Friday, May 26, 2017

All the updates at once - Part 1

(It turns out this post was WAY too long to put up all at once, so I'm splitting it up. I still don't know how long it will be...because I'm still not done with it. But on May 1st I promised an update, and it's time for me to get better about posting, so here we go.)

If you follow along here you've probably noticed the chronic absence of posts for the last few months. And I'll admit, life has moved very, very quickly during those months, and part of the lack of posting is because I've been too busy. It has also been up and down and lately (read: since December) and when I sit down to post I have had intense writer's block and can't put what's going on now into words.

And I think it's because I haven't written about all the other stuff that happened.

If you read my Mother's Day post, I let a large part of what happened this winter slip out. In this post, I'm going to talk about all of that. Just put it all out there and then see if maybe the writer's block abates.

This is going to be a very, very long post. I'm like 5 sentences in and I can't even tell you how long it will be. It will probably be a lot of words, and not a lot of pictures. It's going to be all over the place, because it's going to be about personal stuff, training, races, houses, puppies...everything.

This really is all the updates, all at once. As of starting this post, I don't even know if I'll put it all up at once because it might be that long. Who knows.

The truth is, I've been trying to avoid writing a lot of what I'll put in this post. Trying to move on and not let "outsiders" know about everything that happened. Because the truth is, at least for me, blogging tends to show all those people on the outside of your life all the great things that are going on, and it lets you soldier on through the difficult things in peace. At least that's how I do it, because I'm not good at showing people that I'm weak or lack control. That I have weaknesses in my life and character (who'da thought?). Obviously I do, but in this space I can pretend I have it all together (lol).

I'm not saying that hard things aren't ever talked about or shouldn't be, I just feel like I normally reference it all after the fact as "HOW I PREVAILED!" And this time around, some of it just feels too hard, and too private. Like a long, hard, ugly cry...it's not something you want people to see, especially when you're not "over" it (whatever the hell that means).

And there was a lot of difficult and ugly crying at the beginning of the year.

Obviously, there is a lot to be said for keeping things private. I've gone back and forth about this a lot trying to decide if it's something I want to write about here. I recognize that I don't have to, and that it's no one's business but my own. Not only because it means sharing this shadow over my heart, but because once it's out on the internet, it's out there for good. All of my friends will know. Any coworker who stumbles on this will know. Anthony's friends and coworkers will know...

...and that's a lot to process.

But all of it gives frame of reference for all the other things that happened since then. My struggles with getting back to training, the complete apathy I felt for a long time about everything that wasn't part of my relationship. And sometimes, in the blogosphere, I feel like the mirage needs to be cleared away to show the desert that's actually there. To show that it's not all good and happy and "hard work allows you to succeed".

Sometimes bad things just happen, and you have no control, and you let that lack of control take you over until you feel ready to grasp the reins again.

So here's that story.

*********************************************

Back at the beginning of December I had just completed my first official half marathon and was relishing in not having a training plan (maybe a little too much). I did a lot of not running and not going to the gym, and I was enjoying being able to be "lazy" and spend extra time with Anthony as we geared up for the holidays.

One such weekend, as I crafted my year's reflection on racing, I found myself dog sitting for my friend's parents...and I also realized my period was a few days late (not unusual though). So I did what any normal girl does, and took a pregnancy test, 100% expecting it to be negative.

Except it wasn't.



In complete disbelief and shock (because remember I was 100% sure I wasn't pregnant), I did the next possible thing and googled how to figure out how pregnant I was. I put in the first day of my last period, and the little Baby Center calculator thing estimated me at almost six weeks.

Wow.

After the longest hour of my life, Anthony made it to the house and I showed him the test, waited the appropriate number of seconds for him to realize what it actually said, and then there was lots of hugging and smiling and happiness.

Right now you're probably sitting there scratching your head and wondering where my pregnancy announcement has been this whole time...

*lets the wheels spin*

...and now it's probably dawned on you that I am not pregnant. Anymore. ...yeah.

I want to say, before anything else, that though it was unexpected, we wanted this baby. From the first day we were excited and terrified for all of the changes coming our way, but overwhelmingly happy about all of it.

I told my mom two days after getting a positive test result (she was happy and there were some tears), and the following night while we were at the hospital waiting for Anthony's niece to be born his mom made a comment about not believing she'd be a grandma to 4 before 50, and Anthony unceremoniously said, "Well Christina's pregnant too," and that's how they found out. (More tears, all happy). I also scheduled my 10 week appointment with the OB for January 11th...and let the waiting commence.

On December 23rd I had my first experience with pregnancy fatigue after a decent bike workout at the gym (hill intervals!). Also, never fear - practically right away after getting that positive test I did as much research as possible on how to safely stay fit while pregnant and I knew a moderate hill workout would be okay, as long as my heart rate didn't stay too high, for too long.

But that workout left me totally spent, and I wound up in bed by 6:30 because I literally couldn't lift myself to sitting.

The next day, Christmas Eve, I had my first bout of nausea which lasted all day. I nibbled at some food, knowing I "had" to eat, but nausea with Christmas dinner in the books isn't the most enjoyable thing to face. At this point almost none of my family knew (my mom, brother, Jennie and Steve), so when I had some mac and cheese with dinner and realized OMG I WANT TO EAT THIS, I went back for seconds. One of my cousins made a rude (perhaps he was joking) comment about me "carbo loading" for something, and I almost punched him square in the face for being an ass. I still kind of wish I had *side eye*

And that was how I learned that finding that one thing you want to eat outside of being nauseous is probably the sole reason for that whole "don't touch a pregnant woman's food" saying.

