Posted in Frank, Health, Personal, Relationships

Depression Lives Here

Depression lives in our household, and some days the smothering effects of the dense cloud of mental illness becomes hard to escape. Today is one of those days.

Frank has the most problems right now, and I try to push my own aside in order for him to be able to focus on himself and get better. He has tried to kill himself three times — that I know about — in the past month and a half. With the first attempt, he crashed my truck into a post without his seat belt on in the hopes that the airbags would deploy and kill him. Luckily, that didn’t happen.

Since then, he has tried twice to overdose on his medication. He seems better on this medication after his most recent stay in the behavioral center here in Edinburg. I’m hoping he stays more or less stable, but some days he has his downs and that triggers my own mental illness.

I have OCD and depression. I was diagnosed back in 2010 with depression and 2011 with OCD. My OCD manifests itself in the form of “Pure-O”, which basically means I do not have as many compulsions as “typical” cases of people with OCD. My mind races with thoughts and obsessions that I can’t control, leaving my mind to be a prison for my consciousness all its own.

I am one of the cases where medication greatly improved my symptoms. However, I am not comfortable with taking medication while pregnant, which is purely a personal preference as many medications are mostly safe to take while pregnant. So, in 2013 when I became pregnant with Note, I quit my medication. I actually quit my medication shortly before becoming pregnant for the first time, which ended in miscarriage. As I have talked about before, I had very bad depression during that time that was a struggle to control. I have been off medication since that time, and my depression and OCD have become harder and harder to combat on my own, but I have found a few coping skills that help me manage. However, the stress of recent events has made it absolutely necessary for me to be back on medication

It was a difficult decision for me to make as I am not a fan of the effects it has on babies in the womb. I will be quitting the medication in my third trimester due to the breathing distress it can cause in a newborn, but, for now, it has greatly helped my mental state.

Still, even while I have struggled with mental illness for a good portion of my life, I struggle with understanding and accepting someone else’s mental illness, specifically Frank’s. I have attempted suicide before, but never in the intensity that Frank has attempted (ie 3 attempts in 1.5 months). The fact that everything seemed fine that day, and leading up to that day, and then our entire life was turned upside down by this, is a concept I am finding hard to understand. But it makes sense. Of course it does. One of the most common things said after a suicide attempt — successful or otherwise — is “they seemed so happy”.

Why is it so easy for me to forget that?

I have been as supportive, understanding, and caring as I possibly can. I have struggled through and suffered in silence, besides what little I share on this blog (and the only reason I don’t share more is because I don’t have time to write more).

But some days I am certain I will be crushed underneath this weight. Some days I feel like this mental illness is going to get the both of us. Even with the medication, of which I only have a few weeks left to take before the third trimester comes, the days can be hard, harder than I think I can manage.

And yet here I still am.

And here I’ll be.

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Posted in Personal, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy, Treble

Anatomy Scan

We had our anatomy scan on the 22nd. It was a little late due to me having a problem with the company that Holy Family uses for their ultrasounds. I was supposed to receive a call from them to set up my appointment, but I never received said call. Well, on a Friday afternoon, I received a call from them and they were asking my about the appointment I missed. Of course I would miss an appointment I didn’t know about. I told them I had never been informed of the appointment and they told me they tried to call me but apparently I didn’t answer (I do not remember getting a call from them, and my phone didn’t show any missed calls from their number). So why didn’t they try calling me before I missed my appointment? Instead of after? Whatever. I rescheduled, but the earliest they had was three weeks later, so on the 22nd.

The wait was pretty long, longer than I would have liked even though I chugged their required two glasses of water within ten minutes. They took me to the back and into a room where they lowered the lights. The tech put the wand to my belly and I could see the ultrasound image on the screen in front of me. Frank and Note sat in some chairs in the corner. Frank was pretty drugged up and ended up falling asleep for part of the ultrasound, but that was okay. That’s just what happens with these kinds of things.

Seeing Treble on the screen was amazing, as always. I’m always in awe of how much he grows in between scans. Of course we made sure to ask if they could check if Treble was still a boy, even though we had genetic testing done so he is definitely a boy! The picture definitely cleared up all the doubts and it was an interesting angle too. I love that I can see his feet in it. His feet look extra huge, which is so cute because Note had big feet too, but Treble’s feet look even bigger than Note’s did.

There was a scan that didn’t make the print of the bottom half of Treble’s face with his little puffy lips and his nose. Judging from that, he’s going to look just like me, just like Note looks just like me. He’s got very large, chubby cheeks already even though his baby fat is barely starting to fill in. He was measuring a bit bigger than expected for every category, but not enough to cause a change in my due date.

I can’t believe this pregnancy is over halfway done. It won’t be long now before I’m holding this little one in my arms. I really can’t wait for that moment.

