Stuck in Freefall

So I apologize in advanced for how discombobulated this post is probably gonna be. A whole lot of crazy went down yesterday and in what might be a stupid mood I’m using this blog as a way to try to process what the fuck is happening instead of calmly waiting until I’ve processed it and then writing about it. This may be a mistake but my god I just need to get these thoughts out somewhere and this is a pretty big deal for my life.

I had been taking a small nap when Matt got home from work yesterday. He came in to say hi to me and he started asking if I was feeling sick or was just tired. He seemed kinda weird but I figured he just wanted to watch TV in our room and that he would probably do so if I was “just tired” so I said in a very fake way, “Oh I feel so sick. Cough cough.” (I did actually say cough instead of fake coughing. I was just being silly.)

That’s when Matt hugged me tight and said he had good news. He was going to have the month of April off with paid leave. My first thought was, “Wait, what about the baby?” I asked him if maybe it would make more sense to have this paid leave off, you know, after I give birth to our baby, but he said he couldn’t do that. Annoyed now, I asked him what we were gonna do when I did give birth. Was he gonna have to work straight through it? He said he didn’t know. Finally I asked him why he was taking a month of paid leave in April.

And that’s when he told me that his company had let him go.

I mean, he didn’t say it in that many words actually. First he told me that they had moved his position to another state. My brain tried to wrap around that as I asked, “Are they moving you to that state?” (Details are purposefully being kept sketchy here because I really don’t want his company to find this blog or this post.) Matt shook his head and said that they had already found someone in that state to give the position too.

So my follow up question on that was, “Well what does that mean you’ll be doing?” I can’t remember his exact phrasing but that’s when he told me. He said something along the lines of that he didn’t have a position over there now. He is finishing out his last week of work and then he’s cut free. Granted he’s cut free with a month of pay but still, no more employment.

And if that wasn’t enough to give me the feeling of the floor dropping out from under me Matt brought in the kicker with the only idea he could think of in the short drive home after work: “We should move to Pennsylvania.”

Now this isn’t quite as random an idea as it may seem. Matt is originally from Pennsylvania (the northeast corner specifically) and his family still lives there. We have had talks about moving out of state at some point. Neither of us are thrilled with New Mexico’s school systems or just the idea of raising a kid here in general. (It doesn’t help that in 2014 we were ranked dead last in the nationwide ranking of Overall Child Well-Being by the AECF. If you want to look at their report for 2015 click here. They discuss how they came to their conclusions and you can see that New Mexico and Mississippi like to duke it out for 49th place a lot.)

But Matt has started missing being near his family and friends and has talked about wanting to go back to PA specifically. He’s asked me before if I would be okay with leaving behind my family and friends and the only state I’ve ever known. I’ve been honest with him and said plainly, I don’t know. I like the idea of moving out of state and living somewhere else but I also know that there will be a lot of culture shock for me and I’ve never lived out of state away from my family before. I don’t know if I’ll actually be okay but I’m totally up for trying. But whenever we discussed these plans and ideas it was always with a like, 5 year deadline on them, so we could be moved before we really officially had to enroll our kid in school.

But a month? That just seemed too soon and too crazy. I’m entering my third trimester this week and the thought of trying to move across country and find a new obstetrician and everything else… Plus it would mean my family wouldn’t get to be here for the birth. We had already made arrangements for Matt’s family to come out and see the baby shortly after its birth but my family can’t make the same arrangements. If we moved that soon my family wouldn’t get to see my baby for a long time.

I didn’t really know what to do at the time so I called my older sister to tell her what was going on.

My sister and I are really close. She’s three years older than me and out of everyone in my family I probably get along with her the best. She works as a labor and delivery nurse and is so freaking good at it that she gets requested more than any other person there and her patients often come back to visit her. Needless to say I’ve been talking to her a lot about my pregnancy and getting advice and help from her when I can. So when I called her last night she was immensely helpful.

