Loss

Published October 17, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

I’ve been trying hard to resist writing about this, because I’ve been trying not to think about it. Thinking about it hurts, and it’s easier to not think about it and feel angry at everyone and everything than it is to admit that I am hurting.

On Saturday, October 5th, I took a pregnancy test and found out that I was pregnant. I was blown away…I have been on birth control since six weeks postpartum. I have an alarm set on my phone. I took my pill at the exact same time every single day. But I was pregnant, and terrible timing be damned, I was happy. I made an appointment with my OB on Monday and figured out that my due date would have been June 8th…right in between David’s birthday on the 1st and mine on the 10th. I told Bri in whispers that she was going to be a big sister. (I thank GOD that she was too little to know what that meant…)

But on Thursday the 10th, my happiness turned to worry when I started bleeding. It scared me. I spotted during my pregnancy with Bri, but this didn’t seem normal, and when I called the nurse at my OBs office, she wasn’t very reassuring. Oh, sure, she gave me a rote spiel about how people bleed during pregnancy all the time and it could be nothing…and then spent ten minutes explaining in depth what to expect if I was having a miscarriage.

My mind kind of went numb and I listened to her without really hearing what she was saying. She wanted me to go get a blood test so they could check my hormone levels. She said that depending on the results of that test they may need another blood test in 48 hours. They also told me not to have sex. Um, hello?! Furthest thing from my mind.

I called into work. I was panicked and scared and knew I wouldn’t be able to focus. I got the blood test done and tried to stay positive, but I was still bleeding and I was getting very crampy, and in my heart I knew I was losing the baby before I ever really had a chance to wrap my head around the fact that we were having another child.

The test results were give to me by a different nurse the next day. My hormone levels were extremely low. Much lower than they would be at this point if the pregnancy was viable. “The doctor believes you are having an extremely early miscarriage.” Even knowing beforehand, hearing the words come out of her mouth broke my heart.

She repeated everything the other nurse said about what to expect. She asked if I had any questions. She made a follow up appointment with my OB for me and canceled the other appointments I had made in my initial excitement.

I hung up the phone and sobbed. I felt like my body had betrayed me, that I had betrayed this baby by not providing it with a good enough place to grow and thrive. People have told me I am wrong, that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, that there was probably something seriously wrong and Mother Nature knew it. I’ve had people tell me it’s better this way.

Knowing all of that doesn’t take away the hurt. How is it possible to get so attached to something so quickly? I knew I was pregnant for less than a week, but it doesn’t matter. I never felt the baby move, my belly hadn’t grown bigger, I will never see a picture from an ultrasound or hear the baby’s heartbeat. It doesn’t matter. I’m still devastated.

I can’t decide if it’s better or worse that I had none of those things yet. On the one hand, I had less time to get attached, so even though I am sad and devastated and heartbroken, I know it would have been worse later. But on the other hand, I have absolutely nothing. Nothing to put in a frame, nothing to put in my journal. I don’t have anything concrete to look at.

I don’t even know if it would have been a boy or a girl.

But I have an angel baby.

I had to go to work Friday, still bleeding and cramping and miserable and sad. I was angry that I had to go to work and angry that everyone kept asking me why I was there (because my manager asked me if I would come in anyway and then, disregarding my answer of yes, marked me as being absent, so everyone wanted to know what was happening), angry that I had let myself get so happy so soon and angry at the world just for existing.

Anger got me through my shift. And it was so much easier to be angry than to be sad. But now I am still angry and it’s not helping me not be sad. It’s just pointless anger aimed at nothing in particular. I keep lashing out at my husband, which isn’t fair or right. (And is particularly horrible since he could really use my support right now with everything he is going through.)

I guess I need support too though. I want to feel taken care of. I’m really tired. Not just from lack of sleep, but just from this heavy load I’ve been carrying around since…as long as I can remember. I have always felt like I needed to take care of everyone and be there for everyone else. So here I am, carrying everyone’s problems in my heart, and not dealing with my own.

