180 degrees

When I’m depressed the first thing that goes is my ability to connect & communicate. I shut down and spend time cooped up in my room. The second this is my hygiene. I don’t brush my teeth, don’t wash my face, and I’m too tired to shower. I’ll usually wear the same clothes all day. This happens like once a week, most of the time after a long week has occurred or right before a week with commitments that make me anxious. Sometimes that one day should be a red flag. Sometimes, the routine saves me before the first day even ends. Progress, not perfection.

What I obviously always forget when I get flooded in my feelings is that if I just put action into all of those things I’d feel the 180 almost immediately. The self-care first. At the first splash of water on my face, the first layer of toothpaste scrubbed along my teeth, and the feeling of my body rinsed off of whatever sweat and anxiety that was eating me up from the moments before. After physical refreshment I feel mentally able to share what keeps me captive with others. I choose who I share with carefully with the learned knowledge of who will understand each aspect I need to release.

What flips you 180?

Head On

              There was so much preparation for this. So much overthinking, or in this case I can call it, just-enough thinking. I knew I had to address some things within myself. Like how I’d respond when I was triggered, how I’d look deeper into what triggered me and how I’d have to identify whatever resentment I had left to be able to let go and coexist. You see, our relationship has never been easy, at least not during anything I can clearly remember. My mind goes blank before 5th grade, the only vivid memories dating before then have been repeated and painted into my memory through conversation like story time at family gatherings. It’s weird to think that I feel fear in hearing that it wasn’t always like that, that when I was my daughter’s age we had a beautiful relationship. The fear of the possibility that my own relationship with my daughter could turn into this blinding emotional rollercoaster that is ours, mine and my mother’s.

              We cannot live in fear though. We can live with resentment, but we won’t live easy. That is not freedom nor is it truly living. So when I say always, I mean as long as I can remember. We’ve bumped heads. It wasn’t all her fault. Especially now as a mother I see how the decisions she made were for my best interest according to what she knew at the time. That she was doing the best she knew too, I don’t like referring to it that way because it sounds like she didn’t do THE BEST or like she could have done better. That’s not what I mean, she did everything and although I hold resentment, I am learning to respect everything she has done for me.

              At the time I just simply didn’t understand because I didn’t know what was going on. All I knew was what I was living. All I knew was that she had moved to another state and my little brother went with her and at 11 years old, all I saw was that my family was broken and because she was no longer where we all lived together, it was solely her fault. All I knew was that in a huge transitional period of my life as young girl/woman I didn’t have my mother close by to turn to. All I knew was that I was so sad and I couldn’t pinpoint why on my own and I was offered medication because it was wrong to be sad without a sole reason. All I knew was being put in the middle between my parents’ disagreements, “Ask your father, tell your father, well it’s your father’s decision, tell him I said this, and tell him he better…”

              I’ll never know how their separation would have affected me if they had only been a little more transparent. I’ll never know if they had shared a little more about why or had given me (us – my brother’s and I) more notice if that would have eased the transition and possibly eased the misunderstanding. I’ll never know how they could have handled it differently to have saved me some trauma. I guess that’s what it was? I built up so much resentment based on a lack of understanding. It didn’t help that when I started to ask questions, I still got little information, that little information had me investigate more which made me feel like that little information was really just some lies to conceal the reality that might have helped me understand.

              Moving to live in the same household with her for the 3rd time since she “left” us in California, the other 2 times being a sort of failed experiment to regain our relationship, I knew there were going to be disagreements, arguments even. I knew there was a possibility that it could completely tear us apart, but I also knew that as a mother now this is such an important time in both my children’s life for them to get to know their grandmother. (Creeps in regret for moving away from my father, a best friend – it’s hard when your parents aren’t together. Sometimes I’ve felt like I’m giving one more of an opportunity than the other).  My feelings upon our relationship were discussed with my significant other. After a few years of getting to know me, encounters with my mom, or hearing conversations between us over the phone, he had a good understanding of our dynamic. He didn’t agree to moving our family a whole state to live with her blindly. We knew the possibility and the struggle, but we didn’t anticipate the mental toll it temporarily took on our relationship or the way we parent or the way I speak to him while we learned how to respond.