She pointed out that switching obstetricians in the third trimester is a huge pain in the ass and makes everyone’s lives more difficult. I’ve already established a connection with my doctor and it would be very difficult to try and establish a connection with someone new in a very short amount of time. She also pointed out that high levels of stress can totally induce premature labor and since she had noticed how terrified I sounded on the phone she used her Nurse Voice to calm me down. She made a very good case for at lease staying in this state until the baby is born and it was such a relief to hear someone agree with me. With her help and hours of more talking between her, myself and Matt a Plan was formed.

Our basic plan, as it currently stands, is this:

Matt is gonna apply for unemployment for the moment being. Since he wasn’t fired, he was let go because the company is trying to downsize to save money, I’m pretty sure he’ll qualify. This will help us while he looks for work.

We’re gonna scout for jobs for him here. The goal is to find something that is in the same pay range (or in our wildest dreams, higher) than his last job and hopefully something he enjoys. If he does find a job like this and gets it, then we will stay in NM until we feel that moving to PA is more realistic, e.g. more in line with our previous plans that had the five year cap on them.

If we can’t find anything or Matt does not qualify for any of the higher paying jobs here he will just get whatever kind of crap-ass job he feels like working (retail sort of stuff, apologies if your life is currently spent in retail hell. God speed and may the work you do always be appreciated) to tide us over until I give birth/our lease ends. But once the baby’s born we will move to PA.

So in summary, we are either moving to PA in a few years or in a few months. It all depends on what Matt is able to find job wise. But either way we will be here for me to give birth, I won’t have to switch doctors, my family will get to see their newest relative, we got this.

The whole reason that all of this hinges on Matt and Matt’s ability to find work is because, well, he’s the main bread winner. Even before I got pregnant I wasn’t the one who pulled in the big checks. My money helps, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t like my paycheck was the majority one.

Plus I recently had to leave my job. I was an at-home caretaker, helping people whose health conditions make caring for themselves difficult. I only worked with one client but she and I got along fine and it was pleasant enough work. Unfortunately her health took a turn for the worse recently and she began to require much more mobility assistance than before. This in itself is not a bad thing but when I asked my doctor if it was okay for me to help a 200-ish pound woman stand up and sit down using a gait belt she glared at me so hard I thought the floor was going to crack. So with a big NO from my doctor I stepped away from the position so my client could get the care she needed from someone who could physically perform the job without risking injury to themselves (or the baby).

So with me unemployed and pregnant enough that no company in the world will hire me (oh they’ll never say it’s because I’m pregnant but it’s really easy to turn someone down for work without having to bring up the pregnancy. Your hours aren’t what we’re looking for, someone more qualified applied, we already filled the position, etc.) our livelihood rests more firmly on Matt’s shoulders than it did before. So where he can find good work is where we’re gonna live. I do freelancer work stuff but that can be done anywhere. It’s not pivotal for me to stay here for that kind of work.

I know we are lucky. We have family and friends who are willing to help us out and get back on our feet. Our situation could be so much worse. I know there are people out there who lack the connection safety net of friends and/or family to help in these sorts of scenarios so when disaster strikes they have to pull themselves out of it alone. I am so freaking grateful that we are not in that same position. I wouldn’t even know what to do if we had no one to help us figure this out.

But even though we aren’t totally screwed and we have a vague Plan in place, I am still so mad at what happened to Matt. (WARNING: HUGE RAMBLING RANT AHEAD)

I remember asking him right away if he was okay, telling him how sorry I was that this happened to him. I know I’m his wife so it’s not like I’m going to speak against him or anything but you guys, he worked so hard for these people. He put so much of himself into his job and was always doing his best to make sure that the products he was working on did the best job they could and were working in a way that made people’s lives easier.

It’s always a tremendous blow to the ego when you get let go or fired. It’s something that feels so personal and difficult to deal with. He told me that he kept asking the big bosses if there was something he did wrong, was there something he should have done differently, something he could have improved on. But they said no. They had moved the position out of state and could not afford to accommodate him; either in moving there or getting a new position. There was nothing he could have done, the decision was made.

My anger has a lot of levels, you guys. His company knew I was pregnant and they knew I was due in July. They like to preach that they treat their employees like family but that is a lie on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin. Well, how about it is super fucked up to fire someone whose wife is 26 and 1/2 weeks pregnant!

