homestretch.

In the past 24 hours I have managed to keep down Jello and toast. WHEE!

My belly is very near herniating thanks to a little something called diastasis recti. (The wikiCaseypedia version? This crap hurts something fierce.)

There’s the poop.

And then there’s the sleepy. (Which has actually been vastly improved upon switching from a generic version of my antidepressant to the name brand.)

See also: antenatal depression and anxiety.

So this morning while wallowing in my misery and attempting not to moo or make various beached whale noises I declared that I pretty much stink at being pregnant even though I love it.

So I started to think about all the stuff that’s going right…

silver lining

I don’t pee when I barf, or cough or sneeze. I consider this a victory.

I look pregnant. I have one friend who is so tall and has such a long torso that she never even looked pregnant at 40 weeks, just kind of…puffy.

I also don’t get swollen. (Or haven’t yet.) I can still see my ankle bones, although shaving them has become re-darn-diculous.

Heartburn? Eh, it happens on occasion, nothing that a couple of Tums won’t fix.

No stretch marks. (Again, yet.)

No gestational diabetes.

No other major medical maladies to speak of, well aside from the chronic barfing, but I’m pretty much pro by now.

And the biggest one? I’ve made it to 31 weeks. I am 31 weeks pregnant after trying for over five years to get here. I’m more than halfway! I’m more than 3/4 of the way! And wonderful people have been taking care of me all along. From my friends here locally, to the friends and family all over who have played along in the Mozzi celebration that Emily organized…I am good, I am thankful, I am blessed.

Albeit a little queasy.

Pass the Jello.

xoxo to you all.

bathtime confessions of a lush.

Two years ago my sister gave me my first lush bath bombs for Christmas. (Sakura and MMM Marshmallow Melting Moment.)

Addicted.

When we were in Cincy early last year I made Cody drive well out of our way to go to the lush store in Macy’s.

Cody stuffed my stocking at Christmas with bath bombs.

My friends Blair and Dawn both gifted me with lush.

There is a package currently en route full of things for my tub not to mention my linen closet currently houses a grand variety of tub goodies.

bath bombs.

If you’ve never used one? You must.

If you have to get a gift for someone? They’re perfect.

If you have a big enough tub to fit you and your lover? It will end well. (*ehem* there is one that is called Sex Bomb for good reason.)

BUT!!!

My glowing endorsement comes with a warning…

Some of the bath bombs spit stuff out without warning.

I had a fourth of July bomb that spewed forth a red streamer (without my glasses I am twice legally blind, so when I came back into the bathroom with a giant red blob running through my tub…did you ever see IT? Yeah, terror is an understatement.) Red white and blue glitter and star shaped confetti also came out. The confetti was kind of pokey, not going to lie.

I had a love bomb that turned the water pink. Once I sunk into the tub (again, twice legally blind) I noticed floaters. I started to berate myself and my tub cleaning abilities until I noticed that I was floating in a pink sea of heart confetti. SURPRISE!!

Tonight…I had bought the Dragon’s Egg for Addie and me. It promised FIREWORKS!! and it smelled delicious. Addie threw it in and we sat at the side of the tub and watched it. Sure enough there were crackly somethings in it that sounded like fireworks!! Then it started spewing out an orange trail, JUST LIKE A COMET!! WE WERE AWESTRUCK! Next golden glitter began pouring out from the center of the bath bomb. SURPRISE AGAIN!!!

By the time I got my rotund body out of the tub I noticed I was covered, COVERED! in gold glitter. Head to toe, bum to belly. You want to see something funny? A naked pregnant lady coated in gold glitter is funny.

(This post wasn’t sponsored by anyone or anything but my own shame, or lack thereof. However if Lush needs product testers? Addie and I will be first in line, even the glittery, pokey confetti ones.)

30 weeks.

30 weeks.

41″ circumference.

159 lbs.

70 days to go.

All is well.

love me, love my petichiae.

So remember when I was all “OH MY FACE! SO SAD!” in regards to the petichiae that had flared up so badly as a result of all my vomiting?

(For anyone unaware, petichiae are ruptured capillaries just under the surface of the skin, some are raised and bumpy others are flush but bright red…they are most often the result of violent and excessive vomiting.)

petichiae update. 16 weeks.

Well it hasn’t gotten any better. And they’re not going anywhere.

I know darn well they’re there. And I know full well you can see them too. I know the lady at the grocery store could see them because she asked what was wrong with my face. I know every doctor I see can see them because it’s one of the first things they comment on.

I don’t care.

I have stopped trying to cover them with makeup every time I go out. It was not only getting expensive, it was getting ridiculous. I have well moisturized skin, lovely blue eyes, very well behaved lashes very few blemishes and I found a lip color that makes me happy.

All this red rashy blotchiness? It’s part of who I am now, my red badge of courage if you will.

It doesn’t hurt. It’s not contagious. There’s no long term damage.

Many women have stretch marks on various body parts. Many other people have scars from surgeries or marks from injuries sustained in the past. Some people have gaps in their teeth or different color eyes or gray hair. I have a mottled face, proof I sacrificed something worldly society holds in very high esteem in order to get something I wanted.

No one’s ever said “Your face looks stupid, I don’t want to be your friend.”

I mean, people have said mean stuff to me, but generally when people are saying mean things to you? It’s because they’re stupid.

Or something like that.

Repeat after me…

“Love me, love my __________”

photographic darkness.

It was at this point in my pregnancy with Addie that I attempted to end both her life and my own.

Much of my life story can be told through pictures. Bad boyfriends, vacations, new friends, old friends, bad outfit choices and even worse hair choices.

But there are no pictures from that three month long period of my pregnancy with Addie.

There is really only one picture from my struggle with depression this time around. And I think it kind of speaks for itself.

