I’m 25 weeks along in pregnancy number two and I’m starting to get a little nervous about history repeating itself.
I’m better prepared this time. I will be setting up an appointment with my psychiatrist to start medication before delivering Baby Deuce, to prevent the major hormonal drop that I experienced last time. I have established a therapist. I know what to expect.
But, much like last time, I don’t have a local support system in place. I’m not plugged in to my local community. Besides Hubster, my support system lives at least two hours away. Sure, it’s better than the six hours away they were last time, but it’s still not enough. They have their lives and can’t jump in the car for two hours if I’m in crisis.
It seems like we’re never home on the weekends, because we’re always traveling to things. When we have been home, it’s when Hubster is on duty and can’t go within 10 minutes of campus. Our church is 20 minutes from campus. We haven’t established ourselves at our local church by attending regularly like I wanted.
I’m saying that enough is enough. I need to get into a regular routine. I need to attend church every Sunday. I need to get to know people. I need to establish myself here. Needs.
It’s time to pay attention to my own needs. I need a routine that I can return to after Baby Deuce arrives. I need local friends and the comfort that simply having a routine and being plugged in to my community can provide me. I need connection.
In the past year, I’ve made awesome connections with some really amazing women in the blogosphere. One of my 30 Before 30 goals was to meet one of them in person.
I met a fellow Mamavation Sista back in August. I had just pledged to the Mamavation Sistahood and realized that Rachel (@rachhabs, To Hab & To Hold) lives about 2 hours from me, and only about 40 minutes from my parents. We met up for lunch with our kids, and I knew right away that the woman was flippin’ awesome.
Since then, we’ve met up for a kid-free lunch, chatted on the phone, and have had countless text, Twitter and Facebook conversations. This weekend, we did a 5k together. I honestly can’t believe that I’ve known her for less than a year. I think there’s only a handful of people that you meet in a lifetime that you can totally click with and, in my life, Rach is one of them.
The woman is hilarious. She has three super cute, sweet children and a husband that shares the same name as mine. I mean, that’s pretty cool, right? She’s also a major inspiration. Since becoming a Mamavation Mom in August and going through two campaigns, she has lost 70 pounds. SEVENTY. I’ve asked her to be my workout coach after I have Baby Deuce!
Rach, thank you for being awesome. Thank you for being part of my life. I love your face!
One of my best friends from college, who actually was the maid of honor in my wedding, lives in our new city. We decided to meet up yesterday at the local wildlife sanctuary so that C could enjoy the animals. It was so awesome to see her again after two years, and C loved her! He let L carry him around to check out all the animals.
Hubster and I are absolutely loving being back in our home state. We’ve been able to catch up with many family members and friends. We joke that in one month of living here, we’ve had more visitors than in the two years that we lived in a neighboring state!
Some of the fun things we’ve been able to do this past month is welcome a new sister-in-law into the family at her bridal shower, host our friends and their three kids for the weekend, attend a college friend’s nearby wedding reception, have several visits with C’s grandparents and more! We’ve been busy, but it’s been really fun. We’re so happy to be back, closer to so many of our loved ones. :)
Last night, we celebrated my friend’s bachelorette party and it was a blast! I’ve known L and her fiance, J, since college. J was Hubster’s roommate for two years, before they both got involved in residence life. L, J, Hubster and I used to have a couple’s night about once per week. It was so much fun, and we all became very good friends. L and J are one of the few non-blood-relatives in my life that I know would be there for me no matter what. Life could take a million big shits on my face and they’d still be hanging around with their noses plugged.
I love them like I love my own family. There are no words to describe how happy I am for them and how excited I am to be a part of their big day as a bridesmaid.
We’ve lived out of state for a long time, and last night it was so amazing to be with friends who still called me by my nickname (my initials with my maiden name). It feels like they’ve known me forever. They knew me before I lost my ability to trust. They knew me before I was a wife. They knew me before I was a mom. They knew me before mental illness changed me. They know me and love me for me, and there’s nothing in the world greater than friends who are there through it all.
Congratulations to L and J. May your lives be filled with love forever.
We’ve all had friendships end. Some end abruptly with an argument, others simply fade. The ones that fade can be as difficult as the ones that end dramatically.
A couple friendships that I once held dear seem to have faded away. I don’t know how it happened, and I can’t recall when it started. I’ve tried to reach out, even when the idea of putting myself out there was terrifying. I didn’t know what to say or where to start. A text wasn’t returned. A Facebook post was ignored. A birthday gave me the opportunity to leave a voicemail.
I never heard back. My head knows that it’s time to stop trying to grasp something that’s no longer there. My heart misses what we once had, and wonders why we’ve gone our separate ways.
Was it when I got married? Was it when I moved away? Was it when I had a baby?
Some friendships come and go with big life changes. I’m trying to tell myself that it’s okay to let go. It’s important to surround ourselves with people that love, support and uplift us. Even though some relationships fade, there are new and different ones on the horizon.
Sometimes it makes me sad that we live far away from our family and close friends. I wish that we could just jump in the car and attend every birthday party, life event, holiday or random get-together. We thought a six-hour drive was difficult when we moved here…but then we had C, and it is exponentially more difficult. There is so much stuff to pack and plan for, and the drive is so much longer with him. He hates being confined to his carseat, forcing us to make numerous stops and endure his loud protests. PPD and 6-7+ hours in a car with an angry baby do NOT mix.