Especially since the main motivation it seems they had was an attempt to save money. The big bosses who run and own the company have seemed incompetent to me in the past. This past December they literally could not afford to pay their employees. Paychecks were late for everyone but the people who got especially fucked over were the temp workers that got brought in to complete a big order that Management had placed too tight a deadline on. These temps had worked 40+ hours a week for anywhere from 4-8 weeks and they were being told that they wouldn’t see any of their wages for at least a few months.

I remember being nervous when Matt told me about all this and how his own check was delayed (this was happening right before Christmas too. So happy holidays! We can’t pay you.) I remember telling him that a good company should always be able to afford to pay their workers. Wages aren’t a surprise expense, they’re a pretty solid part of running a business. If you can’t budget for paying your workers maybe you’re not as good at this whole, “running a business” thing as you thought.

Like, it was super unfair of them to expect people to keep working even though they weren’t getting paid. That’s not how the system is set up. You know that if the reverse were to happen (“I’m not going to work unless I get paid!”) they would just fire the people. So why do they company to do it? (The fact that the temps were friends and family members of regular employees made it extra sad; I almost think that they specifically didn’t use temp workers through an agency because they knew they wouldn’t be able to get away with shit like this.) It just struck me as so unfair and such bad business managing that I expressed concerns and doubts to Matt right then and there. But he is/was loyal to the company and wanted to stick it out. And now they’ve rewarded this loyalty by letting him go.

I’m still in such a state of disorientation. My brain can’t really wrap itself around all of this yet. We might be moving out of state with a newborn baby. I don’t know how I feel about any of this yet (other than the anger you just read). Matt doesn’t know how to feel either. I hope I can be supportive and helpful to him through all of this. I keep telling myself that it’ll work itself out however it needs to. If we stay, we stay. If we go, we go.

We’re just gonna have to work through this one step at a time.

Kniting Socially

None of my friends have ever really been into knitting. Oh there have been a few who have wanted to learn how to do it and I teach them gladly but it never sticks. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. Everyone has things that they like to do and it’s not strange for people to have different hobbies and interests.

It has meant that the majority of my life has been spent as a solitary knitter. I learned the craft at age 15 as a freshman in high school. My sister and mom had come home from an outing with needles and yarn and books saying that they both intended to learn how to knit. I behaved with all the grace and elegance of a teenaged middle child who senses that they are once again being left out of something; I whined and bitched until my mom agreed to get me some stuff too.

What’s funny was that within a few weeks both my sister’s and my mom’s knitting was gathering dust in their closets and I was still knitting away, quickly completing a long, bright orange scarf for my friend’s birthday. Knitting just struck a chord with me that it didn’t with them; I felt at peace while I worked and it gave me an outlet I didn’t have anywhere else. I was officially roped.

While that beginning established me as a knitter it also established my habit of being the only person I know IRL who knits. It’s not like this fact has caused me undue strain or sorrow; I am perfectly fine with sitting on the couch with my husband, knitting while we watch TV or sitting with Red while he draws and I work on a complicated sweater pattern. There are no tomatoes or peanuts thrown at me a la circus freak or anything; no one really gives a shit. (A refreshing difference from high school where everyone cared about the stupidest things and you walk around with a fear in your heart that the smallest thing will cause you to be ostracized for life. Thank god most mature adults don’t operate that way.)

But I dunno, I always felt like I was missing out on something else. There were so many people online sharing stories of knitting with friends; sharing failures and frogs, celebrating each other’s successes, being able to puzzle over a poorly written pattern together… Just, having someone who knew what the fuck they were talking about when talking about their gauge being wonky or accidentally impaling themselves with their felting needles again. It has always held an appealing edge to me.

I am not a very social creature. It is entirely possible for me to go months without physically seeing or hanging out with people who are friends that don’t live with me. (Red is the exact same way and we often joke that the secret to our friendship’s longevity is the fact that we live together.) Spending a lot of time around other people exhausts me emotionally, mentally and physically. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy spending time with people, but you can enjoy playing soccer and still get worn out by doing it.