              I had hoped for the best. At one point I wasn’t sure if I had dreamed too big or if I just set an unrealistic expectation. That’s because I thought I had just grown past it. That I’d suddenly just move into her house and be the bigger person. That because I told myself over and over that I wouldn’t talk back, that I wouldn’t argue, and that I’d only say graceful, kind and thought-provoking things during an icky encounter. About 2 months in I realized that I had so much more to face head-on.

              I realized that I hadn’t disclosed my resentment. I hadn’t let out what I felt I needed to. I hadn’t asked the questions I felt I needed to as an adult, once I did, I definitely didn’t get the answers I expected. I hadn’t yet pinpointed what actions or words of hers triggered me. The 3rd to the 5th month where the hardest. I started understanding where I needed to just listen, where I needed to count 3 seconds to think before I respond. I started understanding that much of my resentment towards her was hindering me from helping the situation. There was no effort going into mending but making her look stupid or feel stupid like I had felt when “my mom had left me to get my menstrual cycle on my own at school and call her friend to pick me up because she was a state away and I had to then ask my dad to take me to buy pads when neither of us knew which ones to buy.” So many instances from multiple transitional periods that I experience during a time where she was trying to do her own healing. Only now as a mother do I realize how hard that is. How hard it is to be fully present to your children when you are struggling, when you are trying to heal, especially after a separation. That I do not understand, I don’t understand what she was going through and no matter what, especially now that I see a little more clearly, it is not fair that I hold so much against her.

              Only now as a mother do I see how she felt the decisions she made were for the best for herself so that she could be a better mother in the future. While there is a lot I am still not sharing about our relationship and a lot I feel that I am uncovering just writing this…

              I now understand that this move to Arizona in fact WAS the best BEST DECISION I could have made for my family and myself, only not in the way I had intended. This move has allowed me to face the greatest center piece to my trauma, something that therapy in CA would not have even scratched the surface of because I hadn’t yet uncovered what it was because only NOW have I faced it head on. Only now have I opened my heart to release the retained anger, sadness, and misunderstanding. Only now am I able to get to know her at a deeper level, not just as MY mother, but as A mother. Only now can I see how similar we are yet how different. Only now am I able to learn to respond to her with better judgment and not just the anger I’ve built up. ONLY NOW AM I ABLE TO HEAR HER how she means to be heard and not through the autotune my mind set for her.

Only now am I able to heal this part of me for the future relationship with my children and my partner. Also, a huge part of being able to heal in my own relationship with myself.

              2020 was about breaking free. 2021 has been about healing. 2022 will be about action.

I cannot just grow past my trauma & resentment. I must growth through it. That means facing it head on, thinking before I speak, and turning to gratitude when I have nothing positive to say. I must remember that those who have hurt me may never understand so their lack of understanding should not be my burden, but I may also never understand their misunderstanding and lastly, it is not my responsibility to shift anyone’s opinion of me and vice versa.

              ****I am aware that some of this may sound like it still comes from anger and resentment, that’s plainly where it’s from. Hiding that would be silly and contradict exactly what I’m going through, however, reading it as I type this I am identifying those instances.

Mom Guilt is Real

This photo means so much to me.

Mom guilt is real & comes in disguise. Sometimes even unnoticed completely until that one moment you really sit down to uncover what’s been hurting. I haven’t shared everything going on lately and I won’t bother rewinding to try to get it all to align with what you know, but let’s start here.

Bonding has been difficult with Olivia lately. I can tell she’s begging for my attention specifically because the majority she’s had is everyone else’s. She respects that I have to feed Oliver with my breast, but has a difficult time respecting the intimacy. She yells my name until I answer and you best believe I answer at the first call, now. I couldn’t before because honestly I couldn’t even hear it over Oliver’s cries, my own mental fog, my physical exhaustion.

It’s been tough trying to balance how and when to split attention, trying to incorporate both kids into everything we do to encourage unity and bonding between them.

She’s been hitting, scratching and screaming at him a lot to wake him up purposefully. It’s pretty common for the oldest child to digress in someway. Even though I’m clear from the fog, I still can’t always respond to her immediately, there are times where I have to tend to Oliver first. Literally having to choose which one to help first. I can feel her feeling of loss and uncertainty. Yes, she’ll be totally fine. Oliver will be totally find. I know that this period does not define how their relationship will be in the future, but oh my gosh!

