It’s been almost three weeks since my last blog post. Sooooo much has happened: good, bad, and ugly (but mostly good as I am still, but not without doubt since I haven’t had an ultrasound since week 11, PREGNANT WITH A BABY GIRL!). In these three wild weeks there’s been a trip to NorCal with my in-laws, a gender reveal party gone wrong, sibling drama, a death in the family, a Facebook announcement, horrendous allergies, self-reflection via Oprah magazine and therapy on toxic relationships, and some much-needed exercise. I’m going to provide you with headers by topic so you can skip what doesn’t interest you and so that I might stay on track and on time. I have an exciting (sarcasm) appointment pending with a university I attended to audit my student loan payouts since I don’t see how I can possibly be $60,000 in debt without a master’s degree to show for it (that does not include undergraduate debt or law school debt, sadly). If you haven’t audited your student loans and compared them to your school’s financial records, I highly suggest it as a great way to waste copious amounts of time and enjoy a fun game of the run-around.
ANYWAY…. here’s my last three weeks in an over sized nutshell:
I did it. I managed to get my dogs and husband to hold still long enough to take our pregnancy announcement photo. We were at the family beach house and my mother in-law was the photographer (thank you MIL! I know I was a diva!). It’s not the most creative announcement to ever plaster the pages of Facebook with annoyingness, but it’s step one in the evolution of me as a mother (I so want to be the kind of mom that does cute stuff like this for their kids, but crafty/cutseyness doesn’t come naturally, as you can see by my handwritten signs). Also, this announcement was as much for me and overcoming my pregnancy anxiety, as it was for my future daughter. I want her to have this photo, to know about our journey with subfertility/infertility and loss, and to see how much she was wanted even before she was born.
NorCal Beach house + In-laws = Amazing!
Can I just say I’ve fallen head over heals madly back in love with Northern California, aka The Central Coast. The food, the trees, the lack of track homes and sprawl, the crashing waves, and my family all make it the ideal place for Merp and I to raise our family. We had a lovely time with our in-laws, walking on the beach and exploring. I soooo wish we could move north NOW, but with a cost of living like Los Angeles, but without the jobs, it ain’t happening anytime soon. In the meantime, I’ll have to be thankful that my family is just a 5-hour drive away and that my grandparents kept the beach house as a vacation rental meaning I can use it from time to time. You can’t always get what you want, but you can get others things that are almost just as good!
Check out my ridiculous outfit in this pic. Running shoes and long skirts all the way baaabaaay!
Gender reveal gone wrong
We stopped on our way to said beach house to do a mini-gender reveal party, complete with pink filled cupcakes, at my grandparent’s assisted living home. BUT loose lips sink surprises, and fast. Merp slipped in the car and told his parents we were having a girl. While I slipped days earlier and indirectly told my mom (I’ll spare you the boring details, the bottom line – she knew, even though she pretended she didn’t). So out of seven people only my grandmother and step dad were surprised. My poor gramps was too sick to really know what was going on. None of the pics turned out. Oh and one of my brothers (we’ll call him middle brother), who promised via actual phone call that he’d be there, didn’t show up and disappeared for the entire time I was in his town. That leads me to….
You may or may not remember my mentions of an alcoholic best friend who I was thinking of breaking up with. Well I did. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s probably the healthiest, most sane decision I’ve made in a long time. I’ve vacillated between conviction and doubt, but as my therapist explains, my job right now is to protect myself and my family from toxic influences. I read something in an Oprah magazine (I’ve been gravitating to publications like that and Home Made Simple in my quest to be more mom like) that really resonated with me. It said:
“It’s too late to turn toxic people into healthy ones.”
Wow. Reading that was like a light shining down just for me, a path being cleared, or a fog being lifted. It IS too late. We’re in our thirties (me and most of my friends at least). I’ve spent years trying to save certain people from themselves, while allowing myself to be deeply hurt in the process. No more.
And then this:
“Many people become wiser, calmer, and more emotionally healthy with age and experience. Other people display neither psychological health nor interest in changing. You may already have spent much of your life trying to get the love you deserve and need from someone in that second group. I’m so sorry, dear, but it’s too late. That love will not be forthcoming.”
Bright light. Shining. Down.
“Spend more time with people who don’t leave you crushed and disappointed over and over and over. Go find people who are waiting to love you. Because they do exist.”
Yes. They. Do.
Now what happens when it’s family members who disappoint and crush you? It’s not so easy to walk away from those people, now is it Oprah magazine staff writer?