Ugh. This blog is getting long and melodramatic. Know I am not being this way on purpose. I just feel overwhelmed. I’m just writing what comes to mind because if I don’t I feel like my head will explode.

Bottom line: I thought Bri was going to be a big sister and now she isn’t. At least not yet. I’m sad and dealing with that poorly. My plate is very full. Life is hard. I’ll get over it eventually.

Still a Mom to One

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Feeling Nostalgic

Published October 9, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

My little baby girl is growing up so fast. I was standing at work today, and I remembered this time last year, when I was so close to my due date. I was so certain I would have her early, even though everyone kept telling me that she would be late because she was my first. I had hit that point midway through October when I was just DONE being pregnant, and I couldn’t wait to have her in my arms instead of kicking me in the ribs. Everyone kept telling me to cherish every moment she was still inside my body, protected from the world, nourished and warm and safe, but all I wanted was to meet her and see her eyes and toes and fingers, to kiss her head and hold her close and tell her that I loved her more than anything in the whole world.

I got all teary eyed at work.

I miss having her with me everywhere I go. I mean, I used to take her to work with me every day, right? It doesn’t matter that she was in my uterus, does it? 🙂

And then she was born, and I was just in awe of this cute little pink creature with her wide blue eyes staring around at the world. But the world suddenly seemed like a scary place to me…germs and sharp edges and choke-sized objects, and chemical cleaners that could be accidentally ingested. I suddenly understood what everyone had been saying before.

Anyway. I know I’ll have that feeling again next time we have a baby, and this time I’ll take the time to cherish it the way that I should have up until the very last day of my pregnancy with Briana.

Speaking of Briana…

 

My little girl has PERSONALITY. And sometimes ATTITUDE.

I reached out to take a piece of her chicken to nibble on during her lunch today, and she smacked my hand and glared at me. No joke. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. And yesterday, she was playing with something and I tried to take it away, and she lay down on her back, wrapped her hands and feet around it (a bottle of lotion) and yelled when I tried to take it. It’s so funny how she goes from so sweet and laughing one second to super tired and grumpy and attitude filled the next. I thought mood swings were for teenagers? 🙂

Anyway, for the most part she is still my sweet little smiley child, but there are just a couple of moments every day where I get a glimpse of her daddy’s stubborn streak and my determination all mixed into one, and only one thought crosses my mind: “Uh oh.” Or sometimes “We’re in for it…”

 

We’re finally getting her settled back into a semi-regular routine now at grandma and grandpa’s house, excepting the fact that she is still waking up in the middle of the night sometimes. She now has a semi-regular wake time, nap time, feeding time, play time schedule. It’s easier to stick to it here for some reason.

Her aunt Sarah bought her one of those Playskool Elephant things that blows multi-colored balls out of its trunk and catches them in its ears so that it can blow them out again. (I tried to post a picture but had trouble. Here’s a link to Wal-Marts website… http://www.walmart.com/ip/16829720?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=3&adid=22222222227009551124&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=13955890630&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=34874126350&veh=sem )

Bri has been having SO much fun with that thing. She’s figured out how to turn it on by herself, and she loves watching it and picking up the balls that fall on the ground and putting them back in the ears…I’ll admit that mom has been having fun playing with it too…Errr….playing with Briana while SHE plays with it. Sure, that’s what I mean. 😀

 

Anyway. I meant to do this long in-depth blog about Briana, but I’m falling asleep at my keyboard! Some day I’ll have more energy or remember to blog BEFORE work. I’ll try again later this week.

Love from a Tired New Mommy

Don’t forget!

Published October 6, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

In less than a month, I’ll be moving over to my new blog, Mommyhood in Motion. (Which means, *sniffle* my daughter will be one year old in less than one month!)