I tell myself it would be different if we weren’t living with so many people, so many people with their different styles of dealing with her or responding to her behavior. Responding in reactionary ways that are much different than my own parenting. I can tell that not only this adjustment, but so many changes and  differences during the adjustment are affecting her. Plus, we moved an entire state, even though she may not fully understand that… Her home, her kitchen, her outdoor environment is totally different. It’s not just where she sleeps, but the landscape of the homes we walk by. She doesn’t see the same children, the same trees or the same park we’d visit, just her and I. She doesn’t have her own little space where we’ve incorporated toddler accessible activities. Her whole routine was thrown out of whack. Kids thrive on routine, on certainty.

And fine, it’s not how I pictured this stage to be. I pictured that I’d be more in control, that we’d have our own home and our routines could continue, only now her & I would care for the baby together while dad was at work. Okay, so it didn’t work out that way and we are blessed to be in such an abundant, giving and loving household… So we weren’t able to get our own place right away and we made decisions that would be best for the future that feeling restraining in such a way now.

I’m having to let other’s “parent” her when I can’t. I’m watching her take so many steps backwards on the knowledge she’d gained because the spaces just aren’t prepared or accessible for her. I’m struggling because I’m seeing her independence being stripped from her with every “no”, “don’t do that”, “you can’t”, “this isn’t for you,” “let’s go to time-out.”

So THIS. This photo means so much to me.

First, that I’m her new swim teacher & not only do we get to spend that time together, but it’s another activity together that has to do with trust.

She still trusts me, thank God. My heart literally cried this. If you couldn’t feel the mom guilt in all of this, hear it now. I was able to overcome my slightly irrational fears involving water and drowning to be that teacher for her and in that I gained a new trust for myself as her mother.

Second, she sat down herself willingly & actually peed for the first time in the toilet in almost 3 months. A few weeks ago we went to our storage & she saw this toilet, took her pants on and off repeatedly sat up and down to go. She was reacquainting herself after whatever happened that made her stop her progression. We sat outside so long to not break her Sensitive Period that she kinda got sunburnt. I finally convinced her to bring it inside and she’s still sitting on it, 1 pee down, hopeful for more. It’s been almost 45 minutes and I’m here for it.

Thought Dump: I’m Making My Way Back

It is quite safe to say I haven’t repurposed anything lately, except my patience! Two-time mom, double-time parents. Such an exhausting stage, omg did I say exhausting?! I mean exciting!* 😉

Ever since Oliver has blessed us with his presence, Robert and I just decided we’re going to be tired until we’re just not tired anymore. That’s what we are telling ourselves to overcome the mental exhaustion, the physical exhaustion…well it takes a little more talking up in the mornings or late nights. We are each more willing to wake up in the middle of the night or the crack of dawn at the cry of one of our children if…the other wakes up to do something to. It’s a team effort.

Robert cracked a joke after speaking with his colleagues about how “he said that he didn’t wake up in the middle of the night to help change the baby or feed the baby.” “Oh is that right?? He didn’t wake up???” The snarky voice in my head. Anyway, so I tried. I’ve been trying, especially now after his first day back at work. I’ve tried the last 2 nights to get up myself without his encouraging diaper change before I fed baby. I will say though, this time around we both fell into our new roles quickly. We’ve learned to communicate better, in my case, more kindly and much clearer…before the bomb of overwhelm. We are such a great team.

However, it’s no secret that when it comes to thinking ahead and being prepared, we offset each other. I’d say I’m the leader in efficiency and convenience. He’s the leader of fun. Keeping us reminded of our goals to get out of the house, remind us it’s okay to waste a little time and be later than usual, and that it’s okay to spend some fun money here and there. Budgeting with two kids is no joke now. Not that it was much of a joke before, but his salary was taking care of us pretty well with just one kid when we first move here to Arizona. Now, while we’re still getting tons of help from family (blessed and grateful), we’re starting to feel the heat of two kids, financially.

Oliver is amazing. He’s blessed us with such a brand new, beautiful dynamic. So much so that I felt brand spankin’ new to the newborn phase. I had forgotten just about everything, like Olivia wasn’t even a newborn. All I felt confident in was what I had recently learned in my Montessori education, but totally foreign to the actions in.