Posted in Friends, Holidays, Note, Personal

Memorial Day

We went to South Padre Island with Maribel, Carlos, and Nick for Memorial Day. The beach wasn’t as crowded as I thought that it would be. When we got there, we got down, unloaded, and… It started to rain. We had to get back into the car, which made the kids furious, and then went to find something to eat. We had originally planned on doing a BBQ but obviously couldn’t do that with the rain.

We ended up not getting anything to eat and waited out the rain instead. We had almost gone home, but luckily we didn’t as the rain only lasted about an hour. Back on the beach once more, the kids immediately wanted to get in the water and the guys wanted to get the grill on immediately as none of us had eaten since breakfast. Note loved the water this time, which has been a first during all our time at the beach or at pools. It was great to see Note enjoying the water so much, even though it was a little stressful because the waves were so strong and Note is so light that they were literally sweeping her away.

The food was done in an amazingly short amount of time. We quickly gobbled it up before taking the kids back to the water once more. Note did not want to get out! Eventually we did have to get out however as it was getting late and Maribel needed to be home early because she worked the next day.

We got ice cream on our way home. It was so delicious! I haven’t had Dairy Queen in quie some time

Here are a few more pictures from our trip. I love the first two. The first one because I look pretty good pregnant and in a swimsuit. The second because I look so happy and the wave is going right up to my belly. I love the ones of Frank and Note as well because I love seeing Note and Frank make memories together since Frank works so much and he can’t usually make it to things like this.

Posted in Frank, Note, Personal

Frank + Note

I really love looking back at old pictures of Note. This morning I was looking back at a bunch of pictures of them where they were sleeping together. Frank enjoys Note more now that she can do more things, but I know he loved that younger baby stage because he got to sleep with Note a lot more. Note dropped the afternoon nap a little while back, and anyway the nap always happened after Frank left to work.

Here is a collage of some pictures where they were sleeping together. The one in the top row in the middle was on Note’s first day home. Can’t believe that was over two years ago! And soon we will have a new little one. The time is going to fly by even faster with the second.


I feel like Frank and Note will always have this special bond. Note loves being in the kitchen with Frank. Note didn’t like Frank too much in the beginning and she’s still kind of iffy about him now occasionally, but she always wants to call him and when they are in the kitchen together is when their dynamic really comes alive.

Frank has Note help him with all sorts of kitchen duties, even cutting little vegetables with a real knife and cracking eggs. Note is great about being responsible in the kitchen, surpringly more responsible than I would expect from a two year old.

Note helping make pasta at El Divino

While I hope Note finds a love in cooking, I do hope that they do not make it a career only because I see how hard the chef life is for Frank. There’s shit for pay and hardly any time to be with family. The hours a long, the work hard, but for Frank it’s all worth it because he loves it so much. If Note finds that same love and passion, I’ll wish them only the best if they make it a career.

Anyway, I’ll end this post here. I’m still typing on my phone and it’s rather annoying due to the crack in the screen and the lag on the keyboard. 

Posted in Frank, Personal

Busy Life

When isn’t it a busy life, right? It’s been busier as of late though.

First of all, we made the move into my grandmother’s house. We only planned to stay there for a short while before getting a place of our own somewhere, but unforseen circumstances changed that.

Twelve days ago, Frank attempted to kill himself. He did so by running my truck into a pole with no seat belt on. My truck is pretty close to totaled, but Frank is thankfully alive and well. His decision to try and end his life came from depression he has never dealt with and alcohol abuse. He is now getting help with both and doing so much better. He finally seems happy again and I’m seeing the person I fell in love with in him once more.

We’re looking for a new car and did some car shopping today. We haven’t really decided what we want to get yet, but we know that we’re more fond of crossovers and hatchbacks, especially hatchbacks. Shopping for a car is strangely exciting. I really enjoy doing it, even if it is also a little stressful.

Frank isn’t living with us until he is sober for six months, possibly until Treble is born if he does really well with his rehab. Note is taking that a little hard and really misses him, but it gives Frank motivation to work towards staying away from alcohol. Even though alcohol was ruining his life, I can see he isn’t completely free from its control. He talks about wanting to get “well enough” to where he can have a beer again and be okay. I don’t like being discouraging at these times, but I don’t think that’s the way alcoholism works at all. His therapist told him he has bigger problems than that and needs to focus on them and fixing them. I would be happy if Frank never took a drink again, and I would be more than ready to never take a drink again along with him.

Well, that’s all the time I have for updates right now. This pregnancy is really taking it out of me and I’m much more tired than usual. Time to get the toddler in bed so I can go to sleep myself!

More pictures in my next post if I find my laptop charger by then.

Posted in Personal, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy, Treble

It’s a…

March 28th was my birthday. I turned 24 years old! Woot! We didn’t do anything too special to celebrate it. We went out to Salt to eat and went to watch Batman vs. Superman after. I didn’t really enjoy the movie, but that’s another story for another time. I loved Wonder Woman in that movie however! She stole the show.