There's also SO much out there on the internet about pregnancy, and for pretty much everything you'll read says that pregnancy is different for everyone. You literally cannot get a straight answer for anything. So for me, I spent mornings at work varying between nauseous and ravenous, and it would only lift slightly if I had something like Sprite or green tea, or ate citrus fruit or dry carbs (like crackers or cereal). By the time 2pm hit I'd be starving, and a lot of days the lunch I'd packed was not what I wanted and Anthony would be forced to take me for food I would eat (hello Jimmy John's BLTs).

I was also extremely tired all.the.time. I don't think I can adequately describe pregnancy fatigue. It isn't just being tired like I thought it would be. It was the complete inability to do anything that wasn't 100% crucial to survival, and even then there were things I seriously questioned needing to do (like get up to pee). I'm normally an early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of person...but falling asleep at 6:30 is beyond ridiculous, even for me.

But that's how it went through most of January (hence the inability to properly train for a half marathon!).

At this point I'm going to start to intermingle the pregnancy talk with everything else that happened the first few weeks of January, because it was a lot. It was so much that I wrote it all down as it was happening. Yeah, I kept notes on life.

On January 1st we started looking at houses. We saw 8 (some single family, some townhomes) and ended the day disheartened because nothing was anywhere near what we wanted. The good news was that the following Saturday (the 7th) we found a house that we really liked, and we put an offer in (while standing in the kitchen of the house).

And thus, the nail biting that comprises house buying commenced.

On the 11th Anthony and I traipsed to the doctor's office after work for our first ultrasound. What we thought would be our 10 week scan. Only as the tech moved the probe around she got quiet and went from genial and talkative to very quiet, and not nervous but not cheerful. She said that the baby was measuring much smaller than 10 weeks, more like 5 or 6, which sent me into panic mode. The tech ended by saying the doctor would go over everything with us and as I got dressed I started word vomiting scenarios at Anthony based on everything I'd read. Then we went and waited in the doctor's office, nervous and certainly not as happy as when we'd walked in the door.

But he came in and said everything looked normal for week 6 of a pregnancy. He gave me a new due date (September 4th, not August 8th) and said we should come back in a week to make sure things were on track.

The next day more stuff happened with the house. After a few days of back and forth on a price (which included some laughable counteroffers by the sellers, should have seen the red flag it was), our offer on the house was accepted and the inspection was scheduled, which was great news.

Unfortunately, it was followed by some pretty terrible news...right as I was leaving work on the 12th, Anthony told me that he was getting texts from his friend that another childhood friend had been killed in a triple homicide. My heart shattered for Anthony. I thought about Kayla. I thought about finding out she had died two years earlier, while I was surrounded by people at work and feeling like I couldn't escape it and wanting nothing more than to do so. And I knew there wasn't anything I could do to take those feelings away.

It was a hard week, because there were so many mixed emotions. The terrible news about Darrell, the great news about the house, and then on the 18th we had our second ultrasound showing that the baby was growing on schedule for 7 weeks, and even though there wasn't a heartbeat yet, it gave us an incomprehensible feeling of relief (even though what we really wanted was to see that heartbeat).

On Saturday the 21st we drove to the city for Darrell's funeral,..and I can't explain any of the emotions associated with that either. It was my first time meeting any of Anthony's friends (and I met almost all of them), and my heart proceeded to break further as I saw them mourn their childhood friend. As I saw this young man's family (including his three year old daughter with curls like Shirley Temple) speak and sing about and honor the memory of their brother, cousin, father, son, and friend.

And as all of this happened, things with the house progressed. We had the inspection and determined what we wanted fixed in the house (or credited)...and the sellers came back the following week with a completely unreasonable response. And I mean completely. Realistically, we figured we were due at least $5000 in credits, and they offered us a fraction of that. They were offering us almost nothing, and there certainly should have been something.

That Sunday morning (the 22nd), I also noticed some spotting. That was when the internet taught me that something like one third of pregnancies have some sort of spotting, and there's really no way to tell if it's good or bad. You just have to wait and see. Not to give TMI here, but the spotting was brown and the internet assured me this was most likely implantation bleeding, and Anthony and I simply decided we'd have to be patient and relax about it until our next ultrasound the following Monday. I.e. freaking FOREVER away.

Obviously I spent the next few days worrying and updating Anthony about literally every bathroom visit, but I also called my doctor's office and spoke to the medical assistant who assured me some spotting is normal and if it's brown and I had no cramping there was nothing to worry about.

I was horribly sick that Tuesday night. The most nauseous I had been and tired beyond belief. I went to Anthony's house after work (about 4pm), crawled into bed, and fought the urge to throw up until I finally fell asleep for twelve hours.

All the while, the sellers for our house were being more and more ridiculous, and taking longer and longer to respond to any communication. As a matter of fact, there was no more word from them...until Friday.

(This is kind of long...I think I'll leave it there for now so everyone can give their eyes a break. Part 2 is already written so I'll post that tomorrow...I promise this time you don't have to wait a month!)


x

Part 2 is now available here.

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