Here’s the link…PLEASE go follow my new blog so you don’t miss out. New and exciting things are coming! 🙂 I’m going to try to add a recipe page, and a page with links for resources and such for moms and dads. It’s gonna be big…or at least, that’s the goal!

http://mommyhoodinmotion.wordpress.com/

I am feeling a little lost…I cannot believe that this brilliant little girl has been a part of our lives for nearly a full year. It certainly went by quickly!

I will try to update more about Bri soon, but I can’t promise, because we still aren’t all moved in!

Mid-Move Blog Post

Published October 3, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

You know, when I was a kid, I liked moving. I liked packing up all my stuff in boxes labeled “books” or “toys” or “journals.” Of course, when I was a kid, my room was the only room that I was responsible for packing. It’s much less fun when you are expected to pack up everything in the apartment. It doesn’t help that we have moved…7 times in the last 6 years. Seriously! This is the SEVENTH time we’ve moved! Ugh. When we get our own place in the next 8 months or so, I am going to make sure we get a place that we can stay for a least three or four years. I am so sick of moving!

We haven’t really been able to settle in yet. There was a miscommunication about when we would be moving in…I said “We’ll start moving in on the first, and I want to be done by the fifth.” My in-laws heard “We’ll move in on the fifth.” So they didn’t really have anything ready in our room when we started bringing stuff over. So right now we’re sort of stuck waiting until they have time to put the new shelves out in the garage and get things organized. It’s a little bit of a bummer because I had yesterday and today off work and was hoping to get the bulk of the move done this week. Hopefully by my days off next week, they’ll be all set,and we can get down to it and get it done.

Briana is handling the whole thing like a champ. I don’t think she really gets what is going on, but we’ve managed not to disrupt her routine, so she’s perfectly happy. She’s loving all the extra space to move and crawl and explore…she finds about ten new things a day that we don’t want her getting into…we need to baby proof everything.

My sister-in-law and I took her with us when we took the dog for a walk today. Briana sat up on my shoulders, all bundled up against the fall chill and looking absolutely adorable!

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It wasn’t a very long walk, but that’s okay. Bri loves to be outside anyway.

I can’t believe that she will be 11 months old in just two days! And then she’s just one month away from her first birthday! My goodness! Where has the time gone?

I’ll try to do a more complete update about Bri on the 5th. Right now it’s dinner time for me…I haven’t eaten much today, Bri has kept me busy!

Busy New Mama

Briana: Destructo Girl in Disguise

Published September 22, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

Is it possible for a baby to reach “Destructive Toddler” status before she has taken her first independent steps? If so, Briana is most definitely there!

I woke up this morning to find that David had dozed off on the couch while watching Briana. I can only assume that’s what happened, because the pile of neatly folded clothes I had left on the couch was strewn all over the floor, the diapers had all been pulled out of the Pampers bag and thrown everywhere, the Playstation controller was covered in drool, her toy bin was upside down (the contents, of course, all over the floor), and the blinds on the sliding glass door were all askew. Quite the little hurricane, my daughter is! 🙂

Setting aside her destructive tendencies (and we all know it’s really exploring and curiosity anyway), I am quite proud of my little munchkin. Her favorite phrase right now is “uh oh” and she says it all the time! With many different meanings. 🙂 “Uh oh” in a questioning tone when she purposefully drops her toy over the side of her car seat, “uh oh” in a firm tone as she knocks over her blocks, “uh oh” said in an actual “uh oh” tone when she knows she’s in trouble for pulling on the blinds or pushing the buttons on Daddy’s PS3 (this kid is GREAT at ejecting DVDs and Blu-Rays), and “uh oh” said in a tone of delight when my in-laws dog sniffs at her toes.