And earlier this week I did want to be around other people. I started knitting something for the baby recently (I was finally able to overcome my restless energy and spacey pregnancy brain enough to pick up some knitting needles and yarn and oh my god I feel so much better now, like scratching an itch you didn’t know you had) and I found myself wanting people around me who would know what the fuck I was doing and maybe even be able to talk to me about it. So I turned to the most mixed blessing tool of my lifetime, the internet, and looked for a local knitting group.

I actually found one fairly quickly and oh, look at that they meet every week! I could go tomorrow! And that’s when my anxiety dropped in. It’s kind of funny in a horrible sort of way but here was something I wanted to do, something I was looking into for myself, not for anyone else. It wasn’t something that had to be done or ELSE GRAVE CONSEQUENCES but here was my anxiety anyways, trying to turn this into something Terrifying and Scary and Dangerous and Hey, maybe we should just give up on this and stay home instead.

I try not to beat myself up about this sort of thing anymore because I’ve finally realized how much it just does NOT help. There may be plenty of people out there for whom going to an open-for-all knitting group meet up is as easy as breathing but it’s not like that for me and that doesn’t make me defective or somehow less than any of those people. It can be hard to remember that when people in your life are looking at you with a mixture of confusion and pity as you break down over something that is so nothing to them but it’s important to try. If you just beat yourself up about it you make it impossible to work with yourself. You can learn ways to work with what you can do to get things you want done, done.

So I tried not to get mad at myself for freaking. I just kept taking deep breaths and telling myself that no matter what happened at the meet-up I would be okay. Even if I cried in front of strangers, even if I ended up having to run away or hide under the table, even if I ended up bailing and never showed up, even if I said the stupidest most inappropriate comment I was capable of making I would still be okay. I’ve found that just repeating these sorts of things over and over and over again in my head I can kind of, sort of, maybe a little bit drown out all the panicking voices yelling at me about how NOT okay I would be. It doesn’t always work and sometimes it feels about as effective as throwing snowballs at an oncoming train but I still do it for the times it does work out.

When Thursday came you would have thought I was a condemned man. I was as antsy and jumpy as a cat with deaf kittens and I could not stop looking at the clock. But when the time came I was able to pack up my work in progress and drive myself across town to the place where the group meets.

It took me a few minutes to spot them and seeing the group of older men and women sitting there working with yarn both elated and destroyed me. I was happy I had found the right place but then my anxiety had seized onto the fact that now I had to walk up to them and introduce myself. This ordeal felt as scary to me as being told that I would now have to walk onto a stage in front of thousands, completely nude and sing a Lady Gaga song acapella. Oh and if they didn’t like my performance I would be put to death.

It took me a little over five minutes to actually work up the nerve to approach their table. I kept ooching closer, step by step until I would either have to introduce myself or become known as the weird girl lurking near their table without actually saying anything. I still don’t remember what I said; I’m pretty sure my mouth just opened and inane, nervous babble just sort of spilled out like water from an overfull tea kettle.

Fortunately the end of the table I approached housed a very nice woman whose name I don’t want to put here (cause I forgot to ask her if I could write about her) so let’s just call her Titania. Titania was nice and didn’t seem at all off put by my extreme nervousness and she introduced me to the people around us and tried to teach me everyone’s names but honestly I was so nervous I couldn’t remember any of them.

The only awkward part of the whole thing was when the group organizers/leaders came over to introduce themselves. The two of them came over to introduce themselves and get my name and whatever but to be honest their tones of voice and mannerisms were a lot more hostile than Titania’s. Like, she was nothing but sweetness and gentle kindness, and I was seriously afraid that they were gonna eat me. Just stab me to death with some knitting needles and roast me kebab style over an open fire.

It definitely was the only part of the whole thing where I didn’t feel welcome which is pretty funny because those two had bent over backwards on the group’s website stressing about how “open and friendly and welcoming” they were. I dunno, maybe it’s a trial by fire to weed out the weak. I dunno if I’ll make it if that’s the case.