This weekend, one of my dearest friends had a bridal shower. Hubster had a bunch of work to do and couldn’t leave for the weekend, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make that trip with C by myself. I was so sad that I missed it. I’m honored to be a part of her wedding and can’t wait to celebrate her big day with her!
We’re so excited to live closer soon so that we can see our loved ones more often!
Okay, that title sounds rather conceited; but I’ve realized something needs to change after I’ve put everyone and everything before myself for so long. There are a few things that I want to focus on this year that have been neglected.
I will focus on maintaining healthy habits. While everyone in the world resolves to lose weight and/or get fit in the New Year, this resolution is more about overall health. In 2011, I did not recognize my PPD symptoms because I didn’t make time for myself. If I had delegated any of my time to my own needs, perhaps I would have noticed the signs before my PPD had become so severe. In 2012, I will budget daily time for myself – whether that be in the form of exercise, relaxation or a nap (or a little of each!).
I’m going to put my needs and my family’s needs first. It’s time to stop people-pleasing and do what’s best for my family and myself. For too long, I’ve been worried about making everyone happy. Example: Since we moved away from family and friends in 2010, I’ve known that it is impossible to please everyone when we go back to visit. There simply isn’t enough time. Despite this knowledge, I’ve done everything in my power to make everyone happy. That behavior has put far too much stress on me and, inevitably, still doesn’t make everyone happy. It’s simply not possible to be what everyone wants you to be, where everyone wants you to be, when everyone wants you to be there. One nervous breakdown and nearly a second one later, I’ve seen the light. In 2012, I resolve to put my needs and my family’s needs first. Everyone else will deal!
I will breathe. I already recognize that 2012 has the potential to be extremely stressful for me. Hubster will be job-searching, which brings uncertainty of where we will move this summer. I’m a planner. The fact that I don’t know where we will be living is frightening. Other stress-inducers: C becoming mobile, packing for a potentially cross-state move, moving and starting life in a new place. In 2012, I will take time to breathe deeply, “let go and let God.”
What are some things that you’re going to do for yourself in 2012?
Oh, the days when we could hop in the car, drive for an hour and arrive at our family’s holiday celebration. Those were the days. Life was so simple. The holidays were so easy. This will be the second year that we’re taking a 5-7 hour road trip (depending on traffic, weather and baby) to spend two weeks living out of a suitcase, splitting time between families and friends. We’re holiday nomads.
The ominous pile of laundry I'm tackling today!
Last year, we spent three weeks traveling and discovered that, while we enjoyed our time with loved ones, ten days was really our traveling limit. We started to get worn out, in need of “me time” (we’re both introverts), and missed our routine. We decided to keep our trip to two weeks this year. And…I’m super excited to say that my parents will be watching C for two days so that Hubster and I can have a little getaway! I’m very much looking forward to this much-needed time alone together. We can focus on being a couple instead of just parenting. The combination of Hubster’s work and grad school, my PPD, and C’s high needs has kept us from spending much quality time to connect. I’m hoping to convince Hubster to unplug for those two days as well – both for quality time together and to accomplish one of my 25 Before 25 goals!
Preparing to leave home for two weeks is keeping me rather busy. I have a huge to-do list, including things like pre-paying bills that will come due, making enough baby food for C, sending birthday cards, and all the typical cleaning that needs to be done. I hate coming home to a mess, so I like to get as much cleaning and organizing done as possible before we leave. We also need to plan out the clothes that we need to bring for all the events we have going on…and the clothes that I need to bring for C. So much planning! So much packing!
C would like to thank all of his wonderful family and friends. His mama went through his 9-month wardrobe today and is starting the process of washing it. She was quite surprised by his extensive 9-month and 12-month clothing selection. Shocked might be a more appropriate word.
C just smiled and squealed, not at all surprised by the generosity of his loved ones.
I heard via the wonderful world of Facebook yesterday that my friend was in the hospital to have her baby! Maybe having C made me a softie, but now whenever a friend of mine announces a pregnancy or has a child, I get teary-eyed. It’s a mixture of happiness, nostalgia from a flash of fun memories and excitement because I know the joy she’s about to experience.
So here’s to you, dear! When I saw your Facebook statuses, I had a rush of memories from Bible studies, late night walks, and “rawhide.” I’m so excited for you and your hubby and, despite the distance, I hope to meet her someday. Love you!
There’s nothing that I love more about social media than the ability to reconnect with old friends. I’ve been able to keep in touch with several of them, but there’s one that really touched my heart tonight.
Maybe two years ago or more, I became Facebook friends with one of my best friends from middle school whom I hadn’t spoken with in many years. We didn’t interact much on Facebook at the time. A year ago, she got married and I was elated for her. I remember looking through her pictures excitedly and commenting with congratulations. We soon discovered that we were both expecting in April. How crazy is that?! It was fun to congratulate each other. Then we found out that we were both having boys! Her son was born a few weeks before C, and I love looking at all of the pictures she posts of him and her older son. They are adorable and look like such a happy, fun family.
Tonight, thanks to the lovely world of Facebook Chat, we “talked” for the first time in a long time! It made my heart smile to see that this friend who had been my basketball teammate, Spice Girl dancing buddy, New Year’s Eve bonfire pal and so much more is doing so well. There is no way to measure how much time we spent chatting about boys “back in the day.” I’m glad we both snagged a good one.
Love you, girl! Can’t wait to get together with you – hopefully sometime in the near future.