Her vocabulary is small, but I feel like she is really catching on to the rhythm and flow of speech. You can really tell when she is curious about something, because you can hear the questioning note in her “babbling.” And if she’s showing you something, even though it’s a string of random sounds, I swear it’s like she’s telling you about what she’s holding out in front of her. “See mom, this is what this is!” Her exclamations of excitement when she sees the dog have a definite “Look at that mom!!!” sound to them. And she definitely knows what an angry tone is. She doesn’t just immediately dissolve into tears or wailing every time she’s upset now. She screws up her face and frowns and sternly babbles at me. “Deh deh deh DA! Da da da deh deh DA!” Not every time, but sometimes. It makes me laugh.

She loves pushing buttons right now, on remotes or controllers or toys or pretty much anything. She has also discovered that doors are fascinating because they swing/move back and forth. Every time I am holding her and I walk through a doorway, I have to be careful she doesn’t jerk me up short by grabbing onto the door and holding on as tight as she can. She likes to grab the edge of the door and push it and pull it to watch it swing.

She’s eating more “real” food now, and fewer baby purees. Pasta and cheese and chicken and veggies…things that are easy for her to pick up. I got her a “My First Plate Set” at Walmart the other day. It came with a little baby safe fork and spoon. Too cute! She ate her pasta and veggies out of it last night…of course she was eating with her fingers, but she enjoyed chewing on her fork and spoon. 🙂 She has mastered the sippy cup, as well, and will drink from a regular cup if you hold it for her. I have been too afraid to try just handing her a regular cup…she likes to throw things right now, and I don’t think that handing her a grenade filled with liquid would be a good parenting decision!

Briana still isn’t quite walking on her own, but she is needing less and less help every day. The other day she was holding onto just one of my hands and she stood up and took two tiny steps. She loves walking in between David and I, holding onto each of our hands and just going as fast as her little legs can carry her. I think once she realizes she doesn’t need us for balance, we’re going to be doing a lot of running to catch up!

She has figured out how to crawl up onto the couch. I seriously watched her the other day use a stuffed toy as a stepping stool to get herself up easier. Um, excuse me? Slow down a little bit, baby, I’m not ready for this yet! She’s also discovered what fun laundry baskets and empty toy bins are…though I took the laundry basket away after she was sitting in it and it tipped over and she hit her face on the base of the lamp. I felt SO terrible…she still has a mark under her poor little nose.

I’m sure that I’m forgetting a ton of stuff and will think of it later, but this is what currently comes to mind. She is turning one soon! Can you believe it?! I can’t. I’ve been thinking a lot about the day she was born in the last few days. When they took her and put her on my chest that first time, how happy and overwhelmed with love I was. And I look at her now and how much she has grown and changed and…it’s just incredible!

Just a heads up, when she turns one, I’m starting a new blog. I’ve already come up with a name for it and reserved the url, aren’t you proud of me? I used it as a blog title a while back and just really loved it! “Mommyhood in Motion.” What do you think? I haven’t posted anything there yet, but the url is http://mommyhoodinmotion.wordpress.com/ and I plan on starting to blog there instead of here ON her birthday. I am hoping everyone follows me over there! I explained before, but just in case you missed it, I feel like my “new mommy” days are kind of coming to an end. And also, we plan on having more kids…so blogging under the url “brianasmommy.wordpress.com” wouldn’t really work out once that happened! You should all go follow the blog now! That way you won’t miss anything when I do the switch in November. 🙂 Hope to see you over there, too!

Still a New Mommy for a Little While Longer

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The Ongoing Tornado That is My Life

Published September 22, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

I was looking around our somewhat tiny apartment last night, thinking about our previous apartment with it’s beautiful open floor plan, high ceilings, spacious kitchen, utility room, and third bedroom. Moving out of our old apartment complex and into this one was incredibly hard. I had dreamed of living in a place that nice for a very long time. Not that our current place is unpalatable or anything…if I had never lived in Wildreed Apartments, I wouldn’t think there was anything wrong with our current apartment at all. But I did live there, and this apartment feels like a definite step down. That being said, it’s still our apartment with our rules, our belongings, and our space. And now we have to let this apartment go as well.