What’s that? You’re curious if I’m still in school? I decided to ask for a LOA. Luckily, it’s in our contract and being pregnant is one of the excuses you can make, I mean options you can take. Heh, sense some regret or resentment of self in there? Okay, JUST A LITTLE. I’m actually now at total peace and happy with my decision, I just worry that I won’t complete it. Mainly because I haven’t seemed to totally unpack the trauma behind starting something and not finishing it. I’ve been told all my life that I’ve started many things and not finished them, it’s engrained in my mind to be the worst thing anyone could ever do. Start making a sandwich and forgetting…starting school 9 different times at like 9 different schools and never complete a class.

I see jack of all trades, master of none in a totally different light now though. It’s 2021, entrepreneurship and the odd ones out all these years are making their appearance. We are being constantly reminded that the degree, years of education or years of slaving, I mean working at one career don’t always have our best interest in mind. That being quality of life. I started many things, I was adventurous while still selective, I explore different areas, wasn’t afraid to meet new people and always pushed my hardest at everything I did. During that I was able to quickly discover my weaknesses and also often practice my strengths. Starting and not finishing the things that I discovered didn’t interest me provided me with more experience to start and finish things that I came to enjoy and later succeed in.

I’m quite positive my risk taking came from two things: rebellion towards my mother & grandmother’s need to overprotect and shield me from things I would have been better off experiencing and my dad’s encouragement to try things, but also stay consistent with them. He taught me both that I had the choice to do and try anything I ever wanted, but also that work ethic and consistency will bring me success. From my over protected relationships I wanted to prove otherwise and from my encouraged I wanted to take risks. There were many years where I lacked logic in much of my risk taking, but recently logic and the unpacking of my traumas have allowed me to take more calculated, long term risks and apply my work ethic and consistency to succeed. The biggest difference from then to now is that now, I’m not so obsessed with the end result, with where I want to be. I’m obsessed and committed to the work and the adventure that it takes to sway the current the way I want it to go. My mind is wired for the effort, not the solution or the result.

Thanks for hanging with me, I hope you felt that intensity and drive to get out what I needed to. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to dump like this, specifically articulate exactly what I want to. I’d like to say I’m back, but I’m more confident in saying that I’m making my way back and I will harness my confidence in any way I can.

Basically, I wanted to share that since our move, specifically since knowing we were moving and packing up, I’ve felt so disconnected from the projects I had started, the little things I want to put together to share life with all of you. I haven’t started any new or finished any old repurposing projects because they’re all still in storage in CA. I haven’t been able to share more on motherhood because I haven’t been able to articulate and put my thoughts together on video, through text or even in person how I’ve been evolving or what I’ve been experiencing. Since living at my mom’s we don’t have much of our own space to decorate or make ours while we fit 3 bedrooms into 2 plus try to maintain our own lifestyle. I know it sounds like I’m complaining, it does to me a little, but really I’m just trying get a mental handle on it all and reach back to the drive and intensity I had before. Thanks for being here anyway, for real.

I’m making my way back and I’m so excited for you to be here.

The Thieves in My Life

So much controversy over essential oils lately. We are so quick to trust chemicals that can burn, harm and poison our bodies if accidently ingested, but not naturally extracted oils? I was a skeptic at first, actually for quite a long time, especially for anything other than diffusing. While for over 5 years now I’ve enjoyed the idea of diffusing and did it here and there…something about the store bought scent wasn’t allowing me to enjoy them long term. Some aromas smelled artificial, like artificially flavored candies.

Two years ago, pregnant with my daughter, social media presented me a world of clean, therapeutic essential oils. Ones that you could not only diffuse, but you could use topically and even INGEST! Okay, two years into these natural, non toxic BRILLIANCE, I’ve only ingested oils a few times to test out the digestive factors. It’s not really for me, especially since, I discovered you can not only clean with them, but disinfect and also purify air! Like woah, they aren’t just to make the house smell nice, they have relieving, purifying, nontoxic, and natural abilities to clean.

Reminder/disclosure: It is important to do your OWN research, what might be for me, might not be for you. I will always share the most accurate information on the account of what I have researched, but please make sure that you make decisions solely on what you have discovered and believe.

Anyway, check out the before and afters below. I’ve become obsessed with cleaning our house since these have entered our lives and obsessed in an understatement. Thieves Household Cleaner has singlehandedly replaced multiple chemicals in our household. Including the almighty bleach. It can literally clean my floor, sink, toilet and shower, but also clean my fruits and veggies. Check it out in all it’s versatile action and ask me all the questions you have!