IMG_7639On the 29th, we had an appointment with the OB. We went in and it was the usual stuff. Urine sample, weight, all that. Then came the part for the ultrasound. We had decided to find out the sex this time around because we thought it would help make things more real for Note, although we will still be raising the child gender neutral like we did with Note. The tech asked us if we wanted to know the sex, and we said yes. I thought she was asking as a conversational thing, like for future reference. Well, immediately after we said yes, she said, “It’s a boy!”

We were completely shocked but very excited. We didn’t think we would be able to tell this early, but she was completely confident. We get the genetic testing on the 4th next week, which will help confirm, as well as another ultrasound in four weeks where we will be able to check again for a little penis on the screen. I’m so excited that we are having a boy, but also don’t want to believe it in case it is wrong and then I’ll be disappointed.

IMG_7644At least the genetic testing is 99% certain, so we know there will definitely be no error there. She was very confident though, so that gives me some reassurance. I guess our future son is packing if you could see this on the ultrasound screen already! At the bottom of this post, I’ve included some stills from the video we took during the ultrasound. We didn’t get to tape the actual sex reveal part because Note began crying. I’m thinking next appointment, I might just leave them at home or have someone else take care of them for a little bit so Frank and I can go. I really like having a video of the ultrasound. I didn’t have one with Note and it’s something I regret. Actually, I do have a 20 week recording with Note, but they were asleep and didn’t move at all. In this video, we got to see Treble having the hiccups. It was so cute! Treble is very active already.

We also revealed the sex to Frank’s mother. I did the above then left the bottle of detergent in the laundry room on top of the washer. I thought it was a cute and different way to do a simple sex reveal. The next time we will be announcing Treble, they will have been just born! We have decided not to announce this pregnancy on social media and we will have a sip and see instead once Treble is here. We think that will be a much better option the second time around.

Only 198 days to go! I really can’t wait to hold Treble in my arms and these next four weeks will feel like an eternity as we wait for a confirmation on the sex. Fingers crossed this “stays” a boy!

Posted in Health, Note, Personal, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy, Treble

Time For an Update!

img_5631Ah! I kind of fell into old habits and stepped away from this blog for a bit. I had another appointment two weeks after I got my official due date just to make sure everything was okay. I went alone to this appointment because Frank was tired. He stayed with Note and I enjoyed my time to myself. I was able to hear the heartbeat, which was 120 bpm. Note’s heartbeat was always 160 and above. Treble measured an entire eight days ahead of where I am based on my due date. Note always measured right on time, so this is an interesting twist, and I wonder what it will mean as far as delivery goes.

By the time I have my next appointment with the OB, I’ll be 11 weeks 3 days, but Treble will be measuring 12 weeks 4 days if the measurements this time weren’t just a fluke. That’s such an exciting time because the baby will definitely look like a baby, and we should be able to see all the limbs flailing around. That was one of my favorite things about my appointments when I was pregnant with Note. If it wasn’t for that, I would probably cut out the OB care.

img_5632We also had a visit with the midwife. That helped immensely in helping ease my worries. They said I could deliver there despite my herpes. I was worried that would disqualify me from being low risk and I would be forced to deliver in a hospital. Of course, I still will need a c-section if I am having an outbreak at the time of delivery. I really hope that doesn’t happen. Honestly, I think I will go so fast this time I won’t even have time to go in and get a c-section. I have to be hyper-vigilant for signs of labor when the time comes. Hopefully I can recognize it better now that I’ve been through it once.

The midwife visit was pretty standard. A lot of history and “how are you feeling?” I’ve forgotten how long those visits take.

In other news, Note has officially stopped breastfeeding. Note would ask me occasionally if they could have milk. We tried breastfeeding again and they latched on. It hurt me immensely and they gave me this look while latched, a smile on their lips, but I think they knew it would be the last time that we would be doing that. The next day, the led me to the fridge and asked me for “milk”, then took out the gallon of cow’s milk from the fridge. So, that’s it. At 23 months, our breastfeeding journey has come to its natural conclusion. Its a very bittersweet thing.

So, that’s pretty much everything that’s been going on around here. Nothing to report but me getting more pregnant and Note getting bigger. They’ll be two in about a month. I’m not 100% sure what we’re going to do as far as a party. I’m thinking a very small, subdued get-together at the park. Nothing big, and Frank will make sausage and burgers on the grill. Quick and easy. Not sure if we will do a theme or anything yet. I need to talk to Frank about it a bit more.

213 days to go!

Posted in Health, Personal

Sometimes It Hits Me

Sometimes it hits me, so suddenly and out of nowhere. The ugly beast known as depression rears its head and creeps into the corners of my mind, uninvited.