David has been on medical leave since July. I’ve been trying not to really get into it, because it’s not really something I’m prepared to share details about, but I can no longer keep it off of my blog, because it’s really affecting our lives in a major way. Since he is unable to work for the foreseeable future, and we have run through all of his vacation pay and have yet to see a cent from his short term disability pay, and I make much less money than he does and only work 30 hours a week…we’re worse than broke. We’re in the hole.

(And let me head off all of the “well then why did you go to Disney World” questions with a couple of statements: a) we finished paying for that long before David went on leave and the food and hotel and transportation are all included in what we paid for, so we literally spent less than 100 dollars the entire week we were there, b) the doctor said she thought it would be a good thing for David to take this trip, and c) I looked into canceling the trip, and we would have lost so much money by the time we knew we were in a bind that it wouldn’t have made a difference…the plane tickets were non-refundable, and that was 1000 dollars I wasn’t willing to lose, add in the penalties for canceling so close to the trip and I just felt it wasn’t worth it. Oh, and let’s not forget that even if we hadn’t gone on the trip, and gotten what little money back that we could, it wouldn’t make a difference: we’d still be losing the apartment.)

We are moving in with my in-laws.

I love my husbands family, and I love that they love us enough to help us out right now when we really have no other options. I’m extremely grateful. And incredibly depressed. We lived with my in-laws before when we were just starting out, and I learned something about myself that I hadn’t ever really realized before: I’m an incredibly independent person who bristles at depending on someone other than my husband and myself for food and shelter. I’m sure that I’m not alone in that.

Even setting that aside, moving back in with them, even temporarily, feels like such a step back in our life journey. I hate that we have a child and we’re having to move back in with my husbands folks. It feels like we’re failing our daughter in such a fundamental necessity: provide her with shelter. We won’t be providing the shelter anymore. And while in the long run, who provides the shelter isn’t anywhere near as important as the fact that she HAS shelter, doesn’t make it feel any better.

This is supposed to be extremely temporary: ideally 6 months, and no longer than 8 months…TOPS. Just long enough for David to get back on his feet and back to work, and then we’ll find our own place again, sans roommate this time, and actually, for the first time since six months into our marriage, have a place that is just ours – just my husband, myself, and my daughter.

I’m feeling wary about moving back in there for other reasons, too. I’m worried there will be clashes about parenting stuff. I’m incredibly insecure, in a lot of areas of my life, but one thing I stand firm on is what I want for Briana, and what I don’t want. Moving in with her grandparents is going to be hard, because I’m worried there will be disagreements, and I don’t want it to turn into a battle or anything. Before, it was just me and David. I’m not sure how adding Briana in is going to change the dynamic of us living there, or if it will at all. I’m a worrier…so even though I know I shouldn’t create trouble where there might be none at all, I’m worried anyway!

Anyway. I’m trying to look at this as an opportunity to not only catch up, but to pay off some of our credit card debt and get our finances in a better place so that we can start saving for a house. We had already decided that this is what we wanted to do before I finally admitted to myself we couldn’t hold onto the apartment any longer. So I’m trying to view it as a stepping stone to being debt free, rather than viewing it as a step back in time. Trying being the keyword there: I haven’t fully convinced myself yet.

Sorry for the long rant. I’ll write a Briana Update Blog soon, I promise.

Defeated Mommy

Miserable Mommy?

Published September 14, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

I went back to work on May 24th after blessedly being able to stay home for six plus months with my baby girl after she was born. So it’s been nearly four months since I went back. The first day was heart wrenching, the first week was torture, the second week was hard. I figured that I would get used to it as time went on – leaving Bri at home and heading off to make money. I mean, mothers (and fathers) do this all the time, right?

