GDC and Me

Four days.

Four days alone, without small children attached at my arm or hip, so now what?

I’d love to say I am taking full advantage of sleeping, but that’s definitely not the current plan. I am taking the time to walk 10 miles per day, dealing with cramps in my legs, to learn more about the crazy world that is video game development.

And I love it.

I’ve hardly been exposed to gaming, at least in the PC or console sense of the word. I’m a social gamer by hobby, and spend more time writing and creating recipes than I do writing here. But I do it, and I love it.

Nerddom, this is me. When I’m through with you, you won’t know what hit you.

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Depression and Me

This week has been a rough one, and it’s only Tuesday.  I will be 36 weeks tomorrow, and I am as uncomfortable as ever, and I feel like I’m being ripped in half constantly.  I have managed absolutely nothing this week.  I feel like I’m failing as a mother, a wife, and a person in general.  I don’t feel like I can function properly.  I haven’t been good about taking my medication, so that might be a part of it.  I was doing so well without it, and then I hit a wall.

Depression is so damaging, but I feel like it gets pushed to the back of everyone’s minds as an illness.  Many people say that it’s just in your head, if you would just think happier thoughts you would feel better.  But when you can barely manage a smile, happy thoughts seem a million light years away.

My struggle with depression started with postpartum depression after Ryker was born.  Right before I had to go back to working once a month I had a night of panic.  I was expected to leave my brand new baby with my husband for two whole days, only seeing him at night, while I was still struggling with breastfeeding, and going into a hostile work environment where I felt that everything I did was wrong.  I was a total mess, and quite literally was thinking of ways that I could injure myself just enough to avoid going back.  I hit my head on the tile wall in the shower hard enough to leave an invisible bruise on my forehead (you know, the ones you can feel but not see?).  Ryker wasn’t sleeping well at the time, I was frustrated and felt like I couldn’t do the whole mommy thing right, and I felt so alone.

Not long afterward, we had some issues with my sister, and at that point I decided to go on medication to see if I could get a handle on things.  I had also quit breastfeeding because of the high amounts of stress it put on me emotionally, which was almost a Catch-22 because I felt like I had failed my baby, thereby putting more stress on myself.  I managed to work with a counselor for a few months, which helped me take myself off of medication for the time, and I felt really good.

Then we moved so James could be closer to school, since he was starting his Master’s degree.  I did really well for quite some time after the move.  I was able to function, I made friends, and I felt like I was doing things right.  It was amazing.  I hadn’t felt that way since we had first gotten married.

When we lost my niece in November, things changed.  I was fairly newly pregnant, and I started to feel like I shouldn’t be allowed the excitement of a new baby since my sister-in-law lost hers.  It wasn’t fair.  I knew that those feelings were wrong, though, and decided to talk with my doctor about it, and she started me on medication to help, which I am so grateful for.  It has done so much good for me, as long as I take it.  I’m really bad at consistency.

Now, here I am at 36 weeks, and I’m back in a rut.  I’m terrified.  I don’t know how I’m going to manage two by myself.  I can barely handle the one I have right now, but I feel like asking for help just makes me weaker, even though I really should ask.  I know I have amazing friends here who are more than willing, but I feel like I’m taking advantage of them.  I always worry that they’re going to get sick of me and my whining, because I feel like that’s all I can do.

But really, I’m sick.  Depression is a part of my life, and I fear it will be for the rest of my life.  Medication will always be a part of my life.  It’s not my fault.  It’s a part of who I am, and accepting that is the first step to healing.  I hope that I can spend the next month enjoying the little boy I have while we wait for his little brother to make his appearance.  This may be the longest, most difficult month of my life, but I am making it a goal to find the joy in each day, even if it ends up being my late-night ice cream snack.

#countingdownthedays

Getting anxious

So, it’s been a crazy couple of months for sure, and we’ll continue to be through June.  My sister got her assignment to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, another sister will graduate from high school, we have a baby coming, and my sweet sister-in-law is dealing with another loss.  Life kinda sucks sometimes.

My dear sweet sister-in-law, after losing her baby girl at 20 weeks gestation, found out she was pregnant right after Valentine’s day. I was so excited for her, especially after her devastating loss in November.  Then, almost exactly 4 months since Avalyn’s birthday, she miscarried at 8 weeks. I feel awful for her, and struggle with the fact that she’s had to deal with such hard times, and here I am, huge at 29 weeks, with the potential to have a baby in my arms in ten weeks. (That might have just settled in my head…eek!) It just sucks for them, and I hope they are able to find peace in the middle of hard times.

Next, my awesome sister has decided to serve a mission for our church. She will spend 18 months of her life serving and teaching the people in Nashville, Tennessee, speaking Spanish. I’m so proud of her! I hope and pray she gets to meet her newest nephew before she leaves on June 4, exactly a week after my due date.
Which leads me to our newest addition. Baby Brother, as he is known around our house, is due on May 28. One week before my sister’s departure, a week and a half before another sister graduates high school, and my brother in law’s birthday. I’m so scared about delivery, because there are so many big family events that I would be devastated to miss around the time that my doctor will induce me.  My biggest fear is having to be induced just to have it fail again and end up in surgery. On the other hand, if things are progressing I could end up with an early baby and the vbac I want.  Or I could schedule a repeat c section and know when my babies will be here, but restrict myself to only having surgery to get my babies out, creating harder recoveries.

