Seeing the Light

I have fallen prey to stress and have been overwhelmed with the challenges I am faced with. Today for the first time in a while I feel some relief. I hope it is long lasting. I am distinctively more able to relax and breathe air today in a restorative way.

My plan for today is to apply for a family scholarship with the YMCA (again). I have a poor track record of taking the family to the YMCA when I have had a membership, but I can easily say that was because of a situation that may have resolved by now.

For the past month I have been going to physical therapy for neck pain that is the result of being rear ended on I-5 in early 2014 (as best as I can figure). My physical therapist has found that my posture (or lack of it) is also part of why my neck pain from that accident hasn’t resolved.

I need to pay closer attention to my body’s needs and practice more self-care. I’ve had many wake-up calls, culminating today in my commitment to join the Y and make the most of membership. My wake up calls include receiving a diagnosis of diabetes type 2 (this has supposedly gone into remission) and seeing the scale climb about 10 pounds in 2 months.

I believe that part of a better self-care program would include structuring my time to include regular and frequent physical activity, time to myself on a daily basis for reflection and to express gratitude, arts & crafts activities and fun family summer activities I can do with the twins.

Joining the YMCA is a chance to do all of the above, and I just need to make time in my day everyday for it. Another opportunity I don’t want to miss while the weather holds is going to parks this summer with the kids and watching them grow and develop.

I am grateful that I had the clarity of mind to realize that I have self-care needs that aren’t being met. I believe I will be 100 percent better off if I carve out a couple of hours per day to dedicate to positive activities that are also goal-oriented. I also believe that as I begin to feel better, my relationships with family and friends will improve and I will feel more able to meet my obligations and commitments.

Fate and Fortune

 

I spent last weekend visiting with extended family while the twins spent the weekend at home with their father. The kids both had colds, which they are almost over now.  When I had them I couldn’t guess what the future would be like. I was relieved we all made it through the first month of their lives, considering the challenges we each had with such a high risk and complicated pregnancy. 

 

My brother shared at my dad’s birthday party in 2014 that they were expecting. I had been feeling physically different for a while and when I heard that I was pretty sure it was time to find out whether my hunch was right, that I might be expecting too. The first few tests were positive. The first ultrasound showed three small gestational sacs. The next ultrasound showed two fetal poles in two sacs and a third sac that was empty. Well I had been pretty excited about having triplets, but had also read about vanishing twins and knew that the outcome of my pregnancy was up in the air.

 

I don’t know how to describe the excitement of those days or the exhaustion accompanied by a feeling that the exams and appointments were never ending. I had ultrasound after ultrasound to make sure things were moving ahead and to check the positions of the babies. I wished so hard that my girl would flip around to a head down position, but she stayed put and a c/section was planned for week 36. I worked to control my gestational diabetes using insulin and paying attention to my diet. I gradually gave up on work, commuting, and on socializing. I was quite content to spend time in my room, knowing I wasn’t really alone.  

 

I had several urgent phone calls and visits to Labor and Delivery in Seattle, one of them was by ambulance.  A test showed that the likelihood of preterm delivery was there, and my family was somewhat aware that I might deliver anytime. The twins came on Mother’s day after I attended a BBQ in Seattle where we fittingly had been discussing delivering babies. Their dad was called and asked to come to Seattle. He recalls the clouds that day were especially beautiful.  My mom went into surgery with me. It was an experience I will never forget. My girl was born first, then my boy. They both required some medical interventions in the next month so they stayed at the hospital until they could feed well by bottle, ride in a car seat, and keep breathing without extra stimulation.

 

I could barely breathe. I thought it was because of the c/section. I let an advice nurse know about that and other symptoms when I called to ask whether soap was ok on the incision. I was told to call 911 immediately. I ignored the medical advice. I don’t advise doing that, but thankfully I was able to get to the ER anyways, where I was assessed. They did just about every test I’d ever heard of. My lungs were full of fluid, my heart was failing, and I had high blood pressure/preeclampsia. I stayed a few days in the hospital where I was successfully treated. So modern medicine saved this girl’s life. No wonder I couldn’t walk more than ten steps without needing to catch my breath.

 

 

 

 

 

How I arrived at station Motherhood.

Well hello reader(s)! I am delighted to be here and writing a blog. I am going to load today’s entry with some information about myself to provide some context to future entries and just because I want to introduce myself.

I reside in the Puget Sound area in Washington State. It’s beautiful here, and it was beautiful in Northern California where I am from originally. I moved to the Puget Sound area in January of 1995 with my mother and father. When I made the decision to move with my parents to Seattle, I left behind a group of good friends and I gave up attending UC Berkeley where I had been a Forestry major. I don’t think I realized at the time that I would have pangs for life for the life I left behind.

After some time, I tried to get on with things.  I’ll explain more about that. Before I left California I had not been able to focus on school, work or relationships due to being overwhelmed by what I will call a “shift.” What had been up until then a somewhat average and controlled ride through life became completely out of control. I suppose it was in part because my neurobiology and neuroanatomy changed due to environment and/or genetics. I was not prepared for my life to careen out of control but that didn’t seem to matter in the least. I ended up in Seattle and I needed to figure some things out. I was starting over in some ways.

Still unable to focus I tried to work a few jobs anyways. I was used to having a little money for cigarettes and coffee and I craved cigarettes and coffee like no tomorrow. But I couldn’t rub two pennies together unless my parents provided them. So I worked as a janitor and then a cashier. And then I stopped working (according to my supervisor at Burger King I was fired after giving away free fries, in fact I quit when they threatened to fire me). O sweet memories.

I decided to dedicate myself to returning to college. Remember those pangs I wrote of? Well they were pretty strong. When I was a young girl and hanging around with my parents one day, they told me about the different levels of education one could obtain. I promised them that I would one day I would attend graduate school. Also I had always enjoyed school, especially writing and language. For whatever reason I took the required Compass test and was placed into remedial math – Algebra II (considering I had been taking Calculus at UC Berkeley before moving). I also was placed into English 97 (again, I had been taking English 101 at UCB). This was somewhat of a blow and I dealt with it by just stuffing all the emotions about it down below the surface. I played the hand I was dealt.

And I kept asking the dealer for a hit too, until eventually I passed through community college where I had started out, into the local university and then through graduate school. I mostly stuffed emotions down, attended classes, and did as much homework as one person can manage. I started out with poor grades and raised them bit by bit. As a student majoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences I was on the annual dean’s list both years! I did pretty well as a Nutritional Sciences major in graduate school too. If I exposed any one strength during this time it was definitely tenacity.

For the entire time from my first year of college to now I have been under a doctor’s care and seeking services for behavioral health. Or if you will indulge me, I have been receiving care for my disabling neurobiological idiosyncrasies.

And so my story arrives at 2010. In late 2010 I graduated with a Master of Science degree! Hoorah, confetti, and hats in the air! Done and thank you please keep what’s left of the deck. I’ll take no more hits for now! The guy I’m dating and I got serious and started talking about kids around then. I started volunteering to get some work experience, completed a rocky year of AmeriCorps as a reading tutor at a public school and worked for three years as a Peer Support Specialist, and bam – I have twins on Mother’s day in 2015. How’s that for a wake up call. Fast forward again to… well, I think that might be another post.

To end I will say this…thank you for your readership and the chance to share. I hope that you will come back to this page again for more of TWO and Beyond!