And I suppose it has gotten a little easier. I mean, I don’t cry every day now…I manage to hold the tears back. It’s only once a week or so that I let them come. When people at work ask me how I handled coming back to work with a baby at home (which a lot of customers seem to feel is their business when it comes up that I have a ten month old daughter), I literally choke up and have a hard time answering without my voice breaking.

Please don’t snicker and roll your eyes. I’m an emotional person, but that doesn’t make me stupid, right? I mean, I cannot possibly be the only mama out there who has to work and wishes with all her heart that she could be a SAHM!

I loved being home with my baby and not missing a single moment. I loved being there to wipe away every tear and respond to every smile and belly laugh, to watch as she explored this great big world where everything is new and fascinating! And while I still get to spend a large chunk of the day with her, I’m not there in the afternoons. I’m not there for dinner or bath time. And dammit, I’m not there for bedtime. Bedtime is so special to me.

Bedtime is special because when I was home every night, that was our special time. Daddy and Uncle AJ would head off to their respective bedrooms and go to sleep, and Bri and I would cuddle on the couch because she just wasn’t ready to sleep yet. Our little night owl would stay awake so late! But this mama is a natural night owl, too. So we’d snuggle, and I might watch a show or read a book (out loud, so she could enjoy it, too), or maybe we’d just sit there and take each other in. And when she got a little older, and she started to go to sleep earlier, I was still the one who put her to bed, because that was our time.

It seems silly sometimes, given that I was with her all day, and David was at work…you’d think that bedtime would be his, but somehow it became mine, and I cherished every moment. Even the “rough” nights when she fought sleep like it was her mortal enemy, when I occasionally lost my patience and had to call in backup (David, lol), I was almost always the one who finished out the bedtime ritual and put her in her sleeper and later her crib. We had a ritual, and then I went back to work and I lost that, and it really kind of hurts. And now, on the nights that I am home from work for bedtime, I somehow always miss out on putting her to bed. She and David have their own routine now, since it’s him five days out of seven, so when I try, she gets riled up and won’t sleep. I know I keep harping on it, but it’s heartbreaking. I miss our special time together.

As a working mom, I still get to see a lot of moments and cherish a lot of laughs and silliness and discovery and fun. But I miss a lot, too. I miss it because I’m not there. She’ll only be this little for such a little while. And in just four short years, she’ll be in school, and I’ll have to let her go and discover things without me, and let her tell me about them later when she comes home.

But in the here and now, everything in me is telling me that I should be at home with her, cherishing it all every second of the day. And I can’t.

 

I’ve been talking to David about trying to find a position as a nanny or before/after school care babysitter type person. A few people had suggested it before when I needed to go back to work, but I didn’t think I could find anything quick enough (that would bring in enough money for us to pay our bills) before we’d be really in a tough spot, so I went with the quickest solution and went back to my old job (though at a different location). Now, I have a job, and I have money coming in, so I can take the time I need to try to find a nanny or babysitting position. If I find the right one, with enough hours, I can still bring in enough income that we can survive, and I can bring Bri with me to “work.” I didn’t think David would go for it, as he kind of hemmed and hawed about it before I went back to work, acting like he wasn’t sure how he felt about it. But he has been surprisingly supportive. When I told him how heartbroken I was every time I had to leave her, and how I literally cried all the way to work some days, he didn’t hesitate to tell me he would support me in whatever I wanted to do. (Though, of course, he did point out that “whatever I wanted to do” did not mean I could give up working entirely, because we do need an income from me to pay our bills.)

I’m feeling excited and hopeful, but also nervous. Taking care of other people’s kids is something I’ve done before, babysitting and such, but I wasn’t a parent then, and I didn’t realize how important a job it was. Does that make any sense at all? Ha! Sometimes I feel ridiculous.

Anyway, my long-winded rambling (oh, woe is me) has probably scared off the majority of my readers tonight. I just felt like this decision was important, and I wanted to share it. *shrug* Maybe it’s only important to me. But since this is my blog, you’ll have to pretend it’s important…or quit reading it! 🙂

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