Cleaning our ancient sink weekly with our Thieves soft scrub mix. This is before.
Ancient sink after.
Sink strainer. Before.
Each week we soak our drain strainers in hot water + Thieves to loosen muck, disinfect and clean.
After.
Stove Top (usually waaaay dirtier, will update). Before.
Soft Scrub. Same mix used for sink, toilets, showers, and pots with ick stuck to.
After. Need another swipe with lemon to rid those left over burnt marks.

Okay, so we can do it with bleach, windex, lysol toilet cleaner? But can your child accidentally dip her finger and swallow it and BE OKAY!? (Obvi, not recommended. Do not try, but it has happened to us.) Can your skin make contact without having to rinse it off right away? I clean our sinks, toilets, showers with this and am 100% okay with showering my daughter immediately after, I don’t freak out if she accidentally sticks her whole arm in the toilet right after, or gets a swipe at the baking soda, Thieves + lemon scrub while cleaning the sink. Heck, I’ll invite her to scrub with me and she’s only 1.

Stay tuned for more uses added in the future or follow me on Instagram to see Thieves in daily action! @lyshdaze

Pregnant, again!

This year is weird. It’s beautiful and hard all at the same time. Mentally I’ve never been clearer, but yet I still lack determination in aspects of my life. It seems that lately my actions towards priorities come together much slower than usual. I think it’s all the anxieties that have shown face during a double isolation. The isolation as a mother and another social isolation in the form of ‘social distancing’. Any other mamas reading this and can relate in anyway?

Easy to say that this pregnancy has been such a different experience emotionally than the last. The uncertainty of the care/delivery procedures during a pandemic, less partner-inclusive visits creating a slightly less intimate experience, the lack of sociable and relative mom groups and even our recent change of insurance has us feeling a little disconnected without initial ultrasound printouts. I need to know if any other moms are pregnant during this time, who’s had a hospital birth during covid?

Okay, but it hasn’t been ALL a cloudy experience. Our second child is on the way! We are incredibly stoked for that, something we were trying for and talked about since our first pregnancy. Having children closer in age, similar to my boyfriend’s family, not at all like the 6 to 9 year gap between myself and my brothers. We just wanted them to be close from the beginning and also maybe knock the childbirth out of the way ASAP? Not sure, but either way, we are here for it. The first few months I didn’t love being pregnant again, I think it was a mix of things. The change of insurance, finding a new doctor and getting accustomed to knew routines and less visits than last time. Additionally, I haven’t worked since March so our income is one + minimal from our secondhand shop. BUTTTTT four months in now, I’m rocking my new pregnant-mom bod and living my life to the fullest. Preparing to move states (another while-pregnant move), trying to keep determination and will to keep up with school, taming a toddler and making time for myself and intimacy with my man. It’s a lot for me to juggle honestly, I was really stressed out throughout the summer.

The end of October I told myself I’d let go of what wasn’t serving me. I did just that. I had NOTHING to show for independent study school work for the month of November. While I put myself a month (6 papers, 8 observation hours, and 4 meditation hours) behind, I have never felt so caught up and mentally free now that it is December. I’m more energized, made it through a rocky first trimester, settled and prepared to continue. It’s a vicious time-on/time-off cycle I’m trying to squash, but powerful baby steps are being taken towards a well-balanced lifestyle. I have the balance in my self-care, school, and family routine now. Self-care including the return of all the long lost hobbies I outed while stressed and depressed lol.

Physical differences from the last time? So we didn’t know the gender with our first and don’t know now. I can tell you that this one for sure is physically different. I’m more physically energized then I am mentally. Heartburn started early in the second trimester instead of the third, like with our daughter. While I wasn’t mentally prepared to be pregnant again, I feel beautiful, less bloated and more motivated to get dressed daily in the second trimester especially. I was nauseas for 3 months straight and had some early hemorrhaging that healed itself. This didn’t appear in the first. I’d like to tell you I think I’m having a boy! I was pretty sure with Olivia, so I’m going to take it that I’m pretty sure/right this time around. Let’s see 😉 What do you think?

Real Time Self-Discovery Experiment

Saw this in another blog, an experiment of sorts to help expand your mind, your thinking. The idea is to create a question, take time to ensure it’s a valuable question, one in which you can make sense of the meaning and hope it helps you dig deeper into you. Once you’ve created the question, answer quickly, document the first thoughts that come to mind and explore that answer. Then carefully create the next question from the given answer, dive deeper into how something might have affected you then, now. Dive deeper into why you felt the way you felt or feel. Ask yourself the how’s, when’s and be reserved to not get carried away with any negative endless why’s so that you may focus on the mental strength building, the true discovery of self, of action of who you can be. Sometimes we can be so bent up on why something happened rather than looking for how it happened and how it can become a better situation or remembering when we learned from it or what the lesson entailed.