23 weeks.

It’s hard to look at, but I’m grateful I have it.

There are also no pictures from the Spring of 2009 and certainly not many pictures from late fall of 2009.

These were two of the darkest seasons of my life. Having photos from them would only proves to be a constant reminder of how much was wrong, despite everything looking right through the lens of a camera.

here but not there, hiding.

Camera lenses can be excellent liars in the hands of a skilled person, I perhaps am a better liar. I can plaster on a smile for a camera that would never alert you to just how broken and destroyed I am inside. But when I look back at the photo? There is a place in my heart that aches, knowing that girl in the picture was lying with her whole body.

There is one photo in particular. I can’t stand to look at it. I haven’t even bothered looking for it, it hurts too much. That I could put on that convincing of a show…

Periods of my life remain photographically dark for good reason, however when the light comes back…so do the photographs.

The first photo I took at the end of a horrible 2009 was this one…

365 painting with light. kissing with lips.

My love for that man has continued to grow exponentially every single day since this photo was taken.

Just as I have to be so careful about the people and outside influences (mainly the media) I allow into my life no matter how healthy my brain is, I must also control what gets remembered with such permanence as a photograph.

ouch.

sue sylvester keeps her shark tank upstairs and other gestational realizations.

I am walking a very fine line between “getting through” and “becoming the worst OB patient my doctor has ever seen.” The list of fears, questionable maladies and panic have resulted in a list that is going to blind said doctor come Thursday. To make matters worse it will be my gestational diabetes test as well so not only will I be super! inquisitive! I’ll be hopped up on the sugar drink.

I just woke up from a dream where Mozzi’s foot was poking out right around my ribs, I counted 8 (!) perfect tiny little toes and then my friend dug her foot out, the same way you dig you way through new pantyhose, and we all kissed and tickled it. However when it came time to put the little foot back in it wouldn’t stay. My only choice was to pull Mozzi out and head to the hospital where my water then broke and I birthed all that…other crap. Some doctor found me a crappy bed until Sue Sylvester’s shark tank started flooding because all of her landscaping had given out. Honestly, who puts a shark tank on the second level of their home?  Anyway, the nice lady that fed Sue’s hammerhead shark ended up getting eaten and we all had to abandon the area.

Last week Cody made me go to a quilt show, then he slammed my fingers in the window of a Jeep. I woke up sobbing.

Last night something happened on the streets of New York and I woke up sobbing again.

I have a highly pasteurized tube of sour cream in my fridge that expires April 28, 2011. Normally that would mean “MY BIRTHDAY! IT IS SO CLOSE!” this year it means “A tube of sour cream may outlast the days of me being pregnant.

This is really happening. I’m getting my baby. (And all the weird stuff that goes along with making one apparently.) I am going to have a baby to hold. To sniff. To love. My very own baby that I don’t have to give back. A baby that is going to be born into love clean carpet, good smelling sheets and non expired dairy products. A baby that has brought our family closer together with so much hope, love, support, gratitude and peace.

lemons with a pea card.

77 days to go.

(card available at Robin’s etsy store along with other fine PG-13 rated goods.)

the cat in my bag.

I am 1.5″ away from reaching the 42″ circumference I achieved at 40 weeks with Addie.

I dare you to get me out of this shirt. I DARE YOU. Because it's not going to happen.

A) holy crap.

B) ow.

I polled some moms on facebook last night about the pain I’m experiencing in the midsection area, I’ve been trying to describe to to Cody, or really anyone with ears who will listen and I think I finally came up with an explanation. (!) The helpful souls of facebook used terms such as “rabid badger! burning! searing! tearing! ripping!”

.

.

.

.

Thanks facebook! A “it’s normal” would have sufficed but you really went the extra mile with all the adjectives!

Anyway, I finally figured out a way to describe it.

It’s not very ethical. PETA may not like it very much. I will neither confirm nor deny that I have ever done this to a cat. I’m afraid to even search for it on YouTube, because there’s strange people out there with Internet access and video cameras.

And cats.

Anyway, imagine putting a large cat in a plastic grocery bag and hanging said grocery bag from a doorknob.

The stretched bag is my belly, the wiggly cat is Mozzi.

(photo by fen branklin)

Yeah, that looks pretty accurate.

help for broken hearts.

Compassion fatigue.

It’s term I first heard back in October, to me it basically means that while the Internet can bring about great and amazing things, it also means that we are exposed to so much heartache and people in need of help. Death, sickness, terminal illness, injury, natural disasters, loss and heartbreak.

Leaving us weary. Wanting to help everyone but knowing that it is simply impossible to do so.

Today I am going to ask for something very simple, words of encouragement to a very new mom.

Her baby, Tanner, was born February 3. The first week of his life has been spent in the hospital with pediatric cardiologists focusing on Tanner’s heart. I’m not doctor, but there’s a lot wrong with it.

Tanner is being sent to another hospital, at least 3 states away, where doctors will better be able to handle the open heart surgery that Tanner is going to have to go through in his first week of life. His mom will spend weeks with him away from her family, Tanner’s dad and everything she knows.

This is never how anyone pictures new motherhood.

Tanner’s mom is Ali. I can’t even call Ali my high school best friend because we were more than that, we were inseparable. We had our own language. Her family accepted me for everything I was when my own family couldn’t see much past the trouble I caused. On the list of 5 people who shaped me into who I am today? Ali and her family are on it, right towards the top.

Over time we grew apart, our lives changed and took different paths, but I find myself still fiercely loyal to Ali and wanting to protect her heart from all this hurt.

Tanner’s story is can be found here.

If you could simply leave her some words of encouragement, let her know they will make it into your prayers…my hope is that the support from all of you will carry her, if even for a minute, through this scary journey.

Thank you.