with and ran into recently.  And we talked about lots of things like music and tattoos and getting older and then he somehow nicely segued into me being beautiful.  So maybe I shouldn't complain.  I should take what I can get.  But it's just that I took that as my being beautiful despite being pregnant.  I think there must be nothing like being told by the man who made you pregnant during a supreme act of love that you look gorgeous carrying the child you will share together.  Am I being overly sappy?  Maybe.  But I think I deserve to be cut some slack.
 
So cut me some slack.
 
And as for advice about this?  I wouldn't recommend this as a time in one's life for a new sexual partner (for the sake of the little one in your belly), but if you can find someone who wants to kiss you, hug you, hold your hand...GO FOR IT.  And even if you can't, get up in the morning, and be fabulous anyway.  Do your hair, put on makeup, wear adorable maternity clothes that make other girls want to be pregnant too.  Go through the struggle of not letting grooming the bottom half of your body go.  Sometimes the sexiest people are the ones who are honest and raw and carry themselves proudly, regardless of their past/current situations.  And that might be cliche to say, but it's one cliche I happen to agree with.
 
Sexy will mean different things to you at different times in your life.  Right now sexy for me means me being healthy for my son, being excited for his arrival, and doing right by him in every way possible.  It means loving myself enough to accept that I have made some mistakes, but I am still a good person, with a good heart.  It means knowing that I am still a woman attracted to men and I love that and embrace it.  It means knowing I'm a nerd (ask my sister how many math books she helped me pack when we were packing up my apartment) because being curious and knowing things about things is sexy!
 
And, on the really rough nights, masturbate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Introduction

So, this is my first post on this blog.

Let me begin by giving you a quick intro to me and my situation. Firstly, me: I am 28 years old, and live in one of the 5 boroughs of New York City. I have an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College (2 of the most rewarding years of my life). My thesis was titled What Happens at the Bottom of the Hill, a project I am currently thinking of reworking and revising. I currently work as a legal secretary in a small firm in my hometown. I have held various positions in the past, ranging from working as a proofreader to an HR Coordinator. I have done some freelance writing and spent some time working with a group of writers from my area trying to get more writing and literary events going in our tiny corner of town.

"Living" to me is as much a part of my writing as is the writing itself, which is sort of how I ended up in my current employment position. It allowed me the extra time I needed to have a "life," go out and experience things, and work on my writing. Today is October 10, 2012. There will never be another one. It's exhausting, but my mind thinks like this quite often.

Secondly, my situation: I have known my husband for literally half of my life (I met him when I was 14 years old) and we have been in each other's lives in some capacity ever since. Our second wedding anniversary is (would have been?) approaching on November 7th.

I am currently pregnant with our first child, a boy. My due date of December 10 is rapidly approaching. However, my husband and I have been "separated" since I was about three months along. I put separated in quotes because we're not legally separated, we are just...literally separated. Not together. As if we "broke up." Due to the fact that I am still in the midst of this and have no idea what the end result will be, that is all I will share about the direct situation between myself and my husband.

I don't earn that great of a salary at my job all things considered, and I don't get any paid leave except for disability when I have the baby. So I made the decision to move back in with my parents for the sake of my son. I could easily afford something small on my own, but I want the best for my son, and the chance to save some money and the extra hands to help out when he arrives will be at least more than helpful, if not entirely necessary.

So, why am I writing this? I snapped the other day and decided to start this blog after looking at my pregnancy app on my phone, which only seemed to be mocking me by telling me to ask my "partner" for help.

Some women choose to have babies on their own, and that's wonderful. Some are in relationships, but aren't married, when they become pregnant. That's difficult too, but still a little different because there isn't the same kind of loss of an image or idea in your head of the future you had laid before you in relation to the other person, a spouse.

But to be married, pregnant with your husband's child, and to be apart from him against your will, whether it be due to a situation similar to mine or something worse, like deployment overseas or even death, comes with its own unique sets of challenges. I couldn't love the baby inside of me more. I truly believe he will be my greatest achievement, that he will save me. So please, no one question my love, or my excitement to meet my little man. I know that he will replace everyone and everything as the most important thing in the world to me.

But I am human, and most of the time, I am angry. I am sad. I am hurt. I am remorseful. I am lonely. And I am very, very scared. And sometimes I focus on small logistical things that will be more difficult because of the situation I find myself in. Other times I just feel as if I could waste away knowing that I might never personally bear witness to my husband holding our son.

I wanted a place to share the daily challenges I am facing, and maybe along the way, I can help someone dealing with a similar situation to feel less alone.

I welcome any and all comments whether you are in a similar situation or not.

I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you.