I hope these questions will help you form yours, these answers help you understand you are not alone and we all have some sort of story to share. I hope that if you try this you end it with everything you were looking for and were hoping it to be for yourself. I hope it sparks creativity, growth, strength, and a necessary vulnerability to look deeper into yourself.

My Real Time Self-Discovery Experiment

What do I believe my biggest influence for motherhood?
I had to start with a hard one? OMG. I’m 11 months into being a first time girl mom. Subconsciously I find myself responding in ways my parents would when I was younger, how my aunts and uncles and other family would interact with me. In my most conscious, not that I’m not always conscious, just sometimes we are in auto-pilot. Postpartum is a struggle and battle to each their own, on top of still having to be a mother, figure out how to be a mother and continue to be a present partner…not to mention if I had even thought I could bare children, I thought the universe would give me a boy first. I’ve been so blessed with a daughter and the opportunity to shape a better relationship than I had with my mother throughout the most transitional part of my life. Woah, than unlocked a door haha. Anyway, in my most conscious, I’d say the knowledge I’ve gained on attachment parenting, gentle parenting, The Montessori Method and my own life experience, I’d definitely say my influence is based on the end goal of just raising an aware, curious, adventurous, kind and loving child. Whatever lessons I’ve learned, experienced I’ve encountered, whatever influences I’ve had to shape who I am and the observations of those around me, all of that knowledge is my biggest influence for motherhood.

OoOoO, I like this experiment already!

Why did my mind grasp so tightly to the idea of not being able to conceive? How was this tied into my childhood?
I was only 6 weeks when they operated on my ovaries. I was told so young. Told that there was a high possibility I wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally, but it’s possible I could. Then I got pregnant, natural as can be. No complications during pregnancy that would be caused by my operation. I was never conscious of playing the victim. I was, by definition, a victim to some experiences. I’m stating this because I got ideas in my head, I blew things out of proportion whether it was because it was a trauma or to seek attention. I brought it up in relationships, any relevant conversation like it was a pity party I knew I didn’t need but hey, I have something to say that’s unique. You say it enough it becomes a part of you. Maybe that’s why I’ve become so detached from myself, I’ve hung on to so many of the negative ideas for whatever reasons I’ve thought up and I had been drowning in my white lies. I hate lying, I had become rather good at it, while I lived a phase of drug abuse, actual abuse and auto-pilot. I’ve built up all the guilt and carried it on my mind and my physical body for so long. I guess you can say since I’ve come to I’ve lived uneasy carrying that guilt and knowledge of my previous self. That guilt detached me, understanding that I can’t take back my actions, things I’ve said, the way I’ve lived, the people I’ve hurt. It’s awful knowing that there is always possibility of positive outcomes while being trapped in your own mind, unconsciously focusing on the negative outcomes. I had turned dark, lacking hope.

A simple, easy one that’s super necessary for myself in this point of life right now.

What’s the biggest difference now? The difference that changed my perspective and has me so motivated to understand myself and change?

Baby is calling and I’ve about thought and typed all I can for the evening, but I’ve much enjoyed this and I’ll be back. Feel free to comment anything, ask any questions and share any stories. My inbox is always open and I think it’s truly healing for all of us to share stories with each other. This way we can help encourage, understand and grow together. Stay tuned for round 2 of real time self-discovery with me.

Things I’ve Felt While Growing You

This has been an incredible journey. Talk about embracing change. An unreal feeling fully overcomes you. When you discover you’re brewing a child, the first time you experience your body changing, the first time you accept the change, the first photo you take of your bare transformed body, and every moment in between and thereafter.

I’ve been completely, happily overwhelmed for the last 7 months. In fact, I haven’t been able to write a single word about this whole experience until now…month 9, 39 weeks – 5 days in. I’m 3 days away from my supposed due date.