Other than the Knitting Inquisition the group was nice. It honestly wasn’t too much more different than knitting alone (but that’s probably because I’m shy and bad at inserting myself into conversations). I did talk to Titania a lot and she told me about other things the group does together, like visiting fiber exhibits and the like. I definitely want to try again if only so I can have some outside of the house social time and maybe work my way up to actually being able to talk to these people. Who knows? Maybe knitting as a group will be something I really come to enjoy. Even if it doesn’t I know the yarn and the needles will always be there for me, whether I can bring myself to spend time around strangers or not.

25 weeks and feeling confused

I’m finally starting to look pregnant. Not that I’ve been flat as a pancake before but my body has always carried a small poodge in my lower abdomen no matter what I weigh so it took a while for me to feel like my body actually looked “pregnant” as opposed to “hope you never wanted abs!”

(Also nothing will make your SO stop in their tracks more than to ask them if you look more “bloated” or “pregnant.” Matt just sort of stopped and said, “I feel like this is a trick question and kept walking, but it totally wasn’t! I just wanted to know if I actually looked as pregnant as I felt or did I just look like I had gone on a Cheetos and Taco Bell bender.)

But now it feels obvious, even to me and I’ve started noticing some slightly different treatment from people in public. Nothing as severe or annoying as people wanting to touch me or anything like that, just a lot more politeness and people getting out of my way or letting me in ahead of them in line for the bathroom. Although I am dying for someone I don’t know to ask me when I’m due or ask if it’s my first baby so I can look annoyed and go, “What baby?” Just to make ’em squirm.

25 weeks belly photo

25 week belly. Flamingo dress courtesy of my much-more-fashionable-than-me sister who is very much the best.

 

Since I’m 25 weeks in now I got to partake in the fun pregnancy hallmark that is the glucose test. It’s basically some blood work designed to see how at risk you are for Gestational Diabetes. A positive on the test doesn’t necessarily mean that you have GD, just that you have to take a much more thorough, monitored test. Not that this test was rule free or anything.

I got a nifty sheet of rules from my doctor detailing what I could and couldn’t eat the day of the test (yes to eggs, meat, toast with butter; no to cereals, jam, sodas, basically anything with sugar in it), how long before the test to start fasting (nothing but water for at least an hour before going in), and of course how the test works.

Basically they give you a very sweet, sometimes disgusting drink (depends on location and your own tastes I suppose) that you have to finish within five minutes of starting it. Then you wait an hour during which you can’t eat or drink anything (they told me that if I absolutely needed it I could take small sips of water but it definitely seemed like something they frowned upon). After your hour is up, they draw your blood to make sure your insulin and blood sugar levels look the way they’re supposed to.

The drink I was given was called like, GlucoCrush or something and tasted like flat orange soda. I chugged it quickly so I could get it over with. The nurses even gave me a high five because I finished the thing in under 15 seconds or something ridiculous. I accepted their accolades but really I just HATED how it tasted so I was trying to shorten my exposure to it. My first fifteen minutes in the waiting room had me kind of smacking my lips a lot, waiting for the syrupy feel and taste in my mouth to go away (and that flavor leaves only when it’s good and ready to).

I didn’t feel too much like shit afterwards which surprised me. Normally when I consume sugar like that I end up getting a major migraine or feeling achy and gross all over. All that ended up happening was I almost ended up falling asleep in my chair and my head felt like it was full of fuzz and cotton balls, making rational thought much more difficult than usual.

After I got home I foolishly thought I was in a clear enough head space to run to the grocery store for some last minute forgotten ingredients I needed for chicken pot pie. I felt fine the whole time and thought I was doing good at dealing with the cotton ball head space until I went to check out.

I put my two items on the conveyer belt thing and the cashier looked at me and asked if we were all together today. I was completely baffled. I was standing by myself with my only two items and I didn’t understand what she meant. Who was, “we?” Did she mean were both items mine? Didn’t she see me put both up there? Did I mishear her? By the time I realized I either didn’t understand what she had said at all or had misheard what she asked it had been too long of an awkward pause for me to ask her to clarify. So I said nothing. At all.