Today, maybe it’s because I’m tired. We live with other people, a lot of other people, and it’s exhausting. Their ins and outs, their constant nagging, the general atmosphere of the house: all of it combines to leave me completely wiped at the end of the day, my mind and body ready to collapse amidst the pillows and let sleep reset my soul.

But of course it can’t work that easily. Sleep doesn’t come, and by the time it does, exhaustion has set so deep into my bones that once Frank enters the room after a long shift, I hardly stir.

I’m ready to be alone again. I’m not a people person, I never have been. My solitude is precious, and a gift rare received now. I’m ready to have a place of our own that we call home, that draws us towards it, where Note marks their growth on the crowning in their doorway and Treble takes those tentative first steps and Karma sleeps, curled, upon the couch. I’m ready for us to have our own space, to breathe and live, where our existence isn’t measured in dirty dishes and resources wasted but in love and laughs. I’m ready for my child to be seen as more than a burden or a destroyer, and for the stillness to settle around us once everyone goes to bed.

I can’t say when that will all come to pass, but I know it is sometime soon. 

Posted in Note, Personal, Pre-Natal Appointments, Pregnancy, Treble

Official Due Date!

img_4602We went to our first prenatal appointment today! I thought I was 9 weeks 6 days, but when they did the ultrasound, the baby only measured 5 weeks 6 days. I have been using September 15th as my due date based on my period, but I was giving my new, official due date of October 15th. That means that I caught this pregnancy super early! We did get to see the heartbeat, but it was too early to hear it. We should be able to hear it at our next appointment on 1 March. Now that I am getting further along, I’m getting some of the nausea like I had for Note. I suppose with Note it came so much quicker because I was carrying twins in the beginning. Definitely only one baby this time around, unless I lost the twin very early like I did last pregnancy, but I really don’t feel I was ever carrying more than one this pregnancy. Now that I’ve seen our newest addition, I feel a lot of that dread has eased from my heart and I’m properly excited about this pregnancy once more.

 
img_4582I’m kind of sad to lose about a month off the time I had thought I had completed for this pregnancy. That means it will be one extra month before I get to hold this little one in my arms. I know this pregnancy will pass by much faster than Note’s, however, now that I have a little toddler to chase after. I’m also excited by the fact that Ramzi Method says this baby should be a boy. Gender doesn’t matter much to us and we are still going Team Green, but it is something fun to guess. We will know in eight months!

Overall, my symptoms have been getting stronger and stronger, particularly the morning sickness. I found that milk really upsets my stomach more than other foods, so I’m trying to avoid it and get my calcium from other sources. Maybe I will try some kind of almond milk or something. I’m sure Note would like to try that too. Regular milk upsets their stomach.

I had some tenderness in my breast, but that has disappeared. Perhaps in the beginning it had to do with quitting breastfeeding. The weaning went pretty well. Note still asks me for milk sometimes, but I usually just distract them with something else or say “not right now” and they forget about it. I miss breastfeeding them though, and I am considering starting it back up once they get over their yeast infection, as they do have it in their mouth as well, and the last thing I need is for yeast to cultivate on my nipples.

Overall, I’m really enjoying pregnancy! I hope that the morning sickness goes away. I can’t handle it if I have morning sickness as severe and for as long as I did with Note. It will be way too hard to keep up and keep functioning!

 

 

Posted in Personal, Pregnancy, Treble

Week 9: What Makes You Anxious?

This was actually the week eight prompt from my pregnancy app, but I didn’t have much time to sit down and write last week. We went to El Paso to pick up Note, and that really took a lot out of me as it was 12 hours each way.

So, the answer to that question… Although with this pregnancy I’m feeling generally much better than I did with Note, both emotionally and physically, I can’t shake this feeling of impending dread that’s stuck in my heart. I’m so excited about this pregnancy and the chance to be a parent again, but something in my heart tells me “you won’t be taking this baby home.”

It’s very strange. If I had these feelings with Note, I would chalk it up to being afraid of being pregnant right after having a miscarriage. But with this one, I don’t really know why I’m so anxious about it and why I have this feeling. Perhaps it’s because by this time in the pregnancy with Note, I had already had a handful of ultrasounds as well as blood testing done. With this one, due to insurance issues, my first appointment is tomorrow. I’m ridiculously excited to get checked out and make sure that everything looks alright so far. I’ll also get an official due date, as I suspect that I ovulated late and my due date is off by as much as two weeks, which makes a big difference when it comes to birthing time.

If everything looks alright tomorrow, I’m sure that I’ll be counting down the weeks until I hit 24 weeks and baby hits viability. At the very least, they’ll have a chance then.

Here’s a shot of my belly! I think I look much bigger than I actually am when I have clothes on. Usually the belly pictures I take, I’m naked.