Denial

All of my life I’ve battled with the thought of infertility. When I was just 6 weeks old I had ovarian surgery out of anyone’s control. Growing up tested by doctors, some told me nothing in the reproductive center of my body was affected, others always treaded lightly to tell me that there was still a possibility of infertility. Of course, it was much easier to grasp to the idea of not being able to reproduce. I was always unsure to what extent they meant… Did it mean my body could still engage in the functions? Did it mean a surrogate or adoption was my only choice?

There was a point in my life, quite young, early teens, when I had decided that I would adopt. I’d have a big family and I would take in children from America because there were so many left unloved, uncared for and many American’s looking to adopt bring a child from another country. Although, my argument did not always prove valid. I understand that systems outside of America are much more dangerous and much worse for children to stay in, but I’ve always stuck with my decision.

Where does denial come in? Of course, these doctors telling me back and forth what I could and wouldn’t be able to do…my main fault in denial was knowing that I could cling onto the fact that I COULD reproduce. That my body had healed, that I WAS capable of this beautiful journey that women are blessed to experience. However, I chose to hear, to believe the safer thought like some of those doctors. I chose to believe, all my life, that I most likely couldn’t have kids. When I felt it important to say in a relationship, in a friendship, in a conversation where ‘my future and my kids’ came up, I’d bring up how I most likely couldn’t have kids. Recipients of that news turned supportive, “Don’t listen to those doctors, anything is possible. Your body is meant to reproduce, it will find a way.”

Well, I’m pregnant. 9 months – 39 weeks, 6 days. My denial now is in thinking that the impossible wasn’t possible, when all my life I too have always told people to believe in the impossible. I felt terrible in doubting myself. That I had chosen the more negative path to cling on too because it was EASIER. Some supporters ask me if I’m going to sue the doctors that told me I couldn’t, of course not. It was never, “You will never have kids” it was always, “There is a possibility you may not be able to reproduce naturally.” I am thankful, which caused more denial, that each doctor I’d ask a percentage…wouldn’t give me an answer in that form. There was caution in how they answered, as my situation could easily go one way or the other.

Surprise

As you can imagine, I was surprised. Not only due to my above situation, or being pregnant in general, but that I had skipped over a very obvious fact…I’ve had multiple, multiple doctors over the years, including OBGYN’s…None of them ever enlightened me with the fact that if I had been experiencing ‘puberty’ aka my menstrual cycle naturally all of these years, than my ovaries must be working. From Google, “They produce the hormones, including estrogen, that trigger menstruation. The ovaries release an egg (oocyte) at the midway point of each menstrual cycle. Usually, only a single oocyte from one ovary is released during each menstrual cycle, with each ovary taking an alternate turn in releasing an egg.” Did I want to sue the doctors now?! Maybe…but for what? Would that bring all these years of doubt back? Would that cure the denial I was in for so many years? NO. I was fine, truly. I was blessed, I was happy, this was my moment to live and let go.

SURPRISE! I was pregnant!!!! We were pregnant!!! I’ll never forget the day Robert and I found out. It was my 26th birthday. 2 1/2 years together and we were constantly in the honeymoon stage no matter how many arguments we got into. Most, all 3 of the arguments were raised by myself due to the fact that we never argue, the drama queen-previously abused, cheated on, used to toxins, in me needed some type of hype on occasion. I quickly got over that phase. I had been feeling off for about 2 months.

In November I thought it was the flu, I was exhausted, I was faint, I was thirsty, and nauseous but very lightly. You’d think I’d know my body, yeah yeah. This was different. I was over worked in a new job, I thought it was stress and fatigue. I overlooked it.

December came around, Christmas was rather uneventful. I didn’t go anywhere, I spent one day with the family if I recall correctly and the rest I spent in bed, locked in my room sleeping and watching TV shows that helped me drown out life.

January 3, my 26th birthday. We had the day off together, the first thing I told Robert was that we absolutely needed to get a pregnancy test. There was no doubt in my mind at that point this was it, none of my episodes had ever lasted this long. Barely managing though, I played it cool for Robert until we actually had proof. So we went, the mid-morning of my birthday. We had brunch and headed to the pharmacy. Once we arrived at home, Garrett (Rob’s best friend) creeped in standing at our room door, Robert sitting on the bed and me peeking my head out of the bathroom so that only Robert could see me while they carried on their conversation. I quickly interrupted them and told Robert he needed to come see this.