That might have been a mistake because as she rang me up she looked at me with concern and asked if I was feeling alright or if I needed to sit down for a few minutes. Startled I tried reassuring her that I was fine and blathered about the glucose test and the sugar making my brain feel funny but really, I was fine, honest. She made polite noises in all the right spots like she understood what I was talking about and knew all about the pregnancy glucose test or even that I was pregnant but she looked really, really confused. I scuttled out of the store feeling embarrassed and grateful to be going home.

Really I think I just need a maternity shirt that says, “Please excuse anything strange or inane I may say to you. Pregnancy brain is a horrible thing.” It would certainly make life easier to just be able to point to my shirt every time I end up saying something random or lose my train of thought in the middle of a story or a sentence. In fact, I’d say that if any of my posts lately feel really disjointed or nonsensical just imagine me flailing my arms and pointing at this imaginary t-shirt. (But please ignore all the disjointed and nonsensical posts that I wrote way before I got pregnant. Those just exist to make me look like a liar.)

I won’t find out the test results until Tuesday so I’m hoping for an all clear. I’ve been eating healthy and not gorging on sweets but you know what? Pregnancy is WEIRD. But here’s to hoping.

The Monster that Came from All those Hormones

AAAAAA I can’t believe I’m almost to my 3rd trimester already! When did this happen?! July 1st has never seemed closer and yet farther away.

Gummy Bear (our unofficial moniker for the baby until it decides to be born) is getting bigger and has much more substantive kicks now. Though I dunno if this baby is already like, “Haha, nuts to you Dad!” or what but poor Matt. The second his hand hits my tummy Gummy Bear is like, “Aaaaand I’m done. Sleep time!” I’m starting to think they just don’t like performing on cue. Awww, that’s my baby! Already telling people it doesn’t give a crap about their expectations of it and that it’ll do what it wants, when it wants. They become assholes so fast! *sniff*

But in all seriousness this second half of the 2nd trimester has finally become what people say is the “easy” part of pregnancy. Not that everything is glowing and possessing the dignity of an olde timey fertility goddess or anything. No I’m still gassy as all get out (my favorite is when I sit up or shift positions and experience what I’ve taken to calling thunderclap burps because one minute I’m fine, the next, BEEELLLCH! So Ladylike and Demure), grumpy as an SOB (yelling at people because of some imagined slight that I can’t ever remember two seconds after the fact? Yeah, I’ve been there), so broken out all over my body that I’m thinking of volunteering at a historical reenactment center as a smallpox victim, experiencing round ligament pain whenever I need to roll over in bed or shift in my seat (I like to imagine that Gummy Bear is just telling me not to get out of bed and is encouraging me to take a lazy day off), and now my shoes are starting to not fit anymore. *deep sigh*

The shoes thing is apparently from my body releasing hormones to get the joints in my hips and whatever all loosey goosey in preparation of birth, but hormones are little assholes who don’t care where they end up so they kind of tell all your joints to loosen the hell up including all the ligaments and stuff in your feet. Add in walking for health and transportation reasons and you have an equation with one outcome: wider, longer Bozo feet, like a clown. And this is one of the fun pregnancy symptoms that can totally not go away after you’ve given birth. Enjoy your shoes while you have them! You never know when you might have to say goodbye until it is too late!

I’m also starting to get that fun “nesting” urge that everyone talks about where you start needing things to be just so or else OH MY GOD DISASTER WE NEED TO WASH ALL THE CURTAINS THEY’RE SO GROSS ACTUALLY I HATE THIS PATTERN LET’S BUY OR MAKE NEW ONES COME ON PEOPLE CHOP CHOP WE CAN’T HAVE THE BABY TILL WE HAVE NEW CURTAINS!

But my poor nesting instinct has it rough because there is a 99.9% chance that we won’t be living in this apartment anymore when we actually have the baby. There just isn’t enough room. And we have like, the best timing because our lease is up around August 15th so if we don’t plan our timing right I might get to be “enjoying” my first few weeks as a new mom struggling to do it all myself because Matt and Red will be too busy packing and moving stuff to wherever we end up! FUN.