The worst part is that I have reasons for going either direction.  Granted most of my reasons for scheduling are selfish, but I have legitimate concerns medically, too. I don’t know. It may come down to a last minute decision, though not having a for sure plan scares the crap out of me.  I’ve been having crazy anxiety over the whole thing. Maybe tonight I’ll lay out my reasoning for both sides.

Hurting, hoping, and praying

I lost a sister in the recent weeks. No, she hasn’t passed away. She only continues to take herself further and further from those who care about her. And it hurts. It hurts everyone.

She has decided to cut off communication with our mom, but still maintain contact with our sisters, which I worry will be damaging to them. She has been filled with so much resentment and hate that she is now spreading within the family, I’m scared it will tear everyone apart with hate.

I sit here in the middle of the night, mourning the loss of a relationship with her nephews, my relationship with her future children, and my relationship with her. And I just want it all to be over.

I hope she finds the answers she’s looking for. I hope she is able and willing to find her way back home to people who love her. But I need to break myself from it.

I pray my family can heal. We have so much excitement coming in the near future, nothing should be able to take that away. There will be that hole where she should be, I only hope she will come back and fill it one day.

Growing up sucks sometimes, and it takes hard times to force you to realize where your priorities are. Mine are with my immediate family first, and in order to stay happy and healthy for my sons and my husband, I need to step away. But it’s hard. I’m still learning how to do it. I can only do it with the help of my Heavenly Father. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.

Coming to terms

A week ago we found out the sex of our new baby.  Mind you, my mom has been telling me since I announced my pregnancy that this one was a girl, and my pregnancy has been so different this time than it was with R that I was SURE we were having a girl.  Well….

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Somehow, I wasn’t surprised.  I’ve been worried for weeks that we weren’t going to have a name for this baby, which was crazy because we had all sorts of girl names ready to go.  While the tech was going through our scan, however, I just knew.  I actually signed “boy” to hubs, but he didn’t see because he was wrestling R.  Turns out, he knew as soon as we walked into the ultrasound room that it was another boy.  So now we have a new baby boy on the way, and no clue what we’ll name him.  We have a short list that gets added to occasionally, but we’ll probably wait to officially name him until we see him.  Now to get through the next five months of waiting.

 

I’m not going to lie, though.  I really struggled when I realized it was a baby brother and not a baby sister that was on the way.  I think I’m still trying to work through it.  I really, REALLY wanted a baby girl to get me through the last year of grad school, with all the frills and bows and dress-up.  You’re all probably calling me superficial right now, but that’s what I was hoping for.  I need to quit letting people get my hopes up about my pregnancies.

Gender disappointment is a real thing.  For mommas who are going through it, I understand your pain.  For those who have gone through it, I now understand.  For those of you who think I’m just spoiled, maybe you’re right, but I would thank you to keep your opinion to yourself so I can grieve and cope in peace.  

I am coping.  I talk to R about “baby brother” all the time.  I talk to hubs about him.  I’m still trying to get through the idea that we’ll have two little boys running around here a year from now.  And overlapping missions.  And I don’t even know what else happens with growing boys!  

I love my boys.  I look forward to meeting little brother.  I look forward to meeting his siblings that have yet to come.  But I’m scared. I know and understand raising girls. I helped raise my sisters, and was almost 12 when my youngest sister was born.   Boys are totally foreign to me.  We’re learning quickly with R, but adding another to the mix is frightening.  I’m learning more and more to lean on my Heavenly Father for the additional help that I need to get through a day at a time.  Maybe this is just another way to get me to do that.

Bring on May 28!

Families are Forever

Last night my sweet sister-in-law gave birth to her sweet baby girl at only 20 weeks due to placental abruption.  She was 10 ounces, 10 inches long.  

I never got to meet sweet Avalyn here on Earth, but I know in my heart that I will get to meet her, and my brother- and sister-in-law will get to raise that baby.  I know that we will all be together again in the next life, and we will not have to worry about sickness or pain again.  

Now, I’m one that really looks into the meanings of names, especially since I’ve started naming my own children.  As soon as I found out my niece’s name I looked it up.  It could not be more fitting, since Avalyn means “beautiful bird.”  I wanted to do something special for their family to remember her, so I’m going to print and frame this:

"She flies with her own wings"

I can’t imagine what they are going through, but I know that families are forever, and that we will get to see sweet baby Avalyn again, and that she will be watching over her family forever.  We love you Avalyn.

Guess what?!

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Ryker’s gonna be a brother!

Yep! We’re expecting! I guess it’s about time that I posted here, and maybe I’ll get better at this documenting thing. I’m currently 10 weeks and 1 day, but we’ll find out for sure dates at our ultrasound next week. I’m so excited! I’m probably totally insane, since we’ll be doing the last year of grad school with two little kids, but bring it on! I’m thrilled, and James is more excited now than he was at this stage with Ryker. It’s gonna be great. Now if we can just make sure it’s a girl…