We loved each other, we love each other, it had been the most beautiful and fulfilling 2 1/2 years together, but even though we had talked about having kids, I think the denial of what could happen with me and what couldn’t was always there making us feel like it couldn’t. Neither of us knew how the other would react, obviously we knew we’d be happy, but for some reason were were both so reserved. Robert came to the restroom, saw the test and his eyebrows went up with the cutest grin on his face. I just looked at him and smiled. We didn’t get crazy, we hugged tightly and sat down. We actually had to ask one another if we were happy and how we felt. Initially it was kind of…lame. HA HA. We were just surprised. That dull feeling disappeared quickly though, we were ecstatic. Robert was stoked and couldn’t wait to tell his friends, although we had to wait. I took another test just to be sure. I cried, it was a miracle, but not really, right? Both tests confirmed, I WAS PREGNANT!!!!

Emotion

November

I took a vacation to see my best friend in Oregon, I had a sudden burst of manic energy and drove in the middle of the night from San Jose to Grants Pass, OR. Remember, I had no idea I was pregnant. With the natural hormones of pregnancy, mixed depressed emotions, and manic anxiety I’ve always had…I wanted to break out. These mini escapes were normal for me. Wanting to leave everything behind, cause a scene with my boyfriend, this was by far the biggest breakdown with Robert that I had ever had. Threatening to leave him, move out of state, it was a wild ride – that man has endured so much of me that sometimes I wonder how, but I remember that love trumps all. Our great times have always overpowered any negative bold outbreak I’ve had, that being the most memorable one – other’s were not so memorable, just annoying. It was a regular routine for me to take off for a day or two to recharge. So there I was, in Grants Pass with my best friend. We had an amazing weekend, drinking, shopping, setting up here new little home since she has just moved there shortly before. Something was up though…I just couldn’t keep up. I liked to drink…but I was tired, I couldn’t drink as much as I could before, I’d wake up hungover and just want to sleep all day. I wanted to go to bed early. It was odd, but still I NEVER THOUGHT I WAS PREGNANT. Even with coworkers, or people that I’d never told my story to…telling me I was probably pregnant. It never crossed my mind that it could be true. I was just…feeling ill.

December

These symptoms mixed with depression/anxiety didn’t make this month any easier. I wasn’t miserable due to being pregnant, I was miserable because I took the symptoms of what I had thought to be the flu, stress, being overwhelmed, to the extreme with my depression. New Years Eve, this was when I knew something was up with me. Again, I liked to drink, to a fault sometimes. We were living with Robert’s friends at the time, house full of boys that liked to invite all of their friends over, believe me they have friends and their friends have friends so it was a party. I liked to party, but these last 2 months…I hated to party. Anyway, I made myself get up and enjoy some shots and jello shots. I didn’t want to spend New Year’s Eve totally alone as Robert was working, plus I had work the next morning…After 2/3 jello shots the toilet called me. I threw them up. Weird I thought…no more drinking. I stopped. That was when I considered…OK I might be pregnant.

January

I was clear. I was refreshed. The last 2 months had been rough, but the thought of being pregnant, which I was 100% sure of now totally uplifted me. There was a reason for my hiatus, for my hormones, for my emotion, and for my physically feeling ill. Fear had left me. What was I fearful of? That I was loosing myself, that I was going crazy, that after all of these years being OK and overcoming depression to the best I had ever done, suddenly I was depressed, hated my life, hated myself and for no reason at all. That was all gone. I was having a baby and it was the most uplifting, exciting, and emotional day of my life…also my 26th birthday. I was in love with the most amazing man, I was growing a beautiful child, my body was working…nothing could stop me.

Freedom

It was wild how one test, one visit to the OBGYN to confirm had released me from so much negativity in my life. The thought of becoming a mother just helped me let go. There was no more worry of what others thought of me, I immediately no longer took my job too seriously, I was a workaholic who could just work to the best of my ability without it taking over my mind or my life. I no longer felt uncomfortable with all the weight I had gained in the last few months of being depressed and emotionally locked up. I no longer had any doubt in my relationship, in my ability to maintain a positive relationship. So much anger had left me. I finally felt like the me I had been searching for the last 5 years.

The most freeing part of all of this was finally accepting that all I needed to take care of was myself. That the cliche that you can only love another once you love yourself was absolutely true. It was finally time for me to accept, to love by all definition everything about myself, to change what I was unsatisfied with and to embrace my past journey and my future so that when I met my child I could fully love them without holding anything back.

Its as beauty at it’s finest moment, it was freedom.