And it all depends on when this baby actually decides to come around. I know the statistics say that something like less than 5% of women actually give birth on their due date so I’m not really holding my breath for the 1st. Most internet stuff I’ve seen (yes, the great melting pot of contradictory information, I know) says that if you’ve had other kids you’ll probably do what you did in previous births in terms of early or late or whatever. But if you’re a first timer like me then you need to look to your mom for her history cause you’re more likely to repeat it.

So for my mom she was 2 weeks overdue with my sister, 9 days overdue with me, and like four days early with my brother (but only because her doctor was an ass-hat who didn’t want to work between Christmas and New Years so he induced her so he would have an uninterrupted vacation). Soooooo odds are pointing to this Gummy Bear being a late baby. Maybe even the middle of July. Which would put us smack dab in the middle of my worry-time about moving and finding a new place.

Because of this I haven’t wanted to buy like, anything for the baby yet (there are other reasons as well that I’ll probably talk about later). What’s the point of getting a crib now if it’s just gonna sit in the box for a few months? Why buy a bunch of little baby things if we’re just gonna have to pack them up and haul them somewhere else? Why try and plan a nursery if we don’t even know if we’re gonna move to a place with enough space to do a whole separate nursery?

While this makes a whole lot of logical sense my nesting instinct doesn’t give a fat flying fuck about anything I’ve just said and still fills me with a horrible restless panicky feeling that I can’t do anything about. Looking at homes and apartments online does nothing to quench it, knitting or video games or any of the other little fiddly things I do to keep my hands busy helps. Writing is hit or miss as sometimes my body is like, “Yeah okay sure this is productive,” but lately my nesting is like, “WHY ARE YOU SITTING THERE?! DO SOMETHING!!!!

So far the only helpful outlet I’ve found is keeping the kitchen clean. Our kitchen looks fan-fucking-tastic but woe be to anyone who makes food and does not wash their dishes. Then they get to face the wrath of Preggo-Nesting-‘Zilla. (I like to pretend my horrible acid reflux is actually my Godzilla laser/fire breath and I may or may not have threatened to throw up on people who were pushing my buttons. FUN.)

I ran so far away

Having general anxiety means that there are moments where you are SO AFRAID of something that to the outside observer (or hell, even to yourself) is not something one should be afraid of at all. But you are. And it’s a visceral, heart pounding, life or death kind of fear that just knocks you on your ass and fills your body with adrenaline.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have found a therapist and a way of therapy that helps me deal with this sort of thing, most of the time. While I still have down swings and I still backslide on occasion, I’m starting to reach a point where, more often than not, I am able to, if not control my fear, at least steer it in a direction that lets me freak the fuck out away from everyone else. (Trust me, this is a vast improvement over just breaking down wherever you happen to be and being unable to function for a while.)

Sometimes though I totally biff it and while a lot of those moments are painful to remember or talk about (it’s a huge blow to the ego when you try to explain to someone who doesn’t understand why something so innocuous scared you so thoroughly) some of them have the blessing of being funny to remember after the fact. This story is one of the funny ones.

It was a couple of weeks ago. Being the woman-child that I am, I was playing some Pokémon, working tirelessly in my efforts to Catch Them All. Specifically I was playing the most recent volume in the extensive library of Pokémon games: Omega Ruby. I was doing the really sad thing where I was using Matt’s 3DS to essentially trade Pokémon with myself from my older games. You know, to complete my Pokédex (don’t worry this story gets a lot less geeky really soon).

Trading has gotten more advanced and become less of a hassle in the days since my own youth. Gone are the troublesome trading cords of the olden days and viva the days of using Wi-Fi and internet to trade wirelessly all over the world. Though since I am an old fogey I actually don’t know a whole lot about how all the new wireless internet connection crap works with these games because, well, I am Old and new technology scares me.

But I had to learn how to conquer it, at least a little, so I fiddled with it until I was able to perform the near masturbatory act of trading with myself. When I was done I closed the second 3DS and continued on my way. My game bugged me to click a little internet Wi-Fi symbol and not really getting what it was asking of me I shrugged and went, “Why not?” and turned it on.