My middle brother had been pretty awesome until about three years ago when his love affair with the festival scene began. Think Burning Man. I know plenty of responsible “burners” who return text messages, call when they won’t make it, pay their rent (instead of squatting in a family property), and generally can be relied upon. But not my dear middle brother. Why call me and say you’ll be there when you won’t? This is one of many broken promises. Again I’ll spare you the details and leave you with the result: I’m hurt, but slowly getting over it. I expect more of my brother and I fear that his infatuation with electronic music and all that it entails might gobble him up and spit him out, dead, or homeless, or incarcerated. Yes, I’ve said all this to him (I’m not one to shy away from confrontation, can you tell?). We’ve had full on text message battles as a result. I’ve cussed him out at a family event 6-months ago (something I’ll never do again and am quite ashamed of). And surprise surprise I’ve made little progress (shouting f-you flaky mo-fo might have something to do with that). Yet I’m not ready to shut the door. He’s family. The walls might be up, but they’re not impenetrable.
Funeral Fun For Everyone
During our last night at the beach house, I got word that my step dad’s mother in Michigan passed away. This required a last-minute flight for Merp and I two days later upon our return to L.A. and included a fight with my mom about missing middle brother. I was convinced he wouldn’t be attending the funeral, opting to “festival” out somewhere instead. Somehow though my mom tracked down middle brother’s new address (the fact that she didn’t have his address is quite telling if you ask me), spazzed out on him on his front lawn in front of roommates etc., and made it very clear that he would in fact be helping our step father grieve the loss of his mother in Grand Rapids via Detroit and SFO.
So who did Merp and I see on our connecting flight from Detroit to Grand Rapids? A head scarf and sunglasses wearing middle brother walking down the dark night time flight aisle, gathering suspicious looks as he went. I swear I could faintly hear that song I wear my sunglasses at night playing as he stumbled toward us. Sure enough, the seat next to me just happened to be none other than middle brother’s! He sat down, unwrapped his head scarf (it seriously looked like a Burqa gone wrong), took off his sunglasses, and proceeded to say no more than two words to me before he nodded out mid page turn, dropping his book, The Hunger Games, to the floor. This was no red eye people and yes, he is allowed to be tired, but it was just different than tiredness. And weird. Then, upon arrival, he disappeared in the airport for a good 15-minutes, while Merp, my mom and I waited outside for him. People are strange, when you’re a stranger I guess.
Surprisingly though the rest of our short 48-hour trip was splendid. We all hung out, walked around a magnificent fall color adorned lake, talked family business, and laughed. The funeral was as lovely as funerals can be and I didn’t once curse my step-dad’s gigantic family (70 nieces and nephews from his 11 brothers and sisters) for their ridiculous fertility. There were no further nod outs by middle brother or odd disappearances. He did change his ticket to go back early, but I’ll take what I could get. Everything’s not lost. The brother I know and love is still in there. But I won’t be relying on him anytime soon, or making any special effort to sustain an unrequited close relationship with him. Clearly pregnant/married/no longer partying me just isn’t useful to him right now. We’re in different places. I just hope his place is a safe one.
Today & Exercise
And now here I am: Today. Finally, you’re probably thinking if you’ve actually made it this far into my über long life update (sorry!). I’ve decided to leave out a subheading titled Allergies. My immune systems appears to be freaking out constantly. Is it pregnancy? The season? Who cares! Bahahaha.
Today though, I feel the best I have since week 5.5 of this pregnancy. Now I don’t want to jinx anything because I thought I was getting better-ish at 14.5 – 15 weeks, but still had two night-time puking episodes. But, today, at least, I feel ME-ish again! This week in general I’ve seen overall improvement. I just did a modified version of my Ballet Physique video (no abs and lots of breaks), while Monday I did The Tracy Anderson Pregnancy Project (since you only get one routine per month, and I get bored, I’ll be doing this twice per week max). I also caved and did something crazy. I bought a doppler (I keep refreshing the UPS tracking page like a psycho) since my next appointment isn’t until next week and then weeks and weeks after that. I’ve also been anxiously taking peeps at my belly in any reflective surface that presents itself. Does it look like I’ve made progress? I’m 16 weeks 2 days and dying to have a noticeable bump. Please forgive both my immodesty and the constipated look on my face. If this pic could talk it would say, “Mraaaah I’m a bloated looking wack job in an orange bathroom!” and “Time to clean the mirror kid” and possibly “Spray tan! Quick!” Ha. So what do you think? Do I look sort-of pregnant?