About a minute later someone from Japan asked me if I wanted to trade Pokémon with them.

Y’all I freaked. OUT.

The surprise of it caught me so off guard that my anxiety went from 0 to 10 in less than half a second. I remember my breath catching in my chest and I just felt so scared and freaked out that I didn’t know what to do. I somehow managed to tell Matt, “Someone wants to trade with me.” Before my brain fully shut down.

I think he asked me what I was gonna do but at this point the adrenaline was rushing through my skin and I needed to run away. I literally tossed my 3DS at him, said, “You do it.” And ran out of the room as if I was being pursued by a wild tiger. I ran till I was as physically far away from my room and 3DS as I possibly could and curled up into a little ball like I was hiding.

Let me reiterate that this panic attack was brought on by a stranger wanting to trade Pokémon. There was a small voice in my head that knew this was a silly, non-threatening thing to be scared of but it was having a hard time being heard over the hundreds of other voices in my brain screaming at me from the top of their lungs to PANIC THIS IS THE MOST SCARY DANGEROUS THING EVER!!! It felt like I was curled up there hiding for ages but it was actually probably only 10-15 minutes or so. Once I was able to get my breathing under control and my body no longer felt like it was on fire I was able to stand up, feeling strangely exhausted and make my way back to my room.

Matt had completed the trade with the person and got me two shiny Charmanders. What a champ.

No Shame, Only Hunger

So it turns out I probably should have written some stuff before I got the re-release of Poké mon Red for my 3DS last week. I remember thinking, “I should probably get the blog squared away before I get this or else I’m gonna become an unproductive slug.” And whaddaya know? I was right! That’s probably why I should have listened to myself and written something before buying the game. But the siren song of Nostalgia! She overrides such common sense!

One of the “traditional” pregnancy things I never really experienced was cravings. Every woman I know who has been pregnant has regaled me with charming stories of cravings and the misadventures they caused. Hell, weird pregnancy cravings are a common trope in entertainment as well with the most “famous” one being pickles and ice cream. But for my first trimester (the time in which cravings are said to be at their strongest) I didn’t have any. Just a shit ton of food aversion.

Nothing ever sounded good to me ever and making myself eat something that didn’t sound good was a Sisyphean task that pretty much guaranteed I would be yakking my brains out later. It was a miserable experience and pretty much made me want to punch everyone who approached me singing their praises for how much they loved being pregnant.

The closest I cam to experiencing a craving would be my macaroni and cheese bender. I was officially in the second trimester at this point and feeling glum about my lack of weight gain. But I was finally starting to feel hungry again. It felt good to be hungry. I hadn’t been in a while. And more than anything I wanted the cheap boxes of Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese.

Mac ‘n’ cheese and I are not exactly best of friends. When you’re lactose intolerant you can end up disliking things heavy in dairy out of sheer wariness and spite. But oh how I wanted this stuff. It was the only thing that sounded good. And just the Kraft brand; nothing else would do to appease this small lizard-like part of my brain.

I made a grocery trip specifically to buy it. Once there I grabbed a hand basket and made my way to the day-glow orange cheese products. I grabbed a few boxes of the old standard when I noticed that they had the fancy Star Wars shaped mac ‘n’ cheese on sale for even less than the regular kind (!!!). I thought about it for all of two seconds before I very purposefully started swapping out my boring “regular” mac ‘n’ cheese for the WAY COOLER Star Wars one.

As I was swapping out the last box I heard a noise ahead of me. Looking up I saw a woman who looked like she was in her late 30’s, early 40’s who was watching me perform this switch out with no small amount of amusement. I made full eye contact with her and said, “Because I’m an adult.” And grabbed my last box of macaroni. I turned on my heels and walked away.

Every day for the following three days I ate an entire box of that mac ‘n’ cheese in one sitting, by myself for lunch. (Bonus: I never got sick from eating that much dairy though it has totally happened in the past so I dunno, I just got lucky I guess.) Afterwards my stomach officially “broke up” with mac ‘n’ cheese and I haven’t really touched it since. But it’s the closest thing I have to a craving or craving story so I guess it’ll have to do.